Tamer Hassan once said, “I always judge a man by his shoes and his watch.” When it comes to choosing the best timepiece, it’s easy to make the newbie mistake of picking a watch that’s too sporty, or even worse, one that makes you look like you just left the set of a Lil Wayne video.
Until you have enough money to drop five figures on the watch of your dreams, you don’t have to spend a fortune to look good. What’s more, you shouldn’t – walking into the office with the same watch as your firm’s senior partner looks suspicious (they know how much you make!) and can even come off as boastful. So, chill out, tread carefully, and consider a few of these high quality watches under $400. For now, Pavé Diamonds and Rolexes need not apply.
Daniel Wellington – Classic Bristol Watch
$275 from the Daniel Wellington website
Daniel Wellington watches are a fantastic and simple compliment to business attire. The Bristol watch has straightforward dials that come in both rose gold and silver, which allows for the wearer to match the metals of other leather pieces that will likely be worn at the same time (i.e., if your belt buckles are all silver, select the same option on your watch to avoid clashing). Another bonus of a Daniel Wellington watch is the changeable strap. As your tastes and color preferences change, this watch can follow suit. Do you feel like a basic brown strap on Monday and a nuanced crocodile print on Friday? You can have it all.
Nixon – “The Ranger” bracelet watch
$350 at Nordstrom
Nixon is a sportier option and is certainly a much younger brand than most of the upper echelon watchmakers, but their timepieces are quality and youthful without being juvenile. This Southern Californian brand is behind The Ranger watch, which has a bracelet link metal band in sleek, matte black. The three-handed watch may be categorized by some of the elders in the office as “hip”, but make no mistake, The Ranger is light and thin enough to be worn with a jacket and button down, and makes a great piece for transitioning into evening or weekend wear. I suspect that in a few years’ time, this brand will rise through the ranks and have a place next to today’s more luxurious watchmakers.
Breytenbach Men’s BB6640s-RG
$350 from Amazon
Breytenbach watches are more on the intricate side, with multiple dials on the face of the watch, and a subtle design on a monochromatic background. This gives the BB640s a bit more of a punch of personality without treading into the dangerous “bling” zone, and is a great choice for a confident dresser who is comfortable with his personal style.
There are lots of watches in a reasonable price range that won’t out you as a clueless newbie, and these are just some of my personal favorites. Whatever you buy, remember to steer clear of low quality materials like rubber and pleather, but also steer clear of over the top accents like diamonds (which, at this price range, are almost certainly fake anyway). You’ll have your fancy Nomo in due time!