From The Straits Times    |

In the past year, words like “work leisure” and “power casual” have entered our office lexicon, proving that we no longer have to choose between comfort and style. If you’re looking for a timepiece to complement your new workwear wardrobe, we suggest four pieces that are smart enough for the boardroom, but imbued with statement-making details.

Got a question about watches? Send it to contributing features editor Karishma Tulsidas (, who will solve your conundrums with practical tips and advice.

Tetra Reference 427 stainless steel watch on velvet strap, $2,920, Nomos Glashutte

A Bauhaus-inspired timepiece for design lovers

Most people think of the Swiss when it comes to watchmaking chops, but the Germans are on a par as well. Nomos Glashutte, founded just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, combines the stoicism of German design with a quirky design code.

Inspired by the Bauhaus movement, its watches have long been highly regarded for their fantastic craftsmanship and whimsical design, but one collection, launched in 1992, stands out in particular. The Tetra ($2,920), with its unique square shape and funky dial colours, is not for everyone, but yet, this is precisely where its allure lies: It’s made for those who are unafraid to think outside the box – much like the impression you aim to leave in the workplace.

The dial colours are seasonal, and in 2023, the brand also launched a new automatic movement that makes the watch more slender. 

Defy Skyline 36 stainless steel watch on steel bracelet, $12,500, Zenith

The sports watch with a playful twist 

The luxury sports watch has emerged as the quintessential style statement of the 2000s, seamlessly fitting into our work leisure wardrobes. A prime example of this blend of style and technical prowess is the Zenith Defy Skyline ($12,500).

Crafted from stainless steel and featuring a convertible bracelet for added versatility, the timepiece is part of the Defy collection, originally launched in 1969. It enjoyed great success for 11 years, before falling victim to the quartz crisis.

Fortunately, Zenith resurrected it in 2017, presenting it in a variety of iterations, underscoring the enduring appeal of its design. Adorned with a pastel-coloured dial, it exudes a sporty aesthetic, complemented by a playful burst of colour.

Black Bay stainless steel watch on steel bracelet, $5,740, Tudor

Modern-day tool watch that withstands pressure

Warriors we’re not, but battling today’s corporate landscape can sometimes feel like a never-ending war zone. For us modern-day warriors, a tool watch like the Tudor Black Bay ($5,740) is sturdy and reliable (after all, Tudor is a subsidiary of Rolex).

It helps that the timepiece comes with a stamp of approval from discerning watch collectors, who are a notoriously hard bunch to please.

The Black Bay began its life as a divers’ watch back in the 1950s. In its current iteration, it retains several nods to the heritage model, including the geometric markers, a rotating bezel and oversized crown. At 41mm, it’s a watch that makes the right kind of statement.

Master Moonphase stainless steel watch on alligator strap, $4,580, Longines

The classic with a poetic complication 

Launched in 2005, the Longines Master Collection has served as a canvas for time-only functions, as well as complicated calendars, all at an affordable price.

Handsome details such as an ultra-slim bezel and leaf hands make for smart wrist candy, meaning that almost any timepiece in this collection is a good option for the office.

But if you want to stand out, this Master Moonphase ($4,580) features one of the most poetic complications in watchmaking: the moonphase. Perfect for those with an astrological inclination, it also comes with a snazzy red strap.