When it comes to choosing the perfect luxury wristwatch for work, it should be all about gut feel and buying something you like, right? No, argues Derek Dier, the watch prop specialist from television series Mad Men.
“The right watch for the right person is something that really needs thinking through, especially in your working life,” he says.
“It’s fine to choose something you like, but it’s also worth asking what sort of message it is sending about who you are.”
Dier recounts the painstakingly detailed discussions he had with both Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and the on-set prop master about the watches they selected for the show’s main characters.
While a sleek black Omega De Ville for Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and a silvery two-tone Tudor Prince for Roger Sterling (John Slattery) were fairly obvious choices, it was the selection of a less iconic late-‘60s Movado Datron for slowly combusting Ted Chaough (Kevin Rahm) that pushed Dier’s skills to the limit.
He chose the chunky gold chronograph for Chaough to represent a man who is something of a round peg in a square hole in his new role as a leader in the business.
“It's not a fully round watch,” Dier says. “It's more of a C-shaped '70s style of case, which is a little avantgarde. It was certainly not a corporate choice compared to those around him. I think it's perfect for Chaough’s character.”
So, as the seventh and final season of Mad Men unfolds, Chaough’s increasing reluctance to toe the party line is writ large in the rebellion on his wrist.
What watch works for you?
The question, then, is what message do you want to send from your wrist? Because, if you’re already wearing a watch, you’re speaking volumes without even opening your mouth.
Help define your personality, and the right pitch for your wrist, from our breakdown of watches by all 16 types of the highly respected Myers-Briggs personality test (click the gallery above).
Andrew McUtchen is the founder of online magazine Time+Tide.