How to choose a wristwatch to match a suit?

Wrist Watch

Anyone who insists on the inviolability of the “rules of watch etiquette” is actually disingenuous. Wristwatches became widespread less than a hundred years ago and during their short life, having barely mastered some rules and foundations, they immediately began to subvert them. For example, the answer to the question “what watch to wear with a business suit,” given thirty years ago, would be very surprising to modern buyers. In the 1980s, businessmen dressed in colorful polyester suits and marched down Wall Street with Casio and Timex electronics. But if we push the time bar even further, say, fifty years, then we will immediately find ourselves much closer to modern standards of business etiquette.

Swiss mechanical wristwatch Frederique Constant Classics Moonphase FC-715S4H6

If we turn to the behests of our grandfathers, the rules for wearing a watch with a suit look like this:

  • Minimum indication.
  • Only a light dial.
  • Yellow during the day, white in the evening.

The latter relates to the case material. It’s easy to remember - by the color of the corresponding “luminary”. Indeed, the rules of good manners say that with a casual suit (which can only be black at the undertaker's) one should wear a yellow or pink metal watch, and with a formal evening suit - a white one.

Wristwatch Bruno Sohnle Pesaro II 17-13073-283

As far as functionality is concerned, classical standards dictate that a business accessory is limited to a calendar display. But in all types: from a regular window indicating the date to a perpetual calendar with an optional but spectacular lunar phase.

A calendar is appropriate and can bring real benefits (putting the correct date on a contract, for example), while other functions can distract your counterpart and confuse your thoughts. That is why, although the rules of etiquette of ancestors are already being violated with all their might today, it is worth observing the most important thing. So. You can wear a chronograph with a suit. You can have a watch in a steel case. Available with a black dial. Even vintage dive watches are possible. The main thing is that the watch must be thin. The height of the case should not exceed 10-12 mm so that it fits freely under the cuff of a shirt.

Good manners require that the watch be 2/3 hidden by the sleeve. So, when choosing a costume accessory, you should also make sure that there are no protruding parts on the case that can cling to the cuff, and that the strap fits tightly around the wrist so that the watch does not slip towards the wrist.

Swiss wristwatch Auguste Reymond Elegance Quartz Day Date AR323611.741

Features of choosing watches for evening and special events

Recommendations for choosing a classic wristwatch for an evening suit are even stricter. In fact, if you seriously follow the rules of etiquette, then you should not wear a watch at all to a formal formal event. Because in such an environment, even casually looking at the dial is the height of bad manners. This, by the way, was, according to legend, one of the reasons for the invention of the repeater - instead of looking at the clock, the owner could press the slider under the table and quietly listen to the exact time signal.

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Swiss mechanical wristwatch Frederique Constant Classics Index FC-303V5B4

Since a tuxedo requires only a classic white shirt and certainly with cufflinks, it is important to ensure that the color of the watch case matches the metal of the cufflinks. The safest option is a white precious metal (white gold or platinum) or polished steel, but, in principle, a yellow gold ensemble is also suitable if the dial design is extremely strict and classic and is equipped only with hands showing the current time. Ceremonial watches do not involve complications at all.

If you really want to take your favorite tourbillon for a walk, citing the fact that a watch is a man’s only adornment, then to do this you need to choose a dress code format: festive attire or business attire, which means an expensive suit, complemented by small elegant elements.

Swiss mechanical wristwatch Epos Emotion 3391.832.20.56.25

Regardless of the case, the best option for the dial is white, silver or ivory, and the strap is only black crocodile leather or, as a last resort, a metal bracelet of fine Milanese weave.

The higher the status of the event, the more important the modesty and inconspicuousness of the watch. The case here should be not just thin, but ultra-thin, less than 10 mm in height, in order to fit perfectly to the wrist, like a second skin. The dress code dictates that, regardless of your habits, you should always wear your watch on your left wrist. This ensures that the watch will not attract attention when it comes time to shake hands.