match watch to outfit

A Gent’s Guide: How Do You Match Your Watch to Your Outfit?

Wristwatches are stylish and can make or break an outfit. Watches come in all kinds of designs, so knowing how to match one with your outfit can be tough. Below, you’ll find 6 tips to help you match your watch with your outfit.

Dress For the Occasion

Depending on how formally you need to dress, the type of watch you need will vary.

There are two main watch types – analog and digital. Digital timepieces would have LCD or LED displays. You’re advised to not pair digital watches with outfits that are formal.

Analog watches have faces with hands. They can be worn for casual, formal and business events. When it comes to analog pieces, there are multiple types. Each would work well for different outfits:

Dress watches – These timepieces are sleek and simple. They have no complications (additional features). You can get them with or without numerals. The most luxurious dress watches are sold by Swiss watch manufacturers. The watch type is the best for suit and tie occasions.

Pilot watches – These timepieces are on the larger side and this makes them easier to read in the cockpit. You can get features like chronographs and slide-rules. Pilot watches usually have premium leather bands. German watch manufacturers are well-known for their aviator pieces. In fact, brands from the region put pilot watches on the map.

Dive watches – Diving watches are large and tend to be sporty. The devices have a lot of luminous pigment that makes them easier to read in murky water. The Rolex Submariner and Omega Seamaster, which are one of the most expensive watches, are diving pieces.

Field watch – Field watches are rugged; they were originally made for the trenches. The watches are super functional and tough. They usually come with canvas straps and small-to-medium sized faces. Seiko is a Japanese brand that has an extensive array of field watches.

Racing watch – These timepieces are big and easy to read. Their faces usually have bright colors, like in race cars. You almost always get a chronograph with them, as well as metal straps.

Pocket Watches Are Great

We mentioned how dress watches would be appropriate options for black tie occasions. However, pocket watches would work too – they’re essentially dressing watches without the straps.

Some would say that they’re better than regular timepieces due to how good they look. The more expensive the brand you buy from, the more attention-grabbing watch you’ll get. Audemars Piguet, which is a leading watch manufacturer, offers the Classique; it’s fully made from gold.

Going to a fancy party? Think about how many conversations a pocket watch would spark.

Smart Watches Are a No-No

Smart watches are fine for casual occasions. But if you need to be somewhere formal, they are the worst things to have on your wrist.

You will agree when we say that smart watches don’t look elegant. Your outfit would look disjointed with the device on your wrist.

Formal events are all about mingling. When people are on their phones, it’s harder to approach them. Considering how a smart watch is like an extension of your mobile, it would be hard for you to not check notifications and messages every now and then.

Leather Goes with Leather

You might be wearing leather shoes and a belt. Make sure they complement the leather band on your timepiece. The leather on the watch, shoes and belt shouldn’t be the exact color. They should be similar tones instead.

You might be wondering what happens if your shoes and belt are drastically different colors? You can avoid this by matching the belt with the shoes, and then the timepiece with both. Matching them with the best leather bags for men would get people to notice elegance as well.

Does your watch come with a leather strap? No need to fret if it doesn’t. Manufacturers make it possible for you to swap and include the bands. You can get leather straps in either black or brown. Black options are the most formal.

Metal Compliments Metal

If what you’re wearing is more informal, a timepiece with a metal strap would work fine.

There’s metal in your watch. Just look at its case (the frame over its dial). The color of the metal should complement the metal on the accessories you’re wearing. Don’t include wedding rings, though. Look at your belt buckle, cuff links, and shoes instead.

Certain metals complement various colors better. Gold complements earth tones like brown, beige and tans, while silver compliments grey, blue and blacks.

If you’re dressing for a smart-casual event, and can’t decide between a timepiece with a leather or metal band, keep in mind that metal collects less sweat than its fabric counterpart. Its exterior makes it waterproof too.


When people discuss matching watches with outfits, they normally only consider how the pieces’ straps and metals would go with what they’re wearing. However, the color of your watch’s dial should also be considered.

Whether you’re wearing smart-casual, formal, or business clothing, a timepiece with a black dial would work wonders. Black dials are not only chic, but they’re easy to read too.

Watch dials come in different colors, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Timepieces with orange and red faces look sportier – they’d work well for business-casual events. Why is this? Orange is widely seen in diving pieces. The color is easier to see when submerged.

As you can imagine, watches with deep blue dials work well with blue jeans.

Watches do make or break an outfit. There are two main types that you can consider as well. Unless you’re going to be weary sporty or casual clothes, a digital watch won’t work. For formal occasions, a dress watch or pocket watch would be needed. Make sure that you compliment the leather and metal on your timepiece to what you’re wearing.

For any occasion that isn’t casual, avoiding a smartwatch would be the best thing to do. If you’re not sure which dial color would be the best, black is elegant and always works.

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