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When putting together our list of the best watches for men, we did our best to provide a wide range of timepieces – including smartwatches, dress watches and casual watches. We also made sure all the watches were water resistant, and we took affordability into account; watches can cost in the 10s of thousands of dollars, but this list keeps things down to earth, showcasing the best watches that could be purchased by an “average Joe.”
We used durability, functionality and style as our three main evaluators, and the Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch emerged at the top of the pack because it has all three qualities in spades. It also has the appeal of looking like an analog watch while providing smartwatch functionality in a way that doesn’t scream: “I’m a geek!” Read on to find out more about why we gave this watch top honors and see which other timepieces made our list.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: When looking for cool watches for men, it’s hard to beat this feature-packed model. It’s durable, has customizable faces that can make it look like a high-end watch, and thanks to a rotatable bezel, it’s super easy to use.
Some smartwatches are black rectangles that look a bit bland on your wrist. While they definitely can have a techy allure, if you’d rather have a watch that really looks like one, this should do the trick. It’s got dozens of faces you can program in that make the gizmo look like a real watch. But just because it can look like an ordinary (if high-end) watch, doesn’t mean it can’t perform. Simply by twisting the bezel, you can access hundreds of apps including access to Samsung Pay (so that you can buy things with the tap of your wrist), navigation, and fitness functions such as heart rate and step counting. Keep this highly functional watch safe by using our best watch box.
The watch is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones and communicates with either thanks to its built-in Bluetooth module as well as a mic and speaker that lets you take calls through the watch. And, while many high-tech watches tend to be a little delicate, this one is tough. According to Samsung: “This device passed military specification (MIL-STD-810G) testing against a subset of 10 specific conditions, including drops from 4.9 feet, extreme temperatures, dust, shock/vibration, and low pressure/high altitude. Water- and dust-resistance based on IP68 rating (water-resistant in up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes).” You can also try the best smartwatch for a more modern take on the timepiece.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: For the price, this is one of the most stylish watches for men available. Not only does it look good, but it performs well thanks to its high-quality stainless steel case, mineral crystal face, and water resistance down to 50 meters.
Read Full Review: Fossil FS5241 Review
Fossil watches for men have long been leaders of the pack when it comes to creating attractive timepieces that range from inexpensive quirky pieces to pricier, more elegant watches. The design of the watch to which we’ve awarded the second spot on our list falls more in the elegant range, even though it comes in at under $100. So, if you’re looking for more elegant watches, check out our guide to the best luxury watches.
With a 44mm-wide case, this watch feels and looks substantial. It also has the added bonus of including a stopwatch function that’s activated by buttons on the bezel. As with many Swatch watches, this one also features an easy-to-change watch strap (which should be welcome news to anyone who’s ever tried to change their own watch band before), which allows you to change the look of the watch quickly and easily. This one is for men, but ladies can try out the best smartwatch for women.
Award: BEST FOR SENIORS
WHY WE LIKE IT: Sometimes simple is best, as illustrated by this classic watch from one of the best watch brands in history. Big numbers let you see the time at a glance, and Timex’s Indiglo functionality provides easy viewing at night.
Read Full Review: Timex Easy Reader Review
Sometimes you don’t need your watch yelling at you to keep moving, interrupting you with text notifications, or needing to be recharged every night. Nor do you need one with so much decoration on the face that it’s hard to see the hands. Sometimes you just need a watch to tell the time cleanly and efficiently. That’s exactly what this Timex model does.
And if you’ve ever experienced Timex’s Indiglo function, you know that it’s simply the best way to see your watch at night, thanks to the blue glow that lights up the whole face. Plus, even though it looks pretty simple, this watch is tough, with a 35 x 8mm brass case with a mineral glass crystal face and water resistance to 30 meters. Your little ones will like the best smartwatch for kids.
Award: BEST CASUAL
WHY WE LIKE IT: Citizen has long set itself apart from the pack with its Eco-Drive technology, which converts artificial or natural light into power to operate its watches. This watch adds a rugged military look to that tech that makes it a very appealing sporty option.
Read Full Review: Citizen Chandler Watch Review
Citizen could rely on its Eco-Drive tech to support sales of its watches. After all, who isn’t in favor of solar power and never needing to take your watch to a jewelry store for a battery change? But the company has gone beyond that bit of tech, having built a reputation for solid, reliable watches that can take a few knocks and keep right on working. And this watch is no exception.
Its military-style strap and bold black face gives it an instant rugged appeal. The generous 47.2 x 9.5 mm stainless steel case gives it substance, yet it only weighs 7.2 ounces. Throw in water resistance down to 100 meters, and luminescent hands, and it’s easy to see how this watch could become your regular go-to. Check out the best online watch store to see more options.
Award: BEST LUXURY
WHY WE LIKE IT: Fashion icon Michael Kors applies his distinctive style to watches, and the result is a timepiece that looks extremely luxe without breaking the bank. A dazzling array of color options lets you choose exactly the style that works best for your look.
Read Full Review: Michael Kors Men’s Lexington Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch
If you want to own a piece of wrist jewelry that draws lots of compliments, you really can’t do much better for the money than one of these handsomely designed watches from Michael Kors. All the usual quality watch features are here including a stainless case, quartz movement, water resistance to 100 meters and a chronograph, which is a fancy watch-person’s word for stopwatch.
But what really sets this watch appart is the fact that you can get it in a wild array of colors. Looking for a red metal watch with a red metal band? You got it. Solid green or navy? That too. There’s also a nice combination of gold and silver styles if you want something more traditional.
Award: BEST BUDGET
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re in the market for an inexpensive watch from a company with a reputation for making durable timepieces, you can’t do much better than this simple watch. While it might not be the most trendy watch, it has a classic look that will never go out of style.
Read Full Review: Casio Men’s Classic Quartz Watch with Resin Strap Review
In the 50 years it’s been in operation, Casio has built a reputation for making inexpensive watches that keep running for decades. So if you’re looking for a well-functioning decent-looking watch for under $20 from a name brand, you can’t go wrong with our pick for the best bargain watch out there.
You won’t get a crystal glass face (it’s plastic), a metal body (also plastic), or any fancy features with this one, but you do get a nice, simple, lightweight watch that makes it easy to tell the time at a glance. There is some water resistance here, so it can take some splashes – just don’t go swimming with it since it’s not a dive watch. Also, the minimalist styling makes it one of the best unisex watches you can buy.
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Award: BEST WATERPROOF SMARTWATCH
WHY WE LIKE IT: The affordable smartwatch that also delivers solid performance is a bit of a unicorn in the world of watches – except for this one. You get impressive features, a waterproof level that’s fine for bathing or swimming laps, and compatibility with both Android and iOS.
Read Full Review: Letsfit Fitness Tracker Smartwatch Review
There’s a conundrum in the world of smartwatches. Either you pay a lot to get a quality one, or you pay less and risk getting something that either doesn’t last, or doesn’t have enough functionality. This watch from relatively unknown brand Letsfit, seems to defy this rule, delivering impressive smartwatch functions for less than $50.
In terms of being a health tracker, the watch, which features a 1.3-inch screen, includes a heart monitor, step counter, calories-burned monitor, mileage-traveled counter and relaxation programs. On the smartwatch side it has built-in Bluetooth; the ability to deliver SMS messages as well as notifications from apps including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and LinkedIn, plus the ability to control your music, hang up a phone call and, of course, tell time. The watch also has an IP68 water standard rating, which means it can be submerged in up to five feet of water for up to 30 minutes, making it fine for swimming laps. But what’s truly impressive with this watch is its ability to run for days on a single charge. While the company says it’ll last for up to 10 days, many users report nearly two weeks of use on a single charge.
Because this is such a broad category, putting together a list like this was a bit tricky.
Early on, we decided that we would search for a wide variety of affordable watch types to satisfy nearly every shopper. So we spent hours researching the best watches in categories including: luxury watches, casual watches, sporty watches, smartwatches and budget/simple watches. To ensure some uniformity, we made sure that all the watches we chose have at least some degree of water resistance and that the watches were durable, attractive and long-lasting.
For traditional watches, we made sure that they could stand up to daily use and had a battery life that would keep it running for at least five years – which is the typical lifespan of the lithium metal batteries found in the watches on our list. For our two smartwatches, we made sure that they were able to take a few knocks without damage to their electronics and that they wouldn’t break the bank. We also took comfort into account, eliminating any watch that grew uncomfortable after a full-day’s wear.