The wedding watch is a concept that has well and truly cemented itself as a modern-day ritual. Couples exchanging a sentimental timepiece for a girl’s best friend seems only fair in 2020 and marks the wedding day with an additional sense of occasion.
When it comes to selecting a wedding watch, it’s important to look past the day and recognise the lifestyle of the recipient, because there really are no rules. While a white gold dress watch may be traditional and fit the attire on the day, if it’s not something the groom will wear frequently – due to his active lifestyle or casual work dress code – it’s wise to consider an alternative.
It is also essential to do some digging, subtlety through him or his friends to work out what style of watches he likes and what brands resonate with him most. One thing you must avoid is buying a wedding watch the groom doesn’t actually want – he’ll be hesitant to wear it and you’ll be disappointed. If it means stretching the budget, do so – you won’t regret spending a bit more on a watch he loves.
For those seeking inspiration for their own special gift, check out our list of best wedding watches for all budgets.
Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 (Under $1,000)
When it comes to timeless and accessible wedding watches, there’s no denying that Tissot’s Le Locle Powermatic 80 makes for a formidable value proposition at $875, incorporating the brand’s innovative automatic movement boasting 80 hours of power reserve. With its 39.3mm case, elegant guilloche dial, classic roman numerals and leather strap on butterfly clasp, the Le Locle Powermatic 80 presents as a sophisticated package and the perfect companion for Black Tie attire.
For those who desire a more contemporary offering, suited to a less formal dress code, the handsome Tissot Gentleman offers superb aesthetics and build quality for $1250.tissotwatches.com/au
Mühle-Glashütte 29er Casual ($1,000-$3,000)
Mühle-Glashütte is one of a long list of extremely underrated German watch manufacturers building excellent products at even better price points. For the 29er Casual, Mühle has introduced the flattest case in the current collection, measuring just 9.35mm high, ready to slip effortlessly under the cuff of your dress shirt. A choice of suede, leather or textile strap adds to the 29er Casual’s versatility. $2,850.muehle-glashuette.de
Cuervo y Sobrinos HistoriadorFlameante ($3,000-$5,000)
You may recall the relatively unknown Cuervo y Sobrinos brand name adorning the dials of vintage Longines and Rolex models, retailed from the Cuban jewellery shop in the 1940s & 1950s and highly sort after by collectors today. In 2020, the brand operates in Switzerland producing contemporary retro-inspired watches with a Latin soul, reminiscent of the Art Deco era. Their designs aren’t for all tastes but rest assured if you find one you like, you’ll be acquiring a truly boutique product with serious pedigree, one you’re unlikely to ever see on anyone else’s wrist. Approx $4,500 (US$3,300).cuervoysobrinos.com
Grand Seiko SBGR261 ($5,000-$8,000)
The Grand Seiko SBGR261, from the brand’s esteemed Elegance Collection, embodies the very essence of GS. The svelte 39.5mm case – with Zaratsu polished lugs – houses the innovative automatic Calibre 9S65 movement with 72-hour power reserve. It’s an understated timepiece that combines cutting edge technology and time-tested craftsmanship, reserved for the ultimate connoisseur. $6,700.grand-seiko.com/au
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41 ($8,000-$12,000)
Right at the front of this price bracket, at $8,300, is the brand new Rolex Oyster Perpetual 41. Not only does it present the best combination of form and function at the entry price point for the lauded brand, but the new collection also offers a range of vibrant colours – reimaging the ‘Stella dial’ days – for the more adventurous buyer. If $8,300 is a stretch, the 39mm predecessor with the white dial is worth hunting around for, new or second hand.
JLC Reverso Tribute Duoface ($12,000-$20,000)
The JLC Reverso is one of the most recognisable and respected watches ever created, which makes it the ideal candidate for your gift. Echoing the codes of the iconic model, dating from the 1930s, the Tribute Duoface houses a manual winding movement in a flippable case that houses individual dials, offering a timezone on each side, as well as a day/night indicator. The Casa Fagliano leather strap blends seamlessly with a midnight blue dinner or lounge suit. $16,800.jaeger-lecoultre.com
F.P. Journe Chronometre Bleu (Above $20,000)
They say your wedding is the best day of your life but if you can find an F.P. Journe Chronometre Bleu for sale, you might just do your wedding day one better – combining the two is a fairytale. Upon first glance, the three-hander appears to be nothing more than an elegant dress watch but a closer inspection reveals a 39mm case made of Tantalum; a rare dark grey metal with a 3016° fusion point that makes it extremely difficult to manipulate. Created by one of the world’s finest manufacturers, it retails for $43,000 – if you can find one. A gold Saxonia from A. Lange & Söhne is also a fantastic choice and will be easier to get your hands on (and half the price!).