When it comes to style, most trends are fleeting. Acid wash jeans are (thankfully) a thing of the past, and poodle skirts are generally reserved for elementary school productions of Grease.
For whatever reason though, certain trends defy the norm and last through decades. A simple black dress or a conservative suit is just as elegant and stylish today as it was in the 1940’s. In fact, some things have an appeal just because they’re reminiscent of classic trends, like cars for example.
That’s why a classic dress watch, like the Orient CFD0E001W, is such a great investment. While sporty or trendy watches, like the modern Orient CTT02003W, are always fun, a timepiece with classic design elements has time-tested elements that make it perfect for any occasion.
But what exactly constitutes a “classic” dress watch?
If you’re new to the watch world, you might be unsure about which watches have more modern designs and which have a look that has been around for as long as watches have.
Here’s a breakdown of some common traits that give a dress watch a classic look:
The word classic often goes hand-in-hand with another word: simple. A classic dress watch has an uncomplicated dial, giving it an understated elegance. The Orient CFD0E001W, the perfect example of a classic model, has only a few key features that are displayed on the dial, like the Orient logo and the power reserve indicator.
The way in which hours are marked is also an important element when it comes to classifying a watch as more modern or classic. Classic watches often have Roman numerals to indicate the hours, while others have no numbers at all and don only hour markers in each position.
A classic watchband is generally reserved to one of two materials, stainless steel or genuine leather. Both of these materials have been used on watchbands for years and have a much more classic appeal than the more modern rubber or mesh bands.
You probably wouldn’t have seen James Dean in a bright yellow sport watch. A classic dress watch generally has a more simple and understated color scheme, like brown, black, or white. Royal blue accents, like the hands on the CFD0E001W model, are a nice way to add a bit of color to an otherwise neutral color scheme while still maintaining its conventional look.
Recently, we’ve seen over-sized watches crowding the market, some with case diameters that exceed 50 mm. For a watch to maintain its classic appeal, however, it should be a little smaller and fit easily under a dress shirt. Depending on your wrist size, most traditional dress watches should be around 40 mm in case diameter and have a thickness of no more than 13 mm.
Of course, these are all guidelines. There’s no specific criteria on what makes a watch truly a classic and what makes it a modern design, and the fact is that many wristwatches do a little of both.
Mixing a traditional element, like a simple neutral watch dial, with a more contemporary feature, like a mesh band for example, can be a fun way to personalize your watch. Think of it as installing an XM radio in your classic Corvette.
If you’re on a budget, classic watches are always a wise choice because they have such widespread appeal. You could spend your money on a trendier watch that may be out of style in a few years, but it makes more sense to invest in a classic timepiece that can be appreciated across generations and decades.
So, which appeals to you? Do you love the time-honored traits of a great classic watch, like the Orient CFD0E001W, or would you prefer a more contemporary look? Share your thoughts below.