Nothing is perfect, and that rule can apply to watches as well. There is not one single watch out there that can be used in every circumstance and all situations. However, we will do our best to help you find a watch that is nearly perfect for every occasion.
What type of person are you?
It is important to know what type of person you are. Are you a sporty person who can’t sit still and always feels the urge to exercise? Whether it’s running, swimming, or biking, you’re always on the move. Or are you the kind of person who has no time for sports because your office job consumes almost every free minute of your day? Sure, you work out in the gym for an hour every week, but most of the time you’re either in the office or traveling. A dress watch won’t work for a sporty type always on the go, and a large sports watch is no good for someone constantly in the office. There are many watches for many different occasions.
Make Your Watch Versatile
Only very few watches work in both above-mentioned circumstances. There are many things you can do to make your watch more versatile. For example, you can play with the straps. Normally, a sports watch comes with a stainless steel bracelet or a rubber or calf leather strap; a dress watch is accompanied by an alligator strap. You can make a sports watch dressier by using a leather strap or make a dress watch sportier with a rubber strap. This helps you make your watch a bit more versatile.
However, it’s not just about straps or bracelets when it comes to versatility; the use of materials is also very important. Steel and titanium are often used for sports watches, while precious metals are perfect for dress watches. You will also find brands that are “sneaking” their way into versatility with, for example, a gold sports watch. Some find this horrible while others find it convenient to “dress up” with their gold diver’s or pilot’s watch. Of course, there are limits to this, as a ceramic or forged carbon dress watch would be a bit odd.
However, being able to use your watch in different configurations to make it suitable for different occasions still doesn’t make it a “one watch fits all” timepiece. For that, we must look beyond the obvious small tweaks like the use of different straps or materials.
Perhaps the most famous example of a very versatile watch which can be used in almost any circumstance is the mother of all modern wristwatches, the Rolex Datejust. This watch can be very casual but will also spice up a more formal outfit. It can be worn while swimming or participating in other sports but is also perfect for a gala dinner. It is one of the most perfect go-to watches out there and has been copied by or served as input for many other brands. A Rolex Submariner would be too sporty for formal occasions and a Rolex Day-Date is too dressy for real sports activities, but the Datejust might be the perfect watch for every occasion.
However, we want to stress that there are more watches that would fit the bill. For example, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus are not pure sports watches or dress watches. They were marketed as a luxury sports watch, meaning they are dress watches with a sportier appearance. They’re not as rugged as a Submariner, Speedmaster, or Pilot’s Chronograph, but they will survive most activities that aren’t too extreme.
Another interesting watch for every occasion is the new Ingenieur 3570 by IWC. It’s no longer a Gérald Genta-based design that IWC used until recently, but a 40-mm watch on a stainless steel bracelet which can be used under most circumstances. To the same extent, you could say that the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra fulfils the job of being the perfect watch for every occasion. The latest versions with horizontal motifs on the dial are a bit sportier than the previous models with a vertical “teak deck” motif.
Out of the Box
A brand you might not have considered up until now is Grand Seiko. Grand Seiko has officially separated from Seiko and only features the GS logo and name on the dial. The Grand Seiko Spring Drive reference SBGA211 is an amazing piece of work. The dial with a rice paper effect makes it a very classy watch, while the 41-mm stainless steel case and bracelet makes it the perfect watch for everyday use. The Grand Seiko Automatic 36,000 Hi-Beat reference SBGH201 is a bit more conservative but a nice alternative to the usual suspects mentioned above. In terms of quality, these Grand Seiko watches are on par with some big Swiss and German brands without a doubt.
Decide What You Need
In the end, the perfect watch for every occasion is about you: your personal preferences, daily schedule, hobbies and activities, and, of course, your taste. Perhaps you won’t get the most exciting watch in the world, as you need some compromises here and there, but it will be a daily rocker that you can own and wear for decades to come. Even if compromises need to be made, you can still add some personal touches.
Do you want to choose the “safe option” and wear a Datejust, Royal Oak, or Seamaster, or do you want to be different and go with one a Grand Seiko or a relatively unknown brand like Sjöö Sandström? There is nothing wrong with any of these brands or watches; just make sure to think it through and try a few on before you decide, because it might just become your partner for life.
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