Men's Accessories: The Essentials

As old-timey American tradition has it, men are not obligated to wear wedding bands.  "Jewelry is not for all men," or so the argument goes.  But if an American man does elect to celebrate his marriage with a ring on the fourth finger of his left hand, tradition demands that it must be gold.  Over the past decade or so, men have experimented with all sorts of alternatives to the gold wedding band: titanium, platinum, silver, white gold and tungsten carbide among them.  But there's nothing that screams 'gentleman' to me louder than a simple gold wedding band and a gold-accented watch to match.  Maybe its because my dad wore a gold band with a gold-accented Cartier watch throughout my childhood.

I came across this picture of Peter the other day from last summer.  He's in knock-around clothes, having just polished off a small tumbler of gin.  But I love this image of his gold Cartier wedding band and the vintage Patek Philippe watch face he bought last year and fitted with a brand-new brown aligator watch band and new Patek Philippe gold clasp.  I'm partial to the wedding band in particular (cant imagine why!) which is hand engraved with the phrase "for miles and miles."  But the watch has a special engraving too: it has a love note engraved on the back of the face from one man to another.  I think it's so romantic.  So secret.

Expert tip: Gold is expensive these days as it is.  Although you'll pay a premium for a Cartier wedding band, it won't be significantly more expensive than your local jeweler and you'll have the benefit of free, expert hand engraving.  You should be able to purchase a men's Cartier gold wedding band for under $1000 and the style is thicker and more substantial than many alternatives.  A trick: Cartier bands cannot be resized except in Paris, which takes a long time.  Take your time trying on rings, ideally in different temperatures, to make sure you have the perfect fit.