Unlike a chronograph or a dive watch, the requirements for a good dress watch are usually not so easy to define. After all, thanks to a certain James Bond, even divers with a tuxedo are widely socially acceptable these days.
But if you really want to upgrade your tuxedo/suit look, you will not get around a proper dress watch. It should be flat enough to disappear under your shirt cuff. Minimalist enough not to draw attention to itself. Timeless enough to still look good in 50 years.
Let us show you five models that are not only all purely mechanical, but also guaranteed to stand the test of time and currently sell for under €1,000.
The model from the Baroncelli Heritage line shown here presents itself as extremely unobtrusive, making it the predestined dress watch. While the entire dial exercises restraint, only the blued seconds hand elegantly attracts the wearers’ attention.
Another aspect is the incredibly flat case of only 7.3mm, which is really something considering its automatic movement ETA 2892-A2 – a true guarantor for precision and longevity by the way.
Another suitable candidate is Hamilton’s Intra-Matic. At 42mm, this timepiece is slightly larger in diameter than the Mido at 39mm, but still brings true dress watch qualifications to the table.
In particular the uncluttered dial, characterized by the fine hairline indices and the omission of the seconds hand, reduces the watch to its essentials. Furthermore, the watch’s classic monochrome design language proves to be extremely easy to combine, as the interplay of black and gray can really be pulled off with anything.
Those who have looked in vain for a touch of sportiness in the Mido or Hamilton might now take a liking to the third watch in the bunch. Even if the combination of blue dial and black leather strap in alligator look speaks a clear language, aspects like the more pronounced indices or the “crosshair dial” do take some of the elegance away.
Another highlight is for sure the built-in Powermatic 80 movement, which not only makes use of anti-magnetic silicon components, but also boasts a remarkable power reserve of 80 hours.
Probably no one will disagree with us when we say that the biggest strength of Junghans is the production of elegant and classic wristwatches. However, besides the almost emblematic max bill collection, there is another stunning collection that we feel like tends to get slightly overlooked: the Junghans Meister.
The Meister Automatic shown here in particular is in our eyes a perfect entry into the world of high-quality automatic watches (or dress watches for that matter), combining a solid automatic movement with an absolutely timeless design that would look great with any suit. (Not to mention the fact that with a Junghans, you’re getting a watch from what was once the world’s largest watchmaker).
The inimitable shine and almost creamy texture of a genuine enamel dial are two aspects that are actually reserved for watches in the (high) five-digit range. Well yes, but actually no…
With the Presage SPB047J1, Seiko has a killer watch in its repertoire that is full of surprises. For starters, it has an enamel dial, fired by Seiko’s very own skilled artisans in Japan. In addition, you get thermally blued hands, an in-house caliber with 50 hours power reserve and a genuine crocodile leather strap. Bottom line: This Seiko Presage model is one of the best watches you can get for your money – regardless of any price range. (Strictly speaking, the SPB047J1 has an MSRP of €1,100. However, it can easily be had online for a three-digit price tag.)
Even more dress watches are available in our online store of course.