11 Best Dress Watches Under $1000: Elegantly Affordable Timepieces

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by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated: 

Since formal timepieces are expected to be fancy, the idea of finding dress watches on a budget may seem impossible. Even scarier, a bad watch can ruin a perfectly good tuxedo.

Fortunately, high-end doesn’t have to mean high-priced. With a little creativity, we found the 11 best dress watches under $1000 to go with anything at the classier end of your closet.

Best Value for Money
  • Sophisticated designs include a patterned dial and blue contrast stitching on the calfskin strap
  • Lots of functions and complications for its price
  • Its 40-hour, hackable movement can be seen through the display caseback
Most Unique
  • Uncommon trapezoid-shaped gold case and Art Deco design
  • Accurate and legible digital LED display
  • Dual time zone and 24-hour clock capabilities
Best Microbrand
  • Most crowdfunded watch brand in Japan when it came out in 2017
  • Romantic aesthetic, complete with a moonphase complication
  • Constructed with hypoallergenic stainless steel and anti-reflective, scratch-resistant sapphire
Best Black Dial
  • One of Orient’s most popular dress watch lines
  • Antique-inspired timepiece with a understated but stately look
  • In-house automatic movement with hacking and hand-winding
Best White Dial
  • Designed by renowned Modernist artist, Max Bill
  • Slim, lightweight, and comfortable to wear
  • A light and soft look that works in casual and formal situations
Best Swiss Automatic
  • Distinguished Swiss heritage brand with ties to aristocratic sports
  • Timeless design featuring Roman numerals and a date window
  • Reliable automatic movement with a pronounced sweep and 64-hour power reserve
Best 38mm
  • Can pass as an heirloom timepiece without the upkeep of an actual vintage watch
  • Clean symmetrical style
  • American design combined with a Swiss automatic movement
Best Chronograph
  • A uniquely uncrowded chronograph face
  • Handsome, versatile watch with both sporty and dressy qualities
  • At a moderate 39.5mm, the case suits most men
Best Minimalist
  • Designed by artist Nathan George Horwitt and is in the MoMA’s collection
  • Iconic 90s minimal design that’s still popular today
  • A durable PVD-coated stainless steel construction
Best Quartz
  • Bulova’s proprietary ultra high-frequency quartz movement has unparalleled precision
  • The Accutron II line has a quartz heritage that gives this watch a meaningful story
  • The second hand sweeps across the dial like that of a mechanical
Best Mechanical
  • The closest modern-day, visual equivalent to the legendary James Stewart Tissot
  • The small seconds dial adds dimension and captures light beautifully
  • Crown is crisp, firm, and easy to wind

Ever since Connery’s Bond paired a dive watch with his tuxedo, dress watch etiquette has slowly evolved and expanded.

These days you don’t always need a leather strap for a formal dinner and you can basically wear any watch that’s meaningful to you on your wedding day. 

Still, some things haven’t changed. While it’s perfectly acceptable for a sporty beater to have a cheaper construction (I love a chunky plastic G-Shock), a dress watch must still be refined, simple, and somewhat traditional.

This is a tall order on a budget—but as you’ll see from our picks below, it’s possible.

How Did We Come up With Our List?

To find the best dress watches under $1000, we did a deep-dive into the market, relying on our own experiences collecting at all price points.

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One strategy includes avoiding gold and platinum. The Day-Dates of the world aside, precious metal watches tend to depreciate in value, compared to stainless steel timepieces anyway. 

We sought premium qualities in other ways, including through sophisticated design and status in the watch community, to choose timepieces that will last.

To kick off the roundup, we’ll start with our best bang-for-your-buck watch. We’ll follow with our picks for the most common dress watch sub-categories.

Let’s roll.

11 Best Dress Watches Under $1000

Best Value for Money: Seiko Presage Cocktail Time, Sky Diving

1.
Seiko Presage Cocktail Time, Sky Diving

The Seiko Presage Cocktail Time Sky Diving is a complicated dress watch that’s loaded with design and functions. If you’re looking for an eye-catching dress watch with a lot going on, this is your guy.

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The Presage line is Seiko’s formal wear answer to its Prospex line. It’s a mid-tier bang-for-buck category beneath Grand Seiko, but above their budget core watches. 

Some watches in the line, like the SRPB43, are popular for their unique designs. Others, like the SSA387, are known for functionalities that punch above their price point. This Sky Diving Presage Cocktail SSA343J1 is jam packed with both.

Its case is 40mm, and is a thick 14.4mm because of the deep, domed crystal. Design highlights include the high-polish indices and hands, and the ice blue sunburst dial on top of a repeating line pattern. The date wheel and power reserve complications are functional and decorative.

What I Like

  • This watch’s elegant design is meticulously detailed and includes an ornamental dial, dark blue contrast stitching on its calfskin band, and a high-polish, stepped case.

  • The dial complications serve as cool extra functions, as well as sophisticated decoration.

  • The movement has a respectable 40-hour power reserve and hacking.

What I Don’t Like

  • The Hardlex crystal is shatter-proof, but not scratch-resistant.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers love the retro look of the Sky Diving, many attesting to its versatility. The silver tones of the “ice blue” are more prominent than the blue tones, which is different from what the images convey.

Two reported drawbacks are that the watch tends to run fast, and of course, that a watch at this price point should have a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

The Verdict

The Seiko Presage Cocktail Time Sky Diving is a complicated dress watch that’s loaded with design and functions. If you’re looking for an eye-catching dress watch with a lot going on, this is your guy.

Best Value for Money
Seiko Presage Cocktail Time, Sky Diving

The Seiko Presage Cocktail Time Sky Diving is a complicated dress watch that’s loaded with design and functions. If you’re looking for an eye-catching dress watch with a lot going on, this is your guy.

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Most Unique: Bulova Computron 97C110

2.
Bulova Computron 97C110

The Bulova Computron is so unique and ornate, that it wears a lot like jewelry. Go for this watch if you’re a nostalgic watch collector or if you’re looking for a sleek timepiece that’s unlike any contemporary dress watch today.

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The Bulova Computron is like the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s somehow nostalgic and futuristic. It’s a remake of a popular vintage design from the 70s, when polygonic watch cases and digital faces were all the rage. It’s also infused with the ornate shine of 20s Art Deco. 

This distinct gold-toned stainless steel watch includes a red LED display and dual time zone/24-hour clock capabilities. The unique trapezoid-shaped case is 31mm.

What I Like

  • The 70s-style trapezoid-shaped gold case and Art Deco design make for an uncommon dress watch.

  • The digital LED display is accurate and legible.

  • Despite its retro style, it boasts modern-day functions such as day/date options and dual time zone capabilities.

What I Don’t Like

  • The setting button is deeply recessed and difficult to use.

What Other Reviewers Say

The audience for this watch is an enthusiastic one. Many are nostalgic older watch collectors, while others are younger collectors enamored by this now unique style. Many reviewers claim this watch design is as exciting and unique today as it was in the 70s.

The Verdict

The Bulova Computron is so unique and ornate, that it wears a lot like jewelry. Go for this watch if you’re a nostalgic watch collector or if you’re looking for a sleek timepiece that’s unlike any contemporary dress watch today.

Most Unique
Bulova Computron 97C110

The Bulova Computron is so unique and ornate, that it wears a lot like jewelry. Go for this watch if you’re a nostalgic watch collector or if you’re looking for a sleek timepiece that’s unlike any contemporary dress watch today.

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Best Microbrand: KARL-LEIMON Classic Simplicity Moonphase

3.
KARL-LEIMON Classic Simplicity Moonphase

The KARL-LEIMON Classic Simplicity Moonphase is a charming dress watch with a conservative but luxurious aesthetic. Since it’s predominantly popular in Japan, it’s also a good option if you’re looking for a watch few others have.

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KARL-LEIMON was founded in 2017 and became the most crowdfunded watch brand in Japan. The KARL-LEIMON Classic Simplicity Moonphase is their most beloved timepiece, and best encapsulates their back-to-classics philosophy.

The blue embossed leather strap and moonphase complication give the watch a romantic aesthetic, while the sectioned dial and applied indices add a detail-oriented quality. It’s also built with premium materials including 316L stainless steel and a sapphire crystal.

What I Like

  • This timepiece has a classic dress watch style which includes a deep blue dial and band, and a traditional 38mm case.

  • It’s constructed with high-end materials including hypoallergenic stainless steel and anti-reflective, scratch-resistant sapphire.

  • Its moonphase complication is a fanciful touch, usually reserved for much more expensive watches.

What I Don’t Like

  • The 21mm lug width is uncommon, making it difficult to find non-KARL-LEIMON brand straps that will fit.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers are impressed with the quality of the KARL-LEIMON Classic Simplicity Moonphase considering the price point and the company’s small operation. In addition to the moonphase complication, the concentric circle design in the middle section is often itemized as an impressive visual quality. Reviewers also love the legibility.

The Verdict

The KARL-LEIMON Classic Simplicity Moonphase is a charming dress watch with a conservative but luxurious aesthetic. Since it’s predominantly popular in Japan, it’s also a good option if you’re looking for a watch few others have.

Best Microbrand
KARL-LEIMON Classic Simplicity Moonphase

The KARL-LEIMON Classic Simplicity Moonphase is a charming dress watch with a conservative but luxurious aesthetic. Since it’s predominantly popular in Japan, it’s also a good option if you’re looking for a watch few others have.

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Best Black Dial: Orient Bambino 2nd Generation, Version II

4.
Orient Bambino 2nd Generation, Version II

The Orient Bambino 2nd Generation, Version II’s old-fashioned and high-class aesthetic has made it a well-loved watch for years. Opt for this watch if you’re looking for something classic and understated.



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The Orient Bambino 2nd Generation, Version II is the most classic watch in the popular Bambino line. It’s a full homage to antique timepieces featuring ceremonial Roman numerals and a domed crystal.

This version has been upgraded with Orient’s 6724 movement, which is automatic and hackable, but also hand-winding for that old-fashioned vibe. Its case size is a more modern 40.5mm, but it’s thin and lightweight enough that it wears much smaller.

The yellow gold-toned version is equally as elegant and only slightly pricier.

What I Like

  • The heirloom style and Roman numerals give this watch a stately, classy look.

  • While it dons an antique look on the outside, Version II is functionally upgraded with the versatile F6724 movement.

  • The exact same design comes in a silver-tone and yellow gold-tone for different looks or tastes.

What I Don’t Like

  • There’s a little bit of rattle in the movement.

What Other Reviewers Say

The Bambino is one of Orient’s most popular lines, with reviewers lauding the classic look and comfortable, light wear.

Reviewers are split down the middle regarding whether or not the 40.5mm case works on a vintage design. Additionally, they had varying experiences with accuracy, some claiming that the watch is as precise as a quartz timepiece, and others saying it runs as fast as 18 seconds per day.

The Verdict

The Orient Bambino 2nd Generation, Version II’s old-fashioned and high-class aesthetic has made it a well-loved watch for years. Opt for this watch if you’re looking for something classic and understated.

Best Black Dial
Orient Bambino 2nd Generation, Version II

The Orient Bambino 2nd Generation, Version II’s old-fashioned and high-class aesthetic has made it a well-loved watch for years. Opt for this watch if you’re looking for something classic and understated.



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Best White Dial: Junghans Max Bill Automatic

5.
Junghans Max Bill Automatic

The Junghans Max Bill Automatic can be worn on any occasion. Due to its light and modern aesthetic, and its substantial water resistance, it’s versatile enough to be both an elevated everyday watch and a dress watch.

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Nothing says modern like white-wall minimalism. This is why the Junghans Max Bill Automatic gets our pick for best white dial watch. Bill was a designer and artist, who led the Modern movement with his trademark clarity in design and purposeful proportions. Meanwhile, Schramberg-based Junghans is known for the German design sensibilities of combining artistic vision with mass production.

All of that can be seen in this clean and contemporary dress watch. The unusual beige strap adds to the overall visual lightness, and the slight texturing in the strap gives it a soft aesthetic.

What I Like

  • The Max Bill-designed watch has a clean, modern style.

  • It’s a slim, lightweight watch that’s comfortable to wear.

  • 100m of water resistance is a lot for a dress watch, giving this timepiece versatility when it comes to weather and terrain.

What I Don’t Like

  • The face is hard to read in low light due to a lack of contrast between the hands and the dial.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers love the small watch face combined with the light tones. Many claim this allows them to wear the watch in formal settings and casual situations, similar to a white suit jacket. The beige strap is controversial, which is to be expected since it’s so uncommon.

The Verdict

The Junghans Max Bill Automatic can be worn on any occasion. Due to its light and modern aesthetic, and its substantial water resistance, it’s versatile enough to be both an elevated everyday watch and a dress watch.

Best White Dial
Junghans Max Bill Automatic

The Junghans Max Bill Automatic can be worn on any occasion. Due to its light and modern aesthetic, and its substantial water resistance, it’s versatile enough to be both an elevated everyday watch and a dress watch.

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Best Swiss Automatic: Longines Presence Collection, L47204112

6.
Longines Presence Collection L47204112

The Longines Presence L47204112 is a fancy watch inside and out, boasting an elegant design and a Swiss automatic movement. This watch is for you if you’re looking for a luxury timepiece with a brand name.

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This luxury Swiss watch brand has been around since 1832, with ties to the most aristocratic of sports, horse racing. The Longines Presence Collection is their understated, but still stately, collection of dress watches. The L47204112  is as quintessential as it gets. 

It features the sweeping Swiss automatic caliber L888, which is hackable and hand-winding, and can last up to 64 hours. The back is a transparent sapphire crystal showcasing the movement.

What I Like

  • It’s from a distinguished Swiss heritage brand with a high-end construction including a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

  • The face has a timeless design featuring Roman numerals and a simple date window.

  • The L888 is a respectable movement with a pronounced sweep, 25,000 vph frequency, and 64-hour power reserve.

What I Don’t Like

  • The 34mm case is a vintage dress watch size, but may be too small for some modern watch wearers.

What Other Reviewers Say

Most reviewers are excited that an automatic Longines watch is available at such a low price. They applaud the classy design, reliable Swiss movement, and comfortable wear. 

There aren’t many bad reviews. Unfortunately, the few that are out there consistently complain about Longines’ apparently snobby customer service that reportedly only gives big spenders the time of day. 

The Verdict

The Longines Presence L47204112 is a fancy watch inside and out, boasting an elegant design and a Swiss automatic movement. This watch is for you if you’re looking for a luxury timepiece with a brand name.

Best Swiss Automatic
Longines Presence Collection L47204112

The Longines Presence L47204112 is a fancy watch inside and out, boasting an elegant design and a Swiss automatic movement. This watch is for you if you’re looking for a luxury timepiece with a brand name.

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Best 38mm: Hamilton Intra-Matic

7.
Hamilton Intra-Matic

The Hamilton Intra-Matic’s 38mm size, leather strap, and clean face check all the boxes for a true dress watch in any era. This timepiece is for traditionalists and minimalists.

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The Hamilton Intra-Matic wins the award for best 38mm watch because of its authentically heirloom aesthetic. Its thin hour markers, italicized logo, and perfectly circular silhouette all have a throwback quality.

The silver sunburst on the face makes the dial pop, despite its small size. In the grand tradition of Hamilton, this American-designed watch is infused with a Swiss-designed automatic movement complete with a 42-hour reserve and date function.

What I Like

  • This watch has a genuinely vintage look and size, without the hassle of maintaining a vintage watch.

  • It features a date function, which is located on the 6 o’clock point for a simple, symmetrical style.

  • Combining classic American design with Swiss horology makes Hamilton watches a unique offering.

What I Don’t Like

  • There’s no second hand, which is great for its clean look but not ideal if you need to time something.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers praise this watch for having a vintage style and a vintage size, many claiming you often get one or the other. They’re also happy not to have to deal with vintage upkeep. 

Some reviewers mention that the movement can be a bit noisy.

The Verdict

The Hamilton Intra-Matic’s 38mm size, leather strap, and clean face check all the boxes for a true dress watch in any era. This timepiece is for traditionalists and minimalists.

Best 38mm
Hamilton Intra-Matic

The Hamilton Intra-Matic’s 38mm size, leather strap, and clean face check all the boxes for a true dress watch in any era. This timepiece is for traditionalists and minimalists.

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Best Chronograph: Tissot Heritage Chronograph

8.
Tissot Heritage Chronograph

Despite how difficult it can be to service, the Tissot Heritage Chronograph is still the best bang-for-buck option in its category. A chronograph dress watch with a Swiss movement rarely costs under $1000.

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Building a chronograph dress watch can be tricky, since multiple subdials are associated with industrial sport watches. Still, the Tissot Heritage Chronograph makes it work.

This automatic watch uses a smaller 39.5mm case, leaves plenty of room between the subdials for a cleaner look, and adds a beautiful Roman 12 marker at the top. Even the logo on the face is the vintage cursive “Tissot” for a more classic, handsome look.

What I Like

  • This watch is clean and minimalistic by chronograph standards, making for a versatile dress watch.

  • It’s also often paired with a metal strap, and is equally as formal looking as when it’s paired with a traditional leather one.

  • At a moderate 39.5mm, the case suits most men’s wrists.

What I Don’t Like

  • It runs on caliber ETA 2894-2, which is a fine movement but is difficult to service because it requires expensive movement holders.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers mostly consider this Tissot a successful homage to vintage design. A few reviewers who bought a version with a hesalite crystal opted to change it out for a sapphire crystal.

One point of controversy is the date window’s location at the 4:30 spot. Some consider it a fun, modern spin while others thought it inappropriate for a vintage-inspired watch.

The Verdict

Despite how difficult it can be to service, the Tissot Heritage Chronograph is still the best bang-for-buck option in its category. A chronograph dress watch with a Swiss movement rarely costs under $1000.

Best Chronograph
Tissot Heritage Chronograph

Despite how difficult it can be to service, the Tissot Heritage Chronograph is still the best bang-for-buck option in its category. A chronograph dress watch with a Swiss movement rarely costs under $1000.

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Best Minimalist: Movado Museum Classic

9.
Movado Museum Classic

If you want a classy and minimalist dress watch with art world cache, go for the Movado Museum Classic. If you want a practical watch that you can actually tell time on, look elsewhere.

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Wearing a Movado Museum Classic is literally like wearing a piece of art on your wrist. The watch was designed by artist Nathan George Horwitt and is in the permanent collection of the MoMA.

This watch is probably the most recognizable minimalist timepiece out there. More than being a still-loved 90s icon, the Movado Museum Classic is also well-constructed. It has a 40mm yellow gold PVD-finish for extra durability, a calfskin leather strap, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

What I Like

  • Nathan George Horwitt’s minimal design and 12 o’clock dot is distinct and unmistakable.

  • Despite its thin and dainty look, this watch features a durable stainless steel case that’s been PVD-treated and a sapphire crystal.

  • Being part of the MoMA collection gives it artistic credibility.

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s impossible to tell the time on it.

What Other Reviewers Say

Since this unconventional watch has been around for so long, almost all the reviewers who bought it online give it a perfect rating. Clearly, those from Movado’s solid fanbase are the ones buying and rating the watch. The design itself is polarizing; people either love it or hate it.

Regardless, professional reviewers and online shoppers agree that this watch is well-made and comfortable.

The Verdict

If you want a classy and minimalist dress watch with art world cache, go for the Movado Museum Classic. If you want a practical watch that you can actually tell time on, look elsewhere.

Best Minimalist
Movado Museum Classic

If you want a classy and minimalist dress watch with art world cache, go for the Movado Museum Classic. If you want a practical watch that you can actually tell time on, look elsewhere.

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Best Quartz: Bulova Accutron II 98B272 

10.
Bulova Accutron II 98B272

Go for the Bulova Accutron II 98B272 if you want an accurate, maintenance-free dress watch that’s rooted in horological history. Despite the excitement around this line when it first came out, it’s presence is surprisingly rare online today. This makes it a unique option.

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Bulova set the standard for accurate quartz watches. In 2015, the brand released a series of high-frequency quartz pieces called Bulova Accutron II watches, named after their innovative 1960 timepiece that set the stage for the invention of the quartz. The two-tone 98B272 is the dress watch of the Accutron II line.

It features Bulova’s proprietary UHF (ultra high-frequency) quartz movement, which has a 262kHz vibrational frequency, eight times greater than standard electronic quartz movements. What this means is that the Bulova UHF quartz movements offer accuracy of just seconds a year.

What I Like

  • Bulova’s proprietary ultra high-frequency quartz movement has unparalleled precision.

  • The Accutron II line has a quartz heritage that gives this watch a meaningful story.

  • The movement is so high frequency, that the second hand sweeps across the dial like a mechanical watch.

What I Don’t Like

  • In person, the gold-plating is a little pale.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers commend Bulova for offering an exciting and useful movement. Even those who claim to have no interest in quartz watches are intrigued by the technological advancement of the UHF movement. The sweeping hand is also popular.

The Verdict

Go for the Bulova Accutron II 98B272 if you want an accurate, maintenance-free dress watch that’s rooted in horological history. Despite the excitement around this line when it first came out, it’s presence is surprisingly rare online today. This makes it a unique option.

Best Quartz
Bulova Accutron II 98B272

Go for the Bulova Accutron II 98B272 if you want an accurate, maintenance-free dress watch that’s rooted in horological history. Despite the excitement around this line when it first came out, it’s presence is surprisingly rare online today. This makes it a unique option.

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Best Mechanical: Tissot Heritage Petite Seconde

11.
Tissot Heritage Petite Seconde

The Tissot Heritage Petite Seconde is a manual-wind watch with a timeless design that’s as relevant today as it was in the 40s.

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James Stewart’s Tissot in Rear Window is one of the most elusive watches out there. While it’s unlikely you’ll ever find the legendary reference-less watch, the Tissot Heritage Petite Seconde is a close aesthetic cousin. It even features Arabic numerals for every hour, now a rare practice by Tissot.

And to really channel the iconic original, this watch is a hand-wound mechanical. I think that the ritual of hand-winding connects you with your watch’s roots. It will never be as accurate as a quartz or as convenient as an automatic. 

What makes a hand-winding mechanical watch relevant (and fun) is how well it links you to a certain horological heritage. The Tissot Petite Seconde does that masterfully.

What I Like

  • It has close visual similarities to the famous James Stewart Tissot.

  • The sapphire crystal and small seconds dial captures the light beautifully and gives the classic style watch a modern touch.

  • It’s easy to wind despite the small crown, and it feels crisp and firm. 

What I Don’t Like

  • 42mm is a bit too large, especially for a vintage style dress watch.

What Other Reviewers Say

As with most of Tissot’s Heritage line, the Petite Seconde is a popular reissue. Reviewers love the accurate refashioning and the updated, higher quality materials. Of course, reviewers are happy that Tissot gave it an old school movement too.

However, even reviewers who love this watch would prefer it in a smaller size.

The Verdict

The Tissot Heritage Petite Seconde is a manual-wind watch with a timeless design that’s as relevant today as it was in the 40s.

Best Mechanical
Tissot Heritage Petite Seconde

The Tissot Heritage Petite Seconde is a manual-wind watch with a timeless design that’s as relevant today as it was in the 40s.

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Things to Consider Before Buying a Dress Watch Under $1000

  • Quartz or mechanical? At this price point, a quartz watch will almost always be the most accurate option. But don’t let that deter you if you’re horologically curious. Thanks to brands like Orient and Seiko, there are several classy mechanical options under $1000.
  • What is the case depth? This is particularly important with dress watches since you’ll be wearing them with long sleeves. Traditionally, your watch must easily slip under your shirt sleeve and jacket. 
  • Vintage or modern? Vintage has a coolness factor, but modern watches require less maintenance. Many of today’s dress watches are inspired by older designs, so you can often have the best of both worlds.
  • How legible is it? A dress watch doesn’t always have to be practical the way an athletic watch should be. Some of our options here are beautiful and timeless, but not immediately legible. Do you plan on relying on your phone for time and want a purely decorative watch, or do you want a watch that you can read easily?
  • Precious metals? As mentioned, precious metal watches will likely depreciate in value. If you don’t mind this, you can often find vintage 10k and even 14k gold watches in the depths of eBay for under $1000. I usually recommend sticking to high-quality stainless steel dress watches, but I also recommend buying what you love.

Dress it Up

If you’re looking for a whole lot of function and design for its price, the Presage Cocktail Time Sky Diving can style up any formal suit.

Best Value under $1000
Seiko Presage Cocktail Time, Sky Diving

The Seiko Presage Cocktail Time Sky Diving is a complicated dress watch that’s loaded with design and functions. If you’re looking for an eye-catching dress watch with a lot going on, this is your guy.

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Both Bulovas have a unique offering, with the Computron’s unusual gold design and the Accutron II’s hyper accurate proprietary quartz movement. 

The Junghans (Max Bill Automatic and Max Bill Chronoscope) and the Movado both offer art world street cred and a modern, minimalist design. Meanwhile, the KARL-LEIMON and the popular Orient Bambino offer classic, luxurious options.

Both our Tissot selects are stand-out timepieces, with the Chronograph combining sporty and dressy qualities, and the Petite Seconde channeling a long-lost icon with its hand-winding mechanical movement. The 38mm Hamilton Intra-matic is also good for the nostalgic watch collector.

I think the Swiss Longines Presence is an impressive option at any price, but especially for under a grand.

Best Swiss Automatic Under $1000
Longines Presence Collection L47204112

The Longines Presence L47204112 is a fancy watch inside and out, boasting an elegant design and a Swiss automatic movement. This watch is for you if you’re looking for a luxury timepiece with a brand name.

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Truthfully, you really don’t need to spend a lot of money on a dress watch. Like with any investment in your wardrobe, set your budget and stick to it. 

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Happy hunting, gents.

FAQs

Can you wear a dress watch with a metal bracelet?

Yes. The jubilee bracelet and densely weaved mesh bracelets go well with dress watches. However, if you want to play it safe, a croco-embossed leather strap is the most traditional.

How big can my dress watch be?

Dress watches are smaller than sport watches. Most men should stick to under 40.5mm, but this also depends on how thin the case is. What matters most is that it’s well fitted to you, and that there’s wrist presence. A dress watch is usually understated, and shouldn’t draw attention based on its size.

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