Questions You Should Know about Women Wearing Watch

Author: Hou

Nov. 28, 2023




Tags: Timepieces, Jewelry, Eyewear

Imagine a man in a tuxedo at a black tie event.

He has poise, style, and a posture that grabs everyone’s attention.

He casually lifts his hand to check the time . . . on a Casio calculator wristwatch with a rubber strap.

Cue the record scratch.

This is the power of a wristwatch, gentlemen. Like your belt, it’s a small accessory that can either break or build your get-up.

Since men wear limited jewelry, a watch is a singular expression of their personality. Most men prefer to own more than one so they can wear the appropriate timepiece to complement their outfit and the formality of a particular occasion.

How do you best make this pairing between your watches and your clothes?

Below you’ll find 6 guidelines for making your watch an elevating, complementary addition to your wardrobe rather than an off-note distraction.

#1. Match the Formality of Your Watch With the Formality of Your Outfit

The overarching principle for pairing your watch with your clothes is to have the formality of the former match the formality of the latter.

To understand how to do this, you first need to understand the different types of watches that exist.

Watch Types

The two broadest categories of watches are analog watches and digital watches.

Digital watches have a LCD display or LED face that shows time in numeric form. The straps are typically rubber/plastic. This is your sport/fitness tracker type of watch which pairs with athletic wear. You don’t really need to worry about matching this kind of watch with your clothes, beyond never wearing them with anything dressier than your most causal duds!

Instead, we’ll be concentrating here on analog watches. These have a face with hour and minute hands and either markers or numbers that display a 12-hour cycle. These watches are considered more classic and formal, making them suitable for business and formal events, as well as casual everyday wear.

Within the analog category, there are 5 main types of men’s watches:

  • Dress – Sleek, simple, and sophisticated, the dress watch with a plain white face, no complications (the features/extra functions on a watch), and a thin black leather strap is as formal as it gets. A face with hash marks, Roman numerals, or no numerals at all adds another touch of elegance.   
  • Dive – Originally designed for underwater diving, these watches feature deep water resistance, metal bands, and a medium-sized face with bold, easy-to-read Arabic numerals or hash marks. Typically includes a date-only complication or none at all.
  • Racing/Driving – Medium to large in size, with a large dial sporting clear Arabic numerals, and often bright, contrasting colors. Always includes a chronograph, and sometimes a date complication as well. The case is stainless steel; the strap is metal or leather.
  • Pilot – Made for the cockpit, the pilot watch is medium to large in size, with an oversized dial, clean, legible numbers, luminous hands, and a date and sometimes a chronograph for the complications. The strap is typically leather.
  • Field – Born from the trenches of WWI, field watches are rugged, functional, versatile timepieces that are tough enough for active duty. Small to medium in size, with a leather or canvas strap, and a face with easy-to-read Arabic numbers. Includes a date-only complication or none at all.

For more detail on the different types of men’s watches and how to choose between them, click here.

Matching a Watch Type to a Level of Dress Code Formality

Once you know what the different watch types are, you can learn which goes with which kinds of dress codes, and their corresponding outfits:

  • Black Tie/White Tie – Traditionally, you weren’t supposed to wear a watch to a black tie affair at all, and if you did wear a watch, you weren’t supposed to publicly check it. A formal event is a time out of time, and you should lose yourself in the occasion. That said, a simple, classic dress watch with a small, minimally embellished face and black leather band will be considered appropriate by most everyone these days.
  • Business Dress – For business wear, go with a simple, classic style gold or silver watch with a thin dial and limited or no complications. A dark conservative suit is best paired with a classic dress watch. Some feel a suit should never be paired with a dive watch, but a less formal/conservative suit certainly can be, if you make it one with a leather strap.
  • Sharp Casual – Here we’re talking button-down shirts, khakis, dark denim, sport coats (no tie), leather shoes, etc. The kind of things you’d wear to a more (but not totally) casual workplace or on a date. Once you’re in this territory, large watch faces and watches with more complications become appropriate, and while these kinds of duds can be paired with every kind of watch mentioned, they’re best complimented by the more casual pilot, racing, or field watch.
  • Casual – With your most casual clothes — polo shirts, chambray button-downs, jeans, tees — all the watch types except the dress watch will work. If you’re going to be engaging in physical activity, you’ll want something that can take a beating, like the field watch. 

A note on smartwatches: I’m not a fan. Wearing a smartwatch is essentially like wearing a phone on your wrist, and isn’t more distraction, so close at hand (literally right above one’s hand), the very last thing any of us need? Nobody needs to be that connected. Studies say that even the presence of a smartphone on a table inhibits conversation because people don’t want to go very deep if they may be interrupted; one would think a smartwatch would have even more of this stultifying effect. Add to this the fact that smartwatches, even when made in a classy, dress-watch-esque style, never look quite as elegant as the real thing. I would thus suggest never wearing one for social occasions, and if you feel you must wear one for business, keep it to situations in which a sharp casual or lower dress code prevails, and never check it while talking to another human being. For more formal business dress, a more formal watch will look better (and keep you focused).

#2. Match the Formality of the Watch Strap to the Formality of Your Outfit

Once you know the general type of watch that will pair best with the formality of your clothes, you can narrow down things further in terms of the material of the watch strap.

There are two guidelines here:

  • Leather watch bands (at least ones that are sleek) are considered more formal than metal bands
  • Black leather is more formal than brown leather

While gold or silver metal bands aren’t appropriate for the most formal of events, they can be appropriate for dressy occasions when they complement the rest of your outfit.

Rough, rugged, worn-in leather straps (such as what you’d see on a field watch) are an exception to the leather-is-formal rule, and should be paired with casualwear, like jeans, rather than a suit.

#3. Leather Complements Leather

When wearing a watch with a leather strap, the material and color of your shoes is a suitable reference for the choice of watchband. 

You should start by matching your belt with your shoes. Then match your watch with both.

A black watchband should be worn with black shoes and belt; a brown band with brown belt and shoes. The watchband doesn’t have to be the exact same color as these accessories, but should be a similar tone (light vs medium vs dark). 

#4. Metal Complements Metal (And Your Clothes/Shoes)

The metals used to make the watch’s case (the frame around the face) and/or its band include steel, gold, silver, platinum, and titanium. The color of the watch’s metal should complement the metal accents of your other accessories — rings (wedding ring excepted), cuff links, shoe buckle, belt buckle, etc. — so that all your accessories are either gold or silver.

The colors don’t have to match exactly. For example, a rose gold watch can be worn with a yellow gold belt buckle — it’s close enough.

#5. Metal Bands Look Better With Certain Colors of Shoes/Clothes

When a watch has a metal strap, it can go fine with either brown or black shoes. But certain colors of metal do go better with certain colors of clothes/shoes.

Silver watches match best with clothes and shoes in black, gray, and blue shades. 

Gold watches go best with browns, beiges, tans, and other earth tones.

#6. Heirloom Watches Bend the Rules

Heirloom pieces represent a legacy. They are usually worn as a good luck charm or as a memory of the original owner. An heirloom watch is not worn based on the latest trends or fashions; it is a reminder of family history and culture. Heirlooms therefore allow you to bend and even violate the rules mentioned here. They serve as great conversation pieces and make you memorable. 


Written By Antonio Centeno
Founder, Real Men Real Style
Click here to grab my free ebooks on men’s style


Tags: Watches

To begin with, there are no wrong questions. But, ever walked into a watch retailer’s store and found yourself feeling overwhelmed with the watches on display and which you should buy? I mean, what should your first question be or is it even appropriate to ask these questions? Would the retailers help you make an informed decision? 

Let me put your worries at bay. Retailers across the world would love to help you make the right decision when it comes to picking your watches. In fact, if not your next purchase, you would walk back home with more knowledge about different brands and their watches. We spoke to retailers across India and asked them “What are the right questions to ask a retailer?” and questions they suggest you should ask to make an informed decision. Here’s what they had to say. 

What trends are you seeing right now in the watches people are buying? 

I think the trends we are seeing in India are pretty much what is happening globally. Men are looking for sports watches as compared to classical dress watches and more importantly people are now preferring smaller sizes – as compared to the days when watches were getting bigger year on year. Women prefer dressier watches and watches that are designed with their sensibilities in mind – rather than small versions of men’s watches. Coloured dials have also become increasingly popular. Light Blue and Green are the colours of the season, says Karan Vaidya, Rose The Watch Bar. 

Bharat Kapoor and Gaurav Bhatia from Art Of Time said, “The watch trends cycle, unlike fashion, is much slower. Despite that, every year we witness the introduction or re-emergence of several new styles, dial colors, sizes, and in some brands even movements. The different color dial trend is still very popular with a lot of interest in green dials. Mid-size dials are making a comeback for men and women alike. Also while disruptive watches (non-conventional dial shape or a funky dial) are really in the dress, watches have made a comeback this year. To sum it up, the watch industry has it covered for all. You think and you may have it.” 

Waseem Khan from Zimson Watches from Bangalore said, “Current trends, in my opinion, are that people love watches with unique coloured dials.  People are preferring more automatic watches than quartz.” 

What is the first thing that people ask when they come in? Is it price/style/design?

“Well in some cases luxury watch shoppers do their research before actually visiting the boutique and have some sense of what they are looking for. Sometimes, it’s exciting to educate customers about different brands and what they represent. The luxury watch industry is also about craftsmanship and history. Brands and watches have stories to tell, and it’s important to understand them. However, primarily it is the style of each timepiece that speaks to the clients,” Bharat & Gaurav added. 

Karan Vaidya also had a perspective on this. He said, “There are two different kinds of buyers. Buyers who come in with a budget in mind and are open to seeing multiple different designs. Whereas there are those buyers who come in researched with what model/collection they want to buy – and come to the physical outlet just to validate what they saw online and physically see the watch, its size, its design, and its different iterations once before narrowing down on what they want to buy. With the increased interest in the watch sector and the amount of information available on the internet, we are seeing more and more buyers in the second category who pretty much have decided what they want before they actually enter the store.” 

Akriti Madan, Head of Marketing And Communications at Johnson Watch Co. Delhi said, “The first thing people usually ask is a watch related to a specific occasion and then the price point. After they set out a budget, we show them the watches accordingly. Later, the customer can choose on the design aspect.” 

How often do you rotate new watch stock in the store? When are the best times to come to see new arrivals? 

All the retailers had a common answer here. You can walk into their store and you’ll always get to see something new everytime. Though the time of the year does make a difference – around festive times, you will end up getting to see a larger collection of watches, especially the higher-end watches. 

What kind of movement does a watch have? Which one should you opt for when starting out on your watch-collecting journey? 

“We do get this question quite often, especially from watch collectors who definitely like to know about the technical specifications of the caliber, the power reserve, and the make, however, it’s actually interesting to know that this question actually plays a much larger part in a woman’s decision to buy a watch or not. There are two kinds of Indian women who buy watches – some who buy the watch as an accessory and do not want the difficulty of winding their watches and servicing their movements – they prefer quartz watches whereas there are other women who wear watches as pieces of art and cannot comprehend wearing a non-automatic watch,” said Karan Vaidya. 

Bharat & Gaurav shared their thoughts on the same too. “Movements are micro-engineered marvels and different watches have different movements, mechanical or quartz. A mechanical can further be hand-wound or automatic. There is no right or wrong when buying your first watch. Watches speak of your style and personality and your first timepiece will always be special. When embarking on a collection journey, opt for unique and limited edition pieces. They will hold their value for a long time and, of course, exclusivity is a huge advantage.” 

Waseem Khan from Zimson Watches said, “These days there are many brands in the industry, the most important point to look out for when starting a collection is that the brand is well established, makes use of good-quality watch elements and components, has a strong market presence and has good service backup.” 

What is the most interesting question/ or what should one ask a retailer according to you?

Gaurav Bhatia and Bharat Kapoor from Art Of Time: It’s thrilling to meet people with a passion for horology and inquisitive minds. People who are not only interested in the story and the legacy of the brands but also in the intricacy and the details of what makes them come to life.

Waseem Khan from Zimson Watches: Well, today the curiosity and inquisitiveness of customers towards a watch has drastically increased. There are many questions asked by customers while making a purchase. Points that I feel a customer should ask a retailer – 

Is it a value-for-money product?

Is there an after-sales backup and good warranty coverage?

For automatic watches, how often should the watch be serviced or where should it be serviced?

Akriti Madan from Johnson Watch Co.- Buy something that resonates with you since a watch is always like an heirloom. What is the watch complication? Is there a watch for your daily wear or something festive? 

Rachna Wadhwa from Time And Style India: Can you help me find a watch that suits my style and budget? Are there any limited edition or exclusive watches available? What materials are the watch bands and cases made of? Are watch batteries easily replaceable? Do you offer any discounts or promotions? Are there any special care instructions for these watches? Do you have any watches with specific features, like water resistance or automatic movements?

Karan Vaidya from Rose The Watch Bar: I think the best question a client can ask a retailer is what they think is the most interesting new watch of that year. Most retailers are watch geeks themselves and end up attending most watch trade shows and reading up about different new watches and brands in their spare time. So as retailers, we would be more than happy to give our opinions and knowledge to help the client understand what is new and help build their passion for the world of watches. I always find the most engaging conversations are the ones where the client is genuinely keen to learn more about watches and we at Rose the Watch Bar are more than happy to impart our knowledge to them.

So the next time you want to buy a watch, hope these questions help you make an informed decision and give you the confidence to ask the questions.


Questions You Should Know about Women Wearing Watch

Right Questions To Ask When Entering A Watch Retailer's ...


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