Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.
As it says in the above disclaimer, these Wish List picks cover “expensive splurges” from time to time. And as luck would have it, today’s pick definitely feels splurge-worthy. While the versatility of a great dive watch is something every guy should keep in mind when shopping, there’s another category that can be pretty fulfilling to… well, fill when it comes to your watch game. Specifically, there’s something inherently special about a timepiece that looks, feels and functions like a true dress watch — with a higher price point, to match. In today’s case, the new Daniel Wellington Dapper Reading Watch fits into that niche perfectly. Daniel Wellington, if you’re not familiar, has exploded in popularity in the past five years thanks to its understated, minimal watch designs that mix clean lines with a classic aesthetic. They just launched a SoHo pop-up, which I had the great fortune to attend earlier this week. Pop-up shop aside, they’re a favorite of this menswear writer. It always pays off to have a slim, crisp watch in your regular rotation — after all, the Daniel Wellington Sheffield (for example) can be paired with everything from a tee and jeans to a sharp suit. But the Dapper Reading Watch — part of the brand’s new Dapper Collection — is in a league of its own, built and designed beautifully.
After checking out both the collection and this watch earlier this week, I’m happy to report that it’s just as sharp in terms of design and functionality as it is in terms of style. While you can combine your purchase with an additional strap for more versatility, I stuck with the black crocodile-texture version — and man, it’s a beauty. Note that it’s also available for purchase with a vintage Rose Gold case if silver isn’t your thing. The 38mm case diameter feels understated and dressy, yet it’s not too diminutive in size (although a 34mm version is also offered for women). The crown operates very smoothly, as well. Critically, the black crocodile texture strap is an excellent compliment to sharp tailored wear and crisp black shoes. Although black dress shoes can feel too plain for some, it’s actually a way to set yourself apart from the crowd — look at Bond. That brings us to perhaps the most crucial detail of all — the eye-catching, razor-sharp Roman numeral hour markers (which stand in contrast to the crisp single-line markers on other Daniel Wellington timepieces). The date window at 6 o’clock is a pleasant and understated addition, and the blue hands are yet another lovely design touch. Yes, this watch is certainly worth every penny of the $299 price tag, and there’s no question that it would be an excellent purchase if you’re in the market for a dedicated dress watch — or better yet, if you simply want to treat yourself to something (wait for it) … dapper. Done and done.