Although Switzerland may still be the top watchmaking nation in the world, Japan is not that far behind. The reason for that is that Japanese watches aren’t just good-looking and affordable, but also reliable and exceptionally durable.
The Swiss still make the most luxurious timepieces, whereas the Japanese are on a mission to make the most functional. Leading the pack of Japan’s thriving watch industry includes brands like Seiko, Citizen, Casio, and Orient. These timepieces offered nothing but highly efficient designs, with mechanical or quartz movements and sophisticated features.
And given how massive the Japanese watch industry has become, there are obviously going to be a bevy of watches to choose from. To make things worse, many of these watches come to consumers in an affordably-priced, high-quality build and sport a plethora of convenient features for numerous occasions. This makes choosing a watch even harder.
So, to save you the trouble, we’ve already prepped a list of some of the best Japanese dress watches for you.
Best Japanese Dress Watches
1. Orient Monarch Mechanical Hand Wind Watch
First on our list is this classic piece: Orient’s FDD03002B0 Monarch Watch. This watch would look just as perfect in this era, as it would have 50 years ago. The watch gives an aged aesthetic and looks highly sophisticated with a 40mm diameter case, a crystal, semi-domed case.
The watch dial is black in color and has Arabic numbering. Even the watch hands are antique and consistent with the whole aesthetic of the watch. Inspired by watches of the bygone era, this watch has to be wound by hand since it isn’t automatic.
2. Grand Seiko Elegance SBGKOO7
In 2019, Seiko made it their priority to expand the Elegance collection. And despite the brand always offering dress watches in their line-up, the SBGK was the one that truly made a statement. The real beauty of this watch, however, comes from within, thanks to the new caliber 9S63. This is a mechanical manual and automatic winding movement that promises and delivers incredible accuracy. It has a three-day power reserve and a 3 Hz balance.
The SBGKOO7 is an elegant watch, to say the least. It comes with a silver-white dial, along with an understated sunburst finish. When examined closely, the appearance of the watch is pretty delicate. It comes with a silky tone and quiet luster that can match just about any formal outfit you can think of. It’s also accompanied by a black crocodile leather strap, followed by a three-fold deployment clasp.
Other features include a transparent caseback, as well as a small second hand, allowing this watch to be a true standout.
3. Seiko SNE098 Solar Analog Watch
Another entry in our list of spiffy Japanese dress watches is the Seiko Men’s SNE098 Two-Tone Stainless-Steel silver watch. It’s a highly durable analog watch that comes with a gunmetal grey dial, in both silver and yellow gold tones.
It also features a 38 mm stainless steel case with an unobtrusive low profile and a Hardlex dial window. Besides this, there are also attractive luminescent markers and hands.
What’s especially riveting is its solar-powered feature, allowing it to charge relatively quickly. As a result, the watch will automatically reset to the accurate time reading and comes with a quartz-based movement setup.
And if you haven’t guessed by its appearance, the SNE098 is a heavy watch. But that heavy construction represents the watch’s sturdy build and sleek design.
4. Grand Seiko Heritage SBGH271
The next one is yet again a Grand Seiko watch. The watch has a very luxurious look to it, owing to its deep green dial contrasting its silver body. It is in many ways a reinterpretation of the original G2GS watch.
This Grand Seiko Heritage watch was the first automatic movement by the brand. The bezel-free construction of the watch allowed it to have a wide dial. This watch embodies many of the features of its predecessor, and its aesthetic is not very far off from it either. The watch has a power reserve of a whopping 55 hours and has the 9S85 calibre movement.
The watch functions perfectly well with up to 10 bar pressure. With a screw-down crown, a date display, and 37 jewels, this watch is absolutely worth your money. Seiko delivers on both accuracy and aesthetics with this watch.
5. Orient Bambino 2nd Generation Version 3 Automatic Watch
Being priced at $118, we don’t fault you for thinking that this Orient Bambino’s stunning timepiece is fake. But believe us when we say, that it is very much real and offers a lot more bang for your buck. It comes with Orient’s caliber F6724 automatic movement that is both hand-wound and hacked. When fully wound, the movement comes with a 40-hour power reserve.
Do not be fooled by the minimalist dial as it features big sleek rectangular stainless-steel pieces and minute markers the size of a quarter. Except for a small 3 window, there are no numbers to indicate the time. But this is intentional for users who prefer a simple timepiece without the unnecessary bells and whistles.
The bezel is made of polished stainless steel, giving it that unique “pop” whenever the watch is hit by light.