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Watch Review

3 Understated Watches That Aren’t A Rolex Day-Date

Paul Altieri

There’s nothing wrong with the Rolex Day-Date. In fact, this classic is a favorite of ours — as it is for many collectors. But that’s the problem. When you’re thinking of an understated, classy watch, often, your mind goes right to the Day-Date. With it’s simple face and timeless design, this watch is inherently versatile. The added functionality of the day and date function also ensure you make your meetings and can tell what day when you’ve lost track on vacation.

While it’s an all-around great watch, it is by far not the only handsome, understated everyday watch out there. So here, we’ve rounded up three watches that rival the Day-Date. We bet once you get one of these on, you’ll never want to take it off. You certainly won’t need to.

Day-Date Automatic Watch Tag Heuer
The Tag Heuer Link Calibre 5 Day-Date

Tag Heuer Link Calibre 5 Day Date

Like the name suggests, the Tag Heuer Link Calibre 5 displays the day and date for the wearer just like the Rolex. But that’s where the similarities stop. Positioned at 6-o’clock, the day and date replace the number but still discreetly sit there in the same color as the watch face.

The Rhodium-plated hands sweep across the dark face that has a subtle line pattern, the simple hour markers shining next to the stainless case and bracelet. The elegant linked bracelet and numbered 42mm bezel add a bit of added interest to this watch, but the whole look remains handsomely understated. This waterproof stainless steel watch will prove durable for years to come, and the automatic Calibre 5 movement inside will keep it running just as smoothly.

The Patek Philippe
The Patek Philippe 5296G-Calatrava is another example of a simple, understated watch


Patek Philippe 5296G-Calatrava

It’s hard to believe that one of the world’s most famed luxury watch brands could produce a watch that manages to fly under the radar. Yet, the 5296G-Calatrava does just that. The silvery opaline face adds a modern touch,  but the sleek, round 38mm casing, gold hour markers and black alligator bracelet are absolutely timeless and understated. The white-gold case might also give you the impression it’s delicate, but this watch can withstand depths of 30 meters (100 feet) and boats a 35-hour power reserve.

And while the 5296G-Calatrava doesn’t feature the day, it does feature the date. Turn this elegant watch over and you’ll notice something not so understated, though — the sapphire crystal backing revealing the automatic 324 S C caliber. We can’t blame Patek Philippe for wanting to show off a little, can we?

 IWC Ingenieur Automatic is an excellent understated watch
IWC Ingenieur Automatic is an excellent understated watch


IWC Ingenieur Automatic

The IWC Ingenieur Automatic is proof simple, clean design can still be eye catching. The simple black face is outfitted with luminescent markers that shine against the 40mm stainless steel case. You might also miss the date sitting at 3-o’clock upon first glance, but will be pleased to find it discreetly sitting there next time you’re racking your brain for the date.

Inside, a self-winding 35111 calibre beats with 25-jewels and a 42 hour power reserve — the automatic movement keeping the watch ticking as you wear it. Of course, it’s all kept safe inside that durable, waterproof stainless case which solidifies this as an everyday watch you can slip on, enjoy, and not worry about.

Liked what you saw? Shop IWC, Tag Heuer and Patek Philippe here.

Paul Altieri
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