Shopping for a new watch can be a difficult experience. The sheer variety of choices out there is mind-boggling if you’re unaware of the pros and cons. Most of us just want to keep tabs on time without staring at our phone screens every time, and few have got the time to learn about every other watch out there.
To make your online shopping experience a bit easier, we’ve rounded up our list of seven types of watches in 2020 along with their pros and cons. Also, there’s a recommended watch from our experts for each category as well.
1. Analog Watches
The first on the list is the most commonly available timepiece: the analog watch. This neat little device comes with an hour hand, a minute hand, and in rare cases, a second hand. You’ve probably owned more than enough of these growing up. Analog watches are as basic as one can get.
- Affordable and simple
- Easy to read time
- Look elegant
- Highly durable due to harder materials
- No operating system
- Can’t read them at night
- No calendars or smart timers
- Issue with time precision
Our recommendation: This analog quartz watch by Vigor Rigger checks all the boxes when it comes to a minimalist design. It is packed in an ultra-thin steel case design and is wear resistant. Click here to check out prices.
2. Digital Watch
Digital watches use LCD screens to display the time and other information. These watches require a battery to function and use quartz crystal movements to tell the time. You’ll realize that digital watches tend to be some of the least expensive ones on the market.
- Highly functional
- Can be powered using solar energy
- Have extra features such as calendars, timers, and an alarm- just to name a few
- They aren’t as fancy as analog watches
- There’s always the risk of having dead batteries
- Gets outdated easily
- May provide inaccurate date and time
Our recommendation: This digital watch by Casio is shock resistant and waterproof and comes with a ton of features, including a multi-functional alarm and auto calendar. Click here to buy it on Amazon.
3. Automatic Watch
Automatic watches are referred to as self-winding watches that utilize kinetic energy translated from the natural motion of their wearer. When the wearer’s wrist moves, a rotor attached to the main spring winds and unwinds. These more ‘traditional’ watches are filled with gears and other small devices. Mechanical watches are generally pricier because they require more engineering precision.
- It does not need a battery
- The second hand has a smooth, sweeping movement
- You know it’s elegant
- No durability issues
- The watch needs to be winded
- Can be a little sensitive
- Super expensive
- The watch requires a tune up every 5 to 10 years
Our recommendation: Seiko’s SARB017 perfectly encapsulates the features of a modern automatic stainless steel watch. It’s got a green nylon strap that matches the case. It’s also waterproof up to a depth of 30 meters. Click here to buy this watch on Amazon.
Chronograph watches are specialized watches that were once used by sailors to keep track of tides. They are highly accurate at reporting the time and feature durable construction thanks to high quality materials that resist temperature changes. Chronograph watches can serve other functions such as calculating your average speed and keeping track of two separate events at the same time. They are unusually expensive thanks to their complex craftsmanship that requires specialists.
- The timepiece is highly accurate and reliable
- Highly durable craftsmanship
- Multipurpose watch with different functions
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Extremely expensive
- Service cost is expensive
- Has a delicate and fussy mechanism
Our recommendation: This authentic chronograph pilot watch from Torgoen comes with a three-year manufacturer warranty. The case material uses 316L stainless steel for durability and is waterproof up to 100 meters. Click here to buy this watch on Amazon.
5. Diving Watch
Diver’s watches are designed for underwater diving and are usually conform to the ISO 6245 standards. These watches should be functional up to a depth of at least 100 meters and be visible at 10 inches in the dark. If it isn’t certified under ISO 6245, it isn’t a dive watch. These watches are extremely durable and can withstand an outward force of at least 200 Newton from each direction.
- Extremely accurate
- Extreme durability
- Slick design
- Water-resistant (obviously)
- Extremely expensive and usually overkill for most real-life situations
- The bezel may be slightly more sensitive than most owners anticipate
- Subject to wear and tear from salt and sand getting between the bezel and the case
Our recommendation: The 792 series from Stuhrling is water resistant for up to 200 meters and features a rotating unidirectional bezel with adjustable stainless steel removable link bracelet. Click here to buy this watch on Amazon.
6. Dress Watch
As the name suggests, dress watches are designed to be worn with formal attire such as suits. You can wear them with semi-formal and casual attire depending on the situation.
- Usually cheaper
- Pairs well with suits
- Pleasant to look
- Softer to wear
- Not very durable
- May lack functional features depending on the make and model
Our recommendation: This dress watch by Bulova perfectly fits any style and budget. It has a moderate case size with an unobtrusive appearance. Use this dress watch to tie together and complete your look. Click here to buy this watch on Amazon.
7. Quartz Watch
Quartz watches utilize quartz crystals to keep track of time by passing electrical current through the crystal, creating pulses. The frequency of the pulses is used by a circuit to drive a small motor that powers the second and the hour hands. Quartz watches are extremely accurate, although they do often run out of battery.
- Fit all styles and budget
- Simple mechanism that is easier to repair
- Quartz watches need a new battery every few years
Our recommendation: This watch by Fossil features a catchy appearance, durable casing, and high quality materials that are highly durable. Plus they’re water resistant for up to 165 feet. Click here to buy this watch on Amazon.
Mechanical watches share many of the same characteristics as automatic watches with a tiny difference: automatic watches continue to function as normal without having to wind every other day. Mechanical watches function as long as you maintain movement.
- Elegant appearance
- Highly durable
- Complex craftsmanship
- Extremely expensive (sometimes to the tune of several millions)
- Service costs are super expensive
- Require winding every other day
- May show inaccurate time
Our recommendation: The Men’s 1088 Russian Diver by Invicta features mechanical movement with analog display. It looks rather sleek and designed to grab anyone’s attention in social settings. Click here to buy it on Amazon.