A few years ago, the idea of typing “the best women’s watches for men” into your search bar might’ve seemed a little funky to some fellas. But as the wild, wacky world of watches enters its vibes era, those hangups don’t just feel passé—they feel downright absurd. Idiosyncrasy is on the rise; in watches, as in menswear, the old rules about who wears what and how are going the way of the dodo. Instead of burly dive watches and oversized chronographs, guys like Timothée Chalamet, Bad Bunny, and The Weeknd are opting for daintier, more decorative pieces, paving the way towards a more inclusive, less binary future for your wrist in the process.
Five Gal-Coded Tickers That Look Great on Guys
It makes sense: Aside from marketing, there’s not much that separates a “women’s” watch from its “men’s” counterpart. And when you factor in the rising appeal of thinner cases and smaller dials—features more typically found in women’s tickers—you’d have every reason to start browsing the other side of the aisle. To that end, we put together a dozen or so of our favorite women’s watches, from budget-priced Casios to god-tier Swiss grails, guaranteed to look just right on wrists of any size.
The High-End Hobby Watch
There’s a long tradition of men’s watches that offer a glimpse of a glamorous hidden life (whether real or aspirational)—think wreck-diving off Key Largo or piloting your Beechcraft upstate on the weekends. The Harwell, with a set of classic art deco numerals and a D-link case that looks like something you’d find in the Hermès equestrian section, suggests off-duty hours spent wearing jodhpurs and riding boots at a Saltburn-esque country estate.
The Non-Watch Watch
There’s no real reason you can’t wear a timepiece around your neck or ankle—unless, that is, you’re one of those weird people who uses a watch to tell the time. If you do fall into the latter category, Fossil’s Ring Watch offers a way to mix up your accessory game while still keeping an eye on the hours and minutes. It’s also about $399,850 more affordable than RiRi’s Jacob & Co. anklet, leaving you plenty of leftover cash to embellish your jewelry collection.
The Bracelet Watch That’s More Bracelet Than Watch
One of the things that makes the watch such a ubiquitous part of the menswear universe is the fact that it allows guys to wear something akin to jewelry without actually feeling like they’re wearing jewelry. Whether or not you’re one of those dudes, the Groove’s combination of an intricately ridged bracelet and 16mm square quartz watch case occupies a tasteful middle ground between blinginess and practicality.
The Line-Straddling Watch
In the watch world (as in much of the rest of the world) the old binaries are starting to seem increasingly out of date. While some watches skew towards the traditionally feminine in their color palettes and details, and others lean more masculine, the differences can often feel pretty arbitrary. The Arezzo is a case in point, with a classic Roman numeral dial, feuille hands, and a universally flattering 35mm case size.
The Teeny-Tiny Starter Watch
For anyone looking to dip a toe into the world of small watches, it’s best to start with something classic and reliably flattering that won’t break the bank. In other words, the Seiko Essentials SWR054. A slightly shrunken-down version of the perennially tasteful Seiko SWR052, its combination of a classic Tank-style case and a leather strap is the perfect way to get used to the look and feel of a small watch without blowing all of next month’s rent money.
The DIY’d Watch
If you’ve been limiting your online shopping to the men’s section you might have missed this best-selling collab between the Californian jewelry designer and Timex, the reigning champ of affordable watches. Which would be a real shame, as you can see. For her latest outing with, Aiche remixed the 36mm Legacy in her signature style, creating the perfect complement to any fit involving huaraches, linen shirts, an Erewhon smoothie and other accoutrement of West Coast livin’.
The Retro Digital Watch
Casio makes a lot of nice digital watches, and there’s a strong case for owning a bunch of them, from beefy Mudmasters designed for backwoods trekking to funky repros from the Studio 54 era. This tiny ticker’s dimensions may be slight, but it still packs plenty of functionality (did someone say 1/10 second chronograph?)—and at just 7mm thick and 23 grams, it won’t weigh you down or get caught on your shirt cuff. Save the G-Shock for arm day.
The Pharmaceutical-Grade Fun Watch
In the early 1980s, Swatch introduced a revolutionary idea: Grown-up watches that were also fun. Forty-some years (and a couple of million MoonSwatches) later, the idea has finally gone mainstream, and Swatch remains the best place to find something smile-inducing that won’t implode your bank account. This pastel-hued confectionery (which, for the record, came out five years before Richard Mille’s ultra-limited Bonbon collection) is precisely that.
The Dark and Handsome Watch
Consider the Longines DolceVita—a classic art deco-style watch that’s available in nearly two dozen covetable variations of dials, straps and case sizes—as Exhibit A in the case of The People vs. Gendered Watches. One of many pieces in the Longines women’s catalog that’s worth a second look from the fellas, we’ll wager it’ll look just as good on you as it does on Jennifer Lawrence.
The Neo-Vintage Watch
You don’t need to summer in Hyannis Port or know a jib sail from a spinnaker to appreciate the clean lines and blue-blooded pedigree of this ‘90s icon. Released in ‘91 as a riff on Hermes’ nautical-inspired Chaîne d’Ancre motif, its contrast of clean lines and quirky numerals encapsulate everything that the whimsy-loving French Maison does best. There’s a men’s version with a 41 mm case, too, but the 37 mm women’s model offers a breezier vibe, not to mention Martin Margiela’s famed Double Tour strap.
The Chalamet-Approved Watch
Introduced in the early 1980s as a unisex collection, the Panthère was adopted by Pierce Brosnan, Keith Richards, and other stylish denizens of the decadent post-disco era before losing ground to larger styles like the Tank and the Santos in the 21st century. Thanks to Timothée Chalamet and his signature tiny ticker, however, the Panthère is now well on its way to reclaiming its place in the men’s accessory pantheon.
The Ultra-Elegant Watch
As anyone who spends time trolling eBay for vintage watches will tell you, men’s watches were a lot smaller back in the day. In the 1930s when Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the Reverso, for example, watches in the 30-32mm range were considered the height of masculine refinement. The Reverso, an early luxury sports watch that was designed to be worn during polo matches, was just a hair smaller than this version from the brand’s current women’s collection, making it the most authentic of the bunch.
The Downright Iconic Watch
At this point in the life of the Royal Oak, the 1970s icon whose second act turned Audemars Piguet into one of the 21st century’s most important watch brands, you’ve probably made up your mind about whether you want one or not (you do, obviously). What you may not have given much thought to, however, is the 34mm women’s version which packs all of the same iconic design without overpowering your wrist.
Read the full article here