Father’s Day is fast-approaching (June 21st!) so we prepared a quick guide of sure-fire watches you can pick up immediately! To simplify what can be the overwhelming world of watches, we’ve broken these down into three distinct categories, and just three watches each. Browse through the styles and watches below until one catches your eye, then read below it for more details!
Sport watches are among the most broadly desirable of all luxury watches, with numerous iconic choices from top brands. Sport watches tend to be a bit loud in their design with complex dials or bright accents, and they often have the connotation of racing and motorsports (and, in one important case, space travel). These watches make perfect gifts for those who are into cars, sports, or have a generally active lifestyle.
The Omega Speedmaster is one of the most iconic watches ever made and is also one of the most broadly desirable. It began life in 1957 as a popular racing watch, but became a true legend when NASA chose it as the official watch for space travel, and was thus famously worn by astronauts.
Zenith’s El Primero, particularly in this tri-color dial, is one of the best-loved chronographs in the world. It’s named for its movement, the first Swiss automatic chronograph, but it’s at least as important because of its unusually high-frequency as it is for its iconic styling.
Few watches are as associated with motorsports as is the TAG Heuer Monaco, named after the Monaco Grand Prix. It was made legendary thanks to Steve McQueen, who wore it during the ’71 movie Le Mans and has since become closely associated with the Hollywood icon in the years following.
Dive watches have long been one of the most popular styles of watches, even among those who have no interest in diving itself. Dive watches tend to be relatively large, colorful, and extremely tough. They are very popular among thrill-seekers and those with very active lifestyles (thanks to their toughness), but also among those with a fondness for sailing or diving.
Omega’s Planet Ocean has only been around since 2005, but it’s already one of the world’s most popular luxury dive watches, and it’s easy to see why. It has bold, colorful styling that complements its tough exterior with relatively relaxed accents. It’s just as good on the inside, too, thanks to its high-accuracy co-axial chronometer movement.
One of the all-time great dive watches, the Blancpain 50 Fathoms, is often credited with starting the entire modern style of dive watches, most notably with its rotating bezel, an element that would now be seen as crucial to any watch of this genre. Today, more than 60 years later, it remains one of the most desirable dive watches on the market, thanks to its timeless good looks and high-end movement within.
Seiko’s Turtle might be far more affordable than the other dive watches here, but it’s just as well-loved by genre devotees. Nicknamed for its cool case, which resembles a turtle shell, this watch began life in ’76 as the inconspicuously named 6309-704X, and the watch has won the hearts of dive watch aficionados ever since, proving that a watch need not be expensive to be great.
Dress watches are a popular choice both for everyday wear to the office, and for formal occasions like weddings. Dress watches tend to prioritize tasteful understatement as opposed to the bold nature of sport and dive watches, but what they lack in coolness they make up for in exquisite craftsmanship and subtle attention to detail. Dress watches are perfect everyday choices for work but are also great to have for special occasions.
Grand Seiko’s legendary Snowflake is among the most beautiful watches ever produced. Named for its dial, which perfectly resembles a snowy landscape, it’s powered by a rare and unique movement called a spring drive, which allows it to be the most accurate watch on this list.
Often considered the greatest dress watch of all time, Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony is an extremely tasteful and understated classic that is appropriate for any formal event, no matter how important.
The Nomos Orion demonstrates that you don’t have to spend a great deal to get a great dress watch. Made in Germany, this minimalist classic features excellent craftsmanship, subdued looks, and even an in-house movement.