For as long as I can remember, watches have meant something in my neighbourhood and even in my family. They’ve been a symbol of money and power – a statement.

As a kid growing up in the informal settlements of Philippi, I became excited whenever my brother said that he’d bring me new toys to play with. But my real excitement came from the digital watches that he used to bring me. To me (and most boys in my area), having a watch meant that you had money. We were convinced that only people with real money could afford gold watches with leather or metal wrist straps, for example. And if you could top that off with a gold chain as well, you were treated like royalty. Beyond that, it also meant that you were a tough guy as well, because it seemed to us that only guys who had money and weren’t afraid of being robbed dared to wear watches.

That was in the nineties and early 2000s. Fast forward to 2015 and you find that watches are still important. In fact, some would even say that having a watch now is more important than it’s ever been.

A colleague of mine even went so far as to say that a guy’s image is incomplete without their watches. Another colleague of mine said shoes are the most important thing that a guy must have when he goes out into the world every day. The reason, she says, is that a woman can tell a lot about a guy from his shoes. According to her, a woman can tell whether the guy is an easy-going or serious, professional kind of guy based on him wearing either All-Stars or Kurt Geiger formal shoes.

This conversation started, of course, after I asked each of them what they would choose a guy to have between a nice watch, cologne and shoes, if he could only have one. I had asked a male friend of mine the same question two weeks earlier and he’d told me he preferred to have all three and couldn’t choose one. Tamara, the third colleague of mine I asked this question agreed with Masixole, and said that a guy must have all three. She even went on to say that she prefers a watch with a metal strap, not the ones with leather straps, and that guys should stay far away from digital watches if they want to be taken seriously.

If someone asked me the same question, I’d probably also find it difficult to choose between the three. I must say, of course, that I agree with Tamara about the digital watches. I just feel like digital watches were big when we were kids, but they don’t really have a place on a guy’s wrist as a fashion item nowadays. The only time I would say is okay for a guy to wear one is if he is out jogging or in the gym or something like that, no other time. The nice thing about having a proper watch is that you make a fashion statement even from across the room to someone standing on the side of the room.

With cologne, on the other hand, the person has to be standing pretty close to you to smell it, because a fashionable guy knows not to put on too much cologne and suffocate the people around him. So people standing across the street or the room looking at you would not even know you have the cologne. If you’re wearing it to make a fashion statement, how would you make it then?

A proper shoe or sneaker is different from cologne, though. It does the same thing as a watch and makes a statement from afar. The condition of the shoes can also tell you a little bit about the person wearing the shoes. If they’re dirty (and perhaps even smelly) it tells you that the person might not be the cleanest person in the world. (As you can probably tell, I’m not a big fan of the trend that’s been going on for a while now where people wear dirty All-Stars.)

What I’m ultimately saying, I guess, is that if I had to choose between the three, I would choose shoes. I mean, think about it. What’s the use of having a nice watch and cologne if you’re going to have shoes that are falling apart? And trust me, ladies and gentleman, I know what it’s like to be so poor that you can’t even afford lunch, never mind a good pair of shoes. That, after all, was my experience in first year. Anyways, my point is that you can still look good even if you just have a good pair of shoes, with no cologne and watch in the picture.

But what if you had to make that choice?

#ChatBack: Do you think a nice watch could look good on you or does it have to go together with shoes and cologne?

What would you choose between the three?

Share a picture of what you would rather have (shoes, watch or cologne) on Facebook.