These days, watches definitely aren't just for telling time. No, today's timepieces are more about making a very clear statement.
About who you are.
Or, for some, who you aspire to be.
"Watches have become a part of fashion and an extension of our personality," says Lauren Dimet Waters of Second City Style. "But there's also no denying that they remain, for both men and women, an indicator of one's status."
And just in case you doubt that, here's one of the ultimate "tells": So many people are so into watches that the wildly popular TV series "Mad Men" uses classic '60s timepieces to signal hero Don Draper's career ascent.
Need help finding the watch that says "you"? Read on:
The Fashionista: She's the one whose look everyone in the office will be emulating months later -- whether it's gray nail polish, riding boots or an armful of bangles. The Linea wraparound from Swiss watchmaker Baume & Mercier (www.baume-et-mercier.com/en-us/collection-linea) is the Fashionista's perfect first luxury watch, given its gracefully rounded curves and -- here's the clincher -- wraparound strap that comes in an accessorizer's dream choice of colors. "Burgundy is hot right now," says Waters.
The Entrepreneur: Inspiring potential investors is critical, but what to do if all your money is being plowed back into your business? Two words: Go retro. Chances are an older relative's jewelry box contains at least one classic timepiece they've totally forgotten about.
The Sporty Guy: When just about everyone you know owns the same cool electronic gadgets -- which is still truer for men than it is for women -- that calls for a watch that's absolutely one-of-a-kind among your friends. The trick is finding one that works just as well with a $3,000 suit as it does with jeans and a tee. Enter Baume & Mercier's blue-dial Capeland 10065 (www.baume-et-mercier.com/en-us/collection-capeland/capeland-10065), which hits the trifecta with its chronograph, telemeter and tachymeter features on a thick black alligator leather strap. Shop this watch at the Baume & Mercier e-boutique or by calling 1-800-MERCIER, where free wrapping and free engraving are available.
The Individualist: She'd rather wrestle an alligator than be accused of going along to get along. That means "yes" to an oversized men's watch -- a popular trend for women -- but "no" to ruining the effect with a load of diamonds on the bezel.
Finally, the answer to one of the most often-asked questions. How many watches does a person need? "As many as (you) want or can afford," a Wall Street Journal blogger opined.