The Best Men's Wedding Watch Picks for 2024

Commemorate the time of your life and complete your look with these beautiful timepieces.
tres dean Associate Menswear Editor
Tres Dean
tres dean Associate Menswear Editor
Tres Dean
Associate Menswear Editor
  • Tres writes and edits articles for The Knot, with a specialty in menswear and suiting.
  • He brings over a decade of expertise in the field garnered as a writer, editor, copywriter, and trend specialist.
  • Before joining The Knot he covered menswear for publications including GQ, AskMen, Men’s Health, Sharp Magazine, Highsnobiety, and Spy.
Updated Jan 17, 2024
We have included third party products to help you navigate and enjoy life’s biggest moments. Purchases made through links on this page may earn us a commission.

There's no better way to mark one of the most special times of your life than with an accessory that marks, well, time. For grooms, a wedding watch can be both the perfect finishing touch to a wedding day look and a practical, wearable keepsake that always takes you back to that moment. Today, men's wedding watches are more popular than ever and can be the glue that holds a groom's style together. Once you've got your suit fitted and your accessories sorted, consider adding a wedding watch for added polish, and of course, read on for everything you need to know. We'll help you pick the perfect one either for yourself or a loved one.

In this article:

What Is a Watch Movement?

Simply put, a watch's movement is the interior mechanism that allows for it to run. There are three different types of movements:

  • Quartz: These watches run on a quartz battery and don't need to be wound. Quartz movements keep time with great accuracy and are found in everything from high-end Swiss watches to sub-$100 gems. The one catch is that the battery will eventually need replacing.

  • Manual: Manual movements need to be wound to run. A full wind generally gets it running for a day and some change. If you're looking to make your watch a part of your routine or habit, the ritual of winding it daily can help. If you're looking for a watch you don't have to think about outside of putting it on, maybe stick with quartz or automatic.

  • Automatic: Automatic movements wind themselves. They utilize the momentum of the natural motion of your wrist to run. They also usually have an interior power reserve that can keep the watch running for some time while it sits in a case or on your dresser. Automatic movements tend to be pricier than quartz ones but they're worth the extra cash–they may need maintenance here and there but these watches will truly run for a lifetime.

What Are the Different Kinds of Watches?

There are countless watch styles and functions, but for the sake of paring it down, these are the ones you need to know before reading on.

  • Dress Watches: In strict terms, a dress watch is going to have a metal case and a leather strap. They usually don't have functions like additional movements, timers, or waterproof capabilities. They're made to be worn with suits and nice outfits.

  • Dive Watches: These are, you guessed it, built for the water and diving specifically. They're usually made of steel and are waterproof to a certain depth.

  • Chronographs: A chronograph is a racing watch, but don't worry–you don't need to be an F1 driver to pull one off. They're going to feature additional dials and timers made for tracking race times (you don't have to use these but oh man, do they look cool).

  • Sport Watches: You know how every square is a rectangle but not every rectangle is a square? Dive watches and chronographs fall under the category of sports watches, though not every sports watch is a diver or chronograph. Sports watches, generally (but not always) are denoted by a steel band, and are made for activity and adventure. They may be waterproof to a certain depth, feature hardy elements like steel, and are built to take a beating and still keep good time amidst the elements.

I'm someone who doesn't make a big purchase without doing ample research, and having just bought my first proper watch about three years ago (and a couple more since then) I've learned a few things. Most of my free Internet browsing time is spent learning about sapphire crystals, how to spot a replacement dial versus an original one, and the difference between a good quartz movement and a bad one. Here are some favorites from all the hours I've spent going down horological rabbit holes. Any of these choices would look sharp on a groom's wrist on their wedding day.

Dan Henry 1939 Military Chronograph in Silver

Dan Henry 1939 Military Chronograph in Silver
Photo: Dan Henry

In terms of getting the most bang for your buck, Dan Henry is a hard brand to beat. The founder is a storied watch collector deeply immersed in the history of the field. His timepieces are often designed in homage to unique pieces in his collection, with this one designed after a popular military chronograph from the 1930s. For under $300, you get a watch that runs great with a handsome leather band that keeps time beautifully thanks to a high-quality quartz movement. With beautiful blue hands, a killer dial, and a simple color scheme that'll go great with almost any suit, this is the perfect watch for grooms looking to strap on a handsome timepiece without having to take out a second mortgage.

Movement: Quartz

Category: Chronograph

Citizen Rolan Champagne Dial Watch

Gold watch for a groom by Citizen.
Photo: Citizen

Citizen is one of the biggest names in affordable watches for a reason. They do everything from dress watches to divers and they do them well. Their Rolan is a beautiful dress watch with a day-date function and a beautiful subtle gold dial. It's a quiet gem and will look sharp on your wrist peeking out beneath your suit sleeve.

Movement: Quartz

Category: Dress Watch

Hamilton Ventura

Black watch for a wedding by Hamilton.
Photo: Hamilton

Strap on Hamilton's iconic Ventura watch for a truly eye-catching and unique look. Its retro-futuristic design was a favorite of Elvis Presley's, though more recent generations likely recognize it as the uniform watch of the Men in Black films. If it's good enough for The King (and Agent Jay), it's good enough for the rest of us. The Ventura will add a sharp stylistic touch to a suit (and especially to a tux) on your wedding day.

Movement: Quartz

Category: Dress Watch

Seiko Essentials SWR049

Seiko Essentials SWR049
Photo: Seiko

Square or rectangular watches (often known as "tanks" after the iconic Cartier Tank watch) are among those most associated with formal dress. They've been the perfect finishing touch to a good suit for years and that isn't changing any time soon. This one from Seiko, the Japanese juggernaut that blends quality construction with affordable pricing, is great for grooms who aren't ready to pay Cartier prices but still want to walk down the aisle with a tank.

Movement: Quartz

Category: Dress Watch

Farer Carnegie Titanium

Farer Carnegie Titanium watch for groom
Photo: Farer

Farer is a newer watch brand that stands out thanks to being fearless with color. They take classic watch styles like divers, GMTs, and chronographs, and fit them out in shocking pinks, oranges, and baby blues. If you're looking to bring a pop of color to your wedding look, try their Carnegie chronograph. It's got a chocolatey brown dial and leather strap accented with a bright blue bezel that'll get the job done and nake a bold style statement..

Movement: Manual

Category: Chronograph

Tudor Black Bay 58

Tudor Black Bay 58 grooms watch
Photo: Tudor

In a 2022 interview with GQ on his watch collection, actor Henry Golding recalls receiving a Tudor Black Bay from his wife on their wedding day. At the time Golding was still working as a travel show host, trekking through jungles and filming in countries ravaged by instability and civil war. His wife wanted to get him a wedding day watch that could hold up to Golding's turbulent pre-marquee idol lifestyle. Enter the legendary Tudor Black Bay, the signature timepiece of the storied Swiss brand. Black Bays are some of the most iconic watches in the world, durable as hell without skimping on beautiful and versatile designs. If you're looking for a truly special wedding day watch, this is a great choice.

Movement: Automatic

Category: Dive Watch (Waterproof up to 200M)

Bulova Frank Sinatra Watch

Brown leather watch for a groom by Bulova.
Photo: Bloomingdale's

Channeling a little Frank Sinatra in your wedding day suit is never a bad thing. Ol' Blue Eyes wore Bulova watches for much of his career and at one point the watchmaker even sponsored his TV series The Frank Sinatra Show. Now, the Bulova Frank Sinatra Watch stands both as a tribute to one of their most storied spokesmen and is a stellar, subtle dress watch full of subtle swagger and class alike.

Movement: Automatic

Category: Dress Watch

Longines Flagship Heritage

Longines Flagship Heritage watch for a wedding.
Photo: Longines

Longines makes Swiss watchmaking accessible to all, bringing stellar design and craftsmanship to the masses at more affordable price points than their competitors. Their Flagship Heritage dress watch is as great a testament to this ethos as anything in their line, pairing a handsome black dial with a beautiful alligator strap. It's elegant and eye-catching, exactly what you want on your wedding day.

Movement: Automatic

Category: Dress Watch

Furlan Marri Salmon Sector

Furlan Marri Salmon Sector watch for groom
Photo: Furlan Marri

Furlan Marri is an up-and-coming watch brand steeped in Swiss watchmaking tradition. They bring all the elegant design of the nation's storied watch houses and blend it with quality mechanics, making for watches that look great forever and keep time for nearly as long–albeit at a fraction of the price you'd expect to pay. I can personally vouch for their Salmon Sector: salmon dials pop like few others, especially with a suit.

Movement: Automatic

Category: Dress Watch

Tag Heuer Monaco

Black square watch for a wedding by Tag Heuer.
Photo: Tag Heuer

The Tag Heuer Monaco is among the most storied watches in the world thanks to Steve McQueen donning one in his legendarily audacious film Le Mans. It's been a staple of racing culture since (these days you can see Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen wearing the Monaco regularly) but you don't have to be behind the wheel of a Porsche racecar to channel your inner McQueen Cool on your wedding day.

Movement: Automatic

Category: Chronograph

Tissot PRX

Tissot PRX gold watch for groom
Photo: Tissot

A staple of the '70s, this edition of the Tissot PRX comes in a cool yellow-gold finish. It's a stretch flashier than a watch with a steel or leather band, but hey, it's your wedding day! If there's a time to be flashy, this is it.

Movement: Quartz

Category: Dress Watch

Casio Gold Analog Dress Watch

Casio Gold Analog Dress Watch men's wedding watch
Photo: Amazon

Need a wedding day watch for under $50 that really doesn't look like it cost under $50? Casio has you covered. From the imitation croc leather band to the gold finish, it's a killer dress watch for an even more killer price.

Movement: Quartz

Category: Dress Watch

Nivada Grenchen Antarctic Spider Salmon

Nivada Grenchen Antarctic Spider Salmon watch for groom
Photo: Nivada Grenchen

A salmon dial on its own is a killer look. But when you pair it with Nivada Grenchen's trippy spider dial, you've got a timepiece that's going to turn heads. Be prepared to answer the "where'd you get that?" question at least a dozen times on the big day.

Movement: Automatic

Category: Sport Watch

Serica 5303 Diving Chronometer

Serica 5303 Diving Chronometer watch for groom
Photo: Serica

Serica is another newer watch brand that brings elite watchmaking and beautiful design to the masses for a fraction of the price you'd expect. Most of their pieces come in at under $2000, a bargain considering the quality of what they offer. Their Diving Chronometer is a highlight, featuring a sleek mesh band with a chunky, retrofuturistic case. It's got the functional bona fides to hold up, too–this is a legit dive watch that you can also wear with a suit.

Movement: Automatic

Category: Dive Watch (Waterproof up to 300M)

Men's Wedding Watch Frequently Asked Questions

Should men wear a watch on their wedding day?

In short? It's ultimately up to you! However, a watch is an accessory that can tie a wedding look together. I'm personally of the opinion that a suit only looks quite right with one peeking out from under the sleeve. Additionally, a new watch can be a great way to commemorate a special day. Alternatively, a vintage or heirloom piece gifted or passed down from a loved one can bring a personal touch to your wedding day. After all, who says "something borrowed" is just for brides?

Should a wedding watch match the rest of the groom's accessories? What about the wedding ring?

A groom's wedding watch should match their suit and accessories, yes. This doesn't so much mean that every single detail needs to be aligned. It's more an extension of the general rule that you don't mix metals when accessorizing. If your cufflinks and tie bar are silver, you probably shouldn't wear a watch with a gold finish or gold band and vice versa (the exception to this is two-tone steel and gold watches - you're good either way with those). It's also generally a good move to make sure your watch's band pairs with your belt and shoes as well. This means no brown bands with black shoes or black bands with brown belts and shoes.

As far as the wedding ring goes, you don't need to worry about matching it to anything. That's a forever accessory and supersedes any rules of dress or accessorizing.

Do watches make good gifts for grooms?

Absolutely! A watch given by a best man, a parent of the bride or groom, or the groom's fiance can make for a lovely wedding day gift. Watches aren't like wedding day tuxedos–grooms can get daily wear out of them after tying the knot and it can be a special thing to wear a keepsake like that every day.

Do you have to wear a dress watch with a suit?

No. The idea of a divide between dress watches and sports watches is a bit archaic at this point. You're just as likely to see someone wear a Rolex Daytona (one of the definitive sports watches) on a black-tie red carpet like the Oscars as you are a dress watch by a brand like Cartier or Patek Phillipe. One could argue that a leather-banded dress watch does look just a little bit more polished with more formal suiting looks like tuxedos, but on an occasion as personal as a wedding, you should wear whatever watch you want to look back on fondly.

Up Next
  • Groom looking at watch
    The Best Engagement Watches for Men and Women