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An Overview Of The Calvin Klein Watch History

When it comes to contemporary style, no brand excels more in this area than Calvin Klein. Heralding from New York City, the fashion capital of America and maybe even the world, the Calvin Klein brand has been a symbol of laidback street style since the late 1960s. While casual apparel such as jeans and t-shirts have always been a mainstay for CK, the brand has also dipped its toes into many different pools including fragrance, leather goods, watches and of course, underwear which has become somewhat of an icon for the brand.

But while the premium label has its name on so many different products, it’s hard to look past their watchmaking abilities. Since their initial release, Calvin Klein watches have become a go-to for many timepieces lovers looking for a watch that is stylish, functional and ideal for everyday wear. And with their sleek design as well as their hardwearing exterior, Calvin Klein watches fill this role with such ease that they may even just rival other well-known contemporary watch brands out there. 

So, when did this reign of Calvin Klein watches begin? Read on and find out in our overview of the Calvin Klein watch history.

Calvin Klein Watch History


The Calvin Klein Brand

Growing up in a Jewish area of the Bronx, not too far from other prominent American fashion designers, Ralph Lauren and Robert Denning, designer Calvin Klein founded his eponymous label with childhood friend Barry K Schwartz in 1968. Starting off as a small coat shop situated in Manhattan’s York Hotel, the label's humble beginnings were all about creating apparel that was both youthful and understated yet timeless. This unorthodox approach to style quickly won over the public and had people labelling the New York native as a “young Yves Saint Laurent”. Following this early success, the brand launched its now-iconic denim line in 1969 and became the toast of New York’s vibrant fashion scene, constantly pushing the boundaries with its innovative designs and daring ad campaigns that were quite risque for the time. 

Calvin Klein Watch History

By the mid-1970s, the brand was a modern American success story with a presence in everything from women’s and men’s apparel and haute couture to shoes, jewellery, sunglasses, fragrance, cosmetics and even linen. Calvin Klein was seen as somewhat of a status symbol that was worn by the likes of socialites Gloria Vanderbilt and actress Brooke Shields who starred in a highly-controversial jeans advert for the brand at just 15 years of age. The polarising commercial and the ensuing chatter that followed helped cement Calvin Klein as the leading premium denim manufacturer in the United States, effectively kicking the previously reigning Levi’s off the top spot.

Heading into the 1980s, the New York-based brand was keen to expand its horizons following a minor slump in sales. This would lead them to launch their infamous underwear line. The sleek streamlined cotton design and logo embossed elastic waistband instantly became a signature for the brand and ushered in a new frontier for the fashion industry that turned underwear into a potential luxury item rather than just a necessity. It was a move that would catapult the brand to icon status and result in many other high-end brands trying their hand at luxury comfort wear. 

Calvin Klein Watch History

Under the leadership of the brand's new parent company Phillips van Heusen (PVH), Calvin Klein would continue their reign in the fashion industry throughout the 80s and 90s with their refined clothing silhouettes that dominated this era, their lust-worthy couture designs worn by Hollywood’s elite and their smutty ad campaigns featuring the likes of Kate Moss and Mark Wahlberg that would still make you blush today. But while the brand does have its fair share of critics that cringe at its risque branding and constant focus on undergarments, the influence is this brand is undeniable and it is why Calvin Klein continues to be a beloved name in fashion as well as in the world of women’s and men’s watches.

Calvin Klein Watch History

Calvin Klein Watch History

Looking to diversify its range in a continuously evolving fashion market, Calvin Klein launched their first lot of men’s and Calvin Klein women’s watches in the early 90s. Beginning as a collaboration between the Manhattan-based label and the Swiss-owned timepiece juggernaut The Swatch Group, the first collection of Calvin Klein watches consisted of classic yet understated analogue watches that were designed with the intention of making sleek and functional quartz watches more accessible in a world that was dominated by Japanese and Swiss-based watch brands. This first collection helped formulate a brand new type of watch that was focused on style and design rather than just movement and functionality. These watches not only allowed for more diversity in watch design, but also provided more offerings for women in an area that was dominated by male-centric designs, particularly, with their unisex watches

Calvin Klein Watch History

Through the brand’s partnership with Swatch, Calvin Klein had access to some of the most profound watchmakers and innovative timepiece technology in the world, allowing the label to fine-tune its watchmaking skills and stand out from other fashion brands that had also ventured into watchmaking. The label’s watch collection quickly became known for incorporating a PVD (physical vapour deposition) coating into all of their designs, a thin finish that provides each timepiece with a superior level of durability and strong resistance to abrasions. The brand also became notorious for its dressier models with a focus on chronograph and analogue watches. In 2016, under the guidance of Calvin Klein’s newest creative director Raf Simmons the brand underwent a slight revamp that involved retooling its signature look into something that could only be defined as more youthful and heavily inspired by casual street style and the American aesthetic. As a result, Calvin Klein watches became more relaxed and borrowed imagery from various music subcultures including electronic, hip hop and post-punk as well as contemporary art.

Calvin Klein Watch History

Our Favourite Calvin Klein Watches 

From timeless stainless-steel watches to sporty leather watches, there is certainly no shortage of stylish Calvin Klein watches to compliment anybody's look and personality. These are just a few of our favourites that would make the perfect everyday companion. 

Calvin Klein 25200009 Timeless Pink Leather Women’s Watch

Boasting a romantic blush-coloured dial and matching leather band to boot, the Calvin Klein 25200009 provides the wearer with both comfort and style. Ideal for everyday as well as days in the office, this women’s watch will help bring an element of sophistication to the wearer’s look while also bringing a level of functionality. This timepiece may be minimalist in its design, however, this factor helps add to its overall level of timelessness and will ensure that it is a beloved piece in the wearer’s collection for many years to come.  

Calvin Klein 25200063 Gauge Blue Dial Men’s Watch

The perfect marriage of classic and contemporary, this Calvin Klein men's watch will help bring a level of timelessness and sophistication to the wearer’s look thanks to its daring blue dial and sleek silver stainless-steel exterior. Accompanied by a contemporary bank with the removable links that provide the wearer with a great deal of versatility, particularly if their wrist is a little on the small side. So, whether you are running errands, heading to work or decked out in a dapper suit at your latest function, rest assured that this chronograph watch will fit in perfectly on all of these occasions. 

Calvin Klein 25200034 Iconic Mesh Women's Watch

Throwing it back to the 70s with this gold watch from Calvin Klein’s collection is understated luxury with its refined gold analogue face embossed with the now-iconic CK logo and contemporary mesh band. Perfect for the minimalist looking for a no-fuss timepiece that pairs well with just about anything and is reliable for all occasions, the Calvin Klein 25200003 is definitely a piece that the wearer will want to have in their collection for many moons. Because while this piece was made for timekeeping, it is more akin to a timeless article of jewellery. 

Calvin Klein 252000134 Minimalist Women's Watch

Offering the best of both worlds with its elegant two-tone design, the Calvin Klein 252000134 is perfect for those who simply cannot decide. A modern upgrade to the classic stainless-steel watch with its spacious face and enlarged links, this timepiece may be minimalist in its design but it certainly has no shortage of character. Adorned with four small diamontes that help bring a little sparkle to the wearer’s look, this piece is not only incredibly timeless but is also incredibly versatile with the ability to be incorporated into pretty much any look. 

Calvin Klein 25200040 Iconic Bracelet Watch

Adding a little edge to the wearer's look, this daring black watch is proof that a timepiece shouldn’t have to fit the mould to be considered a classic. With subtle adornments on the dial that serves as a bit of a statement, the Calvin Klein 25200040 is sleek, sporty, stylish and sophisticated. A great way to stand out from the crowd at your next function or in your next meeting, don’t be fooled by this watch’s unconventional design as it is certainly a forever piece that you will love and wear for all time. 

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