By: Andrew Regan

Watch houses have wholeheartedly embraced the current return to traditional values. Jewellery has seen a real renaissance in vintage styles, and this trend is now moving into the world of watches. We love the old-fashioned, country gentleman charm of the watches coming out in 2006, with individual touches like skeleton faces, so that you can see your timepiece at work try Rotary for classic styles, or get something a bit more edgey from Police. If you are really into the traditional look, you might even consider an eye-catching pocket watch.

As well as dictating how this years watches look, the traditional trend also affects how they function. Sekonda, Police, Accurist, and Rotary are all in on the action; Automatic movements are back in fashion, and no wonder an Automatic movement eliminates the need for a battery, as the watch is powered by the movements of the wearers arm. This seasons Guess collection will feature timepieces with a fly-back movement. For a real touch of old-world appeal, try Citizens minute-repeater watch which chimes to audibly mark the time.

A diamond-set watch is a fabulous accessory; half jewellery, half timepiece. Everyones getting involved, including well-respected watch houses like Accurist, Citizen and Sekonda. Sekonda is offering two diamond-set watches this season, each featuring seven genuine gemstones. H.Samuel has two exclusive collections for Autumn/Winter 2006; one is from the fashionable high street brand Oasis and the other, Rotary Rocks, is a new collection of three stunning diamond-set watches from Rotary, a brand known for its distinctive combination of traditional and modern styling. A diamond-set watch will give you the perfect combination of the unmistakable dazzle of diamonds, and the understated cool that shows you buy diamonds all the time. A diamond watch is a great gift for a friend too, and this summer theyre set to get affordable. Dont forget, that a sixtieth birthday or wedding anniversary is traditionally marked with a diamond, so this could be the prefect present.

Its not enough for a watch to just look good these days; it has to feature the latest scientific processes too. Watches this summer are shiny, metallic beauties, created by ion-plating. To achieve this, metal in a vapour is essentially fired at the watch and forms a strong layer around it. This gives a shimmering, metallic patina to the watch, transforming it from a functional piece of equipment to an individual accessory. Police is leading the way with this trend check out their striking timepieces. DKNY, Guess and Fossil are other big names with ion-plated watches in the works watch this space.

As always, your guiding style star must be what suits you. Those of us blessed with slender, willowy wrists would look fabulous in elegant jewellery-inspired pieces by chic, ultra-feminine designers like Anne Klein. Try a delicate bangle watch, or a charm bracelet from Citizen with an adorable watch trinket attached. If you have heavy wrists, make the most of it with an equally robust timepiece. In recent years, Fossil has made a name for themselves with gorgeous chunky cuff watches, with tactile, worn leather straps for both men and women. They also specialise in unusual, funky designs which tap into the current trend for vintage style.

If you ladies want to make a splash this summer, try going out wearing a gorgeous mens watch. This look has the same charm and careful carelessness as a girl in her boyfriends shirt. Brands such as Diesel and Police design fantastic watches with unisex appeal; they look stylish and sophisticated on a guy, and striking and fashionably oversized on a girl.

Red straps are huge for autumn/winter. Big or small, you need to get one of these on your wrist. These scarlet accessories are perfect to add a splash of colour to the smart monochrome outfits that are bang on trend this season. DKNY, as usual, are right at the front of this trend and remember that red straps are big news for both men and women. As usual, you can count on Oasis to be right at the cutting edge, with eye-catching red straps available at affordable prices.

Gold-plated watches just arent good enough any more. Its got to be pure, solid gold. There are three major brands in this area right now Accurist, Rotary and the specialist Sovereign. Again, these are perfect gifts treat someone special to a gold watch if you want to impress with understated style and remember that a fiftieth wedding anniversary is Golden, so why not mark the occasion with something special?


About the author:

Andrew Regan is an online journalist who enjoys socialising at his local Edinburgh rugby club.


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