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Style Guide: How To Choose The Right Men's Dress Watch

Dressing up in a suit and tie is part and parcel of attending any formal event, but if you want to get a little fancier, accessorising with an elegant dress watch is the way to go.

There are plenty of amazing Swiss watches for men. The question is, what makes a great dress watch?

As opposed to a sports watch or everyday watch, dress watches are primarily selected based on their aesthetics. In other words, you don’t need a lot of fancy features or high-tech innovations on your dress watch – unless you are attending an event for collectors and you really want to impress, that is!

Expensive, luxury watches can make great dress watches, but depending on the crowd at the event, some jewellery watches may be too extravagant. You just have to gauge your audience to determine how ‘dressed up’ you should be.

As a general guide, simple, elegant watches are still the most versatile, while making you look dapper and respectable. Here are some things to look for when choosing a dress watch: 

1. Watch size

A dress watch is an accessory, not your entire outfit. As such, you don’t want it to overwhelm your entire look with its big, bulky size.

When choosing a dress watch, take care to choose one that complements your wrist size. Most dress watches fit easily under the sleeve cuffs.

2. Go minimal

While the primary function of a watch is to tell time, we have to admit that even time takes a backseat when it comes to dress watches. Of course, the watch still has to function, but it is possible to do away with features like the second hand or high-contrast dials.

A clean watch face makes for a very versatile and elegant dress watch. But if you like to have something a little unique, you can opt to have some subtle prints or patterns. As an example, it’s worth taking a look at Leonard Montres’ black timepieces in the La Mode Circular Collection, which features a subtle touch of shiny dots reminiscent of a starry night sky.

3. Materials matter

Considering the functions of a dress watch, you don’t necessarily need the toughest materials to form your dress watch. However, having reasonably durable materials that also look good can surely elevate the appearance of your timepiece.

Classics like gold and silver can hardly go wrong. You can also explore materials like mother of pearl or enamel for the watch dial – each of these materials have a different shine and texture, which really contribute something unique to the look. 

4. Match wisely

To leather, or not to leather? Many people consider leather straps as the classic choice for dress watches. However, how you match it is important! One easy way to decide which colour strap to go for is by looking at your dress shoes and belt – they should be of the same tone.

Gold or silver-coloured bracelets are also acceptable for dress watches. To look more well put together, match gold with warm colours like brown, beige, and maroon, and silver with cool colours like navy and grey. If you’ll be attending formal occasions frequently, you could consider getting a watch with interchangeable straps so you can match them to different outfits.

5. Heritage timepieces

There are exceptions when it comes to dress watches, and here is one of them: if you have a timepiece that has significant cultural, historical, or personal value to it, you can break some of the style rules for it. In these cases, the story behind it overrides how it looks with your outfit.

A vintage luxury Swiss watch passed down from two generations ago, for example, will be a fantastic conversation starter, and adds character to your attire. After all, a watch is ultimately an accessory that should bring out the personality of the wearer.

If you are getting your first dress watch, these guidelines will definitely come in handy for you. We welcome you to begin your search here; Leong Poh Kee has a robust selection of beautiful dress watches you can take your pick from! But as with all things style-related, there are no hard and fast rules. Depending on your style, personality, and the occasion, some rules are meant to be broken. The great thing is, if you have a versatile watch, it can see you through all kinds of events effortlessly!


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