5 Watches That Would Make Your Grandfather Proud

Watches feature
Photo By China Guccio

A man's watch has long been a symbol of his character.  If you're thinking about investing in a timepiece that will last the rest of your life, or if your current watch features Velcro, a calculator, or cartoon characters, look no further than these 5 classics.

By Steven Stafford

The word classic comes from the Greek word for “perfect.” Only the best can stand the test of time. This is no less true in fashion: classic looks are the most reliable. A sharp-looking watch has long been a symbol of class, and what you choose to wear on your wrist has a lot to tell the world about who you are.

There are a wide variety of styles to consider when shopping: pocket watches, jewelry, dive watches or sports watches, etc.  Now that cell phones are nearly ubiquitous, watches are primarily about style, not function. Considering this, I'll focus on traditional style watches. Some of us might not look great in a watch (think skinny guy, huge watch). But the vast majority of us at least look a little classier with one.

There are plenty of reasonably priced watches that look good. It would be nice if we could all afford Rolexes, but we can't, and that's okay. You may want to look like your favorite celebrity, but keep in mind that the best way to go is slightly conservative. Indeed, if you must err, do it on the side of caution.


The watch I recommend highest is the Omega Speedmaster Professional. This is just an undeniably great watch. They don't call it professional for nothing: this watch will get you noticed. In general, prefer silver to yellow gold, which can be risky. It can look gaudy if not done right.

The Speedmaster Professional has the added benefit of being a conversation starter: did you know that the manual-winding Omega chronograph was worn on the moon? Hence it has the nickname, “The Moonwatch.” Not too shabby.

The problem is that you're lucky to get it for under a grand. Really lucky. Omega is a good name to remember for future reference, about as good as Rolex. They make good quality products, but you have to be willing to pay a lot of money for them. Perhaps you are. But then, of course, if you're paying over a thousand for an Omega, why not just go for the Rolex? If you're just a regular working stiff, it might be a good idea to get one pre-owned.


The Seiko Kinetic Chronograph. From its Premier collection comes a watch that just looks good: imposing Roman numerals, multiple faces (all silver), and it's charged for up to five months. It's the kind of watch that calls to mind James Bond.

In their Premier series, Seiko strove to recreate the class of style of decades past. They succeeded. The watch is powered by the movement of your body, and can last up to four years without you moving. In other words, you will get plenty of mileage out of this one. And better yet, compared to the Omega Speedmaster, it is very affordable. You can get it for less than half the price of the Speedmaster and still look good.


The Tissot Ballade III. This is a great-looking watch that has a lot going for it. For one thing, it's a Swiss company, and the Swiss are known for their watch-making. Also, Danica Patrick endorses them (and we will do almost anything she tells us to). It's a simpler look than the other watches; some may prefer that. It costs a few hundred dollars.

Tag Heuer

Feast your eyes on the Tag Heuer Carrera Twin Time. This is a perfect example of that “classic” look. On top of this, it's foreign, and lends itself to the kind of gratuitous name-dropping that only luxury items can provide. It is, unfortunately, expensive, usually between one and two thousand dollars. See if you can get one pre-owned.


The Casio MTG1000-1A. Now, don't judge. Just because it's a Casio doesn't mean it's a “cheap” watch. It's the most affordable of the five, certainly, and less flashy than the others, as it emphasizes function. It does, however, look cool, but in a different way. You can get it for as low as $300, and it is a very durable machine. You can be sure you'll get your money's worth. It's the kind of watch that you can wear to work but also out at night. Perhaps that makes it a true multi-functional watch.

Since the point of wearing these watches is to look classy, as another general rule, avoid the temptation to overdo it. Do not get diamonds (real or fake) in your watch. These, and other accessories, are unnecessary expenses, that will not draw positive attention.

While it is difficult to talk yourself into getting a luxury item during a recession, there are a lot worse ways to spend your money. You can look at these as wise investments. These are five watches that will look good with formal attire, which means they will look good in business settings, job interviews, and, of course, dates.

Whether anyone admits it or not, and whether they know it or not, looking good can get people to take you more seriously. And that definitely does not go out of style.

Steven James Stafford is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, with Bachelors Degrees in English and in Political Science. He resides in the suburbs of Boston.