Slice of Life #7: Engagement Competition

Idea: I linked to a video a short while back highlighting the marketing myth of the engagement ring. As indicated, engagement rings are problematic for a variety of reasons including:

Why does a ring accompany a proposal? Considering most vows include the tradition of exchanging a ring, a proposal ring seems redundant. Why is there so little competition marketing alternatives to proposal gifts, particularly with the diamond industry so rife with moral dilemmas that are overshadowed by societal pressure to “be a man”?

It seems like the perfect opportunity exists for a better alternative. The first thing that comes to mind: wristwatches. Why? If a diamond is forever™, what better way to symbolize a union for “forever” than by an instrument that measures that time? It just seems so much more poetic. And watches have space for engraving a meaningful thought to give the gesture special meaning. They also are typically great investments that keep their value and can appreciate. For those who wish to keep the male to female stereotyping of proposal rituals, marketing wristwatches to women provides a demand that doesn’t really presently exist12. For those who find the one-sidedness of the ritual to be outdated, an exchange of watches could be a nice way to show that you both wish to share your time with the other.

But most importantly, getting away from blood diamonds (and not through the bogus way of paying more for a conflict-free diamond, which should be conflict-free to begin with), is a good thing for this world to be supporting.

Who’s to say a watch is the only appropriate alternative? It’d be nice to have one though.


  1. Just like the market for diamond rings didn’t exist before DeBeers []
  2. a vast majority of watches sold today are marketed to men []
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