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Just Want One Good Watch? Pick One of These Five

A watch for every conceivable occasion.


It’s a common notion: “I just want one, really nice watch.” Something that’s reliable and tough enough to bang around during a DIY project or wear to the beach, yet something sophisticated enough to dress up for work or a wedding. Something that’s swanky, but doesn’t scream “I spent half my kid’s college fund on this.” Something practical. One watch for every conceivable occasion.

The answer is simple: get something that’s stainless steel. Not just the case, but the bracelet, too. You don’t need a complication, either — three hands and maybe a date should do it. The profile should be clean and timeless. The movement should be mechanical and put together from a respected watchmaker. Follow these guidelines and you’ll have a watch that will last you a lifetime, worn all day, every day.

Seiko Presage SARX035


Seiko’s Presage line bridges the gap between the brand’s standard watches and its high-end Grand Seiko line. The SARX035 without a doubt has the same high-end finishing and profile as a pricier Grand Seiko but comes in at well under $1,000, even boasting an in-house automatic movement from the lauded Japanese manufacturer.

Case Size: 40.8mm
Movement: Seiko 6R15
Water Resistance: 100 meters

Buy Now: $924

Tudor Style


Tudor’s Style line is often overlooked, which is a shame, as it’s a handsome homage to Tudor’s three-handed watches from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. It’s also one of the more affordable ones, thanks to a third-party automatic movement supplied by ETA. But perhaps the best aspect of the Tudor (besides its looks) is its fairly configurable design; it’s available with fluted or smooth bezels, a 38mm or 41mm case and multiple dial colors.

Case Size: 38mm or 41mm
Movement: ETA 2824
Water Resistance: 100 meters

Buy Now: $2,300+

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra


The more pedestrian variant of the Seamaster, the Aqua Terra is still one ruggedly overengineered timepiece. Boasting Omega’s lauded Co-Axial movement, it’s anti-magnetic to 15,000 gauss and water resistant to 150 meters — more than plenty for anyone who isn’t a professional diver. Further, details like the arrow-pointed minute hand and “teak” pattern dial make the Aqua Terra a sporty yet sophisticated standout.

Case Size: 41.5mm
Movement: Omega 8500 Co-Axial
Water Resistance: 150 meters

Buy Now: $6,000

Rolex DateJust II


The classic all-rounder. The DateJust has been around for decades, available in countless variants but always stylish. Of course, the current iteration of the watch has a fantastic movement: an in-house Rolex chronometer, accurate to within +2/-2 seconds per day. Also included are iconic Rolex details like the oyster stainless steel bracelet and the “cyclops” magnifier over the date window.

Case Size: 41mm
Movement: Rolex 3135
Water Resistance: 100 meters

Buy Now: $7,150

Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic True Seconds


Originally launched in 1958, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic was an anti-magnetic, super accurate tool watch that also happened to look incredibly elegant. Nearly 60 years later the modern iteration takes up that role with ease. What’s more, the modern version features a “true seconds” complication that ticks once every second (like a quartz watch). It’s a pretty unnecessary feature overall, but it’s a superlative feat of watchmaking prowess nonetheless.

Case Size: 39.6mm
Movement: Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 770
Water Resistance: 50 meters

Buy Now: $10,500

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