Ah, the black-tie night dress code.
Although they seem a bit outdated, the dress codes are still a thing. We left traditional dressing a few centuries ago, but we all still dress for the occasion.
Black tie is a formal dress code used for elegant occasions that begin strictly after 6 p.m.
Gentlemen are obligated to wear a black dinner jacket paired with matching trousers. Also, a cummerbund or a waistcoat is a must.
Finish your elegant look with the black silk tie and pocket square, dark oxfords, black socks, and a classy boutonniere.
Nowhere there is a mention of a timepiece. In the past, it was considered even rude to wear watches as it implied you have somewhere else to be. Luckily, things have changed, and wristwatches became an inspired part of the classic dress outfit, and a black watch is a perfect addition.
Like every other thing about being a perfect gentleman, choosing the ideal black watch is an art of its own.
We discuss the various watch features to look out for and those you don't need to stress over when choosing an excellent evening watch.
An evening watch is quite more formal than the everyday one. So, no bright colors (hence the popularity of grey, gunmetal, and black watches for men in these cases) or too daring combinations.
The trick is to pair the watch with your shoes and belt. Of course, for the black-tie events, it should also match your evening jacket.
If you are wearing any jewelry (cufflinks and rings count here), the watch should go well with them, too.
It sounds complicated, but it isn't.
For example, pairing your wristwatch to a bracelet could be as simple as ensuring you wear a stainless steel-strapped watch on the day, as opposed to one with a rubber/ silicone band.
The dial should be simple, elegant, and minimalistic.
Remember, it's a high-class night, so no complications, chronographs, smartwatches, or anything that strives too far away from traditional wristwatches—just a clean dial, preferably with no numerals, or if you must, roman numerals.
Also, no glow-in-the-dark watches, as it's a sign of bad taste.
It needs no saying that you should always wear a black watch that fits your wrist perfectly – even if you were not going to an event. Avoid any watch carrying a bezel if you can, as they add more complications to what should have been a simple, sleek piece.
Regarding the straps, the choice is clear. The only appropriate one is the black leather strap. Or, of course, vegan black leather strap. The whole point is for your choice to blend in with the rest of your style for the night, not stick out like a sore thumb.
Times are changing, though, and we are seeing more stainless-steel watches make it to the dress watch category also. Opt for a titanium case (as it usually comes in black) or otherwise dark stainless steel case (like gunmetal) paired with a matching bracelet.
If the black watch doesn't get all bells jingling and whistles going off, we are sure it will come off as excellent enough for the evening.
It is uncommon to find anyone that will be more interested in your watch movement than the timepiece itself.
That can sometimes happen when watch enthusiasts get together, or one sports our fine timepiece around your wrist, but the chances for that are slim. Thus, you are free to make any choice of watch movement here, whether it's an automatic or a quartz movement.
Whether you prefer the allure of an automatic watch, would like one of those swiss-made engines, or the functional simplicity of a Japanese quartz movement, you won't be out of pocket.
It doesn't end with choosing a black watch for your event. You also need to know how to wear them the right way. We don't only offer you insight into how to make the best of the style on that evening but the reasons that inspired these rules also.
That way, you always remember why you should not make the mistake – and we hope that guides you to wearing the watch right every time.
Always wear a black watch on your left wrist. This is substantial for handshaking, as it takes the attention off your watch.
Remember, you are not wearing a watch to get in the spotlight. Moreover, your watch should always slide easily in the sleeve of your tuxedo. So, no bulky watches.
Make sure your stainless steel/ leather strap fits well. So, it shouldn't be too tight or too loose. Otherwise, you give off a sloppy appeal which we know you are not planning on.
Buckling your strap too tight can cause so much discomfort that you start to sweat around your wrists. Avoid that by choosing breathable leather material and clasping on the band just enough that it fits without being too tight.
Always wear a black watch with the face positioned on the top of the wrist. Some professions, like military and law enforcement, have a habit of wearing the watch the other way around. However, this is an elegant event.
Cleanliness is next to godliness.
Before attending any formal event, take a few minutes of your time to clean your black watch well. Additionally, you can polish the crystal display, gently swab on the stainless-steel band with a soft, wet cloth, and use a conditioner for your black leather band.
This is not a rule, per se, but it is an excellent piece of advice when attending such formal occasions, nonetheless.
If you don't feel right wearing a watch, leave it at home. Also, don't check the time too often. If you absolutely must, do it briefly. Or excuse yourself and go to a different room to check the watch.
Like we mentioned above, regularly looking at your watch makes it seem like you are not enjoying yourself or you would rather be elsewhere. Especially when talking to someone, make sure you leave your watch out of the mix unless a reference to time/ the watch comes up.
Naturally, you can wear any of our watches on a formal night. However, we admit that not all our watches are built for a formal occasion.
The chronograph system on the Pioneer watches, for example, should make them sit this one out.
That said, here are the Nordgreen watches that will complement your sleek, modern gentleman look on any evening.
The minimalist design approach reigns supreme here, with Nordgreen choosing to leave the watch display bare. Glance into the crystal, and you are only met with the brand information and hour hands on the watch display.
You would find an extra touch of elegance in the slim yet eye-catching stainless steel case. This watch will easily sit on your wrist, do its job of complementing your outfit, and still call no extra attention to itself. True class.
Fortunately, just about any man can get in on this timepiece. Depending on your wrist size, Nordgreen makes the Native watches available in 28mm, 32mm, 36mm, and 40mm. As a nice touch, you could even gift this to a young man on their graduation or any other event as a way of introducing them into the fine world of formal events that they are soon to step into.
To achieve the black watch appeal would mean going for the grey-like gunmetal color, which gives the watch a titanium aura. Even then, you still have a plethora of options to consider in the watch strap section.
There is the black mesh – coming off as stylish as it can be – but we would not recommend that for formal events. Then, there is an assortment of black/ black croc leather straps to choose from.
For the men who prefer an all-metal watch build, though, the 3- and 5-link stainless steel bracelets are made just for you.
If you would like to wear the watch for another purpose at another time, a variety of replacement watch straps will make that a reality.
Dress watches are not designed to undergo pressure, but this one will take just about any shock that you throw at it. One look at that bold frame tells you about the strength that the watch features under the hood.
Like the Native watch above, the Philosopher series also does away with the chronograph, but it not as simple on the surface. Besides the brand emblem, there is also a date complication at the 3 o'clock mark.
That, however, does not make this quartz watch less of a fine dress unit.
A gunmetal finish is the closest thing to black here also. Fortunately, it doesn't look too drab a black, and it pairs finely against the darker shades on the watch straps. Speaking of straps, the all-black appeal is best achieved by combining this watch with a black croc leather/ black leather or the same gunmetal finish on a stainless-steel bracelet.
No matter which one does it for you, you get the same mild water-resistant watch with a high-quality Japanese Miyota movement under the hood for reliable time-telling and the promise of minimal maintenance.
So, what if the Pioneer series comes off as a chronograph watch?
This chronograph watch is even more complicated, carrying a date window at the 6 o'clock hour mark. How would this even make it to a dress function?
Fashion rules are great, but of what good are they if they are not broken occasionally?
The decision of what makes dress watches or not was determined a long time ago, and the world has changed since then. Maybe it's time that the modern man – a man like you – steps away from the norm and dons a fine watch that defies the minimalist standards.
And that is what the Pioneer line does, defying the standards to craft a unique name and position for itself.
Fortunately for you, the gunmetal grey just mimics black right on this watch. The same would extend to the bracelet if you were going the way of stainless steel. Otherwise, a choice between the black croc leather, black vegan leather, or standalone black leather strap should do it for you.
You might not start a movement by breaking out of the usual, but you would have made a strong personal statement anyway.
Our strong focus on black tie events could make you re-think the role of black watches in your wardrobe.
So, here we are to tell you that a black watch should not only be paired with dress events. As a neutral color, you will be hard-pressed to find an outfit that you cannot pair your unit to.
Whether you are spending a day at the park, hanging out with friends at the pool (be sure your watch is water-resistant to a reasonable degree), going camping in the woods, or just need a daily driver, the color does wonders everywhere.
That said, though, your wardrobe also matters.
The fact that these black watches for men can pair with any event and clothing could make you lazy – which slowly erodes your stylishness. If you have other non-black watches, see how best you can pair them with select outfits in your wardrobe.
This way, you don't get bored of the watch, and you look forward to wearing it.
The deep hue of blue (navy blue) goes well with black – so much so sometimes that you cannot tell the difference at a glance.
In fact, besides the white and black colors, our Pioneer line of watches also comes with a navy-blue dial that goes well with the gunmetal frame. If you were wearing this watch to a late-night event, no one would be able to tell the difference.
During the day, the allure of the blue hue under the watch crystal adds even more style and a premium appeal to your overall outfit.
In the end, you should wear a watch because you want to, and not feel obligated to.
Fashion rules are here to be respected, but they should also be broken for the fun of it sometimes.
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