It is easy to match your watch to your suit if you know where to start.

What you need first is an elegant suit, that looks like a million bucks. You went to great pains to pick out the perfect pair of shoes for your suit. But one thing is still missing: the perfect watch.

The right watch can effortlessly pull together your entire look. Without it, your attire seems incomplete. Although the term “right watch for an outfit” has an ambiguous nature, the choices are pretty straightforward when it comes to suits.

In this guide, I will help you pick the ideal watch for your suit, based on the occasion, color, and size. But first, you need to know some basic rules on accessorizing.

Things to Consider When Matching Watch to Your Suit

Now that you have suited up, it is time to put the finishing touches on your ensemble. A watch pulls your wardrobe together and serves as a reflection of your personality. To create an effortlessly chic appearance, you need to find the right watch to match with your suit.

Know the Occasion

Just like you match your clothing to the event, it is essential to match your watch to the event. Your accessories should always reflect the tone of the occasion. If one piece is out of place, it throws off your entire look. Your watch should seem a natural extension of your clothing.

For a more formal look, keep your watch simple. It should have a dark leather band, with no distraction on its face. Opt for a watch with no distractions; it only needs an analog clock.

I know what you are thinking: “But James Bond looks smashing in a tux while wearing a diver watch!” Yes, he does. And you are correct to notice that a diver watch has a metal bracelet instead of a leather strap.

James Bond with the latest Omega watch

How can James Bond get away with failing to match his watch to his suit? It’s because 007 has unbelievable confidence in everything he does. If you think you can raise to Bond’s insane level of confidence while wearing a tux, then go for it! Wear that diver watch with your formal wear!

Your watch options begin to expand as you get more casual in your dress. You can have diversity in which bands you chose and opt for more features. Not all styles match all dress codes, but there are watches for each level of formality.

Match the Color

Color is another attribute to consider when looking to match your watch to your suit. Common fashion sense dictates that you do not want your clothing colors to clash. This extends to your watch. It can make or break your ensemble.

A surefire way to ensure your watch is appropriate is to choose one that is the same color as your suit. Nothing is easier than matching color for color. It creates a monochromatic extension of your jacket sleeve.

It may not always be possible to match your suit color to your watch. Another reliable route is to match your watchband to your belt and your shoes. If your watch strap is leather, keep all leathers the same color.

Complimentary colors are usually a viable option. If they are colors that you would typically put together with clothing, they create a harmonious effect with your watch, as well.

Metals should always compliment your suit. If you are wearing a warm-toned suit, then a warm metal would be appropriate. To fully complete the effect, match your cufflinks and jewelry to the metal in your watch.

Choose the Size

Your watch size must be proportional to your body type. If you have a larger frame, you can get away with a larger watch. Look for a smaller one if your watch frame is on the smaller side. If your watch is too small or too large, it can look either comical or sloppy.

Watch size chart: how to choose the proper watch size for your wrist

The size of your watch must also be appropriate for the occasion. A formal event requires a slim watch that slides easily under your cuff. Your watch can be larger if you are wearing a looser jacket or doing work with your hands.

How to Pick the Right Watch Based on the Occasion

There are many factors to consider when buying a watch. Don’t let all your options overwhelm you. We are here to help you make the best choice for your needs.

Consider the Watch Style Category when Matching it With Suit

Just like with suits and shoes, there are different kinds of watches. There are several varieties and styles to choose from, and each one sends a message about its wearer.

how to match your watch type by dress code

Dress Watches

The right watch is a must-have for completing your formal outfit or your business wardrobe. The best way to match your watch to your dress suit is to keep the design simple, with no flourishes.

A plain black leather strap and an unadorned face are understated and refined, just like your dress wardrobe should be. The idea is to have your watch complement your suit, not to stand out attracting attention.

How to wear dress watch and suit

The watch should have minimal adornments and no complications. A metal bracelet looks nice in certain settings, but in this case, it only makes your ensemble less formal.

Diving Watches

Diving watches are an adventurous timepiece. There is a reason that this is James Bond’s choice to adorn his wrist. Diving watches create a rugged look, a classic workman’s watch. They are sporty and casual while still being stylish.

Diving watch and suit

Diving watches are waterproof, so they are easily identified by their metal band. Their luminous hands and dial are a standard feature.

Aviator Watches

Aviator watches, also called pilot watches, are classy looking watches that will bring style to all your more casual outfits. These types of watches usually do not have any complications, other than perhaps a chronograph.

Designed with pilots in mind, they are meant to be easy to read, so they must have a large face. Aviator watches are intended to be worn over the pilot’s jacket, so they tend to be medium to large-sized.

They are, in fact, casual watches, even though they can have a leather strap. The look of aviator watches, however, can vary with each watch; there is no one standard design.

Chronograph Watches

Leading an active lifestyle? A Chronograph watch is the right piece for the job. Chronographs are very durable watches, and they almost always include a stopwatch or some other functionalities. 

Wearing a chronograph watch with a suit

Chrono watches can have both leather or metal bands. Each of these offers some very sleek versions that can look rather dressy. Still, these are strictly for casual occasions.

Smartwatches

This category of watches is the least dressy of all options. It is less of a watch and more of a high functioning piece of technology. It makes calls, sends texts, and has apps on it. Oh, right…it also tells time.

Smartwatches did initially not try to look stylish. They pretty much looked like the computer that they are, just sitting there on your wrist.

Wearing a smartwatch with a suit

Now that they have been around for a while, they are becoming more advanced and more attractive. Some are very nice looking and totally appropriate to wear them with your suit.

Best Watchbands for Suits

Watchmakers have particular styles in mind when they design their products. They make precise decisions about what type of band to attach with expectations of how formal or casual the watch should be. Be sure your watchband suits your purposes.

Leather Watchband

Leather is the most formal type of watchband. It is sleek and simple, yet versatile. Leather is suitable for dressy occasions but also works well for casual settings. It is not a watchband that is meant to stand out and be noticed, but rather to support the clothing quietly.

Metal Bracelet

A bit of shiny metal around your wrist can look pretty sleek. Silver or gold watchbands can be dressed up somewhat, but they’re fine for a casual look. A bit of gleam is a nice complement to a dark suit. As a bonus, the metal feels good against your skin.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean diver with metal bracelet

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean diving watch with a metal bracelet. Image credit: omegawatches.com

Canvas Watchband

Canvas is a very durable material while being lightweight at the same time. This style was taken from the military, where durability is paramount. Canvas bands are great for function; they are utilitarian.

A watch with a canvas band is always casual, ideal for somebody who is very active. It cannot be dressed up.

Mesh Watchband

Mesh bracelets are tightly woven metal straps. The denseness of the construction can vary from extreme density to large links. Although they are not the most durable ones, mesh watchbands are one of the most desirable on the market nowadays.

Nordgreen Philosopher silver mesh strap watch

Native Philosopher with a silver mesh watchband. Image credit: nordgreen.com

Sport Watchband

A sports watchband can be made from rubber, silicone, or nylon. It is made for rough wear, to do all kinds of sports and activities. This watchband can take a beating. Keep in mind that this style of watch is only for the most casual wear, but it’s worth knowing it.

Watch Type for Each Dress Code Occasion

There are certain shoes that you would never dream of wearing with a tuxedo. Try imagining wearing flip-flops with your formal wear. Yuck, right? Watches are the same way; certain watches would never go with a tux, either.

Black and White Tie Events

A leather band, ideally black, will best match your formal suit. A formal dress watch does not have a lot of work to do, so it should be straightforward.

It is very thin and sleek; anything bulky will only draw attention away from your impeccable clothing. It should be practically unnoticeable.

Business Professional Dress Codes

A dress watch or a diver watch will match your suit in professional situations. Again, in this instance, simple is best. It does not need any complications.

How doesa dress watch look like with business professional attire

Professional settings are not the time to advertise your adventurous personality. Your business attire has to be simple and clean. The watch needs to sit smoothly under your dress shirt sleeves, so it must be thin. No bulky face here.

Semi-Formal

A semi-formal dress code offers slightly more leeway in sartorial options. Just as your clothing has more room for interpretation and personality, it makes sense that your accessories do, too.

A casual watch would never do, but some more casual touches on a nice-looking watch are fine. Both aviator and diving watches would easily match your suit while maintaining a sense of style. They can have either a leather or metal strap.

Business Casual

Your business casual attire might not require a suit. However, a nice suit jacket or blazer can often be the preferred choice. Matching your watch with it is just as important.

With wide interpretations of what is acceptable for business casual, we have a wide variety of watches that will match. You still want a watch that looks polished with your outfit. Chrono, aviator, or diving watches are all excellent options.

Business casual attire and aviator watch

This is an excellent opportunity to introduce a bit of personal flair to your look, and these look interesting. Metal, leather, or even canvas bands are all perfectly fine with a business casual outfit.

Watches to Wear with Different Suit Colors

The attention you put into the details is what will make your suit stand out. Matching your watch to your suit color is one of the most important details.

Black Suit

A black suit is the easiest to match your watch to. Your watch should be as classic and simple as this suit is. A black leather strap looks stunning next to your jacket.

And since your shoes and belt will be black, it pulls it all together. A silver metal bracelet dresses it down a bit, but if that is acceptable for the occasion, go for it. It looks dazzling next to the black.

Navy Suit

Navy is another tremendously popular suit color. It is elegant, so it needs a sleek watch to accessorize it. Silver would make a striking contrast with this warm shade.

Navy blue suit combination with a nice dress watch

I suggest a watch with a navy face for a little pop of color on your wrist. Black leather would also pair well with a navy suit.

Blue Suit

Blue can be a slightly trickier color when matching your watch to the suit. First, you need to decide which accessories you would wear with the suit. Depending on your shoes, either black or brown leather would be a fine choice.

I recommend avoiding a silver case with a black dial. It is too cold against the blue of the suit. However, you may find silver steel cases with blue dial quite appealing to these suits.

Gray Suit

Gray suits come in many hues. There is no one perfect piece of advice on how to match a watch to this suit. But if anything is working in all cases, it’s this:

Choose lighter watches if your gray suit belongs to the lighter color spectrum. Preferably a white dial case with a light-brown leather strap.

On the other hand, choose dark dial cases if the shade of your suit is dark grey or charcoal. In case you choose white, my warmest advice is to pick nothing but a white dress shirt.

Black leather and silver are timeless and are a good match no matter which tone your gray suit is. Don’t forget to consider the metal in your belt buckle if you opt for a metal watch.

Brown Suit

Warm shades are best suited for a brown ensemble. Leather straps of brown create a beautiful monochromatic style. Gold bracelet bands are another warm-hued option that will nicely match a brown suit.

Beige/Cream Suit

It may seem daunting to try to match your watch to this rare suit color. Again, leather bands are good solid support for this suit color. Both black and brown look sleek with this suit.

Gold works, but a rose gold would soften the tone a bit. It would be a very sophisticated, subtle complement.

Best Affordable Men’s Watches for Suits

Building a stylish wardrobe is costly. Suits can be quite expensive. They are the center of attention; it is only reasonable that you allot most of your wardrobe budget there. You still need to accessorize but want to do so affordably.

You don’t need to sacrifice dollars for style. There are many stylish, affordable options out there. These watches will save your budget, all while looking good.

Tissot Carson Premium

Tissot Carson Premium with black leatherTissot Carson is a nice-quality Swiss-made watch, with a case size of 40mm and bandwidth of 20mm. The case is pretty thick, or exactly 7mm and the glass is made of sapphire crystal.

Since Tissot Carson Premium is available with both metal and leather bands, I can safely state that this watch looks splendid with all suit colors, and is the perfect partner on all occasions.

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Nordgreen Native

Nordgreen native black leatherNordgreen Native is one of my favorites. A product of Danish designer Jakob Wagner, the watch enjoys a sleek Scandinavian design and brilliant classic look.

Nordgreen Native is available in two case sizes: 36mm and 40mm a perfect thickness of 7.2mm. The watch uses a Japanese quartz movement and has a 2-year warranty.

The band is made of leather and is 18mm/20mm wide. The straps are interchangeable, and both the case frame and the dial case are available in multiple colors.

I favor this watch for all suit colors and all formal occasions. It’s simple, neat and minimalistic – everything we said one dress watch should be.

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Fossil The Minimalist

Fossil the Minimalist with brown leather strapThe Minimalist is a lovely watch at an even better price. It’s a combination of 22mm brown band and 44m silver case, with a case thickness of 8mm.

The blue dial case matches perfectly with a blue or navy suit. As a simple and minimalistic dress watch, consider it a choice for all formal and business occasions.

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Emporio Armani AR2434

Stainless steel chronograph watch model #AR2434 from Emporio ArmaniSubtle and stylish stainless steel chronograph watch from Emporio Armani. The case is made of durable mineral crystal and is 43mm in size.

Again, chronograph watches are not designed for formal events. Wear it in more casual settings, with a black or dark navy blazer or other casual attire.

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AX Armani Exchange

A|X Armani Exchange ChronographThe AX Armani Exchange has an analog quartz and chronograph movement. With a case thickness of 12mm and a size of 45mm, it’s a great fit for most suit wearers.

The watchband is made of silicone, with a width of 22m and circumference of 200mm. A lovely chronograph watch.

Since the AX Armani Exchange is available in various colors, I recommend it with all suit colors. If the event is too formal, maybe you want to leave it at home and choose a more simple one.

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Michael Kors Layton 8781

Michael Kors Layton MK8781Michael Kors Layton is one of the simplest, yet incredibly beautiful chronograph watches. It features a 45mm stainless steel case, 10mm thin.

The dial case has a quartz control movement, and the glass is protected with mineral crystal. It’s an avant-garde and stylish watch that goes along well with light suits, such as blue or beige.

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Citizen Eco-Drive

Citizen Eco Drive with black case and stainless steel watchbandCitizen Eco-Drive is a diving watch that is water-resistant up to 200m. The case size is 45mm, and the cover is made of mineral crystals.

Suitable for semi-formal attire, like cocktail parties, etc. Match it with a dark suit, like black or navy.

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Daniel Wellington Classic Durham

Daniel Wellington classic Durham with light brown leather strapDesigned in Sweden, Daniel Wellington Durhan gives a nice and classic touch to your suit. It’s minimalistic and clean. With a case size of 40mm and 6mm thin, it feels pretty light.

I’ve purposely chosen this light-brown leather version, to give you some good options for lighter suits like khaki, beige or cream. But just like many previous ones, the bands are interchangeable, and the watch case is available in multiple colors.

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Tips on How to Properly Match Your Watch to Your Attire

When all the style advice and rules are doled out, there are a few significant pointers that I need to highlight.

Go for Minimalist & Classic Watch when Wearing a Formal Suit

You do not want anything detracting from your gorgeous suit. This piece of finery is the focus of the evening. Do not draw the eye away with a flashy jewel on your wrist. Let the suit do all the work. Part of a formal look is knowing not to overdo it.

Choose minimalistic and classic

It Has to be Thin Enough to Fit Under the Cuff of Your Shirt

Imagine seeing a man in a sleek, well-fitting suit, only to notice a huge bulge under his cuff. It would be a terrible eyesore! Keep it as flat against your body as possible, so it remains unnoticeable. Your watch should only be noticed when you want it to be!

Go for Casual Watch when Wearing Casual Attire

Men don’t typically wear much jewelry. Thus, a watch can bring a lot to your outfit. Keep it in the same spirit of the rest of your clothing.

A dressy watch would look out of place, but a sporty watch may bring down the level of style you are going for. A leather strap can add just the right accent to the rest of your look. Brown would be a good choice; it is not as formal as black.

Match the Leather Color with the Color of Your Shoes

Two different colors of leather are not acceptable in any fashion format. It would only make you look garish and careless. Or like a bad 1980’s music video.

Your Watch Has to Look Beautiful

Your watch speaks volumes about who you are. You chose it, and people will get a glimpse into your personality when they see it on your wrist. If you impress people with a beautiful watch, they will begin with a favorable insight into you.

Wrapping It Up

A beautiful timepiece is a treasured thing. It will become an extension of you. When you have finished with it and decide you are ready for a new piece, you can hand it over to somebody special.

If you follow these tips, you will find you have a great head start in picking out the perfect watch for you. There are an awful lot of choices in the world of watches. Don’t stress out and feel as if this is work that you must get just right.

Last but not least, a watch is a very personal choice. It should be a piece of jewelry that brings you joy. Know the look you need to create, stick with these guidelines, and go from there.

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