In your day-to-day life, you’re free to choose from the abundance of watch models on offer. In professional settings, however, we need to exercise a bit more caution to avoid making the wrong impression with colleagues and higher-ups. My top-10 picks include typical business watches for men and women, as well as sporty all-rounders. And yes, Rolex has made the cut!
The Unassuming Omega De Ville
While virtually any watch enthusiast can pick the Omega Speedmaster and Seamaster Diver 300M out of a lineup, the Omega De Ville flies low under the radar. This watch has been unfairly sidelined, if you ask me; it makes for a fantastic dress watch. With a modest case size of 39.5 mm, an elegant design, and – needless to say – high-quality materials, it’s a picture-perfect fit for the office. What’s more, this timepiece is on the affordable end of the Omega cosmos at $3,300, which adds another layer to the model’s appeal.
The Versatile Tissot PRX 35 / 41
You don’t need to limit yourself to dress watches in the office; sports watches can also polish off your business attire, as long as they’re not too out-there. The Tissot PRX is the jack-of-all-trades in the price segment under $1,000, and it hasn’t gone unnoticed in the community. The 41-mm automatic model is by far the most popular, but I recommend the 35-mm version. You’ll have to make do with a quartz movement and forgo the waffle dial seen on the large version, but the smaller Tissot PRX resembles the model from the 70s and thus can double as a men’s and women’s watch.
The Strapping Omega Speedmaster Professional
I wasn’t planning on including a typical sports watch with a functional bezel in this article, but the Omega Speedmaster Professional is perfectly fine for professional settings – but only if you wear it on a nylon or leather strap. I find the steel bracelet too flashy for the office, especially on the new version of the Moonwatch. The Omega Speedmaster is a far cry from a business watch, but it looks the part on casual Fridays. Plus, it allows you to show off your affinity for watches without causing too much of a fuss.
The Adaptable Rolex Explorer
Is a Rolex too scandalous for the office? Well, it depends on what Rolex it is. You can’t go wrong with the Rolex Explorer; this watch blends in seamlessly with every situation. The successful, ironclad design is so unexciting that your colleagues probably won’t even entertain the idea that you could be wearing a Rolex. So, if you want to go a bit sportier, this Rolex classic can definitely cut it as a business watch. The 36-mm version is once again a bit more restrained than the new 40-mm model, and has the added advantage of being unisex.
The Brave Rolex Datejust 36 & 41
I’ll admit, you have to be very confident to pull off the Rolex Datejust in a professional setting. Having said that, we can’t forget that the Rolex Datejust is widely regarded as the ultimate all-rounder, so why not wear it to the office? Just don’t go overboard with the 41-mm version; the 36-mm variant is the better dress watch. Go for a dial that’s not too flashy, like black or white, and opt for the quieter Oyster strap, and you’ve got a great business watch for the office. If you’re still skeptical, add the domed bezel to the above configuration, and you’ve basically got a Datejust in disguise. Another plus: the Datejust has many sizes and designs for women, too.
The Amphibious Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra
Since I’ve recommended the Datejust, I have to include the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra as well. Check it out on your next coffee break: Its distinctive teak dial, inspired by the deck planks of yachts, is a real crowd pleaser. While the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra offers similar qualities to the Rolex classic, it forgoes the flashy fluted bezel. That said, the polished surfaces on the case and bracelet will make a mark on those around you, so wearing your Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra to the office will take some courage. At least it doesn’t say Rolex on the dial, right?
The Unisex Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
Enough sports watches, let’s crank up the elegance. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is a fantastic dress watch with a unique twist – literally. This watch was originally designed for polo players out on the pitch, which is why the Art Deco case can be flipped over to protect the crystal. Don’t be turned off if you find the steel case back underwhelming: Certain versions offer a second dial, complete with a different color and further complications. You can change sides depending on your mood, and for those colleagues who know you well, that can be quite a statement.
The Stylish Tudor Black Bay 36
At this point, you might be wondering why I haven’t included the reduced Rolex Oyster Perpetual as a business watch. Well, I find the small Tudor to be a cooler (and more affordable) alternative to the OP. Granted, the dial with its diving bezel-style indices is unconventional, but that makes me appreciate the Tudor Black Bay 36 all the more. Tudor hit the nail on the head in terms of quality, too. I love the haptics of the new version down to the very last detail. If you’ve held the new five-link bracelet in your hands or seen the new T-Fit clasp, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. This watch also looks great on women, and not only for everyday wear, but also as a sporty business watch for the office.
The Smart TAG Heuer Connected
Okay, there is one more sports watch on this list, and that’s the TAG Heuer Connected. Thanks to its stainless steel case, steel bezel, and sapphire crystal, this model skillfully unites the digital and analog watch worlds. No compromise needed: the traditional-looking TAG Heuer Connected is a smartwatch through and through, providing the typical functions such as fitness tracking and heart rate monitor. Since the Tag Heuer Connected combines the technology of a smartwatch with the look and feel of a luxury watch, it’s another great candidate for a business watch. Its multi-functional display shows you the time, day, and date in a snap, and after a hard day at the office, you can even use it to track your run without having to charge it.
The Elegant Jaeger-LeCoultre Ultra Thin Moon
I could have chosen any pricey dress watch from Patek Philippe or A. Lange & Söhne for this spot, but in the end I decided on the Jaeger-LeCoultre Ultra Thin Moon. The watch is wonderfully understated, but still knows exactly how to woo a watch lover. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Ultra Thin Moon offers plenty of visual treats like the stunning moon phase and the beautifully decorated movement, which can be admired through the case back. I’m particularly taken with the sunburst dial, which offers a unique velvety finish that I haven’t yet seen on any other watch. If I had to pick the ultimate business watch to wear to the office, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Ultra Thin Moon would win hands down.