Back to school doesn’t have to mean dull. As you switch to a winter wardrobe, these fun but practical timepieces should be on your mind

Laura McCreddie-Doak
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While it may have been a while since you bought a new pencil case, donned a scratchy jumper and polished your non-descript pair of black shoes, there’s still something about September that has a “back to school” feel. The weather starts to cool and you relinquish the summer florals in favour of autumn’s more sombre shades; you can almost smell the school-hall disinfectant.

That also means those frivolous fashion watches need to be replaced with something more substantial. Don’t be disheartened, though, you don’t have to seek out the horological equivalent of a grey, knee-length box-pleat skirt; there’s still some fun to be had, it’s just more akin to a martini, than a mojito.

First up is Gucci’s G-Timeless. Unless you’ve been hiding out somewhere without internet access or proximity to any fashion magazines, you will be well aware of how Gucci has recently changed its sartorial spots. Gone are the slightly trashy, flamboyant silhouettes of the Frida Giannini era, replaced by Alessandro Michele with a series of looks straight out of your Nan’s wardrobe (if you have a particularly fashionable grandmother, that is). Michele has also exerted his influence on the brands watches. The G-Timeless is automatic, for starters, and has wonderfully whimsical motifs such as stars, hearts and bees (Michele’s power animal). The look is prevented from tipping into airy-fairy territory thanks to a chunky brown leather strap and substantial 38mm case. It’s practical yet playful – a real breath of fresh air from Gucci.

Nomos is impressing watch geeks with its update on a classic, the Tetra Tiefblau. This piece is the definition of “it’s hip to be square”. For 2016, Nomos has added an extra 3.5mm to the case, allowing it to substitute the manual-wind DUW 4301 movement for the new automatic, super-thin Neomatik DUW 3001. The result is something that has more presence on the wrist, enhanced by the gorgeous midnight-blue dial.

If you can’t get through the winter without a pop of colour, you’ll want to invest in Ralph Lauren’s latest launch – the RL888 (pictured). The name refers to the address of the brand’s New York City flagship at 888 Madison Avenue and the watch itself is bit of a confluence of past and present, with a mix of Roman and Arabic numerals in two different sizes and round case. But the strap is where the real fun is: designed to be interchangeable, there are more than 40 options available, from candy brights to more demure pastels. You can swap them with one easy manoeuvre – it’s so simple you’ll be able to change the strap as often as you change your shoes.

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