In The Shop – Gift Guide: Update Dad's Wardrobe With A New Dress Watch

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There’s exactly one week to go before Father’s Day. If you haven’t started shopping for dad yet, there’s no time like the present. That’s the beauty of our inaugural Father’s Day Watch Shop. You can choose from a curated selection of watches, straps, and other gift ideas for the father figure in your life, without having to stress out trying to remember his shoe or shirt size.

We’ve already highlighted the latest watch releases, as well as reviewed our favorite dive and sport watches for dad this year. And today, we’re focusing on dress watches. While he may not have needed a dress watch much in the past year, times are changing and soon he’ll once again be dressed to impress.

And what better way to impress dad’s office cohort (or his golf buddies) than with a new dress watch?

Value-Driven Crowd Pleasers (Under $1,000)

You don’t have to break the bank to look good. These watches from Hamilton, Tissot, and Timex prove that, without a doubt. First up is the Hamilton Intra-Matic Automatic 38mm with a champagne dial, a watch we helped design with Hamilton last fall. Our creative collaboration fine-tuned Hamilton’s classic design, resulting in a beautifully crafted dress watch that stands out with a subtle champagne dial featuring incised hour markers, a slim 38mm × 10mm steel case, and an attractive price tag, under $900.

From Tissot, both the Gentleman and Visodate collections contain watches downright packed with value. For $775, the stainless-steel Gentleman comes on a quality three-link bracelet, in a 40mm × 11.5mm case, and features a potent movement inside that’s equipped with 80 hours of running autonomy and a silicon hairspring.

While the Gentleman has some streamlined sporty elements to its look, the Visodate is entirely classical. This three-handed dress watch is complemented by a day/date indicator at three o’clock and is available in four different combinations of dial color and strap/bracelet material – you can’t go wrong.

For an even friendlier budget buy, the Timex Marlin is here to save the day. Starting at $199, this homage to mid-century Timex dress watches has captivated hearts – and wrists – since its 2017 return. Now available in a wide variety of colorways, case sizes, complications, and with either automatic or manual winding, the Marlin is here to stay and deserves a spot in dad’s rotation.

If he doesn’t need a new watch, no problem. Allow us to point you in the direction of our strap collection, which has recently been updated with the new Holland, Connor, and David Lane series; there’s also nothing like an alligator or crocodile strap to keep things classy.

For traveling this season, our leather-wrapped Concorde Watch Boxes are the best solution. Or if he plans to hang around the house, how about some summer reading?

The Sweet Spot ($1,000-$5,000)

Kicking things up a notch, the under $5,000 price point widens our dress-watch scope in a number of different directions, including to select watches from major brands, like OMEGA, Montblanc, NOMOS Glashütte, and more.

One of our top picks in this range, however, comes from Longines. The Heritage Classic Sector translates the design of a vintage 1934 wristwatch from the Swiss brand’s archives to modern sensibilities in a seamless fashion. Trust us – you’ll catch dad staring at its creamy, off-white dial on the daily.

OMEGA’s most accessible dress watches can be found in the De Ville Prestige line-up. Filled with simple, straightforward three-handers with date, the De Ville Prestige is also noteworthy for being one of the very few current watches outfitted with the caliber 2500, a movement that is of particular significance for OMEGA. This was the first movement that OMEGA placed the Co-Axial escapement in, after purchasing the blueprint from George Daniels in 1999.

Caliber 2500 is COSC-certified as a chronometer and offers a respectable 48-hour power reserve. We don’t know what the future holds for the caliber 2500, but this rock-solid workhorse movement should be noteworthy to anyone interested in how modern watchmaking has evolved – you simply cannot tell the story of contemporary OMEGA without the caliber 2500.

You’ll discover some of the best dialwork in this price point inside the Montblanc Heritage collection – watches like the Heritage Automatic, with a salmon dial, prove that. Montblanc adds a level of refinement here with the smart and restrained use of multiple dial finishes. The central portion of the dial has a matte appearance, while the outer hour track features a rich graining, adding an unexpected texture and a surprising level of depth to what appears at first to be a straightforward dress piece.

NOMOS’ bread and butter is simple, time-only dress watches. This is illustrated by the success of watches like the Tangente, Orion, and Ludwig in the 30 years since the brand was founded in Germany’s watchmaking capital of Glashütte. One example we think deserves a closer look is the Orion Neomatik 41 Date, a clean and compelling dress watch that’s been outfitted with the latest and greatest in-house NOMOS movement.

Finally, a recent addition to the HODINKEE Shop that caught our eye is the Certina DS Chronograph Automatic, a no-date dress chronograph with blued hands that looks like it should cost tens of thousands more than its actual price, which is under $2,000.

And if you’re operating within a $5,000 Father’s Day budget, you can grab dad this chronograph plus our signature lighter: the S.T. Dupont Ligne 2 Limited Edition for HODINKEE.

Splurge-Worthy Selects ($5,000+)

Traditionally, a dress watch should indicate nothing other than the passing time, and it should be cased in a precious metal. While we’re not one to ever tell someone what watch to wear or when to wear it, there is some novelty in approaching the genre through this classical lens. That’s where our friends at Jaquet Droz excel.

Just take a glimpse of this Grande Seconde with an ivory enamel dial and an 18k red gold case. The brand’s trademark figure-eight dial configuration places passing hours and minutes at the top of the dial and running seconds in its lower portion. This is a motif that carries through the rest of Jaquet Droz’s watches, in each of the clever and compelling ways that the Swiss brand iterates on it. Explore the full collection right here.

However, as Certina demonstrated, chronographs can be plenty dressy too. The Zenith El Primero Revival G381 Limited Edition, designed exclusively for the HODINKEE Shop, is more than enough proof of that. A piece-by-piece resurrection of a little-known 1969 reference, the G381 combines Zenith’s legendary El Primero automatic chronograph movement inside a beautifully finished yellow gold case. To learn more, check out our hands-on with the watch right here.

Or how about Breitling’s vintage-inspired Premier collection? As one of CEO Georges Kern’s first initiatives after arriving at the brand in 2018, the Premier lineup has quickly become home to some of Breitling’s most intriguing releases. The new Heritage Premier B09 Chronograph 40 and Heritage Premier B15 Duograph have made that much clear.

Speaking of chronographs, TAG Heuer has its own contender in the segment within the latest Carrera generation. While many details carry over from Jack Heuer’s original 1963 design, the 2020 releases feature a larger 42mm case diameter, a refreshed dial aesthetic, and the in-house Calibre Heuer 02 ticking inside. This update to the flagship collection leans on the original Carrera’s dressy, less-is-more aesthetic, but moves the design forward into the 21st century.

At Grand Seiko, dress watches form more than just another watch collection – they’re part of the brand’s identity. Just look at the SBGH263, the SBGR261, and the SBGH213. Need more proof? Take a quick gander at the extremely rare Kira-zuri SBGA384, an 18k rose gold limited edition for the U.S. market that’s inspired by a traditional Japanese printing technique.

Two of the watches that best epitomize the brand’s dress watch ideals, however, are the 39mm SBGK007 and SBGK009, from Grand Seiko’s series of thinner, manually wound timepieces. We can’t get enough of the ashy grey dial on the SBGK009.

We won’t say we saved the best for last – but maybe we did bury the lede just a touch.

Available in both its stainless steel and 18k yellow gold iterations, Vacheron Constantin’s Historiques Cornes De Vache 1955 Chronograph is one of HODINKEE’s favorite chronographs in recent memory. We appreciate it so much that we even created our own limited-edition version in collaboration with the brand, in 2017. Regardless of our special ties to the watch, the Historiques Cornes De Vache 1955 is a timepiece that’s quite easy to appreciate. Best known for its charismatic lugs that resemble the horns of a steer, the Cornes de Vache 1955 has proved to be one of Vacheron’s most popular and enduring modern watches.

Produced in limited quantities, it’s a rare occasion that we have two different examples available at the same time.

Discover All Our Father’s Day Favorites

Not sure what to pick this year? Let dad choose his own adventure with a HODINKEE Shop gift card.

Also, make sure to visit our friends at Crown & Caliber to explore a selection of pre-owned watches you won’t find anywhere else.

As a final parting gift, we’re also introducing a special Father’s Day promotion to mark the occasion. If you purchase any two leather goods from the HODINKEE Shop, you’ll receive a free UTE NATO-Style Strap with your order. Simply add the UTE Strap of your choice to your cart and the discount will automatically apply.

You can discover the complete Father’s Day 2021 Watch Shop right here.

P.S., We recommend you select the express shipping option on your order to ensure you receive your gift before Father’s Day.

Have a question about shipping? Send us a note.

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