The 25 Best Dress Watches for 2022

The 25 Best Dress Watches for 2022

Most watch aficionados consider a go-to dress watch to be a necessary addition to any collection, whether it’s a piece designated for wear only on special occasions or one worn daily to the office. Along with sports watches, dress watches represent one of the most sought-after styles, so we’ve curated a list of the best dress watches that offer style, value, and quality at every price range. Of course, this list is by no means exhaustive and we laid some ground rules in putting this together.

Ground Rules:

First of all, our list is composed of dress watches that are all currently on the market, available through an authorized dealer or directly from the brand. Secondly, most of the watches on the list should be accessible, as we took care to not include watches that are impossible to buy because of a waitlist situation. Thirdly, we managed to include dress watches priced from $200 up to $30,000 to appeal to a wide range of budgets. Finally, we decided to include only one watch from each watch brand: it would have been easy to pack this list with multiple watches from a handful of the expected brands, but our method opens the door to some alternative options that might surprise you. If you're interested in our take on other watch styles, be sure to check out our Best Pilot Watches, Best Dive Watches, and Best Automatic Watches lists as well!

Enjoy!

Timex Marlin Hand-Wind Dress Watch

Timex Marlin

For decades, Timex focused on affordable, mass-produced quartz watches, but recently the company has tapped into the mechanical market with the Marlin Collection. The Gentleman’s Hand-Wound comes in a 34mm case with only a single silver dial configuration that’s heavily influenced by Timex’s early 1960s catalog. Additionally, there is a larger 40mm automatic movement option with a wider array of dial options including eye-catching “Cali Dials”. Timex is light on the mechanical movement specs other than to note they are provided by a Chinese supplier, which isn’t surprising given the accessible $199 and $249 price tags, making it one of the more affordable mechanical options available. 

Reference: Timex Marlin Collection 
Case: 34mm, Thickness 10mm, Lug-To-Lug: 41mm, Lug Width: 18mm Crystal: Acrylic Movement: Hand Winding or Automatic Mechanical, Water-Resistance: 50m, Material: Steel, Price: $199

Orient Bambino FAC00009W0 Dress Watch

Orient Bambino

As one of the true gateway brands, Orient’s value packed lineup doesn’t stop at just tool watches. The Bambino is an affordable mechanical dress watch that offers modern yet reasonable case measurements along with solid specs. Inside, the in-house manufactured caliber F6724 gives the wearing hacking second capabilities and has a power reserve of 40 hours while operating at 3hz. A domed mineral crystal covers the white dial and while it would have been nice to have a sapphire crystal, the trade off for an in-house movement at this price range is worth it. 

Reference: FAC00009W0
Case: 40.5mm, Thickness 11.8mm, Lug-To-Lug: 46.5mm, Lug Width: 21mm, Crystal: Domed Mineral, Movement: Automatic F6724 Caliber, Water-Resistance: 30m, Material: Steel, Price: $300

bulova-commadore

Bulova Commodore Limited Edition

Bulova’s roll out of their commemorative John Bulova limited edition collection has yielded some surprisingly good vintage inspired, Swiss made dress watches equipped with high quality Sellita SW200-1 movements. While each model has its own flair, perhaps none are as cool as the Commodore with the glossy black dial. A distinctly well proportioned and well finished case is highlighted by the wire lugs, which helps this stand out from the other commemorative models from this collection. Sapphire crystals are wisely supplied for both the dial side and on the partial exhibition back. Limited to just 350 pieces for the world.

Reference: 96B324
Case: 38.5mm, Thickness 11.3mm, Lug-To-Lug: 47mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Automatic Sellita SW200-1, Water-Resistance: 30m, Material: Steel, Price: $1295

Seiko SRPB43 Cocktail Time Presage Dress Watch

Seiko Presage SRPB43

Few brands offer the kind of quality and affordability Seiko does when it comes to watches under the $500 price point. The Presage SRPB43 is the epitome of quality and affordability, combining a striking dial, high level finishing, and the workhorse automatic 4R35 movement which features a hand-winding and hacking second functionality. When fully wound, this movement has a power reserve of approximately 40 hours and is visible through the exhibition case back. Seiko’s dedication to building a dress watch in this price range with outside-the-office capabilities is highlighted here by the 50m water resistant rating. [Photo credit: watchpatrol]

Reference: SRPB43
Case: 38.5mm, Thickness 11.3mm, Lug-To-Lug: 47m, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Automatic 4R35 Water-Resistance: 50m, Material: Steel, Price: $425

Hamilton Jazzmaster Automatic Dress

Hamilton Jazzmaster Automatic

The Hamilton Jazzmaster collection is chalked full of dressy watch options with a range of mechanical and quartz offerings. The Jazzmaster Automatic offers a modern take on a classic three-handed look in a number of attractive dials from the formal tuxedo black design to a more business casual blue, beige or silver options with either baton hour markers or in Roman numerals. This collection is fitted with the Powermatic 80 based H-10 movement, providing 80 hours of power reserve, a hacking second, a date, and beats at 3hz. Other high end touches include sapphire crystals on the front and back as well as 50m of water resistance, making it one of the best dress watch values on the market. 

Reference: H32475520
Case: 40.0mm, Thickness 11.2mm, Lug-To-Lug: 46mm Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Automatic H-10 (ETA C07.111) Water-Resistance: 50m, Material: Steel, Price: $895

Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 Dress Watch

Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80

Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 features many of the same specs as the Hamilton Jazzmaster Automatic as they share the same base movement, however the looks are even a bit more classic and restrained with the Tissot. It sits slightly smaller than Hamilton at 39.3mm across and just 9.8mm thick giving it a more streamlined style. There is just one dial option available right now, the silver dial with Roman numerals and stamped pyramid texture. Priced at $575, you still get the sapphire crystal and reasonable water resistance of 30m along with a butterfly folding clasp, which is not available on the more expensive Hamilton. 

Reference: T006.407.16.033.00
Case: 39.3mm, Thickness 9.8mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Automatic Powermatic 80.111 Water-Resistance: 30m, Material: Steel, Price: $575

Frederique Constant Classic Index Automatic Silver Dial Dress Watch

Frederique Constant Classic Index Automatic 

The Frederique Constant Classic Index Automatic is a no-nonsense Swiss made dress watch that can be had in a variety of dial configurations and colors. In one of it’s dressiest examples, you get a formal black dial with stick markers and sword style hands that are fitted with a decent amount of lume - an element that’s often inexplicably absent from dress watches. It’s powered by the staunchly reliable Sellita SW200-1 based FC-303 caliber and features the bells and whistles you’d expect: date, hacking second, and hand-winding capabilities. Sapphire glass is standard here and the quality of the leather strap is a step up from most others in this price range.

Reference: FC-303MR5B6
Case: 40mm, Thickness 10mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Automatic Sellita SW200-1, Water-Resistance: 50m, Material: Steel, Price: $895

Junghans Max Bill Automatic Dress Watch

Junghans Max Bill Automatic

Dress watches are formal by nature but that doesn’t mean a minimalist execution can’t be just as appropriate in the right situation. Junghans specializes in Bauhaus-inspired minimalism and with the Max Bill Automatic, they offer a striking, if not refreshing, take on the dress watch. The case size hits the 38mm sweetspot and the compact 40mm lug to lug distance opens this piece up to many smaller wrist sizes and the use of the renowned Swiss ETA 2824-2. However, there are a few compromises made with the ETA movement to accommodate the price, mainly the crystal is plexiglass (although coated for added scratch resistance) and limited water resistance. 

Reference: 027/3501.04
Case: 38mm, Thickness 10mm, Lug-To-Lug: 40mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Scratch Resistant Plexiglass, Movement: Automatic J880.1 (ETA 2824-2) Water-Resistance: Splash Resistant, Material: Steel, Price: $1095

MeisterSinger Lunascope

Just because it’s a dress watch doesn’t mean it has to be boring. That seems to be the approach that Meistersinger has taken with their lineup of single handed, German made watches. While most complications are unnecessary on a classic dress watch, a moon phase can add a functional and visual dynamic that can enhance a piece’s overall appeal, as you see with the Lunascope. Currently, Meistersinger's team adds their moon phase module to the solid and nicely decorated Sellita SW220 movement (earlier versions used the ETA 2836-2), which is further modified to display the time using just a single hand, harmoniously pairing the brands two signature features.

Reference: LS908_SG03
Case: 40mm, Thickness 12mm, Lug-To-Lug: 48.7mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Domed Sapphire, Movement: Automatic Sellita SW220 w/ Meistersinger module; Water-Resistance: 50m, Material: Steel, Price: $3845/$4045

NOMOS Orion 38 Dress Watch

Nomos Orion 38

In sticking with the minimalist theme here, the Nomos Orion blurs the line between dressy and casual in a way that makes it one of the more versatile dress watch options on this list. The Orion is a simple three-hander that features the hand-winding, in-house Alpha movement in a slender 7.9mm thick case. The Alpha movement offers up good looks with the rhodium plated bridges finished in traditional Glashutte ribbing while providing 43 hours of power reserve and a hacking second. While 30m of water resistance isn’t nothing, the Orion is best suited for in the office but can perform at a high level in harsher conditions as well.

Reference: 387
Case: 38mm, Thickness 7.9mm, Lug-To-Lug: 48mm, Lug Width: 19mm, Crystal: Domed Sapphire, Movement: Manual Winding Nomos Alpha Caliber, Water-Resistance: 50m, Material: Steel, Price: $2260

Ball Watch Trainmaster Moonphase Dress Watch

Ball Trainmaster Moon Phase

What if you need a dress watch, but you’re not a dress watch guy, you’re a tool watch guy? Well, there’s something for you, too. The Ball Watch Company is well known for their impressively over-engineered tool watches, so with the Trainmaster Moon Phase they combine rugged dependability with a surprisingly sharp dial that features a elaborate moon phase aperture with a fully lumed yellow moon powered by Ball Watch’s proprietary micro-gas filled tubes. Not massive at 40mm across, it’s definitely on the thick side at 14.5mm, and comes with the option of a steel bracelet or a crocodile leather strap. 

Reference: NM3082-SJ-BE-1855
Case: 40mm, Thickness 14.5mm, Lug-To-Lug: 48mm, Lug Width: 19mm, Crystal: Domed Sapphire, Movement: Auto RR1801, Water-Resistance: 50m, Material: Steel, Price: $2299

Cartier Tank Louis Dress Watch

Cartier Tank Louis 

Dress watches can come in different shapes and perhaps no brand has embraced this notion more than Cartier and it’s signature Tank Louis model. The case’s modest proportions make it both timeless and understated even if it’s only offered in precious metals. At 33.7mm x 25.5mm and just 6.6mm thin, it’s an easy wearing piece for a wide range of wrist sizes. The manual winding Caliber 8971 MC gives the Tank Louis up to 36 hours of power reserve, but ultimately the movement is going to take a back seat to the iconic styling and name on the dial.  

Reference: WGTA0011
Case: 33.7mm x 25.5mm, Thickness 6.6mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Manual Winding Caliber 8971 MC, Water-Resistance: 30m, Material: 18kt rose gold, Price: $13,500

Omega DeVille Hour Vision Dress Watch

Omega De Ville Hour Vision  

Believe it or not, Omega is more than just Speedmasters and Seamasters. It offers a range of dress watches from the De Ville collection that are often overlooked and underappreciated - just don’t expect something dainty. Offered in a bold 41mm stainless steel case with flared out lugs and a case thickness of about 13mm, this isn’t an understated watch and you will need an above average sized wrist to maximize its wearability. There’s a lot to like when it comes to the Caliber 8900: a METAS certified chronometer rating, enhanced antimagnetic properties including a silicium hairspring for the free-sprung balance, and the 60 power reserve. 

Reference: 433.13.41.21.10.001
Case: 41mm, Thickness: 13mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Auto Caliber 8900, Water-Resistance: 100m, Material: steel, Price: $6,750

Zenith Elite Moonphase Dress Watch

Zenith Elite Moonphase

The Zenith Elite Collection has undergone a series of tweaks and changes over the years that have made it a serious dress watch option. The design language is a modern bent on some traditional elements, from the general shape of the 40mm case to the vibrant sunburst dial work. Powering this Elite Moonphase is the Elite Caliber 692, an ultra thin self-winding movement with a gold skeleton rotor, fine perlaging and surfaces decorated with Geneva striping. All of which is visible through the case back to admire when you’re not focused on the lovely moon phase on the dial.

Reference: 03.3100.692/03.C923
Case: 40mm, Thickness: 9.4mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Auto Elite Caliber 692 Water-Resistance: 50m, Material: steel, Price: $7000

Longines Silver Arrow Dress Watch

Longines Silver Arrow

If it’s a Swiss dress watch with classic vintage characteristics from one of the world’s most popular mass luxury brands, then the Longines Silver Arrow is a quality option. Longines really leans into the art deco look of the 1950s with the dial, hour markers and hand set that capture the essence of a bygone era. The date window is removed, keeping a the dial symmetry intact with only the three hand display. It's also moderately sized at 38.5mm and just 9.9mm thick with the Longines L888.5 movement beating away inside and gives you a full three day power reserve.

Reference: L28344722
Case: 38.5mm, Thickness: 9.9mm, Lug Width: 19mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Auto L888.5; Water-Resistance: 30m, Material: Steel, Price: $2100


Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds

Jaeger LeCoultre manufactures a lot of really nice dress watches and many of them could have made this list, but it’s Reverso Tribute Small Seconds that makes the most sense. It’s iconic rectangular shape (along with Cartier) basically defines the non-round luxury dress watch market. This model pays special attention to classic details with its rich colorful dial and simple yet elegant dial layout. The sleek steel case measures 45.6mm x 27.4mm while just 8.6mm thick for comfortable albeit larger than average wear. An in-house caliber 822/2 is the well finished, manual winding power plant inside supplying 45 hours of power reserve.

Reference: 3978480|
Case: 45.6mm x 27.4mm, Thickness: 8.6mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Manual Winding JLC Caliber 822/2, Water-Resistance: 30m, Material: steel, Price: $8750

Chopard LUC XPS Dress Watch

Chopard L.U.C. XPS

If you want a luxury dress watch that will fly under the radar most of the time but also dog whistles serious watch geeks, the Chopard L.U.C. XPS is one of those pieces. It’s as understated and as finely crafted as dress watches go, with a case that measures a contemporary 40mm across while sitting just 7.2mm high with the L.U.C. 96.01 L movement beating inside. This ultra-thin movement is packed with a gold micro-rotor and twin-barrels for up to 65 hours of power reserve while also having Geneva Seal finishing standards and being chronometer certified. 

Reference: 161946-9001
Case: 40mm, Thickness: 7.2mm, Lug Width: 19mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Auto Caliber LUC 96.01-L, Water-Resistance: 30m, Material: 18kt gold or platinum, Price: Starting at $16,500 in gold, $26,600 in platinum

Jaquet Droz Grande Second Moon Dress Watch

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon

Jaquet Droz is a brand that finds itself overshadowed by two of The Swatch Group's biggest names, Blancpain and Breguet. Make no mistake about it though, Jaquet Droz is a statement brand that oozes elegance with its signature Grande Seconde collection. The Grande Seconde Moon takes these designs further by adding a thoughtfully designed moon phase register to balance out the negative space of the opaline dial. A power packed automatic Caliber 2660QL3 is chalked full of interesting tech with it’s the nearly 3 day power reserve and high level of finishing standing out.

Reference: J007510240
Case: 39mm, Thickness: 13.4mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Auto 2660QL3, Water-Resistance: 30m, Material: 18kt gold or steel, Price: Starting at $15,200 in steel and $28,900 in gold

Piaget Altiplano Dress Watch

Piaget Altiplano 

One of the signature design characteristics of a classic dress watch is thinness. Most of the watches on this list have thicknesses between 7 and 10 millimeters allowing them to easily slide under a cuff. The Piaget Altiplano takes thinness to the extreme with its 6.4mm case height and the razor thin 2.1mm 430P movement inside, giving it the distinction as one of the thinnest mechanical watches in production today. Impressively, the Altiplano gets 43 hours of power reserve from the single barrel mainspring, powered only by hand winding. 

Reference: G0A31114
Case: 38mm, Thickness: 6.4mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Manual Winding Caliber 430P, Water-Resistance: 30m, Material: 18kt gold, Price: $16,900.

H. Moser and Cie Endeavour Center Seconds Dress Watch

H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Center Seconds

Currently a darling of the high-end independent watch brands (and rightfully so), Moser offers some of the most interesting dress watch models at the ultra-luxury level. The brand began to take off in early 2020 and is now one of the more covered brands on social media. Their Endeavor Center Seconds captures a mix of classicism and modernism and it’s elegant, minimalist dials were early on the fume styling, especially for dress watches, which is what has really defined the brand. The 40mm case is in either 18kt white or rose gold and is fitted with the in-house manufactured HMS200.  

Reference: Endeavour Center Seconds
Case: 40mm, Thickness: 9.7mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Auto HMC200, Water-Resistance: NA, Material: 18kt gold, Price: $19,900.

Rolex Day-Date 36 Dress Watch

Rolex Day Date 36

You probably shouldn’t be that surprised that the Day-Date 36 is on this list. After all, it has likely graced the wrists of more company board members than any other watch ever made and board rooms are really dressy places. In all seriousness, yes, the Day-Date has had a profound impact on style and fashion over a number of decades. But talking about broader cultural impact takes away from the serious watch specs from a seriously nice watch. The current gen Day-Date 36 is supplied power by the highly touted Caliber 3255. Accurate within -2/+2 a day and loaded with proprietary tech, this movement deserves acclaim. 

Reference: M128238-0045
Case: 36mm, Thickness: 12mm, Crystal: Sapphire with Cyclops, Movement: Auto Caliber 3255, Water-Resistance: 100m, Material: 18kt yellow gold, Price: $33,500.

Patek Philippe Calatrava 6119R Dress Watch

Patek Philippe 6119R

Perhaps no brand defines the dress watch more than Patek Philippe and among their iconic designs remains the hobnail “Clous de Paris” bezel. The 2021 introduction of the newest hobnail Calatrava, Ref. 6119R, provided a much needed facelift to the outgoing 5119R, which was seen as undersized at 36mm. This new version will come in at 39mm and also be fitted with a brand new in-house movement, Caliber 30-255 PS, which also featured some upgrades, particularly in the power reserve extending it from 44 hours to 65 hours with a redesigned twin-barrel system. 

Reference: Ref. 6119R
Case: 39mm, Thickness: 8.1mm, Crystal: Sapphire with Cyclops, Movement: Auto Caliber 30-255 PS, Water-Resistance: 30m, Material: 18kt yellow gold, Price: $29,570.

A Lange Saxonia Thin Dress Watch

A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin

While A. Lange & Sohne is no stranger to Best Dress Watch lists, the new Saxonia Thin might be the iconic German brand’s most appealing dress watch yet. It’s limited to just 50 pieces in an 18kt pink gold, 40mm case with a Gold Flux dial in dark blue which appears to be a lot like a starry night sky similar to Aventurine. Elite movement manufacturing is prominently on display through the exhibition case back revealing the caliber L093.1.  Even though this is a basic time-only movement, it is finished with a level of detail and quality that is second to none.

Reference: Ref. 211.088
Case: 40mm, Thickness: 6.2mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Manual Winding Caliber L093.1, Water-Resistance: 30m, Material: 18kt pink gold, Price: $27,100.

Grand Seiko 140th Anniversary LE SLGA008

Grand Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition SLGA008

Equipped with the newest version of the Seiko Spring Drive caliber, this rose-gold-cased timepiece (along with a sibling in steel) celebrates the 140th anniversary of Grand Seiko’s parent company, Seiko, in 1881. Its rich brown dial sports the distinctive, multi-textured “tree rings” wood-grain motif that continues the high-horology Japanese brand’s “Nature of Time” theme. The case measures 40 mm in diameter and features the brand’s hallmark Zaratsu polished finish; the dial hosts elegantly faceted applied indices and the traditional razor-shaped hands, plus a golden framed date window at 3 o’clock. The finishes on the Spring Drive Caliber 9RA2, visible behind a sapphire caseback, include a frosted effect on the bridges reminiscent of snow-covered Japanese forests, and the five-day power reserve is indicated on the rear side. 

Case: 40mm, Thickness 11.8mm, Lug to Lug: 47.6mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Spring Drive Caliber 9RA2, Water-Resistance: 100m, Material: 18k Rose Gold, Price: $9,900

IWC Portofino Hand Wound 8 Days

IWC Portofino Hand Wound 8 Days

IWC launched its elegant Portofino series in 1984 and its classically understated design has remained relatively unchanged ever since. The movement inside the Hand Wound 8 Days model, however, underwent a decidedly modern upgrade in 2011: the in-house Caliber IW59210 that beats within the watch’s 45-mm, polished stainless steel case amasses a power reserve of 192 hours, or eight days, inside a single oversized mainspring barrel. This impressive running autonomy ensures that even if you leave the watch in a drawer after wearing it for a dressy weekend outing, it will still be ticking when you put it back on for the next one a week later. The power reserve is displayed by an analog hand on the expansive dial, alongside polished leaf hour and minute hands, thin bar hour markers, and a small seconds sundial.

Case: 45mm, Thickness 11.7mm, Lug Width: 22mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Hand Wound Caliber IW59210, Water-Resistance: 30m, Material: Steel, Price: $9,900

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