Who among us hasn’t wanted, at some point, to live life like Tom Ford? The elegant designer and filmmaker seems to have it all figured out, especially when he explains his daily routine to Vogue. He rises every day at 5:00 a.m. “Like most people, I check my emails. I make myself a tall glass of iced coffee and get on the treadmill. . . . I work out for only about 45 minutes. Then I get in the bath with another iced coffee and lie there until Jack gets up. Then I make his breakfast and get him dressed for the day,” he says. After school drop off, Ford goes straight to the office, making sure to be “home by 6:00 p.m. to have dinner with Jack and put him to bed. Then we either have friends over for dinner or go out. I’m in bed by about 11:30 p.m.”
That seems simple enough, but for those of us without Ford’s discipline, we can keep track of our time with one of Ford’s new timepieces. Launching this month in Ford’s stores and in select retailers, Tom Ford’s first watch shape, Tom Ford 001, is a thoroughly modern take on the classic accessory. The curved-back watch is offered in two sizes, 44 mm and 40 mm, and in four different metals, allowing users the option to customize their timepiece by rotating out a series of leather bands. “Watches have always been an obsession of mine and therefore a natural next step for the brand—a classic watch is something that will never go out of style,” says Ford. “For most men, a watch is their only accessory other than a wedding band. It’s a status symbol and can say quite a lot about someone.”
Ford’s obsession goes back to his youth. “I received my first Rolex for my 16th birthday, and that was the beginning,” he says. “I have also designed many watches before at Gucci Timepieces, YSL, and Boucheron when I was the creative director of these brands.” When it came time to design a watch under his own name, he explains, “I knew exactly what I wanted to do.”
“When I was young, I used to buy webbing strap watchbands and thread them through my watch. It always drove me crazy how difficult this was, and I always wondered why someone hadn’t just designed a watch that was made for this. The 001 is a sleek curved watch that follows the natural shape of the wrist, but the most striking thing about it is the ease with which one can change the band. It is literally like pulling the belt out of the belt loops on your pants and switching the belt to another color or material. The interchangeable bands are such a key part of this collection,” he continues. On his site, there are four materials offered—alligator, braided leather, pebble leather, and stitched leather—in a wide range of colors, and plenty more will soon arrive. “Someone could buy a bright orange strap for summer, and then a black one for the winter. Or you can change the strap easily several times per day if you want. Customers have been buying multiple watchbands with their watches—which was really the whole point,” says Ford. “We will also be creating straps in new colors and fabrics seasonally. The idea is really that our customer will purchase multiple straps, even after they purchase their first Tom Ford timepiece.”
As a watch collector himself, Ford also knows the market well and made sure the shape and face of his brand were distinct and unique, saying he aspired to a simple yet elegant feel. “The face is quite original, I think, which is not easy to do, as just about every face has been done. I modeled the face after a mechanical instrument, more than a classic watch face, and I think that it has a very modern feel.”
Of course, with all things Tom Ford–related, there is also a subtle sex appeal to the watches, only highlighted by the sensuous imagery used to promote them. Yes, the interchangeable bands mean it can go with anything, but maybe the best way to wear your Tom Ford 001 is with nothing else.