We love few things like we love dressing up, but let’s face it: it’s not the most affordable hobby we could have chosen. From the bespoke suits to the Italian leather shoes, formalwear is a pricey endeavour. The stylish man splurges when he can, saves when he has to, and has the wisdom to know the difference. These 10 men’s dress watches are the best of both worlds – they look like splurges, but are secretly saves.
Tissot Heritage Visodate Silver Dial Automatic
Rewind to the 1950s, when Tissot celebrated its centenary with a series of innovations. One was the integration of a date function to the automatic mechanism of its watches, a feature dubbed Visodate. The Tissot Heritage Visodate translates nostalgia into 21st century timekeeping with a curved dial and domed sapphire glass, a reliable Swiss-made automatic movement, an exhibition case back and a deployment clasp.
Hamilton Spirit of Liberty Auto
The Hamilton Watch Company has been making timepieces since the early 1890s and became part of the Swatch Group – the world’s largest watch manufacturer – in 1971. The Spirit of Liberty watch is part of Hamilton’s Timeless Classic series, which takes the brand back to its roots and builds a bridge from history to modernity. Note the laser-engraved quote on the strap: “Without liberty, life is a misery.”
Daniel Wellington Classic Cardiff
The clean dial and unassuming size of Daniel Wellington’s Classic Cardiff lends itself well to formal attire. Relaxed and unpretentious, but still elegant, the Classic Cardiff features a strikingly simple design – ultra-thin rose gold or silver case, eggshell dial, brown leather strap – and a Japanese Quartz Movement. The straps are interchangeable, so you can customise your look. A classic and affordable dress watch.
Skagen Ancher Steel Mesh Watch
Skagen takes its inspiration from the contemporary Danish design movement, so expect quality mixed with streamlined style and simplicity. The Ancher Steel Mesh Watch clearly comes from that ethos. There is no clutter, no ostentation, no unnecessary complexities – just a minimalist, polished timepiece that won’t cost you a fortune and won’t distract from your suit.
Frédérique Constant Classics Range
The Classics collection from Frédérique Constant brings together beautiful design, technological achievement and pricing that’s impossible to ignore. In total, 9 unique automatic models make up the range, each with individual styling but a shared FC-303 automatic calibre with 26 jewels and all with sleek lines and uncluttered dials. Expect high-end quality and aesthetic standards, without the high-end price.
TW Steel Slimline
TW Steel’s mantra is “Big in Oversized Watches” – so what happens when they embrace the resurgence of slim watches? Answer: the TW Steel Slimline collection. The range encompasses 10 pieces with a classic, more formal design. All models utilise a Miyota 1S13 movement, and as far as aesthetics go, you have your choice of cases, dial colours and leather straps.
Casio produces a little bit of everything, from cameras to calculators to the infamous G-Shock watches, but it’s probably not the first brand that comes to mind when you’re in the market for something formal. The Casio MTP-1302L-1AV may be the watch to change that. Not only is it elegant and inexpensive, it’s a couples watch – so you can surprise your lady friend with one, too.
Miansai M12 Silver
Miansai’s famously nautical-inspired bracelets have become a mainstay on men’s wrists, so it’s no surprise founder Michael Saiger has branched out into actual watches this year. The M12 is a big step for the brand: designed in Miansai’s Miami HQ, but powered by a Swiss-made quartz movement. Other key details include a pared-down, mid-century-ish face and coloured Italian leather straps.
Triwa Sort of Black Gold
Sort of Black Gold is a collaboration between Rasmus Storm and Triwa. Available in both chronograph and non-chronograph versions, these watches are, to put it lightly, eye-catching. The design is all gold, with the exception of black detailing on the hands, letting variations in texture and depth serve as indicators. Opt for a black leather strap if you want something slightly more subtle, or the gold-plated stainless steel if you’re feeling bold.
Larsson & Jennings Saxon
The Saxon series shows Anglo-Swedish watchmakers Larssons & Jennings at their best: luxurious but contemporary, classic but minimalistic, British yet Swedish. Featuring a slimmed-down 39mm angular case and bezel, the watches feature brushed 316L stainless steel, sculpted hands, minimal indexing and Anti-Reflective coated crystal sapphire glass. Three styles are offered, including silver, black and gold.