The first Patek Philippe watch ever made, for the Comtesse Koscowicz of Hungary. Photo: Patek Philippe
My love for watches started at the tender age of eight when I received my first timepiece: a Flik Flak by Swatch. Those two crazy-haired characters taught me how to tell time—and sparked a lifelong love affair with wristwatches. By thirteen I had graduated to the more mature Swatches: one featured a glow in the dark octopus on its face, another a bright yellow dial.
The Baby G by G-Shock marked my teenage years, while the now-ubiquitous hipster gold Casio I bought at an electronics mall in Bangkok ushered in my early twenties. The stainless steel Rolex I snagged for cheap from my step-father’s pawn shop made me feel like a proper grown up. And then there was the Movado Museum Watch I inherited from my grandfather, which was my first foray into the world of formal watches.
At some point along the way, wearing a wristwatch became second nature. Sure, my phone could tell me the time, but I felt naked without a watch. Physically, but maybe a little emotionally too. And as I started thinking about what I’d wear to my wedding, I knew two things: 1) I’d strictly adhere to my personal style and 2) I would definitely wear a watch.
I am not a poufy white dress kind of girl. Instead, I’m wearing a skirt and top for my walk down the aisle. With short hair and little time for growth, I’m forgoing hair extensions or a veil and sticking with my short bob (even though every single picture I see of a bride features long wavy locks). Another image largely absent from the bridal blogosphere? Watches.
The Happy Diamonds watch by Chopard. Photo: Chopard
The first ever wristwatch was actually made for a woman. In 1868, Comtesse Koscowicz of Hungary, an avant-garde fashionista, was sick of pinning pocket watches to her dresses, and asked Patek Philippe to design one to adorn her delicate wrist. Made in gold and accented with black enamel and rose cut diamonds, the world’s first wristwatch was born, ushering in an era of miniaturization that defined clock making and has subsequently made wristwatches one of today’s most coveted luxury accessories.
It was only after WWI that men followed suit, strapping watches to their wrists for convenience, not aesthetics. But fast forward a hundred years and men are all about the wristwatch. The go-to groom accessory is most often seen peeking out from beneath a white tuxedo sleeve or French cuff shirt. But on a bride? Never. Maybe it’s the overwhelming number of bridal accessories we’re already expected to deal with: Flower crowns, necklaces, and garter belts..oh my! But as I dug deeper, I discovered one style icon who regularly embraces the formal watch: Diane Kruger. The actress regularly wears a diamond encrusted watch on the red carpet, and if anyone knows about personal style it’s Kruger.
Diane Kruger in an evening watch by Jaeger-LeCoultre. Photo: Getty Images
Without a veil or a crown or even the traditional white lace dress, there is plenty of room on my wedding day for my mom’s exquisite Chopard Happy Diamonds watch. Still a cornerstone of their collection, the watch I’ll be wearing was my grandmother’s—likely acquired during her Miami Beach heyday—and passed down to my mother, and then to me. Growing up, I used to play in my mother’s jewelry box, layering on all of her beaded necklaces from the ‘70s and gold bangles from the ‘90s, marveling at the delicate nature of the Chopard, shaking it around to watch the diamonds flutter around the bezel.
Which is exactly what I’ll do on my wedding day, because throughout this crazy planning process I’ve realized the only thing that matters is looking and feeling like myself—and the Comtesse, of course.