We men know the routine: as the mercury inches up we swap wool for linen blends, long sleeves for short and desert boots for desert-ready sandals. But our wristwear – that stays the same year round, right? Not so.
“Winter outfits are usually more tailored and structured, making a dress or boardroom watch the go-to for an everyday look,” explains Erica Redgrave, a buyer at The Watch Gallery. “In summer, however, the combination of heat and casual looks can make leather-strapped classics uncomfortable, and at odds with shorts and a T-shirt.”
This brings about an entirely new set of rules, and as Alex Stonely, head of retail at Watchfinder, points out, there are also practical considerations. “Chances are you’ll end up in the pool at some point, so good water resistance is a must. Always think about strap choice, too. Rubber’s fresh, but canvas is better – lighter than steel, airy and far more breathable than leather.”
So with all of that mind, we’ve clocked the best watches to keep your wrist game cool on every front this summer.
Hamilton Khaki Field
‘Tis the season of pub gardens, so it makes sense match your watch to the surroundings. Hamilton’s Khaki Field has an on-trend green strap and dial that’ll add colour to simpler looks, while offering substantial water resistance should the beers spill.
Available at Ernest Jones, priced £265.
Timex Fairfield Chronograph
These days, Swiss guts aren’t the only marker of craftsmanship. The Timex Fairfield houses a quartz-powered chronograph function – a hallmark of to-the-second accuracy – proving that quality exists outside of Geneva. The lightweight nylon strap in classic navy, meanwhile, means it will pair with most looks.
Available at Timex, priced £89.99.
Centuries-old Swiss manufacturer Girard-Perregaux hasn’t shied away from size to create its 2017 summer watch. While the 42mm diameter case is hefty, the lightweight textured carbon strap keeps it both breathable and waterproof. Though, you may have to live on leftover BBQ food to afford it.
Available at Selfridges, priced £9,700.
Hugo Boss Orange Men’s Watch
Socks and sandals aside, style doesn’t have to die in the summertime. This Action Man-worthy watch from Hugo Boss packs a green nato strap and subtle orange accents for a design that’s equal parts statement and wearable.
Available at Goldsmiths, priced £90.
TAG Heuer Aquaracer
The Aquaracer is one of TAG Heuer’s bestselling pieces, so it made perfect sense for the brand to re-strap the model in time for summer. Launched in 1982 as a watersports watch, today it looks just as good lounging around the pool.
Available at Watchfinder, priced £1,395.
Daniel Wellington Warwick
Canvas straps aren’t just for wearing with casual clobber. Daniel Wellington’s Warwick taps preppy East Coast vibes with a clean dial and a school tie striped strap, resulting in a polished piece capable of working for smarter dress codes.
Available at John Lewis, priced £129.
By name and by nature, Farer watches are more than fair on the pocket, and the Mallory model is no different. With a respected Swiss movement, PVD finish for extra durability and a glow-in-the-dark dial, it’s certainly a lot of watch for the money.
Available at Farer, priced £280.
Breitling Avenger Automatic
If heading to sunnier climes, chances are you’ll be doing so on a plane. So make like a captain with Breitling’s Avenger watch. The robust chronograph comes with a pilot’s bezel, meaning there’s really no excuse to miss your flight.
Available at The Watch Gallery, priced £5,070.