How to choose a perfect dress watch for men?

I read somewhere that a good watch is one which makes the wearer feel good and I guess it is true most of the time. But I believe that for a dress watch, it requires more than that. Going to a business meeting or a socializing activity, you may not want to wear a sports watch together with your suit. For me, a dress watch must a match with the suit the man is wearing as well as the situation he is in. Here comes our guide to choose a perfect dress watch.

1. The movement

Just like any other watches, a dress watch needs a good movement. Without any doubt, Swiss movement is still the best. The question is what kind of movement you want for your dress watch?

Mechanical movement seems to be interesting considering the high level of craftsmanship. However, this kind of movement requires more maintenance efforts. If it is manual movement, you will have to remember to wind it. If the watch is “self-winding”, you need to wear it often to assure the accuracy of the watch.

Otherwise, a quartz movement can be a smart choice. Powered by battery, quartz watches are more accurate and cheaper than mechanical watches.

2. The dial

Let’s face it! You do not need a watch with big diamonds or a chronograph to be outstanding in a meeting with your business partners. Neither do you need a watch with a dive time tracker, a countdown timer or a compass in a ceremony.

A dress watch is meant to be used when you are in special or formal occasions, thus, simplicity is the best. The only function it should serve is to tell you the time. The ideal dress watch should have a clean and minimalistic look, with 2–3 hands and maybe the date. Moreover, go with the classic round dial shape! I have seen some men wearing a suit with a square-dial watch and believe me, you do not want to do so. It makes an awkward combination with the elegant look of suits and leather shoes.

Regarding the dial color, a plain white or black dial can be combined with anything. Coloured dials can also add some flavour to your outfit if only you do it right. For example, a blue background on the dial can be paired with a blue suit.

The dial size should, additionally, fit your wrist size. Do not choose a watch which is too big for you. It will attract attention, which may not be the type of attention you want to receive. You may not want a too small dial either since it does not have any substantial effects on your appearance at all.

3. The case

The case of a dress watch should be soft around the dial edge with minimum details in order to bring about a subtle elegance. It is important to choose a case type which matches your outfit.

If you have a watch case of white metals like steel, platinum or white gold, combine it with clothes and accessories with grey, blue and black shades. However, if your watch has gold-plated, it should go with things in earthy tones.

Another tip is to pay attention to metal details in your outfit such as cuff links, belt buckle and ring. As an illustration, it would be smart to match a yellow gold-case watch with a yellow gold belt buckle and a gold ring.

4. The strap

There are some variations of watch strap out there. However, Nato strap may look too casual while bracelet makes the impression that your watch is on display all the time. I believe that a thin leather strap is the best choice for a dress watch. Genuine leather is obviously a must to create a comfortable feeling for the wearer.

When it comes to the color of the leather strap, you may want to consider its fit with your shoes and belt. When you have brown shoes and brown belt, your dress watch should have a brown leather strap. Black shoes and black belt, nevertheless, should go with a black leather strap. A color match will contribute to a perfect look.

It is also convenient, in this case, to have a dress watch with interchangeable straps. This will allow you to simply change the strap types or colors to make a good match with your clothes and other accessories.

I hope our tips are useful for you in the search for a perfect dress watch. I can also suggest you take a look at our watches in the Von Doren’s Limited Founder Collection . Maybe one of them can be your new dress watch?

(This blog post was orginally written by me for Von Doren-Fine Timepieces)