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 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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Best of the Best
Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Stainless Steel Axiom Chronograph Watch
Men's Eco-Drive Stainless Steel Axiom Chronograph Watch
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Bottom Line

Simple design, clean looks, and modern fashion-sense make this reasonably-priced watch a great match for your special events and occasions.


Smooth, contemporary face and attractive styling make this watch suitable for nearly any dressy occasion. Solar powered means no need for batteries. Owners rave about its expensive looks and attractive price.


Face is prone to scratching, so it's not ideal to wear when doing some activities.

Best Bang for the Buck
Fossil The Minimalist Men's Watch
The Minimalist Men's Watch
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Bottom Line

An affordable watch by a popular, contemporary brand with timeless appeal that will complement numerous outfits for dressy occasions — a lot to offer for an affordable price.


Sports a rich, brown leather strap. Thin design looks modern and feels nice on the wrist. A classy look for an inexpensive price.


A few customers found the face casing, which measures around 42 millimeters, larger than expected. Some watches arrived in mediocre packaging.

Movado Men's Bold Thin Watch
Men's Bold Thin Watch
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Bottom Line

If you have exclusive plans and want a high-fashion watch by an iconic name in timepieces, this Movado is sure to attract glances and compliments.


This gorgeous, ion gold-tone plated Movado garners praise for its high-end look that is an excellent choice for formal occasions. An excellent fit for black-tie events that pairs perfectly with a designer suit or tuxedo.


The expensive price tag makes it impractical for some consumers, plus it may be too much for average wear.

Casio Men's G Shock Quartz Watch
Men's G Shock Quartz Watch
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Bottom Line

G-Shock watches are known for their toughness and build quality. Simple stainless steel and black design looks great.


Customers like the stylish look of this watch. Solar powered. Includes water resistance down to 660 feet and shock resistance. Owners like the value they receive with this watch.


Some customers dislike the feel of the band. Watch's design may not be dressy enough.

Seiko Men's Coutura Kinetic Stainless Steel Watch
Men's Coutura Kinetic Stainless Steel Watch
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Bottom Line

Simple style in a silver-tone watch with a white face. Owners acknowledge it has a slightly high price, but still a good value.


Watch powers up through movement of your body. Customers like the size of the watch face. Extremely accurate time keeper. Looks like a more expensive watch.


Some owners say the watch is a little heavy to wear for long periods. Price is a little high.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best men’s dress watches

You have the suit, the shirt, the tie, and the shoes. Now all you need is a classy timepiece to pull your formal look together. Not only will a handsome men’s dress watch look great for special events, but it certainly beats fumbling for your smartphone to check the time.

Whether you’re dressing for success for a business meeting or donning black tie for a formal gathering, the perfect dress watch for your look should be functional and fashionable. But with so many men’s dress watches on the market, how do you find the best one for you?

At BestReviews, we aim to simplify your shopping decisions. For everything you need to know about finding a watch for those times when you need to look your best, keep reading our shopping guide.

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Simplicity is always chic when it comes to men’s dress watches. You can’t go wrong when you choose a watch with a streamlined, fuss-free look.

Styles of men’s dress watches

When donning your finest apparel, the style of a dress watch is as important as its function. Some men’s dress watches are designed to catch the eye. Bold faces, gemstones, vivid colors, and modern shapes may fit your fashion sense if you consider your style contemporary or edgy. However, these statement watches may not be ideal for very formal occasions or some business functions.

Perhaps the most popular look in men’s dress watches is understated simplicity. Watches with streamlined metal bands and faces in traditional colors are elegant without looking too complicated. Markers for numbers or no markers at all make for interesting and stylish watch faces.

However, just because an event is fancy doesn’t mean your watch has to be fussy. A classic dress watch in all metal or with a traditional leather band may be all you need for your next big event.

Features of men’s dress watches

Men’s dress watches are more than just reliable timepieces. They have features that add to their formal effect. Superior quality is a notable feature in most dress watches, from rich leather to excellent workmanship.

A thin structure is common in dress watches for men, as this creates an elegant look and precise fit. Plain faces that don’t have numbers or markers are common in men’s dress watches, too. Diamond accents are often strategically placed on the faces of men’s dress watches.

Mechanical or wind-up watches are less common when it comes to men’s dress watches. Many dress watches are battery-powered. Solar watches are powered by light, and they tend to be a bit pricier. Both automatic and kinetic mechanisms are powered by the wearer’s movement, and these watches are typically mid- to high-end in price.

"Don’t forget to save the box your men’s dress watch arrives in, as it provides the perfect place to store it."

Materials of men’s dress watches

Maybe you like the cool, crisp look of an all-metal watch, or perhaps you prefer the soft feel of leather on your skin. Be sure to think about the materials when you’re shopping for men’s dress watches.

  • Leather

Men’s dress watches with leather bands sport either smooth or textured finishes. Leather dress watches tend to look best with suits or sport coats.

  • Metal

Watches made of metal are a popular choice thanks to their sleek look. Link, mesh, or smooth bands with metal faces in the same tone or mixed tones are striking and elegant. Common metals include gold-tone, silver-tone, or stainless steel. Men’s dress watches made of real gold are premium options that are quite expensive.

  • Other materials

Rubber, silicone, and even wood are other materials found in contemporary men’s dress watches. They are usually mixed with metal accents. Although they aren’t as popular as leather or metal, these unique materials create interesting looks suitable for those with edgier styles.

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Expert Tip
When selecting a men’s dress watch, consider the size of your wrist and the circumference of the watch face to achieve the right proportion. For example, an oversized watch face will look awkward on a thin wrist.

Prices of men’s dress watches

The question you need to ask yourself as you think about your budget for a men’s dress watch is how much you want to spend. There are options available in a wide range of prices.

  • Budget-friendly

If you don’t have a lot to spend on a men’s dress watch, don’t worry. In the $60 to $74 range, you can find nice options in gold- or silver-tone metal or with quality leather bands. Some of these dress watches are even by popular brand names.

  • Mid-range

A majority of men’s dress watches fall in the middle of the price spectrum. For around $100 to $300, you can find excellent-quality watches by well-known brands. Stainless steel, gold- and silver-tone metals, and fine leather bands can all be found in this price range.

  • Luxury

For those who have a lot to spend, or even if the sky’s the limit, luxury men’s dress watches start at $400 and go up. Premium brands and watches made of real gold fall into this category.


  • Remember to match metals. Keeping the color of your metals consistent will make you look more pulled together. So, if you like silver jewelry, your belt buckle is silver-tone, and you have other silver metal accessories, opt for a men’s dress watch with silver accents on the face or band.

  • Wear your dress watch only for important business meetings or special events. Not only are men’s dress watches typically a bit more delicate than those made for every day, but they usually have fewer useful features, such as date windows or second hands. Owning another watch suitable for daily wear is a good idea.

  • Don’t want to hassle with changing watch batteries? Consider a men’s dress watch with solar, automatic, or kinetic power. Solar-only watches are charged by almost any light source. Automatic styles are powered by the movement of the wearer’s arm. Kinetic watches are also powered by movement, but they store that energy in self-charging batteries. Any of these options will save you having to purchase and replace batteries.

  • Metal watches don’t have to equal high prices. While men’s dress watches crafted in 10-, 14-, or 18-karat gold are elegant, they are also extremely expensive. Well-made gold-tone watches feature a similar look for a fraction of the price. And modern processes used to plate base metals like stainless steel in silver or gold hold up to years of wear without fading or wearing away.
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Black is always in style, especially when it comes to formal wear. A men’s dress watch with a black band or face adds a dramatic, classy touch to any suit.


Q. What should I look for when choosing a men’s dress watch with a leather band?

A. Leather watch straps are classic, attractive, and comfortable. But just like you match colors when it comes to leather belts and shoes, follow suit by matching the color of your leather watch band to your other leather accessories for a consistent look.

Q. Roman numerals, Arabic numbers, or plain markers – which is best for men’s dress watches?

A. Men’s dress watches can be found with all three, so it’s really a matter of preference. Arabic numbers are more commonly found on watches suitable for everyday wear. Roman numerals have a formal appeal, and they are often found on men’s dress watches. Plain markers are very popular for dress watches, too, as they offer a clean, sleek look. If you prefer a minimalist look, a watch with plain markers is a good choice for you.

Q. What’s a good men’s dress watch to wear with a tuxedo?

A. When it comes to formal occasions that require a tuxedo, understated watch designs make for a nice contrast. Streamlined styles with thin faces and a single tone of metal throughout the watch pair nicely with black-tie attire. Sleek watch faces without numbers or with only a 12 o’clock marker also complement the elegant lines of a tux.

Q. I’m not the type of guy to wear a fancy-looking watch. What’s the best type of men’s dress watch for me?

A. Look for a dress watch with a subtler design. If you need a special watch for business meetings or semi-formal gatherings, an attractive yet simple watch with a leather strap and a classic white, metallic, or even blue face will do the trick.

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