How To Match Your Watch With Your Outfit

Do we really need rules to match your watch to your outfit? 

Before we go into depth here, picture this.

There is a well dressed man in a tuxedo at a black-tie event.

He has class, style and a sophistication that captures the attention of anyone who passes him. 

After slightly adjusting his cufflinks, he casually turns his wrist to check the time. A Casio calculator wristwatch with a rubber strap…


And that is the power of a timepiece gentleman. It has the innate ability to complete a look, or break it.

It's more than just a device for managing your time. It is a statement, an essential for conveying your unique style to the world.

Compared to our female counterparts, men are relatively limited when it comes to accessories. A watch is an expression of a mans personality. Men have different facets to their lives, and require different timepieces for different occasions.

Take for example, the average day. You may go for a casual lunch with friends. In this case, with casual attire, a more robust or understated piece will work.

But that night, you go to a suit and tie function with your date. Of course now, it's time to impress. And so you choose your best classic dress watch that catches the eye and completes your look.

The style of watch you choose to wear needs to match the formality of your outfit.


Here are the top 5 watch-matching rules that are timeless and relevant in any situation. 

THE RULE: The Formality Of Your Outfit Should Match The Formality Of Your Watch

Watch Categories

Excluding smart or digital watches, there are five main categories of watches that most men (should) own…

    • Dress Watches – A dress watch is an analog timepiece with a simple yet sophisticated design. The main style element of a dress watch is minimalism, with an elegant or sleek look. Historically dress watches had white faces, and generally a gold or silver case. Now, dress watches come in an array of styles and shapes, whilst retaining the classic & sophisticated look. 

    • Diver Watches Originally worn as work/tool watches. Also referred to as a diving watch. They have grown in popularity ever since James Bond movies where he would wear a divers watch with a suit. 

    • Skeleton Watches – Hugely popular and a symbol of high-end style. Essentially a work of art in the form of a timepiece. The skeleton watch is defined by the hollow face which exposes the mechanical workings of the movement.

    • Chrono Watches – Not a true dress watch, but can be quite dressy especially in the higher brands. Expect compasses, altimeters, and a range of other functions that have made their way from useful tools, to eye catching designs. 

    • Tourbillon Watches – Similar to the skeleton watch. The tourbillon features a rotating movement that perpetually keeps time. They are a high-class piece that are perfect for making a statement. 



Every watch has it's purpose. Some watches should be worn casually, where as others should be dressed up. Whatever the occasion, it's crucial to avoid style blunders by matching your formality of outfit to your formality of watch. 

  • Black tie / White Tie – For formal events, simplicity can go along way.  Also, there is the historical significance that it was considered rude if you were to refer to your watch at such an event. While this still is true, more high-end & eye catching watches are also appropriate such as a Skeleton or Tourbillon.

  • Business dress – For business – when in doubt go simple. If you want to make a statement, try something more unique like a skeleton. If you want to keep it simple and classy, a dark conservative suit is best paired with a classic dress watch or a diver watch.

  • Business CasualIt's time to dress down, but not too casual. Try a high-end chrono, a bigger sized dress watch but avoid gold, or even a Divers Watch

  • Casual – The day to day for most of us is about comfort and being understated. We save the best for the most important occasions. If it suits your personality, a skeleton or tourbillon are both options still, as is a dress watch. But when dressing down, a simple chrono or larger dress watch will work here. 

  • Sports – If you're going to be playing sports, generally a chrono or diver watch will work. This is because they have a heritage of being a useful device in such activities. But perhaps a rubber digital watch might be your best bet!


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