Whether you're shopping for a men's watch for yourself or someone you love, the choices can be overwhelming. If you don't believe me, walk through any department store and try to count the number of brands displayed. You'll be surprised.
And the kicker is that many of them all look the same. If you like a particular look, like sporty or leather, you can narrow down your choices, but how do you know which one to buy?
Here's the deal:
According to Man of Many, "A good watch isn’t just an extension of style; it’s an extension of you." That makes your watch-buying task even more important, doesn't it?
But who has time to comb through thousands of websites, reviews and specs just to find the best watches for men? Well don't worry, we've taken the legwork out of it for you. Whether you are on a budget, or you just need a unique watch for the man who has everything, we have found the best men's watches anywhere.
What's the bottom line?
We have discovered some very sophisticated watches that range from $96 to $1,000 on our list of the best watches for men out there.
This LED watch is just right for the beyond brilliant man who is enamoured by technology. Features include: illuminates in increments, stylish desigh, and light weight This unique men's LED watch is only available through Hammacher Schlemmer. It features 12 LEDs that represent the 5-minute increments and four LEDs in the center display, plus comes with a stainless steel case in black electroplated finish. Be the envy of all your geeky friends!
The name says it all with this gorgeous Movado Men's Stiri Watch. This watch will definitely make a statement in the professional world! Features include: scratch resistant, water resistant, and Movado Signature Dot. This Movado Men's Stiri Watch features a black dial color with the Movado Signature Dot, Swiss Quartz (Battery-Powered), scratch-resistant Sapphire Crystal, stainless steel case (and band), and is water resistant up to 100 feet.
Get a classy timepiece by buying this Citizen Mens AU1065-58E Eco-Drive Axiom Watch. An added bonus of this watch is that it can self-charge in both natural and indoor light. This gorgeous black, stainless steel watch features Eco-Drive Japanese Quartz movement. The mineral crystal protects the dial and the watch is water resistant up to 99 feet. The date window is in the 3 o'clock position.
Dudes love this cool calculator watch, according to the Dude blog, because it looks like it came straight out of the 80s. It's also water resistant up to 135 feet.
This watch seems to have a glitch that makes it hard to set the time and date correctly.
Functionality: The Casio Resin Digital Watch has simplistic and basic functions any 80s nerd needs -- calculator, alarm, time, date and stopwatch. It's easy to use and easy to read.
Durability: It's a cheaper watch, not necessarily built for heavy use, but there have been very few complaints about breakage.
Price: Not only does it look like it came from the 80s, it's also got a retro price tag. At right around $15, you can't beat the price, even in the toy section!
The Nixon Time Teller P watch is priced right and is designed to look good whether you're dressed up or dressed down. It's priced right for any budget and often picked as one of the best affordable watches for men.
The battery for this watch is expensive to replace, and as a cheap watch, it's not designed for heavy use.
Functionality: This is a minimalist watch with a quartz movement and analog display.
Durability: You won't be mountain climbing with this watch, but it'll stand up to basic wear and tear. It's also water resistant up to 100 meters so it's great for swimmers.
Price: It doesn't get much cheaper than this. Especially for such a stylish piece.
This sleek gold-tone watch made #2 on the Watch Blog's Most Popular Gold Watches for men, calling it "solid and well-made." It's a beautiful, classy, professional looking watch you can wear with confidence.
Some reviewers found the watch face too large. It's not recommended for people with small wrists.
Functionality: As with most dress watches, this one doesn't come with a lot of bells and whistles. Just a whole lot of style.
Durability: This watch is well-designed and sturdy. It's probably not made for a lot of rough and tumble activity, but we didn't see many complaints about easy breakage either.
Price: Most customers are extremely pleased with the price of this watch since Michael Kors products usually come with pretty hefty price tags. This watch has the look of a much more expensive product.
Each watch this Tel-Aviv artisan designs is crafted with his own hands. Also, each piece is numbered and limited, putting the owners in a very exclusive class.
The small hands make it somewhat difficult to read.
Functionality: It's no wonder this watch was named by Esquire Magazine as one of the best luxury watches in the world and reviewed on sites like The New York Times and A Blog to Watch. It's divided into night and day sections, so one side "sleeps" while the other is active.
Durability: While these watches are made to withstand normal wear and tear, durability is not their main features.
Price: Clocking in at around $5,000 (pun intended), it's not exactly cheap. But it sure beats the $100,000 - $300,000 price tags of some of its competitors, and with the exclusivity of the design, it's worth every penny.
Packed with an extensive range of health and wellness monitoring/tracking features, user-friendly design, lightweight and comfortable, accurate, and easy to use interface.
The Garmin Connect app can be glitchy, particularly the GPS tracking.
This is first and foremost a watch, with workout and wellness features integrated. It is built with all the durability of a classic sports watch--with a slightly larger design--but comes with everything you need in a tracker. Definitely one of the best devices of its kind!
The features included in this bad boy are very extensive: pedometer, calorie counter, GPS tracking, activity time, run/cycle pace, distance monitor, highly-functional timer, heart rate monitor, and more. The watch will track your overall exercise progress and alert you if you've reached personal records (for time, distance, pace, etc.).
Garmin Connect makes it easy to upload your data to your computer or smartphone, allowing you to plan your training and track your routes. The watch comes with "real-time coaching" that keeps you running at the right pace to reach your goals. It's designed to auto-sync with your smartphone as soon as it's in range. With vibrating and audible alerts, it's the perfect activity watch for every workout.
At just under $250, this is one of the pricier models around. However, considering everything it has to offer, it's worth the cost. You will spend a pretty penny, but the versatility, accuracy, and durability of this watch is a solid investment.
The Fitbit Blaze beats out the Apple watch for it's great price and accuracy. And it's sleek design makes it perfect for every occasion.
The band material seems to irritate sensitive skin. Some users also complain that the touch screen is way too sensitive.
Details: This smartwatch comes with all the features a guy could want in a sports watch. Not only is it a watch, but it's also a heartrate monitor that tracks sleep, step count, calories burned, active minutes, and distance. You can't beat the Fitbit Blaze in this category. It's made with a gorilla glass screen that makes it practically indestructable. If he likes to workout, this is the perfect gift for him.
Price: This watch is on the lower end for watches, but still has most of the functionality and design you'll find in the higher-end brands. It's a watch he's sure to love.
This watch's macho design and durability make it a preferred watch for military and law enforcement, as well as outdoor enthusiasts. It's also loaded with features like a full auto-calender and 29 time-zones.
The amber light on this watch is not ideal for low-light situations.
Functionality: The G Shock series of Casio watches lives up to the Casio reputation, even beating out Apple watches in many reviews. It's loaded with all the functions an outdoorsman will need and more.
Durability: This military grade watch takes a beating. That's one of it's best features.
Price: We couldn't believe the price for this highly-reviewed watch. At under $70, it's a freakin' steal!
When buying men's watches, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Brand matters – For a high quality watch, you should stick with reputable brands. The better brands are known not only as the more stylish option, but also the more durable and long-lasting. The last thing you want is to buy a generic watch that breaks after a few months of use. It's definitely worth paying more for a quality brand.
Find a watch for your outfit – Buy the type of watch that most closely matches your clothing style. A casual watch won't work for your business and formal wear, or for sports wear. The same goes for a luxury watch or a sports watch—they're designed for specific outfits. (See the section "How to Wear a Watch" for more information on pairing and wearing watches.)
Be wary of excessive luxury – Do you really need a Rolex? Unless you're a banker or work in high finance, chances are you could get away with a less expensive luxury watch. Going for the priciest watch on the market isn't recommended; always shop for a watch that suits your needs, even if it's not the most stylish choice.
Consider your lifestyle – Do you wear business suits or formal outfits regularly? If so, you'll want to consider investing in a watch that matches your professional clothing. For those who wear athletic clothes for their job (as a coach, fitness trainer, etc.), it's better to get a sports watch with all the bells and whistles that will enable you to be more effective at your job. For those who work in casual attire, a casual style is better.
Buy more than one – Though it may sound silly, you can own a few different watches. Just like you have different shoes, belts, and outfits for different purposes, you can buy a selection of 2-4 watches to match the various activities you participate in througout the week.
Get the right size for your hand – This is something many men fail to take into account when buying watches. A watch that's too large will look silly on your wrist, while a watch that's too small will often fit poorly and be uncomfortable. Find the right size—of the watch case/face as well as the wristband—for your hands, wrists, and arms.
Know your prices – If you pay less than $250 for a watch, it's known as a "consumer watch", meaning it's a watch to be used with your everyday outfits. If you pay up to $1,000 for a watch, it's known as a "brand watch" or "enthusiast watch", and it makes a statement that you have disposable income to spend on luxury accessories. Up to $10,000, and it's known as a "luxury watch", which are very exclusive and signal that you are fairly wealthy. Upwards of $10,000, and it's known as an "ultra-luxury watch", and they tend to be available only to select clientele due to their exquisite craftsmanship and peerless quality.
Don't treat watches as an investment – When buying watches, don't see them as an investment that will mature and pay you more if/when you decide to sell them. They are a utilitarian product, one meant to be worn and used. It's a totally justifiable expense to appear professional and affluent, but you need to realize that the watch is going to be worn, used, and ultimately worn out. There's no reason to buy a watch just to keep it in a fancy case on your shelf. Buy watches you're going to use, and use them!
There are a surprising array of men's watch styles to choose from. Each has their own pros and cons and unique features, as well as their specific style.
Diving Watch – A diving watch is designed to function in or near water, even in deep water or while diving. These watches became very popular thanks to the James Bond movies, but they have remained popular due to the fact that they are a wonderful mix of versatility, functionality, and durability.
The standard dive watch is water resistant to at least 100 meters, and they're usually made from metals like titanium or stainless steel that are resistant to rust and corrosion. Cheaper dive watches are made from rubber or silicone. Hardened mineral glass or sapphire is used to protect the watch face. The bands are usually made of metal and are longer than other watch bands, as they're designed to fit around diving suits and other diving equipment.
These watches are usually medium-sized, with luminous dials that feature large, easy to read Arabic numerals. All diving watches have a uni-directional bezel on the case that rotates counter-clockwise. This is used to let the diver know how long he's been underwater.
Field Watches – Field watches were designed for military field officers who needed reliable timepieces that were able to stand up to the rigors of combat. They tend to be durable timepieces built with a military style and feel, but are both stylish and highly functional.
The field watch usually has a smaller or medium-sized watch case, with a slimmer wristband. The case is typically made of stainless steel or titanium, and a leather or canvas strap. The face features few complications (see below) and easy to read numbers with hands that light up at night. Some have the ability to stop the second hand by pulling out the crown—useful for synchronizing the watch to other timepieces or reference signals.
Dress Watch – Dress watches became popular in the early 20th Century among well-to-do men who wanted to pair luxury timepieces with their elegant outfits. These watches are a mix of sophistication and simplicity, with a subtle elegance that is both understated and attention-getting. They are the opposite of flashy Rolex watches, but scream luxury and class.
The dress watch tends to be slimmer and smaller than other watches, allowing you to slip it in and out of dress shirt cuffs. The cases come in square, circular, and rectangular styles, often made from luxury metals like gold, silver, or platinum. The bands are always leather, so some come with the option of using a metal band.
The watch face itself is fairly simple and free of complications, with hour displays that feature either Roman or Arabic numerals or saber-style indexes. Some will have the day/date or moon display, but most will have simply the hour, minute, and second. It's all about simplicity with dress watches!
Pilot Watches – Since the early 1900s, pilot watches (also known as "aviator watches") have been a popular item among men looking for the perfect blend of functionality and style.
Pilot watches come in a broad range of styles, but they tend to have medium to large-sized cases, leather bands that are longer than average (to fit around a flight jacket cuff), and an oversized dial with easy to read numbers, luminous hands, and few complications (usually the date, and sometimes a chronograph). The numbers are designed to be visible even in the dark cockpit environment or while flying at night.
Tactical Watch – Tactical watches were designed with military use in mind, but they're of.ten used by law enforcement agencies due to their versatility and toughness.
Tactical watches are usually made from metal like stainless steel or titanium, though often covered with a layer of silicone or rubber to prevent them from reflecting. The face is covered with sapphire, a scratch- and shatter-resistant material.
The hands tend to be larger and glow in the dark, as are the numerals (typically Arabic) and hour marks. They usually are water-resistant up to 30 meters, and come with an array of complications: day/date, chronograph, 24-hour clock, and more. They are highly versatile and are made to be as accurate and reliable as possible.
Racing or Driving Watch – Since the 1930s and the birth of car racing, there have been watches designed for men who love fast cars. Rolexes are technically driving watches, as are TAG Heuer timepieces.
These watches tend to be medium to large, with a stainless steel case able to survive accidents. The bands are either made from leather or steel, and will typically be of medium thickness.
The face has a large dial, usually with clear, easily legible Arabic numerals and bright colors that contrast each other for easy reading. Complications on the watch typically include the day/date and a chronograph, though some racing watches are designed without complications.
Sports Watch – Sports watches are almost digital, as that provides for greater flexibility and more features for active and outdoor use. Though they're not as stylish or "luxurious" as some of the other watches on this list, they're no less useful.
Most sports watches are made from durable rubber or silicone, which is sweat-resistant and water-resistant. They tend to have a medium to large case and a thick band, and a lot of features: from luminous dials to compasses to altimeters to GPS positioning to heart rate monitoring. They also come with the typical features: day/date, alarm clocks, and chronographs. They're the most versatile of the watches, though the least "dressy" or "showy" of the bunch.
Most of us take it for granted that our watches are powered by a battery that keeps everything ticking along automatically. However, many luxury watches are made WITHOUT batteries, instead using a mainspring system that must be wound in order to stay accurate. Some are mechanical, meaning you have to wind them up by hand, while others are automatic and self-winding.
Below, we'll take a look at a few of the things that make these two watches so popular, and list the pros and cons of each:
There's something elegant about the pedigree of a mechanical watch. The act of winding brings back memories of the days when men were elegantly dressed .and watch enthusiasts love these timepieces.
Some of the pros of mechanical watches include:
On the downside:
Also known as "self-winding watches", these are timepieces that use the same mainspring system but the movement of your hand/arm throughout the day winds the spring for you.
The pros of automatic watches include:
The downsides of automatic watches include:
The vast majority of the watches available on the market today are quartz-powered, meaning they use electricity from a small battery to run through a piece of quartz. This produces 32,768 vibrations per second, and a circuit measures the vibrations and translates it into a pulse, which pushes the second hand forward.
Pros of quartz watches include:
On the downside:
The term "complications" refers to the additional features built into the watch face.
All watches come with the standard minute and hour hands, as well as the 12 hour marks (saber-style lines, Roman or Arabic numerals, or a combination of both). Some watches also feature a second hand.
However, some watches also have extra features, including:
These extra features are all called "complications" when integrated into an analog watch.
The art of wearing a watch is a surprisingly complex one. You could just slip any type of watch on with any suit, but it takes a true man to know how to pair the right watch with the right outfits.
Let's take a look at each type of watch to find out what outfits it can pair with:
Dress Watch – The name makes it pretty clear: wear this watch when you want to dress to the nines!
The dress watch is the only watch suitable to pair with a tuxedo or black tie/white tie formal wear. Because of the elegance of the outfit, you want to match it with the simplicity of the dress watch.
However, dress watches can be worn with business formal, business casual, and even nicer sharp casual outfits (such as golfing clothes). They don't pair with a T-shirt and jeans or sportswear, but they can match anything from a polo and slacks to dinner outfits.
Diver's Watch – The all-metal design of the diver's watch makes it an excellent pairing with business formal wear, including an elegant three-piece suit. However, it can be used to dress down, including with business casual, sharp casual, and even sports and casual wear. Because the watch is durable, it will survive heavy activity—from water sports to hiking to gym use. However, it's better when paired with the more professional outfit styles.
Pilot Watch – Aviator watches have a much more casual appearance than diver's watches, and their larger size makes them better-suited to casual—sharp casual, business casual, and general casual—outfits. They are not suitable for formal business wear, and definitely not for formal/dinner wear.
Watches with the steel band are better for sharp and business casual, while leather bands are better for sharp and general casual.
Field Watch – Field watches are one of the most versatile styles of watch, and they are great for everything from active sportswear to sharp casual to business casual. Men who don't dress in a suit all that often will find that a field watch is the best purchase, as it's versatile enough for everything from jeans and a T-shirt to khakis and a sports coat.
Racing/Driving Watch – These flashy, bold-looking watches are intended to be worn very visibly, so there's no sense covering them up with long-sleeved shirts or sports coats. Wear racing/driving watches with sharp and general casual outfits.
Tactical Watch – Tactical watches are generally intended to be worn with military or law enforcement uniforms, though they are also good for general casual use. However, for military or law enforcement personnel, they can be worn with business formal outfits as a nod to their profession even while off duty.
Sports Watch – Sports watches are intended to be used with general casual outfits, though many people like to pair them with sharp casual attire to achieve a sleeker, sportier look. In some instances, sports watches may be worn with business casual outfits as well.
When wearing and pairing your watch, here's what you need to remember: