Like death, art and the law, the beach is a great leveller. Stripped – literally – of all the usual signifiers of one’s wealth, status and background, the individual is left only with their sunglasses, swimwear and watch to denote his or her means, mores and demographic. And yet, as the images below demonstrate, so much is still revealed about the scarcely clad’s style tenets by how their cossie interacts with their timepiece.
If a man regularly paddles the shallow waters of St Barths dressed in “budgie smugglers” which score his nether regions like a cheese slice, accompanied by a watch so oversized it tempts dating couples to meet beneath it, his belief that size is everything is seriously clouding his judgement. Similarly, only a sartorial klutz of the first order would pair the diminutive elegance of a Cartier Tank with the kind of voluminous Bermudas that make passers-by think Comic Relief Day’s come round seven months early.
Your swimwear-and-watch combo can give off sprezzatura, an indefinable nonchalance-par-excellence, or make beholders assume they’ll later see the wearer in the hotel bar matching a cheap Hawaiian shirt with chequered chinos.
But how easy is it to get this crucial pairing right? A glance at the examples that have been peppered over the web-o-sphere via the paparazzi lenses of late suggests that the rich and famous carry it off with mixed levels of success…