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If a gentleman were to own just one accessory, it would have to be a watch. Not only does a finely made timepiece make an elegant and stylish accent, it’s also functional, versatile and, if you need it to be, a statement about you.

That said, many men spend the first decades of their lives without owning a statement timepiece, often because they don’t know where to start looking — or perhaps would like to buy a watch as a gift for someone special (and yes, Father’s Day is coming!). If you’re either of those people, read on and we’ll guide you through the process of picking a watch type that suits your or your loved one’s lifestyle and personal taste.

The Active Watch

These are great for those who lead active lifestyles. They’re built to withstand the demands of outdoor activities, both on land and at sea. Some are crafted entirely or partially in ceramic or titanium, making them durable but lightweight. If you prefer robust-looking ones, there are those made in stainless steel, either matched with thick link metal bracelets, leather and other breathable, easy to clean and interchangeable alternatives like rubber, NATO-style and canvas straps. Design-wise, they can be elaborate like functions-packed chronographs or more minimalist like dive watches.

These watches typically have large dials, often between 38 mm and 45 mm, and feature large numerals and luminescent hands for legibility in all situations. For the same reason, they often have high-contrast dials, where white or light-coloured numerals are placed against dark or black dial plates. While mostly rugged in appearance, these watches are versatile enough to be worn on your adventures, at work, weekend getaways and even at more formal occasions.

The Dress Watch

Every now and then an event calls for black-tie or semi-formal attire, and by tradition that would be best paired with a dress watch. Because these are designed primarily as a formal accessory, they’re mostly minimal — you can slip them effortlessly under a shirt cuff but just as easily reveal them. But despite this, watchmakers sometimes use them to demonstrate innovative designs as well as technical expertise.

Dress watch cases are most often crafted in precious metals like gold and platinum with svelte profiles matched by conspicuous crowns, providing the ultimate elegant finishing touch. There are many beautiful options out there, from cool and contemporary to more classic and iconic styles. And while most dress watches follow a clean aesthetic, some are clad with diamonds or gemstones on the bezel, and even the bracelet and dial.

The Tech Watch

If you’re looking for something less traditional and as less of an investment, you can start with ‘wearable tech’ or a smart watch, which bring analogue watches into the 21st century by incorporating modern and contemporary features. These function-packed devices can include everything from heart rate and other health sensors to navigation aids and an emergency SOS function, usually in a tasteful housing. If you’re fickle with your mood or outfits, they also usually offer more variety when it comes to colour and style, and often include interchangeable straps for more flexible outfit matching.

The Everyday Watch


These are the trusty timepieces that work well for many different occasions and as daily wear. They fall somewhere between sporty watches and dress watches — not too formal and delicate or too rugged and oversized. They’re designed with ergonomics in mind, so they’re comfortable to wear all day — for example, they should sit perfectly on the wrist. You should go for mid-sized cases with extended lugs (the parts that connect the bracelet or strap to the watch) and breathable straps for optimal comfort.

The Minimalist Watch

With their seriously pared-down design and straightforward time-telling features, minimalist watches focus on their purpose of telling you the time. The beauty of minimalist watches is that because of their understated design, they’re very versatile. They can step in as a dress watch but can also be your everyday watch. And because of their relatively limited features (compared to, say, and active watch), minimalist watches are a great entry-level option.

J Select products are available for pick-up in-store at Pacific Place.