Which watch for which occasion?

Joseph Bonnie Montres Vintage cover

Which watch for which occasion?

Picture this. You’re having an nice chilled Spritz in the garden of Hotel Villa Fiori in Como, Italy… What else ? A gentleman arrives, and all eyes are on him…even yours. Handsome, tanned, and looking way too stylish in an elegant linen suit, crisp white shirt, and brown suede tassel loafers, for a second you ask yourself “Could it be George?”

The gentleman raises his hand to call for a waiter, and there, lo and behold, a chunky black rubber sports watch! Complete faux pas. You secretly smile to yourself because not only does that one (big) piece break all the work the man put in selecting his ensemble, but also because you, on the other hand, paired a vintage stainless steel timepiece with your cotton suit, making you the winner in style….and by a long shot.

So which watch goes best with which occasion? Here’s a quick guide for those in need of a little help…

Erster Squale DateErster Squale Date

For the sporty rugged occasions

In the unfortunate and not-so-uncommon example we gave above, many would see it obvious that chunky, sporty, black rubber does not go with and elegant suit…unless you’re Barack Obama, and in which case you’re “the man” and you do what you want.

But for the rest of us, it’s probably wiser to leave chunky rubber for very casual or sports wear, when we’re doing sports or other hands-on activities that need resistance, e.g. hiking and camping in Tibet, scuba diving in the Bahamas, or volunteering in disaster relief somewhere on the other side of the world, you can definitely grab that Casio G-shock.

Universal Genève RectangulaireUniversal Genève Polerouter - Cadran Gilt - Bracelet Gay Frères

For the formal occasions

When we often find ourselves in formal or business formal wear for work (and hopefully also for play…), choosing either an elegant dressy watch or diver, preferably with links for a more formal look, is definitely always a good idea.

Take again the unfortunate fail cited above. If the man had chosen that morning to wear a dressy Longines Constellation, a vintage Universal Geneve Polerouter, it would’ve made all the difference. Too bad.

Bracelet Nato Cuir Noir - Blitz MotorcyclesCroton Nivada Grenchen - Chronograph 1ère Génération - Calibre Venus 210

For the rest…

Luckily the “codes” are much more lax between business casual and casual…and everything else in between (urban chic, street, artsy, etc.). In this case, try out different watch-and-outfit associations, spread your wings and express your proper style.

It goes without saying, playing with different watch straps will be a quick and easy way to enhance this style.

Think of the basics, think of your needs

Whether you’re a swimming instructor, a doctor, a lawyer, an investment banker or a secret agent, your watch needs will vary. For most of us, we don’t have a separate watch for all the activities and different occasions we have.

In this case go back to the basics. Think of what you’ll need the most for your private or professional life, and start with that. You can’t go wrong…


William L. 1985 - Vintage Style Chronograph Pulsometer - Les Rhabilleurs


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