The watches these 9 Australian executives wear, and why

Apple CEO Tim Cook displays his Apple Watch to customers. Photo: Getty Images.

The wristwatch is a timeless accessory.

No matter what technology or trend hits the catwalk, a classic timepiece is never out of fashion.

With this in mind, Business Insider asked some successful Australia executives to find out what they wear on their wrist and why.

From the iconic Rolex to the health-orientated Fitbit, here are the watches these Australian executives like the wear, and why.

Dr Stewart Washer, founder of Zelda Therapeutics, wears a Rolex Datejust.

My father, Dr Mal Washer gave me his watch after he retired from Parliament and later started AusCann in the medicinal cannabis space.

He taught me that patients are always the first and last priority and that we need curiosity at all times to find new treatments for old diseases. He also told me that a good watch was important as time is very precious and should never be wasted.

The watch is a Rolex 'Datejust', it is self-winding and has a magnifying section over the date. When it was launched in 1945, the Datejust was the first wristwatch with an automatically changing date function. Mine is stainless steel with a black face. It has survived a range of abuses including farm work, scuba diving and lots and lots of travel!

Michael Jankie, founder and CEO of PoweredLocal wears a Fitbit Charge HR.

My wife and I had just had our firstborn and I was complaining of a lack of sleep, with my wife (rightfully) rolling her eyes at me. I took that as a challenge and decided I wanted to track my sleeping performance.

I’d gotten off watches for a couple of years, but then spent a few months at home researching sleep tracking and also silent alarms. Trying to find the best device out there, I considered the Apple Watch when it first came out, but did not have the sleep tracking. I must have looked at 5 or 6 different options. I kept doing research and held off. In an ideal world, I wanted an alarm that tracked the stage of sleep I was in, then would wake me within a time-frame that was most logical dependent on sleep cycle.

Meanwhile, my wife had purchased a Fitbit and I was quite envious. Still procrastinating over the ultimate device, my siblings had gotten wind that I wanted something and bought me a Fitbit Charge HR for my birthday. While the heart-rate monitor is not really used, I love it the rest of the functionality. I compete with my Fitbit now but when my wife challenges me on steps for the day, she mostly wins.

We’ve figured out some quirks and hacks and if you see me pushing our daughters stroller, you will notice I always have one hand off the handlebar as the Fitbit does not track steps accurately if I’m holding with both hands.

I’ve found having a FitBit is a bit of a club. A couple of weeks ago I had an 8-year-old relative ask me how many steps I’d done. I showed him that I was on 4350 for the day, he smiled and showed me his, over 17,000. Apparently kids run around all day at school.

I’ve got a lawyer friend who once told me he wears an expensive watch on his right hand, because when you shake hands with someone that matters, they always look down at your watch and make a value judgement there and then. I guess FitBit is the analytical and data-driven person’s version of the same. If I see someone with a Fitbit, I make an instant value judgement of what they are like too - they clearly care about data and analytics.

Dominic Bressan, co-founder and CEO of AirService wears a Breitling Cockpit B50.

I bought this as a gift to myself to celebrate signing a particularly big international client to AirService a month or so ago.

I’ve always loved watches, and as CEO of a technology company I also obviously love tech.

For me the Cockpit B50 is the perfect everyday watch. It looks good with a suit, or with board shorts at the beach, plus it has that extra bit of tech thrown in there with the digital and analog displays. Features like different time zones at a glance are hugely convenient for me managing clients and teams in different countries.

Breitling have another model, the Exospace B55, which has its own app as well, but technology moves fast and for me that’s a little bit too much built-in obsolescence. The Cockpit B50 on the other hand, in my opinion has the balance right.

Dean McEvoy, CEO of TechSydney wears an Omega Speedmaster Professional.

I wear an Omega Speedmaster Professional - limited edition - to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon.

I purchased it with a friend’s dad who is a professional watch dealer at the Hong Kong watch fair.

It's a limited edition of 3500 although the dealer claimed it was the prototype as the serial number was 0000/3500.

I liked it because you have to manually wind it every second day. The process reminds me of the importance of time and of focusing on what you want to get out of that day. Plus it reminds me of what human kind is capable of when you put your mind to it.

Rob Hango-Zada, joint-CEO at Shippit wears an Omega Planet Ocean Speedmaster.

In my early twenties I bought an Omega Planet Ocean Speedmaster knock-off at a Phuket night market.

It stuck with me for six years until it got too beat up to wear around respectably.

My wife bought me this watch as a gift to me on our wedding day a few years ago. I had always aspired to own an Omega because of their timeless style and sturdy build.

Not that I will ever go diving with this thing on my wrist, wearing it really gives me a feeling of overall completeness and reminds me of what my wife and I are building together.

Noah Ableson, co-founder and CEO of ShareRoot wears the Apple Watch.

I'm not a watch guy but my co-founder joked that me that if I didn't wear it and look cool, he would break up with me.

So, I'm now wearing an Apple Watch.

The watch was a gift from Xero for speaking at Xerocon in Denver, and although I typically don't wear watches, it's an intriguing piece of technology to carry around.

Simon Cohen, co-founder and Managing Director of Cohen Handler wears a Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph King Gold.

Because I am constantly on the go, meeting with clients to help them find right the right property, I needed a watch that was both unique and elegant, but great for the day-to-day.

I chose a Hublot because it's an old school quality piece that has stood the test of time. It's a brand that you don't see a lot of, which I appreciate as I tend to steer towards accessories that display a sense of individuality, rather than stick to the mainstream.

I found this particular time piece in a European Hublot boutique last year. I was looking for a new watch that stands out, but was not too ostentatious or over the top. I chose this one because the black contrast of the face and band gave it a more elegant, yet understated look. It's been a great everyday watch ever since.

Sebastian Pedavoli, co-founder and creative director at Proxima wears 'The Original' by The Horse.

The watch I wear is by The Horse. They’re a Sydney-based couple who make some beautiful lifestyle products. The make is “The Original” with matte black and tan leather.

I bought it for myself back in February 2015 after stumbling upon The Horse on Instagram. I think discovery to purchase was less than 10 minutes and most of that time was deciding which model I liked the best.

Co-founding a software company I’m surrounded by technology on a daily basis. I needed an aspect of my life without it that was still beautiful to look at. It doesn’t tap me when I get a message, track my steps or require a phone to run it. It’s just an exquisitely designed time piece, simple as that.

Ross Fastuca, CIO & co-founder of corporate travel platform Locomote wear an Apple Watch also.

My Apple Watch has actually become a part of my everyday life. Since getting the watch, I find I’m using it more and more. It’s great for business travel and makes life much easier while on the go — saving my much-needed phone battery. My Apple Watch gives me quick access to my calendar, messages and all notifications. Plus it is constantly reminding me of my meetings throughout the day. Having messages pop up on my watch makes the process of receiving notifications less invasive, especially in meetings.

When travelling, my smartwatch alerts me on any gate changes, delays and boarding times on the go — instead of having to look for the departures screens at the airport or on my phone, it's just a nicer experience.

Another great advantage is that I can use my watch as the boarding pass for some flights, without the need to look on my phone or try finding a paper ticket. Airline apps are really starting to enhance the flying experience with wearable technology.

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