We live in a fast-paced, hyper-connected world of couch surfing, ride sharing, instant communication and all manner of other technological marvels I can barely grasp. Not surprisingly we are now travelling more than ever before – both domestically and internationally – which is great. The problem? Travel has become such a common place occurrence that many of us seem to have forgotten how to dress for the occasion. Chic dresses have been replaced by yoga pants, tailored suits passed over in favour of jeans with a stretchy waist and don’t even get me started on the watches (or lack thereof). It wasn’t always this way though you know.
Depending on who you speak to – baby boomers mostly by my reckoning – people used to ‘dress up’ to go places. I often hear this referred to as the ‘golden age’ of travel, which supposedly took place some thirty to forty years ago at the end of the late 70’s and early into the 80’s when flying on a plane was still as exclusive as membership at London’s famed Reform Club.
Back then a gentleman wouldn’t dream of boarding a flight without a suit and tie, lest he should offend his fellow flyers at the first-class bar serving cocktails 30,000ft up. Nowadays of course the only people you’re likely to see wearing ties on a long-haul flight are the crew (and even then they don’t look happy about it).
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be comfortable on a long flight, you absolutely should. Although I would argue that for a gentleman on the trot there are few things more comfortable than a bespoke suit and shirt. Sure it may not seem entirely practical at first but then again neither is a high-end mechanical wrist watch that can instantly update to a new time-zone with the push of a button. It’s easier to just use your phone like regular people but there’s nothing original or stylish about doing that. In fact it’s just plain boring.
Besides, how you dress determines not only how others perceive you but also how you perceive yourself. A finely tailored suit, just like a carefully chosen luxury watch, can project confidence, integrity and a certain sense of pride. The Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite for example makes a statement on the wrist (see here for our in-depth technical review).
The 44mm x 14mm case in red or white gold would almost be considered aggressive if it wasn’t so stylish and refined. The clean, easy to ready dial is perfect for frequent travellers who value both function and form, whilst the incredible mechanical movement allows the wearer to easily track the local time and home time simultaneously in any two of 37 world time-zones.
Of course if your style is a little more understated than maybe you would prefer something more along the lines of the Glashütte Original Senator Excellence (see here for our in-depth technical review). This simple three hand automatic tells you everything you need to know and nothing you don’t and looks absolutely outstanding paired with a nice bespoke shirt. Alternatively you can slide the elegant 40mm x 10mm case under the cuff of your perfectly fitted blazer and forget it’s even there until you need it.
Whatever your style it’s always worth putting that little bit of extra effort in. I know it sounds like a lot of hard work but trust me, you’ll be thanking me later when you meet your next big client/future spouse/celebrity crush in the airport lounge and you’re not wearing a food-stained t-shirt and ripped jeans with a Swatch on your wrist (not that there’s anything wrong with a Swatch mind you!)
Special thanks to Glashütte Original (www.glashuette-original.com) for providing us with two fantastic watches to play with and our good friends at Stowers London (www.stowers.london) for allowing us to use their Savile Row showroom for an impromptu photo-shoot. If you live in London or are visiting soon and are in need of a bespoke anything they are the guys to speak to, trust me. Tell them I sent you and they’ll be sure to take extra good care of you. Who knows, maybe next time I see you on a flight you’ll be wearing a custom three-piece suit and enjoying a free upgrade to first class. I certainly hope so!
Photography by Christophe Goyer.