Best Dress Watches Under $2,000

“As you can see, you don’t have to spend $8,000 for a JLC to have a real dress watch on your wrist. There are some pretty sweet alternatives in the $1,000-2,000 price range.”

List Of The Best Dress Watches Under $2,000

  1. Bulova Breton ($1,050)
  2. Baume & Mercier Classima ($1,050)
  3. Junghans Max Bill Automatic ($1,045)
  4. Mido Baroncelli Heritage Gent ($1,090)
  5. Longines Conquest Heritage ($1,100)
  6. Longines Flagship Heritage ($1,675)
  7. Nomos Glashütte Tangente ($1,900)
  8. Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo ($2,000)
  9. Nomos Glashütte Tetra ($2,000)


Unlike a chronograph or a dive watch, the parameters of what makes a good dress watch aren’t so easily defined. There isn’t a certain certification or a set of complications that makes a dress watch a dress watch.

That being said, there are certain things to look out for when deciding on a dress piece. First, just think of, when and where you will be wearing this watch the most. Usually, this would be in a formal environment with you being dressed in formal attire, like a suit or even a tuxedo. Dress watches should be able to fit under the tightest sleeve cuff, therefore making it beneficial for them to be rather thin and slim. Dress watches should also be as understated as possible. They don’t have to be boring, but the watch needs to pair well with your wardrobe, assuming you went for a simple three-piece suit, not for the most extravagant flannel piece you were able to find.

Now, this was very vague, let’s sum it up quickly before we continue with the actual list. A men’s dress watch should measure between 34mm and 39mm in diameter and somewhere around 10mm in height. But as mentioned before, this is just a recommendation, if you like your dress watch to be bigger in size, go for it! Also, something to add would be that, with people dressing more casually nowadays, the need for a real dress watch is slowly fading away. But this is good news! Because now you can wear your favorite 34mm, yellow gold dress watches even with your more casual outfits, and no one will give you strange looks. I think this is a great development and love the thought of being able to wear whatever I like, whenever I like.

So, whether you enjoy wearing your dress watch in the board room where you actually have to wear a watch that suits your formal attire, or you just want to get one for when you are going out in a pair of chinos and a casual shirt, I got you. I’ve rounded up nine of my favorite dress timepieces on this list, of the best dress watches that can be bought for $2,000 or less. And as always, I’m trying to include some not-so-well-known brands as well, so that even the most knowledgeable enthusiast will still get to see something new. But enough with all the talking, let’s get started!

Bulova Breton ($1,050)

Image credits: Bulova

First up is the Bulova Breton. I must admit, I never heard of or saw this timepiece, before doing some research on affordable dress watches. But I’m glad I did end up finding it in the end, because this is a watch that you wouldn’t want to miss out on. The Breton belongs to the Joseph Bulova Collection, which pays homage to the brand’s visionary founder, whose name is, you guessed it, Joseph Bulova. That was a hard guess, wasn’t it?

The Bulova Breton features a rectangular case, which measures 32mm in diameter and 46mm from lug to lug. Please bear in mind that the lug-to-lug distance is more important than the diameter with rectangular watches. So don’t worry, the watch will not wear like a 32mm lady’s watch, but more like a 37- to 39mm piece. Speaking of the case, the case is made from polished stainless steel and houses the automatic Swiss-made Sellita SW200 movement, which features the Joseph Bulova signature, “1875” and a custom-designed rotor. Now you may ask, why should I care about a custom rotor? Well, you can actually see the movement and therefore the rotor, through the open case back. And I have to say that for a watch priced at around $1,050, the decoration of the case back looks phenomenal.

And while I’m on the topic of beautiful things, let’s take a closer look at the dial. The sandblasted, blush dial of the Bulova Breton features carefully painted Roman numerals, a Cartier-style minute track, and beautiful, sword-shaped hands. Bulova also decided to build in a date functionality, which can be seen through the date window, that replaces the 3 o’clock numeral. And I have to say, normally I’m not a big fan of date windows. I find them unnecessary and disrupting. But on this watch, I don’t mind it at all.

Overall, this is a nice-looking watch, with a Swiss-made automatic movement. What’s not to like? Well, according to the reviews on the watch indeed performs very well. But the strap is unfortunately not living up to the expectations. And while that isn’t the best thing, I personally think that straps can always be interchanged, the watch itself not really. So, if you like what you see, go for it!

Specifications: Price: $1,050, Case Size: 32mm, Thickness: 10.5mm, Lug-to-Lug: 46mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 30m, Movement: Automatic Swiss-made Sellita SW200 movement, Power Reserve: 38 hours, Crystal: Sapphire

Baume & Mercier Classima ($1,050)

Image credits: Baume & Mercier

The second contender on this list comes from the Swiss watch manufacturer Baume & Mercier. Namely, their beloved Classima model reference 10323. Baume & Mercier was founded in 1830, when the two brothers, Louis-Victor and Célestin Baume, decided to open a watch dealership in Les Bois, a small village in the Swiss Jura mountains.

The Baume & Mercier Classima features a carefully polished stainless-steel case, which measures 40mm in diameter, and 5.95mm in thickness. Now, I know what you want to say, but Nicolas, didn’t you tell us that the best dress watches are usually found within the 34 to 39mm size range? And yes, I did. But the Classima is an exception. With its short lugs and slim profile, the watch wears smaller than your ordinary 40mm timepiece, which makes it perfectly capable of filling the role of a typical dress watch. What also makes it very suitable as a dressier piece, is its dial. With its crisp white color, the dial features applied hour indexes, polished leaf-style hands, and a date window on the 3 o’clock, which in my opinion, wasn’t really necessary. Rounding off the dressy look is the black alligator leather strap with its polished pin buckle.

And while I like what I see on the outside very much, I’m not sure what to think of the inside. You may have guessed it; this watch is powered by a quartz movement. Swiss-made nevertheless but still a quartz movement. But since the watch only has an hour and a minute hand, this will go unnoticed by 99.9% of the people around you.

So, if you are in the market for a pretty dress watch, have $1,050 to spend, and are not deterred by a quartz movement, this watch will be a good fit for you.

Specifications: Price: $1,050, Case Size: 40mm, Thickness: 5.95mm, Lug-to-Lug: n/a, Lug Width: n/a, Water Resistance: 50m, Movement: Swiss-made quartz movement, Power Reserve: Quartz, Crystal: Sapphire

Junghans Max Bill Automatic ($1,045)

Image credits: Junghans

Next up is a watch from the German brand Junghans. Introducing the Junghans Max Bill Automatic. Junghans’ iconic Max Bill line had its debut in the 1960s and ever since then, stayed almost untouched. The name of the line is a tribute to the famous designer and architect, Max Bill, who was trained in the renowned Bauhaus school in Dessau, Germany. It was there, where he learned to create minimal, modern works that manage to be as refreshing today as they were at their inception.

Popular with watch enthusiasts as well as with non-enthusiasts, the watch features a minimalistic and modest-sized stainless-steel case, which measures 38mm in diameter, 10mm in thickness, and 40mm from lug to lug. The brushed case is complemented by the understated, Bauhaus-style, white dial with simple hands and indexes. The dial is highly legible, simple, and due to its understated looks, pairs particularly well with any kind of formal attire. This is made clear even further, with the elegant strap, made from black leather.

The watch is powered by the automatic in-house J800.1 movement, which beats at 28,800 BPH, has 25 jewels, and provides 38 hours of power reserve.

Except for the Plexiglass crystal, this watch offers a lot of value for its $1,050 price tag. So, if you are in the market for a Bauhaus-style watch with an automatic movement and great German build quality behind it, then this is the watch for you.

Specifications: Price: Around $1,045, Case Size: 38mm, Thickness: 10mm, Lug-to-Lug: 40mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 30m, Movement: Automatic in-house J800.1 movement, Power Reserve: 38 hours, Crystal: Plexiglas

Mido Baroncelli Heritage Gent ($1,090)

Image credits: Mido

Moving on to another cool Swiss brand, named Mido. Founded back in 1918, the Swiss watch manufacturer Mido produces high-quality, swiss-made timepieces, that can be bought at reasonable prices. And their Baroncelli Heritage model, which made it onto this list, is no exception to that. Designed to be worn by the sophisticated gentleman of today, the watch has an understated, yet elegant look to it. By the way, Mido also has the same watch for women, so if you are one of my few female readers, this part of the article will also be very interesting for you.

The watch features a modest-sized case made from rose gold and measures 39mm in diameter, 7.3mm in thickness, and 44mm from lug to lug. As you can see, the case proportions of this watch are really on point, and in combination with the understated ivory-colored dial, polished hands, and the black leather strap, on which the watch is presented, makes for a perfect fit to go with any type of formal attire. What I particularly like on the dial, is the blue second hand, which is a welcome change from the overall gold color scheme.

Powered by the ETA-based, 21 jewel, automatic Mido 1192 movement, the Mido Baroncelli Heritage provides around 50 hours of power reserve, which is solid, considering its $1,090 price tag. And there we have it, for a price just shy of $1,100, you will get a beautiful dress watch with great heritage, that makes for a perfect accessory to any formal attire you can think of.

Specifications: Price: $1,090, Case Size: 39mm, Thickness: 7.3mm, Lug-to-Lug: 44mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Water Resistance: 30m, Movement: Automatic Mido 1192 movement, Power Reserve: 50 hours, Crystal: Sapphire

Longines Conquest Heritage ($1,100)

Image credits: Longines

And now onto a brand that is predestined to land itself a spot on this list. That’s right, I’m talking about Longines. And particularly about their Conquest Heritage model, which pays tribute to the innovative spirit of Longines’ watchmakers and their rich history of refined watchmaking. And by the way, this won’t be the last Longines watch on this list, in fact, there are two more waiting for you down the line. Just for your information.

And those, previously mentioned influences of the past eras, are reflected in the whole watch and its design. Starting with the 35mm case, which is considered to be a very conservative case size in the modern watch industry. Other vintage aspects can also be seen on the silver sunburst dial, which features applied golden indexes, polished Dauphine hands, the iconic winged hourglass logo, and a date window that is placed on the 12 o’clock position. Yes, you heard that right, the date window is placed on the 12 o’clock position, which, you have to agree, is quite unusual. Usually, watchmakers tend to place the date windows either on the 3 o’clock or 6 o’clock position, and even though there are certain exceptions like Hermes with their H08, which has the date window on the 4:30 position, I never saw the date window is placed on the 12 o’clock position before. I must admit that I find it quite irritating to have the date on top, but I still have to give credit to Longines for this bold move. And honestly, the longer I look at it, the more it starts to grow at me…

Inside the vintage-sized case, beats the in-house, swiss-made Longines L633 movement, which provides around 38 hours of power reserve.

Priced at $1,100, the watch offers a lot of value for its modest price tag.

Specifications: Price: $1,100, Case Size: 35mm, Thickness: 9,9mm, Lug-to-Lug: 42mm, Lug Width: 18mm, Water Resistance: 30m, Movement: Automatic in-house, swiss-made L633 movement, Power Reserve: 38 hours, Crystal: Hesalite

Longines Flagship Heritage ($1,675)

Image credits: Longines

Remember when I told you that the previous watch wasn’t the last one from Longines to come? Well, here is the next one. The Longines Flagship Heritage. The heritage on the end of the name stands for their iconic dress watch line, which’s history dates back to the beginnings of the company in 1830.

The Longines Flagship Heritage features a beautifully polished stainless-steel case, which measures 38.5mm in diameter, 10.3mm in thickness, and 46mm from lug to lug. In my personal opinion as a watch enthusiast, this watch is an excellent example of a modest-sized dress watch. The combination of the 38.5mm case diameter and the slim profile, makes this watch very wearable on a broad range of wrist sizes. But as nice as the case may be, the dial is the real star of the show, and is what really makes this watch so handsome. The silverish, off-white dial features gold-coated applied indexes, beautiful Dauphine hands, a very subtle secondhand display, and a date window on the 6 o’clock position. Complementing the overarching timeless design is the anti-reflective sapphire crystal, as well as the brown alligator strap, on which the watch is presented.

But as you all know, it doesn’t just count what’s on the outside. The inside is also very important. And the Longines Flagship Heritage also shines on that part. The watch is powered by the automatic L615 caliber, which beats at 28,800 BPH and provides approximately 50 hours of power reserve.

As you surely already noticed, I’m a big fan of this watch. Priced at just $1,675, the Flagship Heritage is an excellent dress watch and certainly worth your time and money.

Specifications: Price: $1,675, Case Size: 38.5mm, Thickness: 10.3mm, Lug-to-Lug: 46mm, Lug Width: 19mm, Water Resistance: 30m, Movement: Automatic L615 movement, Power Reserve: 50 hours, Crystal: Sapphire

Nomos Glashütte Tangente ($1,900)

Image credits: Nomos Glashütte

Coming up next is the Nomos Glashütte Tangente. The Tangente embodies the spirit of Nomos like no other. Featuring the renowned typography, understated dial, and the beloved and iconic Bauhaus design, which is visible throughout the whole design, the watch embraces the spirit of Nomos in a subtle yet refined way.

The watch features a polished stainless-steel case, which only measures 35mm in diameter, 6.2mm in thickness, and 45.5mm from lug to lug. Compared to the very modest 35mm in diameter, the lug-to-lug distance may seem a little bit unproportionate, which, yes is true, but only due to the very long and slim lugs that this watch has. But due to them being so slim, the watch won’t wear as large as the 45.5mm lug to lug distance would suggest. Harmonizing perfectly with the no-nonsense and straightforward case is the understated, white dial. In a true Nomos manner, the dial features minimalistic numerals and indexes, blue steeled hands, and a small second display, which is located just above the 6 o’clock position.

Unfortunately for us, the Nomos Tangente doesn’t have a see-through case back. Because if it had, we could see the manual-wound Alpha caliber, which, thanks to its base height of just 2.6mm, allows Nomos to place it into modestly sized cases like the one of the Tangente. Other than that, the movement isn’t really that exciting. But since it is Nomos base caliber, you cannot expect much more than it is. Don’t get me wrong, it is a very good and reliable movement, but still not too exciting for watch enthusiasts like us.

Priced at $1,900, the Nomos Tangente packs a lot of punch and certainly deserves a spot on this list.

Specifications: Price: $1,900, Case Size: 35mm, Thickness: 6.2mm, Lug-to-Lug: 45.5mm, Lug Width: 18mm, Water Resistance: 30m, Movement: Manual-wound Alpha movement, Power Reserve: 43 hours, Crystal: Sapphire

Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo ($2,000)

Image credits: Longines

And now to the third and last Longines watch on this list. I promise it’s the last. But trust me, you wouldn’t want to miss out on this piece. Introducing the Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo. Puuh, that was quite the long name, let me catch my breath before we continue…

The Longines Heritage Tuxedo is one of those watches that immediately catch your eye and never leave your mind afterward. Longines was founded in 1832, in a small Swiss town with the sounding name Saint-Imier. And ever since then, the almost 190-year-old company continues to manufacture high-quality swiss watches. And while in present times, they are not regarded as prestigious as Rolex or Patek, Longines had times in which they were one of the most prestigious watch manufacturers in whole Switzerland.

Honoring the innovative spirit that has driven Longines’ watchmakers from the outset, the watch was designed after a watch that was produced by Longines in the mid-1940s and featured the same timeless design and distinctive vintage aspects. In the modernized version, these aspects can clearly be seen in the vintage-inspired dial with a silver opaline center section, that contrasts beautifully with the black hours’ track and the raised luminous numerals. The small seconds sub-dial at six o’clock is nicely decorated and features snail-shaped carvings to bring in some visual contrast. The large, highly legible hands, round the watch off.

The 38.5mm case hits the ideal balance between honoring its vintage heritage, being considered as a dress watch, and, at the same time, still, be wearable in the modern world of watch sizes. Basically, it hits the sweet spot. Inside the polished, stainless steel case, beats the automatic caliber L893 movement, which is based on the ETA A31.501 and was modified by Longines in-house. The movement has a frequency of 25,200 BPH and provides a solid 64-hour power reserve.

Considering the $2,000 price tag, the brand’s heritage, and the quality of the watch, I would say that the Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo offers great value for money and makes for an excellent choice as a dress watch in your collection.

Specifications: Price: $2,000, Case Size: 38.5mm, Thickness: 11.65mm, Lug-to-Lug: n/a, Lug Width: 19mm, Water Resistance: 30m, Movement: Automatic caliber L893 movement, Power Reserve: 64 hours, Crystal: Sapphire

Nomos Glashütte Tetra ($2,000)

Image credits: Nomos Glashütte

And last but not least, the Nomos Glashütte Tetra. Winner of the Viennatime Award, an award given by online voting at Austria’s largest and most important watch fair, the Nomos Tetra turned a lot of heads within the industry, thanks to the combination of its rectangular shaped case and the Nomos-typical Bauhaus design.

Reminiscent to the Nomos Tangente, the Tetra basically features the same dial design, just in a rectangular shape and not in a circle. However, the rectangular case, made from polished stainless steel, gives this watch its own and unique design aspects. For example the squared small second’s dial, or the rectangular shaped lugs.

And similar to the dial, the movement of the Nomos Tetra is also the same as in the Tangente. Namely, it’s the hand-wound Alpha caliber, which is Nomos’ base caliber and provides around 43 hours of power reserve. And that’s it, for a price of $2,000 you will get the Nomos-typical build quality, a reliable mechanical movement, and a very cool case- and dial design. What would you want more?

Specifications: Price: $2,000, Case Size: 29mm, Thickness: 6.3mm, Lug-to-Lug: 29.5mm, Lug Width: 18mm, Water Resistance: 30m, Movement: Manual-wound Alpha movement, Power Reserve: 43 hours, Crystal: Sapphire


As you can see, you don’t have to spend $8,000 for a JLC to have a real dress watch on your wrist. There are some pretty sweet alternatives in the $1,000-2,000 price range. Oh, and by the way, if you are interested in other watches under $1,000, I made a complete list of the best automatic watches under $1,000. Would appreciate it if you could check it out.



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