Make ‘Em Laugh: Six Watches to Brighten Your Day

Make ‘Em Laugh: Six Watches to Brighten Your Day

From dopamine rushes to serotonin releases, watches can activate chemicals in our brains that make us happy. So, let’s talk about some recent releases that bring us joy!

By Rhonda Riche

As much as we like to think we are savvy investors, our taste in timepieces is as much ruled by emotion as it is by research or rational thought. After all, the heart wants what the heart wants.

And what the heart, not to mention the mind and body, want is to feel good. For collectors, while finding one of their grail watches will certainly scratch an itch, that is only one way to find satisfaction. However, there are other factors, from design to materials, that place watches squarely in the category of “mood-altering substance.”

And lately, brands have been celebrating the good things in life with editions that promote positivity.

We are here to celebrate these feel-good timepieces.

Rolex Day-Date 36 Puzzle

One of the most buzzed-about launches from Watches & Wonders 2023, this optimistic update of the emblematic Day-Date 36 from Rolex switches out the calendar function with upbeat messages such as “Happy,” “Eternity,” “Gratitude,” “Peace,” “Faith,” “Love,” and “Hope,” and swaps out the numbers representing the date with 31 different emojis.

Based on a 2007 brain imaging study that found using emoticons to label how you’re feeling can have a calming effect on the body, this watch is incredibly fun to wear.

Besides, findings from Johns Hopkins University suggest that hopeful emotions can strengthen the body’s immune response. So, as corny as it sounds, positive messages can also help you stay healthy.

Richard Mille RM 88 Automatic Winding Tourbillion Smiley

The neurotransmitter serotonin is best known for its role in mood disorders. But it is a “social chemical,” meaning its levels can be affected by the quality and quantity of a person’s social interactions, as is the case with oxytocin, or, like serotonin, its levels influence how a person interacts with their peers.

Serotonin is also responsible for making you feel good about yourself; instilling a sense of status, respect, and loyalty; and building self-esteem and confidence.

So, with that information about serotonin in mind, let us ask you this: Have you ever known an owner of a Richard Mille to lack self-esteem or confidence? We didn’t think so.

And our favorite serotonin booster from the brand is the RM 88 Automatic Winding Tourbillion Smiley, featuring sculptures of a prickly cactus, a cocktail glass, a pink flamingo, and a micro-blasted, yellow-gold smiley figure in a tripartite case. One caveat: This limited edition is no quick fix for a sour mood – supposedly, it took three years to create.

Mr. Jones The Promise of Happiness

Ever notice that huggers seem happier? Scientists call this quick hit of happiness the “oxytocin buzz.” It makes sense. After all, the word “oxytocin” has its roots in the Greek “ōkutókos,” meaning “sudden delivery.”

And good vibes can come just as easily in small packages as they can come from arms wrapped around your torso. To wit, The Promise of Happiness watch from British brand Mr. Jones.

Created by artist Fanny Shorter, this piece’s dial depicts a tiger in a jungle scene and delivers everything in its name through a delightful digital display (the hours are shown in the moon in the sky, while the minutes are camouflaged among the tiger’s stripes).

Luckily for the socially awkward (i.e., non-huggers), this timepiece is an excellent icebreaker.

Vero Workhorse Hooligan

Dopamine is best known for helping us feel pleasure as part of the brain’s reward system. Sex, shopping, smelling cookies baking in the oven – all these things can trigger dopamine releases or a “dopamine rush.” And in the watch world, there are few activities that can cause a bigger rush than nabbing a limited edition.

Limited to only 120 pieces, the Workhorse Hooligan from Vero is a tough tool watch that features a smiley face on one of its chronograph dials. And priced at a budget-friendly $425, you can indulge in some FOMO without feeling too guilty.

Hermès Arceau Petite Lune

Everyone, at some point in their lives, has stared out the window and fantasized about traveling to distant planets. And one of the benefits of daydreaming is that flights of fancy have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Interestingly, it also boosts the brain’s problem-solving ability and enhances creativity.

Hermès recently launched a host of dreamy timepieces, but our favorite is its newest imagining of Arceau Petite Lune, a watch inspired by space travel. And cleverly, the elegant 38mm dress watch uses gemstone planets and an upside-down moon atop an aventurine and mother-of-pearl dial to suggest the limitless possibilities of the universe.

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Skeleton 6-15

Color therapy, a.k.a. chromotherapy, is born from the notion that color can help boost physical or mental health. The practice goes back to the ancient civilizations in Egypt, Greece, China, and India. And according to practitioners, each color has its own beneficial purpose – blue helps us relax, pink helps detoxify, and so on through the spectrum.

Not sure which hue is best for you? Zodiac recently released a 300-piece limited edition rainbow-colored Super Sea Wolf with a skeletonized dial and exhibition caseback showing off its new 6-15 calibre.

Though the first batch of 40mm Super Sea Wolf Skeleton 6-15 is currently sold out, don’t worry. The next drop should happen in early May.

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