Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
A black tie event isn’t something we go to on a regular basis. This formal dress code is usually reserved for special events such as weddings. However, Getting your accessories to match is vital, as a bad watch can totally throw off an outfit. We’ve picked out the best watches for a black tie event to save you the headache of searching for one yourself.
Black Tie Outfit
A black tie dress code is a little fancier than your average suit. If you’re going to a black tie event you need to be wearing a tux, and it needs to be black. A white shirt is paired with a black jacket. It’s better to pick a smarter dress shirt over an Oxford design. A tie should always be worn, and it’s traditional to opt for a black bow tie. When it comes to the shoes go for a high shine patent leather pair of dress shoes for an elegant finish.
Now that you’re totally certain on what kind of outfit you’re working with here, you can easily see how a bright red digital watch just wouldn’t match with the sleek, classic tuxedo. You’re going to need some high-quality watches to complement the sophisticated tone of the outfit.
Best Watches for Men
Let’s start with the basics and the fail safe, easy watches that will go with your black tie outfit, as well as most outfits in general. They’re simple, versatile and don’t combine a lot of different tones or colours, which makes them easy to mix with different looks.
As we’re dealing with black tie here, we want watches that are going to complement the suit, while not draw attention away from it. This means clean, elegant finishes, a smooth strap, and colours that work well with black. As you can imagine, classic black tie involves a lot of black, so we can’t be using a brown watch or anything that’s going to create a jarring contrast.
Daniel Wellington creates elegant, classic watches that are effortlessly versatile and can be worn with everything from a chunky knitted jumper to a full suit. If you go for a simple silver face with a black leather strap you really don’t have to worry about anything clashing, and it will effortlessly complement the elegant tux.
If you want to make more of a statement with your watch, but still want to maintain a classic edge, you can opt for more striking colours or finishes but keep the overall look grounded in formality. Black is a colour usually reserved for watch straps or faces, but if you go for a all over look, like with this Shore Projects model, you can achieve a versatile and sleek, yet unique look that’s perfect for something a little different.
Larsson & Jennings
You could also try a more striking, but equally complementary, watch in a clean, all over silver design, with the cool tone matching well with the sleek black suit and creating a stylish combination. This elegant model from Larsson & Jennings is a great option if you want something classic and easy to match with a black tie outfit, yet a little more striking than the standard silver models.
You can also go a step up and opt for a striking gold faced watch. It’s definitely not something for everyone, but its warm and bold colouring gives it a visual boost that can add some depth to your black tie outfit. Tone down the look a little by opting for a black leather strap, like this one from Nixon, or if you think your outfit can handle it, go for a gold strap and embrace the Midas look.
Remember, the best affordable watches don’t have to be overloaded with high-tech features or specialised designs, and many of them are versatile and have a traditional element.
Unique Watches for Men
If you’re the type who prefers more interesting accessories, then you can choose a watch with a subtle, unique style to it. However it’s important that it still fits with the overall look of the outfit, and this means keeping the more extravagant features to a minimum. In general, it’s best to avoid anything with too much colour, as this will look less interesting and a little too try hard.
Keeping the exterior of the watch, such as the strap and the frame, clean and simple, while having a unique face can keep things balanced enough to match with a black tie outfit, yet still have modern, stylish twist. Watches with a bold, graphic style that mixes with a minimalist vibe can give you a clean yet striking finish.
We’ve shown you two example of fairly muted watches, and although they have their unique features you might want something a little brighter, yet equally versatile and classic. There’s a number of models you can go for, but it’s best, like the previous designs, to keep the outer casing simple and classic, and have the face contain the unique features. This helps keep the right kind of balance, and not create a watch that’s too busy.
Remember, the best high-end watch brands won’t necessarily be the right one for you if its overall style doesn’t match with your tux. Go for a cheaper, more refined design over an expensive, gaudier look, and your tuxedo will benefit from the complementary finish.
The Best Leather Watches for a Black Tie Event
- Daniel Wellington – Sheffield watch black
- Shore Projects – St Ives watch black / Falmouth watch black
- Larsson & Jennings – Lugano 40mm chain metal watch silver/black
- Nixon – Sentry 38 watch gold / The Time Teller watch gold
- Simple Watches – Early black and white / Kent black
- Unknown – The Classic rose gold watch grey
On That Note
Getting a watch to match with a black tie outfit isn’t too difficult, you just need to think about the colours and tones, and above all not go too over the top with it. Black tie should be elegant, and your watch should match with this. This doesn’t mean you’re confined to a small section of watches to choose from, or that you have to go for expensive high-quality watches.
There’s a load of watches out there that have classic colourings, but small, unique features that help them stand out from the crowd. Just because you’re not going over the top doesn’t mean you can’t have something different, and it’s easy to find something special that’s not going to clash with your black tie outfit.
You can also go more extravagant with your watch. Small, unique details added to a sleek backdrop will ensure the watch doesn’t look overly eclectic or runs the risk of clashing with the tuxedo. Coloured hands, busier faces or subtle contrasting colours can all work to ensure your watch is unique, eye-catching, and yet works effortlessly with your traditional black tie outfit.
Black tie events can be fairly strict when it comes to the dress code, and if you’ve got your outfit spot on, you really don’t want to mess it up with an inappropriate watch. The best luxury watches can add a sophisticated edge to your tuxedo and complement the traditional style. If you want to keep things simple, go for a cool tone watch with minimal detailing, and a traditional black leather strap, which will go perfectly with your tux and give you an understated, elegant finish.