Dress Watches That Are Surprisingly Robust

Dress Watches That Are Surprisingly Robust

dress watch


Have you ever been searching for a dress watch and find the most beautiful piece but then face difficulty because you need it to be tough, water resistant, or able to handle life's daily wear? We know we’ve been there. And while some of our favorite brands offer sports watches that can nearly pass as dressy, the opposite is usually harder to find. Today, we’re going to take a look at several dress watches that were designed to be robust in many ways. 

Cartier Santos

cartier santos


The Cartier Santos is no doubt an iconic watch today. But many dismiss the fact this piece was originally designed as a tool watch for aviator Alberto Santos Dumont to tell the time while he was flying. Don’t let the roman numerals on this watch fool you, Cartier designed the Santos to stand up to life’s rigors. Inside the Stainless Steel Case you’ll find the automatic caliber 1847 and the case is designed with a “Smartlink” lug system so that you may change out straps with ease. 

cartier santos on wrist


Coming in at 8.8mm thick, the Santos is incredibly wearable and you don’t have to worry about bathing the dogs or kids either, with 100 meters water resistant, it’ll do just fine. Since its design in 1904, the Cartier Santos has been a staple in the watch enthusiast community and it’s easy to understand why. The polished bezel and sleek brushed case and bracelet look good on just about everybody. 

Read more about our favorite Cartier watches here.

Jaeger-Lecoultre Reverso

reverso watch


When looking directly at the JLC Reverso, you may immediately dismiss the watch as a dress watch. And you would not be wrong. However, the watch was designed to be worn during a very rugged sport. You see, back in the 1930’s, JLC accepted a challenge to design a watch that would withstand the rough matches of Polo.This art deco piece is incredibly easy to read while I suppose sitting on a horse, but what's even more fascinating is that the dial completely turns around to demonstrate a mirrored polished surface so that if you were playing Polo, or perhaps doing anything active at all, the sapphire dial would be completely protected. 

reverso watch


JLC now has over 50 iterations of the Reverso so there are plenty of options to choose from based on style. You could go more dressy with alligator leather or play it sporty on the stainless steel bracelet. This option falls slightly short with only 30meters of water resistance but that is more than plenty for hand washing and being caught out in the rain. This rectangle case is sure to fool many as just being a dress watch, but with its sporty heritage, we have to give it some major credit. 

Monta Noble

MONTA noble watch with blue dial

Released in 2020, the Noble is MONTA’s first dress watch offering for the previously very sports watch driven brand. But of course the guys at MONTA know just how to give their customers a dressy tool watch. What makes this a dress watch upon first glance would be the polished bezel and new Blue dégradé dial.

white dial MONTA Noble watch

The Noble comes in the all too wonderful Opaline Silver (nearly white) but the Blue dégradé dial is what has everyone talking. The Noble looks incredible on the MONTA fully-articulating bracelet for that extra sporty look or take it to one of our Everest Leather Straps for a more dressed up vibe. 

MONTA noble watch with blue dial on leather strap

The epitome of what beach to boardroom should stand for, the Noble is also 150 meters water resistant with a screw down crown and has a quick adjust clasp for the on the fly adjustments during hot weather. At 38.5mm in size, the Noble can be worn by just about anyone and that dégradé dial is sure to stand out at any formal party. We love the blended look of a dressy watch but with the added features of a modern sports watch. Check out the MONTA Noble here

What watches would you add to the Dressy Tool Watch category? Let us know below!


KT Morales

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.