The topic of dress watches came up the other day, after we ran an article on Marlon Durrant, president of Md Bespoke, the high-end men’s fashion shop in Yorkville, one of Toronto’s toniest neighourhoods.
Related: 5 celebrities showcase their men’s luxury watch endorsements
It’s also timely because tonight is the debut of Season 3 of Succession, HBO’s brilliant satirization of big media and the uber-wealthy. It’s our understanding the writers of Season 3 are going after politics and politicians as well. Since this is HBO, not exactly a neutral player when it comes to media bias, I am a little concerned about an over-reach. (I subscribe to HBO, and if I to see another re-run of Recount, the movie which dramatized George Bush’s so-called theft of the 2000 election because of the clusterf%#@ that occurred in Florida, I am going to bust my TV).
But the writing is so great and the actors are so fantastic that it will no doubt cover up any political itches that are being scratched. This being a luxury lifestyle magazine, it’s always fun to focus on the fashion and mostly the watches the characters wear. Up top (image: HBO) is the actor Kieran Culkin who plays Roman Roy, rocking a Rolex Datejust.
If your goal is “refined minimalism” or “quiet luxury”, and it should be, then the right dress watch can top off any outfit. It should complement the look, not dominate it. Speak to someone like Marlon for fashion counsel, and follow these simple rules.
Patek Philippe Calatrava “Clous de Paris”
Men’s dress watch: Go for a slim, unadorned piece
Going with a black leather strap is an ideal, but you don’t need to go that route. Smart and stylish, to match a suit or formal wear, that’s the goal. It’s a statement-piece, but it can’t be too big, too bold. Check out the examples we set out here: A. Lange & Söhne, Patek Philippe, Vacheron, and the like. These all speak to that.
A fine dress watch is defined by an elegant case in steel, or you’ll find them in rose or yellow gold. It has a clean dial, a look that isn’t complicated by excessive complications. And like we said, while nothing says refined minimalism like a black alligator strap, luxury watch-makers also go chocolate brown or blue leather. The Roman Roy watch from Succession, the Rolex Datejust, has a steel strap. So does that make it a “classic” watch or a “dress” watch?
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Perpetual Calendar
The markings on the face of the watch should be minimalist
There’s that word again. In the eyes of some, the “true” men’s dress watch is completely unhindered by any smaller sub-dials or date indicators. Check out the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia. Beautiful, clean, sophisticated. But personally, too clean.
When it comes to a dress watch, I much prefer some something like the Patek Philippe Calatrava, a signature watch in their collection dating back to 1932. The “Clous de Paris” launched last April brought a new design and new movement to the classic. The new version comes with a slightly larger diameter (39 mm) and a dial with hour markers, and comes in rose or white gold with shiny chocolate brown strap.
And remember – wear a light-coloured dial, like a cream or white, during the day, and leave the dark-coloured dials for night time. Match the metal and colours of the dress watch with belt buckles, rings, collar bar, or cufflinks, if you’re wearing those.
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia
Leave it for a special occasion
Dress watches are perfect to sneak snuggly beneath the cuff of your dress shirt, effortlessly chic. Remember, dive watches, or any over-sized watch, won’t fit very well under a suit jacket. But don’t go over the top. Save the men’s dress watch for truly special occasions, so the statement is stronger, and you never grow tired of it.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Tourbillon Moon
Go see a jeweller and have it sized for your wrist
It has to fit snug, and it has to be in the right proportion to your wrist size. Anything that’s too loose will look sloppy. Go see a jeweller for a consultation and get it adjusted properly for your wrist.