Friday, December 20, 2013

Fashion Fix ::: Champagne Watch Taste, Beer Budget

Photos by {accordingtoame}

While in Hawaii, I tried on a couple of Rolex Datejust watches, mid-size 31mm, Rolexes blend of stainless steel. These were obviously fantasy events for me, with items well out of my budget now or anytime in the even distant future. Since those luxurious adventures, I have been on the hunt for a classic (steel bracelet) watch that looks similar these Rolexes above, or two other classic favorites, the Cartier Ballon Bleu and the Cartier Tank.

None of the above work on my beer budget, but that doesn't mean I don't daydream of hitting it big one day and buying one...or all!

In my quest for similar, but more on-budget, watch finds, I've come across a few close comparisons which make a good Steal-Splurge-Blow-it-out! comparison. 

Starting with the absolute favorite, one I would seriously be over the moon to own one day, the Cartier Ballon Bleu. Among the offerings in this style, my favorite is a mid-size stainless steel variant with the date visible. I don't know why having a date spot on a watch matters so much to me, but it does.  In my quest for a similar look to this gorgeous creature, I have found a couple pretty close options, both from fantastic brands known to produce watches that will last a lifetime.  I have seen the Raymond Weil in person, and have tried it on a few times and it was very, very hard to remove and not purchase that watch. It felt like buttah! But alas, not in the cards right now.  The Seiko however...that might be possible. In fact, I am keeping an eye on it in the short term hoping for a nicer steal on that in the after holiday sales. (If you buy it now, you might get a great deal but I am kind of feeling miserly about it!)

STEAL ::: Seiko Premier

SPLURGE, available in two sizes 29mm or 35mm ::: Raymond Weil "Jasmine"

REAL DEAL ::: Cartier Ballon Bleu

The Rolex Datejust watches I tried on, and on, and on again, while we were on our vacation this summer, are still kind of haunting me. There's just something about them that gets me. I don't know if it's the air of success that seems to come with that look, or the actual success that it takes to afford one.  The best part about this style, however, is that there's so very many options in every budget to get that same big-money look. For those loving the "gold rolex" look, Timex, Seiko and Michael Kors offer options in that tone, as well as in silver tone and stainless, Michael Kors even offers some in a rose tone. There are also even some two-tone options in all three lines.

STEAL ::: Timex 
Or check out this Michael Kors, or this Michael Kors, a Seiko or this other Timex two-tone option

SPLURGE, available in two sizes 28mm or 32mm ::: Victorinox Swiss Army "Victoria", 

REAL DEAL ::: Rolex Datejust II

And finally, the Cartier Tank. This style says uptown, well-educated, elegant and, yet, not showy.  Think Aerin Lauder, who as I recall, wears one. Thankfully for those of us not about to afford the real deal at this time, this classic shape has been reimagined in a range of budget friendly options.

STEAL ::: Seiko Premier.  
For those looking for a leather band option, check out this Seiko option

SPLURGE ::: Michele Deco, shown with diamond markers and a chronograph (band sold separately). 

REAL DEAL ::: Cartier Tank

Any of the above catch your eye? I am going to be scoping out some sales hoping to grab a deal on at least one of the above this season. I want to get back into the habit of wearing a watch and not relying on my phone for the time, since I am trying to work on being in the moment when I am with someone and not a slave to my device (which I love and cherish dearly like a child, that's addiction talking, right?)

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