Military vs Sports vs Dress Watches: What Style Should You Choose?

With so many different styles of watches on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for you. Do you want a watch that’s practical and rugged, or one that’s sleek and stylish? Do you want a watch that you can wear hiking or swimming, or one that’s just for special occasions? In this blog post, we’ll help you figure out which type of watch is right for you by breaking down the three most popular styles: military watches, sports watches, and dress watches.

What Are Military Watches?

Military watches have a long and fascinating history. The first military watches were created during World War I for use by soldiers in trench warfare. These early watches were large and bulky, with thick leather straps that could withstand the rigours of battle. The most famous military watch of this era was the British “Wristlet”, which was worn by officers in the Royal Flying Corps.

Modern Military Watches

In recent years, there has been a resurgence in interest in military-style watches. While these watches are no longer issued by militaries around the world, they remain popular with watch enthusiasts and collectors thanks to their rugged good looks and dependable construction. 

Many modern watch brands offer military-style watches. These timepieces typically feature large cases with bold dials and strap options like NATO straps or leather bands. Popular brands that offer military-style watches include OMEGA, Seiko, Citizen, Tissot, and Longines.

What Are Sports Watches? 

A sports watch is a type of wristwatch that is designed for athletes and other outdoor enthusiasts. They are typically larger and more rugged than traditional watches, and they often feature useful functions like stopwatches, compasses, and altimeters. In recent years, sports watches have become increasingly popular with non-athletes as well, due in large part to their stylish designs and robust build quality.

Types of Sports Watches

Sports watches come in all shapes and sizes, but they can generally be divided into two main categories: those designed for specific sports, and those designed for general use. Sport-specific watches are usually packed with features that are relevant to a particular sport, like golf or fishing. For example, a golf watch might feature a built-in course database, while a fishing watch might include tide data and a Moon phase calendar. General-purpose sports watches, on the other hand, are typically less feature-rich but more versatile. They might include basic functions like a stopwatch and lap timer, as well as more specialised features like an altimeter or barometer. 

What Are Dress Watches? 

A dress watch is a type of wristwatch that is designed to be worn with formal wear. These watches are usually sleek and simple, without any extra frills or functions. The emphasis is on elegance and style, rather than utility 

Dress watches often have thin leather straps, although some models may have metal bracelets. The face of the watch is usually clean and uncluttered, with just the essential information (time, date, etc). The hands are often slim and elegant as well. Dress watches tend to be fairly small as well, since they’re not meant to be noticed as much as an accessory like a bracelet or ring.

What’s The Difference Between Military, Sports & Dress Watches?

All three types of watches serve different purposes. Military watches are designed for durability and functionality, sports watches are designed for active people, and dress watches are designed to be elegant and stylish.

How To Decide On A Style Of Watch

With so many different types of watches on the market, it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. But by keeping your needs in mind, you can narrow down your choices and find the perfect watch for your lifestyle. If you’re in need of something clear and durable, consider a military watch. If you’re an active person, then a sports watch will be most fitting. Or, if you just want a nice watch to wear on special occasions or an everyday staple watch, opt for a dress watch.

Of course, if you’re a fan of all three styles, why not slowly build up a collection of watches?

Styling Tips

For Military Watches

Military watches are a versatile style that can be dressed up or down. Whether you’re looking for a casual weekend watch or something more formal, these watches are a great option. Here are some tips on how to style a military watch 

1. Choose the right colour 

Most military watches come in black, brown, or green. If you want a more formal look, go for black or brown. If you’re going for a more casual look, green is a great option.

2. Consider the strap material 

Military watches usually have either leather or NATO straps. Leather straps are more formal, while NATO straps are more casual.

3. Decide on the right size 

Military watches come in a variety of sizes, from small to large. The right size for you depends on your personal preference and the style you’re going for. 

4. Accessorise wisely 

If you’re wearing a military watch with a suit, keep the rest of your accessories simple. A silver watch will pair well with a silver bracelet or necklace. If you’re going for a more casual look, feel free to experiment with different colours and materials.

For Sports Watches

1. Choose The Right Colour 

When it comes to sports watches, you have a lot of colour options to choose from. But not all colours are created equal. Black and silver are always safe bets, but if you want your watch to really stand out, go for a bolder colour like red or blue. Just make sure that the colour of your watch complements the rest of your outfit; you don’t want it to clash.

2. Pick The Right Material 

Most sports watches are made from either stainless steel or plastic. Plastic is usually lighter and more comfortable to wear, but it’s also more susceptible to scratches and wear and tear. Stainless steel is more durable, but it’s also heavier. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference. Try on a few different materials before making your final decision. 

3. Get The Right Fit 

A watch should feel comfortable on your wrist, not too loose or too tight. The best way to find the perfect fit is to go into a store and try on a few different watches. Pay attention to how they feel and which ones you find most comfortable. Once you’ve found the right size, you can order your watch online with confidence. 

For Dress Watches

1. For Black-Tie Events 

If you’re attending a black-tie event, you’ll want to choose a dress watch that is elegant and understated. A metal bracelet watch will be too casual for this type of occasion, so opt for a leather strap or a classic gold timepiece. And because black-tie events are usually formal affairs, it’s best to avoid any watches with busy designs or patterns. Stick with a classic, round face and simple numerals or stick indexes.

2. For the Office 

When choosing a dress watch for the office, it’s important to consider the overall aesthetic of your workplace. If your office has a business casual dress code, you’ll have more leeway in terms of choosing a watch with playful details or brighter straps. But if you work in a more traditional environment, it’s best to stick with a classic design in neutral tones. A leather strap watch with a clean dial is always a safe bet for the office.

3. For Casual Occasions

Dress watches can also be worn for casual occasions, like drinks with friends or weekend brunch. When choosing a casual dress watch, look for one with a colourful strap or playful details like patterned dials. You can also experiment with different materials, like stainless steel or rose gold. Just remember to keep the overall design of the watch relatively simple so it doesn’t look too overdressed for the occasion.

Final Notes

So, what’s the verdict? If you want a versatile timepiece that can be worn for almost any occasion, go with a dress watch. They come in all shapes and sizes, so there’s sure to be one that fits your personality and style. If you need something more durable that can stand up to everyday wear and tear, go with a military watch. And if you’re looking for something that will help you stay active and track your progress while working out, go with a sports watch.

Whichever type of watch you choose, make sure it reflects your personal style and makes you feel confident when wearing it.