Board shorts or Boardroom? How to Wear a Dive Watch with Casual and Formal Styles

Board shorts or Boardroom? How to Wear a Dive Watch with Casual and Formal Styles

Dive watches, once confined to underwater adventures, have emerged as versatile timepieces suitable for both casual and formal styles.

When it comes to wearing a suit, an elegant dress watch is the traditional choice. However, the world has evolved, and we find ourselves switching from formal to casual settings in an instant. Can one watch do it all? Fashion rules are made to be broken, but there are still a few guidelines to getting it right.

The Allure of Dive Watches:

Dive watches possess a captivating charm rooted in their ruggedness and practicality. With their robust construction, water resistance, and distinctive design elements like rotating bezels and luminescent markers, dive watches exude an adventurous spirit. Ever since the golden age of James Bond, the dive watch has been an essential element in any discerning gentleman’s collection.


The Casual Ensemble:

When pairing a dive watch with a casual outfit, embrace its sporty essence. Opt for a stainless steel bracelet or a rugged NATO strap, and let the watch take centre stage. Whether it's a classic black dial or a more vibrant option, the dive watch adds a touch of effortless style to any casual look and works as well with chinos or jeans as it does with a wetsuit.


Elevating the Formal Look:

Contrary to popular belief, dive watches can make a sophisticated statement when worn with formal attire. The key is to strike the right balance between sophistication and ruggedness. Choose a dive watch with a sleek look, a subdued colour palette, and a slim profile. Black is perfect, but a dark green or blue can work equally well. The watch should complement your suit without overpowering it, allowing you to make a distinctive impression.


Try to avoid large-diameter watches (42mm or above), the watch should slip seamlessly under your shirt cuff. Steer clear of rubber or NATO style straps, whilst they can look cool, they are just too casual for a formal occasion, and please, ditch the Smart Watch… unless it’s a triathlon after-party.


Tell Your Story, Not The Time:

The right watch can often be the perfect conversation starter, and when you wear a nice watch, the conversations are different. With their signature dive watch, the Maraí 401, Nomadic taps into the rich history of Belfast’s shipbuilding industry. The name Maraí means ‘sea farer’ in Irish; the number an echo of Titanic’s production name.

With a 40mm case, 660ft water resistance and a Swiss mechanical movement, Maraí 401 echoes Belfast's greatest engineering feats. The unmistakable sweeping yellow second hand is a humble nod to the iconic Samson and Goliath cranes. The perfect talking point at any cocktail party or after-work drinks.

At just 11.5mm thin, and 40mm in diameter it's small enough to look and feel elegant at a formal occasion but its rugged durability and guaranteed saltwater resistance, mean it’s perfect for a weekend getaway at the sea.


Versatility Across Outfits:

One of the advantages of dive watches is their ability to transition effortlessly between different styles. Whether you're sporting a casual outfit during the day or attending a formal event in the evening, choose something that can adapt to any occasion. The quickest way to change the look and feel of your watch is to change the strap. Dress down with a rugged but comfortable nylon strap or get ready for the swimming pool with a practical rubber band.



Ultimately, the key to successfully wearing a dive watch lies in embracing your style and connecting with your personality. It’s great if you have a collection of watches to select for various occasions, but if there was ever a watch that can do it all, a classically styled dive watch, perfectly embodies the transition from casual to formal attire.


Back to blog

telling more than time

We're inspired by the people who wear our watches and their stories.

We believe that life is made up of moments.

Those moments, measured by time and swept across the face of our watches, are captured as memories forever.

It's, looking back often... moving forwards always.

Making progress.

Read More Nomadic Stories