One timepiece every style-conscious man should have in his collection is a great dress watch. With the rise of luxury sport and utility watches, it’s all too easy to overlook this men’s style staple but you definitely shouldn’t. This discreet and traditional style of watch remains the mark of a true gentleman.
The ideal dress watch is elegant, fuss-free and beautifully made. It needs to complement the smooth lines of evening wear without ever taking centre stage. In short, this isn’t a watch that should wear you. It should tell the time and look amazing without being the focus of your look.
Some traditional versions even forego a second hand for the sake of perfectly balanced elegance. A leather strap is often a hallmark, allowing the watch to slide effortlessly beneath a perfectly tailored white shirt.
Stainless steel can also work well though, as long as the design is clean and minimalist. When searching for your perfect dress watch you should try to choose a model that feels timeless, foregoing current trends for strong, simple design.
Looking for inspiration? Below we have rounded up 10 of the best men's luxury dress watches.
1. Rolex Datejust
The Datejust is a style classic, and rightly so. The first Datejust was released back in 1945 and has been a hit with watch lovers ever since. Even though the iconic timepiece has been through a variety of incarnations, it’s the strength of the core design that makes it a great fit as a dress watch.
This pre-owned Datejust 16220 model, with its narrow stainless steel jubilee bracelet and simple black dial, offers unobtrusive luxury that is the perfect partner for eveningwear. Silver baton hour markers add a further layer of discreet indulgence, while the unique cyclops lens is instantly recognisable. It feels restrained, stylish and quietly indulgent. Wear this Datejust with immaculate tailoring and you can’t go wrong.
2. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra
The OMEGA Seamaster may not be the first watch that springs to mind when you think of dress watches, but the pared back Aqua Terra is discreet enough to work as a formal accessory.
This two-tone OMEGA Men’s Seamaster Aqua Terra brings a nautical feel to your look with a subtle ‘teak’ pattern, balanced by rose gold hour markers. The two-tone gold and silver design adds an easy elegance to this timepiece, while the brown leather strap can easily be paired with shoes and belts.
The OMEGA Seamaster is also a favourite of 007 himself, appearing in no less than seven James Bond films. If it’s good enough for the world’s most stylish spy then it certainly makes the grade for us. This is a modern interpretation of the classic dress watch which will quickly become one of your go-to accessories.
3. Montblanc 4810 Chronograph Automatic
Montblanc makes some of the most beautiful and thoughtful watches around and their dress watches are no exception. We would normally warn against getting too complex when it comes to dials on dress watches, but there is something about the clean monochrome styling of this Montblanc Chronograph that feels like the perfect fit for your formal wardrobe.
The black dial of the Montblanc 4810 Chronograph Automatic is embellished with a stunning star pattern guilloche and punctuated by clean white markers in the form of Roman numerals. The addition of a classic black crocodile strap adds to the easy wearability and perfect balance of this attractive timepiece.
This is a watch for someone who dares to be just a little different, to push style boundaries. Wear this watch with an immaculate black suit to feel perfectly put together.
4. Tudor Style Steel & Black
Tudor has learned a lot from its big brother Rolex when it comes to great watchmaking and the brand offers some attractive options for highly wearable dress watches.
This Tudor Men's Style Steel & Black 41mm borrows from the very best of classic design, influenced by watch styles from the 1940s through to the 1970s. The resulting watch pairs the best of modern design with a distinctly vintage sensibility. The combination of a black lacquered dial, black leather strap and steel accents feels strongly masculine, while retaining an easy elegance that makes this timepiece incredibly wearable.
The fluted bezel and batons on this model are also cleverly designed to catch the light, adding a subtle glint to your evening look. Neutral, handsome and surprisingly affordable, this Tudor is a great all-rounder that will be a welcome addition to your watch collection.
5. Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 5
TAG Heuer is a sought-after name in the world of luxury watches and the Carrera is perhaps the most iconic model in their collection, following its hugely successful launch back in 1963. The Carrera is traditionally associated with an overtly sporty look, however the Carrera Calibre 5 offers a more streamlined option, making it an ideal dress watch.
This model above is a great option for men who want a formal timepiece with just a little extra drama. A jet-black dial with bold silver hour markers is flanked by a masculine stainless-steel body and bracelet. The large dial and luminescent embellishments make for easy readability after dark.
The Carrera Calibre 5 is strong and stylish, balancing the bold proportions of a substantial luxury watch with an easy grace. This is a timepiece that will never let you down.
6. Chopard Men's Classic 40mm
Swiss watchmaker Chopard understands timeless style and the brand's luxury jewellery and timepieces showcase the bold and the traditional in perfect balance.
The Chopard Classic collection puts clean, elegant design front and centre, making it the perfect choice for your dress watch.
This Chopard Men’s Classic watch features a beautiful rose gold case with a clean, uncluttered face embellished with simple roman numeral hour markers and a small date window. A soft black alligator strap provides a further subtle touch of luxury. This is the ideal watch for partnering with black tie or evening wear.
7. Longines Men's Flagship Steel Automatic
Longines is a brand that has existed from the earliest days of watchmaking, with a long, illustrious history and a knack for creating watches of both style and substance.
This Longines Men's Flagship Steel Automatic watch has a vintage flavour that feels instinctively masculine. Based on a classic 1953 design, this is the type of watch that will never be out of fashion. The clever use of steel feels clean and solid, while a dramatic black dial provides a distinctive focal point.
The silver bezel, hands, and baton fit perfectly with the solid, timeless feel of the steel watch case and bracelet. A transparent back case is a nice touch and means you can see the finely tuned mechanism at work. By keeping the colour palette restrained and the design strong, Longines has created a watch that will take you anywhere. Pair it with black for a dramatic, monochrome look.
8. Breitling Men’s Superocean Heritage II
There is no denying that Breitling produces some very good-looking sports and utility watches. The brand's long history in aviation means that the utility watches are technically excellent, however many feature large and busy dials which may be overpowering for dress or business wear.
So, are any of their models cut out to be worn solely as a dress watch? In a word, yes. Showing that beauty and precision can go hand in hand, the Breitling Men’s Superocean Heritage II is one of the most attractive men’s watches around and it’s ideal for work or play.
A unique and impressive steel aerated bracelet provides a stunning backdrop for an inky blue dial and bezel which are embellished with silver baton markers and silver sword hands. This is a watch for lovers of bold, uncompromising style.
9. Bremont Men's Solo CR Pilot
Bremont was founded in 2002 by brothers Nick and Giles English and the first collection launched in 2007. Although the British brand is a relative newcomer to the watch scene, it has already obtained a passionate following and looking at the Bremont Men's Solo CR Pilot Watch it’s not hard to see why.
This timepiece has a distinctive design that feels both retro and very modern, utilising classic elements alongside new ideas.
The Solo was designed with pilots in mind. Oversized number markers, a robust case and fuss-free black leather strap are key parts of the design personality. This is a dress watch for someone who wants to step beyond the classic names and into a new era of luxury wrist wear.
10. Rolex Air-King Watch
Rolex, so good it made our list twice. The Datejust may be the obvious choice when it comes to choosing a dress watch but the less decadent Rolex Air-King watch offers an impressively stylish alternative.
Developed in the 1930’s as an easy to read pilots watch, this 1997 Air-King retains some of that jazz age sensibility. There is no added fuss here, it’s all about clean lines and elegant restraint. We love the polished Arabic numerals set against a deep black dial with sweeping silver hands.
The wearable steel Oyster bracelet lends an air of classic masculinity to this watch. It is the perfect fit for a man who wants classic design, quiet luxury and effortless performance.
Do you Have any More Questions?
At Burrells, we understand that a watch is much more than an accessory or even a timepiece. It’s a reflection of who you are. That’s why we travel the world to bring you the most beautiful watches around. What’s more, our friendly team speaks your language - always on hand to answer your queries and provide expert advice. Quite simply, we love watches as much as you do. To speak to one of our experts, you can contact us here.
What’s your dream dress watch? Explore the models above and many more luxury watches online or in-store today at Burrells.
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