Men’s Watch Style Guide

Looking for a watch but unsure about what is out there? Choosing the right watch is a process which requires consideration; with watches it is not the case of “one style fits all”.

Being knowledgeable about the different styles of watches is a great place to start when looking for your perfect wrist watch. A style classifies the design elements of a particular watch, and with watches ranging from all singing, all dancing to the practical and understated, it is important to classify watches so buyers have a clear picture of what they are getting.

Here’s what you need to know about three of the most popular watch styles.

Dress Watch

Dress imageDress watches are a popular choice of watch, typically worn with formal attire. The height of the case is designed to be thin in order to sit comfortably below a cuff of a shirt, a suit jacket or coat sleeve.

Traditionally complications are not a widely found feature, with a central seconds or second sub dial present if any. Hour markers will be indices, Roman numerals, or Arabic numerals. In order to be a functional and sophisticated choice, the watch will have a leather band instead of a bracelet and come in conservative colours- dials are usually black, silver or white and straps are either black or brown.

In keeping with the recent trend where the size of watches has been growing steadily, dress watches are now mostly 42mm and under, with most between 36-40mm.


Diver’s Watch

Diver image

As the name suggests, this model of watch is suitable for underwater diving, and at the very least the water resistance will be greater than 1.0 MPa (10 atm), the equivalent of 330 ft. Most divers’ watches on the market today will be able to hold a resistance of around 660 to 980 ft.

Typically a divers’ watch will have a chunky case with a rotating bezel and the strap will be made from either a rubber or a metal bracelet. Today divers’ watches have been recognised for their style credentials as well as their practicality, meaning that it is more appropriate for divers’ watches to be worn in a formal setting. This form of divers’ watch will have a more luxurious appearance than one which is simply being used as a tool, and will be made of a precious metal.

The popularity of divers’ watches are said to have been influential in increasing the overall size of wrist watches today.

Chronograph/ Sport Chronograph

Chrono image

Combining a stopwatch and a display watch, a basic chronograph can be started, stopped, and returned to zero by successive pressure on the stem.

A chronograph is more about a complication and not so much a style, but the popularity of sport chronographs are pushing a trend forward, commonly being used as a smarter choice for a casual watch. The look of a sport chronograph varies greatly but may have either a metal bracelet or leather strap and dials will range from conservative to brightly coloured.


Which of these styles in most in keeping with your taste?

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