With normality slowly resuming and socialising back on the cards, it's high time to spruce up your accessories collection and finally invest in a smart dress watch that will see you stylishly through elegant evening affairs. Scroll on for everything you need to know about these timeless timepieces, including our pick of the best dress watches for men to buy this season.

What to look for in a dress watch

Drawing on minimalist design cues, dress watches are characterised by clean, simple profiles, uncomplicated mechanics and either sleek leather straps or steel bracelets. The best dress watches will slip discreetly beneath the cuff of your jacket, complementing the rest of your attire but never distracting from it. Avoid fussy flourishes and extraneous adornment and keep it classic – opt for something with a pared-back dial that features two or three hands and simple hour markers or numbers. This is a watch that should serve you for many years, so it should look ageless.

How to wear a dress watch

When it comes to how you should wear a dress watch, the clue is in its name: this is a timepiece that's best reserved for more dressy occasions. It will really come into its own paired with a suave suit – or better yet, a tux. However, this doesn't mean you can't wear it with casual everyday attire too. The understated nature and enhanced legibility of the dress watch lends it ultimate versatility, so it will work just as well teamed with your weekend uniform of jeans, T-shirt and overshirt.

5 of the best dress watches for men

NOMOS Glashutte Orion 38 

NOMOS is a brand well known for its clean, minimalist 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 the perfect finishing touch. 

Instrmnt Applied Design Dress Watch

Glasgow-based design studio Instrmnt Applied Design takes a similar, albeit not quite as fastidious approach to the design of its aptly named Dress Watch, which is suitably clean and uncluttered. Drawing design inspiration from the formal watches of the '60s, it boasts a slim 36mm casing machined from 316L steel, with a muted sunburst lacquered dial. Quartz-powered Swiss movement makes for a high performing watch that you'll reach for time and again.

VOID Watches PKG01-GO/BL/WH Watch

Inspired by Scandinavian design ideals of minimalism and functionality, VOID Watches creates simple yet meticulously considered watches. Its PKG01 watch fits this bill exactly, with aesthetic details stripped to a bare minimum. Its 7mm case is the thinnest in VOID's collection and is supplemented by an understated silhouette and colour palette that will complement any outfit.

Monofore M01 Silver Watch 41mm - Navy Leather

Monofore is a new London-based watch brand whose minimalist dress watches are proving a huge hit with design lovers. Its signature rectangular M01 model features a curved dial and domed glass that eliminates shadows, as well as an invisible crown that creates a clean, unbroken line. The sleek stitch-free leather strap is guaranteed to smarten up your look.

BALTIC Watches HMS 002 Blue Gilt Watch

This '40s-inspired watch from French watchmakers BALTIC will bring a subtle touch of art deco style to your ensemble. It boasts an elegantly slim profile and gorgeous blue dial, with gold indexes and three different finishes that capture the light in a unique way. The steel bracelet elevates the watch to a timepiece suitable for the most sophisticated of events.

Shop all men's watches at OPUMO.