If time is the ultimate luxury, a watch might just follow close behind. It may not be essential, but it’s functional and expresses a sense of personal flair all at once—especially for men, who have fewer accessory options than the opposite sex. Watches with blue dials, polished throwback styling or that bridge the gap between office and off-road are most sought after.

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 edition of INSTORE.


➤ A multitasking watch that easily goes from office to the great outdoors is a solution for someone who might only own a watch or two. Models featuring leather straps that can take a hit without being worse for wear and include a few sporty specs are an easy answer.



WHY WE LOVE IT: With two counters and a day-date display it’s the ultimate choice for active types who want a single watch for work and weekend.

DESCRIPTION: Khaki Field Auto Chrono with 42mm steel case and 60-hour power reserve

MSRP: $1,695




WHY WE LOVE IT: The generously sized, luminous numerals and indexes make the dial extra legible, even in dark conditions.

DESCRIPTION: Maverick MS13 chronogragh with 45mm case, screwed crown and reinforced mineral crystal

MSRP: $495





WHY WE LOVE IT: The bronze case will develop a beautiful patina and it’s a tribute to Carl Brashear, the Navy’s first African-American diver. (Remember his story from the film Men of Honor?)

DESCRIPTION: Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition with 42mm bronze case, automatic movement, unidirectional top ring and leather strap

MSRP: $2,800





WHY WE LOVE IT: It’s rare to find a rugged watch in a compact package. The 36mm size is great for a guy with smaller wrists, and women will love it, too.

DESCRIPTION: Heritage Black Bay 36 with self-winding mechanical movement, 38-hour power reserve and distressed leather strap

MSRP: $2,525





➤ A well-designed watch doesn’t require loads of bells and whistles to turn heads. Many manufacturers are revisiting the straightforward and functional models from the first half of the 20th century for inspiration.


WHY WE LOVE IT: Built with a top loading process that exposes a wider sweep of the dial than most watches, this model has an expansive viewing area.

DESCRIPTION: The Canfield with 43mm steel case, quartz movement and black alligator strap

MSRP: $900

(844) 744-6652 | shinola.com




WHY WE LOVE IT: Its movement meets contemporary standards for certification as an Automatic Chronometer but its style is reminiscent of antique pocket watches.

DESCRIPTION: Trainmaster Standard Time with 18K rose gold 39.5mm case, automatic movement, white enamel dial and crocodile strap

MSRP: $7,999

(727) 896-4278 | ballwatch.com




WHY WE LOVE IT: Inspired by the pilot watches of the 1940s, it has a dapper, understated profile that can transition easily to the most formal occasions.

DESCRIPTION: Bremont Solo with 43mm stainless steel case, automatic chronometer, 38-hour power reserve and calfskin leather strap

MSRP: $4,095

(855) 273-6668 | bremont.com



➤ In the fairly conservative world of men’s watchmaking color usually isn’t a prominent feature, but blue has become a breakout favorite as of late. The universally popular hue makes appearances in tones from cerulean to navy and lots in between.



WHY WE LOVE IT: The minimalist design might look delicate, but it’s made from a hard-wearing ceramic that will retain a gleaming shine.

DESCRIPTION: Rado True Blue with 40mm ceramic case, quartz movement, sunbrushed dial with rhodium- colored applied indexes and NATO strap

MSRP: $950

(201) 271-1400 | rado.com




WHY WE LOVE IT: Adding a wash of color to the dial and bezel puts a fresh, youthful spin on a classic power watch.

DESCRIPTION: Marine Star chronograph watch with 43mm stainless case with two-tone gold and silver ion-plated finish, quartz movement, luminous hands and markers and calendar

MSRP: $499

(212) 497-1875 | bulova.com




WHY WE LOVE IT: There’s no reason to worry about anyone else having an identical watch. The iridescent ionized finish looks slightly different every time it’s applied.

DESCRIPTION: Gamma Ionized in stainless steel with 45mm case, quartz movement, 10-year lithium power cell and anti-reflective coating on crystal

MSRP: $500

(800) 291-6600 | reactorwatch.com




WHY WE LOVE IT: The rich blue is subtle and neutral and gives warmth to the design’s architectural contours.

DESCRIPTION: Ebel Wave with 40mm brushed and polished stainless steel case, quartz movement, blue galvanic dial and applied indexes and date display

MSRP: $1,700

(201) 267-8000 | ebel.com