A dress watch is, in essence, a timepiece that you can ideally dress up with a suit or a tuxedo. The qualities of a good dress watch include a simple dial with often a time-only display, flat colours like blacks, whites and greys, and a high-end leather strap to pair it with.
I've put together 11 of the most beautiful, most revered and most respected classic dress watches that money can buy, just in time for Christmas.
Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Grande Date
From the perspective of an against-the-grain classic dress watch, you really can't go wrong with the Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Grande Date. Just really, really special.
Breguet 7027 Tradition
Another outside-the-box classical dress watch addition, the Breguet 7027 Tradition is a legendary piece that marries the worlds of genuine haute horlogerie with generational timeless watchmaking beautifully. One for the ages.
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
Clad in rose gold, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean benefits from elements of duality. At night it can be worn like any other high-end classic dress watch. And during the day you can pair it with a pair of shorts down at your local cafe. Versatility is key!
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Excellence Platine
An exceptional dress watch that is a personal grail of mine, the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Excellence Platine features a stunning platinum case, platinum stitching in the leather band as well as a textured grainy platinum dial. And it's under retail. What?!
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Automatic
The Traditionnelle Excellence Platine is one of my ultimate grails, but the off-centre small-seconds dial Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Automatic isn't too far off. Love that dial layout!
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia
Perhaps one of the simplest pieces from A. Lange & Söhne, the Saxonia presents a stunning classic dress watch package that is surprisingly affordable, relatively speaking, of course.
Patek Philippe 5196P Calatrava
Platinum case, check. Breguet numerals, yep. Understated, timeless and undeniably Patek. Is this the greatest Calatrava ever made?
Patek Philippe 6119 Calatrava
If the 5196P Calatrava has achieved legendary status, I can definitely see the Patek Philippe 6119 Calatrava closing in on the same. Available in either rose gold or white gold, the 6119 Calatrava ushers in a modern era of watchmaking, particularly in that super contemporary movement architecture.
Patek Philippe 5227G Calatrava
An unloved and overshadowed hero of the dress watch niche is the Patek Philippe 5227G Calatrava. Executed to absolute perfection, the 5227G Calatrava is the perfect start point for someone looking to dip their toes into some very high end classic dress watchmaking.
Girard-Perregaux Classique Automatic
An obscure reference but one that I think is absolutely fabulous nevertheless, the Girard-Perregaux Classique Automatic is undeniably beautiful and presents exceptional value for money, even in this space of higher end classic dress watches. A steal at over 30% off retail, too.
Rolex Perpetual 1908
Rolex made waves when it unveiled the Perpetual 1908. A step up from the Cellini, the Perpetual 1908 features an open sapphire caseback with the Calibre 7140 in full view. High demand for one of this decade's most impressive classic dress watches.
This page contains affiliate links to products from our partners. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.