Wearing a watch when suited and booted? You'll want to check out these straps first!
If you have a collection of watch you probably have a dress watch in there somewhere (if not, you'll want to check out our recent suggestion here). Dress watches are perfect for when occasions start to become a little smarter and rotating bezels and GMTs just don't seem appropriate.When you buy your dress watch they will naturally arrive on a strap, but sometimes you'll want to change that strap up to fit your outfit better. That black crocodile strap looked great with your black suit, however now paired with a blue suit and brown shoes it looks a little out of place.
Before you jump in and pick up a new strap, there are a few things you'll want to consider.
- Dimensions - The thickness, height and width of your dress watch will massively impact the straps you chose. Today we’ll pick watch straps that share similar size traits to the watches.
- Dial colours - Most dress watches will stick with simple dial colours such as black or silver meaning we can use these to either compliment them or add some welcomed contrast.
- Strap style - As most of the time dress watches are worn in smart occasions stay with straps with classic style and timeless designs to create a cohesive outfit.
We'd like the thank the guys at Dornblüth & Sohn for sending us watches to feature in this article. Be sure to stick around to the end to hear more about the models and the brand.
Exotic leather watch straps - Geckota Ostrich Leg Highley
Exotic leather straps are probably the most popular option for dress watches, and for good reason. An exotic leather draws from the ideology of a dress watch, a long-lasting classical, ever-stylish option. We offer genuine Ostrich Leg straps on the site in both black and brown. This covers most suit or smart wear occasions.
We’d recommend matching the strap colour to the shoes you’re wearing to complete that desirable cohesive look. Here is Highley Ostrich Leg is used to suit the Dornblüths dimensions, however, we offer a slimmer standard Ostrich Leg strap as well which also has the unique texture and variation in leathers...
A Classy Mesh Strap - Geckota Horkstow Metal Mesh
Here we’ve experimented with a stainless steel metal strap on the Dornblüth and gone for the Horkstow Mesh. This is a fantastic option if you own a range of different coloured suits and you want a look that will always work no matter the suit. Grey, black, blue or even a summery cream the mesh strap plus dress watch is one of the best. If you’re a set it and forget it type of watch enthusiast, this will be right up your street.
The Horkstow works well on the Dornbluth due to the watches 42mm size and thickness, however, if you have a slimmer watch take a look at our Classic Mesh here.
Smart / Casual
The next couple of suggestions are more suited to smart or more casual environments where a sports jacket with chinos is more appropriate. They are still smart with neat stitching throughout however they just have a touch of casual.
Simple Leathers with continuous stitching - Hinxhill Leather
One of our latest straps that summerise this category would be the Hinxhill. Horween leather, thin padding around the lugs, contrasting stitching and super clean even painted edges are the DNA of this strap. The Chromoexcel leather has a subtle sheen to it which combined with the pull-up properties maintains a good level of balance between smart and casual.
Soft colours and toned down straps - Geckota Highley The Dusty RangeYou'll probably have noticed we've gone full circle here and ended with the standard version of the Highley. We offer this strap in 'dusty' versions of the strap which are almost more of a pastel, suede-like look. With a great bomber jacket, clean white trainers and a crisp shirt this combo is seriously cool.
Now the above examples mainly work with the watches featured however the principles of each strap can be found in others in our range. We'll leave links to alternatives in the description below if you've gone for a slightly smaller dress watch.
Part 2: Dornblüth & Sohn
So you've no doubt noticed by now the watches featured throughout this article. They're created by a family ran company out of a small workshop in Germany called Dornblüth & Sohn. The idea for the brand came to fruition in the late 90s focusing on high-quality handmade watches in small numbers. A fantastic visual way of showing just what they were looking to create is by flipping over the 99.9 with German silver dial we have here.
Let’s run through the models we have with us today.
Dornblüth Calibre 99.1 Sub Seconds
First up is the simple yet effective 99.1 Sub Seconds. Is this exactly what it says on the tin, a balanced clean piece, time only with jet black indices sitting on the classic German silver dial.
Dornblüth Calibre 99.9 in Red and Black
Next, we have the 99.9, and if you want to again keep things simple but have a little party trick, this is the one for you. This time we see rather than a sub-seconds we get a countdown power reserve with subtle red arrow letting you know how many hours it's been since it was fully wound.
The dial here is actually a colour stable ceramic material in a matt finish. The white hands and indices actually superluminova.
Dornblüth Calibre 99.3
When adding the final touches to the 99.2 Dornblüth were keen to develop a date complication which is what we see on the 99.3. The power reserve has now moved to the centre top half of the dial and the logo moves down the 6 o’clock.
Dornblüth Caliber 99.9 in Silver
Finally, we have the 99.9 again but this time with a German silver dial. This was my personal favourite of the watches received for a few reasons. First the countdown power reserve.
Rather than showing a small arrow, a blue bar now fills the slot when the watches starts to run low on power adding to the design. Blue continues to feature with the spade hands and the large second's hand sweeping over the German silver dial.
The current models we have here all sit in 42mm wide cases with thicknesses right around 13mm and a lug to lug of 51mm. Sure they're pretty large, however this allows for the quality of the dials to really jump out on the wrist. The watches all have a very marine chronometer aspect to the designs with spade hands adding that touch of class.
Both indices and hands play with the light so easily. Speaking of indices, we see three different types of execution over these models. Applied, printed and engraved each offer their own unique characteristics.Naturally, these watches fall into the classic dressier category, however simple strap changes like we have previously discussed help to maintain and excel the watches features.
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