Feature: Which Watch Suits Your Personality Type?
Back in 1917, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers decided that people could be categorised into eight types of personality, which in turn could be combined to see what sort of a person someone was. Over a century later, and many prominent businesses continue to use the Myers-Briggs test to understand their employees—so I thought to myself, perhaps it can be used to build a collection with as well?
The first group set-upon by our intrepid mother-daughter duo is probably the one that would want to be called out first: the Extroverts. These are described as people who are fuelled by interactions with other people, who enjoy a variety of tasks and a quick pace—what I would call our typical Energiser bunny. These were the people who took lockdown the hardest.
For them I ascribe the Richard Mille RM011, a watch as much for the people around as it is for the owner. It says, “I’m here, you’re here, let’s do something crazy!” The Extrovert, being someone who can handle a lot of information, is not fazed by the sheer amount going on with the Richard Mille’s dial, nor are they put off by the fact people can see exactly what it is from across the continent.
Next come the Sensors, people who are very grounded, very deliberate and who like to focus on the facts. Common sense is their motto, and there’s no problem too complex for them to solve. For everyone else, these are the people who say things like, “It could be worse, you could be starving in a poor country somewhere,” and annoying stuff like that. Nevertheless, you keep them around because they can always think you out of a sticky situation.
These guys get the Grand Seiko SBGA211, aka the Snowflake. Where most people would be drawn to the ever-popular Rolex, the Sensor sees the superior quality of the Grand Seiko construction, the lightness of the 41mm titanium case and the no-compromise performance of the Spring Drive 9R65, which gives quartz accuracy and mechanical independence. That it’s Japanese doesn’t concern them at all—in fact they prefer it that way.
The Thinker, our next personality, has a favourite word. It’s “actually”, used just before a stream of facts and figures that comprehensively prove you 100% wrong, 100% of the time—even if it is pedantically. The Thinker revels in data, in analysis, able to drive to the root core of a problem whilst entirely missing the point of it. These are the people who’d correct someone about the facts of the afterlife at a funeral.
To choose a watch for the Thinker, we need something cold, hard and calculatingly good, which is why they’d be wearing a Nomos Lambda, a watch that takes the art of timekeeping and boils it down to the purest of the pure. A clean, uncluttered dial keeps silly things like emotions clear of getting an accurate read on the time, whilst the enormous power reserve sub-dial means the next wind can be planned to the minute.
“See, I told you,” is the catchphrase of our next category—the Judgers. Judgers flap and fuss at the idea of ordering a pizza when there’s food already in the fridge, physically recoil at the word, “spontaneous.” They’re in their element however, when in charge of a plan that’s fully in their control. Ever wondered how you managed to get home after a day’s long pub crawl that you barely remember? You’ve got the Judger to thank.
To them we bequeath the Rolex Submariner, a tried-and-tested, no-nonsense watch that does exactly what’s needed of it without any fear of it letting you down. Having been in continuous service since the 1950s, it’s rugged, waterproof and even has a timing bezel, making it the perfect companion for any controlled fun. The thick sapphire crystal is also perfect for tapping in conjunction with a solid tut to inform the group that they aren’t sticking to the schedule.
We’ve come full circle now to find the people who’d like to be asked last—if at all—but unfortunately never get their way—mainly because they don’t stand up to everyone else. I am of course talking about the Introverts, the people with pale skin and bags under their eyes who last saw the sun in the summer of 1995. These guys like to keep things quiet and simple. “Understated” is their motto. They have the ability to avoid all and every photos taken at any event they’re forced to go to.
It's without doubt that our Introvert would be well at home with an A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin. To them it’s a simple, beautiful, incredible thing, but to everyone else it’s a plain old boring watch from a watchmaker they’ve never heard of, so they wouldn’t even think to ask about it. That’s if they even see at all, because the Introvert’s favourite feature of the Saxonia Thin is its ability to disappear up any sleeve and make itself scarce—just like they wish they could themselves.
Office buzzwords like, “bandwidth”, “circle back” and “learnings” all come from one person: the Intuitive. The Intuitive is someone who’s eyes are always slightly glazed over as they use their precog-like abilities to scan the horizon of the future and see what’s coming next. Without them, we’d still be sitting in a cold, damp cave bashing rocks together, but that doesn’t make them any less annoying. The next time one asks me to “touch base” with them, I think I’m going to scream.
Despite having their heads in the future, the Intuitive still needs a watch to read the time of today, and for them I prescribe the Ulysse Nardin El Toro GMT Perpetual. Not only does it look like a watch from the future, it’s the result of blue sky, out-of-the-box thinking, which of course they’ll eat up like candy. The perpetual calendar allows them to look as far forward into the future as they like, whilst the calibre UN-32 uniquely allows the date to be wound back again, bringing them gently down to planet Earth.
It’s time to cue up The Cure’s Disintegration on the playlist, because the next group we need to gently tiptoe around are the Feelers. Brimming with creativity and passion, the limits of their imagination know no bounds, reaching for the clouds like a skyscraper—built of cards. One false move or wrong word and the Feeler is trapped in a mire of self-doubt, personal loathing and black nail polish.
Only thing for it is to give the Feeler a Breitling Emergency. Not only is it brightly coloured to try and lift their mood, it’s also chunky and reassuring—whilst not being too heavy on brittle bones thanks to a lightweight titanium construction. And, should the worst come to the absolute worst and the Feeler find themselves trapped in a feedback loop of antipathy, they can pull the SOS cord on the Emergency and be rescued from the depths.
We’re rounding up our Myers-Briggs assessment here with a happy-go-lucky group of people who’d be more than pleased with the name they’ve been assigned: the Perceivers. In fact, they’d be just darned by whatever name they were given, quite simply just grateful to be coming along for the ride. They are the human equivalent of a golden retriever puppy, always beaming ear-to-ear even if their actual golden retriever puppy had just met its maker.
Every eventuality is an opportunity for the Perceiver, which is why I bequeath upon them a $500 Chinese-made tourbillon. These are the kind of guys who will be blown away by the ability to combine such an incredible cost with such an equally incredible complication, even if the outcome could be worse than that time a Wuhan scientist forgot which fridge he’d put his yoghurt in. No—the ever carefree, spontaneous Perceiver will embrace the bright possibilities of such a thing, and when the $500 tourbillon inevitably goes wrong, they’ll delight in its new-found ability to keep paper from blowing away.
Well, there you have it, a bit of fun with the Myers-Briggs to see what watches you might want. And don’t forget that you may fit more than one of these personality traits, so why not use it to build a collection?
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