Dress watches are some of the most expensive watches for men. And yet they only have one basic function, which is to tell you the time.
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Dress watches are expensive because the look truly elegant. It doesn’t matter that they don’t offer functions for diving or for working out, or that they look out of place when you’re in jeans and a shirt. That simple, understated style goes well with a business suit, a formal jacket, or even a tux. When you’re in a serious workplace meeting or a formal social occasion, then you need a serious and formal dress watch to match your attire.
But the truth of the matter is that dress watches—even the good ones—don’t have to be expensive at all. As proof, here are some of the most elegant timepieces for men which come with affordable price tags.
Tissot Heritage Visodate
The Tissot Heritage Visodate exemplifies many of the qualities you’ll want in a dress watch. It has a stainless steel bezel, and silver dial with silver-tone hands and hour markers. There are no numbers on the markers, which emphasizes its understated simplicity. On the dial you get a functional day and date, and that’s it.
The case measures a modest 40 mm, so it’s not obnoxiously large. It’s also 11.6 mm thick, which is fine on men’s wrists. The strap is brown calfskin leather with a 20 mm thickness. It’s also not too heavy at 2.72 ounces.
The automatic mechanical movement keeps time accurately, which you should expect in a proper dress watch. It’s even “somewhat” water resistant, which means you probably won’t have to remove it when you wash your hands. It’s a versatile watch because while you can use it when you’re wearing a suit, and yet it looks great even in casual wear.
Seiko SARB065 “Cocktail Time”
You will appreciate the look of the Seiko Sarbo65 Cocktail Time. Its guilloche sunburst dial will truly shine in any formal occasion. The silver dial gives off a sort of radial sunburst pattern that catches the eye in a subtle way. The dial radiates even in low light, so the face of the watch seems to shimmer in its own brilliance.
The diameter of the case is 40 mm, which is a good enough size without being too big, although the 13mm thickness may be an issue for some.
It’s water resistant up to 50 meters, and the domed hardlex crystal provides scratch protection. The Seiko Caliber 6R15 movement is accurate enough, as you only gain or lose a few seconds each day. All in all, this watch looks amazing without being flashy, and that makes it perfect for dressy occasions.
Victorinox Alliance Mechanical
The Victorinox Alliance Mechanical is another good example of an affordable dress watch. The company logo denotes the 12:00 marker, and the only numbers here are for 3, 5, and 9 o’clock with minute markers in the outer rim. The sword-like hands and markers are luminescent. The date display is right above the 6 o’clock position.
The sapphire dial window offers scratch resistance, and again the understated 40 mm case diameter keeps everything elegant. The thickness is also just 11 mm. The calfskin band measures 18 mm wide.
This watch is water resistant up to 100 meters. The Swiss automatic movement also keeps time quite reliably. With its nice design and affordable price tag, this one is a bargain.
Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic
Again, we have the Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic following the dress watch template. The minimalist look is achieved with its stainless steel case, silver dial, and silver tone hands and markers. Numbers denote the 6, 9, and 12 o’clock position, with the date at 3 o’clock. Even the Hamilton logo seems inconspicuous. The brown leather strap lends an air of formality to this timepiece.
Time is kept accurately by the automatic movement, and the sapphire crystal for the dome window keeps the watch from getting scratched. It’s even water resistant to 50 meters, which means you won’t have to remove it when you’re in the shower.
Orient Bambino 3
The Orient Bambino 3 dress watch is unique because the dial is a deep blue shade that somehow has an air of gravitas. The case is also just 40 mm and it is 12 mm thick. The black calfskin strap is 21 mm wide. It also keeps time well with its automatic self wind movement. But it’s the deep blue dial that will really catch your eye. There’s a small date window, but there are no numbers to detract from the overall design.