A well-chosen watch is more than just a timepiece. A stylish men’s watch, when chosen and worn with purpose, can become an extension of a man’s personality. The question is, how do you style a man’s watch for the occasion? What are the rules on how to wear a watch with a suit? In this guide, we delve into everything that makes a watch tick, including common terminology, styling and the latest watch trends to help you choose the best model.
CHRONOGRAPHS, DIVE WATCHES, SMARTWATCHES: WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES?
The world of watches has a language all its own. A few years ago, it was unthinkable to wear a sports watch in a business context, but today it looks particularly dynamic. But in order to consciously break the rules, you first have to know them. If you don’t know your dive watches from your pilot watches, here is an overview of some of the most common watch styles:
- Chronograph watches: These kinds of watches are immediately recognisable thanks to their ‘busier’ and larger watch face and have long remained high on the list of influential watch trends. Typically featuring three sub-dials used for stopwatch functionality, this style can be adapted to both formal and athletic events dependent on the watch strap.
- Automatic watches: This type of watch can come in many different styles and with different features, however its functionality is what makes it particularly interesting. An automatic watch doesn’t require a battery – instead it is powered solely by the natural motion of your wrist as you wear it.
- Dress watches: This style is designed for the most formal occasions and is often the answer when you’re wondering what type of watch to wear with a suit. Dress watches are understated in design and smaller in size. A leather strap coordinated with the wearer’s belt and shoes creates an effortlessly put-together look.
- Pilot watches: This design features a rotating bezel that allows for time zone adjustments and a paired back, larger-than-average watch face to make telling the time easier at a glance. Current watch trends suggest oversized watches are not quite as popular as they once were, but this style is still a perennial favourite for many.
- Dive watches: Designed to withstand significant pressures, a watch must have a minimum water resistance of up to 100m to be considered a true ‘dive’ watch. Other distinguishing features can include a rotating bezel, durable strap and luminosity for time-telling in the dark. Though originally designed for use underwater, dive watches have also proven to be a stylish everyday choice and a great alternative to the dress watch if you’re unsure of what types of watch to wear with a suit.
- Smartwatches: The newest addition to this list, smartwatches offer 21st century technology such as sensors, Bluetooth and an operating system in addition to their traditional time-telling functionality. Ideal if you want to get more out of your timepiece such as the ability to monitor your heart rate or blood pressure, though the jury is still out on whether smartwatches can be worn for more formal occasions. Some new trending watches are seeking to combine the functionality of a smartwatch with a more traditional aesthetic for the best of both worlds.
CHECKLIST: WHICH WATCH SUITS ME?
With so many watches out there designed for almost every situation and occasion imaginable, it can be a good idea to create a checklist to ensure all your specific needs are met. Here are some important factors to consider when searching for your prefect watch.
One of the most important considerations alongside the design of the watch face is the watchband material. Different materials suit different purposes and some are more appropriate for formal or casual occasions than others.
- Leather: A timeless strap material, particularly suited to more formal occasions and a sure homerun when worn alongside sharp tailoring.
- Metal: One of the most popular current watch trends is a metal strap, owing to its versatility and reliability as both a sports and dress choice.
- Silicone: Multi-functional and low maintenance with a distinctly modern and casual aesthetic, silicone straps are perfect for the man always on the move.
- Fabric: Popular materials such as nylon offer superior comfort and often a wider range of styles for those that like to wear their personality on their sleeve.
Are you looking for an everyday watch? Watch style and comfort are likely to be the most important factors. Do you live an active lifestyle? A chronograph with stopwatch functionality could be a wise investment. Do you travel as a way of life? Consider a pilot watch with a rotating time-zone bezel or a smartwatch with GPS to get you out of a pinch.
How you secure your watch to your wrist should not be overlooked either. A simple buckle offers immediate wearability for a range of wrist sizes. A push-button clasp can look incredibly stylish but requires links to be added or removed to adjust the fit. Elasticated sports bands without a clasp are among the hottest newly trending watches if you’re looking for pure simplicity.
A watch is one of a man’s most important accessories, so build quality is particularly important. If you’re asking yourself “which watch should I buy?”, look for genuine materials, water and dust resistance, and quality craftsmanship.
Are you allergic to nickel or chrome? This is definitely something to consider when choosing the right watch. Consider watches made from titanium or special chrome- or nickel-free stainless steel. Less common watch materials include ceramic and wood, which are also hypoallergenic.
WHICH WATCH COLOUR SUITS ME BEST?
The colour of both the watch face and strap can greatly determine how and when you wear your timepiece. If you are in search of a business watch, for example, to complement your sharp tailoring during big client meetings a blue dial is a classic choice. Alternatively, dark greens are particularly in vogue right now and signify you are a man of stylish intent.
If you’re looking for a versatile everyday watch style for men, muted colours such as black and brown are ideal. Remember, you will often want to match your watch to your belt and shoes, so these tones are likely to give you the most range without upheaving your entire wardrobe.
For stylish men’s watch that’s more laidback, bold and eye-catching strap colours such as bright orange or green are trending right now and can imbue an outfit with a casually confident air.
WHICH WATCH SIZE SUITS ME BEST?
The perfect watch will sit so comfortably on your wrist that, until you need it, you won’t even know it’s there. The wristband should neither press too hard nor should it be so loose that it slips back and forth. As a general rule of thumb, multiply the circumference of your wrist by a factor of 2.3 to get the optimum diameter of your watch. Although it’s a long-standing trend that men's watches should have a bulkier appearance, the most important aspect is the fit – something that shouldn’t be sacrificed for style.
WHAT ARE THE LATEST WATCH TRENDS?
The influence of sustainable fashion has also changed the course of current watch trends in a meaningful way. Initiatives such as the Hugo Boss RESPONSIBLE Fashion range are empowering consumers to give more back to the planet by promoting the use of recycled materials in everything from clothing to shoes to watches. Other watch trends to keep an eye on include brightly coloured, minimalist dials alongside smaller watch faces and vintage-inspired designs.
PRACTICAL WATCH-WEARING TIPS
For better ease of use, it is more practical for right-handed people to wear a watch on their left wrist and for left-handed people to wear a watch on their right wrist.
To enhance the lifespan of your watch and enjoy it for as long as possible, we recommend cleaning it regularly with a microfibre cloth. Specialist watchmakers often offer professional watch-cleaning services such as an ultrasonic bath or steam cleaning for optimal results.
To ensure your watch is accurate and functioning properly, take it to a jeweller's or watchmaker's shop for regular servicing – we recommend doing this every seven to eight years.
Another tip for optimal performance is to change the batteries in your watch every 18 to 36 months. How frequently you change the battery should depend on the type of battery used and the functions of the watch.
THE PERFECT ACCESSORY TO ELEVATE ANY LOOK
Stylish men’s watches may come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing is for sure, they are an indispensable fashion accessory for the modern man. Whether for a leisurely stroll, a business lunch with partners, or a competitive sporting event, there isn’t an occasion that cannot be improved with the inclusion of a well-chosen timepiece.
Find your next favourite accessory and discover the extensive watch collection from Hugo Boss.