Yes, we’re inclined toward sports watches, those utilitarian timepieces best suited for divers’ and pilots’ and astronauts’ wrists. But every now and then a guy’s got to clean up, whether it’s for a buddy’s wedding, a big job interview or a nice dinner out with the better half. For those times, you need something a little more civilized.

In a decidedly casual world, a dress watch sets you apart, gives you that intangible quality that can make a difference — however small — between getting the job, the girl or the future father-in-law’s favor. Though a dress watch needn’t cost a fortune, typically the good ones do; they also match up well with a bespoke suit and make for suitable heirlooms. Just like any other aspect of “looking good”, a dress watch shows that you consider your audience, take the time to put yourself together and have an appreciation for the traditions of style. Even if no one else notices your wrist, wearing a dress watch just feels good, imparting the same confidence that comes from donning a tux or knotting up a tie. We got our wrists on a quartet our favorites recently and played dress-up — in the most manly way possible — for an afternoon.

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