Style With A Sports Watch
For those that like a sports-orientated watch – like this TAG Heuer Formula 1 chronograph, designed in a limited edition for The Watch Gallery – matching it with tailored, classic clothes can be a challenge. The essence of elegance is harmony, after all, and each piece in an ensemble should echo the other. A sharp suit requires a sharp shoe. The fine slice of a navy worsted’s lapel should be reflected in the neat welt of the black oxford beneath it.
There are, however, ways in which these two things can be matched together. We can have our cake and eat it; we can be both tailored and rugged.
The first thing to look at it is texture. A standard business shirt is usually made of a particularly fine cotton. (Indeed the fineness of the cotton, like the fineness of wool in a suit, has become an increasingly loud marketing point in recent years, even though it is not necessarily the best thing for the customer.) Fine cotton is smooth and sleek, and smart and formal as a result.
Anyone who loves jeans will know that cotton doesn’t have to be this way. It can be rough, tough and heavily worn. It can be denim, moleskin or velvet. In fact, it’s hard to think of materials with more different associations than those three – yet they all start as the same fibre.
That variation becomes even greater when you start to change the fibre. A brushed wool in winter, for example, or as pictured here, a collarless linen. Linen too can be fine or coarse, closely or loosely woven. And the colour can be off-white, rather than our normal, classic, professional white. And so we have yet more tools in our tailoring deconstruction.
Wear that linen loose; wear it free. There is no reason the body should not be fitted – tailored – but leave the cuffs undone. Better to reinforce the lack of formality, and indeed to give the watch room to breathe.
Jackets can chunky and sporty, whether in coarse tweed or simply thickly woven cashmere. But there is less room to adapt the way they are worn. Few would want to start unbuttoning their cuffs and pushing back the sleeves.
Knitwear, therefore, is the best option – and this gives us plenty of variety. A thick cashmere, as pictured here in royal blue, provides a great partner to a sports watch. We can recall those that used to play sport in very similar woollens, whether polo, tennis or cricket. Wool is a marvel for retaining moisture and remaining warm, after all. It is the original sportswear.
Even fine-gauge knitwear works here, however. It is still thicker than a shirt and when rolled back at the cuff – as pictured – it gains both greater thickness and a dressy touch. Traditionally the stitched edge of a garment was viewed as casual and informal, hence the smartness of a double cuff on a shirt, and the covering of the trouser seam on tuxedo trousers. Doubling back a sweater cuff achieves the same look, helped further by a wide, classic collar.
Informal yet sophisticated colour is added with an olive-green beret. By this point it should be obvious how this elevates an ensemble yet pushes away from classic tailoring. The country green but in a muted, urban tone. The texture of the wool. And the fact it could never be confused with a trilby or a fedora.
There is confidence, luxury and craftsmanship here. The watch – a limited-edition take on Tag Heuer’s Formula 1 chronograph – has its own tenth-of-a-second chronograph craft at work. And the craft involved in weaving the shirt linen, knitting the cashmere knitwear, putting together every aspect of the elegant outfit, gives the whole an elegance greater than the sum of its parts.
The TAG Heuer Formula 1 TWG special edition is a 43mm quartz chronograph, with the running second counter at 3 o’clock, the hour chronograph counter 6 o’clock, the minute chronograph counter at 9 o’clock and a tachymeter scale to the bezel – in sapphire-blue aluminium.
For more information on the TAG Heuer Formula 1 TWG special edition, click here. Watch limited to 200 pieces, priced at £1250.