The 10 best automatic watches to dress in style

There’s a lot to be said about wearing a watch these days, so let’s start with the obvious: it’s an essential accessory that you, in fact, need. After all, it looks cooler and sleeker than constantly checking your smartphone, and the best automatic watches provide a crisp finishing touch to any look. Whether you want to dress for a specific purpose for the office or add style to evening wear, an automatic watch is a way to add functional design and a sharp look to any ensemble.

What is an automatic watch and why do you need it? Allow us. An automatic is so named for the movement inside the watch, which can be quite complex or simple, in terms of the moving parts (literally). Automatic watches are also known as self-winding watches because the movement of the wearer’s wrist helps power the internal workings of the device. The point is, this style of watch is an easy way to add useful design and a sense of care to many looks, especially with your Oxford shirt sleeves rolled up when heading to a meeting. There are options at all prices, so start with a few of our favorites.

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Best Overall Automatic Watch: Shinola Runwell Automatic Watch

Shinola Runwell automatic watch on a white background.

With Shinola, you get the best of both worlds when it comes to durability and exceptional watch design. The Runwell Automatic is a bit of an investment, but it will pay off. It can function as both a dress watch and a wear watch with sturdy style clasps, and the beautiful leather strap and contrasting blue dial are refined movements in their own right. Wear it to the office and to a date, to get started.

Best luxury automatic watch: Junghans Max Bill automatic watch

Close-up view of the Junghans Max Bill automatic watch.

Automatic watches tend to be on the more affordable or accessible end of the spectrum, but you’ll also find carefully designed luxury automatic watches up for grabs. This watch is elegant and minimalist, and perfectly ready to wear with a polo sweater, a merino cardigan or your best suit.

Best Automatic Sports Watch: Tissot T-Sport Automatic Leather Strap Watch

Tissot T-Sport automatic watch with leather strap on a white background.

Some automatic movement watches are better designed for spectacle and style than for sporting activities. Tissot, however, solved this problem pretty well with this durable and stylish motorcycle-inspired design and oversized dial, all the better for readability on the open road.

Best Heirloom Automatic Watch: Longines Jazzmaster Automatic Leather Watch

Longines Jazzmaster automatic leather watch on a white background.

When you really consider the benchmarks for building a watch collection, longevity should be a priority. Longines has been making timeless watches of incredible quality (no pun intended) for years. It turns out that this beautiful leather watch is a watch that you will have for years to come as well.

Best Affordable Automatic Watch: SEIKO Automatic Canvas Strap Watch

SEIKO Automatic Canvas Strap watch on a white background.

For less than $ 100, you get a simple yet highly functional watch from a brand that knows all about quality on a budget. This canvas strap watch is a watch you can absolutely wear with your favorite button down collar and jeans for a casual night out on the town, and it’s just for beginners.

Best Stainless Steel Automatic Watch: Timex Navi XL Stainless Steel Watch

Timex Navi XL watch in stainless steel on a white background.

There are all kinds of automatic watches, including those designed for diving and those designed for more elegant styling scenarios. This one is made for dressy situations of all kinds, finished with an elegant stainless steel mesh bracelet. The price is also very nice.

Other automatic watches we love

Fossil Townsman Automatic Leather Watch

Fossil Townsman automatic leather watch on a white background.

Fossil goes all out here with this reliable and visually striking leather watch. It gives you a glimpse of what really drives him, and it’s a design innovation that we can appreciate. Wear yours with everything from a suit to a pocket tee and jeans.

Tissot PRS 516 Powermatic leather watch

Tissot PRS 516 Powermatic leather watch on a white background.

Channel the spirit of the road with this fast and sporty leather watch, the kind you should wear in abundance on the roads this season. The durable carbon fiber bezel and clean design of this watch make it a bold and distinct style choice on your wrist.

Mido Ocean Star Tribute automatic watch

MIDO Ocean Star Tribute Automatic Watch on white background.

Mido celebrates 75 years of fine watchmaking and goes back in time with a model that pays homage to watches from the 60s. The green canvas strap and matching green dial give it a rugged outdoor vibe for seasonal coastal adventures.

Orient Kamasu stainless steel automatic diver watch

Orient Kamasu stainless steel watch on a white background.

Get a watch that is as functional and well-constructed as possible, with a splash of bright sports-inspired color. This watch is water resistant up to 660 feet, with all kinds of durability delivered to your wrist for professional water sports.

Editor’s recommendations

About Robert L. Thomas

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