Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Agnelli’s Watch in Dec. Town & Country

There is a great photo of Italian Sartorialist icon Gianni Agnelli in the December Town & Country.

As all Sartorialists know, Gianni was well known for his for his quirky but very refined taste.
His watch-outside-the-shirt-cuff is well documented but what struck me about this photo was the watch itself. It’s not a Rolex or some other big name watch but a digital watch! I would love to think it is a Casio.

The photo is from 1980 so maybe a digital watch had a little more allure then but I love and Gianni is remembered for not being afraid to mix high-end/low-end or craft/tech.

So ,with this as evidence, don’t you think Gianni ,if he were 50 years old today, would be using a cellphone as his watch? I just hope he wouldn’t be wearing it on his belt!


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  1. Anonymous

    November 15, 2006 at 9:00 am

    I believe this is a Pulsar watch from when LED watches first came out in the 1970′s. They were remarkably expensive at the time, as much as a rolex in some cases, and had red LED’s to tell the time. Soon after, competition killed the LED watch with the cheaper and less gadgety LCD screen.

  2. luvsunflowers

    November 15, 2006 at 9:23 am

    Still love the watch as a statement in a man’s wardrobe…the cell phone just doesn’t seem to do the same. each his own.

  3. Dutch

    November 15, 2006 at 9:44 am

    My Uncle had one in those days, it was a gift from his Saudi employer and indeed it was very pricey back then. Funny when you think of it. In any event, I always think of Agnelli’s style as quintessentially Italian. I was at a dinner for watch collectors last month and there was a group of Italian gentleman who all wore their watches ala Gianni. His style lives on.

  4. Butch

    November 15, 2006 at 10:22 am

    Andree Putman is another watch-over-sleeve practitioner.

    Could it be something in the local gene pool that compels this fashion manoeuvre?

  5. goon

    November 15, 2006 at 10:23 am

    Sart, you can’t replace a piece of techonology designed for communication with the judicious use of a classic timepiece! Just think of pocket-watches. Best blog on the net, btw.

  6. Anonymous

    November 15, 2006 at 10:44 am

    Where do you wear your cell phone? Seems like they cause an unsightly bulge where ever you put them.

  7. Lit

    November 15, 2006 at 10:46 am

    Sart, come on, bottom line is that a watch is necessary. Ever heard the checklist for a man before he walks out the house: spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch. I kid you not, I say that all the time, even though I don’t own a watch myself. I still realise it as a good accessory, if one is wearing the correct one.

  8. The Sartorialist

    November 15, 2006 at 11:51 am

    I keep my cellphone in the lower pocket inside my suit or sportscoat.

  9. Anonymous

    November 15, 2006 at 12:24 pm

    “spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch.”

    Actually, that’s a religious gesture (crossing oneself for prayer), as described in a school boy rhyme.

  10. Anonymous

    November 15, 2006 at 12:33 pm

    it is the Stainless Steel P2 model 2900 to be precise. Used by Roger Moore in the James Bond Movie “Live and let die”.

  11. Dutch

    November 15, 2006 at 12:49 pm

    Not to comment jack, but the best cellphone I ever had was the Sanyo slim phone from Sprint. Great freakin’ phone that fit right inside my suit and caused nary a ripple.

  12. Anonymous

    November 15, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    one day i left the house without my testicles. that sucked. now i keep an extra pair in the glove compartment of my car.

  13. Matty

    November 15, 2006 at 3:47 pm

    It’s a pulsar. My father had one and he chose it over a Rolex at the time, which it was comparable in price to, at least the day he bought it.

    I think it’s the same model that James Bond wore in Live and Let Die. It was very chic for a short while.

  14. Mr Grey

    November 15, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    The watch may be a Wittnauer. They are a swiss company. One of the first Swiss watchmakers to do LED.

  15. Anonymous

    November 15, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    Cell phone as watch? eeegads. I’m compelled to make my first post to this fantastic blog. I have never understood why people (men, mostly) choose to forgoe wearing a watch, using a cell phone for time-telling instead. Phones are indispensable, but should be stashed out of sight, imo. “Early adopter chic” is a myth!

  16. rnssnc

    November 15, 2006 at 5:29 pm

    From the pic, it looks like he wore this less formal watch for casual occassions (is he playing with his dog?)

    Maybe, just maybe, he will wear his analog/mechanical timepieces for formal occassions. This man is all class, I always say there’s a time and place for everything, I think he’s just dressing for the occassion. My 2 cents.

  17. rnssnc

    November 15, 2006 at 5:39 pm

    From the pic, it looks like he wore this less formal watch for casual occassions (is he playing with his dog?)

    Maybe, just maybe, he will wear his analog/mechanical timepieces for formal occassions. This man is all class, I always say there’s a time and place for everything, I think he’s just dressing for the occassion. My 2 cents.

  18. blackbird

    November 15, 2006 at 6:17 pm

    I vote Pulsar too…

  19. Anonymous

    November 15, 2006 at 8:57 pm

    I think that men that wear their watches like that (over their shirt cuff) do so because it prevents their arm hair from being pulled by the watch band. I know some men will only wear leather watch bands to avoid this problem.

  20. D. Kay

    November 15, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    He reminds me of my grandfather. A man who dresses for utility, not style. I’ll never forget similar afternoons with him in the backyard. It was his way, just like this look is Agnelli’s way.

    Oh yeah, cell phones are meant for emergencies and frequent use only if your occupation requires as much. A man should have a watch on his wrist. What do you think that 30-something brickhouse thought when she asked you for the time on the corner and you pulled out your cell? She thought, “Geek.”

  21. Anonymous

    November 16, 2006 at 2:47 am

    Pulsar — My dad had one at just about this time. very pricey and cutting edge at the time.

  22. CSH

    November 16, 2006 at 11:33 am

    I was thinking the same thing when I saw this picture in T&C; a wonderful and telling shot. True style is present all the time, even when you’re just playing with the dog.

    While I accept that the cell phone is an indispensable asset in modern life, to me, it can never replace the watch. A watch is so much more than a simple utilitarian tool to track the passing of time. Patek Philippe’s ad campaign, “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation”, is a favorite of mine. That is how I tend to see watches. I am very lucky to have several wrist and pocket watches from 3 grandfathers and two great grandfathers; I see myself as caretaker until they leave my hands. Some of them are very valuable, some not, and I still use two of them regularly. I do know this – a cell phone will never, ever inspire the same type of affection and emotion that a watch can. I need both, but one is a tool and the other is much more.

  23. Benn

    November 20, 2006 at 8:24 am

    Wittnauer for mine, but it could very easily be a Pulsar.

  24. Benn

    November 20, 2006 at 8:26 am

    When was the last time you lost a mobile phone?

    When was the last time you lost a wristwatch?

    You always know your watch is on your wrist. You don’t always know where the pesky little phone is.

  25. Anonymous

    December 21, 2006 at 4:10 pm

    agnelli wore his watch outside because he had a skin condition and his skin could not touch the watch

  26. Sonny Ortolano

    July 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm


    You might never read this since I'm commenting on such an old post, but I wanted to answer your question!

    Of course Signore Agnelli would not depend on a phone for a timepiece. Reason: to check your phone, you have to take it from your pocket, open it and/or unlock it, then tuck it back. This is a gentleman who wasn't even bothered to tuck his sleeve back!

    I understand what you mean about having it on his hip, and that would make it quicker than having it in the pocket, but I still doubt a man like Agnelli would have gone that route. However, if he had, you can bet he still would have looked fucking good.

    S. Ortolano

    Oh, I wanted to tell you: I've made a practice for years now to keep a folder on my computer's desktop dedicated to style inspiration. It's full of photos I come across of stylish men (and often women) whose looks excite me aesthetically. It seemed a good 70% of those came from your blog, which I've followed for ages. When my computer was wiped out a few months ago, I began rebuilding my folder, and have been slowly digging back through your old pages for my favorite posts. Keep up the great work.

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