Dressed for Success: Best Dress Watches from Watches & Wonders 2024

Whether you’re dressing for an important party or a business lunch, a dress watch is always a safe bet. Also known as a suit watch, these three- or two-handed timepieces are ideal because they are subtle yet stylish and sophisticated. Here are five examples embodying understated luxury that were recently unveiled at Watches and Wonders 2024.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Manual-Winding

Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony is not just a prime example of Geneva’s fine watchmaking, but for many enthusiasts, it epitomizes the round wristwatch in perfect simplicity. The Patrimony Manual-Winding delights with a minimalist dial and harmonious proportions, defining a style that seamlessly blends an unmistakable personality with understated elegance.

At first glance, the Patrimony Manual-Winding timepiece appears unchanged, maintaining its design inspired by the 1950s, a hallmark since its 2004 introduction. However, the Patrimony has evolved, particularly in the size of the two new manual-winding models. While the previous 40mm size was appreciated, the case, 7.7mm thick and crafted from pink or white gold, now features a classic 39mm diameter.

This change is mirrored on the collection’s signature convex dial, its sunburst-finished surface now presented with a gorgeous new “old-silver” hue. This shade adds a hint of retro styling, contrasting beautifully with the pink gold of the Patrimony collection’s characteristic slim hands, hour-markers, and circular ‘pearl’ minutes track, composed of 48 polished 18K gold pearls.

Surprisingly, the case back of the Patrimony Manual-Winding is closed, allowing space for personal signatures. Behind it ticks the hand-wound manufacture caliber VC 1440 with 42 hours of power reserve. With 116 components, its mechanical microcosm is just 2.6mm thick.

Pricing is marked at $25,200 excluding taxes for both variants.

To learn more, visit Vacheron Constantin, here.

Cartier Collection Privé Tortue

The focus of this year’s Privé Collection is the Tortue, first introduced in 1912. Like all models from the Maison, it masterfully plays with shapes, combining curves with strict lines. In the reissue, Cartier remained faithful to the original design, only elongating the lugs and refining the profile. This two-hand timepiece in yellow gold, limited to 200 pieces, is particularly authentic. Its tonneau-shaped case measures 41.4mm x 32.9mm in diameter and has a slim height of 7.2mm. The grained dial features Roman numerals and a railway minute track, while apple-shaped hour and minute hands gracefully sweep around it. Behind the scenes, the hand-wound manufacture caliber 430 MC ensures precision.

Pricing is marked at $31,000.

To learn more, visit Cartier, here.

Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Petite Seconde

At this year’s Watches and Wonders, Parmigiani Fleurier presented a new generation of the Toric, the very first wristwatch Michel Parmigiani created in 1996 when he started his own brand. This new iteration pushes the boundaries of purist elegance and was one of the most talked-about timepieces of the show.

According to Guido Terreni, Parmigiani Fleurier’s CEO, the new Toric “redefines the essence of the men’s dress watch.” It is presented in slim platinum 950 and pink gold cases, featuring 18-carat gold movements, which is quite stunning. The calibers are manually wound, showcasing top-notch finishing quality and intricate details, befitting a dress watch. The hand-stitched alligator leather straps with a nubuck finish and a traditional “punto a mano” stitch, a specialty of Neapolitan tailors, add to its elegance.

The Toric Petite Seconde has a diameter of 40.6mm and a slender height of 8.8mm. It is water-resistant to 50 meters, with a polished case featuring a knurled bezel shared with Parmigiani’s Tonda PF collection. The watch is offered in platinum with an almond-green dial and in pink gold with a sandy-gold dial. Both dials are slightly beveled and adorned with a gorgeous graining that serves as a magnificent backdrop for the short hour markers and hands that match the case material.

The Toric Petite Seconde in pink gold retails for CHF 49,500, while the platinum version has a sticker price of CHF 56,500.

To learn more, visit Parmigiani Fleurier, here.

Grand Seiko Elegance Collection Re-creation of the “First”

Launched in 1960, the very first Grand Seiko was the result of a project to create a timepiece that would be low-maintenance, easy to wear, highly legible, and simply beautiful. This year, the Japanese luxury brand introduces a new reinterpretation of this timeless design, the ref. SBGW314, crafted in pink gold and powered by an in-house automatic caliber. Equipped with an exhibition caseback, the case measures 38.0mm wide and is 10.9mm thick.

It frames a gorgeous dial inspired by “Hoshizukiyo,” which translates to starry night. Many details pay homage to the “First,” such as the multifaceted markers and dauphine hands, the font used for the Grand Seiko logo, the “Diashock 24 jewels” inscription, and the 8-pointed star at 6 o’clock, a prerogative of Grand Seiko’s “special dials,” whose markers are made of solid gold. As befits a refined dress watch, the SBGW314 is driven by a precise hand-wound movement. The caliber 9S64 beats with 28,800 vibrations per hour and has a 72-hour power reserve.

Limited to 50 pieces and available exclusively at Grand Seiko boutiques from June 2024, the Elegance Collection Re-creation of the “First” is mounted on a dark blue crocodile leather strap and comes with an additional brown strap. The price is marked at $26,500.

To learn more, visit Grand Seiko, here.

Frederique Constant Manufacture Classic Date

All of the luxury newcomers mentioned above symbolize style and mechanical refinement at the highest level. However, they are at a price point that is not for everyone’s wallet. The new Manufacture Classic Date from Frederique Constant is in a more accessible price segment and still ticks the boxes for a very decent dress watch with a genuine caliber. It has a diameter of 40mm and a height of 11.7mm.

The stainless-steel timepiece with a prominent pointer date indication at 6 o’clock is available in three captivating sunburst dial colors: two lighter shades of salmon and silver, along with a darker black option. All three dials feature applied silver-colored slim diamond-cut indexes, complemented by a minute rail track encircling the sunburst pattern. The hand-polished hands elegantly sweep across the dial, enhancing readability and style.

Powering the Manufacture Classic Date is the new in-house caliber, FC-706, which is based on the FC-710 movement. This self-winding caliber boasts an impressive 72-hour power reserve, ensuring reliable timekeeping for days on end. Through the transparent caseback, you can admire the refined perlage and fan-shaped Côtes de Genève decorations, showcasing a high level of craftsmanship.

The Manufacture Classic Date will be available from May 2024 and retail for $3,295.

To learn more, visit Frederique Constant, here.

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