Yeeaaahhh, no. This Journal hasn’t turned into advice for the lovelorn – unless you’re suffering from unrequited love for a simple three-handed watch, sans a date function.
At issue is society’s tendency to be so calendar-driven, so deadline-driven that we need at least a date on our watches, if not a day and a date (Friday’s entry notwithstanding).
Well, I’m here to tell you that, unless your workday consists of calling people in another time zone or timing bombing runs, a simple no-date watch is all you need. Anything else is dessert.
And Rolex knows this. Yes, the majority of their watches offer a date function – with the famous cyclops to ensure those of us with feeble eyes can read it. And a few (like the YachtMaster II and the SkyDweller) offer other interesting complications. But they also keep a classic no-date Submariner in their lineup. And they added no-date Oyster Perpetuals back in last year. Then there are the Milgauss and the Explorer, which have never had a date function.
The Submariner 5512 and 5513, attainable grail watches for many of us, have no dates. The direct descendent of the 5513, the 14060M (the watch I wear) has been called “the last of the best” by more than one watch nerd. And Rolex’s current offering, the 114060, brings the concept into the modern era.
The Oyster Perpetual began life as a no-date too. And the Milgauss and Explorer confirm the fact that a pure tool watch needs no date.
The late, great Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes was famous for his “three yards and a cloud of dust” philosophy. If you did anything else, adding fancy stuff like passing, your odds of success went down. And it’s the same for watches. Three hands will always get you where you need to go. Adding fancy stuff just lowers your odds – distractions and issues with resetting among the chief causes.
So yeah, dates are nice. Even handy sometimes. But me? The two watches I wear the most, by far, are both no-date watches. An Omega Speedmaster 3570.50 and a Rolex 14060M.
So, if you don’t own one already, try a no-date for your next watch. You may like the simplicity so much you never have a date again.