Is It Time You Got Yourself A Watch?


Owning a watch used to be a necessity if you wanted to be able to tell the time on the go. Nowadays, most people carry smartphones which display the time. So why own a watch?

Well, glancing at a watch is still more convenient than taking out a phone. However, the biggest reason to wear a watch is for fashion statement purposes. Wearing a watch can make a purpose appear organized and even more conscientious. Some styles of watch can also be a sign of class or wealth, while others can make a person appear quirkier or more fun. 

Watches are typically worn on the wrist of the non-dominant hand. There are lots of things to consider when choosing a watch. Below are just a few different considerations to help you make the right choice.

What’s your budget?

Few products vary in price as much as watches. You can buy some watches for as little as $10 online. Meanwhile, luxury watches typically start at $1,000 (with the likes of Rolexes often costing over $10,000 brand new).

Most people don’t have $10k available to spend on a watch - and there’s really no need to spend this much unless you’re very wealthy or are looking for an investment piece. At the same time, you probably don’t want to be spending less $50 if you want a watch that’s going to last more than a couple years. 

There are many great brands that you can buy within the $50 to $150 price range including Casio, Invicta, Fossil, Seiko, Orient and Citizen. Consider these types of watches when looking for a decent quality entry level watch. 

Used watches will typically be cheaper than brand new watches. Luxury brands that are kept in good condition are an exception to this - such watches can actually increase in value due to their collectible antique status. 

Digital or analog?

Some people prefer digital watches, while others prefer analog watches. 

Digital watches tend to be designed for functionality over style, and can often be cheaper. They are easy to read and often have many extra features and settings like alarms and stopwatches. Smartwatches are the most elaborate form of digital watch and have many of the same functions of a smartphone. Fitness watches are meanwhile focused around providing fitness stats like steps, heart rate and blood pressure (while also telling the time).

Analog watches prioritize style over function. These have a traditional clock face with hands as opposed to a digital screen. The most expensive watches are typically analog.

It’s worth noting that hybrid watches are also a thing. These watches combine an analog clock face and digital screen to provide the best of both worlds. 

What type of mechanism?

Different watches operate using different mechanisms, which each have their own pros and cons. The main types of mechanisms include:

  • Mechanical: These watches don’t contain a battery and instead have to be hand-winded. This requires lots of tiny intricate parts and makes these the most expensive type of watch.

  • Automatic: Automatic watches similarly don’t have a battery. However, they use kinetic energy generated by moving your wrist to provide ‘self-winding’ capability (so you don’t have to manually wind them yourself). They are not as expensive as mechanical watches.

  • Quartz: Quartz watches use a battery that typically has to be replaced every 2 to 3 years. They provide the most accurate timekeeping and tend to also be the most affordable option.

  • Solar: Solar watches are also battery-operated, but this battery charges itself when exposed to sunlight. These watches are more expensive than regular quartz watches, but can be more convenient because the battery doesn’t have to be replaced every couple years. This guide at Conserve Energy Future delves more into the benefits of solar watches. 

What material?

You can buy watches in a range of materials. Most watches are made from stainless steel - which is durable, shiny and not too expensive. Watches can be made from many other metals ranging from titanium to gold. You can also buy watches made from ceramic, plastic or even wood.

Strap materials can vary too. The two main materials are metal and leather. Metal straps are more durable and can offer a more luxurious look. Leather straps can be more comfortable though and are cheaper to replace if they do get damaged. 

Other features to consider…

There are many other features that can be worth considering when buying a watch.

  • Color: Watches come in various different colors. This includes different colored leather straps, different colored cases and different colored clock faces. Those wanting something more informal and eccentric may want to explore alternative colors. Colored watches are also popular among kids. 

  • Indices: Many watches have regular Arabic numerals (1,2,3, etc.) to help tell the time. Roman numerals can be an alternative option for something a bit different (this UNRV post delves more into how to read Roman numerals). Other watches don’t have numbers at all and may just have dots and lines as indices, while other minimalist watches don’t have indices at all. As for digital watches, these typically display in 12 hour time or 24 hour time. 

  • Subdials: Some watches have ‘subdials’ - which are smaller clock faces within a clock face. These can be used to display time in different time zones or even keep track of the date.

  • Water resistance: Some watches are waterproof and can be used underwater - which could be useful if you like to go swimming. Diver’s watches are typically waterproof and resistant to high pressure.

  • Scratch resistance: Some watches have scratch-resistant faces. This is ideal for rugged outdoor use.

  • Luminescence: You can also buy glow-in-the-dark watches. These are useful for telling the time at night.

  • Alarms/stopwatches: Most digital watches and some analog watches have alarm features and stopwatch features. This is useful for timing activities and setting reminders. 


Clearly, there are many specs to consider when choosing a watch. Most of these will come down to personal preferences - therefore it’s good to do your own research and not blindly choose a watch just because someone else has recommended it.