The idea of associating anything short of expensive brands like Rolex with words such as “stylish” or “must-have” tends to elude most people, and as such watches are often a vastly neglected part of people’s wardrobes.

The truth of the matter is, however, that there is indeed a watch for every person, and every occasion. They’re not merely a device for telling the time, but an accessory – a way of complementing and enhancing your appearance and outfit. It’s not an exaggeration to say that paying close attention to the sort of watch you’re wearing can help turn an outfit from passable into dazzling.

Look at this way: do you just choose any old hat or pair of shoes when dressing up?

As with everything, you should dress to impress.

For the Trendy Professional

The professional watch should be stylish, yet at the same time reserved. This is more to keep a business-like look that can help co-workers or clients alike take you more seriously in your line of work. Like a handkerchief in a jacket pocket or a particular eye-catching shine to your shoes, this watch will show you mean business (hey, hey!)

In this sense, the Nixon Kensington Peppermint Watch is perfect for those who want to have a watch that functions not only for the workplace but as an all-round go-to watch as well. Featuring a classic interlocking strap with a simple locking clasp and a tinted face, it’s suited for just about any occasion. It’s also waterproof up to 100 meters so it can handle more than the odd spill without any effort at all.

For Formal Occasions

If we’re dealing with really formal white tie gatherings, then tradition often states that watches should not really be worn. If you must have a timepiece, it should be a pocket watch. This is a matter of etiquette. Checking a watch implies boredom, as you’re presumably waiting to see whether the event is nearly over. Naturally, your host may take offense to that.

For those times that allow it, however, consider a Blancpain Ultra Slim. It’s a simplistic yet classy watch in its appearance, with a minimalist black leather strap and a clear quartz face bearing elegant Roman numerals. With such elegance in design, it can get you just about anywhere whether you’re at a wedding, a meeting with the boss, or dinner jacket party. Its real strength lies in its size, however. The Ultra Slim is aptly-named, being slight enough that it can slip easily under the cuffs out of sight and out of mind.

The Sports Watch

While it’s the tendency to dress down while performing sporting activities, typically to reduce weight and areas that may trap heat, there are good reasons to wear a watch while exercising. After all, you’ll want to measure your speed and your progress, which will often require a watch. How can you know when you've beaten your best time on the track, for example, unless you have a timepiece to measure it with? How can you tell you’ve been devoting equal amounts of time to different parts of the body while warming up or cooling down without a watch to measure it with? Subsequently, there are many lightweight sporting watches specifically designed for the physically active.

One such design is the XX Speed Black Dial by Swatch. It features an extremely light silicone strap and casing, making it as light and unobtrusive as possible while on the wrist. The lack of organic parts, such as the leather found on many traditional watches, also makes it more comfortable wear when you break a sweat. Its face, in particular, should be extremely useful for the sporting type. Its hour hands are also marked with seconds to allow for easy and accurate time keeping. Adding to this are three additional subdials that measure 60 seconds, 60 minutes, and 1/10th of a second.

Diving Watches

Finally, let’s have a look at diving watches. These need to be durable so that they can withstand the many collisions they’ll have with the water as you dive while still keeping an accurate measure of the time. This not only applies to the watch itself but also the strap. Further, waterproofing is an obvious must. Their aesthetics tend to favor larger watch faces with rugged and durable appearances, but there's so much diversity in watches these days that you might be surprised at what you find.

G-SHOCK Watches are particularly popular among those who are looking for a durable watch, and they feature a tough casing made from resin, which is specifically designed to be shockproof and waterproof for up to 200m, and features a luminescent face so that you can still check time even while under water. It also features numerous measures and timers to assist with more competitive diving, which makes it ideal for ensuring your dives are perfectly timed.