Study finds bosses tell time on watches, not phones, and gives top style tips

Metal straps are more durable

Metal straps are more durable

Reports mobile phones are replacing watches to tell the time is disputed by British bosses, according to a study released today by and an online recruitment company.

It reveals, despite the onslaught of technology, 56% of executives still use a watch to tell the time in meetings (23% glance at the office clock), while 69% say they prefer a watch to a mobile device to set their daily routine by.

Additionally, 88% of senior managers believe it is unprofessional to have a mobile in meetings.

Seventy eight per cent of those surveyed wear a watch to the office and, while 60% said it is an important part of looking professional, and 35% think a watch should complement your overall business dress, 57% are not conscious about the type or brand of watch they wear at work. However, a further 42% did say they would notice a colleague’s watch.

“It’s good to see those in professional management prefer a traditional watch to the latest gadget or device,” said Terry Markham, assistant buyer and senior marketing merchandiser at

“When it comes to reliability and style, it is reassuring for our business to hear from key decision makers that a good watch still plays a key role in their careers.”

Interestingly, 52% of the executives questioned own and wear two or more watches to work (the other 48% claim to have only one professional watch) and 64% say brands are not important to them, but quality is.

Here are’s tips for choosing the right watch for the office:

  1. Round versus square: for the office, you’re better choosing a watch with a round face. Square face watches are better for evening attire or more casual environments.
  2. Traditional versus modern: pick a watch with a traditional face for the office.  It says ‘classic elegance and sophistication’, qualities that transcend industries and markets.
  3. Metal versus leather: choosing a metal or a leather strap is up to the individual. However, metal straps tend to look better on thicker wrists and if only investing in one watch then a metal strap is a more durable choice.
  4. Sizing: make sure the watch face size and thickness you choose suits the size of your wrist or the statement you want to give. For men, the usual test is whether it will easily slide under a shirt sleeve without catching. For women, it is a matter of taste, but is best to choose a watch that suits you and your style.
  5. Colour: match your jewellery, for example a ring you always wear. If you do change jewellery, regularly and want to only wear one watch, a two tone bracelet will always match without standing out.
  6. Under versus over stated: in a business environment, beware what you wear.  Leave the bling timepiece behind – one in four bosses surveyed say they have been put off a candidate because of the accessories he/she was wearing.

“You don’t have to pay a lot to look the part,” said Markham.

“There are some professional looking watches under £100 that can really smarten up your attire. Finally, pay attention and be sure the watch is simple, elegant and a trusted name.”