Saturday, 11 December 2010

What Maketh a Man?

I was pawing through a gentleman's magazine during the course of the week (not the sort where the ladies get their giblets out, now behave, or sit at the back of the class) - and I made an astounding discovery about how it is to be male.

GQ Magazine is a thick old glossy affair for gentlemen of distinction and taste. It had articles about blokes, a few articles about blokey toys and their place in the market of blokey toys. There was much in there to please Steve Jobs (the geezer from Apple - Mr. iPod, you might say). There were articles on wholly inaccessible motor cars - or perhaps it is just me who can't shell out for an Italian super car right now. You could read about the very best pongy pongs to spray all your muscular fluffy body, the best in thermal jimmy jams, silk scarves and preposterously pointy business shoes for doing business in. I read a copy that told me about the most influential men in our country - chief among them being the Prime Minister and his Chancellor (no surprises there then). It had a long waffly article about how vile Google* is, and I am sure I remember an article about how to romance a laydee. 

All of things were sort of predictable. They are the mainstays of gentlemen's magazines - a little chest puffing, a little power-grooming, a little sabre rattling - ugg. What was a surprise was the adverts. Ever mindful that advertisers advertise to their market, it seems that we men are motivated not by breasts and bottoms, but by

... watches

I counted thirty separate adverts for over-priced chest-beaty watches - ugg. This outnumbered ads for mobile smart phones three-to-one. This outnumbered ads for boy-perfume by five-to-one. This outnumbered boobs by thirty-to-nil (a very respectable magazine for respectable married geezers who have wives who don't like naughtiness in the house, on the Habitat coffee table). But watches ...

Now, it may surprise some of you, given the sensitivity and pathos with which I utter forth on this blog, but I am in fact a male - blokius cloakii. I might not be the furriest, but I have a deep voice, a protruding throat, little use for a brassiere and I break wind in the lounge - I am a man. I have two wrists, which though greedy, limits my use for a selection of watches - accustomed as I am to the use of a singular watch. When I wake in the morning, the first thing I think about is 'why?' followed closely by the eternal quest for caffeine - but not 'God in His Heaven be praised, for this day I may be granted grace to wear my watch'. 

So, I wonder why a magazine for gentlemen is replete with adverts for watches, all beyond my budget I might add. They are beautiful things, interesting things, status-escalating things. Perhaps I am missing something, and have been putting my watch on in the wrong place, I just don't know. It's not like men have any kind of reputation for lateness, is it?

*This post was written using Google Chrome - and the spell-checker on Google Chrome didn't recognise the word 'Google' - d'uh


  1. One of the few items of jewellery which is presentable on a respectable and dignified man, I suspect. (I don't quite see GQ readers going for sovereign rings and gold chains.) And although you would only wear a maximum of two at a time, you might have different watches for different occasions.

    Personally I'm with you. One of the things I don't have (as a fellow-bloke) is variety of accessories. Mrs Juris has different watches and lots of shoes. But I have one watch (gold, expensive admittedly, a 21st birthday present, worn everyday and probably will be for the rest of my life) and for ordinary purposes one pair of shoes (black, Oxford, well-made, replaced when worn out with an identical pair). Life is so much simpler that way.

  2. like you, I just don't get the watch(es) thing.
    My husband had quite a collection of all singing, all-dancing ones some of which could possibly have cooked dinner and done the odd spot of brain surgery too.
    Needless to say, they have all been given away.
    As to where they should be worn.
    Just think of the difficulty you would have checking the time should you choose to wear it anywhere less accessible.



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