Who needs a winter wonderland when your wrist can sparkle? Meet the watches that are turning up the heat amidst the winter freeze.

Why Do You Need A Winter Watch?

It may not have occurred to you that watches can be seasonal. But as winter approaches, you may want to reconsider what your current watch collection has to offer. Sunny-side-up watches are great for the warmer months, but bold colours and vibrant plastic straps may need to be swapped for something more muted and sophisticated during the colder season. Here at Watches World, we think you’ll love these winter watch options.

Buying a watch for winter is a necessity, not only because the style of the watch should match the changing hues of the chilly sunsets or the ice-kissed leaves on cold winter mornings, but because it needs to match your winter wardrobe properly. A leather strap, for example, pairs better with a turtle neck than a bright orange diver’s strap. A metal bracelet looks more at home with a winter jumper than a colourful recycled plastic one. That said, with leather straps comes the chance to be more playful with colour. Grey, brown, blue, and green leather bands all work well with a winter wardrobe and can be added to a classic white or black dial to transform its look.

How To Wear A Winter Watch

There are no hard and fast rules about wearing a winter watch, as long as you’re happy with the way it looks and fits. But there are some things to consider if you want to ensure you’re fully maximising its beauty.

1. Choose slim over bulky

Firstly, since a watch for winter will most likely be worn under the cuff of a sleeve, it may be wise to steer away from big and bulky models. Generally, bold watches are sportier and larger, and daring sports watches don’t generally lend themselves well to winter attire anyway. There are plenty of compact watches out there that don’t lose anything in the way of charm and character but will still prevent any undesirable snagging and bunching at the sleeve. Choosing an elegant and slim watch is wise, especially since you have the option to take a layer or two off when indoors, giving your timepiece the chance to enjoy the attention it truly deserves.

2. Pick a sophisticated colour

Whether you’re planning a winter vacation or looking for a design to see you through the darker, danker months, a watch with a white palette freshens your attire up in seconds. This dial colour can add a touch of class to your current wardrobe than its more colourful counterparts. There are some beautiful textured white and silver dials to be had, and with various case materials to choose from, it just goes to show that white dial watches are not as boring as you may have thought.  

3. Match your leathers

Most classic watches for winter are accompanied by a leather band or metal bracelet. If you’ve decided on a leather strap, you’ll want to match your other leathers to go with it. Do you have a go-to grey leather bomber jacket you always wear on chilly mornings? Choose a grey leather strap to accompany it. And what about footwear? Do you always wear your favourite pair of tan leather shoes to the office? If so, go brown on the leather watch band. Pairing can be a nightmare, especially if your luxury watch collection is still maturing, but fear not – we have listed some very classic watches for winter that cut out all the hard work for you. Let’s get started…

Our picks

IWC Aquatimer Chronograph watch reference IW376806

IWC Aquatimer Chronograph watch reference IW376806

How better to start this guide than with the IWC Aquatimer? It is clad in a deep blue hue and encased in stainless steel surroundings, to say this watch tastefully embodies winter colours would be an understatement. It features a 44mm case and can withstand pressures up to 300 meters underwater. Thanks to its robust construction, the watch is highly pressure resistant and displays its chronograph counters legibly against the dial for plenty of stopwatch use. The Aquatimer dive watch has actually been around since 1967. Its distinctive dive-ready look now comes in many forms and is well-loved amongst enthusiasts, even those who don’t intend to use it for its diving capabilities. Its use for both recreational and professional scuba diving goes without saying, but iterations like this chronograph are also great for pairing with casual smart attire during the winter.

The IWC Aquatimer had to make it to our winter watch guide since it beautifully balances an understated sporty look with classic functionality. Behind the deep blue dial is the Calibre 79320, which drives a set of luminous hands around the dial effortlessly. These hands are accompanied by a track representing the hours in baton form, a 30-minute chrono counter, a 12-hour totaliser, and a central chronograph seconds hand with an unmissable orange tip. Additionally, you get to track the days of the week and the date at 3 o’clock while enjoying the suppleness of a blue rubber strap. The watch also benefits from a screw-down crown and a sapphire crystal glass front, treated with an anti-reflective coating on both sides. No doubt, this model is a great winter watch option, mainly for its classic blue tones and understated chronograph display.

Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope watch reference 329.

Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope watch reference 329.

The Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope Co-Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph has a long name but it reflects the brand’s expertise within its field of work – to produce exceptional, accurate and lifelong timekeeping instruments. The Chronoscope collection is quite a unique one because it borrows the iconic design of the Speedmaster and combines it with the company’s chronograph from the 1940s. The watch is made from tough, durable stainless steel and it measures 43mm in diameter. Its panda dial with a silver background and black-filled sub-counters at 3 and 9 o’clock offers a 12-hour totaliser and a small seconds function respectively. These counters are set against a pulsometer, and telemeter scale and framed by an anodized aluminium bezel in black,equipped with a tachymeter scale.

The Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope watch presents the time with a set of leaf-shaped hands that point to an hour scale represented by Arabic numerals. Touches of red also feature throughout the design, adding a pop of colour to the wrist and contrasting beautifully against the rich black sub-counters of the dial. Ideal for the winter, the watch is clothed in classic tones and is finished on a stainless steel bracelet that secures into place comfortably with a folding clasp. It is also equipped with the in-house developed Calibre 9908, which produces a power reserve of 60 hours thanks to its two barrels mounted in series. Its column wheel and escapement are resistant to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss and the movement is displayed through a transparent caseback. Packed with all the functions you’ll ever need for measuring elapsed time, the Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope watch is a good option for winter but can also be well-utilized throughout the year depending on the occasion.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner watch reference 126610LN-0001

Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope watch reference 329.

Generally speaking, perfection is achieved when there are no more improvements to be made. That tends to be true for watch brands like Rolex, which has made all the necessary modifications and improvements to its Submariner model, deeming it a holy grail watch. Some Submariner watches are highly sought-after collectables on the pre-owned market, yet the brand still offers several models in its core collection. As with any iconic watch, waiting lists and high price tags are a reality for watches like the Submariner. The brand first released the Submariner back in 1953, where it was met with resounding success.

It offered a 100-meter water resistance, thanks to the legendary design of the Oyster case - a hermetically sealed case fitted with a screw-down crown against the side of the case and a caseback screwed down onto the mid-case. The submariner was a beefed-up version of the Oyster case and was given a rotating bezel that measured elapsed time when underwater. In 1959 a 200-meter water resistant version of the Rolex Submariner arrived. Although Rolex has improved some elements of the design, it has never lost its undeniable appeal as a rugged dive icon.

This 41mm Rolex Submariner watch is great for wearing through the winter months. Its robust stainless steel case is ideal for withstanding harsh, cold environments and its dial remains incredibly legible in the darker evenings thanks to its long-lasting blue Chromalight elements. Now with a 300-meter water resistance, the watch is geared for any challenge. It features a sapphire crystal glass front, a Cerachrom unidirectional rotating bezel, and a screw-down Triplock waterproof crown. It’s also finished on a stainless steel bracelet, giving you the option to wear the watch with more formal attire should you need to. Alongside its recognisable three-handed display, the watch also features the famous date window positioned under a cyclops lens. The feature was brought into the line in the 1960s, yet there are still no-date versions available.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding watch reference 15510ST.OO.1320ST.08

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding watch reference 15510ST.OO.1320ST.08

This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is a great winter watch option for two reasons. Firstly, you can pick up an ultra-thin version which slides easily under layers of clothes. Secondly, it can be found in a universal silver-toned dial, like this reference. This Royal Oak Self-Winding watch, as its name suggests, is powered by an automatic movement. The Calibre 4302 operates at 28,800 vibrations per hour. It also has a 70 hour power reserve, so it can also be a good option if you plan to alternate it with another watch. It comprises 257 individual parts that are all assembled by the skilled hand of an Audemars Piguet artisan. For many, luxury watch collecting doesn’t get better than a state-of-the-art Manufacture movement. What’s more, the watch is inspired by the steel sports watch era and boasts the highly desirable integrated bracelet. This sits alongside an octagonal, porthole-inspired bezel designed by the legend known to the watch world as Gerald Genta.

This Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch boasts the “Grande Tapisserie” dial pattern and is equipped with luminous hands and an hour track with clear baton markers. The watch also features a handy date window at 3 o’clock and is topped by a piece of strong anti-glare sapphire crystal glass to protect the dial from harm.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to choosing watches for the winter, there are only a handful of things to remember. You can choose a classic dial colour and get a little experimental with a leather strap. Or why not go sophisticated with a metal bracelet? Don’t restrict yourself with certain case materials either. But bear in mind, that a stainless steel option is arguably the most conventional option. If you go for a different strap material, keep to darker shades like black, brown, deep green or navy blue. And don’t forget – a white dial will pair well with pretty much any colour. Consider the depth of the case too. You don’t want to struggle to slip it under several layers during the colder weather. Above all else – enjoy your winter watch and be sure to wear it to other occasions throughout the year to ensure you’re fully maximising its classic style.