December 12, 2019

10 Best Watches for Professionals 2020 (Review)

Austin Tinimbang
December 12, 2019

In the world of professionals, where fashion is uniform and distinction is difficult, the watch is the accessory that makes the man. Whether one practices law, medicine or business, the watch is the first impression one makes at the initial handshake. The Spring Bar has collated the best watches for professionals for 2020.

The world of horology is tremendous, and nearly all brands—whether industry leaders or microbrands—have its own version of a watch they believe professionals should wear. Each brand follows different design philosophies, presents varying functionalities, and trumpets each of their individual histories. This makes for an infinitely colorful watch market for professionals. 

As professionals know, making a statement is important. Since watches are nearly always at the beachhead when one is first considered by a client, a knowledgeable list of watches for professionals would come in useful. Because of the sheer number of timepieces available, however, no list about watches for professionals can ever be claimed as comprehensive. In order to help narrow the potentially infinite list of best watches for professionals, our team at The Spring Bar decided on the following key criteria: design, brand, durability, functionality, and affordability.

Design and brand are the most important criteria in considering watches for professionals. While these are usually the most superficial criteria to follow, the very purpose of wearing a watch is making a statement, especially since all possible functionalities for a watch are available through a smartphone. The design and brand of one’s watch give character to a professional’s outfit and lends even just a little credence to one’s personality.

While it is unlikely that a professional would find themselves stuck in the wilderness in dire need of a watch hard as a rock, durability and functionality are still necessary considerations when buying a watch. Durability is the material consideration in determining the value of a watch and how long one expects the watch to survive. Functionality adds to the statement a professional wants to give regarding their activities outside of the four walls of their office.

High horology pieces ranging from the thousands to the millions are widely available in the watch market—each watch claiming to be better than the other or even be the best of them all. This list, however, will be limited by affordability in order to cater to budding professionals in need of excellent watches of their own.

10 Best Watches for Professionals for 2020

ProductsPricesKey Features
Tissot Everytime Swissmatic TI090471603100$395.00- Sapphire crystal
- Classic dress watch
Oris Artelier 623 7582$995.00- Swiss luxury brand
- Sapphire crystal
- In-house movement
Timex Weekender Chronograph TW2P62300ZA$55.80- Very affordable
- Low cost chronograph
- Ultra thin case
Bulova Lunar Pilot 96B251$550.00- High performance quartz
- Stopwatch
- Used on the moon
Seiko Presage Cocktail Time “Skydiving” SSA343J1$466.95- Beautiful large dial
- Power reserve
- Date hand
Orient Mako II “Pepsi” FAA02009D9$128.95- Affordable diver’s watch
- Day-date complications
Certina Ds-1 Powermatic C029.807.11.031.00$720.00- Sapphire crystal
- 80h power reserve
Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic
H64455533
$365.00- Quintessential field watch design
- Day-date complications
Swatch Body & Soul YAS100D$131.68- Skeleton watch face
- Interestingly unique dial design
Frederique Constant Classics Index FC-303MS5B6$494.25- Sapphire crystal
- Ultra-thin case
- Classic dress watch

1 Tissot Everytime Swissmatic TI090471603100

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The Everytime Swissmatic is made by a historic Swiss watchmaker: Tissot. Tissot is a watch company founded in 1853 in Le Locle, Switzerland by father and son watchmaker Charles-Felicien and Charles-Emile Tissot. The Everytime Swissmatic is their take on the modern professional watch.

The Tissot Everytime Swissmatic follows the modern trend for minimalist watch faces and interchangeable watch straps. The clean white dial of the Everytime Swissmatic is a no-nonsense statement, but the very simplicity allows for this watch to look good even when the strap is replaced with a NATO or a stainless steel bracelet. It is the perfect watch for the professional who is serious but likes to showcase a rugged persona once in awhile.

The functionality can be limited as it only offers a date function, but it remains a classic dress watch made just right for the office setting.

+PROS

  • Sapphire crystal
  • Classic dress watch

-CONS

  • Limited functionality
The Basics:

Brand: Tissot 
Model: Everytime Swissmatic
Price: $395

Reference Number: TI090471603100
Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal Material: Sapphire
Water Resistance: 30m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather
Strap/Bracelet Width: 21mm
Watch Type: Dress watch
Similar to: Seiko Credor Eichi

The Movement/Specifications:

Movement: Automatic 
Functions/Complications: Hour, minute, second, date 
Thickness: 11.62mm
Weight: 66.9g

Key Features:

Brand: Tissot 
Model: Everytime Swissmatic
Price: $395

Reference Number: TI090471603100
Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal Material: Sapphire
Water Resistance: 30m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather
Strap/Bracelet Width: 21mm
Watch Type: Dress watch
Similar to: Seiko Credor Eichi

2 Oris Artelier 623 7582

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Artelier is a wordplay on the words “art” and “atelier,” a workshop for an artist or designer. The use of this name calls towards the care Oris put in the creation of the Oris Artelier. It’s a wonderfully minimalist watch crafted for the ambitious young professional that appreciates beautiful design both outside and in.  

Oris is a brand founded in 1904 in the town of Holstein and is considered—along with Tissot—to be one of the most respected entry-level Swiss luxury watches. The Artelier follows their tradition of simple quality with its large white dial, its classically positioned marks and small second subdial. 

What justifies its price relative to the other watches on this list is its use of a high-quality in-house movement. A movement made in-house means that the movement is crafted by the watch company itself and not outsourced to mass production factories. It increases the price dramatically but promises the professional who buys it uniqueness not just through its external design.

+PROS

  • Sapphire crystal
  • In-house movement
  • Respected Swiss brand

-CONS

  • Pricey
The Basics:

Brand: Oris
Model: Artelier
Price: $995

Reference Number: 623 7582 
Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal Material: Sapphire
Water Resistance: 30m
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel
Strap/Bracelet Width: 21mm 
Watch Type: Dress watch
Similar to: Patek Philippe Calatrava

The Movement/Specifications:

Movement: Automatic
Functions/Complications: Hour, minute, date, small seconds subdial
Thickness: 10.5mm

Key Features:

Brand: Oris
Model: Artelier
Price: $995

Reference Number: 623 7582 
Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal Material: Sapphire
Water Resistance: 30m
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel
Strap/Bracelet Width: 21mm 
Watch Type: Dress watch
Similar to: Patek Philippe Calatrava

3 Timex Weekender Chronograph TW2P62300ZA

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Across the Atlantic from the Swiss watches this list has so far discussed is the Timex Weekender Chronograph. Originally the Waterbury Watch Company in 1854, the Timex brand is still a household name today. It is well-known for its very affordable, yet dependable watches. The Weekender Chronograph is this list’s most affordable watch for professionals.

Despite coming from a brand famous for being a watch brand for the common working man, the Timex Weekender Chronograph deserves a spot on this list. With its three subdials and built-in chronograph, the Timex Weekender is made as an option for the non-brand conscious professional who appreciates design and functionality. 

The quartz movement found in the Timex Weekender Chronograph isn’t as respected by watch enthusiasts, but the affordability, space-saving quality, and functionality inherent in quartz movements make it a worthy piece to have on anyway. 

+PROS

  • Very affordable
  • Low-cost chronograph
  • Ultra-thin case

-CONS

  • Quartz-powered
  • Comparatively lower quality
  • Known common brand
The Basics:

Brand: Timex
Model: Weekender Chronograph
Price: $55.80

Reference Number: TW2P62300ZA
Diameter: 40m
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal Material: Mineral
Water Resistance: 40m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather & nylon
Strap/Bracelet Width: 20mm
Watch Type: Field Watch
Similar to: Omega Speedmaster

The Movement/Specifications:

Movement: Quartz 
Functions/Complications: Hour, minute, second, date, 24-hour military time, 30-minute chronograph
Thickness: 9mm
Weight: 63.5g

Key Features:

Brand: Timex
Model: Weekender Chronograph
Price: $55.80

Reference Number: TW2P62300ZA
Diameter: 40m
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal Material: Mineral
Water Resistance: 40m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather & nylon
Strap/Bracelet Width: 20mm
Watch Type: Field Watch
Similar to: Omega Speedmaster

4 Bulova Lunar Pilot Special Edition 96B251

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The 1875 American watch brand Bulova played an important role in American history in becoming among the few watch companies to go beyond our very planet. It did so exactly 100 years after the brands’ inception through the 1975 version of the Bulova Lunar Pilot used by the astronauts of the Apollo 15 mission.

A watch fit for professional astronauts on a mission to the moon must be fit for the office professional eagerly, albeit figuratively, reaching for the stars. The Bulova Lunar Pilot Special Edition uses a high-performance quartz movement housed in a stainless steel tonneau (barrel-shaped) case and is protected by a sapphire crystal.

The Lunar Pilot is a bit on the pricey end of this list and is quite heavy and bulky. It more than makes up for these cons through its amazing history and the statement of ambition it makes. 

+PROS

  • High-performance quartz
  • Stopwatch
  • Excellent history

-CONS

  • Heavy on the wrist
  • Large case size
The Basics:

Brand: Bulova 
Model: Lunar Pilot special edition
Price: $550

Reference Number: 96B251 
Diameter: 45mm
Case Material: Stainless steel 
Crystal Material: Sapphire
Water Resistance: 50m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather 
Strap/Bracelet Width: 22mm
Watch Type: Sports watch
Similar to: Omega Speedmaster

The Movement/Specifications:

Movement: High-performance quartz 
Functions/Complications: Hour, minute, second, date, tachymeter, stopwatch  
Thickness: 13.5mm
Weight: 141.7g

Key Features:

Brand: Bulova 
Model: Lunar Pilot special edition
Price: $550

Reference Number: 96B251 
Diameter: 45mm
Case Material: Stainless steel 
Crystal Material: Sapphire
Water Resistance: 50m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather 
Strap/Bracelet Width: 22mm
Watch Type: Sports watch
Similar to: Omega Speedmaster

5 Seiko Presage Cocktail Time “Skydiving” SSA343J1

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The Seiko brand, originally Seikosha, has been known for producing quality watches since 1881. The Japanese are famous for their dedication to craft, industriousness, and punctuality. The Presage Cocktail Time is a testament to all three.

The Presage Cocktail Time is Seiko’s beautifully crafted version of the classic dress watch. It has a light blue dial with a sunburst design and uses a single axle for its power reserve and date hands. This Seiko Presage model uses a proprietary hardened mineral crystal glass covering its dial and an automatic movement housed in stainless steel.

What makes the Seiko Presage Cocktail Time special—enough for it to be considered by The Spring Bar to be the Best Overall watch for professionals—is its own in-house movement. Much like the Oris Artelier, Seiko doesn’t entrust the movement of their Presage watches to other watchmakers. It uses Seiko’s own automatic movement to ensure quality even under the hood.

+PROS

  • Beautiful, large dial
  • Power reserve
  • Date hand

-CONS

  • Hardlex crystal
The Basics:

Brand: Seiko
Model: Presage Cocktail time “skydiving”
Price: $466.95

Reference Number: SSA343J1
Diameter: 40.5mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal Material: Hardlex
Water Resistance: 50m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather 
Strap/Bracelet Width: 20mm
Watch Type: Dress watch
Similar to: Patek Philippe Calatrava

The Movement/Specifications:

Movement: Automatic 
Functions/Complications: Hour, minute, second, power reserve, date hand   
Thickness: 14.5mm
Weight: 86.2g

Key Features:

Brand: Seiko
Model: Presage Cocktail time “skydiving”
Price: $466.95

Reference Number: SSA343J1
Diameter: 40.5mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal Material: Hardlex
Water Resistance: 50m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather 
Strap/Bracelet Width: 20mm
Watch Type: Dress watch
Similar to: Patek Philippe Calatrava

6 Orient Mako II “Pepsi” FAA02009D9

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The Orient Mako II “Pepsi” is the second Japanese watch on this list and the only diver’s watch. With watchmaking roots dating back to 1912, Orient has been famous for producing excellent watches. The Mako II is no exception and makes for a perfect watch for professionals.

The Mako II is an affordable divers’ watch with a unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel and day-date complications. Its case and bracelet is made of stainless steel and uses a mineral crystal glass.

While its features are underwhelming to some, the Orient Mako II “Pepsi” has been a darling diver’s watch to online enthusiasts for many years now. This is due to its eye-catching design, a homage to the Rolex GMT II “Pepsi,” and its Orient in-house movement.

Unlike most of the dress watches on this list, the Orient Mako II “Pepsi” is loud and really stands out in any fashion ensemble. It’s just the watch for the active young professional who can carry himself in a suit or rock a polo shirt.

+PROS

  • Affordable diver’s watch
  • Day-date complications

-CONS

  • Large case diameter
The Basics:

Brand: Orient
Model: Mako II
Price: $128.95

Reference Number: FAA02009D9
Diameter:  41.5mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal Material: Mineral
Water Resistance: 200m
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel
Strap/Bracelet Width: 22mm
Watch Type: Diver’s watch
Similar to: Rolex GMT Master II “Pepsi”

The Movement/Specifications:

Movement: Automatic
Functions/Complications:  Hour, minute, second, day-date 
Thickness: 13mm

Key Features:

Brand: Orient
Model: Mako II
Price: $128.95

Reference Number: FAA02009D9
Diameter:  41.5mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal Material: Mineral
Water Resistance: 200m
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel
Strap/Bracelet Width: 22mm
Watch Type: Diver’s watch
Similar to: Rolex GMT Master II “Pepsi”

7 Certina Ds-1 Powermatic C029.807.11.031.00

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Swiss watchmaker Certina was founded in 1888 by Adolf and Alfred Kurth and is still a respected brand today. Their Certina Ds-1 Powermatic watch is one of their modern offerings but is actually based on their 1960s Ds concept design. It combines retro style with powerful modern machinery to give professionals a unique look.

True to its 1960s concept, the Certina Ds-1 is a minimalist dress watch with a silver watch face and index hour marks. This pragmatic retro design is what gives the watch personality. It is reminiscent of the straightforward 1960s Omega Seamasters or Omega Constellations. 

Despite its retro look, Certina employed an innovative Swiss ETA self-winding movement. It is capable of an 80h power reserve and placed in a carefully designed case water-resistant to up to 100m. These features make it a truly capable watch designed for hardworking professionals.

+PROS

  • Swiss luxury brand
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Ultra-thin case

-CONS

  • Pricey
The Basics:

Brand: Certina
Model:  Ds-1 Powermatic
Price: $720

Reference Number: C029.807.11.031.00 
Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel 
Crystal Material: Sapphire
Water Resistance: 100m
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel
Strap/Bracelet Width: 21mm
Watch Type: Dress watch
Similar to: Vintage Omega Seamaster (60s)

The Movement/Specifications:

Movement: Automatic
Functions/Complications: Hour, minute, second, date 
Thickness: 11.7mm

Key Features:

Brand: Certina
Model:  Ds-1 Powermatic
Price: $720

Reference Number: C029.807.11.031.00 
Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel 
Crystal Material: Sapphire
Water Resistance: 100m
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel
Strap/Bracelet Width: 21mm
Watch Type: Dress watch
Similar to: Vintage Omega Seamaster (60s)

8 Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic H64455533

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Hamilton is a Swiss watchmaker that traces its origins to the United States in 1892. It eventually moved to Switzerland in 1969, but as evidenced in the rough and rugged look of its watches today, Hamilton maintained the spirit of American design. The Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic combines Swiss watchmaking prowess with American design ingenuity.

The Khaki Field derives its inspiration from the Hamiltons that served in WWII with American combat troops. It is tough, reliable and has that manly American G.I. look making it perfect for the professional gunning for an outgoing and casual accent to their office wardrobe. It comes with a leather band but is versatile enough to look great even with a NATO strap. 

+PROS

  • Quintessential field watch design
  • Day-date complications

-CONS

  • Casual design
The Basics:

Brand: Hamilton
Model: Khaki field automatic
Price: $365

Reference Number: H64455533 
Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel 
Crystal Material:  Sapphire
Water Resistance: 50m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather 
Strap/Bracelet Width: 19mm
Watch Type: Field watch

The Movement/Specifications:

Movement: Automatic 
Functions/Complications: Hour, minute, second, day-date
Thickness: 11.5mm
Weight: 72.6g

Key Features:

Brand: Hamilton
Model: Khaki field automatic
Price: $365

Reference Number: H64455533 
Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel 
Crystal Material:  Sapphire
Water Resistance: 50m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather 
Strap/Bracelet Width: 19mm
Watch Type: Field watch

9 Swatch Body & Soul YAS100D

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Swatch is a watch brand founded in the 1980s to combat Japanese watchmakers during the boom of quartz watches. Swatch was successful, but the brand itself kept its famous casually kooky designs. The Body & Soul stands out as a watch fit for professionals.

The Swatch Body & Soul, with its skeleton watch face and the Swatch name emblazoned on its bezel, isn’t a watch a professional will take seriously at first glance. But the chaotic, almost seemingly disorganized design gives it the qualities of abstract art. It’s insane enough to be interesting. It’s perfect for the professional that wants to stand out on a level beyond what’s expected by his colleagues.

+PROS

  • Skeleton watch face
  • Interestingly unique dial design

-CONS

  • Plastic crystal
  • Dial design could be divisive
The Basics:

Brand: Swatch
Model: Body & Soul 
Price: $131.68

Reference Number: YAS100D
Diameter: 38mm
Case Material: Stainless steel 
Crystal Material: Plastic
Water Resistance: 30m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather
Strap/Bracelet Width:  17mm
Watch Type: Dress watch
Similar to: Hublot Classic Fusion Classico

The Movement/Specifications:

Movement: Swiss automatic 
Functions/Complications: Hour, minute, second
Thickness: 13mm
Weight: 99.8g

Key Features:

Brand: Swatch
Model: Body & Soul 
Price: $131.68

Reference Number: YAS100D
Diameter: 38mm
Case Material: Stainless steel 
Crystal Material: Plastic
Water Resistance: 30m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather
Strap/Bracelet Width:  17mm
Watch Type: Dress watch
Similar to: Hublot Classic Fusion Classico

10 Frederique Constant Classics Index FC-303MS5B6

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Frederique Constant is another relatively young watchmaker. It was founded in 1988 by Dutch couple Peter and Aletta Stas and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Despite the relative infancy of its mother company, the Classics Index has no shortage in traditional Swiss design ingenuity. It’s a beautiful classic dress watch fit for any professional setting.

The Frederique Constant Classics Index has a textured silver dial with Roman numeral hour indices,  feather-like hour and minute hands, and a classic 3 o’clock date window. The functionality of this watch is limited to its date window, but the intricate pattern is better uncluttered by other functions. Its subtle elegance makes the Classics Index a choice watch for more traditional professional outfits.

+PROS

  • Sapphire crystal
  • Ultra-thin case
  • Classic dress watch

-CONS

  • Limited functionality
The Basics:

Brand: Frederique Constant 
Model: Classics Index 
Price: $494.25

Reference Number:  FC-303MS5B6 
Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal Material: Sapphire
Water Resistance: 50m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather 
Strap/Bracelet Width: 20mm
Watch Type: Dress 
Similar to: Breguet Classique 5157

The Movement/Specifications:

Movement: Automatic 
Functions/Complications: Hour, minute, second, date 
Thickness: 11mm

Key Features:

Brand: Frederique Constant 
Model: Classics Index 
Price: $494.25

Reference Number:  FC-303MS5B6 
Diameter: 40mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal Material: Sapphire
Water Resistance: 50m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather 
Strap/Bracelet Width: 20mm
Watch Type: Dress 
Similar to: Breguet Classique 5157

Best Watches for Professionals Buyer’s Guide and FAQs

Key Features to Consider In Buying a Watch for Professionals

In this guide, we compared the best watch options for professionals in terms of design, brand, durability, functionality, and affordability.

  • Design: The design of the product is the most important consideration in buying a watch for professionals. Knowing the look or inspiration of a watch allows one to better understand its character and the purpose for which it was designed. Each watch makes a statement about its user; different watches say different things about the one who wears it. Active functions and youthful designs showcase an active wearer, while more sombre designs portray a business-minded and serious wearer. Material feel also falls under this, as it considers the very comfort of the user.

  • Brand: The brand criterion considers a watch’s country of origin, its brand, and the corresponding history connected to it. The country of origin is important as each country has a different tradition of watchmaking that evolved through time. As with its country of origin, each brand or company also has its own traditions, and people attribute certain qualities to specific brands.

  • Functionality: When it comes to watches for professionals, functionality can be a secondary thought, but must still be considered nonetheless. It considers the following: complications or what functions a watch should have apart from telling the time, the movement or how a watch is powered, the water resistance or the depth of water or water pressure a watch can survive, and type of watch or what purposes a watch is designed for.

  • Durability: Durability is considered on this list as professionals need to know the survivability of their watch depending on their use. It is important to know the type of glass or crystal, the material of the watch case, and the strap, bracelet, or band. Mentioned on this list are three different types of watch band: the leather strap, a metal bracelet, or a NATO strap. The NATO strap is made of nylon and is called a NATO strap because it was originally created to hold watches for North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces.

  • Affordability: Watches on this list are limited to below $1000.

Are watches a good investment?

Watches can be a good speculative investment, as there is a possibility that it will increase in value over a certain period of time. For example, a common Rolex Oyster Perpetual from 1964 was worth $160. Today, provided that it’s still in pristine quality, the same watch can fetch for more than $3500. A ‘60s vintage Omega Constellation could be bought in 2005 for $200; today, it can be bought for over $400. Rarer watches like the Rolex Daytona worn by actor and racer Paul Newman were sold on auction for a record-breaking $17.1M.

Price increases for watches are exclusive to certain collector demanded pieces, though, and not across all vintage watches. Good investment watches are limited by brand and quality of maintenance. Like all investments, investing in watches warrants a careful study of collector market trends and a great deal of luck.

Should an automatic watch be wound everyday?

Automatic watches are called “automatic” because their movements derive power from the very energy a person’s moving wrists provide. The minute gears, cogs, and weights convert human kinetic energy into mechanical energy that allows the watch to move. This energy is saved to keep the watch functioning for a certain period of time depending on the quality of the movement. 

The watch stops running after a time, but some people use watch winders in order to save them the effort of winding the watch again. Some enthusiasts suggest allowing the watch to rest in order to protect the movement’s parts from wearing down. This is a partially true statement in that watches that rest need a much longer time before maintenance – 5 years. Wearing it all the time, or using a winder, or effectively, winding it every day, will shorten this time before maintenance down to 2 years.