Unlike women, who can flaunt their style though flashy jewelry, designer bags, bizarre accessories and haute couture, men have very few avenues to do the same. Perhaps this is why the wrist is more often than not, adorned with a timepiece that holds immense significance. Either they are family heirlooms or bought after much deliberation, which is why you will rarely find a man who doesn’t have a story behind his watch.
Here is an account for five stunning Dress Watches that fit under the $8000 mark, all hallmark timepieces by manufactures that pride themselves for crafting stellar timepieces – and some budget minded makers.
Jaeger Le Coultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Tribute to 1931 – Stainless Steel
Price $ 7750
It’s hard not to salivate when you view the selection that Jaeger Le Coultre offers in the Reverso Collection. Timepieces like the Reverso Classic Medium Stainless Steel and the Reverso Classic Large Stainless Steel begin at $8.5k, however we are lucky to snitch something below this mark. As we all know, the original timepiece was invented in 1931 by Jaeger Le Coultre as a watch that could be worn by the British Army Polo Players in India, who needed a solution for cracked watch dials due to rough play. This Grande Reverso Ultra Thin pays tribute to the original by adopting the face of the original model, and is housed in a steel case.
Inside the case you will find the Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 822, which is a hand-winding mechanical movement offering 45-hour power reserve. The watch measures 46.8 X 27.4 mm and its height is only 7.27 mm, and this is where it stands apart from the rest of the collection. Reverso watches typically needs some height because of the iconic reverse action. This naturally requires some space, however our watch here is Ultra Thin and has quirky detailing. For example, the ‘Reverso’ on the dial is matched as closely to the original 1931 watch as are the shape of the hands as well.
Teamed with a leather strap to match the black dial, the luminescent numeral and hour-markers contrast very well with the color scheme. Although not numbered or explicitly limited edition, this timepiece is a good investment for those who would like to own a piece of iconic styling.
BVLGARI Octo Solotempo
Price $ 6269
It may not be ‘Sacred Geometry’ but the Octo Series by BVLGARI holds a special name for creating an encapsulated octagon dial. Inspired by the Roman Massentius Basilica, BVLGARI keeps Gerald Genta’s legacy alive with the latest Finissimo Collection, featuring the world’s thinnest tourbillion movement. However, today we are going to discuss the BVLGARI Octo Solotempo, the more affordable timepiece from this exemplary series.
The unique way the octagonal dial has been designed, is the focal point and keeping it simple with just the date function, the Octo Solotempo Ref No 102121 nails it on elegant simplicity. Not every Dress Watch needs to be highly complicated, sometimes the sex appeal lies in the design. As far as the basics go, the watch houses the SOLOTEMPO BVL 191 Movement, that offers 42 hours of power reserve.
If larger watches are not your style, then the 36 mm case is ideal for you. Furthermore, the watch has an automatic winding mechanism and a transparent caseback to view the movement. The lacquered polished dial is in sync with the style and goes well with the integrated alligator strap.
IWC Portofino Automatic – IW356501
Desiring something ‘Simple’ is one thing, but going for something ‘Classic’ is another. A good example for this statement is IWC Portofino Automatic (Ref No IW356501) with a black alligator leather strap and stainless steel case, which exemplifies ‘Simply Classic’. The dial is clean integrates a very discreet date function.
The 40 mm stainless steel case houses a mechanical movement, and looks slimmer than what it really is. The self-winding IWC calibre 35110 offers 42-hours of power reserve and this is pretty standard.
Overall, you can consider this as your entry-level watch for your IWC collection, which got its overhaul in 2011. The major shift was in the size moving from 38 mm to 40 mm, giving it a leaner, dressier look. The design is versatile enough to be worn as a daily-wear as well.
Zenith Ultra Thin Silver Dial
Another classic yet simple watch is the Zenith Ultra Thin Silver Dial, housing the Elite 681 Automatic Movement. Compared to all the watches discussed today, this one offers a minimum of 50-hours of power reserve, which is decent. The dial in particular is very enchanting with the small seconds hand function positioned at 9 o’clock.
So in case a plain daily is not your thing, then you should pick up the Zenith. This detailing adds a bit of conversation to the otherwise classic sun-ray patterned dial. What makes the watch special is the sapphire crystal back, that allows you to view the movement.
Fredrique Constant Manufacture Slimline Moonphase
Finally, a watch for those who like to indulge in complications – Our list so far has covered watches that focused on elegance, style, simplicity and classic design. Adding to this mix is the Moonphase Complication with the Fredrique Constant Manufacture Slimline Moonphase.
The FC-705 in-house movement provides a very modest 42 power reserve – Fredrique Constant has managed to give consumer a great value for the money.