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FeatureEmbrace The ‘Eclectic Grandpa’ Look With These Watches

Pegged as one of the biggest social media trends of 2024, the ‘eclectic grandpa’ is all about embracing comfort and simplicity, with a dash of quirkiness. Think funky sweater vests, tweed jackets, chic cardigans, patterned trousers, retro sunglasses, and classic watches. Here are some timepieces complementing the ‘grandpacore’ aesthetic

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Inspired by the comfortable and laidback style of grandads, the ‘eclectic grandpa’ is the second-most buzzing trend of 2024, followed by the mob wife aesthetic. The humble husband of the ‘coastal grandmother’ style of last year, the ‘grandpa-core’ is more vibrant and eccentric, appealing to boomers and gen-Zers, alike. Vintage loafers, worn-in sweatshirts, athletic socks, white sneakers, oxford shirts, and elegant wristwatches—all fall under the broad spectrum of this trending aesthetic. Among timepieces, the grandpacore demands the models to be classic with clutter-free dials, such as dress watches that exude a vintage vibe. The iconic Rolex Datejust pieces in gold, stainless steel, and Rolesor (two-tone), are perfect examples of timepieces complementing this trend.

Eclectic Grandpa
Among timepieces, the ‘grandpa-core’ demands the models to be classic with clutter-free dials, such as dress watches that exude a vintage vibe

Another example is the Omega De Ville Trésor line, launched in 1949. An assortment of traditional watches, this collection features models in different materials, such as 18-karat gold and stainless steel, presented on a leather or fabric strap. A celebration of vintage spirit, their case sizes range anywhere between 36mm and 40mm, suiting both men and women. Omega’s Constellation collection, too, aligns beautifully with the eclectic grandpa aesthetic. Born in 1952, the line is inspired by the stars (as the name suggests), and is a mix of elegant watches featuring the iconic ‘claws’ grasping the bezel—a distinct design element—and modern mechanical functionality.

The Watch Guide

Omega’s Constellation collection aligns beautifully with the eclectic grandpa aesthetic

The Watch Guide

Born in 1952, the line is inspired by the stars (as the name suggests), and is a mix of elegant watches featuring the iconic ‘claws’ grasping the bezel—a distinct design element and modern mechanical functionality

Omega Constellation
Omega Constellation

The Origins Of The Eclectic Grandpa Trend

“Because the coastal grandma aesthetic is so last year,” wrote Pinterest, while predicting the ‘eclectic grandpa’ to become one of the major fashion trends of 2024. However, even before the term was coined, the aesthetic had begun gaining traction on international runways in late 2023, with high-fashion labels such as Miu Miu, Gucci, and Ester Manas leading the way. Several celebrities, such as singer Harry Styles, and supermodels Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner, were also seen sporting the grandad style on different occasions, thus cementing the trend further. While Pinterest noted that there has been a surge in search terms such as ‘grandpa-core’, ‘grandad style’, ‘retro streetwear’, ‘customised denim jacket’, and ‘eclectic clothing style’, the online shopping platform, Stylight reported a 146 percent increase in demand for oversized sweaters, and a 29 percent for corduroy jackets.

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Featured here is the H. Moser & Cie. Heritage Centre Seconds watch with prominent Arabic numerals and sword hands—just like a grandpa would like it

The eclectic grandpa trend prioritises longevity of pieces. Riding on sustainability, it encourages wearers to put together a look consisting of high-quality items that are meant to last longer for a timeless wardrobe. And, while the watches in sync with the aesthetic should definitely be classic, there are some more elements to keep in mind while making the selection. Read on for more details.

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    Featured here is the Longines Heritage Classic timepiece, a simple three-hand timekeeper, perfectly complementing the grandpacore aesthetic

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    Its black dial comes with a matching leather strap exuding elegance all the way

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    Its clean and clutter-free dial is surrounded by a 40mm stainless-steel case

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    The black leather strap is equipped with a simple stainless-steel pin buckle

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    Powered by the L888 automatic movement, it offers water resistance of up to 50m

Longines Heritage Classic
Longines Heritage Classic

The Watch Elements In Congruence With ‘Grandpa-Core’

While there are no strict rules to adhere to, there are some watch elements that align perfectly with the trending aesthetic. For instance, the watch should be in materials such as gold or stainless-steel, lending it a timeless appeal and should be a part of an iconic collection from a brand. It can also be a two-tone piece crafted in gold and stainless steel. Featured here is the Grand Seiko ‘White Birch’ Hi-Beat 36000 Automatic 9SA5 Calibre in stainless steel that fits the bill perfectly. Launched in 2021, its dial takes inspiration from the white birch tree forests found in Shizukuishi, Japan. Another example is the Longines Elegant collection, featuring models in stainless steel and two-tone materials.

The Watch Guide
Featured here is the Grand Seiko ‘White Birch’ Hi-Beat 36000 Automatic 9SA5 Calibre in stainless steel that fits the bill perfectly for the eclectic grandpa trend

In terms of case shapes, it can range anywhere from a traditional round to a more unique barrel or tonneau. The Tissot Heritage 1938 Automatic COSC with a round dial, the Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 featuring a rectangular dial, and the Nomos Lux Hermelin with a tonneau-shaped case, are all fine examples of timepieces that easily fit the bill. One can also opt for the cushion-shaped Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days, to take the ensemble up a notch.

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The Tissot Heritage 1938 Automatic COSC comes with a classic round dial

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The Nomos Glashutte Lux Hermelin features the unique tonneau-shaped dial

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One can also opt for the cushion-shaped Panerai Radiomir Black Seal 8 Days, to take the ensemble up a notch

The Watch Guide

Featured here is the Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 with a rectangular dial

Also, the dials need to be clean and clutter-free, offering basic three-hand timekeeping for easy readability—just like a grandpa would like it. Ideally, the indexes on the dial should be baton-type, and the numerals should be Arabic or Roman. Additionally, the hands need to be either leaf-shaped or sword-shaped, with a few exceptions. Some timepieces with Breguet hands are ideal too, as seen here on the 40mm Frederique Constant Classics Automatic watch. Its guilloche dial accompanied by Roman numerals, provides the model with a timeless appeal, making it perfect for the eclectic grandpa look.

The Watch Guide

Some timepieces with Breguet hands are ideal too for the eclectic grandpa look, as seen here on the 40mm Frederique Constant Classics Automatic watch

The Watch Guide

Its guilloche dial accompanied by Roman numerals, provides the model with a timeless appeal

Frederique Constant Classics
Frederique Constant Classics

Moreover, the dial colours should be in white, beige, black, navy blue, and other neutral hues. However, a watch in a bright hue with classical design codes works just as well. For instance, the Perrelet Classics featured here in green, blue, or anthracite grey dials spell elegance all the way.

Eclectic Grandpa
The Perrelet Classics featured here in green, blue, and anthracite grey dials spell elegance all the way

Although the watches suitable for the grandpacore trend should not feature dizzying complications, a model with a sub-dial featuring a small seconds hand, a date window, or a moon phase, can be donned. For instance, the Master Ultra Thin Moon by Jaeger-LeCoultre with a moon phase at six o’clock works wonderfully with the eclectic grandpa look. Its 39mm rose-gold case houses an automatic movement, offering a water resistance of up to 50m. Lastly, watches befitting the trending aesthetic should feature dark coloured, high-quality leather straps or stainless-steel bracelets.

The Watch Guide

The Master Ultra Thin Moon watch by Jaeger-LeCoultre with a moon phase at six o’clock works wonderfully with the eclectic grandpa look

The Watch Guide

Its 39mm rose-gold case houses an automatic movement, offering a water resistance of up to 50m

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin

Whether the eclectic grandpa style lasts a few seasons or the full year, only time will tell. Either way, with a classic dress watch in one’s collection, one can rest assured that the timepiece can work for you life-long, transcending all trends and timelines, timeless as it will be. 

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