Wedding season is officially back. Dry clean the tux! Steam press that one cufflink shirt you wear twice a year! Brush up on your dress code minutiae! And then resign yourself to a long summer of playing it down the middle, sartorially speaking—for the most part, at least. A conventional black tie event might not be the time to call an audible in service of your own swerve-y agenda, but it does present a wrist-sized opportunity to flex a little personal style, albeit in a subtle way. We’re talking, of course, about a good dress watch. Not only will the right one enliven your stiffest monkey suit, you’ll still be wearing it years after the cake’s been cut and everyone’s too bone-weary to do the hora. But here’s the catch: because dress watches are designed to sync up with your swankiest tailoring, they tend to be priced accordingly.
Enter the Seiko SWR052, a handsome quartz option (with the requisite gold-tone bezel) from the cult-loved Japanese brand favored by no-nonsense powerbrokers like Steve Jobs and Amtrak Joe himself. If you’re headed to a wedding at some point soon and find yourself fantasizing about pulling up to the reception in a Cartier Tank or a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, Seiko’s alternative is an obvious choice if you’re jonesing to dip your wrist into the waters without dropping a couple grand.
As an entry point into the dress watch space, the SWR052 more than delivers on the best of what the genre has to offer. Granted, the leather can be a touch squeaky fresh out of the box, but after a few days of casual wear it’ll start to feel like the type of priceless family heirloom you wish your grandad gifted you. (Sweating through it on the dance floor will only help). Plus, the daintier size and square face are perfectly in-line with the models guys like Tyler, the Creator have been gravitating towards lately—sending prices for comparable styles skyrocketing in the process.
The best part? Beyond leveling-up your black tie garb, a watch like this will also lend your regular ol’ weekday fits a touch of mid-century cool, imbuing them with a healthy dose of post-payday Don Draper swagger. A watch that versatile for this price? Now that’s a real cause for a celebration.