#01 Notes from Accurist
A Sartorialist’s Guide to Style
Style and fashion do not always go hand in hand. In fact, being stylish is not all about following seasonal whims, but transcending them to create a look that simply never goes out of vogue – much like a classic watch on a leather strap. Dedicated to the pursuit of such timeless sartorial brilliance is a new generation of sharply suited and booted men (and women): the modern dandies.
The original dandy was Beau Brummell, a fashion renegade in the Regency period who moved in the upper echelons of society in his own, very distinct, way. His signature outfit was the basis for the modern suit, complete with a flouncy cravat and boots polished with champagne. He is said to have had a daily grooming regime that lasted five hours. For timekeeping, Beau favoured a watch fob fastened to his breeches. Today, we imagine he might favour this men’s wristwatch from Accurist’s Vintage collection – a classic design given a rebellious twist with a square dial and rose gold plating.
While Beau’s exact garb might be a little too ornate for modern tastes, his legacy of snappy dressing and a healthy disregard for accepted sartorial norms lives on. To this day, it continues to inspire a global movement of colourful and fascinating preening peacocks. And it’s not just about looking good, but feeling confident and enjoying the thrill and escapism of dressing your way out of whatever social situation you are in. It can also be a competitive sport, and communities of convention-defying dandies pop up in the most unlikely of places, like the hipsters of Iraq or the sapeurs of the Congo.
Modern dandies, with their razor-sharp suits, flamboyant neck ties and eccentric hats, have enchanted photographers, leading to some wonderful books just begging for space on your coffee table. We Are Dandy follows Natty Adams and Rose Callahan as they travel the globe to meet dandies of every creed, while Dandy Lion by Shantarelle Lewis focuses on sartorial giants in black communities, including the bows-and-brogues brigade of female dandies. Accurist also caters for the female vintage fan with a range of classic watches for ladies.
The internet, too, will serve up some instant gratification, should your wardrobe need a little tightening before you’re ready to rub shoulder pads at The Chap Olympiad (yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like). British dandies worthy of a follow include teen-dream thrift hunter Freddie Foulkes (son of writer Nick Foulkes), Matthew Zorpas of The Gentleman Blogger, Luxure magazine founder Reggie Ansah, and artist and watch collector Louis Nicolas Darbon. For these stylish chaps, the iconic Roman numerals of the Accurist Classic would no doubt be a draw.
Then there’s the celebrity dandies: Harry Styles with his slick-back hair and Gucci loafers; Alex Turner in absolutely everything his retro rock ‘n’ roll radar picks up; Tinie Tempah wearing statement specs but absolutely no socks; cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins in double-breasted mod chic. Each looks sharp and fresh, yet the style is so classic they could be transported back through time to their reference decade of choice and not an eyebrow would be raised.
And which watches would we prescribe for these dapper stars? This black strap and noir dial Vintage watch would be a perfect fit for Harry. Tinie’s love of rose gold watches leads us to suggest this Classic timepiece. Sir Bradley might need function as well as style, so we’ll pitch him a Vintage chronograph. And for Alex, the 60s-inspired sharply tapered indexes of this Accurist Classic gives a nod to one of his favourite sartorial decades.
This sense of individual style is key to building a dapper look, says GQ features director Jonathan Heaf in a brilliant short film about modern dandies. That and a healthy spritz of rule breaking. “Do dandies exist? Yes, they definitely do,” he says. “But not in a way they’ve gone before. It’s about carving your own path and the power of the individual. Whether you wear a frock coat or a leather jacket or a bespoke suit, it’s all up to you. It’s about finding your own path and your own individuality; rebelling against what’s gone before and doing your own thing-ish.”
Don’t miss out on next month’s #02 Notes from Accurist all about British classics…