We cover a LOT of divers and other tool style watches on this site. But whatever happened to the daily dress watch? You know, the one, simple, dressy watch your Dad or Grandpa would wear every day with everything? The watch that was HIS watch. The one he was almost never seen without. If you’re the less-is-more type, that might be your style. Here’s a bunch of watches that hit those notes, across a price spectrum that most would consider to be affordable and accessible.
Timex Milano 38mm Leather Strap Watch – $79.20 w/ LOVE20 ($99)
The tonneau shaped case supports a dead simple collection of indices, hands, and font. All quietly combining against a super subtle, barely noticeable sunburst texture on the dial, to look like something that Don guy mighta worn. Full review here if you’d like to read it.
Simple, simple… and simple. Automatic movement here, and a more traditional round case instead of barrel shape of the Timex Milano. Stick hands and indices. Lots of clean space. Domed crystal. Full review here.
MVMT might not be given much of a chance by a lot of style-conscious guys, and that’s probably unfair. This is our guy DeJuan’s daily watch. He loves it. Clean lines, that rose gold toned case is handsome, and it’s affordable. Hard not to like.
Simple. Clean. The band is super flimsy, but the watch itself feels decent enough for the price. Just 37mm in diameter, so best for guys looking for something with a (very) classic size, or, happen to have smaller wrists.
The latest incarnation of the “Q” reissue series. And in regards to the daily dress watch style? It’s perfect. Also sold out. Timex keeps hitting home runs, and can’t keep their wins available for purchase!
Another Orient, which is unsurprising. They excel at this type of watch. Maybe the classiest watch Orient has come out with. Everything you’d expect from a Bambino. Simple dial. Domed crystal. And now, that perfectly proportioned and placed small seconds sub dial. Full review of this thing can be found here.
Timex went really, really deep into the archives on this one. Everything from the VERY small case (34mm) to the hand wind movement to the font to the strap screams Mad-Men era. One of their more popular releases in the last few years. Sometimes goes on sale at Todd Snyder.
Seiko “Cocktail Time” Automatic – $320 – $425 (depending on sales)
This one might actually be a little too flashy for a daily wearer. A favorite of watch aficionados, this one has an almost iridescent blueish-silver dial, super sharp hands and indices, an exhibition case back, and a black band with some gloss as well as blue accent stitching. Case size is a pleasing for many 40.5mm, and the movement hacks and hand winds. Seiko did a reboot of this design in the last few years. Head here for an explainer of what they changed.
Uncluttered with a nostalgic logo, the Visodate was originally created to celebrate Tissot’s 100th anniversary back in the 1950s. Case size is 40mm, which is perfect for many of us. Sapphire crystal with an exhibition case-back. Comes in a few different color schemes.
Pure class. The hands, the roman numerals, the texture to the dial, the script font of “Le Locle”, the exhibition caseback… these things have it all. Swiss made. 39mm in diameter. Love that small seconds dial at six o’clock. Wish they woulda gone with a black backed date window with a white date so it blended in a bit better, but that’s a small personal preference. Sale prices shown above are via Nordstrom Rack, which also means you should be getting the full manufacturer’s warranty, being that these were originally stocked at Nordy, didn’t sell, and got moved onto The Rack.
Highly similar to the Tissot Visodate, only slimmer and with a more textured and intricate face. A classic that’s never gonna go out of style. 40mm case diameter is perfect for most wrist sizes. Swiss made. Just a 50m water resistance, but, this is a dress watch through and through. Price above is about what you’ll pay at a gray market dealer. But if you wanna go through an authorized dealer to get the manufacture’s warranty, try Nordstrom. Sometimes they’ll price-match a rare sale and you can get it for a deal WITH the warranty.
Leaning heavily towards sporty, but still absolutely worth inclusion. The lack of any sort of dive bezel or any wacky complications means Lorier’s Falcon probably belongs on this list. Heck, it doesn’t even have a date window. Keeps things super symmetrical. 36mm in diameter, so not some hunking piece of steel. Find the full review here.
A more than acceptable, and far less expensive alternative to the Rolex Explorer. 38mm, which is both timeless and right on trend. Simple, no nonsense, and equipped with a dependable Seiko automatic movement. It appears that Seiko has discontinued this model, so getting your hands on one could be near impossible.
They are beautiful, they are simple, and… they are expensive. To the point where customers just don’t seem to be as willing to shell out for them as some of their other designs. The movement is a Swiss Quartz, but after that, the whole thing is assembled here in the United States using USA sourced parts. Does go on sale sometimes, but that’s a rare occurrence.
Another great find from Nordstrom Rack. Big fan of the just-different-enough seconds hand that’s been offset at 8 o’clock. 42mm case diameter. Onion-style crown and date window at 3 o’clock. Razor sharp hands. Extremely versatile. An heirloom to pass on. One of those watches that’s gonna look just as impressive in 30 years as it does now.
This is, perhaps, pushing the style boundaries here. It leans more casual, but should still do well in almost all stylistic situations. Do know that it does wear bigger than most of the other watches on this list. 42mm with 22mm lugs, and wears every bit of that size. This is the watch from Interstellar. Full review here (of the watch, not the movie) if you want it.
Another watch from Hamilton. This thing is a tuxedo for your wrist. Only oddly enough, it’s a tux that looks just as good dressed down as it does dressed up. One of their new, refreshed and retro leaning designs. 80 hr power reserve. Sapphire Crystal. 20mm lugs and black leather band, but it could look great on a dark brown band if a black band isn’t your thing? Love that stylized “H” logo and italicized branding. Off white dial that can look white in some lights, but not stark either. Bravo to Hamilton on this one.
So what’d we miss? Got a favorite daily dress watch that should have made our list? Send those and any other style tips into firstname.lastname@example.org