Though he’s only 21 years old, lately Austin Mahone has been thinking a lot about time.
Take, for instance, his hair. It’s been through countless iterations in the five years since he started releasing music (among them: the high and tight, the gentle wave, the pompadour, and more than a few instances when it was tucked firmly underneath a hat), but in the past few months the singer hasn’t been doing that much to it at all.
“This is my natural hair,” he said in an interview with Men’s Journal last week, pointing to the curly mass of brown strands on top of his head. “When I was younger, I hated it—I always wanted it to be something different. But I think this is just easier.”
“It just saves me time; it saves me stress,” he added. “I get out of the shower, let it dry, and start my day. And it just curls up.”
It’s an important life hack for a guy who hates being late, and for someone who has a schedule most CEOs would find daunting (this spring he’s heading to Japan for a mini tour that will take him from Osaka to Tokyo). His love of timepieces led to a partnership with Fossil this year that’s near and dear to his heart.
“My dad passed away when I one and a half,” Mahone said. “He had a Fossil watch that my mom saved that for me until I was 18. It really means a lot.”
And while his father’s watch is still ticking, he’s quick to point out the features of the watch he wears most often, the Fossil Q: a hybrid smartwatch that looks like a mechanical, but can count your steps, notify you when you get important emails, and even force your phone to ring if you lose it.
“It definitely makes life easier. I can filter all of the notifications that come in, so I’m not getting bombarded when I’m out and about,” he said. “I mean, I can take a selfie with this watch. I can set my phone across the room and take a picture from this chair.”
Mahone surprised a a slightly older reporter when asked why young guys have gotten more and more obsessed with timepieces over the past five years.
“This is just a guess, but I hate looking at my phone all the time. I’m at a point right now where I’m like, man, I don’t even want to pick it up anymore!” he said. “So maybe it’s like, ‘Oh, what time is it? Well I’ve got my watch right here that means something to me.’”
If anything, it’s an easy way to save exposure to yet another notification. And maybe an indication that there’s hope for millennials yet.