The Other Black Watch

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Browsing for neckwear through a computer screen can sometimes make you miss subtler qualities. Things such as the heavy drape of a 50oz silk twill or the chalky hand of ancient madder can be passed over for more “obvious” things, such as the rough weaves of raw silk or boucle. Repp stripes are also often overlooked, even though they’re exceptional versatile and - unlike some of the overly conservative foulards that are popular today - will reliably be stylish ten or twenty years from now. 

I recently picked up this black watch regimental, which I only noticed because my friend Cooper Frederickson brought it to my attention over a year ago. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop seeing it. On Mark Cho of The Armoury and Drake’s, on Mariano Rubinacci of The London House, on Luciano Barbera of … Luciano Barbera, and of course on Charles, the Prince of Wales. The tie even made an apperance once in an old issue of Popeye, a Japanese style magazine. 

The “standard” black watch, as everyone knows, is a blue, green, and black Scottish tartan, but that’s not the only one. There’s also this green, red and blue striped design, which draws its colors from when decommissioned Black Watch officers needed something to represent their service once they returned to civilian life. And like all regimental stripes nowadays - what was once something socially signifying has now just become a design (for most people, anyway). I’ve found this design to go excellently with solid navy and brown checked sport coats. It’s simple and unique, but also unassailably tasteful. And it’s not something I think I would have noticed online if a better eye hadn’t directed me to it. 

For those interested, you can get a black watch regimental through A Suitable Wardrobe (made by Drake’s, and is the one I have), Ben Silver, and Benson & Clegg. Sam Hober also used to have the material for bespoke options, but seems to have run out (he may restock soon). When shopping for one, just be careful to not accidentally pick up the Lord Taverners tie, like I once did. They’re similar, but the black watch one is darker and, in my opinion, more sophisticated looking.

(Photos from The Armoury, BBC, Popeye, A Suitable Wardrobe, and sadly a number of places I’ve since forgotten) 


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