Jason Arment

Gendering Watches

Seeking or gifting a new watch this season? If it’s for a man wanting a simple design, you might try the selection of “women’s” watches instead, as Jason Arment learned.


I found out recently my taste in watches is what the industry labels “women’s” watches, or “youth” watches if they are trying to make their product more marketable. “Men’s” watches are big, with wide wristbands, and “unique” appearances. Women’s watches are subtle, sleek, with a reserved look, and although there are dial colors like red, the watch faces themselves are scantly adorned. Women’s watches are a lesson in minimalism, while men’s watches wax complex to near obtuse. Men also pay more for their flashy, multipurpose watches.

I came in contact with this watch arcana when I—wait for it—bought a watch. I haven’t worn one since Iraq and I grew to hate tactical watches while I was there. What are tactical watches? Big, clunky watches made of resin, equipped with a C-130 load of features and capabilities. Were one to spend long amounts of time in hostile environments, these timepieces would be ideal. But because the men’s aesthetic harkens to ricky-recon style watches, I can’t wear them. Women’s watches, however, are another story. Small and unobtrusive doesn’t mean inferior. Watches aren’t any more or less resistant to shock or water because of gendering.

What watch fits my wrist? I like Swiss Army watches in their minimalist forms, under $100, with red dials from yesteryear. I’ll do my best not to crack its face, but whatever tries to run a ring around time is bound to fail.


Jason Arment

Jason Arment served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a Machine Gunner in the USMC. He's earned an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. His work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Lunch Ticket, Chautauqua, Hippocampus, The Burrow Press Review, Dirty Chai, and War, Literature & the Arts: An International Journal of the Humanities; anthologized in Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors Volume 2 & 4; and is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, The Florida Review, and Phoebe. Jason lives in Denver.

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