I’m defining a watch as suitable for both work and play as something that is robust and refined. When I say robust, I don’t mean bulky or imposing; I mean of a solid aesthetic. And when I say refined I do not mean fiddly and fancy; I mean clean and crisp.
I wanted to come-up with a list of 5 new (or relatively new) watches that you could imagine yourself wearing with a suit as well as jeans and a t-shirt. So here’s my top five:
This is probably the oldest watch on this list, but it has had a couple of updates in past few years that merit its inclusion. The case is from the Zurich range (which has big design credentials having been conceived by the late Hannes Wettstein) and the dial is excellently weighted. Why the blue over the white dial? Strange choice considering I own the white, but the blue is so much more playful – so much cooler. It looks slick with a shirt, and unconsciously cool with casual clothes. A German classic.
This one is a cheeky inclusion as it’s a limited edition. Although I love the new vintage vibe the Seamaster range is experiencing, this one in particular makes the list by virtue of its NATO strap. You get all the subtle sexiness of that vintage dial palette, with a dressed-down and highly wearable wristband. Big thumbs up for verve and versatility.
I have a bit of a crush on entry-level Bulgari watches. I’ve been roundly panned for extolling the virtues of the Bulgari bezel before, but I’m sticking to my guns. This is a cool brand, and so very Italian. This watch won’t catch many eyes from across the room, but it will look at home wherever or whenever you roll it out.
This watch may be slim in body, but it is robust in terms of design. A. Lange & Söhne are at their confident, restrained best here. I doubt anyone would argue this would look good with a suit, but does it fly with jeans and a tee?
I say yes and point to the popularity of Daniel Wellington watches. This is basically the ‘proper’ watch version of that design, and, when executed to this level of craftsmanship, it is possible to appreciate why so many ‘invest’ in a cheap imitation.
I love how Cartier sticks to its Deco roots, and works within those parameters with exceptional discipline and candid creativity. I was instantly drawn to the goofy masculinity of this piece. This is a new case shape, a new dial layout, a pleasingly muted colourway that is both professional and characterful, and an overall gem. A great piece at home or at work, and, I think, one to keep hold of for the long run.