There's no doubt that a tool watch can be used as a dress piece. Today, the stainless dive watch or racing chrono's efficient look is sleek enough to go with anything from t-shirt to tux. But if you're a sucker for tradition, you might want a watch that matches your suit—something purpose-built, not for the sea or the track, but for the dinner party, boardroom, or wedding.
As far as dress watches go, the gold (or stainless steel) standard has been the Rolex Datejust. Priced less than many of the other Rolexes between $5,000 and $7,000, Rolex offers a high-end dress watch that could appreciate in value at a fraction of the cost of what a Patek Philippe or A. Lange & Sons dress watch might run you. Of course, that is still months of rent to most people. But don't worry, there's a solid alternative that's won us over—the $362 Seiko SARB035.