If you’re going to buy one watch, it may as well be a dress watch. Arguably the easiest to wear and most versatile of all watch styles, dress watches boast simple, clean designs, uncomplicated mechanics and often, sleek leather straps or bracelets that make them suitable for all manner of occasions. 

What is a dress watch?

Dress watches typically feature pared back faces, with two or three hands and simple hour markers or numbers. The idea is that they are easily legible and take on minimal design cues, often resulting in smart looking watches that pair as well with a suit as they do jeans and a T-shirt. 

A dress watch usually comes on a plain leather strap or clean metal bracelet, which again, lacks adornment or too many fancy flourishes. Older, more traditional dress watches may come on an exotic leather strap the likes of alligator or ostrich, but more contemporary takes favour simple black or brown leather. Either way you've got a versatile, easy to wear piece that will serve you well for years to come.

3 key dress watches

NOMOS Glashutte Orion 38 

NOMOS is a brand well known for its clean, minimal watches and the Orion shows why. Everything on the watch serves a purpose and no extraneous detailing is present, allowing the purity of the design to really shine. Slim hands are matched with hour markers of the same width, and the watch’s 38mm size is perhaps ideal for a modern dress watch. The soft grey colour of the face is just the finishing touch. 

Instrmnt 01-C

Instrmnt takes a similar, albeit not quite as fastidious approach to the design of its dress watches, which are suitably minimal and pared back. The 01-C model’s clean and uncluttered approach features slim black hands over a white face, with simple numbered hour markers making reading the time a breeze. 

NOMOS Glashutte Metro 38 

NOMOS’s design-first ethos is present in this Metro 38 model, which boasts a dial designed by Mark Braun. This highly individual piece combines hour markers, numbered seconds and pops of colour, making it one of the more eccentric NOMOS watches available. 

Shop all watches at OPUMO.