Watchfinder & Co. has decided to remove “unnecessary, restrictive and dated” gender classifications from its website. With this initiative, the British second-hand watch specialist becomes the first retailer in the UK to remove male-female references from its website. The models will now simply be classified by size – small, medium or large.
To this end, the brand has unveiled a campaign in which Nigel Barker, juror on the reality show America’s Next Top Model and fashion photographer, calls for jewellery and watches to be de-gendered.
The brand is also urging manufacturers to embrace this change by classifying watches solely by size and removing the “superfluous, restrictive and dated” gender system whereby some watches are only suitable for one gender, without taking into account customers’ personal preferences or size criteria.
It has also conducted a study which reveals that, despite the reluctance of watch manufacturers to get rid of gendered classifications, many are following the trend. For example, Rolex recently enlarged the case of its Datejust “Woman” from 26 mm to 28 mm, and widened the case of the Pearlmaster for Women by 10 mm, from 29 mm to 39 mm, dimensions considered masculine.
However, this is not a movement that everyone agrees with. A brand such as Tudor, owned by Rolex, recently launched a smaller (39mm) version of its Black Bay “Men’s” dive watch. Similarly, IWC has unveiled a 36mm version of its classic Pilot timepiece.
“I think fashion is a form of self-expression; people should be able to dress and express themselves as they want to with the pieces they feel comfortable in. When it comes to watches, I have a wide range of sizes and shapes that I can match to my outfit, my mood and my current activity. People should be able to choose the watches they want, according to their personal style, without anyone imposing anything on them. “said Nigel Barker.
“We believe that classifying watches by gender is unnecessary and restrictive today. Everyone should be able to choose the style that suits them, without being told what is or is not appropriate for their gender. “By removing the Men’s and Women’s categories from our catalogue, we are encouraging consumers to explore and discover more watches, and helping them find the right model for them. More and more men’s watches are being downsized and women’s watches are being downsized, so we feel that gendered categories are now obsolete. “
Watch brands are not the only ones to adopt this way of thinking; consumers, including celebrities, have repeatedly called for the removal of these stereotypes. As a result, celebrities are showing off watches originally designed – and exclusively marketed – for the opposite sex.
For example, rapper Kanye West regularly appears with a precious 22mm Cartier Crash on his wrist. In the same vein, Jay-Z wears a 27mm Jaeger Reverso Duo and Harry Styles likes to show off his 32mm Rolex Precision.
The ladies are not to be outdone: Victoria Beckham shows off her Rolex Daytona 40 mm, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and her Patek Philippe Nautilus 40 mm, or Charlize Theron and her gigantic Rolex Deepsea 44 mm, an incredibly thick diver’s watch, water-resistant to a depth of 3,900 m.
Featured Photo : © Presse
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