The Curse of the Dress Watch

I constantly wonder why I am an outlier in my love of dress or dressier watches. 
 

I can’t believe it’s just an aesthetic preference - particularly when some “sports” watches are objectively just downright ugly. I have wondered whether we just don’t want to take care of our precious things as much as we perhaps used to. The proliferation of youtubers who will tell you a watch “shouldn’t be babied” or sells a watch on account of fear of scratching it, perhaps influences or represents a wider view. 
 

But to them I say - dudes, you are missing out!  Not only do dress watches bring elegance and in many cases interest to collections, their finer nature encourage us to really care for something we supposedly covet or think of as precious. 
 

Every time I wear my Reverso I think about it’s suitability for the day ahead and whether I should wear a shirt or jumper with a cuff to provide some protection. During the day I think about not flinging my arms around, and when I take it off, I put it away properly. It’s a ritual and a discipline that I associate with the privilege of owning something I truly value.

What do others think?

·

You are a gentleman and a scholar.  You are right, they are wrong.

My "good" watches are dress watches.  My beaters are "dress" watches.  In fact, I deny the existence of "dress watch" as a cognizable category of time piece.  It is just a watch that looks good.

If you are meeting people, representing a company, trying to impress a girl or whatever, wear a nice looking watch.  If you are eating ice cream from the container while watching television in your boxers, wear a G-Shock.  If you are going into the water:  Don't wear a watch, it will get ruined.

Anyway, I agree with you.

·

A dress watch is what's missing from my collection.  I have the iconic Omega chrono.  A gorgeous Breitling diver, which was a wedding gift from my wife.  A go anywhere, do anything piece from Omega.  A Hamilton that is out of this world.

But I'm missing a true dress watch.  The JLC Reverso (especially the midnight blue dial paired with a rich leather strap) may be the most beautiful watch in my opinion.  Unfortunately - and sadly - I don't think the JLC will look good on my 8" gorilla wrist. 

So my next piece will be a dress watch.  Perhaps a rose/pink gold Carl Bucherer large date?  We'll see.

Thanks for posting!

·

Love the Reverso!

I very rarely dress up, yet I love the idea of dress watches, and can't explain why.

I don't really have any watches that most people would categorize as true "dress watches", but I have a few that are "dressy" enough to be used if I ever do actually dress up. This includes an OP36, a Reverso Squadra Hometime, and a Santos De Cartier, all of which I happily wear with jeans and a t-shirt. 

·

That touches on a lot of themes I’ve considered recently. I’ve been consistently more drawn to elegance in watches rather than “tool” heritage. Not to say anything is wrong with sportier watches if that’s what people are into, I’m just increasingly interested in finer details, and don’t really feel like I’m incapable of wearing a basic “dress” watch responsibly. I own mostly sport watches now and am considering flipping a bunch. 

·

For me, a lot of dress watches are too plain and boring. Three hands, simple dial, polished markers, and a polished case. It doesn't do much for me. The Reverso is one of the exceptions and one that I hope to add to my collection. It has an interesting case, a great history, and a lot of different dial options.

·

I agree with @Aurelian and I’d add that you might be an outlier because so many watch hunters have a specs checklist and that – especially, but not exclusively, water resistance – eliminates a lot of dress watches.

·

The Reverso is fantastic. I love the procedure to wind and set the time of the manual movement. I think the Reverso pass the test to be dressy but with the right strap, as yours, it handle an casual outfit without problem. I don’t see any problem with water resistance for daily urban situations. The risc for scratches is real of course. 

·

No, you are not alone. I’m often picking up the odd random dress watch on the vintage market, particularly 60s/70s mechanicals. It’s a type of watch that seems to have gone out of style, but I enjoy wearing them.

·

I suspect the "sports" watch craze is more about the marketing done by companies, than about wanting more durability. 

Watch companies market sports watches with lots of cool things, like diving, mountain climbing, boating, etc.. People then think, "I want to be more adventurous, I'll buy a watch that can handle whatever I do", even if they do nothing more extreme than ride a subway to an office tower, followed by drinks after work. 

It's the same with off-road trucks and SUVs, most never drive down a road that's too rough for a Honda Civic. People buy them because of the image they present, and the marketing. 

It also helps that fashion has become far more casual over time, so less men in particular aspire to be "dapper", and would rather comfortable/casual/rugged. 

·

I love dress watches too and am planning on slowly increasing my collection as I can afford.

I do feel different when I wear a dress watch. Just more 'put together' somehow. Even though no one else would even notice what watch I was wearing, I know. Perhaps it's something to do with subconsciously valuing and trusting yourself to wear something prescious? I have no idea. Maybe I have a seriously broken psyche if a watch makes a difference to how I feel 🤔

Regarding looking after a watch, I definitely don't go out looking for ways to scratch my watch, but I'm certainly not the type to not wear one for fear of scratches, or to miss out on things because I may scratch it.

·

I love a good dress watch and don’t find them boring at all. I probably overuse this word, but dress watches tend to be more elegant than other types, and there’s a lot to be said for a watch that catches the eye without a lot of bells and whistles. 

·

I would wear that with jeans and a polo and not think twice about it. 

·

Hot JLC! I’d wear that with my jeans jacket as well as my tux. Formal watches are versatile that way. But my wife would kill me dead if I tried to wear a G-SHOCK with a suit. Definitely a double standard. 

·

It's all in the definition of what a dress watch is. Remember that the Reverso was actually designed to be worn while playing polo. Arguably then, the first sports watch (?). When I first purchased my Omega DeVille a number of years ago, I only wore it with a suit and relegated it to the office and meetings with clients etc. Over time though, I started wearing it with office casual attire, then with jeans and a button down shirt, then with a long sleeve t-shirt. It became my daily and only switched to a more casual watch if my activity didn't warrant a leather strap. Fast forward, now that I have a broader selection of watches to choose from, my watch choice for the day is more about mood and occasion rather than trying to match formalities. 

·

I hear ya. There's so much more attention to detail, better finishing, fancier materials, time, effort, and expense in a dress watch compared to a dive watch or field watch. I find the notion of luxury dive watch stupid. Luxury dress watch makes sense to me.

·

I always felt if I was going to invest large sums of money in a luxury watch it would be a dress watch. If I’m investing a large amount of money in a watch I’m going to baby it