Can You Wear A Dive Watch with A Suit?

Watches can speak to who you are – what you do for a living, your personality, your hobbies, etc. They vary in size, design, function, and price. Some people have a preference for analog, while others prefer digital. There are some that insist on automatic movements while others prefer quartz. All preferences aside, standard conventions dictate that there are certain occasions or outfits that traditionally dictate sporting one style of watch over another.

Can you wear a dive watch with a suit?

Dive watches are purpose built to aid divers in difficult underwater conditions. This necessitates that dive watches typically feature thicker, heavier, and sturdier cases than most other watches. They are regarded as work tools. Traditional convention likens dive watches to work boots as their appropriateness to pairing with a suit is concerned.

Dive watches were traditionally considered inelegant and too large to wear with a suit. The (in my opinion) unfortunate trend of favoring obscenely large dress watches that has taken over in the past several years has had one positive impact however. The size of dive watches is no longer a deterrent for most when it comes to matching with a suit. The most common thinking these days is “if it fits under the cuff, wear it.”

Personally, my thoughts lie somewhere in the middle. I wouldn’t consider anything on a rubber strap with a suit.  But I also wouldn’t hesitate to wear a dive watch on a bracelet or a leather strap for most occasions which require me to wear a suit. I’ve actually worn my SKX173 on my favorite leather NATO strap with a suit to a job interview (and yes, I got the job offer).

The versatility of a good dive watch is unmatched. A diver can look great with a suit, jeans, shorts, or a wetsuit. The same can’t be said for a dress watch, sports watch, or field watch. Most dress watches look out of place outside of formal occasions. Field watches are great for weekend or even business casual wear. Sports watches really only look good with sports attire. Aviation watches can be pretty versatile, but can sometimes be too busy depending on the specific model.

Summary

Traditionally a slim dress watch was considered the only appropriate timepiece to pair with a suit. My thoughts on the matter are simple. Wear what makes you happy. If you want to wear an SKX007 on a shark mesh band with a three piece suit, do it. If anyone mentions it, remind them that James Bond himself wears an Omega Seamaster with a suit!