These days, it is not difficult to find a watch that can do suitable double—or triple—duty as both a robust tool as well as a refined piece of wrist candy for an evening at a nice restaurant. But why not have some fun with the watch selection for your next sailing holiday? While certain timepieces effortlessly transition between aquatic adventures and table-side conversations, others—such as a solid-gold dress watch—are more fitting for a singular task, and that’s just fine. With these six pieces, you’ll have all your bases covered. 


For Exploring the Town Once You Dock

IWC Portugieser Automatic 40 

There’s something to be said for a watch that doesn’t masquerade as something it isn’t. To wit, IWC’s famed Portugieser Automatic 40 is an excellent everyday, dressy(-ish) watch—and nothing more. It’s only water-resistant to 98 feet, it comes on a leather strap, and it doesn’t belong anywhere  near the beach. But, in its new salmon-dial iteration, it is one hell of a looker, and perfect for a night out. With its in-house movement, 60 hours of power reserve, and time-tested, simple-dial layout, this is the type of utilitarian dress watch that should be in everyone’s collection. $7,450;

For Plunging Into the Waves

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa

Though much has changed since Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms debuted in 1953 as one of the world’s first dedicated dive watches, the need for a hardy, highly water-resistant instrument to accompany a diver below the waves has not gone away. The new Fifty Fathoms Tech Gombessa—a 47 mm titanium behemoth designed for technical diving—is the sort of souped-up timepiece that can stand up up under the most grueling conditions. It even comes with a diver’s logbook. $28,000;

For Tracking Multiple Time Zones

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Split Second Chronograph GMT Large Date

You can easily keep track of the time back home with Audemars Piguet’s new Royal Oak Concept Split Second Chronograph GMT Large Date. In addition to following a second time zone, you can also time multiple events simultaneously via a new in-house movement, the Calibre 4407, which is visible via a skeletonized dial. The whole shebang is seated within


A 43 mm sandblasted-titanium case paired with an interchangeable strap system—it ships with a black-and-gray rubber strap with a titanium folding clasp as well as an additional black rubber strap. Price upon request;

For Setting and Forgetting

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph

What, praytell, is an eminently affordable, quartz-powered watch doing amongst such storied denizens of haute horlogerie? Well, if you’re looking for a “beater” watch that can go anywhere and do anything, and about which you don’t have to worry, then you needn’t look further than this new diver from TAG Heuer. At $3,050, it may not be an impulse buy, but it’s also a tremendous value: equipped with a solar-powered movement, this 40mm Grade 2 titanium tool is perfectly suited to a life of hard use in the outdoors, where its unidirectional dive bezel, excellent lume, and comfortable bracelet shine. $3,050;

For a Tropical Business Meeting

Piaget Polo Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin

If you need to impress a client on St. Barts, then you could hardly do better than this gorgeous QP from Piaget, Swiss specialists in watches so thin that they tend to disappear when held sideways. Measuring just 8.65mm tall and equipped with an automatic movement that keeps track of the time, the day, the date, the month, the phase of the moon, and the leap year, this emerald green beauty is a fine contemporary example of one of the less celebrated “luxury sports watches.” With just 30m of water resistance, one shouldn’t take this watch near the water, but absolutely take it out to dinner, whether it will stun everyone who comes into contact with it. $58,500;

For a Black-Tie Ball on the Water

Cartier Tank Française

While we’d normally recommend a svelte precious metal watch on a leather strap for pairing with formal wear, we are talking about a tropical getaway here, so may we suggest instead: the newly updated Cartier Tank Française on a bracelet. Available in both steel and solid gold—and we say go for gold—the classic silhouette features newly redesigned case finishing, a redesigned crown recessed into the case, and fresh dials. Our recommendation? Go for the small or medium size in solid gold with a matching bracelet. Appropriate for women or men—and don’t let the naysayers tell you otherwise!—it’s the perfect choice for a fancy night out somewhere where you can hear the waves crashing on the beach. From $20,000 for gold models;