The Tribes Part V: The Neophyte
We’ve covered the perfectionists, the pristine and the peacocks of the watch world, but where do all these roads begin? Welcome to the Tribe of the Neophyte. In a world awash with hundreds if not thousands of watches, these green-eared youths are the horophiles of tomorrow – and they mean business.
Every gent’s saga has a beginning. You’ve managed a 2:1 at a relatively reliable red brick. You’ve pottered about South East Asia for a few months in a haze of whiskey buckets and bad tubing accidents. You’ve come back to the real world. You’re applying for every grad scheme under the sun. You, my friend, belong to the promising Neophytes, the Empire of the Rising Watch if you will.
In a world that presents FIFA corruption, Tinder and the ever jarring commissioning schedule of ITV2, confusing times lie ahead for our young guns. Will we ever purchase our own home? What’s the best way to sign off an office email? Do I really care about 27 Ways Taylor Swift Showed Us She Has Two Hands on Buzzfeed? With such a perpetual plague of problems, it’s a miracle our young gents don’t go insane frankly, but at least one choice in life is clear: what to wear on the wrist. Cash flow may be limited in our infantile years but the promise of a first ‘proper’ Swiss watch is quite the event. It marks your first steps into the adult world, your first meetings in which nothing really makes sense and the constant battle not to get too wasted at the Christmas work party.
Your truest companion in this cruel, cruel world is the friend on your wrist.
Okay, so that may be a little bit dramatic but a quality timepiece is aspirational and often the first rung on the horological ladder. You really don’t need all the cash in the world to wear quality and if there’s one thing The Watch Gallery can offer, it’s a happy first home for the Neophyte. Come one, come all.
88 Rue du Rhone separate the craftsmanship from the crud and this expert piece is no different. Whether it’s for the bar or boardroom, the 42mm is a perfect two-in-one timepiece.
Key Features: Swiss made, 42 mm, stainless steel case, black leather strap, quartz movement, small-seconds, half hour and twelve hour sub-dials.
Neophyte Qualification: Absolute versatility makes this a key choice for the Neophyte – and it won’t break the bank either.
As the younger noisier brother of Frederique Constant, the Alpina Startimer is an exceptional sportswatch for the cost. Albeit more casual in appearance, there’s nothing stopping a Neophyte twinning this piece with a navy suit.
Key Features: Swiss made, 44 mm, black PVD case, brown leather strap, quartz movement, scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass, 50m water resistance.
Neophyte Qualification: Traditional in craftsmanship and contemporary in approach.
After adorning the wrists of footballer and filmstar alike, the Mondaine Helvetica is up there with the cooler watch brands. Simple, slick and always in style – all timepiece problems solved.
Key Features: Swiss made, 43 mm, stainless steel case, brown leather strap, quartz movement, scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass, 30m water resistance.
Neophyte Qualification: The Helvetica doesn’t try too hard and as such, is often present in many a watch wearer’s collection.
Very much a product of Shoreditch coffee culture as it is Detroit, Shinola are one of the few watch brands that truly taps into a sense of cool. Although more casual, it’s an unashamedly masculine choice.
Key Features: 47mm diameter, chronograph function, classic date aperture at 6 o’clock, ‘Aniline Latigo’ brown Horween leather strap with pin and buckle fastening.
Neophyte Qualification: Excellent craftsmanship with a luxury fashion shell – any watch of this ilk is considered gold.
Quite possibly the King of the Neophyte Round Table, the TAG Heuer Formula 1 is an iconic piece. With a steel case, murdered out dial and business-friendly design, this is what young dreams are made of.
Key Features: Swiss made, 42mm, quartz movement, stainless steel case and strap, scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass, 200m water resistance.
Neophyte Qualification: As a pinnacle brand of this particular tribe, the Formula 1 can fit into any career, any style and any wardrobe for a relatively accesible price.