When To Wear Each Type Of Watch

A lot of guys have one good watch that does it all. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you like to change it up, or want to build a bit of a watch collection, then here are a few that we recommend for various occasions. Let’s face it, you don’t want to turn up to your black-tie event wearing a dinner-plate sized monstrosity, or head to the beach in a beautiful dress watch, so take heed gents, and listen closely…


Anywhere that a tuxedo is considered par for the course is where you want to be wearing a dress watch. What is a dress-watch you ask? Generally speaking, it’ll be a simple shape (usually circular), quite slim (so as to fit under a cufflinked shirt), on a leather strap, and usually with no luminous capabilities.

You want your dress watch to be noticed only by those looking for it, otherwise it’ll be nice and tucked away under your cuff so you don’t get any Dom Perignon and caviar all over it. If you’re feeling really fancy, you may even try and attempt a pocket watch. It’s not for the faint of heart however, and if you don’t know how to do it properly, best not to do it.

Great examples include: JLC Reverso, Arnold and Son models and Patek Philippe models.


There’s a little more leeway with a work watch, in that your timepiece need not be as formal as if you were going to a fancy dinner. This is where the everyday, sport-watch category comes into play. You can, of course wear a more formal piece, but remember this is a watch that has to travel with you to and from work, and whatever you happen to be doing in between, whether it’s hitting the gym in your lunch break, or hitting the bars on a Friday.

A watch with a steel bracelet comes in handy here, and there are plenty to choose from. Most of the Rolex lineup is a safe bet, but if you want to go for something a little off the beaten track, consider some sport watches from other brands, and for a little extra cool, maybe even something vintage, or vintage-inspired (which there are plenty of these days).

Great examples include: Rolex (Submariner, Explorer or GMT), Omega Seamaster 300 (the new one) and the IWC Portugieser.


This is your jeans, t-shirt and sneakers outings, and is where the fun reallybegins. There are a multitude of options for a casual watch, but one of the main recommendations (especially as we approach summer) is to make sure you get one with a decent amount of water resistance. 100m is enough for most day-to-day activities, and you can even go swimming in it (in a pool, mind you).
You can also afford to have a little fun with a casual watch, changing straps and bracelets at your whim, and don’t be afraid to experiment with colours. Size is less of a restriction here, so something big and bold is fine, as it won’t have to fit under a shirt cuff and can be a little more attention grabbing, if that’s what you’re going for.

Great examples include:Bomberg, Sevenfriday, Swatch sistem51.


If you’re one of those guys that’s all about the latest gadgets and technology, or you have a tech-conscious client to impress (who couldn’t tell you the difference between a Rolex Submariner and an actual submarine), then consider the hottest tech trend at the moment: a smart watch. If you find that you tend to look to your phone for the time more often than your wrist, first, reconsider your whole life, then, maybe consider a tech watch from some of the big boys. The obvious choice if you have an iPhone is the Apple Watch (which we’ll have a full rundown of for you soon), otherwise there are a few standout Android-compatible watches out there as well, and they’re only getting better.

Great examples to consider: Apple Watch or any Samsung, Motorola or LG models.


Not everyone likes to wear a watch while exercising, whether you’re running, cycling, swimming, pumping weights, or ruining a nice walk with a round of golf, there are definitely watches that are compatible with sporting activities. As a general rule, stay away from leather straps, because you’ll find you’ll sweat into them, and no one wants to deal with that.

Something with a rubber or nylon (NATO or perlon) strap is ideal, and you’ll probably want to grab something with a decent amount of water-resistance. Go-to brands are those such as Polar and Garmin, with the latter offering some sport-specific models depending on what exactly you’re doing. The bigger athletic brands (Nike, Adidas etc) also have some sporty offerings that should be able to handle a bit of punishment in the gym. That said, I know a guy that wears a highly collectible Rolex to do his powerlifting training…after all it is a ‘sport’ watch.

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