The Top 10 Dress Watches We Love Best
Although a sports watch can be very versatile, there’s always room (and an occasion) for a good dress watch in your collection. That’s why we share with you our top 10 dress watches.
For some, there’s only one dress watch: a Patek Philippe Calatrava. Like the Patek reference 5227 for example. A beautiful simple three-hand watch, in precious metal. There’s no solid definition of a dress watch, but for this article, we keep it to two to three hands and a date window as ‘extra’ complication. That’s just what we feel a simple dress watch is about, although we certainly can see a watch with more complications as a dress watch as well.
We cover mainly sports watches here on Fratello. That’s what we mostly buy ourselves, new and vintage. However, that’s not entirely fair as there are also many interesting dress watches available. The Patek Philippe Calatrava might be the ‘reference’ for many people when it comes down to a clean looking dress watch, but there are so many more out there that are worth checking out. For that reason, our Top 10 dress watches start below, excluding the Calatrava 5227. Perhaps because the Calatrava is a reference, we want to show you what’s more out there that could be interesting for you to discover.
Top 10 Dress Watches
We don’t want to limit ourselves to small round cases made of gold, we also include steel and rectangular cases in this top 10 dress watches overview. To show you that there’s something for everyone, in all prices ranges, we made a wide selection, starting just below 1000 Euro.
Without further ado, have a look at our top 10 dress watches overview.
10. Piaget Altiplano Automatic 40mm
This Altiplano in rose gold might not be for everyone, mainly due to its meteorite dial. Piaget has various Altiplano models though, but we happen to like meteorite as dial material. The watch measures 40mm in diameter and it has a thickness of 6.5mm. Not the thinnest Piaget Altiplano, but thin enough to be a good candidate for a dress watch. Inside we will find caliber 1203P, with micro-rotor. A beautiful looking movement (visible through its saphire case back) with a thickness of only 3mm.
The Piaget Altiplano reference G0A44051 is limited to 300 pieces only and has a retail price of €27.500,- (including VAT).
More information can be found via Piaget online.
9. Cartier Santos Dumont Stainless Steel
We were pretty excited about the new Cartier Dumont that was introduced last January. There was only one big but, and that’s the use of a quartz movement. It is quite a specific and high-precision quartz movement, but still, it is quartz. That will probably not speak to everyone (we covered the use of quartz movements in high-end watches here), but if you can appreciate a quartz movement, the Santos Dumont deserves further investigation. We love the classic design, the polished bezel with screws, a beautiful crown with blue synthetic cabochon-shaped spine and wonderful design and iconic dial. Simply lovely. So is the retail price of €3800,- (including VAT). You will buy yourself a true classic that will accompany you perfectly during more formal occasions, one of the reasons it is on our Top 10 dress watches overview. Or just with jeans and Polo shirt. The Santos Dumont has a case diameter of 43.5mm x 31.4mm and a thickness of 7.3mm.
More information on the Cartier Santos Dumont via Cartier online.
8. Chopard L.U.C. XPS Twist Qualité Fleurier
Just like the nr.10 (Piaget) in our Top 10 dress watches overview, we find a micro-rotor movement inside. Chopard uses their L.U.C 96.26-L movement for the XPS Twist QF that measures just 3.3mm in height, keeping the total height of the watch down to just 7.6mm. We are not searching for the thinnest dress watch here, but a bit of thinness doesn’t hurt when it comes to dress watches. This Chopard has a case made of white gold, and completely according to fair mining principle that Chopard adopted. With a diameter of 40mm, it will suit most wrists perfectly. The dial has an interesting twist, with its decentral sub seconds and beautiful brushed dial. The crown is located at 4 o’clock, as you can see. The retail price of this Chopard L.U.C. XPS Twist QF is CHF19,800.- and limited to 250 pieces only.
More information via Chopard online.
7. Hamilton Intra-Matic 42mm
The most accessible watch in our Top 10 dress watches overview, the Hamilton Intra-Matic 42mm in PVD gold. Also available in stainless steel and in a smaller 38mm diameter. These Hamilton Intra-Matic dress models start at 795 Euro and this 42mm PVD gold version has a retail price of 915 Euro. We did a hands-on review with one of them here. It is a perfect companion during formal occasions but it can also just be your daily rocker for years to come. Inside there’s the ETA 2892-A2 movement and let us tell you that this is not something to overlook. A movement with a great track record and it has been used in many watches from different brands (IWC, Omega, Breitling etc.). The main attraction of this watch for us is the smoked dial though. Simply stunning. There’s a date aperture at 6 o’clock, with a nice dark disc.
More information about this Hamilton Intra-Matic dress watch can be found here.
6. Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate
Perhaps this is the classic dress watch. Round gold case, two hands, no date and no seconds. Simple and simply beautiful. This 40mm diameter Blancpain Villeret takes position 6 in our Top 10 dress watches overview. A case made of red gold, only 7.39mm in height and a sapphire case back to view the in-house developed caliber 11A4B hand-wound movement of just 2.8mm thick. This is a new movement, with 95 hours of power reserve. The dial is opaline and has applied Roman numerals in gold. This Villeret is also available in stainless steel on a leather strap (CHF 9,500,-), but you will also find it with a stainless steel bracelet. This is the red gold version on a leather strap (retail price CHF17,000.-) but there’s also a version on red gold bracelet.
More information on this Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate or one of its variations can be found here.
5. Glashütte Original Sixties Panorama Date
This Sixties Panorama Date was introduced earlier on in a beautiful green dial, but this year GO showed us the watch in fiery orange. Also available as a no-date watch, but the panorama date is quite cool. But the choice is yours, as is the colour. This GO Sixties Panorama Date measures 42mm in diameter and has a 12.4mm height. Inside you will find an automatic caliber 39-47 movement, offering 40 hours of power-reserve and, of course, the panorama date function. The dial is made in their own manufacture in Pforzheim, where the art of dial-making has been going on for decades. For those who want to have a dress watch that will also make conversation with other watch enthusiasts. The retail price of this version with panorama date is €7.800,-.
More information on the Glashütte Original Sixties Panorama Date can be found here.
4. Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGY002
Grand Seiko introduced a number of elegant dress watches this year (as we reviewed the steel version here). Here we have the yellow gold version, with reference SBGY002. With a case diameter of just 38.5mm, it is quite elegant. Its thickness of 10.2mm isn’t ‘plat’ or ‘extra thin’, but certainly fine for this watch. The case has been finished according to their Zaratsu polishing methods and the dial has the typical ‘Snowflake‘ design. Inside is a hand-wound Spring Drive caliber (9R31) with a power reserve of 72 hours. Spring Drive is something we’ve explained in many different articles, like this one. This watch has a retail price of €27.000,- (including VAT).
More information on the Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGY002 can be found here.
3. Omega Constellation Globemaster
Available in steel, gold & steel, gold and platinum, the Constellation Globemaster. Originally introduced in 2015, as their first watch to have the METAS certified (Master) chronometer movement at the time. However, it is inspired by those first Constellation models from the early 1950s (we wrote an in-depth article on those Constellations here) with their pie-pan dials. This Constellation Globemaster has a 39mm diameter and a thickness of 12.5mm. Not the thinnest watch, but definitely a handsome dress watch. Inside you will find Omega’s in-house developed caliber 8900 movement (8901 in the versions made of gold and platinum) that has a power reserve of 60 hours and is resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss. The Globemaster as pictured below has a retail price of €8.000,- but starts at €6.500,- (including VAT). Omega also added a 41mm version to the collection, with an annual calendar complication.
More information about the Omega Constellation Globemaster can be found here.
2. Breguet Classique
Perhaps closest to the favoured Patek Philippe 5227 in terms of prestige and finish is this Breguet Classique reference 5177. Available in quite some variations, including variations with the beautiful hand-engraved dials (on rose machines), we chose for this 5177 with a “grand feu” white enamel dial for our Top 10 dress watches overview. With a modest diameter of 38mm and a thickness of 8.8mm, it is one of the smaller watches in this overview. The Breguet Classique doesn’t need to be loud. No large brand name on the dial, no logo, no other information than the strictly necessary. The Classique 5177 is powered by a self-winding caliber 777Q movement, with a power reserve of 55 hours. The retail price for the Breguet Classique 5177 with white enamel dial is CHF23,100.- (including VAT).
More information on this Breguet Classique can be found here.
1. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Small Seconds
The second rectangular watch in this top 10 dress watches overview is this Reverso. When we saw it for the first time we were immediately a fan of the burgundy red dial. It seems to be a bit of a trend this year, as Oris and Omega also decided to come up with beautiful burgundy red dials for their watches. Combined with the burgundy red leather strap, this Jaeger-LeCoultre hit bulls-eye. The deep red dial is not lacquered, although it could appear to be so. The case is made of steel and measures 45.6 mm x 27.4 mm x 8.5 mm. Inside is the hand-wound JLC caliber 822/1 movement. Luckily, this Reverso Tribute Small Seconds in burgundy red is not limited, so you have enough time to give it a bit of thought. There are many Reverso references available, including in precious metals of course, so there’s enough to choose from. However, this burgundy red version is our favourite. Retail price of this watch is €8000,- (including VAT).
More information on this Reverso Tribute Small Seconds can be found here.