Compared to women, men have more limited options when it comes to accessories, and often, a great watch is the most fitting punctuation to their ensemble – especially when it comes to formal occasions. Despite the trend of wearing sports watches with everything from a suit to a t-shirt, nothing beats the allure of the perfect dress watch.
Rolex dress watches have long been staples of style. Whether you’re looking to add elegance to your workwear, or want something with a bit more panache to wear on your nights off, Rolex has plenty of options for men who want their watch to be as stylish as their attire. Here are our picks for the best men’s Rolex dress watches:
Rolex Cellini Dual Time ref 50529
Rolex watches are easily recognizable with their Oyster cases, and watches from the Cellini collection stand out with their more delicate and sometimes more ornate designs. Considered the dress watch collection of Rolex, the Cellini is a catch-all for formal dress watches of the Genevan watchmaker.
Rolex Cellini Dual Time White Gold Automatic Mens Watch 50529 photo: Rolex
The Rolex Cellini Dual Time ref 50529 is a great choice for the man who wants to look good and stay on schedule. The timepiece features a dual-time dial that deviates from the sporty illustrations to haute horology. By dressing up the dual-time display with a subdial at 6 o’clock, Rolex has made a dual-time complication that’s art-deco rather than sporty.
With a 39mm case made from only 18k white gold, you’re looking at a refined Rolex that still appeals to travelers and businessmen. The 3180 calibre automatic movement and 48-hour power reserve are all tied together with a sleek leather strap bringing the GMT-Master complications to the dress world with some serious class.
Rolex Cellini Moonphase ref 50535
Leave it to Rolex to release their only modern moonphase watch in an elegant and dressy model that exudes style and class. Released in 2017, the ref 50535 introduced a first shift in Rolex’s Cellini line to include more complications in their dress watches beyond time and date models.
Rolex Cellini Moonphase White Dial Rose Gold Mens Watch 50535
While maintaining an uncomplicated elegance, the Cellini Moonphase has a sleek white lacquered dial with an enameled blue moonphase disc settled in at 6 o’clock. Even the moonphase disc maintains that vintage Rolex elegance.
This 39mm Everose gold piece remains versatile when it comes to wrist size. While they’ve obviously designed the watch for dressier occasions with the simplicity and precious metals, it wouldn’t be out of place when you wear it to a board meeting.
Rolex Cellini Prince in Gold ref 5440, 5443 and 5442
Rolex Cellini Prince ref 5443
While Rolex had been making dress watches since its inception, the Cellini collection was formally created in the 70s by Rene-Paul Jeanneret and Andre Heiniger. After Hans Wildorf’s passing, it’s these two corporate leaders that shifted the opinions of the Rolex brand from utilitarian watchmaker to luxury watchmaker.
Today, the Cellini line remains one of Rolex’s formal outlets for creativity. You’ll find a lot of change in this collection over the decades as Rolex explores luxury aesthetics, as well as shapes that they wouldn’t try in their sports watch lines.
Rolex Cellini Prince Black Dial 18K White Gold Mens Watch 5443
The Rolex Cellini Prince ref 5443 is a nod to the Prince watches made by Rolex in the 1920s. A little deviation from the standard Cellini line, the Prince collection was revived in 2015, and features a rectangular case (28mm x 46mm) with exotic, art-deco dials. The ref 5443’s black dial features two faces.
The time only upper section has the Rolex crown at 12 o’clock and Arabic numerals marking 3, 6, and 9. The lower section features a subsidiary seconds keeper. This style was often called the “doctor’s watch” back in the 1920s, as the center seconds and larger dial makes them ideal for timing breathing or pulse beats.
A sapphire crystal caseback allows you to view the Rolex Calibre 7040-4 with its manually wound movement. The white gold case stands out superbly against the black leather strap for a style and manner that dresses nicely with any suit.
Rolex Datejust 36 Steel Yellow Gold ref 16233 and 116233
Rolex released the first Datejust in 1945. Since becoming the first watch whose date changed automatically at midnight, it continued strong for the company, and has become one of the most iconic and successful models Rolex has ever produced. You can see this in the vast number of models, metal finishes, bezel styles, and bracelet types within the Datejust collection.
The Rolex Datejust 36 Steel Yellow Gold ref 16233 is a great option for those with smaller wrists. It’s not too big on the wrist, but the timeless combination of gold and steel still looks classy and modern. The watch has a 36mm case and fluted bezel that is small enough to fit under your cuff without being too cumbersome.
The champagne-colored dial is complimented by simple dark hour markers and yellow gold hands. The two-tone steel and yellow gold bracelet continue its line into the adjoining case to make the bezel and bracelet blend seamlessly together.
Rolex Datejust 41 Steel Everose Gold ref 126331
The Rolex Datejust might be the most beloved dress watch on the market and must be included on this list more than once! Rolex has released several models, each with their own artful design, so it makes sense that there are several that can make the list of the best men’s dress watches.
Introduced in 2016, the larger Datejust 41 is a contemporary take on the traditional 36mm Datejust. The fundamental design and proportions stay true to the original Datejust, while offering the larger case size that modern collectors want.
Rolex Datejust 41 Steel Everose Gold ref 126331 photo: Rolex
The Rolex Datejust 41 Steel Everose Gold ref 126331 is one of the most popular new models in the collection. It features a more contemporary two-tone pairing with stainless steel and Rolex’s Everose gold. The elegant, brushed steel and Everose gold flow freely from the Jubilee or Oyster bracelet to the stainless steel case with a fluted or smooth Everose gold bezel.
The light pink sundust dial perfectly compliments the gold, and the light touch of sparkle from the diamond hour markers adds the elegance that defines the Datejust dress line. This model is also available with a chocolate brown dial that sports the longer lasting blue lume called Chromalight, along the baton hour markers and hands. Perfect for someone who wants a starker contrast and less sparkle.
The ref 126331 features an automatic movement Caliber 3235, which offers a power reserve of 70 hours. The larger case slips elegantly into modern trends and makes for a dress watch that slips effortlessly between night and day.
Rolex President Day-Date Everose ref 118135
A perennial favorite, the Rolex President is a dress watch with a history of elegance and style that’s hard to beat. This beautiful and luxurious watch is sure to turn heads while remaining effortlessly elegant. The Rolex Day-Date line has an extensive history of being associated with world leaders and the rich and famous, securing its prestige and value through the years.
Rolex President Day-Date Everose ref 118135 photo: Rolex
The ref 118135 has a 36mm case made of 18k Everose gold, a fluted bezel, and a scratch resistant sapphire crystal. The watch is powered by Rolex’s Caliber 3155 movement and is water resistant up to 30 meters.
This Everose gold model is a unique and elegant example from the Day-Date collection with a chocolate dial that you’ll only see on the brand’s Everose models. The deep brown and rose gold surround the watch with a luxurious warmth that’s only further complimented by the chocolate brown leather strap.
The 3155 perpetual movement also boasts the Double quickset function, which means you can adjust the day and date independent of the time.
Rolex President Day-Date Platinum ref 228236
The Rolex President Day-Date Platinum ref 228236 is a great choice if you want a Day-Date that’s a little more subtle in design but no less elegant. It has a monochromatic color scheme that’s excellent for formal affairs but also not too flashy for the office or even weekend trips.
Having a Day-Date watch in platinum isn’t new. You can easily recognize these models from the iconic ice-blue dials, but the platinum, fluted bezel can only be found on these 2022 models.
Previously, Rolex stated that the platinum watches could only feature a smooth bezel, but as Rolex is always looking at new technology and metallurgy, times have changed. While platinum is difficult to mold into the shape of a fluted bezel, Rolex found a way.
Rolex President Day-Date Platinum ref 228236
Platinum watches carry some weight and add the case and President bracelet, this model is no different – the heft of the precious metal is immediately felt on the wrist. The ice-blue dial also features Roman numerals at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 in applied platinum.
The Caliber 3255 automatic movement has the double quickset functionality to make changing the date and day a breeze. The 70-hour power reserve is also helpful for that activity packed weekend sojourn.
Rolex Sky-Dweller Steel White Gold ref 326934
The Rolex Sky-Dweller Steel White Gold ref 326934 is a great choice if you’re looking for an elegant watch that can stand up to everyday wear and tear and help you monitor multiple time zones.
Launched in 2012, the Sky-Dweller was made for the sophisticated traveler with its dual time and annual calendar complications, which can be easily set with the clever Ring Command Bezel.
While the Sky-Dweller was initially available only in solid gold models, the ref 326934 introduced the “White Rolesor” to the line, with a stunning combination of white gold and Oystersteel making it both elegant and resilient. It combines the best of both worlds: the functionality of a GMT with the elegance of a dress watch.
Rolex Sky-Dweller Steel White Gold ref 326934 photo: Rolex
It features a 42mm Oystersteel case with a white gold fluted bezel. The second time zone is displayed by the red arrow pointing to the 24-hour disc above 6 o’clock, while the month is indicated by the apertures above each hour marker. Genius, isn’t it?
The combination of a handsome white metal finish with the striking dial is a common occurrence in luxury watches, but there’s nothing common about this watch. All in all, the dress watch packs various complications including a date mechanism, annual calendar, central hour, minutes, and seconds hands, and a dual-time register in the form of an inner sub-dial.
The watch is powered by Rolex’s Caliber 9001 automatic movement and is water resistant to 100 meters.
There’s no doubt that this watch makes a statement from your wrist, but the style moves fluidly to match the wearer, not the other way around.
Best Men’s Rolex Dress Watches: Final Thoughts
When it comes to men’s dress watches, a Rolex watch is an excellent investment. Not only are there many models to choose from, you are also assured of its top quality craftsmanship and design.
If you’re looking for classic and timeless, the Datejust is a great option. If you’re looking for something with more functionality, the Sky-Dweller may be more your style. Explore our vast selection of men’s Rolex dress watches at SwissWatchExpo and see what feels best.