Shopping for a Rolex Dress Watch

September 02, 2016

The watches in Rolex's professional line get most of the attention these days, but the the company was started during a time when all wristwatches were dress watches. Even though times have changed in terms of fashion and style, a gentleman will always require a dress watch for formal occasions. While some find it appropriate to pair a dive watch like the Submariner with a suit and tie, opting for an elegant dress watch is the way to go if you are looking to capture the swagger of times past. 

Rolex Cellini Date (photo: Rolex)
Of all the classic watch styles Rolex offers, the pieces from their Cellini line are the most representative of traditional men's dress watch. The Cellini Date shown above features a blue alligator leather strap, a beautiful blue dial and low profile case. Cellini watches are unique in that they don't come with the Oyster case that we come to expect when we see a Rolex. Their clean lines and simple elegance allow them to slip under the cuff of your suit, only visible when you would like to check the time. It may be trendy to show off a sporty watch with a large case on your wrist, but when dressed in a well tailored suit, a low profile dress watch completes the look without competing with the suit or other accessories. 

Close Up of Rolex Datejust (photo: Rolex)
If you want a watch that looks like a Rolex, but can still work in formalwear, I would suggest either a Datejust or Day-Date. The Datejust comes in a variety of sizes and configurations, like the yellow gold and stainless steel DJ shown above. This classic Rolex model has changed little over the years, with a smooth or fluted bezel and iconic Cyclops magnifying lens over a simple dial. The Datejust 41 shown above is available with the champagne dial in the photo and the option of diamond hour markers. This model is also available with a 36 millimeter case for those who find a 41 millimeter case excessive. Most come with a combination of stainless steel and white, yellow or pink gold on either an Oyster or Jubilee bracelet.

Platinum Rolex Day-Date (photo: Rolex)
Known as the President's watch, the Day-Date, shown above in platinum with an ice blue dial, walks the line between a classic dress watch and a modern masterpiece. The aperture at 12 o'clock for the day is instantly recognizable and very legible and the motif on the dial adds an artistic touch to an otherwise simple and elegant watch. After decades on the market, it is still the watch of choice for many of the most influential people in the world. If you are on the market for a precious metal configuration from Rolex and prefer a clean aesthetic, this is the watch for you. The platinum and rose gold versions have a fresh and modern look, while the yellow gold still harkens back to the golden age of Rolex watches.

If your career or your social life calls for formal attire, it is always a good idea to have a dress watch to go with your suit. The Datejust and Day-Date models also come in leather strap configurations, giving you even more formal options. Check out my previous post about the best Rolex to wear with a suit here for more information on dress watches. And as always, you can visit to check out their entire line of wristwatches and authorized dealers.


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