Some men truly believe that no outfit is complete without a wrist watch. I respectfully disagree.
I only own a few watches – none of which cost more than $200 – and I don’t wear one everyday.
But I do think every man should own at least one watch. And if you could only choose one, it would be wise to go with something simple, classic and timeless.
Gentlemen, I’m talking about the plain face, leather strap dress watch.
Like Taylor Swift, this watch isn’t going out of style anytime soon.
You can opt for black or brown leather. It kind of depends on your shoe and belt collection, since it’s always good to match your watch, shoes and belt.
But for most guys, a brown leather watch will be the most versatile choice. In fact, you can almost get away with owning one watch if it’s the right one.
The great thing about a simple watch with a brown leather strap and clean white face is that it looks good dressed up or down.
Pair it with a suit, and it looks like a dress watch. Pair it with jeans and a button up, and it’s a sleek addition to a smart casual getup.
I recommend going with something a bit dressier, rather than opting for a more casual watch. A dressier watch won’t look too out of place with a casual outfit, but a casual watch can ruin an otherwise formal look.
A great example of a versatile brown leather strap watch is the Tribeca from The Fifth Watches “New York Classic” collection:
This particular watch also comes with a black strap, which is a nice bonus:
But it’s the size (41mm diameter, 6mm depth) and simplicity of this watch that makes it easy to wear with a variety of different outfits.
Note: I prefer gold metal on my watches because most of my belts have gold buckles. If you prefer silver, that’s fine too!
To give you some ideas for how to wear this watch, I’ve put together three different outfits.
Outfit #1: Cold Weather Casual
When to Wear: Guys night out, casual Friday, dinner and a movie
You could go with black instead of brown here – black gloves, belt, boots and watch. But most men already own plenty of brown leather accessories.
Let’s take things up a notch on the dress code scale…
Outfit #2: Business Casual
When to Wear: Office, church, Thanksgiving dinner
First off, a camel topcoat is a timeless and classy way to differentiate yourself from everyone wearing navy, black and grey outerwear.
Second, if you don’t have a pair of grey flannel trousers, get on that!
Last, but not least, brown leather ankle boots are just as versatile as a brown leather watch.
I know what you’re thinking: “Will this watch work with a suit?” Heck yes it will!
Outfit #3: Suit Up
When to Wear: Office party, wine tasting, any other time where you feel like balling uncontrollably…
This getup exudes that old school cool. The brown and gold and pale blue are just the right amount of retro.
In this case, the gold watch face is a great choice. It helps bring out the pale yellow tones of the jacket buttons, belt buckle, pocket square and shirt pattern. Silver would make this outfit less cohesive.
Buying a Watch
You can spend as little or much as you want on a classic leather band watch. You can also spend way too much researching different options.
To save you some time, here’s a short list of TMM-approved classic watches (in order from cheapest to most expensive):
- Timex T2M441 Easy Reader ($29)
- The Fifth Watches Tribeca ($150)
- Frederique Constant FC303V5B4 ($499)
- TAG Heuer Carrera ($2,447)
- Cartier W1529756 Tank Louis (jk)
Regardless of how much you spend, a classic leather strap dress watch will be one of the most versatile accessories you ever buy.
It’s worth the investment, no matter how big!
Do you own a classic dress watch? Tell me about it in the comments below!