Ultimate Guide To Mens Holiday Style

We are now well and truly in the midst of summer and for the majority this means taking a break from the familiar nine-to-five routine and jetting off to a tropical paradise for some well-deserved ‘r & r’. But how can we ensure that our meticulous style standards don’t slip whilst we are away?

Smart and efficient packing is imperative if you want to look your very best, especially when dealing with strict baggage allowances. You should be able to cope with any eventuality, situation and occasion that arises – and look good doing so. With this in mind, versatility is key: choose pieces that can be mixed and matched effortlessly in order to create outfits that will transcend from day to night with ease.

Of course, accessories play a huge part in individualising your look on holiday. But you have to be cutthroat in your approach – you cannot afford to pack five different types of belts and your ever expanding collection of millinery. Lucky for you, there is only really one essential accessory a man needs, which tells you everything you need to know about him: his watch.

Yes, your signature timepiece should be right up there with passport and currency on your holiday checklist. However, your watch – like your wardrobe – needs to be able to deal with every scenario and be durable enough to move from pool to beach to bar without having to remove it from your wrist, or worrying about damaging it.

With this in mind, today we break down three specific types of water resistant watches that will ensure your style remains on point, no matter where you are in the world…

CLASSIC AND REFINED

You’re the type of gent who likes to relax on holiday with a novel in one hand and a Martini in the other. Your style is a mix of timeless, refined pieces that keep you looking sharp, no matter what the occasion.

You have a love of fine dining and wine, and maybe even enjoy glamorous pastimes such as sailing/yachting. You are most likely to be spotted on the beaches of Cannes or in the grand salons of Monte Carlo.

If this describes you, your timepiece should be classic and elegant. Look for leather strapped models in traditional tones of black, tan and brown with muted faces and dials. These will never go out of style and are versatile enough to be dressed down with a pair of tailored swim shorts and polo shirt during the day as they are dressed up with a linen blazer and lightweight shirt at night.

Massimo Dutti’s latest June 2013 lookbook exemplifies the desired Riviera aesthetic, pictured above.

An appropriate highlight from the current Watch Gallery classic collection is the IWC Portofino. Named after the famous Italian fishing village, a hot spot for the rich and famous, the watch’s Riviera connotations make it perfect for lovers of classic elegance. The black textured leather strap ensures versatility, whilst features such as 30m water resistance and an antireflective sapphire crystal glass allow it to cope with sun, sea and sand with ease.

Another key style, the Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques watch in brown leather is a superb alternative for those looking to step away from traditional black strap timepieces. Featuring a beautiful gold dial, it oozes luxury and glamour – much like the man wearing it. With its toughened glass and 30m water resistance, it will show your style credentials, whether you are doing laps in the pool or relaxing on deck.

CONTEMPORARY

Contemporary watches are perfect for the man who is a keen follower of fashion and likes to keep up to date with all the very latest trends. Often slightly younger, this man will have a playful side and looks to make a statement when constructing his outfits.

They will often be seen in key party destinations, especially where there is a real buzz – think Ibiza, Miami Beach and Vegas.

For this gent, the watch is a form of expression – something that proves his fashion credentials and marks them out from the crowd. However, good water resistance is also essential, as they will not want to take this watch off whilst they party around the pool at the Bellagio or on Bora Bora beach.

Current key fashion-led styles include those with unusual or bold coloured straps, especially if combined with the kudos of a recognised brand name. Examples include this beautifully striking G-Timeless watch from Gucci, which features a bold tan strap and 50m resistance; the Chanel J12 in striking white, which is a clear notch above the similar Toy Watch & G-Shock styles that are currently trending and comes complete with a huge 200m resistance; and the TAG Heuer Carrera watch in blue, which updates the brand’s iconic style in THE men’s colour trend for SS13.

In terms of styling, followers of fashion will be aware that prints and patterns are dominating the industry right now. Pick a pair of bold printed swim shorts and a complementary coloured vest for the day and smarten up at night with a pair of tailored shorts and bold printed shirt. You can’t fail to stand out from the crowd this summer.

Urban Outfitters have perfected this bold, modern aesthetic in recent campaigns, pictured above.

SPORTS ENTHUSIAST

Finally, we have the sports enthusiast. These are the type of guys who don’t go on holiday to relax – oh no, it’s a non-stop, often adrenaline-fuelled, ride that will packed with activities such as paragliding, wind surfing, deep sea diving and hiking.

For this gent, performance and durability must come as standard. They need a timepiece that will adapt and cope with anything Mother Nature throws at them. Extreme water resistance, high performance and a comfortable strap are just some of the key considerations. Luckily for us, The Watch Gallery has a full range of watches built for just that, see their Dive Watches page.

Strap preference will be purely down to personal taste. Some will prefer the strength and appearance of a stainless steel bracelet, which makes the Breitling Superocean Heritage, the perfect option. Breitling pride themselves on producing watches designed to cope with the extreme conditions faced by pilots, which, by comparison, will make dealing with typical holiday activities a walk in the park. This style features a huge 200m water resistance and would look just as good underwater as it does in the restaurant afterwards.

If you are serious about your diving, look no further than the Bremont Supermarine. Part of the Bremont Diving Series, it features a wealth of professional features such as an automatic helium escape value, anti-shock case mount, 500m water resistance and a comfortable rubber strap.

Finally, for those looking for the ultimate in versatility, Bell & Ross present the Marine watch. With 500m water resistance and a diving decompression value as standard, it will handle any water sports with ease. Yet the key selling point on this model is that it can be secured with either a durable black rubber strap or a breathable black canvas strap – allowing you to alter it dependent on the activity and what feels most comfortable.

For more options, explore Dive Watches»