Daniel Louwrens, Author at Exquisite Timepieces
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Author: Daniel Louwrens

When you think about Omega, you think of the Speedmaster; went to the moon. Seamaster; went to the bottom of the ocean. MoonSwatch; went to the Gala Awards evening on the wrist of James Bond.

Unfortunately, the rich history of Omega’s dress watches and their contemporary offers drowns in a sea of sports models (pun intended). However, upon a closer look, you’ll realize that Omega has some of the best dress options you can actually get your hands on.

About Omega Dress Watches

As mentioned, Omega is famous for its sports models; in fact, Jack Forster even mentioned on a “Hey Hodinkee” video that most people forget about their dress options simply because their sports models are such good value. 

This is actually a pity seeing as how Omega has some brilliant options for those who prefer a bit of opulence rather than added water resistance. The Constellation line has been a mainstay for years, and the original pie-pan Constellation is on everyone’s list of must-haves. The Globemaster presents itself rather subtly and still remains one of the best luxury-orientated daily watches on the market. 

The De-Ville line hardly needs an introduction. With sophisticated style and more variety than you could ever need, this line certainly has the valor to stand up against the other giants in the Omega display case. The Seamaster is one of the best entry-level luxury divers, and the Speedmaster, well, they don’t call it Speedy Tuesday for nothing. 

History of Omega Dress Watches

Omega set up shop originally in 1848 under the name La Generale Watch Co., founded by Louis Brandt, and officially switched to Omega SA in 1984. The first wristwatches bearing the Omega name were produced in 1900 and were used by English army officers. 

It is not entirely clear what the first Omega dress watch was, seeing as the description of a dress watch has changed throughout the years. Perhaps the first minute-repeater wristwatch released in September 1892 by Louis Brandt & Frère (precursor to Omega) was the first. 

The Constellation line is still in production today, and while it has gained sporty elements to keep up with the modern taste, it was anything but sporty upon its release in the early 1950s. Perhaps the De Ville line is what you would describe as their first dress watch, which was released in 1967. 

The Best Omega Dress Watches

1. Omega Constellation Globemaster 39mm White Dial (ref.


The Globemaster line is perhaps the most underrated line within the Omega brand. Beneath a sea of Seamasters and Speedmasters, you have, in essence, the perfect everyday watch for those that prefer a bit more luxury than what the Aqua Terra offers. 

Sporting a 39mm diameter matched with an interesting fluted bezel constructed of tungsten for added durability without sacrificing the beautiful lines created by the highly polished case. The case sits on a beautifully finished three-link bracelet but can be dressed up with a leather strap as well. 

The model line also features various configurations, some with more luxurious undertones like the ones finished with rose or yellow gold or the blue-dialed versions. This particular reference presents itself with the white pie pan dial similar to the 1952 Constellation model. 

The movement within highly reliable Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 8900 equipped with a 60-hour power reserve and resistance to magnetic fields of 15,000 gauss.

2. Omega De Ville Prestige 39.5mm (ref. 424.


Since its launch in 1976, the De Ville line has been a mainstay in the Omega catalog as a ‘dressier’ offshoot of the Seamaster but has since become a standalone series. The classy and elegant design is reflected in the small-by-today’s-standards 39.5mm case and is presented on a ‘hunter green’ leather strap. 

Several formal attributes are found on the dial, like the blackened hands, the black Roman numeral hour markers, and the six blackened cabochons. The silvery white dial features a silk-like pattern with an opaline finish and a subtle date aperture at 3 o’clock. 

3. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 38mm Black Dial (ref.


The contemporary Aqua Terra line is reminiscent of the original 1948 Seamaster and is perhaps the most versatile Omega in the current lineup. The model presented here is no longer in production, but you’ll easily get this timepiece on the second-hand market. 

Sticking to the maritime theme, the dial features a black horizontal “teak” pattern similar to what you might find on a yacht. The dial remains extremely legible thanks to rhodium-plated hands and indexes, all filled with Super-LumiNova. A tenuous date function is located at the 6 o’clock position to increase the utility of this luxury-orientated everyday watch. 

Within the highly polished case is the Master Chronometer caliber 8800, certified by METAS and equipped with a 55-hour power reserve. 

4. Omega Constellation Globemaster 41mm Annual Calendar (ref.


If you’re looking for an interesting spin on the annual calendar complication, perhaps the Constellation Globemaster Annual Calendar might be the watch for you. Presented with a classic size of 41mm and rose gold (or Sedna™ gold) construction mounted on a blue leather strap that matches the blue dial. 

The dial is perhaps the most special part of this watch. Between each of the pie pan facets, you’ll find the different months of the year written in cursive gold. The hands and the applied hour markers are also finished in gold. 

Flipping the case reveals even more gold presented with the rotor featuring Geneva waves in arabesque. The movement in question is the Master Chronometer caliber 8923, equipped with a 55-hour power reserve.  

5. Omega De Ville Prestige 41mm Power Reserve (ref. 434.


Matching dark green with gold has become tremendously popular in recent years, and Omega capitalized on this with a De Ville Prestige sporting this exact color scheme. The dark green dial features a stunning sun-brushed finished green dial that contrasts greatly against the golden Roman numerals and cabochon indexes. 

Two subregisters are located at the 6 and 9 o’clock positions displaying the power reserve and small seconds, respectively, improving the utility of this dress piece – something to chat about at dinner. The 41mm golden case is a classic design with a highly-polished bezel and lugs. 

Flipping the case reveals the sapphire caseback displaying the Master Co-Axial caliber 8810. The Co-Axial feature not only improves accuracy but also extends how long the watch can run before a service is needed.

This particular self-winding movement is approved by METAS and is resistant to magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss in case you go wandering around any heavy machinery with your dress piece. 

6. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 41mm Sedna Gold Brown Dial (ref.


If the combination of gold and deep green isn’t what you like, then perhaps a more subtle brown would suit you. This Aqua Terra is decked out with Sedna™ gold (or rose gold) and a deep brown dial that complements each other beautifully. 

Like other Aqua Terras, the movement powering this dressy Aqua Terra is the Master Chronometer caliber 8901, certified by METAS and equipped with a 60-hour power reserve. But the movement is not where this timepiece shines but rather shines on the dial.

The sun-brushed brown dial combined with the horizontal “teak” pattern creates a beautiful contrast against the golden hands and applied hour markers. The mahogany theme continues with a brown strap and Sedna™ gold foldover clasp to create an integrated and upper-class look.  

7. Omega Constellation Master Chronometer 39mm Gray Dial (ref.


The Constellation namesake has been in production since the 50s but has only recently become its own line. While some might not like the contemporary Manhattan design, it is still one of the most opulent options produced by Omega. 

This 39mm steel ref. features typical markers of the Constellation line, the fixed steel bezel with Roman numeral markers, and the “claws” on the side of the case. The sapphire caseback displays the expertly finished Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 8800 equipped with a Rhodium plated finish with Geneva waves in arabesque.

Yet again, it’s the dial where this timepiece shines. A horizontally-brushed ruthenium-grey dial is matched with blued numeral indexes, hands, and Omega scripture.  

8. Omega De Ville Trésor 40mm Stainless Steel Silver Dial (ref. 435.


While the Tresor line was originally reserved for smaller sizes and for women in particular, the modern versions are offered in larger options and even worn by men since all watches are actually unisex. 

Unlike many of the options that feature a quartz movement, the reference presented here features a Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 8910, a hand-winding movement with expertly finished elements visible through the sapphire caseback.  

The case is perfectly sized for a contemporary dress piece, 40mm in diameter and 10.1mm thick. Moving from the highly polished case inwards to the domed opaline silver dial that displays nothing more but the 18K white gold hour indexes and a subtle date aperture at the 6 o’clock position. 

9. Omega Seamaster Olympic Official Timekeeper (ref. 522.


Omega has a rich history with the Olympics; in fact, Omega has been the official timekeeper of the Olympics for the past 28 Olympiads since 1932. They have also been known to produce limited-edition Olympic-themed watches such as this Olympic Official Timekeeper. 

This particular reference is a throwback to the vintage dress pieces produced by the brand in the 20s and sports various vintage-inspired attributes. A no-date eggshell white enamel dial embellished with a pop of color thanks to the red vintage Omega logo located at the 12 o’clock position matched with period-appropriate white gold leaf hands. 

The timepiece also sports a 39.5mm case constructed from Canopus Gold™, which is an alloy of 18k white gold with platinum, rhodium, and palladium. This material has been used by Omega since 2015 and is known for both its optic appeal and resistance to scratching.

A taught lug-to-lug measurement of 44.5mm means the watch will fit most wrists perfectly and, with a thickness of merely 12mm, will slide under any dress cuff. 

10. Omega Constellation Master Chronometer 36mm White Dial (ref.


While many of us would love to wear a vintage Constellation on the wrist, they can be hard to find and maintain. The contemporary version lives up to the namesake by being just as visually appealing while holding true to the standards of Omega’s technological prowess. 

The Master Chronometer 36mm comes in many iterations, and this silver-dialed steel version presents itself as a subdued and subtle luxury dress piece. With classic sizing of 36mm in diameter and a 39.2mm lug-to-lug, the watch would not look out of place at a black tie event. 

The steel-on-steel aesthetic of the fixed steel bezel and steel case is a design synonymous with the Manhattan Constellation introduced in 1982. A sun-brushed silvery dial is matched with 18K white gold indexes for added opulence behind, which beats the Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 8800, a highly reliable self-winding movement with a 55-hour power reserve. 

11. Omega De Ville Prestige 41mm Small Seconds (ref. 434.


The De Ville Prestige line has been adorning the wrists of Omega enthusiasts since 1994 and finds itself in its third generation, still upholding its values of elegance combined with unusual optical aesthetics. While the 41mm polished case of this model might seem regular, the dial is anything but. 

The dial color can only be described as pine green and features a random vertical pattern in a sun-brushed finish – potentially making each dial individual. Golden-applied indexes and hands contrast beautifully against this color. The thin Roman numerals and cabochon indexes create a minimalist quality synonymous with dress pieces. 

Behind the intriguing dial sits the Master Co-Axial caliber 8802, which is also visible through the sapphire caseback. A self-winding movement with a decent 55-hour power reserve displaying time, small seconds, and a date at the 3 o’clock position. 

12. Omega Seamaster 300 (ref.


The Seamaster namesake hardly needs an introduction. Originally introduced in 1948, and has been in the catalog in one way or another ever since. While the Seamaster 300 Professional covers the sporty and diving section, the contemporary Seamaster 300 would appear to be a bit more grown-up. 

The model referenced here is finished in steel and 18K Sedna™ gold (rose gold) and features a ceramic bezel insert. The sand-blasted black dial has a brilliant contrast against the golden hands and patina-colored indexes, creating a dichotomy between sportiness and luxury. 

With the Master Co-Axial caliber 8400, the watch also presents itself as a rather usable traveling watch. With no date function to worry about, you’ll be able to set time easily and worry-free. There is a blue-dialed version of this reference as well but that veers more towards sportiness rather than dressiness. 

13. Omega Speedmaster 38 (ref. 324.


The Speedmaster is perhaps the only watch that all enthusiasts unanimously all respect. Whether it be a 321 version or even the Snoopy, there’s a Speedy out there for you. But what if you find yourself in the company of affluent folk? Which Speedmaster would you wear then? Well, the ref. 324., of course (I don’t expect anyone to remember the reference number of any of these pieces but it’s simply called the Speedmaster 38 okay). 

As the name suggests, this is a 38mm Speedy sporting interesting attributes compared to the mainstream brothers. First, it’s worn on a light leather strap making for a more dressy aesthetic. Elongated gold indexes on the dial match the minimalist approach when combined with the smaller seconds track on the outer rim of the dial. 

The bezel is finished in aluminum and doesn’t seem to have the same visual noise as the bezels found on other Speedmasters. Interestingly enough, this reference also has a 100m water resistance rating, double that of a normal Speedmaster, which is excellent if your formal occasion happens to have a pool and you feel inclined to take a dive. 

14. Omega De Ville Trésor 40mm Small Seconds (ref. 435.


Moving back to purely dress-oriented pieces with the De Ville Trésor. The Trésor line has been in production since 1949, and this contemporary version is a no-nonsense dress piece that, if it were alive, would scoff at the word “sporty”. 

Embodying elegance in a simple 40mm stainless steel case featuring highly polished edges and lugs matched with a domed deep blue dial. The long and slender 18K white gold hands are complimented with elongated white gold hour markers to create a rather slender look, matching the slender case thickness of 10.1mm. 

Thanks to the Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 8926 within, the timepiece tells hours and minutes with the addition of a small seconds sub registrar located at the 6 o’clock position. This METAS-certified movement has a rather robust 72-hour power reserve and features a manual-winding mechanism allowing for the entire case to be thinner due to the lack of a self-winding rotor. 

15. Omega Seamaster 1948 (ref. 511.


With a Speedmaster for every Tuesday of the month, you could opt for a Seamaster for every other day. If you like your Seamaster with a tad of grandeur, perhaps the Seamaster 1948 could be the one for you – released to celebrate the very first Seamaster models of 1948 with vintage styling and modern technology. 

Platinum was used to construct the 38mm polished case, a material we rarely see used in the horology world. In fact, the domed opaline dial is also finished in platinum and features rose gold hour markers, dauphine hands, and a vintage Omega logo. 

The distinctive design continues when you flip the case, revealing the METAS-certified Master Chronometer caliber 8807 behind the sapphire caseback. The sapphire crystal is laser-engraved and lacquered (by hand) with a Chris-Craft boat and a Gloster Meteor aircraft. These vessels were used in WWII, and the aviators wore, you guessed it, Omega. 

16. Omega Constellation Master Chronometer 41mm Black Dial (ref.


The Manhattan Constellation might not be for everyone, but this black option might persuade you otherwise. Sized for contemporary tastes at 41mm and features a blend of a steel case, a polished black ceramic bezel, and something called Liquidmetal™. This is a blend of titanium, zirconium, and copper, which Omega bonds with ceramic to allow for increased hardness which allows them to use different finishing methods. 

The unembellished sun-brushed black dial is subtly decorated with the use of rhodium-plated hour markers, hands, and the Omega logo. Timekeeping duties are dealt with by the Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 8900. METAS-approved and equipped with a 60-hour power reserve. 

17. Omega Seamaster Boutique Editions (ref. 511.


Boutique and limited editions are something you either love or hate, but we cannot deny just how special these pieces sometimes are. Omega Boutiques had the opportunity to sell this Seamaster featuring visual appeal like nothing else in the product line. 

A 39.5mm polished case with a gorgeous burgundy lacquered domed dial displaying a gradient color change from a lighter center to a deeper outer dial. 18K white gold hour markers and hands make the dress-orientated piece highly legible with a subtle date aperture located at the 6 o’clock position.  

The caseback displays more of Omega’s craftsmanship, with several different engravings paying tribute to the brand’s iconography and achievements over the centuries. The same pattern can be found on the inside of the special World of Omega watch box.

18. Omega De Ville Trésor 40mm Sedna Gold Gray Dial (ref. 435.


From one minimalist piece to the next, here we have a De Ville Trésor sporting an 18K rose gold case measuring 40mm in diameter and with a 44.8mm lug-to-lug the watch wears comfortably on most wrists. A snug 10.8mm thickness means it’ll slide under most cuffs, but you wouldn’t want to hide this piece. 

The domed grey enamel dial is subtle yet beautiful to behold and juxtaposes elegantly with the elongated rose gold hour indexes and thin hands. The dial finish is thanks to the Grand Feu technique, or the art of fusing glass to metal which is incredibly hard to execute.  

Matched with a grey leather strap and the Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 8929, the watch not only shines in beauty but in technological prowess as well – a manual-winding movement, METAS-certified, and with a robust 72-hour power reserve. 

19. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer Sedna Gold (ref.


The world timer complication was officially featured on a wristwatch for the first time in 1931, thanks to the innovation of Louis Cottier, a brilliant Swiss watchmaker. Omega’s contemporary version finds itself in the everyday option of their catalog – the Aqua Terra. 

To add to the dressy aesthetic of this piece, the case and three-link bracelet are fully constructed from 18K yellow gold or Sedna™ gold. The hour markers and hands are also finished in gold and are filled with lume. 

While the case is something special, the dial is where the noteworthy craftsmanship of Omega begins to show. They took an unusual spin on the world timer complication using texture, color, and finishing techniques to make a busy dial appear a lot more visually appealing. 

In the center, you’ll find a grade 5 titanium plate that has been laser-engraved to display a realistic globe as well as the watch’s namesake at noon. Chemical processing on said globe allows Omega to display topography and different biomes without the use of paint.

Surrounding this titanium plate is a 24-hour display behind a Hesalite crystal, split to display day and night time hours. As with other world timers, you’ll find the names of cities towards the outer edge of the dial, some between the faceted hour makers and some on the rehaut (or flange). 

It would be hard to find another world timer that features such attention to detail at the price point, and while many would prefer a normal Seamaster or a Speedmaster, those that know will know just how special this piece is. And those who don’t know might just appreciate the globe on your watch because it looks quite cool

20. Omega De Ville Tourbillon (ref. 529.


While the Tourbillon might not be essential in the world we live in today, it was essential not so long ago. The first Tourbillon wristwatch caliber was actually created by Omega in 1947, but the first Tourbillon was created by legendary watchmaker Abraham Louis Breguet in 1801. Originally created to be used in pocket watches to massively improve accuracy, they are slightly useless on wristwatches. 

When you first see this watch, you realize the Tourbillon is purely there for aesthetics. Somewhat reminiscent of the Omega La Magique, the 43mm rose and white gold case features the Tourbillon in the center of the sun-brushed dial. Every part of this opulent piece is handmade by a select group of horologists at Omega’s Atelier Tourbillon. 

Across the Tourbillon sits a titanium bridge from which the seconds hand runs, forged from rose gold; something you won’t see often and sets the watch apart from the other Tourbillon options on the market. Turning the case reveals the expertly finished Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 2640 finished in pure 18K rose gold. 


If you’re looking for a timepiece that breaks away from the onslaught of sports models we’ve seen over the past 20 years, you’ve got plenty of options now. Omega has a rich history of creating some of the most desirable and iconic dress-orientated models, and there’s a version for each of us. If not, simply buy a vintage pie pan Constellation; nothing beats a vintage gold Omega. 

Best Solar Dive Watches

Ever had your power reserve run out just as you were about to use the chronograph function? Was your quartz movement not quite enough to impress that watch dude at your business meeting? 

Well, how about the Solar watches? Better yet, how about combining the functionality of a solar watch with the utility of a dive watch? 

Solar dive watches are not for everyone, but when you start thinking about all the versatility they offer, they might be a dark horse… 

About Solar Dive Watches

As you may know, watches either come with a mechanical or quartz movement. Well, not all. There are a few that are slightly different from the rest, like the Spring Drive from Grand Seiko. However, rising above all the rest is the Solar watch. 

As the name suggests, these types of watches are powered by solar energy or by artificial light. Typically, the solar panel(s) are located behind the crystal of the watch. From there, it’s simple physics really; sunlight is absorbed by the PV cells in the panel, and the energy is converted into electrical charges that move in response to an internal electric field in the cell, causing electricity to flow.

This electricity is then transferred into a rechargeable cell to power the watch during dark times. This unique technological approach might not seem the most romantic of all the watches you could get your hands on, but it is something that is remarkably useful in actual tool watches. 

This is why you find it in dive, field, and aviation watches. These were engineered to be as practical as possible, and what’s more practical than being powered by a massive nuclear fusion reactor millions of miles away? 

The History Of Solar Dive Watches

While watches have been worn all throughout the 1900s, the first wristwatch to be powered by the sun was the Synchronar 2100, developed by an American engineer named Roger W. Riehl in 1972. The watch was quirky, and while it was visionary, it wasn’t incredibly sleek. 

The top of the watch featured two large panels while the time was digitally displayed on the side; funnily enough, this makes it a rather food driver’s watch. This was just after Seiko released the first quartz-powered watch in 1969, so the world was eager for more development. 

From there, the technology was relegated to more cost-effective wristwatches, especially those made in Japan. While some Swiss companies have made use of the tech, it’s certainly not commonplace. 

It’s unclear which watch was the first dive watch to be powered by a solar unit, but it’s likely to come from one of the Japanese giants like Seiko, Citizen, or Orient. 

Should You Buy A Solar Dive Watch?

The big question you might be asking at the end of this list is whether you need a solar dive watch or not. Before we even dive into the list, you should first ask whether or not you even want a dive watch. Dive watches are typically bulkier and larger than others, so if you only have a 5.8-inch wrist, these may not be the best option. 

If you are a person that does regular diving, this might be the perfect watch for you, even more so for those that work on ships or boats. You might not always be moving enough to wind a rotor, and your sudden movements might damage the mainspring. A solar-powered dive watch would be perfect, seeing as it can gain power from the sun, which is always available, it’s robust enough to survive the environment, and fantastic water resistance. 

That said, there are also a lot of premier watch collectors that own some of these pieces as a ‘beater’. These are watches you wear when you know you might be in a rough-and-tumble environment and you don’t want to scratch that Rainbow Daytona you just bought. 

10 Best Solar Dive Watches

1. Seiko Prospex SNE575

Seiko Prospex SNE575

Seiko is one of the most well-known brands on the planet, especially when it comes to cost-effective dive watches. The Prospex range occupies part of the market for individuals looking for something slightly more robust and upmarket than the Seiko 5. Presented here is the ref. SNE575, a 38.5mm steel diver with a no-nonsense approach to utility. 

Designed to actually be used by divers, emphasized by the “PADI” writing at the 6 o’clock position because the watch is part of the ‘The Professional Association of Diving Instructors’, and the PADI writing on the watch is exclusive to Seiko. With a lug-to-lug of 46.5mm, the watch wears very true to the 38.5mm diameter, and thanks to the 10.6mm diameter, the watch has a very subtle wearing experience despite the utility. 

The dial features an engraving reminiscent of the longitude and latitude lines of the globe featuring large hour markers filled with luminescence. A solid 200m water resistance rating with a unidirectional bezel is accentuated by the solar caliber V147 which has an accuracy of ±15 seconds per month. 

2. Citizen Promaster Diver Blue Dial (ref. BN0168-06L)

Citizen Promaster Diver Blue Dial (ref. BN0168-06L)

While the first ‘Pepsi-colored’ dial was created with the GMT Master ref. 1675 from Rolex, many other brands have also utilized the combination of the two contrasting colors. One of those brands is Citizen, like with this ref. BN0168-06L Promaster Diver. 

The Promaster line is the robust and utilitarian line from Citizen, as presented with this 44m steel diver matched with a blue polyurethane strap. The bezel colors continue on the dial, as the blue dial is matched with a large red minute hand and equally large hour markers. If this watch could scream, it’d be screaming utility and legibility. 

A date aperture without a cyclops is located at the 4 o’clock position to double down on the practicality of the timepiece. All the functions are powered by the caliber E168, an Eco-drive movement that is Citizen’s solar-powered unit. The watch is also ISO-compliant, with a water resistance measurement of 200m. 

3. Casio MTPS110-1AV

Casio MTPS110-1AV

Casio is perhaps the single most loved brand from the kid down the street rocking his G-Shock to the collector whose daily is a Paul Newman Daytona. Both will own Casios and love them for their utility and honesty. 

This ref. MTPS110-1AV down-to-earth tool watch comes in two variations, one in blue and one in black. The dial is matched with a yellow or red minute and seconds hand, respectively, and at the 3 o’clock position, you’ll find a day-date function. 

The diameter is slightly larger compared to some of the others, measuring 46.9mm. A solid 100m water resistance matched with a mineral crystal and the utility of a solar power unit makes this the perfect ‘beater’ watch, or perhaps a watch you just wear when out and about working on your yacht. 

4. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph (ref. WBP1112.FT6199)

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph (ref. WBP1112.FT6199)

TAG Heuer is known for making some of the better watches for their price point. The first Aquaracer was presented in 2003 and has since become a mainstay in their lineup, ranging from quartz movements to automatic versions. The ref. WBP1112.FT6199, or the Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph, is a solar-powered version and sports a rather stealthy appearance. 

A 40mm DLC-coated sandblasted black case is matched with a black bezel that features an insert made from carbon fused with luminous material, which massively increases legibility. The whole dial is highly legible thanks to copious amounts of lume on the hour markers and hands. 

The Solargraph caliber TH50-00 powers the watch and is based on the Citizen E168, displaying the time and the date at the 3 o’clock position on a sunray-finished black dial. 

5. Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar (ref. T121.420.47.051.00)

Tissot T-Touch Connect Solar (ref. T121.420.47.051.00)

Tissot presents some of the best value-for-money timepieces on the Swiss market, like this T-Touch Connect Solar ref. T121.420.47.051.00. Walking a thin line between a smartwatch and a regular watch might upset a few individuals, but it does seem to walk the line rather well. 

A digital display is located on the lower half of the dial, but you still have the normal three-hand display, so, the best of both worlds. The black display is still highly legible thanks to the not-so-subtle use of red on the seconds hand and the tip of the minute hand. 

A ceramic bezel elevates both the resistance to scratches but also features the four main compass directions, which matches the utility of the ‘smart part’ of the T-Touch, which according to Tissot, includes but is not limited to an altimeter, compass, perpetual calendar, alarm, time, time zones, automatic daylight saving time, timer, chrono split, chrono lap, chrono log book, and a step counter. 

The watch measures a whopping 47.50mm in diameter, so it certainly is not for everyone, but when considering the utility of the piece, it’s to be expected. 

6. Lum-Tec Solar Marine 2

Lum-Tec Solar Marine 2

If you’re looking for a more subtle approach to the dive watch category, perhaps the Lum-Tec Solar Marine is the option for you. The watch is limited to merely 500 pieces worldwide, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever see someone else wearing one. 

Measuring at a dainty 39mm with a bead-blasted finish to improve durability. The main feature your eyes will be attracted to is the white steel insert on the bezel fixed with lume for added legibility.

The watch’s overall look is also subtle thanks to the titanium carbide gunmetal PVD hard coating on the case, creating a faded look that doesn’t draw as much attention to itself as other, more colorful divers. 

The 300m of water resistance is matched with the 6 months power reserve thanks to the solar-powered caliber VS42A, which is manufactured by Seiko. 

7. Vaer D4 Solar Diver 38mm

Vaer D4 Solar Diver 38mm

What about a more compact diver? The Vaer D4 features a subtle 38mm polished case matched with a brushed-finished three-link bracelet or a brown NATO strap. With a lug-to-lug measurement of only 45mm, the watch sits quite comfortably on the wrist despite the 200m of water resistance. 

The watch exudes plenty of maritime subtexts with a deep blue dial with golden lined hands and golden text at the 6 o’clock position. In fact, each highly luminous hour marker is also lined with golden effects. An anodized aluminum bezel insert featuring 120-click technology surrounds the dial in a similar blue hue.

The movement within is the Epson VS22 solar movement with an accuracy rating of -30 / +30 sec per month. The bracelet is rather special at the price point of $359 – $449. It features four micro-adjustments, solid end links, and an 18mm taper.

8. Momentum Torpedo Pro Eclipse Solar 

Momentum Torpedo Pro Eclipse Solar 

With a name like Torpedo, you already know what type of watch you’re about to deal with. A 44mm steel diver with 200m of water resistance thanks to a screw-down crown. The crown is located at the 4 o’clock position to avoid the “wrist-bite” we so often experience with regular crowns. 

Behind the sapphire crystal is a black dial with contrasting circular sections, the inner section being slightly transparent and the outer being glossy. Subtle pops of color are courteous of the red seconds hand and the pointer for the date aperture at 4 o’clock. The black rotating bezel features ample impressions to allow it to be easily used even when wearing gloves. 

9. Seiko Prospex Tuna “Arnie” SNJ025

Seiko Prospex Tuna “Arnie” SNJ025

Seiko is back again with something for the meathead in your life – the Seiko ref. SNJ025, nicknamed the ‘Arnie’, is a contemporary model of the famous ref. H558 worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film The Predator

The aesthetics didn’t change much, and if Arnie could rock it, then you can imagine the watch being quite large. A case diameter of 47.8mm makes it a unit on the wrist and that excludes the several crowns. 

There are crowns to manage both the digital and analog display, as well as the several complications within; the power reserve display function, local time indication mode, stopwatch function, and an alarm. 

The watch is (surprise) also ISO-compliant, perhaps making it the dive watch to end all other divers. Powered by the caliber H851 with an accuracy rating of -15 / +15 sec per month. To improve the robust nature of the timepiece, a rubber outer bezel is placed around the dive bezel creating the signature look of the “Arnie”. 

10. Citizen Promaster Aqualand (ref. BN2036-14E)

Citizen Promaster Aqualand (ref. BN2036-14E)

Citizen is another giant in the dive watch world with legendary models like the Promaster range, as presented here with the Aqualand ref. BN2036-14E. With a water resistance rating of 200m, the watch has been awarded the ISO6425 diving certification.

The 46.1mm case is matched with a black polyurethane strap for increased sportiness and utility. The dial not only the regular hours, minutes, and seconds but also a power reserve display, depth meter, and maximum depth memory display. The movement in charge of timekeeping duties is the caliber J250, an Eco-Drive movement with a potential power reserve of 330 days. That’s a lot of diving… 


Dive watches are meant to help you in one of the most stressful times you can put yourself in. With the addition of a solar-powered movement, you get all the reliability and accuracy of a quartz watch with none of the battery-dying drawbacks.

A match made in heaven to be found at the depths of the ocean. Or at your desk in the office because the watch looks cool and you like the technological aspect of it – we won’t judge – as long as it makes you happy. 

best 40mm dive watches for men

Many enthusiasts regard the humble dive watch as the best first-time watch. Durable, simple, interesting enough, and when sized appropriately, it would fit most attire. That last part is often not the case with dive watches as they are designed to be used while diving, which means sustaining massive pressure while remaining legible. 

That said, many watch brands have taken the time to create and produce dive watches that are perfectly sized at 40mm. Big enough to fit contemporary tastes while still not being quite as big as an Omega PloProf or a Rolex Deepsea Challenge. Let’s look at the 15 best 40mm dive watches you can get your hands on today. 

About Dive Watches

Back before wearing a watch was a status symbol or something to impress your Tinder date with, watches were worn as tools to help mankind on our incredible journeys throughout time. The Speedmaster went to the moon, the Explorer went up the Everest, and the Big Pilot was worn by pilots in World War II. 

Dive watches played a massive role in the marine environment. When diving, you need to keep track of time. Why? If you consume Oxygen from a tank at a certain volume per hour, you can calculate how long you get to spend in the water. Thus, with the addition of a rotating bezel, you can mark your entry hour and use it as a reference to know when to get out. 

Other characteristics include a thicker and larger case, a durable crystal, a highly legible dial with plenty of luminescence, and for some, a link extension allowing the watch to be worn over a wetsuit. 

However, if you are engaged in deepsea diving, you would need an even more robust timepiece. The pressure would be increased dramatically, and you would also run into Helium buildup, hence why many “deepsea” diving watches have a Helium escape valve built into the case. 

The History Of Dive Watches

While there is a lot of debate about which company produced the first dive watch, most believe that Omega produced the first commercially available divers watch in 1932, called the ‘Marine’. Others think the first dive watch was the Submariner or the Fifty Fathoms. That said, most believe Omega was first. 

Turn back the crown (nice little pun for you) back to the early 1900s, and you’ll find that watches are worn by individuals who need to use them for their intended purpose. In the case of dive watches, they need to be able to do quite a few things. Survive the depths of the ocean while remaining legible but also usable. 

Innovation to create a watch that could survive the pressure of diving started with Rolex in 1926 when they purchased the patent for the “Oyster” watchcase, which featured a hermetic seal that allowed it to be airtight. Mercedes Gleitze attempted to swim across the English Channel wearing the new Rolex Oyster around her neck. Ten hours later and the watch was still sealed. 

Since then, the moniker of ‘dive watch’ has changed throughout the years from a robust tool to a flex piece or even a ‘desk diver’. But the origin of the watch will always be a tool to help mankind on their most extreme marine missions. 

Should You Buy A 40mm Dive Watch?

Before diving into the list of the best 40mm dive watches, we need to consider whether you should purchase one. The first thing you must consider is that it’s still a dive watch. These have particular features that you will need to deal with. 

Dive watches are typically a bit thicker than dress watches, typically made in steel (although this has begun to change), and they almost always have a rotating dive bezel. These features give the timepiece a pretty sporty aesthetic according to contemporary tastes, which won’t be so well received at your next black tie event. 

40mm is also quite well-sized compared to some of the bigger watches on the market. It will, of course, be too big for some, but quite a few companies make the same watch in various sizes. A 40mm sized case for a 15cm – 18cm (6 – 7 inches) wrist. 

Before you purchase a watch, it would always be best to try it on if you can. If you’re purchasing online, your best bet would be to try something on that has the same size and feel as your desired timepiece.

The 15 Best 40mm Dive Watches for Men

1. Rolex Submariner Date (ref. 116610LN)

Rolex Submariner Date (ref. 116610LN)

Let’s not beat around the bush and start with the ubiquitous dive watch – The Submariner. Ref. 116610LN is known as one of the ‘true’ Submariners since it is the most copied and well-known watch on the planet. 

This particular reference is not the newest model the Crown offers and was in production from 2010 until 2020. The 40mm stainless case featured a unidirectional black ceramic dive bezel which Rolex calls Cerachrom; hence why the ‘LN’ is included in the reference number. “Lunette Noir” is French for ‘black bezel’. 

This was the first model to be equipped with this bezel insert and has since become a mainstay in the Rolex catalog. The black dial contains highly legible hour markers with the Mercedes hands synonymous with the brand. You will also find the date aperture located at the 3 o’clock position with a Cyclops lens as well. 

For some, this lens ruins the look of the watch, but for others, it’s needed for legibility in a dive watch. Some even joke that “If you need to know the date while diving, you’re probably screwed”. 

Of course, since the watch has been discontinued, you can only purchase it on the second-hand market. You can expect to pay anything north of $10,000 depending on the condition and what’s included.

2. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda (ref. 5008B 1130 B52A)

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda (ref. 5008B 1130 B52A)

As far as legendary dive watches go, the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is, well, legendary. The original was released in 1953, and many assume it’s the first professional dive watch ever created and was used by the French, German, and Polish military.

In 2019, Blancpain launched the new Fifty Fathoms Barakuda as a tribute to the original, with limited production of 500 pieces. While 40mm is the perfect size for most people, it is the smallest in the lineup, seeing as these were and are tool watches. 

The Barakuda does feature quite a few attributes that are extremely similar to the original. Red and cream hour-marker finished with an “old radium” type Super-LumiNova, pencil-shaped hands, and the classical diamond-shaped marker at 12 o’clock on the bezel.

To keep with the essence of a true dive watch, there is a distinct lack of Cyclops on the date aperture.  Visible through the caseback is the Blancpain caliber 1151 with a pretty robust power reserve of 100 hours, thanks to the twin-barrel architecture. If you are in the market for one, you can expect to pay north of $14,500.

3. Panerai Luminor Quaranta (ref. PAM01270)

Panerai Luminor Quaranta (ref. PAM01270)

Panerai is about as subtle as a hammer. Worn by giants like Arnie, ‘Sly’ Stallone, and the Rock, these watches are usually large and bulky but still have their own unique design language you won’t find anywhere else. The Quaranta is one of their lesser-known models, a petite by Panerai standards 40mm brushed steel case. 

The ref. PAM01270 is presented with a deep blue sun-brushed dial with a clean design, a date aperture at the 3 o’clock position, and a small seconds sub-register at the 9 o’clock position. The blue dial is matched with an alligator ‘blu profondo’ strap. 

The Luminor line has been a staple in the Panerai lineup but usually features a larger case. The Quaranta offers a better wearing experience for those who have smaller wrists but still want the cushion case shape experience offered by Panerai. 

4. TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Date (ref. WBP2111.BA0627)

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Date (ref. WBP2111.BA0627)

TAG Heuer gets a bad wrap because they cover a segment of the market that is neither incredibly affordable but also not the epitome of horology. However, TAG does this perfectly. They are priced appropriately, and the Aquaracer line has been a great offering from the brand for those looking for a great value dive watch. 

The Professional 200 offers, surprise, 200m of water resistance thanks to a robust 40mm stainless case and features a dodecagon-shaped bezel. The deep blue dial is reminiscent of the ocean and is finished with horizontal banding meant to evoke the teak deck on a yacht. Despite the artistic finish, the dial remains extremely legible and is adorned with plenty of luminescence. 

The case is matched with a simple yet handsome three-link bracelet with a thin, tapered profile equipped with an extension link that allows for a far easier wearing experience. Inside the case is the reliable caliber 5, based on either the ETA 2824-2 or the Sellita SW200. 

5. Oris Divers Sixty-Five (ref. 01 733 7707 4055-07 8 20 18)

Oris Divers Sixty-Five (ref. 01 733 7707 4055-07 8 20 18)

Oris is another cult favorite among enthusiasts and collectors and is actually one of the few independent brands left in the Swiss watch market. Whereas the Aquis is perhaps the best first luxury watch for most people, the Diver Sixty-Five is a retro-inspired diver designed and built to modern standards. 

The contemporary features continue with a wearable 40mm design but also have an old-timey domed sapphire crystal. Behind said crystal, you’ll find a simple and legible dial with yellowish hour markers and hands. A rotating dive bezel and screw-down crown solidify the dive capabilities. 

The Sixty-Five is a true enthusiast’s watch. Retro style, a modern Oris 733 caliber which is based on the SW 200-1, and you have a timepiece that’ll make you smile every time you check the time. Available in various dial configurations and priced at a reasonable $2,400. 

6. Seiko Prospex Diver SLA017J1

Seiko Prospex Diver SLA017J1

Seiko is known for producing some of the most legendary dive watches of all time but also some of the best value-for-money ones as well. From the SKX to this limited-edition ref. SLA017J1, a modern re-interpretation of the famous Seiko ref. 6217 diver produced in 1965. 

The ref. 6217 was actually the first dive watch Seiko ever created, so the ref. SLA017J1 has a lot to live up to. The watch features a lot of structural and technological upgrades from the original, obviously. For starters, the 39.99mm case features a better coating compared to the vintage model to improve durability and finishing. 

The diver gains an extra 50m of water resistance totaling 200m, even though we know Seikos survive way past their listed rating. Within the case beats the high-grade caliber 8L35 equipped with a 60-hour power reserve. 

The black dial has a no-nonsense approach to diving which means high legibility along with plenty of lume – even the date aperture lacks the Cyclops we see in many other divers to stay true to the original. 

7. Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto (ref. H82335131)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto (ref. H82335131)

Hamilton is known as the first place you go if you’d like a value-for-money tool or military spec watch made to Swiss watch standards. The Khaki is one of the watches the brand is known best for, and while the Navy Scuba perhaps doesn’t garner as much attention as the rest of the lineup, it’s still a great option. 

Measuring 40mm in width and a quite thin profile of 12.95mm the timepiece has a very wearable profile. The black dial features a 24-hour dial to improve legibility and utility, and this effect is doubled down with a red top on the seconds hand. The nice thing about the Navy Scuba is that it comes in all different dial and bezel configurations, including but not limited to all black, all blue, and a combination of blue and white. 

Within the brushed steel case beats the caliber H-10 with a robust 80-hour power reserve. Priced appropriately at CHF 795, the Scuba offers a great entry-level watch for those looking to get into either the Swiss market or the massive world of dive watches. 

8. Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 600

Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 600

Christopher Ward is a British watchmaker that has made waves in the industry, especially in the tool and dive watch segments. The Trident has been the classic dive watch they offer, and this Mark 3 edition combines everything CW has learned over the years to produce a more robust yet usable tool. 

The 40mm light-catcher™ case, and more aggressive bevels compared to the Mk 1 and 2, give the timepiece immense dimension and appeal when considering the price south of $1000. Another upgrade featured on the Mk 3 was the addition of full lume on the ceramic bezel adding to the utility of the dive watch. 

The Trident Pro 600 offers, surprise, a rather impressive 600m water resistance rating, something we don’t typically see at this price point. The movement within is a third-party movement, the Sellita SW200-1, a Swiss automatic movement equipped with a 38-hour power reserve. 

9. Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Compression (ref. ZO9287)

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Compression (ref. ZO9287)

Zodiac finds its watchmaking origin in 1882, but the original Sea Wolf only started production in 1953. The original was somewhat of a legend but measured merely 34mm in size, a lot smaller than what modern tastes prefer. The modern Sea Wolf was introduced only in 2015, and the ref. ZO9287 presented here stays incredibly true to the original philosophy. 

The size has been increased to 40mm to improve water resistance and fit contemporary tastes, the former being 200m. The dial and bezel color combination creates a beautiful yet subtle contrast, from a light blue dive bezel to a deep blue dial. 

The dial features large square hour markers matched with a similar design language used on the hands, and the minute hand having a similar color to the bezel creates a nice touch. Legibility is boosted with the exceptional use of C3 Super Luminova. The movement within is the STP (Swiss Technology Production) 3-13, a movement based on the ETA 2824-2 and features a reliable 44-hour power reserve. 

10. Monta Oceanking

Monta Oceanking

Monta is not a brand you hear about every day, but the Oceanking is certainly here to make a case for itself. It presents itself as a rather precise dive watch. Despite being a 40mm diver, the 49mm lug-to-lug makes it wear more like a 42mm watch. 

Behind the sapphire crystal lies the glossy black dial with a crisp white test. The “OCEANKING” scripture is finished in red, creating a nice sporty pop of color. On closer inspection, you can see that each hour marker the extra bits of detail, like how each is beveled at its tip as it meets the dial, and each is filled with a considerable amount of lume. 

This is matched with the sword hands that feature a similar finish and attention to detail, like the seconds hand that features a spear tip – something you don’t see much of. The 60-minute track dive bezel has a glossy black finish and is equipped with a 60-click system; in fact, Monta has a patent on their bezel mechanism.

11. Bremont S300 Kaimu

Bremont S300 Kaimu

Bremont is a British watch company that has been at the forefront of bringing British watchmaking back to the heights it used to be. Their weapon of choice seems to revolve around tool and military-inspired watches. Where some divers have a no-nonsense approach to utility only, the Kaimu presents itself with a rather interesting story as well as matching aesthetics. 

The name Kaimu refers to Kaimu Beach in Hawaii, a beach that is unlike the norm. In early June 1990, the Kilauea volcano erupted and covered a lot of the island and beach areas with a deep black Basaltic lava. This color scheme was used on the S300 Kaimu dial and bezel. 

The inner dial is raised and features a matte-applied tapestry finish. The outer dial is actually metal and has rose gold plated applied indexes. The rehaut also has a pop of gold for added contrast displaying the minute track. Rose gold plated hands filled with Super-LumiNova complete the overall philosophy of this dive watch, having some class to go with the utility. 

A ceramic insert on the bezel, a screw-down crown allowing for 300m of water resistance, and an elegantly finished three-link bracelet. What more could you want? 

12. Seiko Prospex SPB143

Seiko Prospex SPB143

From a diver that’s quite focused on aesthetics to one that is solely focused on utility, we have another Seiko Prospex, this time the ref. SPB143. Priced at $1,200, this Prospex offers great value due to its simple yet durable design. The 40.5mm brushed steel case features a ‘super hard coating’ to resist bumps and scratches when you’re in the deep. 

The screw-down crown might allow for 200m of water resistance but does not have crown guards, which does create a vintage-like silhouette. Both the dial and the unidirectional dive bezel are finished in black, the bezel being slightly darker. The grey-black dial has one function, and that is certainly legibility.

Large hour markers are filled with copious amounts of LumiBrite (luminescence), and the date aperture does not feature a cyclops, doubling down on the watch’s vintage theme. The movement within is the caliber 6R35, a workhorse automatic movement in the Seiko catalog. With a power reserve of 70 hours, what more could you ask for from a daily driver?

13. Dan Henry 1970

Dan Henry 1970

Dan Henry is a new company on the block eager to make vintage-inspired watches made to appeal to real enthusiasts. Take this 1970 automatic diver, for instance. Only a few companies still make a compressor-style diver, and Dan Henry hit it out of the park with this one. 

Unlike any of the other watches mentioned, the bezel on the 1970 is actually on the inside of the sapphire case and can be turned using the auxiliary crown located at the 2 o’clock position. The lower crown will be used to adjust the time. A design feature commonly used in the early days of dive watches but has given way to the ‘external’ bezel we see so often today. 

The 1970 comes in various configurations ranging from black and orange to white or even light blue. All of these can either come as a ‘date’ or ‘no date’ powered by the Seiko Caliber NH35, a self-winding movement with a 41-hour power reserve. 

Overall, the design of the 1970 is a good combination of fun and utility. The use of colors for both aesthetic and legibility purposes is done brilliantly; it’s only a shame they were limited to only 1970 pieces. 

14. Helm Komodo 03AR3 

From a watch that can almost be seen as fun to one with a much more serious approach. The Helm Komodo is named after the Komodo island, which is where the Komodo dragon resides, and boy, does this watch have a lot in common with them. 

The ISO 6425 compliant Komodo is built from steel and features a thick and large unidirectional bezel. This makes the watch’s dial a lot smaller, which could make reading the time underwater a lot easier, especially when you consider the not-so-subtle use of red on the hands.

The robust 40mm case is 15.5mm thick, which contributes to the 300m water resistance rating.  At full weight, the watch is also a hefty 215 grams, which is quite heavy considering its size. This is partly thanks to the stainless steel bezel and single-link bracelet.

However, with a standard 20mm lug width, you have a lot of freedom to exchange the bracelet for any rubber strap before your next dive. Powering this rugged diver is the tried and tested Seiko caliber NH35. It features hacking and manual winding capabilities and is equipped with a 40-hour power reserve. 

15. Zelos Swordfish 40mm Ti Salmo

Zelos Swordfish 40mm Ti Salmo

Salmon dials are quite hot right now, with various higher horology brands using the color in everything from integrated sports watches to perpetual calendars. But what if you only had $429 to spend on your diver? Well, the Zelos Swordfish Ti Salmon appears to be a great option.

The ‘salmon sunburst’ dial is laid out with legibility in mind and features large hour markers filled with luminescence and equally robust and luminous hands. You’ll find a 120-click bezel with a ceramic insert on a titanium case and bracelet. Within the 40mm case beats the Seiko caliber NH35 with a power reserve of 40 hours.

The Swordfish also offers 200m of water resistance, which is certainly not the most on this list but still enough for 99.9% of the planet. With a price that low, it’s hard to beat this automatic titanium diver that has a ceramic bezel and a dial color you don’t see all that often. 


There is probably a diver for each and every person on the planet; if you look hard enough, of course. For most people, a 40mm would be the perfect fit. Divers are supposed to be a bit bulkier, to carry some heft, to have an “I’m here to do my job” attitude. That said, you needn’t go for a 50mm monster anymore, as any of the divers on this list can do their job and then some.

Some of them even have some style and precious metals to go along with the utility. It’s a nice touch. It makes you feel special, whether you’re 100 feet under or merely desk-diving on a Monday morning. Damn, I have a meeting in five. I could probably use my bezel to time how long it’ll take… 

Best hand-wound watches

The idea of hand-winding your watch is even more romantic than that of an automatic watch. You’re breathing life into an inanimate object and then depending on it to keep you on time. In modern times you mostly see these types of movements in dress watches, as tool and sports watches have all migrated to automatic movements. 

That said, there are still a few gems on the market for you to buy in 2023. Some are from higher horology brands, whereas others could be the perfect first watch for you to invest in. Whatever the case may be, if the movement inside is a hand-wound movement, you’re bound to have a great relationship with your timepiece. 

About Hand-Wound Watches

As the name would suggest, these watches are not powered by a self-winding movement or a quartz system but rather with hand-winding. Both automatic and hand-wound watches are mechanical watches; however, they are vastly different from one another. 

The biggest difference between the two comes from (unsurprisingly) where the power originates from. Self-winding movements have a rotor attached that spins as you move. This kinetic energy is then converted into potential energy as the rotor winds up the mainspring. 

Unlike a self-winding movement, a manual-wound movement does not need a rotor. The winding will come from the wearer turning the crown of the watch, turning that energy into the potential energy stored in the mainspring. 

We mentioned that you mostly see hand-winding movements within dress watches, and there’s a very good reason for that. Because these movements lack the rotor, they tend to be thinner, which is desirable in a dress watch meant to slip under the cuff of a shirt or jacket. A rotor is also weighted, making the timepiece more cumbersome – again, not incredibly ‘dressy’. 

The drawback of a hand-winding movement is that you need to wind it. For some, this is a selling point, and for others, this is a red flag. Depending on the watch’s inner workings and the power reserve, you might be winding that crown for a while. Again, some find this tedious, while others enjoy it. It also has to be mentioned that shoddy quality around the seal of the crown could wear over time in a hand-wound watch. 

History of Hand-Wound Watches

Until the quartz revolution of the 1970s, all watches were mechanical. Mechanical watches are powered by the mainspring, as mentioned. 

It’s not 100% clear which watch was the ‘first’ wristwatch, but most believe it was made by Patek Philippe for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary in 1868. Others believe the first wristwatch was made by Abraham-Louis Breguet for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, in 1810.

But even way before this, men wore pocket watches, and prior to this, the only portable timekeeping devices were clock-watches. The name may sound like an odd combination of two different words because it is. 

Developed in the 16th century in the German cities of Nuremberg and Augsburg, these devices were worn on the body or around the neck rather than on the wrist. They only had an hour indication and didn’t even feature a glass but rather a brass cover (usually). Even though these devices were manually wound twice a day, they were incredibly inaccurate; some were hours off each day. 

Pocket watches took over soon after, and eventually, wristwatches replaced them, mostly worn by women because men still had pocket watches. In World War I, this changed as soldiers wore wristwatches for added maneuverability and ease of use. 

The first self-winding movement was made in 1923 by John Harwood, and eventually, self-winding movements replaced manually-wound movements. That said, manual movements are still found in various watches today, as you’ll see on the following list. 

The 15 Best Hand-Wound Watches You Can Buy in 2023

1. Timex Marlin Hand-Wound (ref. TW2R47900)

Timex Marlin Hand-Wound (ref. TW2R47900)

Many revere this watch to be one of the best entry-level watches on the market. The Marlin is a watch that is completely at ease with itself; humble, if you will. The Marlin is actually a reissue of the brand’s 1960s Marlin. A true dress piece through and through, it features only three hands with an uncomplicated dial. 

The 34mm case will certainly please those with smaller wrists, and a domed glass lens offers a bit of uniqueness for the price point and a subtle throwback to the 60s design language. Behind the highly legible silver dial is the manual wound movement (not specified by Timex), but has a 40-hour power reserve. 

2. Seagull 1963 Hand Wind Mechanical Chronograph (ref. 6345G-2901)

Seagull 1963 Hand Wind Mechanical Chronograph (ref. 6345G-2901)

Finding a mechanical chronograph will lead you to learn that this complication comes at a price. Seagull, a Chinese watch brand, aims to correct that notion. Powered by the hand-wound No. ST21 mechanical, the Seagull is (perhaps) the most cost-effective way of getting your hands on a mechanical chronograph. 

The cream dial is matched with blue and red hands and an olive green NATO strap to create a vintage allure to the watch. The value of this timepiece is elevated even more when you notice the exhibition case back. The only downside is that servicing this timepiece might actually be more expensive than just replacing it. 

3. Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical (ref. H69439931)

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical (ref. H69439931)

Hamilton is the entry-level Swiss company, especially if your taste veers towards field and pilot watches. The Khaki Field Mechanical is a giant in their lineup and comes in numerous editions and versions. 

The ref. H69439931 is a modestly priced 38mm steel field watch matched with a khaki NATO strap and a brushed finish. Taking inspiration from the original 1960s model, the Khaki Field features a ‘Type B’ dial used by pilots in WWI and WWII. This dial configuration comes in three colors, white, black, and dark brown. 

The Hamilton caliber H-50 is based on the ETA 2801-2 and is equipped with an 80-hour power reserve. The Khaki Field is loved by many, and you’ll often see it sharing a watchcase with big hitters like Pateks and Rolexes. 

4. Junghans Max Bill Hand-Wound (ref. 27/3702.02)

Junghans Max Bill Hand-Wound (ref. 27/3702.02)

If you google ‘Bauhaus Design’, you are greeted with perhaps the perfect description of Junghans’s design language, “Abstract, angular, and geometric, with little ornamentation”. Based in Germany, Junghans takes this popular design and makes it their own. 

The Max Bill is a 34mm dress watch that only measures 9mm in height, most of which comes from the domed crystal. The polished black dial features a minute track and hands that are covered with an environmentally friendly luminous substance.  

To keep costs down, the Junghans caliber J805.1 is based on the hand-wound ETA 2801-2 and is equipped with a 42-hour power reserve. Overall, the Max Bill is a classic design but still different enough to make you smile whenever you look at your wrist. 

5. NOMOS Club Campus 38 Night (ref. 736)

NOMOS Club Campus 38 Night (ref. 736)

Sticking with both Germany and the Bauhaus design, we have the NOMOS Club Campus 38. The first thing you notice about the timepiece is the California dial with Arabic numerals on top and Roman numerals at the 4 and 8 o’clock positions. 

The Campus line was initially introduced for a younger wearer with quirky design features combined with a sporty feel at a reasonable price. This everyday option from NOMOS is perfectly sized at 38.5mm in diameter and measures 8.5mm in height. The utility is emphasized by adding a 100m water resistance rating, something rare for a watch this thin. 

The small seconds hand offers a pop of color in contrast to the all-black dial, while the hour markers and rhodium-plated hands are all filled with luminous material – in fact, it’s one of the most legible dials for the price point when the room goes dark. The movement powering the watch is the NOMOS Alpha Manual and features a 43-hour power reserve. 

6. Longines Watch Heritage Military 1938 Limited Edition (ref.  L2.826.4.53.2)

Longines Watch Heritage Military 1938 Limited Edition (ref.  L2.826.4.53.2)

The Longines logo is the oldest logo in the watch industry, which hints at some of the watches they produce. Their ‘Heritage’ range is a must-have for those that like a vintage look combined with modern technology. The Military 1983 Limited Edition was limited to only 1983 pieces that pay tribute to the watchmaking spirit of Longines. 

The highly legible matte black dial features large Arabic numeral hour markers along with a small seconds sub-register located at the 6 o’clock position, a railway track chapter ring, and a thinner onion crown. The vintage aesthetic of the dial is purposely designed to look identical to the original 1983, hence the ‘aged’ lume. 

The Longines caliber L507.2 is their adaptation of the ETA 6498-1 (or ETA Unitas) hand-winding movement that features a 46-hour power reserve. 

7. Oris Pro Pilot X Calibre 115 (ref. 01 115 7759 7153-Set7 22 01TLC)

Oris Pro Pilot X Calibre 115 (ref. 01 115 7759 7153-Set7 22 01TLC)

Oris is one of the last independent Swiss watchmakers, and it shows in their ability to be daring in design but also to listen to their fans. Branching away from the brilliant Oris Aquis, we have the Pro Pilot X Calibre, a titanium equipped with a fully skeletonized in-house movement – the Caiber 115. 

While the design of this watch is undoubtedly something special, so is the beating heart within. A massive 10-day power reserve (240 hours) comes courtesy of the hand-wound movement; in fact, you can see the mainspring positioned perfectly at the 12 o’clock position. 

The visually striking dial is matched with a gorgeous integrated bracelet and knurled bezel, the latter of which is meant to evoke the turbine blades of a jet engine.

8. Omega De Ville Trésor Master Chronometer Small Seconds (ref. 435.

Omega De Ville Trésor Master Chronometer Small Seconds (ref. 435.

Omega is known for its sport and dive models, but its De Ville range has been the centerpiece of its dress range for decades. The 40mm polished steel case is matched with a striking blue domed dial that features a small seconds sub-register at the 6 o’clock position. Timekeeping duties are dealt with by 18K white gold hands and domed indexes. 

Ticking within the Trésor is the Omega Caliber 8926. As with most modern Omega movements, it is refined and brimming with technology. Turn the case to reveal the emblematic Geneva waves, but beauty is matched with COSC specification as well as a Master Chronometer Certification. The 72-hour power reserve is matched with resistance to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. 

This particular model does come in different variations. A steel case, white dial, and a diamond set bezel. A yellow gold version featuring a green dial and the Omega caliber 8927. A Sedna™ gold red dial variation that also features the Omega caliber 8927. And lastly, a grey dial steel version with the Omega caliber 8926. 

9. Grand Seiko Elegance SBGK007

Grand Seiko Elegance SBGK007

Grand Seiko is much more than the luxury segment of the most famous Japanese watch brand, Seiko. They are known for combining exemplary finishing methods with similar attention to detail with their movements – the ref. SBGK007 is no different but with an under-the-radar or stealth-wealth personality. 

The clean white dial is a rather simple design with two sub-registers, a power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock, and a small seconds at 9 o’clock. The dial actually features slopes toward the edges meant to amplify the 11.6mm thinness of the case. 

As always with Grand Seiko, the movement within is something special. The manually wound caliber 9S63 is equipped with a 3-day power reserve but is also rated at +5 to -3 seconds per day for accuracy. This might be one of the entry-level options from Grand Seiko, but it’s certainly a ‘sleeper’ if you will. 

10. Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate Manual-Wind Watch (ref. 6606 1127 55B)

Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate Manual-Wind Watch (ref. 6606 1127 55B)

Blancpain is the oldest surviving watchmaking brand and has a devoted following. Best known for its dive watches but the Ultraplate takes a far more dressy approach. It’s part of the ‘Villeret’ line, which is ‘the most classic collection’ from Blancpain. 

An ultra-slim case of merely 8.55mm is matched with a striking white dial and silver hands, and Roman numeral hour markers. The manual caliber 11C5 features a pretty impressive 100-hour power reserve and not only powers the hour and minute hands but also displays small seconds as well as a power reserve. 

There are various variations available in this model line, but this particular reference is the true embodiment of a timeless dress watch. 

11. Glashütte Original PanoReserve (ref. 1-65-01-26-12-61)

Glashütte Original PanoReserve (ref. 1-65-01-26-12-61)

Glashütte Original or GO is widely respected in the horology world, especially by those fond of Germany’s approach to watch design. The galvanic blue dial features three separate complications thanks to the caliber 65-01. 

The dial features a panoramic date window, a power reserve, small seconds dial, and, of course, a time display. The sub-registers feature a vinyl-type finish and, when combined with a combination of hour batons and numeral markers, create visual interest and a sense of contrast.

The 40mm polished steel case is certainly sized for contemporary tastes and is matched with a blue Louisiana Alligator leather strap. Turn the case over to reveal the aforementioned caliber featuring typical GO finishes like the three-quarter plate with a striped finish. You will also find the double swan-neck fine adjustment, which is synonymous with the brand. 

12. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duoface (ref. Q3958420)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duoface (ref. Q3958420)

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is one of the most well-known and loved watches in the industry. The Duoface ref. Q3958420 ventures away from the sporty origin of the Reverso and exudes a luxurious appeal. 

The grained outer dial is contrasted with a smooth inner dial and features alpha hands and a night-day indicator. But as the name hints at, reversing or ‘flipping’ the case reveals a second dial. This white dial is beautifully contrasted with blue hour markers and hands. At the 6 o’clock position, you’ll find a radial date function surrounding a moonphase indicator. 

No one does Art Deco quite like JLC does. But, they are also known as ‘the watchmaker’s watchmaker’ because JLC has made movements for various heavy hitters like Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, Panerai, and IWC. The movement within the Duoface is the manual caliber 853/A introduced in 2016 and features a 42-hour power reserve. 

13. Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton (ref. 103126)

 Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton (ref. 103126)

Bulgari is known as a Swiss watch company with Italian design inspiration. The Octo Finissimo is widely known as one of the thinnest automatic watches you can get your hands on. Originally launched in 2012, the Octo Finissimo line has become the centerpiece of the Bulgari catalog. 

This particular model is not only extremely thin at 5.50mm but is completely finished in ceramic, a case material that is unbelievably hard to produce but does offer immense resistance to scratches. While the ceramic case and bracelet might be intriguing, your attention is immediately drawn to the skeletonized dial. 

Certainly not made for legibility but rather for aesthetics. The caliber BVL 128SK is on display with an expert brush finish and is based on the Bulgari BVL 128. The manual in-house caliber is extra thin (2.35mm) and features a 65-hour power reserve. 

14. H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Small Seconds Purity

H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Small Seconds Purity

H. Moser & Cie is perhaps not the most-known watch company on the planet but certainly deserves recognition. Their minimalist approach to design is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but their attention to detail is certainly admirable.

The Venturer Small Seconds Purity was presented at SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) in two variations, a blue fumé dial white gold version, and the version referenced here, a red gold with a smokey fumé dial. 

The dial is actually domed and is matched with a thin bezel, allowing for a massive dial profile. With the fumé effect and the crystal, it creates a mirror-like finish, something you won’t see every day. The only other features on the dial are gold hour markers at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions and a recessed sub-register.

The movement within is the Moser caliber HMC 327, a hand-wound movement equipped with a 72-hour power reserve. In fact, the movement is visible through the sapphire caseback, finished with stripes on the plates and bridges, and features a power reserve indicator above the balance wheel.   

15. Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes De Vache 1955 (ref. 5000H/000A-B582)

Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes De Vache 1955 (ref. 5000H000A-B582)

Known as the ‘underdog’ of the Swiss Holy Trinity, Vacheron Constantin is known for legendary timepieces like the 222 and the Overseas. The model presented here is certainly not a sports model but does feature a sporty feature, a chronograph function. 

As the name suggests, this watch pays tribute to another and is based on reference 6087 from 1955; the ‘cow horn’ lugs are a direct inspiration from the ref. 6087. The chronograph function is amplified with the addition of a painted tachymeter scale, allowing the wearer to measure the speed of an object.

The dial is actually finished in a combination of Copper and Zinc, allowing for a striking ‘grey velvet-finished opaline’ color. The blued steel chronograph hand offers great contrast and a burst of color. 

Flip the 38.5mm polished steel case to reveal the beautifully finished caliber 1142, which is based on the hand-wound Lemania 2310 and is finished with the Côtes de Genève as well as the Geneva seal. 


While the hand-winding movement is perhaps not what everyone prefers, there is still a romantic aspect when you imagine ‘breathing life’ into an intimate object. These are usually only found within dress watches, but as this list proved with the Seagull and Hamilton, they can also be found in sporty and field watches. 

If you prefer to be even more connected with your timepiece, then you may be on the market for a manually wound watch. Just make sure to remove the watch from your wrist before you start winding; the angle might be bad for the crown… 

15 watches with power reserve indicator

The romantic gesture of an automatic watch is just that; a romantic idea that you and the machine are one, reliant on the other. Unfortunately, unlike your motor vehicle or favorite appliance, you’re not really able to tell how much life is left within the movement.

That is unless you have a Power Reserve Indicator. Some find this complication essential as it tells the wearer just how much life is left, whereas others feel this is a tad polarizing. Unnecessary, and all it does is spoil the lines of the design.

The reality is this used to be an essential part of a working man’s pocket watch, and unsurprisingly the complication has stood the test of time. Let’s look at the 15 Best Watches with a Power Reserve Indicator.

About the Power Reserve Indicator

You’ll often see that watches or calibers have a listed “power reserve”, such as the Seiko caliber NH36 which has a power reserve of 41 hours, or the IWC Portugieser Annual Calendar Limited Edition IW5035-10 which has a 7-day power reserve. 

Remember, unlike a quartz watch, an automatic movement works with the power built up by the rotor (or by the manually wound crown). This energy is then stored or coiled into the mainspring and slowly released to make the watch work. 

It is often explained in relation to the little cars we played with as kids. You pull them back to wind them up and release them, and they shoot forward as the energy is released. A watch is meant to keep time, so, the energy release isn’t as aggressive as the little car.

Though, given the option, I’m sure any 4-year-old would prefer a bright red sports car over an A. Lange & Söhne. A power reserve is a display on the dial that relays to the wearer how much power reserve is left in the movement at any given time.

Originally used in the marine and railroad sectors (on pocket watches), the Swiss-French watch company Breguet created the first wristwatch with this complication, but it was merely a prototype. The first brand to offer this technology to the general public was Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1948 (obviously), with a line of watches called the Powermatic. 

What Is The Purpose of a Power Reserve Indicator in Watches?

Simply put, to tell you how much power is left! This might seem like a simple answer, but it goes a little bit deeper than that. Watches were originally worn as tools. These were tools humanity wore on our greatest missions and adventures, and they had to work. 

The Speedmaster helped put man on the moon, the Deepsea helped numerous divers, and the G-Shock has been used by more military personnel than you, or I could possibly fathom. These timepieces need to work, and part of that means it needs to have power… 

Having an idea of how much power is left can help you in many tight spaces or places. If you’re diving and your watch is about to run out of power but need it to time your dive, you best get out quickly. If you’re timing intervals as an engineer and suddenly lose your timing tool, your measurements afterward won’t be worth much. 

15 Best Watches With Power Reserve Indicators

Patek Philippe Nautilus Moon Phase (ref. 5712/1A)

Patek Philippe Nautilus Moon Phase (ref. 5712/1A)

The first Nautilus was launched in 1976 with the ref. 3700, and has since become one of the most sought-after watches on the planet. The ref. 5712 was launched in 2006 and elevates the steel Nautilus by integrating several popular complications, a moon phase, radial date, and a power reserve. 

The 40mm steel case houses the caliber 240 PS IRM C LU, which is equipped with a 48-hour power reserve. If you turn the watch, this movement presents itself thanks to a sapphire caseback, allowing you to view the Cotes de Geneve across the bridges and the 22K gold micro-rotor.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time Power Reserve (ref. 26120ST.OO.1220ST.01)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Dual Time Power Reserve (ref. 26120ST.OO.1220ST.01)

The original Royal Oak was designed by the legend Gerald Genta, who also designed the Nautilus, IWC Ingenieur, and various other big hitters. This Royal Oak features the same angular shape and integrated bracelet. The white tapisserie dial features various complications, such as a radial date, a second time zone with day and night indication at 6 o’clock, and a power reserve indication at 9 o’clock.

Despite the high complications, the watch remains incredibly wearable with a 39mm case. This case houses the caliber 2329/2846, which has a power reserve of 38 hours. This particular reference was discontinued in 2015. 

Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Day Date (ref. 4400E/000A-B437)

Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Day Date (ref. 4400E/000A-B437)

Completing the Holy Trinity, we have the Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Day Date, which honors the original model from 1956. A timeless case design matched with a silver dial featuring subdials that are finished with concentric circles. 

The polished 40mm case is matched with a leather strap to make a particularly useful dress watch. Complications include a day-date function and the power reserve indicator, which shows how much of the 40-hour power reserve the caliber 2475 SC/2 has. 

A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Up/Down (ref. 234.026)

A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Up/Down (ref. 234.026)

Perhaps one of the most iconic design languages belongs to A. Lange & Söhne as presented with the 1815 Up/Down. Finished in 18K white gold, the 39mm case has a thickness of merely 8.7mm, meaning it can slide under any cuff. 

As far as complications go, this reference may not be as inspiring as other models in the range. But, the watch still features the quintessential blued hands, Arabic numerals, and an exceptional hand-wound movement.

Caliber L051.2 offers the wearer a 72-hour power reserve which they can track courtesy of Patent No. 9349. This patent was granted to A. Lange & Söhne on 18 May 1879, allowing the Maison to indicate the power reserve on their pocket watches. 

Omega De Ville Trésor (ref. 435.

Omega De Ville Trésor (ref. 435.

Omega is certainly known for its sports models, but they have an extremely well-executed dress range as well, such as the De Ville Trésor. A thin and elegant rose gold case (or SednaTM Gold) is matched with a blue dial and blue strap. 

The dial is relatively simple, focusing on a clean aesthetic. You’ll find a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock, indicating the power left in the Co-Axial Master Chronometer caliber 8935. This movement is equipped with a 72-hour power reserve. 

Grand Seiko “Snowflake” SBGA211

Grand Seiko “Snowflake” SBGA211

Grand Seiko is known both for exquisite finishing as well as some impressive technological advancements—the ref. SBGA211 or otherwise known as the ‘Snowflake’ embodies this duality perfectly. Released in 2017, the 41mm case is constructed from Grand Seiko’s “high intensity” titanium, an alloy stronger but significantly lighter than stainless steel.

The finish on the case is something to behold, a high gloss with Grand Seiko’s Zaratsu polishing method done by hand. The razor hands are powered by the Spring Drive Caliber 9R65, which also indicates its power reserve on the dial. Of course, this complication is also an aesthetic event and features guilloche patterns. 

Glashütte Original PanoReserve (ref. 1-65-01-26-12-61)

Glashütte Original PanoReserve (ref. 1-65-01-26-12-61)

Glashütte Original is a German watch company based in Glashütte – obviously. Their design language is in line with other Germanic brands and makes itself known with the PanoReserve. A 40mm polished and satin-brushed stainless steel case is matched with an asymmetrical galvanic deep blue dial. 

The dial features various sub-registers and complications, such as a time indicator, small seconds, power reserve, and a large date function. When the 42 hours of power reserve is fully loaded, the power reserve indicator will display “AUF”, which means up in German. Conversely, if your watch is running low on energy, it will display “AB”, which means down. 

Turning the case over reveals the caliber 65-01, which is expertly finished as you would expect from one of the leading Germanic manufacturers. A nice touch to the movement’s finish is the addition of blued screws, truly combining utility with art. 

Breguet Classique 5277 (ref. 5277BR/12/9V6)

Breguet Classique 5277 (ref. 5277BR/12/9V6)

Despite what the second-hand market would make you believe, Breguet is one of the most important and definitive watchmakers on the planet. The Classique 5277 lives up to this moniker by combining extraordinary finishing with technological prowess. 

A 38mm rose gold case houses the caliber 515DR, a hand-wound movement with a staggering 96-hour power reserve. On the silvered gold dial, you’ll find hand finishing matched with their namesake blued Breguet hands. The watch is also offered in a white gold case, but the rose gold gives you a greater contrast. 

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Power Reserve 5 Days (ref. 405.NX.0137.LR)

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Power Reserve 5 Days (ref. 405.NX.0137.LR)

Hublot is known for its avant-garde design paired with some of the most precious metals you can come by. Paired with a black leather strap, the polished and satin-finished titanium case offers extremely great contrast.

Even though the size is a hefty 45mm, thanks to the lightweight titanium the watch feels quite versatile on the wrist. But, of course, the main attraction is the dial with the tourbillon, a feature that essentially plays no role in a wristwatch other than being eye candy.

And when in the familiar case of the Big Bang, it’s quite the attraction. Behind the skeletonized dial beats the caliber HUB6016, a manually wound movement with a staggering 115 hours of power, which you can track thanks to the addition of a power reserve function on the dial. 

Blancpain Ultraplate (ref. 6606A 1127 55B)

Blancpain Ultraplate (ref. 6606A 1127 55B)

Blancpain is the world’s oldest watch company, founded in 1735. They are known for relying heavily on their heritage diving models as they used to be up there with Submariners and Superoceans. The Ultraplate referenced here is not a dive watch but a dress piece with an elegant feel matched with a sleek dial.

The timepiece forms part of their ‘Villeret collection’, which is based on tradition and prime aesthetics. The 40mm steel case measures only 8.55mm in thickness, making it perfect for any dress cuff. The ultrathin watch houses the caliber 11C5.4, a hand-winding movement displaying a small seconds hand as well as a power reserve, which is rated at 72 hours. 

Longines Master Collection Power Reserve (ref. L2.908.4.92.6)

Longines Master Collection Power Reserve (ref. L2.908.4.92.6)

Longines is widely known as being one of the best value-for-money Swiss watches you can get your hand on, especially the Master Collection, where Longines displays elegance combined with high complications. The ref. L2.908.4.92.6 does just that, as it presents itself as a slightly more dressy daily watch. 

The 40mm case can be fitted with a steel bracelet or a leather strap and can come with a ‘Sunray Blue’ or ‘Silver “barleycorn”’ dial. The latter of which is matched with blued steel hands creating a beautiful contrast.

At the 6 o’clock position sits the power reserve indicator, and a date aperture is located at the 3 o’clock position. Internally, the watch is powered by the caliber L602 based on the ETA 2892. This self-winding movement is equipped with a 42-hour power reserve.

Seiko Presage Cocktail Time “Sky Diving” SSA343J1

Seiko Presage Cocktail Time "Sky Diving" SSA343J1

The Presage line is the dress watch line from the popular Seiko brand. Based in Japan, Seiko is more known for its sports and dive models; however, these dress watches have proven to be quite versatile. 

The ‘Sky Diving’ is the light blue version in the Presage line and offers a dial finish you will not get anywhere else at this price point. The 40.5mm case is matched with a leather strap and houses the caliber 4R57.

This caliber is automatic but has hand-winding abilities and a power reserve rated at 41 hours. The power reserve is indicated in a rather unique way that has not been seen on this list so far.

It is located within the hour markers, and the hand stems from the center, where the hour and minute hands also stem. This unique attribute perfectly fits the watch’s overall aesthetic and is a welcome change to regular power reserve indicators.

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111 (ref. 01 111 7711 4163-Set 1 22 72FC)

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111 (ref. 01 111 7711 4163-Set 1 22 72FC)

Oris is one of the last independent Swiss watch companies today and is certainly not afraid to push the envelope of design and technology. The Big Crown line has been a mainstay for the last couple of years, and with the introduction of the caliber 111, the watch has been elevated to a new status.

The 44mm case features various other pilot watch characteristics, such as a highly legible dial, a large crown (as the name suggests), and various complications. The anthracite dial features a small seconds sub-register and a date aperture at 9 o’clock, something you don’t see every day. 

On the 3 o’clock position sits the power reserve indicator, which displays how much of the 10-day power reserve is left. If 10 days sound like a lot, that’s because it is. The movement features various technical anomalies, like a 1.8m (5′ 11″) mainspring, to allow for the extended power reserve. 

IWC Portuguese Automatic 7 Day Reserve (ref. IW500710)

IWC Portuguese Automatic 7 Day Reserve (ref. IW500710)

The ‘Portuguese’ was originally developed for two Portuguese clients, and throughout its long history, the name has been changed to Portugieser. The Portugieser has remained a mainstay of the dress lineup in the IWC catalog, and this contemporary version is no different. 

The deep blue dial features three complications, a date function at the 6 o’clock position and two subregisters displaying small seconds and the power reserve. At 42.3mm, the watch stays true to being large but not quite as large as the other offerings in the IWC catalog. 

The movement powering the watch is the caliber 52010, which is part of IWC’s 52000 family. First launched in 2015, this is widely known as IWC’s 7-day automatic movements, in reference to the staggering 7-day power reserve. 

Panerai Luminor GMT 10 Days (ref. PAM00986)

Panerai Luminor GMT 10 Days (ref. PAM00986)

To round off the extreme power reserve timepieces, we have the ref. PAM00986, a Luminor Marina, presents a beautiful deep blue dial that contrasts greatly with the classic stainless steel case. Legibility is fantastic, as you might expect from Panerai, with the use of large hands and hour markers, the former of which is filled with luminescent material. 

The 44m Panerai doesn’t just display the power reserve but also features an AM/PM indicator as well as a GMT function. This is all thanks to the caliber P.2003, which, as the name suggests, has a 10-day power reserve. The case also features the trademarked crown bridge guard, which solidifies the tool watch moniker of the watch. 


To some, the power reserve indicator may seem moot in this day and age. But when you think about it, isn’t the idea of an automatic watch a romantic one? If you look at it like that, a power reserve indicator is functional and has a connection to your watch. You can see time pass in more ways than one; now that’s something a smartphone won’t be able to do.

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