Does a man really need multiple watches? How many watch should a man own? Would just a single watch do?
A man can have as many watches as he wanted. The key is to build a collection that can cater to the occasions and events that he is usually in, such as for formal, casual, work and domestic situation. You can get by with one watch, but it will not do any of the jobs perfectly.
We also explore possible watch combinations for a man to start his collection in this article. Feel free to read on.
What Occasions When A Man Needs A Watch?
More often than not, a man would find himself in any of these occasions:
Formal: Meetings, weddings, wakes, formal parties.
Work: Office work, outdoor work.
Casual: Sports, outdoor trip, informal dinner parties.
Domestic: Trip to the supermarket, picking up takeaways, DIY at the garage.
Depending on your line of work, you might have more time on formal occasions or less. A lawyer or banker would be in more formal events than a construction foreman.
What Watches To Wear To These Occasions?
Reflecting on these occasions, what kind of watch would be suitable?
More often than not, formal events would be held in a more upscale, grandeur location. Hotels, clubhouses, halls, etc.
This means you are likely all dressed up. Long sleeve shirt, trousers, Oxford shoes and perhaps a tie.
Your best choice would be a dress watch to match such an outfit.
They are elegant, classy, and notably thin.
A thin watch allows the shirt cuff to glide in and out smoothly. You will have a more comfortable experience wearing your watch with your long-sleeved shirt.
A dress watch is also more understated and classic in its design and finish, making it a better compliment to your formal outfit.
You want to exercise a more restrained, understated sense of style during formal occasions.
But when it comes to working, you can relax a little bit and probably experiment with more styles and designs of watches.
Depending on your line of work, your work watch might be different. If you work primarily in the office and have to dress up to go to work, you might be able to get away with a casual dress watch.
You will also do fine with other watches, as long as they are thin.
You will still need to keep your watch thin, as you still need to allow it to glide in and out of your shirt cuffs well.
If your work does not require you to be in a long sleeve shirt, then you have much more freedom on your watches.
Your watch can be as thick and as big as you need it to be, as it will not need to glide in and out of your sleeve.
You can now rock thick and chunky watches, such as a dive watch for work.
Casual occasions basically involve any social events outside of work or home, where you have other people involved.
It could range from going to a sports event, a fishing trip, or something as simple as a backyard BBQ party.
This is an excellent opportunity for those working in an office, as they would not be wearing a long-sleeved shirt anymore. They can wear all the watches they want.
For occasions like this, feel free to experiment with all the watches you like – dive, chronograph, pilot…
You can even get away with eccentric and odd watches such as the Bulova Computron.
Go ahead. No one will judge you.
Domestic occasions are your daily activities, often done with little or no social interaction with other people.
Think about a grocery trip, DIY work at home, casual Sunday morning hangover breakfast at your favorite diner.
Technically many would just walk around with a naked wrist, but if you are like us… you still prefer to have something. It just feels naked without a watch.
Here, you can throw away style completely because nobody is watching.
Instead, go with functionality, robustness, and ease of maintenance.
They should be so cheap that you do not mind trashing it around and getting it dirty with oil, paint, or dirt.
If they break, throw it away, get another new one and keep abusing them.
Watches like these are called a ‘beater.’
What Watch Collection Should A Man Have?
Now that we have established occasions a man would be in let’s explore the potential watch combinations that can work.
This way, we can finally decide how many watch should a man own.
1 Formal, 1 Work, 1 Casual, 1 Domestic
Just shoot straight, and just have one watch for all occasions.
If you are an office staff member, or a professional, this will work well for you.
You can attend a grand gala party, grind at the office, go for dinner parties with friends, or have fun at home, rocking the perfect watch.
Your formal watch will be a thin, elegant, traditional dress watch.
The work watch could be a casual dress watch or a thin chronograph. Other watch designs might not signal professionalism, so be careful when treading around that.
The casual watch could be anything, aside from a formal dress watch. You could rock a dive watch, a pilot/Flieger, digital. Anything you fancy, really.
And for domestic times, rock a beater – anything below $100 that you do not mind to ‘abuse and discard’ works here.
1 Formal, 1 Work/Casual, 1 Domestic
You could probably get away with this collection if you primarily work in an office environment.
You can wear your casual watch for work and informal events and leave your formal watch for formal occasions only.
For example, a pilot watch would do just fine on a factory floor and a casual dinner party with your neighbors after that.
This is because non-office work environments are more casual, and a more casual watch would work very well.
As usual, you will still need a domestic beater watch for the moments where you just want to get your hands dirty without worrying about your watch.
Your formal watch would probably be worn the least, only to be put on when you have ‘serious’ events to go to – company parties, wake, or weddings.
1 Formal, 1 Casual, 1 Work/Domestic
If your primary work involves physical labor and getting dirty, this is the watch combination.
You will go to work wearing your beater watch, as they are reliable, and you do not mind getting them dirty, scratched, or dented up.
That watch will also be worn at home and for domestic situations as well.
Rock your formal and casual watch whenever you have something more casual or formal.
1 Formal/Work/Casual, 1 Domestic
This combination would suit many as well. You will, however, limit yourselves to not too many watches as the watch will need to pretty much do everything.
It needs to be thin to fit into a suit. The watch also needs to look dressy but not too much that it seems out of place around your neighborhood restaurant. It also needs to fit your place of work.
This means a dive watch is probably out, as they are too thick. Formal dress watches are out too, as they will be too dressy for a trip to the Olive Garden.
That means you are left with casual dress watches and maybe thin chronographs or pilot watches. With the latter two, you also need to make sure they are not too big to be worn under your long-sleeve shirt cuff.
1 Formal/Work/Casual Only
How many watch should a man own? Just one.
Seriously? One watch to do it all?
It’s possible, with great compromises.
Stick with something that can fit everything – a casual dress watch, or a thin and small chronograph, diver, or pilot watch.
They should fit into a suit decently enough and carry you through a night out.
As for the domestic front, you just go naked. No watch.
Some might balk at this idea, but if you are so minimal that you do not even think a beater watch is necessary, go ahead.
How many watch should a man own? It really depends on your combination preference.
Now that we have suggested watch combination for you, now let’s see if we can do more for you.
We thought we could do a little further and suggest several examples of a formal dress watch, casual dress watch, casual watch, and beater for you.
When we suggest watches, we keep the price in check. Here at WatchPursuits.com, we only recommend watches under a thousand dollars. None of the watches here even come close to that price tag.
Do let’s see if any of these watches suit your taste.
Formal Dress Watches
Access a great Swiss watch that looks much more expensive than they actually are. 39mm diameter, with a case thickness of 9.75mm, perfect for long sleeve shirts. The dial is white with textured for a luxury look.
The watch is powered by a Swiss automatic movement, encased in a stainless steel case, sapphire crystal. A leather strap is included, with a butterfly clasp closure for the luxury feel. Water resistance of 30M (100ft).
Be prepared to turn the heads of even watch snobs with this. The watch is 40mm in diameter, with a gold stainless steel case. The watch comes with a leather strap with foldover clasp closure.
This Seiko Presage features a radiant beige dial with gold hands and markers, with date subdial and power reserve indicator complications. It also runs a 4R57A Seiko automatic movement with hacking and manual winding.
Casual Dress Watches
Here we have a bona fide classic, the best dress watch for starters, great for events and daily office work. Very affordable as well.
Features hand-winding and hackable Japanese automatic movement, in-house from Orient. 40+ hours power reserve.
Domed mineral crystal with genuine leather strap, pin, and buckle clasp.
This watch is a flexible option – it could be paired with a suit for events, office work, or casual parties.
40mm case diameter with 11mm thickness. The watch dial is brilliant black, with silver hands and markers. A day and date window are present at 12 and 6 o’clock position.
The watch is encased in a stainless steel case with stainless steel bracelet. The watch is powered by Swiss automatic movement, with hacking and hand winding.
One of the classic dive watches from Citizen.
Runs an Eco-Drive movement in stainless steel with a rotating ratchet bezel ring and coin-edge bezel. No battery change is needed.
The watch carries a black dial, luminous hands, markers, date window at 3 o’clock. 200M (660ft) water resistance. It also comes with a polyurethane strap.
Why burn cash on the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch when you can get this first private watch on the moon instead?
Powered by Bulova’s high-performance UHF quartz movement. Also comes with a stainless steel bracelet.
This watch is so cheap and tough, terrorists use it to make bombs. How’s that for a vote of confidence?
34mm Digital quartz watch with 24 hour time, stopwatch, and backlight function. Features an entire resin case and strap for maximum robustness and ease of cleaning. Water-resistant to 100M (330ft)
Developed to be robust to handle extreme sports use, but it can also be a beater since it’s so affordable.
38mm resin case with digital display. Comes with 24 hour time, stopwatch, and backlight function complications.
Full resin strap with pin and buckle closure ensures a good fit and easy maintenance and cleaning. Water-resistant to 100M (330ft)
Wrapping Up: How many watch should a man own?
A man can have as many watches as he wanted. The key is to build a collection that can cater to the occasions and events that he is usually in, such as for formal, casual, work and domestic situation.
That means either a casual dress watch or a thin and smaller chronograph, dive, or pilot watch.
In fact, a man can always rent watches if he does not want own too many.