Men’s dress watches are an iconic piece of horological styling and have remained an unchanged, timeless accessory since the 20th Century. Their traditional white dial and dark leather strap make them instantly recognisable and their little or no complications give them an air of simple elegance. Men’s wristwatches have a history that is deeply rooted in the First World War. Watches needed to be sturdy and reliable, meant to withstand a significant amount of wear and tear. However, once the war was over the need for solely practical and hard-wearing timepieces was not so high. This made space for a more elegant and simple design to flourish.
The move away from practicality and into style saw the birth of the men’s dress watch we are familiar with today. Without the need of complex features, the design could be simple and classy and used as a way to add a finishing touch to any outfit. Traditionally, the dress watch is worn with a suit, but its simplicity means it is versatile and easy to wear for any occasion, making it a valued part of any collection. Here are our top 5 men’s dress watches for 2021.
This luxury timepiece embodies the traditional appearance of the dress watch. Its classic design would make it the perfect addition to your favourite suit or as a treasured gift for the watch collector in your life. The black leather crocodile strap and white dial bring a sleek simplicity to the piece and the calf leather lining ensures the wearer’s comfort. Every effort has been made to ensure styling this piece is as pleasurable as possible.
This timepiece includes the unique detail of an exhibition case back, allowing an appreciation of the inner workings of this luxury accessory. The small date aperture adds an extra utility to the watch but does so subtly to ensure that the classic design of the piece is not compromised. A stainless-steel case with silver hands and indices gives this watch a modern feel, combining contemporary style with the classic design of the dress watch. This is a perfect piece for anyone looking to add a traditional watch to their collection without compromising their style.
This piece exudes sophistication and style. The minimalistic dial, flat black leather strap and silver case of this watch embody the traditional dress watch whilst maintaining a modern finish. Although modern, this piece does not forget its roots and includes a hand winding function. The simplicity of this piece would make it an elegant addition to any outfit.
It’s smooth lines and tasteful finish would not allow it to go unnoticed. The perfect minimalism of this piece would allow the wearer to easily put together an outfit around it. With a history of meticulous German craftmanship and its name paying homage to the Swiss designer of many Junghans clocks and watches, this piece guarantees a great performance alongside its classic appearance.
Taking a large step away from the traditional appearance of the dress watch, this piece gives a chic, modern alternative. Most dress watches have a pale dial to make the dark indices easily visible. However, this piece does the total opposite. It instead features a dark gradient dial with gold indices and hands which would make this piece a stand-out item in any collection.
The dark colour of the dial and leather strap is contrasted by the stainless-steel case and lugs of the watch. This mixed metal finish is very on-trend and ensures that the piece will match whatever jewellery you choose to style it with. The one complication that this watch does include is a date display. Alongside its water resistance of up to 50m, these features make it a perfectly practical and suitably stylish timepiece.
Rotary’s wallet friendly answer to the dress watch comes in the form of this stainless steel, ultra slim timepiece. The ultra slim design, with a case profile of 5.7mm makes it the quintessential dress watch as it will fit snugly underneath the cuff of a dress shirt. This allows it to be a smart but unobtrusive addition to a formal outfit.
The sapphire crystal of this piece makes it suitable for everyday wear as it provides protection from scuffs and scratches. The roman numerals that feature on the dial maintain the traditional appearance of a dress watch. Meanwhile, the textured leather strap, water resistance to 50m and date aperture at the 3 o’clock position bring aspects of modern style and functionality to the piece.
A tan leather strap sets this piece apart from more traditional dress watches, making it a perfect addition to a pre-existing collection. This Michel Herbelin piece subverts expectation by neglecting the traditional monochromatic colour scheme. This watch certainly brings a modern twist to a classic style. The characteristic pale dial is maintained with an elegant shade of champagne, complementing the tan colour of the leather strap and white contrast stitching.
The dial features the number twelve in silver to match the hands, and the rest of the hours are marked by black indices. A date aperture is included at the 6 o’clock point and the dial is framed by a stainless-steel case and bezel. Perfect for the man who has everything, or for those who like to make a statement with their accessorising, this piece will bring a hint of French elegance and modernity to any special occasion.
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