Throwback Sundays: Six Watch Recommendations for a Dapper Gentleman, from Our Archives

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There are many fashion craze in recent years; some are good, and some are slightly bad. But one of which that had caught our attention are gentlemen who are dressing up impeccably, in coats and suits.

Naturally, a well-dressed up gentleman will include some accessories to accompany the dapper look. This includes a nice pair of shoes, a pocket-square, or even some dainty cufflinks. Oh, and watches! A dress watch will certainly complement the attire, and complete the looks nicely.

Now, you must be wondering – what are some of the watches that will fit the criteria? First, it should be a dress watch – the ideal case is a simple two- or three-hand timepiece. Next, it should be thin. Finally, it should be sized appropriately – anything between 36mm to 40mm is good, depending on the individual’s wrist size. So, what are some of the watches that we have selected? Let’s find out!


Orient Bambino Automatic


The Orient Bambino Automatic.


We begin this week’s article with a relatively affordable timepiece from Japan: the Orient Bambino Automatic.

Orient is a well-known watch manufacturer in Japan, and collectors from Asia will certainly recognise this brand for its simple and well-designed timepieces. The Bambino is one of the watches in its collection, featuring a classic three-hand design with an additional date function. It is also fitted with an automatic movement, and has a decent power reserve of around 40 hours.

Sized at 40.5mm, the Bambino is certainly a timepiece that we reckon will pair nicely with an office suit. It has a great price tag as well, at S$225. This is highly recommended for any new collectors who is looking to add a dress watch into their watch collection.


Grand Seiko SBGW


The trilogy of the First Grand Seiko series.


Continuing with theme, we have another extraordinary timepiece from the Land of the Rising Sun: the exquisite Grand Seiko SBGW, also known as the remake of the first Grand Seiko.

Launched in the recent Baselworld, the SBGW caught the attention of many collectors. The 38mm timepiece is sized perfectly, and its design is faithful to the first Grand Seiko that the manufacturer had released back in 1960. In addition, despite its simple and clean design, the attention to detail is amazing – as seen in the finishing of the dauphine hands and the hour indices, as well as the case. We reckon it’s the same for the movement as well, although we are unable to view it from the solid caseback.

The watch is available in 3 different variants: stainless steel, yellow gold, and platinum. There are limited to 1,960, 353, and 136 pieces respectively, with prices starting at US$5,700 (approximately S$7,850) for the stainless steel model.


NOMOS Tangente


The NOMOS Tangente, with its signature Bauhaus-inspired design.


Following that, we move on to the Germans, with the NOMOS Tangente.

NOMOS is a brand that we have waxed lyrical over the last few years, and there are a few good reasons for that. We particularly like the brand for two things – its simple and minimalist design, as well as its attractive price proposition. The Tangente is one good example. We like the simple dial layout, complemented with a thin bezel and thin lugs. It is also fitted with an in-house movement, in which it is available in both automatic and manual-winding variant.

The Tangente 38, with a manual-winding movement, is our top pick from the collection. We particularly like its simplicity, and value-proposition that this watch provides. The 38mm watch retails at S$2,610, and we reckon its stylish design will look great with any modern dapper style.


A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moonphase


The A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moonphase. A truly exceptional timepiece.


At the start of the article, we did mention that one of the criteria that we are looking at are simple dress watches with two or three hands. However, we are sort of breaking this rule, only for the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moonphase. It is actually not that difficult to see why, especially with its stunning aesthetics.

The Saxonia Moonphase, which was launched in last year’s SIHH, was one of the stars of the show for us. We have a soft spot for watches with the moonphase function, and A. Lange & Söhne had done executed this one splendidly. The proportions of the dial – together with the oversized date display – is excellent, and the engraved moonphase disc is finished exquisitely.

Powered by the self-winding L086.5 movement, the Saxonia Moonphase boasts a power reserve of around 72 hours. The finishing is excellent as well, with signature touches including the engraved balance cock and 3/4 bridge plate.

The Saxonia Moonphase is slightly on the pricier end, at €28,500 (approximately S$44,826). However, we do feel that workmanship behind the watch is incredulous, and it will certainly look good on any occasions.


Jaeger LeCoultre Geophysic True Second


A pair of Geophysic True Seconds, in different metal cases.


Over the years, Jaeger LeCoultre had produced many fascinating timepieces, which includes some stunning dress watches as well. One of the them is the Geophysic True Seconds, which is an intriguing timepiece beneath a simple façade.

The Geophysic was first produced back in 1958, in which it was meant to commemorate JLC’s 125th Anniversary, as well as the world’s first “International Geophysical Year”. Back then, it was the most accurate watch that was ever produced – all thanks to the Caliber 478BWSbr that features components such as Glucydur balance wheel, swan-neck adjustment system, shock absorbers, and an anti-magnetic escapement. The new Geophysic True Seconds, similarly, is an exceptional watch as well. Other than its gorgeous finishing for both the dial and movement, the watch also features the Gyrolab balance wheel, as well as a dead-beat second mechanism. The latter is pretty uncommon, and it definitely adds a nice touch to a simple dress watch.

The watches are available in two case variants: stainless steel and pink gold. They are priced at S$13,300 and S$25,900 respectively.


Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ultra-thin Minute Repeater


The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ultra-thin Minute Repeater. Another simple, but elegant dress piece. It is sized slightly larger, at 41mm.


Finally, we have the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ultra-thin Minute Repeater.

On the surface, this timepiece looks like any three-hand dress watch, with a clean, but well-finished dial. However, for those who are more observant – the slider at the left side of the watch gives you a clue that this is not any simple watch. In fact, as the name suggests, it is a minute repeater. First launched in 2013 Watches & Wonder, Vacheron Constantin had included a platinum version for the Patrimony Ultra-thin Minute Repeater in 2015. The watch is fitted with VC’s Calibre 1731, and it is said that this particular watch is probably one of the best sounding minute repeater that our Chief Editor had ever heard. That aside, the finishing is top-notch as well. In usual Vacheron Constantin fashion, the traditional finnisage points are well-addressed, with anglage and sharp inward and outward points on the bridges as an example.

Priced at S$633,400, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ultra-thin Minute Repeater is the priciest timepiece of this lot. However, it is certainly one of the most well-made timepieces that we have ever seen, and it is definitely fitting to pair with any well-tailored suit.


Concluding Thoughts


In this week’s article, we have featured six different dress watches, from three different watchmaking countries. The selection covers watches from a wide spectrum of price range as well, ranging from the humble Orient Bambino to the incredible Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Ultra-thin Minute Repeater. Each of them has its own unique characteristics, and it all of them will complement nicely with a well-tailored pair of suit.

If one is looking for something slightly different from the usual watches with round cases, there are actually a few pieces that can be considered as well. The likes of Cartier Tank, NOMOS Tetra, as well as Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso are wonderful alternatives that are interesting and elegant too. In fact, its rectangular/square cases can be excellent talking points, since they are a tad uncommon as compared to the round watch cases that we often see.

So, what are some of the dress watches that you wear with a suit? Let us know in the comments section below.


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  1. The JLC ultrathin moon or perpetual; Cartier tank; and patek calatrava are great dress watches

  2. Patrick Hurley on

    When I was younger I thought my rectangler gold Lord Elgin was the dress up watch.