Motorcycle Watches For The Professional

Wristwatches, like motorcycles, are specialized instruments

Fives watches —Timex Marlin, NOMOS Glashütte, Montblanc Summit 2, Baume & Mercier Classima, and Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso.
These five watches—Timex Marlin, NOMOS Glashütte, Montblanc Summit 2, Baume & Mercier Classima, and Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso—mix business with motorcycles.Jeff Allen

Wristwatches, like motorcycles, are specialized instruments. You don't take a Supercross bike on a cross-country freeway haul, or chase lap records on a saddle-bagged cruiser. Similarly, you wouldn't wear an oversize tool watch to a wedding or funeral. Or to the office. There you want something versatile on your wrist—dressy enough for a professional environment, but also suitable for raising hell during the morning commute. While some of us are lucky enough to have careers riding or wrenching, most are pulling a 9-to-5, which means sitting at a desk, staring out at the parking lot, and waiting until quitting time to get back on the bike. These watches work as well at the office as they do on the open road, and are stylish to boot. They'll make watching the clock a little more tolerable.

Savvy Associate:

Timex Marlin

Price: $199

The original 1960s Marlin brought super-sharp, American-designed watches to the masses. Now Timex is reissuing that mid-century icon with a classic manual movement, the company’s first mechanical watch since 1982, and smart new color combinations. It has the retro looks to impress Don Draper and the durability to take an Easy Rider beating. It also happens to be shockingly affordable. Consider this an instant (and easy) upgrade.

Creative Director:

Nomos Glashütte Tetra

Price: $2,320

Complicated square watches have been synonymous with speed since Steve McQueen wore one while filming Le Mans. NOMOS Glashütte brings a motorcyclist’s approach to the shape, downsizing and paring back frivolous functions to their utilitarian core. Each example is handmade in Germany, with a stout manual-wind movement tucked inside an extra-slender case. Perfect for the enthusiast with small wrists looking to make a big statement.

I.T. Guy:

Montblanc Summit 2

Price: $995

In terms of outright functionality, smartwatches are tough to beat. The rub? Most look like lozenges, give off an AV club vibe, or both. The Summit 2 offers all the rider-friendly tech you want—Bluetooth syncing, voice activation, GPS and navigation—in a traditional steel case, with a rotating crown and handsome calfskin strap. Plus, it’s packing the powerful new Snapdragon processor and latest version of Google Wear OS. Think Swiss charm by way of Silicon Valley.

The Promotion:

Baume & Mercier Classima

Price: $990

Baume & Mercier has nearly two centuries of watchmaking heritage and deep ties to motorcycling. (The brand once did a Burt Munro tribute sports watch, plus special editions for the new Indian Scout and Chief.) Powered by a hassle-free quartz movement, the Classima adds a professional aesthetic to the pedigree, offering all the classic hallmarks of a dress watch: sleek Roman numerals, a tidy date window at the 3 o’clock position, and a handsome dark-colored dial.

The Executive:

Jaeger-lecoultre Reverso

Price: $6,200

Conservative but not stuffy, fashionable but not flashy, precise as a surgeon and reliable as a sunset—the Reverso is an ideal investment timepiece. And its namesake feature is ideal for riders: The entire watch head can swivel 360 degrees, so the metal case’s back faces outward, shielding the dial from debris and road grime. Nothing says “I’m the boss” like a watch that can drop visor when it’s time to get down to business.