Stainless goes with almost everything. Black leather watches can look awfully dressed up. It’s a brown leather band watch that acts as the workhorse for most of us on most days. So since we’re going to use one a lot, might as well make sure it looks great… right?
Ten watches follow. Some are quartz, some automatic, some are sporty and some would be more appropriate with a suit. There’s a range of different details but they all have two things in common… They come with a brown leather strap (or look awfully good with one) and none of them cost more than $300.
Seiko SNDA65 – $184.05 (brown leather strap is a post purchase customization)
Undeniable proof that black and brown sometimes do go very well together. Pic courtesy of longtime reader Ben E., who’s been putting up with this website for longer than most. Seiko’s SNDA65 chrono comes equipped with a black nylon strap, but when swapped out for a brown leather with white contrast stitching it gets a whole new look. Not that the first look was anything short of great. A warning: The diameter of the dial is 44mm, so it’s on the larger side.
Expensive. Also a quartz. But perhaps one of the most perfect blends of classic influence, chronograph details, and sport style. All without getting too big or too fast looking. 40mm in width.
Meanwhile over in the world of slimmed down and dressed up… Roman numerals on a white dial keep it, as the kids would say… “crisp.” Sapphire crystal at a real affordable price.
Not everyone likes the brown strap and brown dial look. Black on black seems to work much better. But both of these are automatics with clean dials, under $200, and the black strap on the 96A111 would be easy enough to switch out for something like the strap on the brown on brown 108.
Swatch can make some real strange looking watches. Luckily this isn’t one of them. Black dial and a cognac band. Lots going on with the face, but it is a chrono with a tachometer around the outer edge.
Orient Vintage Automatic – $212.50 w/code DapperedOctober ($425)
Gave this away back in September and it certainly belongs on this list. One of those watches that’ll change your opinion on what you think you can and can’t pull off. Don’t think you can pull off a cream dial? This one you almost certainly could. Automatic, well proportioned, blue hands, and just over $200.
Part of October’s most wanted list. Now if it could just go on sale for say, under $200. That might be wishful thinking. Dial is actually a very deep navy despite showing up as black in the online pics. (Photo Credit)
A newer release from Timex that looks suspiciously like the now defunct “TX” brand. Well under $200, comes equipped with their “intelligent” quartz which can do a host of things most quartz can’t, and new styling that continues to move Timex in the right direction. Available with an unusually nice brown leather strap and stark white dial (too stark for some), or a very mean looking black on black. Don’t like the numbers along the outside of the dial? They make a more subtle, cleaned up rugged version as well as an ion plated option with a sand colored strap.
Oooh. Damn. It’s back. This is good. But it’s not on sale. That’s not so good. Ships free from Timex and worth keeping an eye out for codes. Blue dial is somewhat reminiscent of the Tag Heurer Monaco. (Somewhat.)
Big and clean. Not a light silver dial, not a brown dial, not a black dial, but a deep medium grey dial. The diameter of the case is 44mm, so big but not huge, but all that space on between the numbers and hash marks on the dial will end up dwarfing a small wrist. Pretty minimalist for a chronograph. Terrific font for the numbers. Pointed hour hand and squared off minute. Not cheap.
Your turn as always. What’s your personal go-to brown leather strap watch? Got a favorite of those mentioned above? Additional suggestions in the comments section…