You don't know this, but I have a couple of nephews that all have birthdays over the next month, and they both want the same thing.

The 16-year-old usually plays his birthday list close to the chest, it's like pulling teeth to find out what he wants. The 11-year-old never minces words. He'll provide a very detailed and wildly wishful list any time of year, and they both want watches in 2023.

Why have watches suddenly become fashionable again?

Don't get me wrong, as an Elder Millennial, I rocked my fair share of Fossil watches in the 90s and early 00s. The popular choice was the full-face LCD face that counted the seconds. Old-school by today's standards, but what is the point of having a watch anymore?

I think it's fair to say that everybody has reliable access to a correct clock in their pocket or purse at any given time of the day via their smartphone.

I still remember the day I stopped wearing that watch. It was my birthday in 2005 and my parents gifted me a slick quasi-smart cell phone for the occasion. It was a Motorola SLVR with an mp3 player built-in and a few web capabilities.

Now, I'd had a cell phone since 1999 at that point, but cell phones before those first original smart devices were rugged and utilitarian. They were like bricks, made by Nokia, clipped on our belts, and were practically bulletproof... but as modernity entered my daily life I realized I didn't have to wear a watch since that small, sleek, and powerful little phone replaced so many things in my life.

As I got dressed to go to have my b-day dinner that night, I remember pulling it off its first 100% charge, turning it on, and having the realization I didn't need to hang that one-pound chuck of steel on my wrist anymore. I took off my watch and slipped it into a Crown Royal bag in the top drawer of my dresser, the same place it still is today 18 years later.

Still, the nephews are both asking for plain-jane 2000s watches. Not even the smartwatches the tech addicts are rocking today. Big face, analog hands, chunky, shiny watches. Maybe I'll have my old watches refurbished and give those to them. They'll probably appreciate the modern-vintage style.

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