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The festive season is upon us, which means it’s time to dress up for all those fancy Christmas shows. Add an extra touch of sophistication to your look this year by adorning your wrist with a stylish and sophisticated dress watch. Swiss made of course. Aside from complimenting your outfit, a classically-styled, time-only wristwatch sends the right message about the focus of your attention being on the people you’re with. To help you choose the right watch for you, here are five dress watches that are guaranteed to be a hit at this year’s Christmas party.
Patek Philippe Calatravas in white gold for him and for her
Iconic and instantly recognizable, the Patek Philippe Calatrava has appeared in many guises over the years. In 1985, the Geneva Manufacture released one such version that has become for many the definition of the line. The Ref. 3919 Calatrava with guilloché “Clous de Paris” bezel. The hobnail patterned bezel paired with straight lugs and a clean white dial had been popular since debuting in 1973, with the Ref. 3520. To this, the 1985 interpretation introduced slender leaf-shaped hands, and a small seconds counter at 6 o’clock. Roman numeral indexes with no minute chapter complete the dial layout. It achieved the perfect balance of everything that’s needed and nothing that’s not.
The Calatrava 5119G small seconds is the modern-day embodiment of the coveted Ref. 3919. Measuring a comfortable 36mm (7.43mm thick), it incorporates all of the 1985 model’s flawless features. One enhancement is the transparent case back permitting viewing of the in-house calibre 215 PS. The manual-winding movement was designed quite slim (2.55mm) back in the 1950s, specifically for dress watches. It was the first 28,800 vph (4 Hz) calibre to employ a Gyromax® balance and now also includes a Spiromax® balance spring. It stores a 44-hour power reserve. The movement contains 18 jewels, is finished with Geneva stripes, and bears the Patek Philippe Seal. Water resistant to 30m/ 3 bar/ 100ft.
Staying with the round case/straight lugs theme, and equally as seductive, is this ladies’ white gold Calatrava option. Guilloché patterning is applied in its traditional sense to the dial - making way on the bezel for an inlaying of 54 (~ 0.70 ct) diamonds. The hobnail pattern is again present, this time used to fashion the hour markers in applied gold. Like the men’s version, slender leaf-shaped hands indicate hours and minutes, and a small seconds counter appears at 6 o’clock. Measuring 31mm in diameter, the wristwatch is presented on a brushed satin pearl grey strap, pairing perfectly with the cream of the dial. It’s powered by a manually-wound mechanical movement, and water resistant to 30m/ 3 bar/ 100ft.
Omega De Ville Trésor Quartz 39mm
The new De Ville Trésor by Omega exudes balance. Curvaceous but slim, vintage-inspired but modernly luxurious, diamond-set but tastefully done. The feminine silhouette is enhanced by two serpentines of precious stones. Elegant, blackened hands and unique, oversized Roman numerals on the mother-of-pearl dial are all that’s needed. The sculptured crown is polished with red “HyCeram” (a liquid ceramic insert), and finished with a single diamond at its centre. In total, 39 diamonds adorn this ladies’ dress piece.
The stainless steel case follows a streamline design from lug to lug. Turning it over reveals further special attention. The surface of the caseback has a mirror-finish, while the rim is ornamented with the eight-petal “Her Time” floral motif. The mirror, a useful accessory, is intended to reflect back the natural charisma of each female wearer. Beneath is the Omega calibre 4061. The no-hassle, quartz movement has a battery life of 48 months. To finish the look, the watch is presented on a plush, black, satin fabric strap (with a soft underside). Water resistant to 30m/ 3 bar/ 100ft.
Rolex Cellini Time 39mm in 18k Everose gold
The Cellini is a modern interpretation of the classic dress watch. The round case is delightfully understated at 39mm. Only noble metals are used, cast by Rolex in their own foundry. Refined lugs, a double bezel - one domed and the second delicately fluted - and the polished finish all add to its distinction.
The lacquered white dial showing time only is also traditional. But the layout of the gold appliqué hour markers intercepted by the simple minute chapter gives the Cellini Time a contemporary air. Matching to the faceted indexes, the hands appear like double-edged swords. The flared winding crown complements the fluting on the bezel.
Within ticks the Manufacture calibre 3132. Entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex, and COSC-certified as a Superlative Chronometer. The mechanical movement is (bidirectionally) self-winding via a Perpetual rotor. A Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers provide added protection against shocks. (Especially drops.) Power reserve is approximately 48 hours. The dress watch is paired with a tobacco alligator leather strap, that includes an 18k gold buckle (matching to the case). Water resistance to 50m/ 5 bar/ 165ft.
Omega De Ville Omega Co-Axial 41mm
Finally, for those inclined to the larger diameter trend, the Omega De Ville at 41mm still provides an understated presence on the wrist. A favoured alternative to the all-white watch face, this two-zone black dial hits the mark. The De Ville achieves its objective by keeping the colour palette restrained. The applied Roman numeral indexes and hands all match the stainless steel of the case. While the black leather strap effortlessly melds with the dial. A date window (the only additional function generally accepted on a dress watch) appears at the traditional 3 o’clock position.
The De Ville features a transparent case back, and more importantly the Omega Co-Axial calibre 8500 within. The chronometer incorporates the revolutionary escapement design adopted from English watchmaker George Daniels. Through employing radial instead of sliding friction, the Co-Axial escapement significantly decreases friction. Virtually no lubricant is required and the need for services is greatly reduced. The balance wheel is free sprung, and two barrels mounted in a series wind automatically in both directions to deliver a power reserve of 60 hours. The bridges and oscillating weight are superbly finished by hand with exclusive Geneva waves in arabesque. Water resistant 100m/ 10 bar/ 330ft.
Dress smart this Christmas
There you have it, five luxury dress watches that will make you the star of this year’s Christmas party. Come into our Norwich boutique to discover these and other luxury dress watches and celebrate the festive season in good taste.