You might think that you don't need a watch because you have your cell phone attached to you most of the time, but if you're on a date or in a business meeting, pulling out your phone can come across as really inconsiderate.
Rather than face some potentially awkward situations, you should wear a good watch that both looks great on you and advertises your personality.
That being said you don't have to spend a ton of money on a watch to look great. Believe it or not, many of the watches I have that catch the most attention actually cost under $200. This post takes a look at a few of my favorites in this category. Before getting to the individual watches, I'll talk a bit about sizing and finding a watch that fits.
What is the Right Watch Size for a Man's Wrist?
Though perhaps obvious, it's worth pointing out that different people need different sized watches. I've seen men who look better with a 36MM watch face and some who appropriately wear the trendy 50mm faces.
Additional factors like case thickness, lug distance, and your wrist shape can change the way a watch looks. In my experience, flatter wrists look better with slightly larger watch faces while rounded wrists look better with smaller ones.
In addition, the bezel size and some design features can actually make a smaller watch look bigger and vice versa.
Of course the best bet is to actually try the watch on. Watch purists will say that if the lugs overhang your wrist, then it's too big. Angled lugs may allow for a slightly larger size.
That being said, with the trend towards larger watch faces, a lot of what purists say no longer applies towards today's styling preferences.
If you don't have a shop with the watch you're looking for nearby, then here is a good chart to go on. That said, it's hard to put an exact number on what will look right for you. Lots of people ignore these rules and are happy with larger faces, so just go with what you like and with what looks good on you.
1. Kenneth Cole New York KC9324 Automatic Watch
A Good Men's Skeleton Watch Under $200
I wish more watches today were skeleton in design. The inner workings of the watch, in my opinion, is one of its more appealing characteristics. And being able to see those inner-workings is pretty cool.
Kenneth Cole's New York KC9324 is a great budget skeleton watch. It uses Japanese, as opposed to Swiss, automatic movement, which I've found to be nearly as accurate, but much less expensive to manufacture. This cost savings means you get a watch that's both functional and stunning for an excellent overall value.
Two Great Large-Faced Watches Under $200
I've known men with wrists both large and small who can pull off large-faced watches. Here are two that really stick out in this price range.
2. Diesel SBA Only The Brave
The name for this watch couldn't be more apt. Diesel's industrial style and unique chronological dials get noticed nearly every time I wear this watch.
With a calfskin strap, grey or gunmetal color, and metallic look, this watch has turned out to be one of my favorites. If you're patient, then you can find it on sale for just under $200.
3. Nixon Chronicle SS
If you like large-faced fashion watches, then you'll also want to take a look at the Nixon Chronicle SS. It has a very clean look with black stainless steel band, black face, and bright white hands.
It can be a bit hard to see in darker environments - but you get this watch less for its utility than for its fashion statement. It's simple, stylish and guaranteed to turn heads wherever you go: a great watch for the money.
4. Michael Young ODM Watch
A Unique Retro 50's Watch with Modern Flavor:
When Michael Young set out to make this watch, he wanted to couple a 50's influence with a modern feel. It uses Japanese automatic movement which is hidden behind a very deep shell. The lines symmetrically follow around the base of the shell and add to its uniqueness and style.
Rather than go with a leather strap, Young went with a polyurethane strap that is still comfortable in humid climates. Overall, this is a unique watch that many will appreciate. With a case diameter around 42.5mm it looks great on men whose wrists are 7 to 7.5 inches or flat 6.5 inch wrists.
In my opinion this has to be one of the simplest but most unique-looking men's watches out there.Its high-quality metal and great simple look will set you apart without making you stand out like a sore thumb.
5. Ziiiro Celeste
A bold watch for a bold man.
Anyone who wants to make a mark socially, will love this brightly colored Ziiiro Celeste. It is a conversation piece for sure. The time is kept by two transparent colored discs. I also love the matte stainless steel casing and strap, since they are very unique and eye-catching. This watch is guaranteed to be a conversation starter.
Men's Watch Sizing Chart
|Wrist Size||Watch Size|
Choosing Your Style: Sports, Fashion, or Unique?
These are great for very athletic and active men. They tend to be much more durable than more fashionable and elegant watches. They also come with all the bells and whistles to fit your needs. Many come with heart-rate monitors and GPS tracking among other features.
They typically come with either a rubber or nylon band, though current trends lean toward mesh bands. Digital is probably the best kind of athletic watch to get.
Make sure to find something that comes with a lot of water resistance. Most watches come with a certain amount, but sports watches come with extra protection.
Fashion watches are made to be worn with dressier clothing. These are typically a bit fancier and are frequently adorned with diamonds, rubies, gold, white gold, and other precious gems and metals.
I would not recommend that you wear these everywhere, but when you have formal occasions, or business meetings, these types of watches will set you apart.
What makes a watch "unique" in my book is any eye-catching non-traditional feature. It might be bright colors and patterns, a unique timekeeping mechanisms, like graphs, dots, or symbols, a uniquely shaped face, or other features like cameras or voice activation.
Tips for Finding an Inexpensive and Durable Men's Watch
- Decide on price. Once you know your budget, you can then look at watches within that range and find the right one. Keep in mind, though, that just because you buy a $800 watch does not necessarily mean that you are going to get a good quality watch. There are many under $200 that should give you everything you need.
- Compare different brands. There are many different styles to choose from and one brand typically has similar looking watches, with a few variations in style. Make sure you get a good idea of what is out there before making a final decision.
- Evaluate band materials and durability. Watchbands are most often made from leather, rubber, titanium, stainless steel bracelet bands, and nylon. Nylon and rubber are the cheapest materials and they tend to break down much faster. Although leather is more expensive, it usually lasts a long time and looks very nice with both casual and dressy wear. However, leather is vulnerable to water damage. Titanium and stainless steel bands usually last the longest, but they do cost the most.
- Choose face plate types and strength. A well-made face plate will protect your watch from damage for a long time. The face plate is a crucial feature for anyone who will wear their watches in physically demanding environments. The cheapest material is plexiglass, which will not shatter but does scratch easily. Mid-ranged watches typically use a mineral crystal plating, which will not scratch but can crack under enough pressure. On the high-end is synthetic sapphire, which, like mineral crystal, does not scratch but will shatter if put under too much stress.
© 2013 JC Heppler