The Rotary Guide: Dress Watches

In many watch collections, there are a few key pieces that are often considered paramount for a collector to own. One of these pivotal watch types is the classic dress watch. But what is a dress watch and why should you be sure to include one in your collection? We’ve put together a quick guide to introduce you to the elegant world of the dress watch.

What is a dress watch?

Dress watches are specifically designed to act as an adornment to any formal attire, suit or tuxedo. Designed purely to tell the time, dress watches are minimalistic and understated, yet provide an opportunity to inject your personality into an outfit often constrained by guidelines and add extra depth and detail.

Cambridge gradient web

What does a dress watch look like?

Typically dress watches possess a classic style so that they can easily meet with any formal occasion. They are tailored to blend with your suit and so this watch type has a slimmer case profile to enable them to seamlessly slip underneath a shirt or blazer. The case size therefore, is also slightly smaller compared to other watch types. To portray an elegant, classic look dress watches are more commonly found on a leather strap than a bracelet.

So, why own a dress watch?

A dress watch is a true style staple, designed to be versatile and pair well with any type of formal attire. It adds extra depth and detailing to your outfit, and if you choose wisely, can deliver an element of your personality in a subtle way. Featuring timeless design and classic aesthetics, the dress watch is an important pillar to any collection.

Need a bit more inspiration? Here are our top picks for the ultimate affordable dress watch:GS05390_05_A

Cambridge gradient dial, £149, Available here:



The Ultra Slim family features our slimmest case profile at just 5.7mm, making this a perfect choice for a dress watch. Roman numerals and a guilloche patterned inner dial accentuate the timeless style of this design, whilst the Rose Gold PVD case adds a contemporary air.

Ultra Slim Rose Gold PVD, £149, Available here:


Straps not your thing? No problem, for AW19 the Ultra Slim family gains a two tone stainless steel and Gold PVD bracelet so you can have a contemporary dress watch that more acutely suits your style.

Ultra Slim Two Tone Gold PVD, £189, Available here: