Matching Your Watch with Your Summer Clothes

Summer is nearly here! The weather is feeling great, the sky is getting clear and our summer clothes are coming out of the closet as the season approaches. Even though it’s summer, you still have to keep track of time. Here are some tips to help you match your fresh summer fits with your wrist accessory.

Begin With the Belt and Shoes

Yes, there will be times when you go without a belt (say dresses or overall outings). But on most other occasions you should build the belt and watch as one center-based element, conjoined style cousins if you will. You’ll also almost always wear shoes and they should also get early consideration when choosing the day’s watch.  

Start with color basics. Black watch band, black belt, black shoes — it’s a solid trio you can build a lot of fashion around. It’s hard to fail with a classic Casio G-Shock, opting for an all-black GA 100 for a bold adventurous presentation that’s resistant up to 600 feet of water. Or consider strapping on a TAG Heuer skeleton in all-black with visible movement to draw the eye and a silicon band that says you’re ready for summer action. What can you do with all of this black?

Mellow Summer Days in Monochrome

Black is a perfect match for summer monochrome. It’s a simple enough principle and there are a ton of varieties. From a flowing grey summer dress for women to men donning earth-tone linen, black blends seamlessly with monochrome outfits. So combo up with black-and-white pattern pieces, shades of gray in jeans and t-shirts and summer-white ensembles to mix in with your best all-black watch.   

Is khaki just for fall? The deep greens of autumn are for ushering in winter winds and it’s best to keep them for the fall. But lightweight khaki shirts, tailored trousers and light skirts are solid go-to looks in the summer stylebook and go great with a luxury black watch.

Something for Summer Events

A relaxed summer doesn’t mean months of slogging along in flip-flops. There are going to be times when you need impressive dress. But you don’t want to go too stuffy in the warmer months. Equally at home at a formal event or weekend brunch, the Longines Heritage line honors designs from the early 1900s with a classic rounded case and Breguet hands in solid 18 carat rose gold. A rich brown alligator strap and you’re ready for nearly anywhere that feels a fresh summer breeze. Another great dress watch that has equal ease at a food festival is the NOMOS Tangente, with blue hands cutting across a dial of white silver in a round stainless steel case that pairs well on dress straps and sporty nylon. Go from a lightweight grey suit at the office to a casual night in white by the waterfront.  

Matching Your Watch with Your Summer Clothes

When they’re at their best, summer ensembles fall into the “smart casual” and “casual” fashion buckets. That’s everything from a pair of cropped chinos and a short-sleeved shirt to sundresses and to a blazer and shorts if you are bold enough to rock the look. Summer wear often takes us to pilot, racing, dive and field watches.

1: Pilot Watches

Setting yourself up with a pilot watch for summer days can take you to the gorgeous IWC Big Pilot’s Watch, a no-nonsense high-design piece in stainless steel with a black calfskin strap that is easy to pair with most smart-casual outfits. A Zenith Pilot Type 20 GMT has classic charm almost to a fault as it honors the traditional watches aviators first used to guide flights.

2: Racing Watches

Race-inspired watches just call out to hit your wrist on summer outings. Think of a TAG Heuer Formula 1 on a NATO strap that’s perfect for shorts at a garden party or catching a flight to a balmy isle. Or take a throwback tour with Tudor to revisit one of their beloved drivers’ watches. Inspired by a design from the 50s, the Black Bay Automatic Black Dial is also augmented with the iconic snowflake hands from Tudor’s late-60s efforts.

3: Dive Watches

Dive watches are a given when talking about summer watches. If you’re looking for something gorgeous and have the cash to spare, there’s the Breitling Superocean chronometers. Go for a sporty model such as the Superocean Automatic 46 Blacksteel with a DLC-coated case, black dial and rubber strap that looks amazing with nice workout wear. For a dressier look that you can pair with a summer suit or neutral tones on a Friday night, there’s Breitling’s Superocean Automatic with a stainless steel case and steel link bracelet.  

4: Field Watches

Field watches are fun because they often take you into vintage territory. And the good vintage territory that looks amazing with your favorite jeans and not the retro that belongs in a royal parlor. While many lean to military design, the field watch is by no means for men only. The Hamilton Khaki Field Watch is a great example of a sturdy military-style watch that dresses up on a black or brown calfskin strap. With a 38mm case, it’s on the small side and not a bulky piece that’s bound to garner great attention.

The basic black-and-white with stainless steel works well with fashion from suits to jeans. It’s also back to black as we’re talking about the Runwell from Shinola. With a black leather contrast-stitch strap, 47mm case and a black dial under a double curve sapphire crystal, this watch will get noticed. The flagship watch from the Detroit-based watchmakers, the Runwell pairs well with just about anything that basic black complements.

Matching Your Watch with Your Summer Clothes

So consider your collection and think about what you want on your wrist this summer. Will you be taking a dive watch to the beach, a field watch on a nature walk or will a dress piece accompany you to a summer wedding? However you choose, celebrating summer with a fine watch is a privilege to enjoy and cherish as you create new warm-weather memories.

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