Do You Wear a Watch With a Tuxedo? Pros & Cons

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Do You Wear a Watch With a Tuxedo?

There are some men’s style subjects that polarize opinion, and this is undoubtedly one of them.

I’m discussing whether or not you should wear a watch with a tuxedo here.

Wearing a watch with a tuxedo?  Some folks think it’s fine. No way, say some people.

As a result, this is one of those menswear issues that never goes away.

For a long time, people have been disputing and arguing over it. And here’s the thing: there are two sides to this story.

Both sides make some really good points, in my opinion.

What I’m going to do is go over some of the arguments for and against wearing a watch with a tuxedo.

You will know exactly where I stand on this issue by the end of this article.

Arguments Against Wearing a Watch

There are two main arguments against wearing a watch with a tuxedo and the first one is very simple.

It’s just that it doesn’t look very good.

To be fully honest with you, I believe it is a valid issue. A tuxedo is a pretty simple outfit. It’s quite simple. It has a simple and elegant design.

I’d be lying if I said I’ve never put on my own tux, added a watch, and then realized the watch peeking out from beneath my shirt cuff and jacket sleeve threw the whole thing off.

The second reason is more about manners and being a nice gentleman.

Wearing a watch would imply that you are concerned about the time, which could be interpreted as an insult to the host if you are attending a black tie event.

As an example, I asked you to this fancy party. What is your need to know the time? Is there somewhere else you’d rather be than this lovely party I’m throwing?

Both of these arguments seem logical to me, especially when you consider that black tie is a fairly tight and rigid dress code in its purest form.

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There are certain things that must be done correctly, and there are certain things that should be avoided at all costs.

All of these things together make black tie the ultimate troll style dress code.

Why It’s Fine to Wear a Watch?

However, there is no one-size-fits-all thing to black tie. There are a variety of options, including black tie optional, creative black tie, and cocktail wear, to name a few.

With all of these options, it’s only natural that some people would consider wearing a watch with a tuxedo.

However, I believe it is appropriate to consult the man who practically wrote the book on men’s style for the final, definitive, answer to the question should you wear a watch with tuxedo.

I’m referring to Alan Flusser.

Mr. Flusser’s Dressing The Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion contains the following passage:

“Simplicity should govern the choice of jewelry for formalwear. Studs and matching cuff links can be made of plain gold, black enamel, or semi-precious stone. Mother-of-Pearl, also handsome, is perhaps more appropriate for white tie. Fine sets of studs and matching cuff links can be found in antique shops that specialize in old jewelry. The most interesting examples are those made between 1890 and 1930. You might also look for a gold pocket watch and chain. If you choose to wear a wristwatch, remember that the thinner the watch, the more tasteful it is. Black bands are recommended.”

I’m not going to argue with Alan Flusser. The thing that strikes me the most about that comment is that he has no qualms about wearing a watch with a tuxedo.

I can’t emphasize this enough: style rules are just that: guidelines. I’ve always believed that whenever a rule of style is cited, I should go back to the one rule that I regard to be the golden rule of style: if it looks right and feels right to you, it’s correct.

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You may have a greater understanding of “rules” than others. You have access to more books about men’s style than anyone else. However, what works in theory may not always convert into real-thing success.

There’s something to be said for making decisions based on how you feel rather than what you’ve been told you should or shouldn’t do.

As a result, I’ve laid out all of my cards on the table. Obviously, I believe it is fine to wear a watch with a tuxedo, but it must be the appropriate watch.

Rules For Wearing Watch With Tuxedo

What watch should you wear with a tuxedo? There are a few requirements.

  • It should be time-only.
  • A tuxedo watch should be yellow or rose gold.
  • It should have a leather strap, preferably black.
  • The watch should be on the thinnest end of the spectrum.

Which are the best watches to wear with a tuxedo?

Best Watches to Wear With Tuxedo

Here are five of my personal favorites.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-Fine 1955

The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-Fine 1955 is one of the most gorgeous formal watches in the world.

A 36 millimeter case size that is both classic and attractive. Just over four millimeters in thickness. Alligator strap in black. Also visible through a display caseback is a lovely gold movement.

This watch is sheer beauty in its simplicity, and it’s one of the most gorgeous tuxedo watches available.

A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin

The next piece is a simple and lovely watch from one of my favorite brands. This is the Saxonia Thin from A. Lange & Söhne.

It’s a watch that merely tells the time. There is a pink gold version, but it is also available in white gold. The dial is silver in color. The case measures 37 millimeters in diameter. In addition, it is 5.9 millimeters thick.

The brown alligator strap that comes with the pink gold version may simply be swapped out for a black strap if you wish to wear it with a tuxedo.

Cartier Tank Solo

The Cartier Tank Solo is next, which is an all-time classic. This is, once again, a time-only watch. The case is 34.8 by 27.4 millimeters in size. It has a thickness of 5.5 millimeters. This watch features a quartz movement, which implies it will be far less expensive than an automatic mechanism.

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So, if you’re searching for a classic, timeless, and extremely adaptable pink gold watch at a reasonable price, I’d highly put the Cartier Tank Solo.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony

Vacheron Constantin’s next watch is a very simple and classic time-only watch. This is what the Patrimony is all about. It is slightly larger than the previous three at 40 millimeters, although for some people, 35 to 37 millimeters will feel a bit too small on the wrist.

This is an investment piece that will undoubtedly become a family heirloom.

Patek Philippe Calatrava

The Patek Philippe Calatrava is my last choice. Don’t think that just because it’s a Patek Philippe, the price will be too expensive.

I’ve seen pre-owned Calatravas in excellent shape for as little as $5,000.

In terms of size, this watch is vintage. The most recent version is 36 millimeters, however previous models that you’ll find on the used market are usually about 33 millimeters.

Although the Patek Philippe Calatrava has a small seconds indicator, which would seem to disqualify it from my tuxedo watch criterion, the Patek Philippe Calatrava’s elegance cannot be disputed.

So, with a tuxedo, is it acceptable to wear a watch? Please leave your thoughts in the box below.

wearing a watch with a tuxedo


  • Christopher

    Christopher has 9+ years of experience as a creative fashion designer who stays current with the latest trends.

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