With the next couple of months packed with festivities, it’s time to don your best threads. And every gentleman knows that a sophisticated timepiece is in order too. Here are some of our favorite elegant dress watches for men — perfect for the best-dressed season.
Patek Philippe Calatrava
The undisputed leaders in elegant dress watches for men, it’s hard to beat the appeal of a Patek Philippe watch. The brand’s signature timepiece, the Calatrava, has graced the wrists of sophisticated gentlemen for generations. The Patek Philippe Calatrava ref. 5119J is particularly tasteful with its 18k yellow gold round case, white lacquered dial, and black alligator leather strap. Though the watch is sumptuously understated, there are touches of adornment such as the intricate hobnail pattern on the bezel. There are also the classic Roman numerals encircling the dial and the small seconds subdial.
In addition to its restrained 36mm size, the Calatrava case sports a slim profile thanks to its movement within. Powered by the manual-wound Caliber 215 PS, the Calatrava ref. 5199J includes about 44 hours of power reserve. The finely decorated movement can be admired via the sapphire caseback.
The IWC Portugieser, also known as the IWC Portuguese, is a watch model with a history that dates back to 1930s. And almost 90 years later, the famous watch retains much of its original design but refreshed to suit today’s tastes. With its expansive and well-balanced dial, thin bezel, and generous case size, the IWC Portugieser is one of the most popular elegant dress watches for men today.
The IWC Portuguese ref. IW500113 is a beautiful 18k rose gold version with a classic brown leather strap outfitted with a matching 18k rose gold deployant clasp. On the dial sit the characteristic Arabic numerals, along with the running seconds subdial, the power reserve indicator, and the date window. Due to its double barrel structure, the automatic IWC Portugieser ref. IW500113 boasts a seven-day power reserve!
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Memovox
Since the 1950s, Jaeger-LeCoultre has been producing alarm watches dubbed Memovox. Both practical and classic, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox timepieces are elegant dress watches for men with a fun complication. While mechanical watch alarms are not necessary in today’s world of smartphones, it’s nonetheless an enjoyable watch mechanism to own. The Jaeger LeCoultre Master Control Memovox ref. Q1418430 includes a 40mm stainless steel case presented with a black leather strap. On the pearly white dial, there are the 6/9/12 Arabic numerals along with faceted triangular indexes and subtle lume accents. The date window sits discreetly at 3 o’clock while the blue seconds hands adds a nice pop of color.
The inner ring on the dial–where the label “MEMOVOX” and a triangle is found–is controlled by turning the winding crown at 2 o’clock. Turning this crown moves the disc, so all you need to do is point the triangle to the time you want the alarm to go off. The alarm sound of the Jaeger LeCoultre Master Control Memovox ref. Q1418430 is surprisingly loud so it should wake you up from even the deepest of slumber.
Cartier Santos Dumont
Born in 1904 specifically for aviator Alberto Santos Dumont to wear on his wrist while flying rather than dealing with a cumbersome pocket watch, the Cartier Santos watch was, in fact, one of the first wristwatches ever created. More than a century later, the Santos remains as one of Cartier’s iconic watches, available in many different styles. With their distinct square cases, Santos watches are a nice change of pace from more typical round watches. Yet, they are certainly still very elegant dress watches for men.
The Cartier Santos Dumont ref. W2006951 has a 44.6mm x 34.6mm 18k rose gold case along with a black leather strap. Naturally, on the white dial are the famous Cartier style Roman numerals. This Santos Dumont is a time-only watch with just the hour and minute sword-shaped hands on the dial. At the heart of the Cartier ref. W2006951 is the in-house manual-wound 430 MC mechanical movement.
A watch collection isn’t complete without at least one dress watch. In fact, given their classic good looks and easy wearability, they get plenty of wrist time. With such a varied assortment of elegant dress watches for men available, it’s easy to find that one that suits you best.