nless you are a permanent part of this smart set and receive regular invitations to their betrothal rituals and own your own morning suit, a visit to Moss Bros. is essential in order to rent a white stiff-collared double-cuffed shirt and a morning suit comprising dark grey striped trousers, light grey waistcoat and a black jacket with tails that hang down to just above the back of the knee, thus giving it the sobriquet of a ‘penguin suit’.
In the horological wedding world, outside the U.K., it’s more mix and match and the only accessories that are de rigueur are wristwatches – at least they were at the couple of ceremonies to which I’ve been invited.
As soon as the first welcome glass of bubbly is consumed, and everyone has oohed and aahed in appreciation of the bride’s dress, it’s down to who’s wearing what on their wrist. Timepieces are taken off to better appreciate the design, workmanship and movement (if it’s visible), and if not you are usually regaled with the impressive technical details by the owner. Sometimes the pros and cons of these watches have already been admired at some other event, since the watch community is relatively small, but for true aficionados it’s usually a non-consumable feast.
So the thought struck me: why doesn’t someone create a Moss Brothers- style watch rental boutique, an Avis or Hertz rent-awatch outlet for the discerning watch wearer, for these special occasions? I know there have been efforts to offer renting services, but as I recall it was for a much lengthier period, with the purchase option at the end of the rental period. Instead of unbuckling one’s all too familiar Omega Speedmaster, TAG Heuer Monaco or Breitling Chronomat B01, you could rent a Patek Philippe Nautilus in white gold, or a rose gold Perpetual Calendar, an F.P. Journe Tourbillon Souverain Remontoir ‘dead seconds’ in platinum, or even a Richard Mille RM11-03 Automatic Flyback Chrono Titanium if that’s your style. The ladies could try Patek Philippe’s diamond-set Twenty-4 in rose or white gold, or one of Van Cleef & Arpels’ Poetic Complications with butterflies or their Pont des Amoureux, or La D de Dior Précieuse with emeralds, sapphires or rubies. You pays your money and you takes your choice.
There would be a wondrous buzz of excitement at the wedding reception and guests could break the monotony of the never-ending platitudinous speeches and sobbing mothers and daughters and concentrate on the more important pleasures of watching time pass.
As weddings continue to be popular this may be a means for over-stocked retailers to supplement revenue with the eventual possibility of it being a stepping-stone for wedding guests to eventually upgrade their wrists and help the impoverished retailers in today’s ultra-competitive market. Glad to be of help.