Five Of the Best Affordable Dress Watches Worth Investing In

Handsome, mechanically-powered watches from Oris, Longines, Seiko and more.

Dress-Watches-M2W-Gear-Patrol-Lead-Full
Hunter Kelley

From Issue Seven of Gear Patrol Magazine.

In an era of casual business attire and smartphones, the dress watch could very well have diminished in importance —- if anything, however, it has become more important than ever. The rare occasions on which we dress to the nines deserve a higher level of refinement, and a handsome wristwatch is an essential part of that equation. Many die-hard enthusiasts advocate for expensive dress watches —- those that are thin in stature, mechanical in nature and exquisitely finished. Many watches fitting that description retail in the five figures, but a handful of watchmakers have your bases covered at a much more stomachable cost.

Defakto Vektor Silbermatt

Defakto is an indie German watchmaker that molds its modestly priced watches in the Bauhaus design aesthetic. The Vektor takes on a charming, minimalist look with a stark white-and-black dial, an automatic movement, a razor-thin bezel and a profile that’s under 10mm thick, including the domed crystal.

Buy Now: $688

Hamilton Jazzmaster Thinline Auto

Hamilton’s Jazzmaster Thinline is minimal in its construction, but it features small, tasteful flourishes that echo the styling of mid-century dress watches: a champagne sunray dial; sharp, sculpted lugs; multifaceted applied hour markers. All this, plus an automatic movement, fit inside a scant 8.5mm case.

Buy Now: $945

Seiko Presage SPB047J1

The radiant sheen and creamy texture of a real enamel dial is something commonly reserved for five-figure watches, but Seiko’s Presage lineup, which features enamel, fired by the brand’s own enamel expert, is priced at only $1,000. Were that not enough, the watch boasts an expertly polished case and an in-house automatic movement, making this one of the best values in timekeeping, period.

Buy Now: $1,000

Oris Artelier Date

Oris is best known for its rugged and accessibly priced tool watches, but the Artelier is proof that the independent Swiss watchmaker knows its way around a dress watch. The Artelier Date features a svelte 40mm case and an automatic movement, but the standout feature is, without doubt, the silver dial with its stunning and intricate guilloche pattern.

Buy Now: $1,650

Longines Flagship

If the Flagship looks like it was plucked straight from a mid-century catalog, that’s because, in a way, it was. The watch was a ubiquitous timepiece back in the ’50s and ’60s, and Longines has brought it back with an accurate reissue. The creamy dial texture, old-school logos, gold indices and smaller 38mm case are all hallmarks of the dress watches of the era, which is to say they’re timelessly handsome.

Buy Now: $1,675

Read More in Gear Patrol Magazine


A version of this story appears in Gear Patrol Magazine: Issue Seven. Subscribe Now: $39

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