Which Watch is Right For You?
A Wide World of Wrist Watches
Since the earliest days of the wristwatch, these handy fashion accessories have come to distinguish themselves in many different forms and styles. Today, a variety of different watch types exists to suit the varying needs and styles of the modern man. Popular types include dress watches, sport watches, dive watches, and chronographs—each of which has its own unique style, purpose, and reason for being.
Possibly the most basic type of wristwatch is the classic dress watch. Dress watches offer minimalist designs with hour markers instead of large Arabic numbers, few complications, and no tool features. What dress watches do frequently offer is a date window at the 3 o’clock position, sleek and supple leather straps, and pure class and elegance.
Dress watches also come in a variety of different case styles, with both round and square cases available, and their bezels are generally made of stainless steel or a precious metal. Ideal for formal occasions, office jobs, and even casual wear in many cases, every well-dressed man should have at least one dress watch in his arsenal.
Sport watches are robust timepieces that frequently comprise materials such as rubber and resin to keep them lightweight and shock resistant. They are intended for rough, everyday wear, and are ideal for outdoor adventures like hiking. They also typically offer large displays that are easily backlit at the touch of a button, as well as features like alarms and stopwatches. Many models have a countdown feature and/or a lap chronograph option for long distance track training, and their straps are also commonly made of the same material as the watch, though sometimes fabric may be used.
Inspired by the sport of auto racing, chronograph watches are all about timing events down to the millisecond. These analog stopwatches feature multiple sub-dials for breaking time into its smallest component parts, and they usually have a tachymeter printed on the outer bezel which can tell you exactly how many times a specific activity may be repeated in the course of an hour, which is useful for calculating both speed and distance. Commonly available on both leather and metal straps, these watches are sporty, versatile, and can even be dressy at times.
For those that love the water, the only watch that will do is the classic dive watch. This is due to their excellent water resistance (often up to 300 meters) and the dive-timing bezel, which features a rotating section that allows divers to accurately time their dives so as not to run out of air prematurely. Luminous hands and hour markers also make reading the time underwater considerably easier, which could be a lifesaving feature. Of course, one doesn’t have to be a legitimate diver to enjoy a beautiful dive watch. Many “desk divers” use them every day.