Wrangler is a name you no doubt are familiar with. Sure, their jeans may not have as much mind share as, say, Levis, but theyâ€™ve been around for forever, and have been working at making denim for the hard-going American woman and man (at least, to judge by their current commercials). Theyâ€™re even getting in on some social buzz by signing up with Lil Was X after his breakout country hit Old Town Road. Well, weâ€™re not here to talk about catchy tunes, weâ€™re here to talk about watches. Like any other apparel brand trying to be more of a â€œlifestyleâ€ play, theyâ€™ve got watches on offer. So, let me tell you about five of the pieces in their watch catalog.
Catalog I think is the operative word here with the Wrangler watches. Not that thereâ€™s an issue with the brand going to a white-label maker (in this case, Paradox Fine Watches) for their watches, but you just need to know what youâ€™re dealing with. Fashion watches from a fashion brand, whoâ€™d have thunk it? It even shows in the literal catalog I saw – thereâ€™s an extensive list of SKUs, and none of them have a model name – just a number. Protip for you brands out there wanting to add watches to the mix. Itâ€™s tempting to create a buffet of choices, but that dilutes what youâ€™re offering to your customers, and confuses the issue. Pick a style or two that fits what your brand is about (or what your CEO happens to like) build those up well (aka, well-sorted and actually named) and see if things grow. The shotgun spray-and-pray approach just feels, well, scattered. Ok, now Iâ€™ll get off of my â€œindustry observerâ€ soapbox.
As I mentioned, we took a look at five different models in the lineup. First up was my personal favorite of the group, the Wrangler WRW2000-8B5. AKA the Wrangler Aviator. This has all the hallmarks of a great vintage-look aviator watch – degrade dial, classic font on the numerals, cathedral window hands, and an onion-ish crown. Even the blue-and-brown combo is classic, while the polished gunmetal finish brings things up to more modern terms. As with all of these watches, the Wrangler Aviator is powered by a Japanese quartz movement (no provenance given), and this flyboy gives you a 30ft water resistance (aka, washing hands is ok, but not much more). This is the watch I liked the most, even despite itâ€™s plasticky â€œleatherâ€ strap. Iâ€™d be willing to forgive that, if only they had put some luminous paint on the thing. Not the hands, not the dial, nothing. Sure, the watch itself is only $35, so a strap replacement is an easy thing. But the lack of lame, well, thatâ€™s a tougher sell. Then again, itâ€™s only $35, so Iâ€™ll cut some slack.
Next up is the Wrangler WRW1400-1A, aka the Wrangler Field Watch. Sure, itâ€™s not a classic field watch look, but youâ€™ve got the 24 hour scale, and a bezel that isnâ€™t likely to show up dirt or scratches. Actually, with that bezel, maybe we call this one the Wrangler File (you know, like a rasp file texture). So, sure, itâ€™s a field watch (albeit one with a bit of Porsche Design influence on the numerals). Here again, there is no lume (a shame) but the strap is a soft silicone one, a definite step up from the Aviator. Like the Aviator, the Wrangler WRW1400-1A is just $35 and carries a 30ft water resistance rating.
Next up, the Wrangler WRW4801-7B1, aka the Wrangler Polar Express. This is a design I really was drawn to, due to the large and crisp white dial. But then I saw the over-large date disc cutout (showing a crazy 5 dates, which I donâ€™t know that Iâ€™ve seen before), and a handset that felt a touch undersized for how big the watch was. This watch had the nicest strap of the bunch, with a black textile showcasing the red contrast stitching and vinyl/leather inlays. Interestingly, this one ups the water resistance to 50m, so it shouldnâ€™t be wrecked if someone shoves you in the pool. This one will set you back a reasonable $55.
Now we come to one that super easy for me to name – the Wrangler WRW5001-5BR. In fact, I gave it two names – either the Wrangler Watermelon, or the Wrangler Joker. The use of a pinkish-purple tone on this case, paired to a very vinyl-like green strap, well, thatâ€™s a bold move, Cotton (letâ€™s see how it plays out). Then, mix in the radiant brown dial, and youâ€™ve got something interesting. Of the five, I actually wore this one the most, given how unique the color combo was. Here again, WR comes in at 50m, and youâ€™ve got a crazy bit of texture going on with the dial, alongside those colors. Uniqueness doesnâ€™t come cheap, though, as the Wrangler Watermelon will set you back $69.95.
Last, but not least, weâ€™ve got one that has the deepest vintage look to it, the Wrangler WRW5802-7B, aka the Wrangler RPaige. I mean, look at that dial – at first glance, it looks like something out of a pocket watch, doesnâ€™t it? Closer inspection reveals the pattern in the gold tone is printed – and not machined or turned in – but itâ€™s an interesting look all the same. Of course, thatâ€™s tarnished a big by the date window cutout that gives you 9 dates on display, which is 8 too many. The handset, on the other hand, thatâ€™s sized just right for the watch, and they should take notes for the other large watches in the mix. I could easily see this one being the most popular of the bunch, particularly if the $69.95 list gets discounted any.
At the end of the day, these Wrangler watches are not anything youâ€™re going to be passing down to the generations. If youâ€™re on the look for a watch that will inexpensively keep accurate time will giving a bit of flair and interest (and easy coordination with your denim) well, then these here Wrangler watches may be your cup of cowboy coffee. I wouldnâ€™t see these entering my own watch box, but hey – if I see you wearing one and youâ€™re pumped about it, Iâ€™ll support your choice. You do you, and wear what you like. For me, Iâ€™ll hope for Wrangler to innovate some, just like the wondrous invention of stretch getting woven into denim.
- Brand & Model: Wrangler Watches
- Price: $35 to $70 depending on model
- Whoâ€™s it for? You want an inexpensive watch, and you wouldnâ€™t be caught dead in a pair of Levis
- Would I wear it? Nope, these just donâ€™t mix into my corral
- What Iâ€™d change: First up, get some luminous paint on all of these. Second, get the hands appropriately sized. Third, give watches names, not numbers.
- The best thing about it: For the mis-steps, there are some glimmers of interesting details in these.