Best Women's Dress Watches

Updated November 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

35 Models Considered
10 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best women’s dress watches

There are numerous accessories that women rely on to accentuate their look for a special occasion. A pretty clutch purse, perfectly paired shoes, and eye-catching jewelry all serve to bring an ensemble together for a whole host of events, from a special work meeting to a wedding to a much anticipated night on the town. A stylish dress watch is another key accessory that can help pull an outfit together.

While functionality is important, so are looks and style when it comes to watches worn for formal occasions. Fortunately, you have many options, whether you want a bold, feminine, or classic look. We weeded through the options and came up with our five favorite women’s dress watches, detailed above.

Keep reading for more information, including tips and tricks to guide you to a watch that is both beautiful and functional.

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Dressy doesn’t have to mean flashy. If you prefer a subtler style, a traditional face and a leather or metal-link band will pair nicely with most outfits worn for special events.

Women’s dress watch materials

Dress watches for women come in a wide array of materials. Whether you prefer gold, leather, or something else will depend on your attire and the occasion.

  • Stainless steel is arguably the most popular material used to produce dress watches. It is a top choice because it’s durable, versatile, and reasonably priced. Stainless steel can be finished in silver, yellow gold, rose gold, or other colors, or in a combination for a mixed-metal look.

  • Base metal is a cheaper option than stainless steel, and while it is less sturdy, it can sport the same finish options as steel. Watches made of this type of material are typically less expensive.

  • Real gold (10-, 14-, and 18-karat) watches are also available. Without a doubt, real gold watches are beautiful, but they could be out of reach for many consumers because of the high price.

  • Leather straps combined with metal faces and buckles are commonly found in dress watches. The look of these watches could be considered more traditional, but some styles come in bold, nontraditional colors for a contemporary twist on a classic style.

  • Rubber and silicone are relatively new materials in watch manufacturing, and these are typically combined with metal, such as stainless steel. Although these materials sound inexpensive or casual, with the right design and embellishment, the look can be quite dressy.

Features of women’s dress watches

Just like any other watch, those designed for more formal occasions have the basic features, but they also offer more than a face with numbers on a strap. Here are some details you may want to look for when choosing a watch that will be worthy of your finest fashion and most important gatherings.


Perhaps one of the most exciting features about women’s dress watches is their adornment with various crystals, rhinestones, and even gemstones. You can find the sparklers on the faces and/or bands of many dress watches.

Bangle bands

High-fashion watches with these bands are like bangle bracelets that double as timepieces. Although typically not adjustable, these bands come in a variety of styles that can be worn loosely or snugly, depending on the fit of the watch and size of your wrist.

Bold looks

Dress watches are designed to be noticed and look great on your wrist. You can find some bold-looking watches with sculpted, etched, or otherwise styled metal components or attention-grabbing faces in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors.

Supple leather

The leather bands on dress watches are genuine leather with a soft, flexible fit that conforms to your wrist. Some leather bands also feature patterns or glossy finishes to add to their fashionable styles.

Classic options

If you prefer a timepiece with a traditional look, there is a dress watch on the market to fit your preferences. From metal-link bands to streamlined analog faces, there are dress watches geared to those who prefer only the essentials that have stood the test of time.

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Expert Tip
Are you hesitant about buying a pricier dress watch because you won’t wear it often? Remember that the precision craftsmanship and lasting beauty of dress watches make them perfect heirloom pieces that can be enjoyed for generations.


  • Consider the occasion. Think about the times when you want to wear a dress watch. You may want a very fancy dress watch for a wedding but a more subtle look for a business meeting.

  • Add more than one dress watch to your collection. If you have a busy career or numerous formal events to attend, owning more than one dress watch will enable you to match the perfect watch to every outfit.

  • Consider lower-priced dress watches. You don’t have to blow your budget to find an exceptional watch for a good price. In addition to saving some money, a watch in a lower price range might also be your best option if you don’t plan to wear it very often.

  • Take good care of your dress watch. There’s no reason why your new watch can’t last for years, decades, or longer if you take care of it properly. Don’t wear the watch every day, don’t do heavy-duty tasks while it’s on your wrist, and store it in a safe place like a well-made jewelry box.

Women’s dress watch prices

When you think of accessories for dressy or formal occasions, you probably think of high prices. However, there are so many women’s dress watches available in such a large price range that nearly everyone can afford one, regardless of whether you prefer simple or embellished. You can expect to pay from $25 to thousands of dollars for a women’s dress watch.

Inexpensive dress watches made of metal or leather are often durable and just as attractive as pricier options, even if the brand names aren’t as familiar. You can find good choices in the $25 to $50 range.

For $50 to $300, you can find dress watches made of a variety of materials, many crafted by top names in the fashion and watch industries.

If you have a bigger budget, you can easily spend more than $300 (and up to several thousand dollars) for a dress watch. Some on the highest end of the price scale are made of real gold with diamonds and other gemstones.

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Do you love bling? Dress watches with rhinestones, crystals, and even diamond accents can not only fit your style but also your budget.


Q. What type of dress watch goes best with a little black dress?

A. A great way to complement a classic black dress is to add a bit of sparkle to your look by wearing a dress watch adorned with crystals or gemstones. If you prefer a less dramatic effect, an all-metal watch in gold tone or silver tone will showcase your sophisticated side.

Q. The look of a link-style watch band appeals to me. Will I be able to remove the links myself if the watch is too large to fit my wrist?

A. Removing watch links can be a DIY project, but it’s important to have the right tools. A watch repair kit includes the small tools you need. However, this minor fix is something that a jeweler can usually do quickly if you find the task too tedious.

Q. What features should I look for in a dress watch to fit my edgy, modern outfits?

A. It sounds like a watch with a large face could work perfectly with your fashions. In the past, women’s watches made for fancy occasions were often dainty, but many of today’s modern watch styles are large and bold, yet feminine and perfect for dressy wear.

Q. Are rhinestone watches delicate?

A. While it’s probably not a good idea to wear a watch with rhinestones or crystals every day or while doing rigorous activities, well-made designs are suitable for occasions when looking your best is a top priority. Just keep in mind that any harsh treatment could cause the rhinestones to come loose or fall out.

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