If You Can Only Have One Watch, Make It One of These

In a perfect world, you’d have a watch for every outfit and occasion, plus a few extras just because. But if you have to choose just one to take you from work to play to whatever else the day holds, make it one of these hard-working timepieces.

Seiko Prospex SRP775

The chunky hands and big, luminous markers make this Seiko “Turtle” fit to stand alongside the best of the mid-century dive watches, and a pop of gold in the hands and bezel give it just the right amount of polish. It’s also water-resistant to 200 metres, making it equally useful for practising your strokes at the pool.

$625, seikowatches.com

TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16

Sporty good looks? Check. Serious motorsports pedigree? Check. Goes with anything in your wardrobe? Check. Few watches tick the boxes as nicely as this classic chronograph does. Just keep an eye on the speedometer on your way home — wearing a race car driver’s watch won’t get you out of a speeding ticket.

$5,550, tagheuer.com

Hamilton Khaki Field Murph Auto

This watch feels retro-inspired without being old-fashioned, and packs enough subtle detail in its contrast-stitched strap and “cathedral” hands to keep things interesting. It also played a supporting role in the 2014 Matthew McConaughey movie Interstellar, making it a conversation piece, too.

$1,230, hamiltonwatch.com

Rolex GMT-Master II

Steel Rolexes are a bit of a no-brainer for everyday wear: they’re coveted sport watches with decades of history, and in the case of this new blue and black “Batman” GMT-Master II, they’ve never looked better. This could easily be the only Rolex you’ll ever need, but “need” is such a subjective word, isn’t it?

$10,600, rolex.com

Ballon Bleu de Cartier

Consider this the Idris Elba of watches. Iconic, versatile, and a little underrated, the Ballon Bleu is a unique hybrid of sportiness and class — just like the British actor who appears in both Hobbs & Shaw and Cats this year. Its Roman numerals and delicate blued hands are pure sophistication, while its steel case and bracelet are tough enough to roll with the punches. If there’s anything this watch can’t do, we’re all ears.

$8,600, ca.cartier.com