After going through some of 2016’s best sport watches, it is time for our Christmas shopping guide to make dressing up easier. You might have noticed that we have a weak spot for nice and stylish dress watches, and we’re pleased that so many new dress watches saw the light of day in 2016. We sat down with the team and selected ten of the best dress watches of 2016, models focusing on essentials and ranging from high-end to accessible – because elegant doesn’t necessarily mean expensive.
Grönefeld 1941 Remontoire
It should come as no surprise to see the Grönefeld 1941 Remontoire in our list of the dress watches for 2016 as it is a Monochrome team’s favorite and has received several industry accolades. Last month it won the prize for best men’s watch, and the special jury Grand Prix award at the Watch of the Year election organised by our friends of Chronos24 in Poland. A few weeks later after winning these two awards, it was also awarded with the Best Men’s Watch prize at the 2016 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, the Oscars of watchmaking. More simply, it is a stunning watch! It features an 8 second remontoire mechanism to provide constant force to the escapement, and a ‘governor’ that spins happily every eight seconds. The Grönefeld 1941 Remontoire is available in a pink or white gold in a 39.5mm case, and with a choice of several dials. Considering what you get, the price of approx. € 50,000 Euro is a bargain.
A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Jumping seconds
The understated elegance and graphic simplicity of the Richard Lange Jumping seconds is misleading… Its highly complex movement combines a jumping second, a one second remontoire, a zero-reset mechanism and an end of power reserve indication. The watch displays time in a large regulator-type jumping second display with hours and minutes on 2 off-set subsidiary dials. Do check our in-depth review for a full explanation about all ‘hidden’ technicalities. Needless to say, the manually wound movement is beautiful with top notch finishing. With a 39.5mm in diameter, the Richard Lange Jumping seconds, wears very comfortable on the wrist. It has been released in a 100-piece limited edition in platinum, and comes at a price of € 79,800 Euro.
Slim d’Hermes Email grand feu
With its ‘Slim’ Hermes created a superb watchmaking classic while retaining the brand’s singularity and distinctive elegance. The watch is powered by a magnificent micro-rotor movement (always a collector’s favourite) and is 39.5mm in diameter. It is now enhanced with a grand-feu enamel dial, featuring those lovely Arabic numerals. The Slim d’Hèrmes is released in a limited edition of 100 pieces, and has a price tag of 21,400 CHF.
Frederique Constant Slim Line Moon Phase
At a much more affordable price point (€ 3,300 Euro) than many of the watches listed in this article, the Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase offers superb value for money. With a diameter of 42mm is is actually a tad too large for a classic dress watch, however it’s remain very elegant and might appeal to many who prefer a bit larger watch. Inside ticks an automatic Frederique Constant in-house movement, and besides hours and minutes, it indicates the date and phase of the moon in a small sub dial at 6 o’clock. As said, it comes at a very attractive price point of € 3,300 Euro.
Chopard L.U.C XPS steel
For Chopard the L.U.C collection is the brand’s high-end line and like many of its L.U.C siblings it features a very nice slim movement with a micro-rotor. Chopard made the XPS more accessible with a stainless steel version and we here at Monochrome just love it. The L.U.C XPS 1860 steel combines understated elegance and watchmaking expertise with its micro-rotor calibre 1.96 movement. The 40mm stainless steel case frames a multi-level dial showing hours, minutes, small seconds and the date. It comes at a retail price of € 8,290 Euro.
Urban Jürgensen reference 2240
Discreet elegance… The Urban Jürgensen 2240 is part of the new Jules collection of the Swiss/Danish brand, adding a touch of modernity to the Urban Jürgensen collection. The 40mm well-proportioned case with winglet lugs frames a stunning grené dial with a hand-made frosted surface that is truly distinctive. Inside ticks the calibre P004, a beautifully finished hand-wound movement. The Urban Jürgensen ref. 2240 is available for the price of 23,100 CHF.
Glashütte Original Senator Excellence
Earlier this year Glashütte-Original introduced a new innovative in-house automatic movement, which offers an 80-hour power reserve. In terms of looks the Senator Excellence also features a more open dial, slimmer bezel and altogether a more elegant appearance. This handsome 3-hander from Glashütte-Original comes in a revamped case design that measures 40mm in diameter and is available in stainless steel and 18k pink gold. A pure example of German watchmaking, the Senator Excellence comes comes at a retail price of € 8,600 Euro in steel or € 15,700 Euro in pink gold.
Czapek Quai des Bergues
Czapek (that’s the name of Patek ex-partner, many years ago, before mr. Philippe joined Patek) is a ‘new’ or maybe better, relaunched brand. They made their come back with the Quai des Bergues that was awarded with the public prize at Grand Prix d”horlogerie de Genève 2016. The 42.5mm case might be too big to qualify as thoroughbred dress watch, however its looks are so stylish and elegant, that it won us over. Inside ticks a proprietary manual movement that indicates hours, minutes, seconds and a 7-days power reserve. A remarkable fact about this watch, is that it was launched by subscription! It’s priced at € 9,950 Euro for the stainless steel version, however it’s also available in gold and platinum and comes with a choice of dials.
Montblanc 4810 Date Automatic
The 4810 Date Automatic is part of the revamped 4810 collection and it looks slimmer and more elegant than ever before. In coherence of the brand’s philosophy -sharing the passion for fine watchmaking- it is a classic with a striking guilloche dial. Again one that measures 42mm (a pure dress watch should be 40mm or smaller) however we do think that it looks ravishing and it also comes at a very attractive price… only € 2,690 Euro in steel.
Ulysse Nardin Classico Manufacture
If you read our review about the Ulysse Nardin Classico Manufacture, then you know how much we liked it. Hey, it even made it on the wish-list of our editor Peter, who did the review and had a hard time sending it back when the review period was over. This year Ulysse Nardin introduced the Classico in stainless and it comes with either a blue (really nice!!), silvered, or black dial. Or as a limited edition of 170 piece with a lovely enamel dial crafted in the brand’s own dial making atelier. This elegant 40mm 3-hander is powered by the automatic in-house UN320 movement, and is priced at 7,500 CHF with the blue/silvered/black dial or 8,500 CHF with the enamel dial (limited edition).