Often I have discussions if you can or cannot wear a wrist watch while wearing a tuxedo/smoking. My answer is always: depends on the smoking you are wearing… Is it for a black tie or white tie event?
Therefore I did some research.
Let start with the word ‘etiquette’… What does that mean? On Wikipedia we learn: “Etiquette is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group. The French word, signifying ticket (of admission, etc.) first appeared in English in 1750.”
And, what does it mean if one receives an invitation which states ‘Black Tie’ as dress code? Although it can differ slightly per country, generally we can state: ‘black tie is a dress code for semi-formal evening events, and is worn to many types of social functions. For a man, the major component is a jacket, known as a tuxedo, which is usually black. A woman’s corresponding evening dress is a long evening gown (gala attire).’
If we focus on the men, here are some tips on what makes a smoking:
Unlike white tie, which is very strictly regulated, black-tie ensembles can display more variation. In brief, the traditional components are:
- A jacket with silk facings (usually grosgrain or satin), called the dinner jacket.
- Trousers with silk braids matching the lapels.
- A black cummerbund or low-cut waistcoat.
- A white dress shirt with either a marcella (piqué cotton), stiff, or pleated front.
- A black silk bow tie.
- Black dress socks, usually silk.
- Black shoes in patent or highly polished leather, or patent leather court shoes.
So, what about the watches??? Good question!!!
What would we do without Google :) First thing I did is Google this question and I was surprised how little results I found. I found a comment by the GQ Style Guy about wearing a Tux during a wedding:
“What style of timepiece to wear at your wedding I am getting married soon, and I am not sure what style timepiece I should put on my wrist. I’ll be wearing a very traditional one-button black tuxedo, a white shirt, a vest and a white Windsor tie. My cuff links are sterling silver. The wedding is on a Saturday morning. Would it be more appropriate for me to wear a Cartier rectangular face with Roman numerals and a black leather band or a Rolex with a stainless-steel band? I’m concerned that the Rolex might be too flashy. I am leaning toward the Cartier, with the leather band.
But, what if the wedding is at night, cause the style guy is rather right, it is not often that you wear a tuxedo before sunset…
Back to Wikipedia… After looking three times, I finally found something of relevance: “Timepiece: If worn, a wristwatch should be slender, plain, and elegant; alternatively, a pocket watch may be worn on the waistcoat. Traditionally, however, visible timepieces are not worn with formal evening dress, because timekeeping is not considered a priority.”
Mmmmm… A bit contradictory. If worn, classic is the key, but then it states traditionally timepieces are not worn. What to do if you don’t own a pocket watch… So, is a wrist watch acceptable or not?
Hubpages says it is: “Your watch needs to be as slim and sleek as your tuxedo. Black tie is classic formal wear, keep your timepiece in the same league with a leather strap and basic black face. Keep those chunky chronographs with the compasses at home or on the fishing boat, you need to be dressy, not flashy here.”
I found this quote on several other sites… Google doesn’t help that much on this subject, so my dear fellow WatchFreaks, please share your opinion.