Much in the same way that you should never wear flip-flops out to a nice formal dinner, not all watches fit every circumstance or function. There are some obvious lines not to cross—wearing a dainty ultra-thin dress watch to the beach, or wearing the 44mm Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea to a black tie function—but beyond that, choosing the appropriate watch for the occasion shows a certain level of attention to detail destined to earn some extra brownie point amongst your peers.
With summer flying by, we decided to take a look at some of the usual seasonal rendez-vous you’re most likely to encounter over the next few months, and have cherry picked some of our favorite timepieces we believe are best suited to the occasion in question.
There’s no avoiding it—that onslaught of wedding invitations that started landing last month and will continue as more people in your blast radius decide to tie the knot. There are a lot of solid options to consider in this category, especially considering some weddings are more formal than others, however there are a few key points to keep in mind. First, even if the wedding is a little dressed down you shouldn’t roll out a big hefty diver, or a 46mm IWC Big Pilot, for example. Second, you just don’t want to be too flashy.
Similarly to how the general rule for women is to not wear something that would overshadow or detract from the lovely bride (or handsome groom), the idea here is to be tasteful and not draw too much attention to yourself. There are a lot of contenders here, but the black dialed Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual ticked far too many boxes to be ignored. Its dial is entirely under the radar, and yet it is an exceptional timepiece. The best part? This remains one of the best bang-for-buck perpetual calendars on the market, at $19,000 in steel.
If something simpler is preferred, other understated models in the Master Ultra Thin line would be equally appropriate for the occasion.
Long Weekend BBQ
Casual backyard grilling with friends is always a good means of whittling away a long weekend. When it comes to your wrist wear, casual is key, but there’s an element of practicality that could well come in handy (especially if you’re the one in charge of the grill). A timing bezel can do the trick in a pinch, but for us a flyback chronograph is hands-down the top of the heap when it comes to appropriately tracking grilling time in style.
Once again there are a few good contenders, but the Breguet Type XXI Flyback 3817st (in steel) is truly paramount. Not only does it use a beautiful caliber from Breguet with a silicon balance spring and silicon pallets on its in-line Swiss Lever escapement, but the Type XXI is one of the few chronographs left on the market that displays chronograph minutes via an easy-to-read central minutes hand. Pair that with its flyback function, and you’ll always know exactly when it’s time to flip your steaks and burgers.
Proper Summer Vacations
Depending on where your summer travels take you, there are a number of boxes that any good travel watch needs to tick. Though some of us (ok maybe a lot of us) travel with more than one watch when on vacation, there are a few pieces on the market that are ideal candidates for a one-and-done vacation watch. You’re going to want something that can display more than one timezone—either a GMT, a dual-time watch, or a world timer. A certain level of water resistance is also essential, because you never know when you’ll be headed for the beach, the hotel pool, or get caught in a surprise monsoon. This also means that a rubber strap or metal bracelet is your best friend, just in case.
When it comes to our actual pick, to many the Rolex GMT-Master II (either BLNR Batman or the new Pepsi Bezel on Jubilee in steel from Basel 2018) will be at front of mind, but we decided on something different. The Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time in our eyes is the ideal fit; a world timer with a screw-down crown, 150m (15bar) water resistance, and a quick-change strap system that lets you swap from bracelet to rubber to leather in seconds. There’s really nothing more you could ask for out of a travel watch.
4th of July (or Memorial Day & Labor Day)
Even though the holiday may have just passed, any good old Red, White & Blue festivities call for something casual, cool, and most importantly coordinated. Thankfully there are a few brands who have been working in this color scheme for some time, so there’s no need to sacrifice quality for the sake of color. As you’d expect, the easy answer comes from Omega in the form of a Seamaster.
There are ample options in the Seamaster Diver 300m line, though the most obvious contender is the latest Bond watch—the Diver 300m “Commander’s Watch”—featuring a crisp white dial, with blue and red accents on its bezel, indices, and hands. The package is, of course, tied together with a matching red, white, and blue NATO strap, which is perfect for that warm summer weather we’re all desperately looking forward to.