Among the seemingly limitless array of judgment calls that wedding planning involves (I’ve been learning this first hand over the past few months), the choice of rings seems relatively straightforward. Life slips into a mysterious parallel reality where canapé volumes, seating arrangements and – God help us – the merits of different shades of the same colour of flower take on a cosmic, all-enveloping importance. Wedding bands are easy: pick a metal, make sure it fits, get it engraved if you want – done. A pal of mine got his from Argos and you’d never know.
And there’s a further option that’s increasingly popular, if somewhat more costly. Many men – quite possibly most, and probably a fair few women, too – aren’t all that enthusiastic about a ring being permanently attached to their finger. Apply subtext there if you wish, but a special wristwatch, chosen together, is a pretty terrific alternative.
But which one? Firstly, and most importantly, it should be suitable for daily life rather than special occasions only. It needs to be classic, smart and adaptable.
A Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is, perhaps, the ultimate choice: both dressy and casual, utterly timeless, and with a flippable reverse side for bearing a special, secret engraved message. Rolex is, of course, the watch for life, and I’m very taken with the new Oyster Perpetual 39mm – as elegant and effortless a design as The Crown has produced in years.
For the dress watch fan, Blancpain, Panerai and A Lange & Sohne offer among the most beautiful and sophisticated around – but you might also consider Cartier’s Clé, a new look that, like Cartier’s best designs, has the sense of something that’s existed for generations. And as such, it’ll look smashing with a morning suit on the big day.