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Wearing a watch with your tux used to be a total faux pas; but today, you’re almost expected to be wearing one at any black-tie event. That’s because over the decades, as the wristwatch has transitioned from functional timepiece to status symbol, it’s become the ultimate accessory to show off and express your unique personality. Now, you probably already have a watch for every other occasion – from work to play. So, it’s only sensible that you have a couple of dress watches too for those special occasions that require something a bit more elevated.

Plus, if you’re a serious watch collector, having a dress watch is also a necessary investment. Crafted out of the finest alloys, featuring incredible movements, and sometimes outfitted with precious diamonds and gems, these luxury pieces hold a significant value that will bolster your collection for years to come. Usually rooted in classic designs, dress watches are often timeless pieces that will continue to hold value, too.

Here, we’re rounding up just a few of our favorite dress watches from top brands like Rolex, Omega, Patek Philippe, Tissot, and more. These are the perfect accessories to reach for next time you need to polish up your look or mark a special occasion.

Rolex Dress Watches

As the world’s leading luxury watch brand, a Rolex watch is the perfect accessory for any special occasion. However, while all Rolex watches are luxurious and indulgent, there are certain models that stand out as particularly dressy and suited for more elegant affairs. Here, we’re highlighting a few favorite models, all outfitted in gold and featuring elevated details that push them into the dress watch category.

ROLEX CELLINI 50509

Key Features:

  • 36mm case diameter
  • 18k white gold construction
  • Domed and fluted bezel
  • Time-only display
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Leather strap with gold pin buckle
  • Rolex Cal. 3132 movement

The Cellini is the only purpose-built dress watch collection in the Rolex lineup. Designed to epitomize modern luxury, the watch gets its namesake from the revered Renaissance sculptor and goldsmith, Benvenuto Cellini. The collection itself has been around for a few decades, but the reference 50509 here is a more modern iteration featuring some incredibly elegant details like the tall, contemporary Roman numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock.

Modern Rolex Cellini watches are always crafted out of solid gold, with this ref. 50509 case being forged out of 18k white gold and featuring a beautiful domed and fluted bezel, an elegant screw-down crown, and polished lugs. Circling back to the dial, which is white and topped with long stick markers, it also features a black 60-minute track in small font and long leaf-shaped hour, minute, and seconds hands. The leather band contrasts beautifully against the white gold, while simultaneously giving it a more traditional ‘dress watch’ feel. A total classic, the Rolex Cellini will be the ultimate accessory for any special occasion for years to come.

ROLEX DATEJUST 116139

Key Features:

  • 36mm case diameter
  • 18k white gold construction
  • Fluted bezel
  • Date feature
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Leather strap with gold deployant clasp
  • Rolex Cal. 3135 movement

We often tout the Rolex Datejust as a great everyday watch – and it is. However, Rolex has been known to elevate the look of their classic Datejust by using 18k gold, leather straps, and adding beautiful details to the dial that make this watch totally shine. Forged out of white gold and featuring a mysteriously dark face, the Rolex Datejust ref. 116139 we’ve chosen here is just that kind of watch.

The 36mm case in solid 18k white gold features lug-hoods for a more integrated appearance with its leather strap, while the top is fitted with a beautiful fluted bezel that glimmers and catches the light. As your eye circles the dial, you’ll notice this Rolex Datejust has applied Roman numeral indices (also in 18k white gold) – a classic choice that automatically makes this watch look and feel dressier. Plus, Rolex has paired this Datejust ref. 116139 with a black leather strap fitted with a matching 18k white gold deployant buckle, transforming the typically casual feel of the watch into something entirely more elevated.

ROLEX DAY-DATE 118138

Key Features:

  • 36mm case diameter
  • 18k yellow gold construction
  • Fluted bezel
  • Date and Date displays
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Leather strap with gold deployant clasp
  • Rolex Cal. 3155 movement

Besides the Cellini, the Rolex Day-Date is also seen as one of Rolex’s official dress watches. Firstly, this is because the Day-Date is always crafted out of either solid 18k gold or 950 platinum, meaning that it always has an air of elegance. Secondly, the Rolex Day-Date is famously associated with world leaders and the rich and famous, automatically securing its high-status.

The Rolex Day-Date ref. 118138 featured here is a particularly special example of this model. What we love most about this watch is that unique Cognac dial – it’s a detail you just don’t see often, and one that won’t be found on any of Rolex’s stainless steel watches. The deep, caramel color of the dial just oozes luxury against the 18k yellow gold case, and it perfectly compliments the chocolate-colored leather strap. The Rolex Day-Date 118138 also features the brand’s impressive Caliber 3155 Perpetual movement that’s chronometer rated and boasts Double Quickset functionality. With this in your watch box, we bet you’re going to start seeking out occasions to wear it.

Omega Dress Watches

Founded in 1848, Omega is one of the world’s most storied and widely-respected luxury watch manufacturers. The iconic Swiss company is best known for technologically advanced sports watches, but also their elegant dress watches that ooze with timeless class. Here, we’re featuring a couple of our favorite Omega dress watches  – one built for the occasion the other a high-end luxury sports watch that easily transitions to elegant affairs.

OMEGA DE VILLE CO-AXIAL 41MM

Key Features:

  • 41mm case diameter
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Smooth bezel
  • Date feature
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Leather strap with steel deployant clasp
  • Omega Cal. 8500 movement

The De Ville is Omega’s dedicated line of dress watches, revered for its pure, unaffected design and classic styling that is built on prestige. The Omega De Ville Co-Axial is a particularly special model since it boasts the impressive Caliber 8500, a mechanical movement outfitted with OMEGA’s Co-Axial escapement which allows for a date display and boasts an impressive 60-hour power reserve.

This model here is the first we’re featuring that’s forged out of stainless steel, making it highly durable and available at a more affordable price point. However, the alloy doesn’t take away from the elegance of this watch – the large, polished 41mm case contrasted beautifully by this dark black dial that displays applied Roman Numeral indices. The combination of dark and light tones makes this watch automatically feel dressier, and the Roman Numerals keep with the De Ville collection’s classic aesthetics. Omega has paired this timepiece with a black leather band, keeping with the traditional feel of a dress watch and perfectly matching the face.

OMEGA SEAMASTER AQUA TERRA 150M

Key Features:

  • 43mm case diameter
  • Stainless steel and 18k red gold construction
  • Smooth bezel
  • Date and Date displays
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Leather strap with steel deployant clasp
  • Omega Cal. 8601 movement

The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra is the perfect balance between sophistication and ocean spirit, boasting incredibly high-end looks and mechanics. In fact, if you need to have a James Bond moment and jump off a boat while wearing your tux, this is the watch you’re going to want to be wearing – as it features a screw-down crown that offers a 150-meter depth rating

What we love about this watch is how they’ve paired durable, polished stainless steel with precious 18k red gold. Rose gold is a traditional dress watch alloy, and we adore the modern way Omega has nodded to this classic aesthetic. Other beautiful features of this Omega dress watch include a smooth high-polish bezel, a 43mm case with beveled lugs, day and date displays, and a comfortable three-link bracelet you can wear all night long. The dark face also gives this watch a dressier feel, and it wonderfully contrasts against the matching rose gold indices.

Patek Philippe Dress Watches

Patek Philippe produces some of the world’s most complicated, luxurious watches. The brand is synonymous with quality, workmanship, and attention to detail – meticulously crafting each watch by hand in extremely limited quantities. Today, it is often Patek Philippe’s luxury stainless steel sports watches that receive the most attention, such as the Nautilus and the Aquanaut. However, Patek Philippe also has a rich history of creating incredible dress watches, including the piece we’ll be highlighting today.

PATEK PHILIPPE CALATRAVA 5120J

Key Features:

  • 33mm case diameter
  • 18k yellow gold construction
  • Hobnail texture bezel
  • Date feature
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Leather strap with gold pin buckle
  • Patek Philippe Cal. 240 movement

Patek Philippe describes their Calatrava as the essence of the round wristwatch. Featuring elegant charm and pure lines, the Calatrava is timeless and understated and defined by the attention to detail given to every single element. Crafted out of 18k yellow gold, this Patek Philippe Calatrava 5120J is outfitted with a wonderful hobnail bezel. It’s a sophisticated design element you just don’t see that often, and one that is perfectly fitting for a dress watch.

The Patek Philippe Calatrava 5120J is also defined by its classy white dial outfitted with sleek hour markers and hands. You’ll also notice this Patek Philippe dress watch is outfitted with a date window, which is an unexpected but welcomed addition thanks to the powerful and reliable Caliber 240 self-winding mechanism tucked inside. While we love everything about this classic dress watch. It is a perfectly executed example of a timeless dress watch from one of the world’s most renowned luxury watch manufacturers.

Panerai Dress Watches

Perfectly balancing Italian design alongside Swiss craftsmanship, Panerai watches are world-renowned for their unique, oversized designs and superior attention to detail. Truth be told, Panerai doesn’t really make a traditional dress watch. However, there are certain references which you can pick up in precious alloys. There is also the Luminor Due collection which often gets chosen as a Panerai dress watch due to its slim case and sleek look – which are perfect for pairing with formal attire.

PANERAI LUMINOR DUE – PAM00676

Key Features:

  • 42mm case diameter
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Crown protecting bridge
  • Small seconds indicator
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Leather strap with steel pin buckle
  • Panerai Cal. P.1000 movement

The Panerai Luminor Due embodies the brand’s signature style with an oversized 42mm cushion case while still remaining thin and wearable. What we love about Panerai is its inherent vintage aesthetic that still always embraces modernity. Even though this is not a traditional dress watch by definition, these beautiful lines and built-in character create a mesmerizing elegance that you’ll love strapping on for formal occasions.

This Panerai Luminor Due PAM676 is crafted out of highly polished AISI 316L 1.4435 stainless steel – Panerai’s specially-made alloy that’s highly corrosion-resistant and hypoallergenic. The case also features the classic Luminor’s signature crown protecting bridge (a big selling point for Panerai lovers) and an elegantly-simple black sandwich dial adorned with vintage-inspired lume and a small seconds indicator at the 9 o’clock marker. This watch also boasts a serious movement – the Panerai Caliber P.1000 offers users a 72-hour power reserve and seconds reset (the seconds hand snaps to zero when the crown is pulled out to set the time). While the Panerai Luminor Due PAM00676 may not be a classic dress watch, its unique appeal and vintage essence make it the perfect accessory for your next event or night out.

Tudor Dress Watches

Tudor, often referred to as the little brother of Rolex, was founded back in 1926 as the entry-level luxury watch alternative to its more famous sibling company. In the years since Tudor has amassed a cult following on its own accord – watch enthusiasts of all kinds adoring the character, reliability, and timeless design of these beautiful Swiss timepieces. Tudor has an entire ‘classic’ range which embodies the heritage of dress watches with a variety of elegant designs for every kind of collector.

TUDOR GLAMOUR DOUBLE DATE 57000

Key Features:

  • 42mm case diameter
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Double-window date display
  • Small seconds indicator
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Leather strap with steel deployant clasp
  • Tudor Cal. 2892 movement (ETA base)

As the name suggests, the Tudor Glamour Double Date 57000 is a beautiful example of classic glamour. Pairing an affordable stainless steel case with a silver tuxedo dial provides an elevated, elegant finish to this watch – the dial draws you in with a textured finish, thin indices, and these beautifully tapered hands. There’s even a seconds sub-dial sitting at 6 o’clock (adorned with the Tudor rose), giving this watch a wonderfully complicated feel you’d expect from a watch at a much higher price point.

A subsidiary of Rolex, Tudor watches are crafted with the same quality and attention to detail. With the Tudor Glamour Double Date 57000 presented here, the Automatic ETA-base caliber 2892 powers the watch, including the watches namesake ‘Double Date’ display which sits just below the Tudor logo. Of course, what ties this whole look together is that black leather band which contrasts so wonderfully against the lightness of the tuxedo dial and cool stainless. If you’re looking for a dress watch with a unique and unconventional dial layout, this is the piece for you.

Oris Dress Watches

Established in 1904, Oris has a rich history in the Swiss watch industry. Today, the brand boasts more than a dozen different models, ranging from diving and aviation to motorsport and culture. Their culture line consists of the Oris Classic and the Oris Artelier, the latter of which we’ll be discussing here. What’s special about Oris is that as a company, they now only create mechanical watches. Oris has a deep understanding of what goes into a quality caliber, offering watches with both in-house and off-the-shelf movements, yet the brand always makes watches that are quite accessible from a design and price standpoint  – including their dress watches.

ORIS ARTELIER 110 YEARS LIMITED EDITION

Key Features:

  • 43mm case diameter
  • 18k rose gold construction
  • 10-day power reserve
  • Small seconds and power reserve indicators
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Leather strap with gold pin buckle
  • Oris Cal. 110 movement

With this Oris Artelier 110 Years Limited Edition 01 110 7700 6081-SET LS we circle back to a beautiful solid gold case. What’s special about this watch is the size, clocking in at 43mm and made entirely out of glittering 18k rose gold. We love that they chose this pink-hued gold, as it is a nod to the heritage of dress watches and watchmaking itself.

This Oris Artelier 110 Years Limited Edition is outfitted with a beautiful silver dial, which contrasts beautifully against the rose gold case. On the face, you’ll read an Arabic 12 and 6, with the rest of the indices outfitted in thin, rose gold markers. Many dress watch dials are quite plane, their simple elegance speaking for itself. However, we love how this Oris Artelier features a subsidiary seconds dial at 9 o’clock and a power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock, which alludes to the impressive 10-day power reserve offered by the watch’s in-house movement. We also can’t ignore the fact that the ref. 01 110 7700 6081-SET LS is a part of Oris history. With only 110 pieces created, Oris Artelier 110 Years Limited Edition features the company’s first in-house developed movement (Caliber 110) in nearly 35 years. If you’re looking for a dress watch that has a heritage feel with contemporary innovations, look no further than this Oris Artelier.

Tissot Dress Watches

Tissot has a rich and fascinating history of producing fine-crafted luxury watches that always combine high-style and performance. Founded in 1853, Tissot has grown immensely over the years, today boasting a catalog of watches that ranges from sporty to everyday to elegant. Despite the brand’s popularity for its stainless models, Tissot actually boasts a wide range of dress watches, including its Carson Powermatic 80 which we’ll be showcasing today.

TISSOT CARSON POWERMATIC 80 – T907.407.16.031.00

Key Features:

  • 40mm case diameter
  • 18k yellow gold construction
  • Smooth bezel
  • Date feature
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Leather strap with gold butterfly buckle
  • Tissot Powermatic 80 movement (ETA base)

The Tissot Carson Powermatic 80 is what the brand calls an ‘all timer’ – the perfect partner to accompany you to every great occasion in life. And we have to say, we couldn’t agree more. The 40mm round, 18k yellow gold case is simple and contemporary, and it is paired perfectly with the eye-catching, graceful silver ‘wave’ dial.

This Tissot Carson Powermatic 80 ref. T907.407.16.031.00 also features elongated fine hands as well as matching yellow gold hour indices which round out the entire look. Plus, inside ticks a 23-jewel, self-winding Powermatic 80.111 movement with an impressive 80-hour power reserve, further proving Tissot’s commitment to both style and performance. Of course, we can’t forget the brown leather band which adds an element of class to this otherwise contemporary piece. If you’re looking for a modern showstopper to strap on for every big occasion, this Tissot Carson Powermatic will impress every time.

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