A watch might not be the first item that comes to mind when you think about traditional wedding jewelry, but the right piece can really elevate a look. Surprisingly versatile and elegant, a classic watch will make any bride look put together and can easily turn into a wardrobe essential once the big day is over.
For grooms, watches are a bit more common and should always be considered when looking for the perfect accessory to go along with a tux. But instead of strapping on the leather watch you wear on a daily basis, or a smartwatch that also counts your steps, you might want to look for something more refined and classic.
Brides who are thinking of swapping a bracelet for a watch should go for something understated, especially if your gown features intricate beadwork. Jeweler Apeksha Kothari says, "I'd generally recommend a bracelet-style watch with a slim band. You want the dress to be the star of the show here, so best to go subtle." If you're wearing a solid-colored gown, you can opt for something more ornate. She adds, "The watch should complement, not overshadow the other elements of the look."
Meet the Expert
Apeksha Kothari is the COO of Rare Carat diamond marketplace and is part of the fifth generation of her family working in the diamond industry.
For grooms, picking a watch is a little easier. Kothari still recommends that grooms go subtle, saying, "For weddings, you want to stick with something classic and neutral. Tempting as it might be to show off that Rolex, we suggest leaving the bling at home in favor of brands like Shinola and Daniel Wellington."
No-fuss styles such as link, lather, and metal mesh straps are great choices.
When watch shopping, take your wedding theme into consideration as well, just as you would when looking for any other type of jewelry. For a beach wedding, go for something more casual; for a formal black-tie affair, Kothari suggests the groom wear a watch with a black face.
You'll also want to match your watch to the metal type of your ring. "A silver watch with a rose gold wedding ring would look a little odd, for example," Kothari says. "Same applies to the cufflinks and men's wedding band. You want your metals to match, otherwise, it's a distraction." You could also your watch as a sentimental piece of jewelry—the perfect "something borrowed!"
Need some suggestions? Here's a look at some perfect classic watches for your big day.
For the Classic Groom: Daniel Wellington Classic St. Mawes Watch
This sophisticated timepiece has a minimalist look to it which means it will go with almost any style. The leather band is also interchangeable if you want to eventually switch it up.
Price at time of publish: $239
Best Rose Gold Watch: Shinola The Birdy 34MM
The thin rose gold band on this watch is delicate and feminine and would match perfectly with a rose gold ring. The mother-of-pearl face gives it a little extra glimmer.
Price at time of publish: $675
For a Beach Wedding: Daniel Wellington Iconic Motion
This functional all-black watch is just the right amount of luxe and casual for a groom to wear to a beach wedding. The touches of gold add a little something special.
Price at time of publish: $299
Best Touch of Sparkle: Vacheron Constantin Overseas Self-Winding
With a leather band, steel case, 18K pink gold bezel set, and 84 small round-cut diamonds, this watch is both elegant and refined. It adds just a touch of subtle sparkle to any look.
Most Unique: Bulgari Serpenti Tubogas Watch
If understated isn't your thing, opt for this serpent-shaped watch that will definitely make a statement. The face is full of brilliant-cut diamonds for sparkle, and the two-tone band gives it a unique look.
Price at time of publish: $26,600
For "Something Blue:" Shinola The Pee-Wee Detrola 25MM
Make your watch your "something blue" with this simple but stand-out Shinola watch. It has a thin band and a smaller face, so it won't take too much attention away from the rest of the look.
Price at time of publish: $325
Best for Black-Tie Grooms: Daniel Wellington Classic St. Mawes Watch
Opt for the St. Mawes watch with a black face for a black-tie wedding, as per Kothari's advice. It's elegant and sophisticated, and just simple enough.
Most Sparkly Choice: Piaget Treasures Watch
If you're wearing a solid-colored dress, add some sparkle to your look with this dazzling Piaget watch. The floral design makes it even more beautiful.
For the Traditional Groom: Shinola The Vinton 38MM
The simple, no-frills design of this stainless steel Shinola piece makes it ideal for the traditional groom who wants to wear something classic. It will go with nearly anything.
Price at time of publish: $695
Best Leather Band: Tiffany & Co Atlas 1-Hand 24MM Watch
With its black leather band and the small diamonds dotting the face, this watch is the perfect mix of sparkle and simplicity. It adds just a little extra glitz.
Price at time of publish: $5,600
Best Gold Watch: Bulova Sutton Watch
To match a gold ring or band, there's this sturdy all-gold Bulova pick. It's a classic choice, with small diamonds studding the face for something special.
Price at time of publish: $495
Best Splurge: Cartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier Watch
If you're looking to splurge on a wedding day watch, this Cartier choice is an excellent pick. It's made up of white gold and 127 brilliant-cut diamonds for tons of sparkle.
Best Platinum Watch: Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Minute Repeater Ultra Thin
For something subtle but still unique, this one is a great choice. With the platinum set and ultra-thin leather band, it's versatile and classic
For the Modern Bride: Bulova Futuro
This band features a mix of stainless steel and yellow gold for a more modern look. The mother-of-pearl face with 11 small diamonds makes it more elegant.
Best Square Shape: Tiffany 1837 Maker 27MM Square Watch
Instead of a round watch, opt for a square shape, which is a little more unique. This one features a leather band and gold accents for a timeless look.
Most Casual: Gucci G-Timeless Watch
This gold watch manages to feel both dressed up and casual at the same time. The mother-of-pearl face features the Gucci bee in the center.
Price at time of publish: $1,500
Best Touch of Blue: Bulgari Serpenti Watch
If you want your watch to be your something blue, but you don't actually want a blue watch, this is the one you want to go for. The blue numbers are subtle but fun, and the white gold and diamond band make this elegant.
Price at time of publish: $46,800
For the Casual Groom: The Canfield Chrono 43MM
For the groom who wants something simple, there's this design. With its brown leather band and gold touches, it's versatile and can be worn well beyond the wedding.
Price at time of publish: $950
For the Understated Bride: Daniel Wellington Petite Pressed Sterling
Delicate and simple, yet still beautiful, this Daniel Wellington sterling silver design is perfect for your big day. It's also versatile enough to be worn every day.
Price at time of publish: $199
Best Mother-of-Pearl Design: Shinola The Canfield 38MM
This mother-of-pearl face stands out because of the simplicity of the rest of the watch. The face is gorgeous and looks just right with the black leather band and gold touches
Best Sparkle for Grooms: Piaget Altiplano Watch
For grooms who want to add some sparkle to their look, there's this Piaget watch. The dial set features 630 brilliant-cut diamonds that make this one really glitter.
Best Thin Band: Movado Bold Bangle Watch
This watch features a thin and very simple band and face and comes in rose gold, gold, or silver. The sunray dial with mother-of-pearl overlay is unique and so pretty.
Price at time of publish: $495
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