Recognisable by their effortless elegance and lightweight design, dress watches have a charming simplicity that appeals to many, both devout watch lovers and watch newbies alike. With so many options to choose from, we have curated a list of our Top 5 Men’s Dress Watches for 2023.
It is precisely this simplicity that made the dress watch a refreshing evolution from its utilitarian predecessors. The military and pilot wristwatch styles popularised by the World Wars were developed to be used in rugged warfare conditions. For instance, pilot watches had various capabilities such as time-keeping for multiple time zones, and luminous hands that could be read in the dark. But when the wars ended, there was a reduced need for the excess features these styles provided. Where the military and pilot styles had prioritised readability, durability and multi-functionality, dress watches fulfilled the sudden demand for the opposite. Echoing the same lightweight sentiments of the pocket-watch in conjunction with this new, more functional wrist strap style, they became a sought-after accompaniment to business and smart occasion wear into the mid-1900s.
With their continued popularity even today, finding the perfect dress watch can be daunting in a market that is saturated with so many stunning and viable options. Below, we have compiled a short list to help you out.
Our Top 5 Men’s Dress Watches 2023
The perfect all-rounder: Accurist Classic Mens Silver Dial Black Leather Strap 73004
First on the list is this sophisticated, antique-inspired Accurist piece. Its standout gold indices create a beautiful contrast against its silver dial and lugs, making it a versatile addition to any formal attire. Due to its classic design, this model is a perfect all-rounder and an ideal gift for any age. Moreover, despite being at the more affordable end of the spectrum, this watch does not skimp on quality. Complete with a black genuine leather strap, it also boasts ultra scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass, making it a long-lasting investment and the first model on our Top 5 Men’s Dress Watches 2023 list.
The neo-antique: STERNGLAS Berlin Quartz Sepia Gold (38mm) Brown Leather Strap S01-BE14-HE01
Next up, vintage meets minimalism with the stunning STERNGLAS Berlin. With a typeface nostalgic of the dress watch’s 1920 roots, this timepiece is full of hidden surprises. From the beautifully detailed engraving of the Berlin rail station from the brand’s hometown of Hamburg on the case back to the textured cowhide leather strap, no detail is spared with this model. Its sepia satined dial and gold case and brown leather strap also make it a great warm-toned contender. At the reasonable price point of £219, the STERNGLAS Berlin is a unique and worthwhile addition to any watch lover’s collection.
The subtle statement piece: Rotary Men’s Ultra Slim Blue Dial Blue Leather Strap GS08013/05
For those looking for a characterful yet sleek pop of colour, this Rotary model may be the option for you. The trendy navy blue dial and leather strap against its gold indices is certainly eye-catching. But conversely, its ultra-thin design also gives the wearer the option to let it sit below the shirt cuff too. Beyond initial impressions, the Rotary also features stylish details such as its textured dial and a date window. A fit choice for any occasion, both casual and formal.
The unsubtle statement piece: Roamer Optimus Automatic Champagne Dial Black Leather Strap 983983 48 35 05
If you’re on the hunt for a more premium dress watch, look no further. Boasting an impressive antique design, the Roamer Optimus oozes luxury through its gold case and champagne dial. Whilst it may be our most expensive contender, the Optimus’s luxury surpasses the superficial. Its thicker, stainless steel gold case flawlessly frames its pronounced gold indices. A true, unapologetic statement timepiece, this model is bound to make you stand out from the crowd.
The contemporary: Tissot Men’s Everytime Blue Dial Black Leather Strap T1434101604100
Prefer something a little more on the contemporary side? Tissot’s Everytime is a darker and more modern take on the dress watch and would be ideal for someone who is wanting a wristwatch to sharpen their appearance. The striking bright blue dial is a definite head-turner, which is well paired with a more understated black leather strap. The Everytime’s silver case and detailing establishes it as the smarter, younger choice of our selection.
Have you seen any other models that you think should have made the Top 5 Men’s Dress Watches 2023 list? Let us know below!