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THE 24 BEST DRESS WATCHES TO WEAR

The 24 Best Dress Watches to Wear to a Formal Affair — Or Wherever You Want

This style isn't just for glitzy events anymore

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15 June 2023 at 8:00:00 AM

The 24 Best Dress Watches to Wear to a Formal Affair — Or Wherever You Want

This style isn't just for glitzy events anymore


By Trishna Rikhy And Barry Samaha PUBLISHED: JUN 15, 2023

Article Link - Esquire.com


If an event calls for a white tie, black tie, or, in some cases, a semiformal fit, Tradition requires you to reach for a dress watch. But what is tradition nowadays? We're in an era where celebrities can arrive shirtless to the most formal of events. Designers are presenting new, outré suits with oversized blazers, vibrant colors, and flared pants. And skirts are steadily and surely creeping into the menswear fold. Rules, as they say, are meant to be broken, and the sartorial dictates that called for decorum are, for sure, smashed.


The idea of the dress watch—once a timepiece denoted by a black or white dial, dark leather strap, and slim case—has also gone through a refresh. Big, bold chronographs are being worn by the likes of tuxedo-clad James Bond. And celebrities and the glitterati are showing up to the toniest of events wearing timepieces with gold bracelets and diamond-lined bezels. Formal affairs are now filled with men flaunting their latest, ostentatious purchases. And that’s not a bad thing: Wear what you want where and when you want. Hell, since the boundaries are blurred, wear a dress watch in the office, at a bar, or, if you’re so inclined, at the gym.


But if you’re a stickler for rules (hey, no judgment), you’re going to want to match your tux with a dress watch. And we corralled 24 of the best—some traditional, others less so, but all perfect for a dressy event.

Not in any particular watch order:


CITIZEN STAINLESS STEEL QUARTZ WATCH

Simple, elegant, and at a price that won't cause a dent to your wallet? You'll truly get more bang for your buck with this Citizen timepiece.


OMEGA DE VILLE WATCH

The De Ville is the alpha of Omega's dress watches. So sleek and so cool, ain't nothing cruel about it.


PATEK PHILIPPE CALATRAVA SELF-WINDING WATCH

Say the name Patek Philippe at any dressy event, and you'll get every watch aficionado's attention. Better yet, just show them this timepiece and get ready for jaws to drop.


SKAGEN ANCHER QUARTZ ANALOG WATCH

Danish design in celebrated for its less-is-more ethos. Think clean, architectural lines that make an impact. Think this timepiece by Skagen, Denmark's premiere watchmaker, right here.


BULOVA CLASSIC QUARTZ WATCH

It's the simple pleasures that count most. And this Bulova watch, folks, is a simple pleasure.


ROLEX 1908

You can't talk about dress watches without including Rolex, period. The 1908 is timeless and elegant, with a polished finish, 18 carat gold, and a leather strap.


HUBLOT CLASSIC FUSION

This is one of the sleekest timepieces on the market, with a brushed finish and minimalist face.


RADO INTEGRAL DIAMOND CERAMIC BRACELET WATCH

From the thin, rectangular face to the black and gold color scheme, this diamond-embedded watch has made telling the time look so better than ever.


TIFFANY & CO. MAKERS 27 MM SQUARE WATCH

Simple, classic, and classy. No fuss or frills, but all the gravitas a watch should have, for dressy occasions.


MONTBLANC TRADITION AUTOMATIC DATE WATCH

If you're going to opt for a classic, it doesn't get any better and any more refined than one from Montblanc.


BULGARI OCTO FINISSIMO WATCH

This one will cost you a pretty penny, but as an investment piece, it'll last forever. Plus, the thin face makes it sleeker than a clunky watch.


MARATHON WATCH COMPANY LARGE DIVER'S AUTOMATIC

You don't have to be a diver to love this stainless steel and sapphire glass crystal watch.


VERSACE PALAZZO BRACELET WATCH

Flashy, fancy, and decadent, this opulent watch is a showstopper for dressy events.


ORIS RECTANGULAR AUTOMATIC WATCH

Leather and stainless steel come together to make an elegant, classy watch that goes with everything.


JUNGHANS MAX BILL AUTOMATIC WRISTWATCH

If your aesthetic leans brutalist, you'll fawn over this Bauhaus-inspired watch that takes after the work of industrial designer Max Bill.


CARTIER TANK LOUIS CARTIER WATCH

The Tank is as classic a dress watch as it comes.


SHINOLA THE RUNWELL WATCH

The Swiss, Germans, and French may have longer histories in the horological game, but the U.S. has a strong hand with Detroit-based Shinola and its collection of spiffy timepieces.


FOSSIL THE MINIMALIST THREE-HAND BROWN LEATHER WATCH

Like Godiva, this gold and chocolate timepiece from Fossil is a rich, delicious treat that'll have you coming back for more.


RAYMOND WEIL TOCCATA ROUND WHITE LEATHER-STRAP WATCH

Roman numerals on a white dial with a round gold-plated case and black embossed leather strap: it doesn't get any more timeless than this style — especially when it's made by the always-classy peeps at Raymond Weil.


MIDO BARONCELLI HERITAGE AUTOMATIC WATCH

Mido, founded in the turn of the 20th century, made of name for itself by offering streamlined timepieces inspired by the fastest cars around. And if that kind of legacy is your speed, you're going to want to cop this heritage watch.


GUCCI G-TIMELESS WATCH

If you consider yourself a capital G in fashion, look no further than a timepiece that's all the buzz.


TOM FORD NO. 001 STAINLESS STEEL WATCH

Of course Tom Ford, the man behind the toniest suits, ties, and oxfords, has a timepiece to match.


FRANCK MULLER LONG ISLAND ROSE GOLD & ALLIGATOR STRAP WATCH

The wild and wonderful world of Franck Muller also includes relatively streamlined styles, including this watch that—like my favorite kind of tea—packs a punch.


VACHERON CONSTANTIN TRADITIONNELLE 18K WHITE GOLD, DIAMOND & ALLIGATOR STRAP WATCH

This watch by Vacheron Constantin may be called Traditionnelle, but there's definitely nothing traditional (in the best way) about a mother-of-pearl dial and diamond-lined bezel.

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