The best watches for groomsmen

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You want your wedding to be memorable, even epic, right? So how about something for your groomsmen they’ll be really excited about? Watches make great gifts partly because they can signify time and relationships, and are also associated with nostalgia and heirlooms. It’s a great way to make the most of your big day.

Your groomsmen are going to be thrilled to have a watch to remember your wedding, but how do you choose the right one? We are here to help you.

How much should you spend?

We don’t know your budget, but we know you probably already have a lot of other expenses and logistics to consider. And, of course, multiple watches can really add up. So we want to make it as reasonable as possible to gift watches to your groomsmen – and luckily there are some great options out there that don’t cost as much as a Rolex. (If you’re having a stunning destination wedding and matching Rollies seem appropriate and within your budget, don’t let us stop you.) Most of the watches below are quartz but also available in more expensive mechanical versions, if it’s your thing.

Skinny dressed

Weddings are times to dress up – that’s part of the fun. So we’re going to keep you away from oversized and wacky watches (as we usually do anyway), but also sports watches. Even for relatively casual weddings, a certain level of formality will be appropriate, and for that you want a dress watch: something simple, understated and under or around 40mm.

There are still plenty of options to consider, however. Since groomsmen’s styling often coordinates, you can choose matching dial and strap colors. If, for example, you have light blue suits/tuxedos, something like a white dial and brown strap (like the Junghans pictured below) would be perfect. If you opt for watches with straps, be sure to give your groomsmen plenty of time to get them sized before the wedding — or provide them with an extra leather strap so they can swap them out.

Opt for an engraving

If there’s ever a time to opt for commemorative watch engraving, watches for your groomsmen are probably the one. Most of the watches below feature solid steel casebacks with plenty of room for customization. Some watches come with engraving options from the brand itself, but it’s also easy to find this service from a third party.

We suggest something subtle. “Rodney & Veronica’s Wedding, Annapolis, MD, June 4, 2022”, for example, curly calligraphy may be appropriate for laser-etched wine glasses or the like, but a watch owner must feel like it’s hers. The simple date of the wedding, for example, would serve as a tasteful reminder of the meaning of the watch without being too in front of someone else’s name and special day.

Every wedding is unique, but the options below should suit or inspire you to find the perfect watches for the occasion.

A simple and inexpensive way to dress up your groomsmen’s wrists, the Weekender is an absolute classic. It’s also customizable, so you can order the right combination of dial, strap, and other elements to perfectly complement your wedding style.

Diameter: 40mm

Want an automatic dress watch under $200? You won’t find a better combination of price, quality and style than the Orient Bambino. The best part is that there is a wide range of styling options in the Bambino range.

Diameter: 40.5mm
Movement: Orient F6722 automatic

The Seiko 5 Sports line may be ultra affordable, but it has the quality to be the kind of watch your groomsmen will want to wear every day. Its understated sportiness makes it fun and will add just the right touch of flair for a festive occasion.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Seiko 4R36 automatic

Give your groomsmen a touch of elegant yet playful French style with this fresh take on the field watch. Field watches aren’t traditionally dress watches, but Merci does a pretty nice job of getting you by. There are also automatic versions and you can always dress it up with a leather strap instead of its supplied nylon.

Diameter: 38mm
Movement: Ronda 513 quartz

For fashion lovers, Undone offers a minimalist chronograph with an eye-catching gradient dial. If your wedding or groomsmen’s outfits have a color theme, you might be able to find a nice dial color to match it. There are also other personalization options, including direct-to-brand engraving.

Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Quartz Seiko VK61

Shinola offers a classic look with its Vinton. At a tasteful 38mm with subtle retro elements, your groomsmen will feel really hip, indeed. Engraving is available directly from Shinola when you order.

Diameter: 38mm
Movement: Quartz Shinola Argonite 715

One of the best dress watches you can get, the Junghans Max Bill is a Bauhaus icon. It’s featured here in quartz, but you can get manual and automatic winding versions that are all equally appropriate and attractive watches that your groomsmen will cherish for years to come.

Diameter: 38mm

Now this would be something special for your groomsmen. The hip German watchmaker offers a great value proposition with in-house movements and a strong sense of style and color. The Club Campus has an appropriately youthful feel and the backgrounds are left barren expressly for the etchings.

Diameter: 38.5mm
Movement: Hand-wound Nomos Alpha

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About Robert L. Thomas

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