Every watch makes a statement. Dress watches speak of refinement and style; adventure watches allude to a rugged, outdoors life, while high complication watches suggest an attention to detail and technical understanding that sets you apart. But there are some watches that simply say: here I am – take me as I come. No frills, but no pretention either. You might hear this type of watch referred to as a casual watch. While it’s a fairly broad category that encompasses a range of different watch genres, the term casual watch is best understood to mean a watch that can be worn in a range of situations in everyday life, and that works well with whatever outfit you choose to wear.
A watch might typically described as casual if it has a simple, clean dial design, with reliable rather than remarkable technology underpinning it. But while casual watches might not have the refinement or complex movement technology that might be found in tourbillons, moon phases or many other complicated smarter dress watches, they nonetheless have a relaxed and easy charm of their own. We’ve put together a list of some of the best casual watches for men.
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The ultimate, no frills and no pretention timepiece, complete with simple rubber strap and an old-school on-the-hour beep, the classic Casio has made a comeback of late, and is the watch of choice for everyone from hipsters eschewing the smartphone lifestyle to those needing a simple, robust timepiece for everyday living.
Geckota E-01 sports watch
With its uncomplicated dial design, superior durability and ultra-reliable movement technology, the E-01 is the perfect example of a smart casual watch that is as suited to the office as it is to the beach. The proportions of the watch have been carefully designed to make sure it works in a range of situations, and will fit most wrist sizes. In a similar vein, this watch looks equally good with the hand made Spanish leather watch strap that comes as standard, as with a more casual metal strap. If you need a watch that is stylish, adaptable and robust, yet uncomplicated with it, this would make a great - and affordable - choice.
Just because a watch might be classed as casual, it does not necessarily mean it will be inexpensive. The Rolex Submariner is a great example of a watch that can be worn with a T-shirt and shorts, yet still carries a hefty price tag. The model was first launched in 1953 and became known as the industry leading dive watch of the time. This inevitable led to its huge popularity, and it is still one of the most popular Rolex models. Perhaps it is this ubiquity that has seen it accepted as a casual watch design, though you should be in no doubt: this watch is as impressive today as when it first came onto the market and comes with all the quality craftsmanship and technology you would expect of this long established brand. As far as business casual watches go, this makes for an impressive option as well.
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There is something about dive watches that means they lend themselves to smart casual wear, and this example by Seiko is no different. The simple dial comes with a ‘daily wearer’ metal strap, and it is a model that will suit almost any bar the most formal occasion. The scratch resistant glass makes it all the more robust and suitable for daily wearing, while the touch of colour on the calendar gives it an interesting point of difference.
Geckota G-01 diver’s watch
With its simple dial, rounded case and allusions to the laid back vibes of the 60s, the G-01 is the perfect example of a men’s casual watch that will suit everyday wear. The styling is based on the futuristic, space age designs of the 1960s, which today translates to a warm, relaxed feel, enhanced by the thick, hand made ostrich leather strap. The reliable automatic movement system and the anti reflective coating on the glass give the stylish design a robust feel, so you don’t need to worry about wearing this out and about in all conditions. One of the best casual watches for men in our range, this comes in at an attractive price point as well.
If you are looking for a watch to wear to work that you know looks good, but you don’t have to be too precious about, then business casual watches are a good range to explore. One great example of this is the Commuter model, by Fossil. With its simple dial design and affordable price, it ticks all the boxes in terms of what a casual watch should do. Pair it with a leather strap to elevate the formality levels a little more.
Another model that falls neatly into the business casual category is the Axiom by Citizen. The sleek design looks great with any smart casual attire, and would be equally suited to an informal occasion as to a business meeting. While affordable, the Axiom also runs on some impressive technology, with the Eco movement system meaning that the watch is powered by light – and not just sunlight. Smart and affordable, this watch will also look great with a leather strap.
A different kind of casual
While most watches referred to as casual have a simpler dial design, you could opt to make a dressier watch more casual by adding a different strap. Brown leather straps on a smart model are an effective way to do this, and can help achieve the business casual look.
Or for the ultimate casual appearance, take an expensive model and give it a Nato strap, James Bond style!
We hope this guide has given you an idea of some of the options you have when looking for casual watches for men. In short, you are looking for something that will go well with most outfits and is hardwearing enough to suit most occasions. Dive watches and sports watches are particularly suitable, especially if the watch is to be worn outdoors, though smart casual and business casual watches don’t necessarily have to have the same hard wearing properties.
Throughout the Geckota range, alongside our more technical and specialist pieces, you will find a number of great casual watches: stylish, with clean designs and priced affordably. Click here to browse our collection and find the best casual watch for you.