What makes a dress watch?

I’ve seen (and even contributed to) quite a few discussions about this over the last few months. The die-hards will say that it has to be no more than two – or, at most, three – hands, and that a simple date complication is a complication too much. Some will contend that it has to have sub-seconds or no seconds at all, and that even a third central hand precludes a watch from the definition of “dress”. I’ve even heard the argument that the case must be of a special metal, and of course most will say that any dress watch must be on a leather strap.

Probably, at some point in time, all of these arguments would have held merit. To my mind, though, the informality of life these days makes a bit of a nonsense of the traditional view. When black tie events see a plethora of Disney waistcoats, bow ties and jacket linings, and when the majority of people will wear pretty much what they like without reference to the old definitions, the dress watch today can be almost anything you want it to be. It’s not as if anyone will take you to task on it, and I shouldn’t imagine many people care, anyway.

For me, “dressy” is more important than “dress”. Something that can also be worn casually means that they don’t just come out for special occasions, and that makes a lot more sense considering how much money we have tied up in these silly things. With all of this in mind, I reckon these two fit the bill quite nicely.

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