The weather is finally showing us some proper sunshine and higher temperatures here in the Netherlands. It actually feels like summer is approaching, and that means wedding season is about to start or is already well underway. So it’s time to think about what watch to wear on that special day. And we’re not just talking about the watches for the happy couple. These watches can also be worn by honorable guests, of course.

Especially nowadays, people don’t dress up that often anymore. We work from home quite regularly, dressed in our onesies, and when we’re in the office, it almost looks like it’s casual Friday every day of the week. At least weddings give us a chance to dress up a bit and show ourselves at our best. And that doesn’t only apply to the suit or dress, but it also means that you can wear one of your more special watches. I was supposed to attend one wedding this year, but it ended up getting postponed until next year. So this article is also just a good excuse to look at some of the nicest dress watches out there.

dress watches wedding season Patek Philippe Calatrava 5169G

Image: Xupes

For the purists: Patek Philippe Calatrava

Let’s start with the watch for the purists. They will probably say that a dress watch should be made out of some kind of precious metal and shouldn’t be too big. It would be nice if the watch didn’t look too distracting, and it should come on nothing other than a black alligator strap. Well, in that case, I think the Patek Philippe Calatrava is an excellent choice. Heck, we could even crown it the king of dress watches.

Just look at that picture above of the 5196G in a 37mm white gold case. The case and dial have absolutely no frills, but they look so perfect at the same time. It’ll easily slip underneath your double cuff where only you will notice its hefty case. But it will definitely shine when it appears as you’re reaching out to toast to the newlyweds. At around €25,000 on the pre-owned market, the Calatrava 5196G is also one of the more expensive options. But at least you’ll know that a lot of the cheaper options from other brands were ultimately inspired by the Calatrava line.

Purist alternatives

The Patek Philippe Calatrava definitely isn’t the only choice for purists. Many other classic watch brands also offer stellar dress watches. Think, for example, about IWC and its Portugieser line. Both Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre offer splendid options, especially if you’re a fan of non-round watches. Then, of course, there’s Piaget with its thinner-than-thin Altiplano lineup. But if you’re a fan of thin watches, then the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin should also be on your list.

Rolex Perpetual 1908

The new Rolex Perpetual 1908

Then there is Breguet with its Classique collection and beautiful guilloché dials. Vacheron Constantin also has an outstanding alternative with the Traditionnelle. And how about the Blancpain Villeret, which isn’t named very often when it comes to dress watches? Let’s also not forget the “sportier” options like Omega’s Globemaster and Rolex’s recently introduced 1908. Indeed, there are too many choices out there, but I didn’t just want to jump to the next option on the list without mentioning some of these moguls in the industry.

NOMOS Tangente neomatik Blue Gold dress watches wedding season

For the more modern and color-coded people: NOMOS

If you’re less of a conformist and you dare to go a little outside the box, I’d recommend taking a look at NOMOS Glashütte. I haven’t named a specific model here yet because nearly any of the brand’s Bauhaus-inspired watches wouldn’t look misplaced at any wedding, I think. Whether you’d go for the classic Tangente, the more streamlined Orion, or the square Tetra, they would all look good with more formal attire.

Nomos Tetra dress watches wedding season

And the great thing is that the more daring designs even offer you the opportunity to match the watch with your outfit. You can go for a dark blue dial that matches your dark blue suit, or if you have more outstanding colors on, say, your tie or socks, you can match them to the accents on NOMOS dials. And what’s even better is that these watches are a lot more affordable than most of the options above. Prices start at around €1,500, and even for a full-gold Ludwig 33, you’ll pay €7,800.

Open Your Heart For The Seiko Presage Cocktail Time In Blue And In Green

For the occasional wedding crasher

But for something that you may not wear very often, even €1,000 can still seem like a lot of money. So here are a couple of options that won’t immediately break the bank and that also look good in everyday life (the latter is also true for all of the watches mentioned above, by the way). First up are the famous Seiko Cocktail Time models. They come with sharp hour markers and hands, and they often bring a nice touch of color with their shiny yet classy dials. Some even offer you the opportunity to look at the heart of the automatic movement. The best feature, though, is their price because many won’t cost you more than €500. Perhaps that’s even less than that nice suit and a pair of lacquer shoes.

Even more affordable, though, is the Orient Bambino. It’s a stainless steel watch with a very simple and classic design that is certainly not inferior to many of its more expensive colleagues. OK, so it also comes with a date window on the dial, and the strap is probably not made of real alligator leather. But what can you ask for when you pay no more than €275? At that price, I think this is a very decent option for the occasional wedding crasher.

What would you wear?

There you go — a few quick suggestions on what you could wear during the upcoming wedding season. What do you think of those suggestions, and what would you wear to the next wedding you attend? Let me know in the comments below.

You can also find and follow me on Instagram: @fliptheparrot