Men's stylists recommend matching the color of your leather watch strap to your shoes.
Men's stylists recommend matching the color of your leather watch strap to your shoes.

With the rise of smartphones, watches may seem like they're becoming obsolete. However, many men still wear them as a stylish accessory. Of course, watches function to tell the time, and for men who don't always want to be checking their phone, they provide an attractive analog alternative.

There are different types and styles of men's watches to choose from. To learn more about them, read our shopping guide before making a purchase. We've also included our top men's watch recommendations, like Citizen's Eco-Drive Perpetual Chrono Atomic-Timekeeping Watch, which you can wear for any occasion.

Considerations when choosing men's watches

Types of men's watches

Quartz watches are battery-powered and feature a clock face with hour and minute hands to tell the time.

Mechanical watches also feature a clock face with hour and minute hands, but they're powered by a wound spring. This mechanism may periodically have to be wound manually, though some models are self-winding.

Digital watches display the time digitally and in numerals as opposed to rotating hands. These watches are also battery-powered and may feature alarm or stopwatch functions.

Men's watch styles

Dress watches are appropriate for more formal or business wear. They feature a thin watch band that fits under a dress shirt cuff. They also feature a metal case that's round, square, or rectangular in shape. Hour indexes are displayed in Arabic or Roman numerals.

Field watches are military-style watches that are designed to tell very accurate time and feature a stainless steel casing to withstand rugged environs. They have durable canvas or leather watch bands. Their simple display features large, easy-to-read black numerals. Some models illuminate in the dark.

Racing watches have large displays with bold Arabic numbers and often feature contrasting colors. They have stainless steel cases, a metal or leather band, and feature a chronograph that offers stopwatch and timer functions.

Aviator watches have oversized displays for easy viewing with large numerals and illuminated hands for nighttime reading. These watches also feature extra-long leather bands that can fit over a flight jacket cuff. 

Diver watches feature a display made from hardened mineral glass that's designed to withstand deep water (they should include a depth rating). They feature a metal band long enough to fit around diver gear and a unidirectional bezel that rotates counterclockwise so the diver can track their elapsed time underwater. These watches also have an easy-to-read clock face, bold Arabic numerals, and seconds displayed in 15-second intervals.

Watch sizes

Men's watches are typically sized from 34mm to 44mm, which refers to the diameter of the watch face or display. If you have thinner wrists, opt for a case size between 34mm and 40mm. For thicker wrists, choose a case size between 44mm and 46mm.

Price

Men's watches range widely in price from under $50 to upwards of $2,000 for luxury designer brands.

FAQ

Q. What can I do if the metal watch band doesn't fit?

A. Because metal watch bands are made from individual links, you can take your watch to a jeweler to remove some of the links if the bracelet is too large. If it's too small or tight, contact the manufacturer for additional links and then take those links to your jeweler, who can add them. 

Q. What watch band material should I choose for more casual weekend wear?

A. Canvas or rubber watch bands are considered more casual than metal or leather ones, which give off a more polished, professional look.

Men's watches we recommend

Best of the best: Citizen's Eco-Drive Titanium Perpetual Chrono Atomic-Timekeeping Watch

Our take: A feature-laden, stylish watch that's water-resistant.

What we like: Water-resistant dive watch (up to 660 feet). Features date window, chronograph, and other subdials. Lithium battery powered by light.

What we dislike: Can't actually be used for scuba diving.

Best bang for your buck: Citizen's Eco-Drive Analog Watch

Our take: This more affordable choice is perfect for recreational wear.

What we like: Water-resistant (up to 330 feet), so you can swim and snorkel with it. Sturdy and built to last. Comes with a five-year warranty. Also powered by light.

What we dislike: Illuminating function works inconsistently.

Choice 3: Michael Kors' Lexington Gold-Tone Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch

Our take: A fashionable, gold-toned metal watch from a top fashion designer.

What we like: Gold color adds bling to any wardrobe. Features three subdials and a date window. Can be worn for special events, though some users wear it every day.

What we dislike: Made from stainless steel; not actually gold. Heavy.

Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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