Hey Gents,

seikoIf you’re like me and love watches, or even if you’re a guy still looking for his first watch, you want one that’s handsome yet tough… one that works well for most occasions and can serve as a daily wearer.

You appreciate a nice Rolex or Omega as much as the next guy, but even if your dream watch weren’t cost prohibitive, you may still want something more casual for your laid-back days.

The perfect everyday watch would be something classically styled, but not too sporty, so it can still be worn with a blazer.

At the same time, it wouldn’t look too dressy or fancy, so it doesn’t feel out of place with denim. Most of all, not so expensive or fragile that you’d be scared to scratch it up or break it.

A good example of this is the Timex Weekender. This is a super inexpensive option (I found a similar one, the Timex Easy Reader, at Target for $30, and switched out the stock band with a NATO version).

The Seiko pictured above is another watch I wear almost every day (more than even my Timex). My uncle gave it to me 15 years ago, and it’s still going strong. Stylistically, it’s understated (except for its blue face) and works with the clothes I wear on a daily basis.

Your perfect everyday watch, much like your perfect Lean Wardrobe, will depend on your preferences, lifestyle, and budget. Here are a few that you may like, or at the very least, a few that will incite you to explore more and find one on your own (click the photo to enlarge).

perfect everyday watch

From L to R: Seiko 5, Stuhrling, Daniel Wellington, TokyobaySwiss Army, Braun (via Huckberry), Tsovet (via Huckberry)

Those last two watches are from one of my favorite flash-sale style shopping sites, Huckberry (though, nowadays, they’re much more than flash sales). You may need an account to view those. You can sign up for one via EG here.

On a related note, if you’re looking for nylon (or NATO) watch straps, or the tools you’ll need to swap out the original straps easier, those links should help you out.

Note that the spring bar tool set isn’t always needed for NATO straps, but can come in handy when adjusting metal link watch straps or taking out a stubborn leather band.

What’s currently on your wrist every day? If you don’t have a watch yet, which one from the above list is your favorite? Would love to hear it in the comments below.


[images via Amazon, Huckberry]

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39 Responses

  1. Brandon on

    I routinely switch between my Seiko “Black Monster” with a black Nato 5-ring or even the stock metal band and an old trustworthy aviator-style Fossil (black case & face with distressed leather band).

  2. Michael Craven on

    An old Skagen. I bought it with my wife (then girlfriend) for a trip to Europe in 99. I love it’s slim, minimalist design.

  3. Tiger on

    I’ve been wearing a casio ana-digi for years. I’ve bought a few other watches, but end up going back to this one. Metal band means no horrible smell like with leather or fabric, analog face gives it a classic look, while the digital readout allows me to set alarms, timers, etc. I was surprised at the amount of compliments I got on this watch, and even had some coworkers go out and buy one themselves.


  4. beardedman on

    My everyday watch is an Oris Artix Date. Stainless case and bracelet, silver face with a clean 3D dial and the only complication being the small date window. It’s a beautifully elegant watch that looks as good with a charcoal suit and white French cuffs as it does with black jeans and a Polo. One the one hand, it’s very dressy and on the other, so simple, it doesn’t overpower everything else. It’s an excellent Swiss movement and as an Automatic, never needs winding or batteries. I think they run about $1800 list and can be found discounted, but be sure you only buy one at an authorized retailer or you get no warranty.


  5. Phil on

    Every day, a pair of Timex Weekenders (black face and white face) and an array of nato-style straps.

  6. Dave on

    Everyday watches rotate between a black Invicta ProDiver 8926OB, an Orient Blue Mako, or a Seiko 5 Military.

  7. Michael on

    EDC watch is a Tissot T-Race.
    I also have Timex Weekender, ESQ, Two Citizen Eco Drives and two old, restored, Bulovas with NATO bands on them.

  8. Slava on

    Daniel Wellington ftw. Bought it in gold plating with nato strap as pictured above. It goes absolutely with everything I wear. Everybody asking where I got those. Fell in love with its minimalistic and clear design.
    And you can always switch to brown leather strap for dressy occasions and to match your shoe color

  9. Barbosa on

    Despite the initial good looks of many of the watches you suggest, and others in the same price range, potential buyers should be aware of the critical difference that the inferior quality of the crystal can make. Mineral, or mineral crystal, is often used on the less expensive watches; it scratches easier than the superior sapphire crystal found on more expensive watches. That is not to say that one must spend thousands to obtain a watch with a sapphire crystal face; check out the Hamilton, Tissot and Luminox lines, many of which models have the sapphire crystal faces while keeping the price tag well under $1,000.00.

  10. Bo on

    For everyday wear, I’ve lately been reaching for my Timex Ameritus Sport (numerical dial and a non-rotating bezel that’s dressed up because of the white phase) with a paisley NATO strap from The Knottery, and then a black dial, brown-leather strap Stuhrling watch. I find because I wear a lot of blue, the red-and-navy paisley works with most of my outfits, and because I wear mostly brown shoes, the leather Stuhrling does the job the rest of the time.

  11. RPG on

    I love both my Seiko Pilot Flightmaster and Tissot T-Racer. I would like to pick up something with a leather strap for more casual wear.

    • Alex MIller on

      For me watches are more about accessorizing, than they are for telling time. Just my opinion.

  12. Alex MIller on

    My every day watch is a gunmetal grey Fossil with a wood face. I find it very versatile with cool and warm colors, and it can take some punishment.

  13. Al Bizzy on

    Watches are definitely an obsession of mine. It was the last step in completing a strong wardrobe for me. Now that I’m hooked; I am realizing that how essential a quality watch is when completing a look. Currently in rotation is a Citizen Nighthawk on a leather pilot band (my only non-automatic) a Seiko Fifty Five Fathoms Mod, Seiko 2nd Gen Black Monster; and when I’m really feeling fancy I bust out the the Vintage Rolex Two Tone GMT Master. I definitely have a problem, I know.

  14. Peter Gahan on

    I love my Lorus Sports – RHX001L9 – it looks good, is fairly rugged and is functional. As well as that, it cost £20. Absolute bargain, serving me well.

  15. kuya vince on

    Glad to see this post on here Barron. I know that it is said often that a Rolex (or whatever really nice watch you want to have) is out of your reach, but many good preowned Rolexes and other luxury watches can be had at a decent price. I just did a quick search and found the following at under 3,000 dollars: Breitling Navitimer, IWC Portofino, Tudor Chronograph, Omega Seamaster, Rolex Airking, Cartier Tank and a Rolex Date for under 3,000 bucks and as low as 2,000 bucks (I am sure you can get them even cheaper if you took the time). These are all watches that can be serviced easily and reliably and will last you at least another 15 years. So instead of buying a slew of mediocre watches, take the advice that is often given on this site – save up, research and purchase a watch you really want and will wear every day till you die. P.S. I wear a No-date, Submariner every freaking day in almost every occasion (not with my tux).

    • Barron on

      Yep, I totally agree. I’m currently eyeing a basic Air King or Datejust (1970s-1990) and there are plenty in the 2k range. But still, for some readers, that’s like $1800 more than they can spend right now.

      Even if I had my Datejust, I’d still have one or two affordable watches to wear on the occasion I may not want to wear the Rolex (not sure when that would ever happen, but you get what I’m saying 🙂

  16. RD on

    Bang for the buck, it’s hard to beat the Tissot PR 100. Stainless steel case, Swiss movement, sapphire crystal, and a classically clean look that can be dressed up or down for just north of $200 (but can be found new for under that).

  17. Haywire on

    Hard to beat a Vietnam era military watch for durability, simple good looks, and price. 100% mechanical…way cool. Dress up with a leather band or down with nylon. Search ebay for (“GG-W-113″,”MIL-W-3818B”)

  18. Jon on

    This has probably been said already, but I’m guessing the watches with the silver metal-like strap is ok to wear with khakis?

    • Barron on

      Sure, or denim, or shorts, or whatever else you plan on wearing that day. Just because the bracelet’s metal doesn’t make it a “dress watch”.

  19. charlestonsrp on

    I do not wear a lot of black shoes, but what is the opinion of wearing a brown watch strap with black shoes?

    • Carlos on

      Personally, I don’t think it goes. I tend to match my watch to my belt which in turn, matches my shoes.

  20. Jeff Barnett on

    I have a fairly large wrists and see to go through leather bands easily. Would a cloth wristband be better? Do they stretch better? Just wondering?

    • Barron on

      When you say you go through them, do you mean you wear them to a point where they’re unwearable, like they break? Or overstretch?

      Leather would technically be stronger, but nylon straps are easier and cheaper to replace.

      • Jeff Barnett on

        The leather bands break fairly easily. Are there different watch sizes or are they all pretty standard. Barron, Thanks for your reply. I am enjoying your blog.

  21. Simon on

    Invicta 8926OB with various straps. Bracket for general use. Rubber or Nato for surfing. Leather for dressy occasions. It ticks all my functional, versatility and asthetic boxes and is cheap enough that I don’t have to worry about it too much :O) Here it is on a cheapo ebay fake leather nato strap that just happens to match my belt ;OD

  22. Andy Budnik on

    I love gold with a brown leather strap, still working on finding the perfect one. I wear a ton of brown, so this works best. For now, I have a solar Seiko with a gold face and silver stainless steel that has worked great and looks handsome. My black dress watch is a Guess, all black stainless with a choronograph, but otherwise very plain. Looks great.