Five Day-Window Watches You Should Consider Now That Time Is Nebulous

Need more structure in your life? Go functional.

Day window watches from Rolex, Montblanc and Hamilton
Don't discount the day window.
Photos: Rolex, Montblanc, Hamilton, Breitling, Omega

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This article is part of our Fall Style Guide, a fortnight-long series aimed at helping you figure out how to dress for the coming season, which, as we’ve become accustomed to saying, isn’t going to be quite like any that came before it. At least you’ll look good, though, right?

Watches with a day window get a bad rap. Not only has it become an unfairly maligned style among those who care enough to still wear something other than whatever Apple is hawking, but they’re not being prioritized among watchmakers, even though there is no better style to wear during our current moment. And yes, we’re specifically talking “day-window” watches, not the large category of day-date, because having the day of the week given room to breathe — rather than being shoved in at 3 o’clock next to the date — is essential.

You’ve probably found yourself frantically trying to remember the day of the week during the last six months as time has become somewhat nebulous. What day is it again? Anyone got the date? Wow, I thought it was Friday for some reason! These have all become common refrains on Zoom calls and in workplace chats during the pandemic, at least among those without day-window watches for reference.

If you’re sick of tapping your phone whenever you need to double-check the day, or you’re ready to prioritize function over flash, or you want to say you were wearing a day-window watch before it was cool again, we’ve picked out some of the most worthwhile options on the market.


Montblanc Heritage Automatic Day Date

One of the biggest gripes people have against day-dates, and especially those with full day windows, is that they’re not well balanced. On the wrist, they can feel unwieldy. This Montblanc Heritage model takes care of that by keeping the day and date separated while smartly balancing them out with the numbered 9 and 3 o’clock. Also the subtle blue and red detailing keeps the otherwise restrained timepiece from being boring.


Hamilton Khaki Field King Auto

Not the most elegant of day-window integrations, we’ll grant you, but Hamilton’s Khaki Field King is a time-tested, utilitarian option that packs in a ton of power at the price point, including the literal 80-hour power reserve and beefy construction like the crown-protecting stainless-steel case.


Rolex Day-Date 40

As with many styles, the Rolex Day-Date is the first-name in the category, appropriate as the nickname is the President (which is the name of the bracelet style, but also a nod to connections to LBJ and JFK). It’s also generally considered to be an old-man watch. But fashion, of course, is circular; Tony Soprano is a 2020 style icon, which means picking up a Day-Date in its final form — yellow gold with a champagne dial — might actually be considered on-trend. But honestly, if gold-on-gold is your daily wear, you shouldn’t care what’s on-trend.


Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Day-Date

The largest of the bunch for our purposes today, this 41.5mm Omega Seamaster features the brand’s Teak Concept pattern on the dial, which they say “recalls the wooden decks of luxury sailboats” but more accurately simply adds some welcome texture to the classic style of a black dial on stainless steel. If you’re in the market for a dive-inclined watch with a day window, this is it.


Breitling Aviator 8 Automatic Day & Date 41

Breitling is making interesting moves lately, and this Aviator 8 Day & Date features a few of them, including the in-house self-winding mechanical movement which adds an extra bit of tactility for those who like to think of their watches as tools, not just accessories. You also won’t see this bottle-cap-esque bezel often, so if that catches your eye, it might be time to put Breitling back in the mix.

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