Last Updated on June 13, 2021 by Wristly
Watches are the most popular wearable accessories that will never go out of style for a good reason. There is a wide range of watches to choose from, making them versatile enough to go with any outfit.
Shopping for a watch is hard, but this guide will help you make the right decision and help you pick the right watch for a particular occasion and according to your need.
Importance of Knowing the Different Types of Watches
It is important to know about the different types of watches because they are a big investment. They last for many years, and you will be wearing them regularly. Your watch should reflect your taste in fashion while also complementing your personality. You want something that is both fashionable and functional at the same time! That’s why knowing all about the different types of watches is so important.
Having a watch is an essential part of life – they tell time, are fashionable, and help you stay on schedule. But when it comes to picking out the perfect one for someone else, your gift can be lost in translation if that person does not know what type of watches she or he prefers.
If you want to get them their favorite kind without any confusion about which style they prefer best, then make sure all details match up from size number (depending on the wrist) down to strap color and quality as well as features like date display; water resistance, etc. It’s important so there won’t be any disappointment!
Different Movement Types
- Spring Dive
Different Display Types
- Analog & Digital
Different Function Types
- Moon phase
- Atomic Radio Controlled
Types of Watches based on Display
1. Analog Watches:
These watches have an hour and minute hand, as well as a second hand that completes one revolution per second. It displays time using traditional numbers and marks on the watch’s face. Most analog watches have ticks that indicate 60 minutes in an hour.
One of the common watches you’ve used in your childhood and probably the first watch your parents taught you how to read the time accurately.
- Can go with any attire
- They are affordable
- Offer limited functionalities
2. Digital Watches:
Digital watches display the time in numbers. They may use different colors, such as black or yellow, to indicate the hour and minute hands. These watches use what’s called “conventional” or “analog” time, which measures the hours (12) and minutes (60) of a traditional clock.
Digital watches are always moving because not only they tell the time in seconds and minutes, but also milliseconds and microseconds.
- They are water and shock-resistant
- Offers additional features like timer, chronograph, etc.
- It may not be visually appealing to some.
3. Touchscreen Watches:
The Apple Watch is a perfect example of how smartwatches offer more features than they could fit on the screen. Touchscreen displays are usually used to navigate around its menu and other functions.
As the name suggests, watch functions can be controlled primarily by touching different screen options – for instance, when you want to increase or decrease the volume while listening to music.
- They are convenient and flexible
- They are affordable
- Easy to use
- Some watches may not support additional features.
- Difficult to navigate
4. Hybrid watches
The hybrid watches that combine the classic analog watch face with the modern convenience of a smartwatch are trendy among wearers who appreciate both.
They offer most of the essential features you would want in an application, such as notification pop-ups, fitness trackers, and many others. It’s just like a typical smartphone without having to carry around something so big!
- It’s an intelligent watch with a range of features
- No need to charge it
- Doesn’t support a touch screen.
5. Braille Watches
Braille watches, also known as tactile watches, are portable timepieces used by the visually impaired to tell time that could either be in analog or digital format. You can watch time either by opening the crystal glass cover of the analog watch or if it’s a digital watch, you can touch the braille dots that represents time.
- Suitable for visually impaired people
- Light-weight and easy to use
- They are expensive.
Types of Watches Based On Power
1. Quartz Watches:
In 1980, Quartz watches became quite popular, and now, watches being made are powered by Quartz crystal. The crystal is a conductor that allows current to pass between the battery and the circuit.
The battery is regulated by the crystal’s vibrations that give energy and moves the dial on the watch. Such types of watches need occasional battery replacements.
A quartz watch can either be in analog or digital form. The analog quartz watch would use conventional hands, whereas the digital watch uses an LCD screen to display time.
- Shows accurate time
- It’s durable
- Requires little maintenance
- Easily affordable
- It doesn’t have smooth movement
2. Mechanical Watches:
Unlike Quartz watches, mechanical watches are hand-crafted watches that are powered by a manual wind spring. The spring unwinds and produces potential energy that helps in moving the wheel.
It’s different from battery-powered watches since mechanical watches are equipped with rotors, and they can’t work without human intervention. The timeless piece requires a connection between man and the machine. Without the human being entity, the mechanical watch will be useless.
The mechanical watch is an incredible invention. It uses a balance wheel that oscillates backward and forwards at a constant rate, unlike the pendulum, which swings back and forth in one direction. When released by an escapement mechanism, this tiny amount of movement moves forward every time it is due to swing again-giving us what we know as “ticks.”
This means they require winding daily for them to work! To wind your own mechanical watch, you’ll have to take it off then unscrew its crown before turning clockwise until you feel resistance.
- No battery is required
- It has a very smooth movement
- Needs regular winding
- It’s expensive
3. Automatic Watches:
Mechanical watches work on the principle of spring. Likewise, an automatic watch uses the mainspring, which is wounded automatically. It’s also known as a kinetic watch as it works by the motion of your wrist when you wear the watch.
There are automatic mechanical watches available that have a rotor attached to the movement, when your wrist is in motion, the rotor self-winds and tightens the mainspring.
A slipping clutch is a handy little feature that disengages the winding mechanism on automatics. No matter how many times you wind it, this nifty device can’t be over-wound! Older manual mechanical watches do not always have this neat function and could easily be wound too tight if someone forgets to release tension after each turn of the crown.
- No battery is needed
- Shows accurate time
- Requires little maintenance
- Has a smooth movement
- It’s costly
- It requires winding
4. Solar Watches:
Solar power is one of the sustainable forms of energy that isn’t only used for providing electricity to the household but also used in watches. The Solar watch converts the solar energy into electricity using photovoltaic cells.
One of the advantages of Solar Watches is that it has a long life. The power can last up to 6 months easily, which means there is no need for frequent battery changes. You can use any bright light to charge the watch.
In contrast to solar watches, the battery timing of automatic watches isn’t long-lasting. This makes solar watches a winner. Moreover, the solar watch is efficient and shows accurate time.
- Rechargeable with any light.
- No need for frequent battery replacement
- Efficient and accurate
- They are expensive
5. Chronometer Watch:
The chronometer is not to be confused with the chronograph. The watch we know today as a “Chrono” or stopwatch. Still, in simpler terms, it’s just an accurate automatic timepiece that can measure intervals of up to 12 hours – perfect for any professional out there who needs accuracy and precision; when the timing is something!
The chronometer watches are made from top-quality material that doesn’t easily expand with temperature. It has advanced movement, therefore, making it one of the accurate watches.
In short, a chronometer is a stamp of approval, an indication that the movement has been tested and controlled by an official organization and deemed worthy.
The watch is tested for 16 days at different positions (horizontal, vertical, face-up, face down, etc.) on a trial basis before it’s stamped as a chronometer.
- Chronometer watches are the most accurate watches
- They are tested to check their accuracy at different temperatures and positions
- It is expensive than normal watches.
6. Spring Drive Watches:
The spring dive watch is an alarm clock with a battery backup to maintain the time and calendar. The mechanism of this type of watch sets it apart from other watches because there are no gears, just coils or springs, which oscillate at high frequencies and create electricity to power the motor’s gear train for mechanical energy conversion.
The energy source of the Spring Drive is the same as that of an automatic watch. However, it uses a tri-synchro regulator to measure time. Moreover, the integrated circuit inside is combined with Quartz crystal to ensure the perfect accuracy of the watch.
The smooth sweeping second hand is a unique feature of the spring drive, which relies on an electromagnetic force to slow down rather than stopping the gear train. The continuous motion-even when it’s stopped by your gaze-creates that elegant feel you want in a watch (or any timepiece).
To create this effect, there’s no need for complicated machinery or gears at all!
- The watch has high accuracy
- Has a sweeping second hand
- The tri-synchro regulator is responsible for keeping the watch accurate
- Expensive than other watches.
7. Lithium-Ion Watches:
Lithium-ion watches are the newest battery technology in smartwatches. This is because they don’t require a bulky and heavy charger that can be difficult to carry around at all times. Lithium-ion batteries have an incredibly long life span, so that you won’t need another one any time soon!
Just like your phone, a battery-powered watch needs to be charged on occasion. That’s where these watches come in handy; they’re stylish and lightweight metal pieces that you can wear with anything for any occasion.
Smartwatches are powered by Lithium-ion batteries which are rechargeable.
- Offers additional features
- It comes in various styles and designs
- Limited battery timing
- Relatively expensive
Types of Watches Based On Style
1. Dress Watches
A watch is one of the best accessories you can wear on a day-to-day basis. Dress watches, in particular, are perfect for formal and business attire as they speak volumes with their sleek design but don’t draw too much attention when worn under your sleeve or suit jacket like other wristwatches might.
A dress watch is more than just an accessory that adds a little flair to your outfit; it also has the power of characterizing one’s professional qualities and personality through subtlety yet elegance.
Dress watches have a simple modern design having the minute and the second hand. Some watches may also have a date window. You’ll find it in common colors like black, grey and metallic.
2. Casual watches
Casual watches are the most common types of watches in terms of style. They’re not elegant, nor do they make you stand out, but rather casual watches were designed to be durable and functional for everyday use.
The casual watches have a lower price tag than other varieties, making them an ideal option as a gift if you aren’t too familiar with whom it will be given or worn.
3. Fashion Watches
Fashion watches are sold by brands that are well known for their fashion designs rather than watchmaking skills. Many of these watches, often licensed to other companies, are focused on aesthetics rather than the technology being used in it. It’s all about the visual appeal of the watch.
You’ll find a wide range of fashion watches that can go with any style of your choice. From formal to casual clothes, you can go for fashion watches as they are versatile, affordable, and easily available.
The watches make use of quartz movement. Some of the popular watches include Gucci, Armani, etc.
- They are reasonable in cost
- Versatile in range
- It doesn’t have a good resale value
- There are better alternatives to fashion watches.
4. Luxury Watches:
Not to be confused with fashion watches, a luxury watch is a timepiece that exhibits superior craftsmanship, design, and materials relative to watches at the same price point.
They are designed by renowned companies that have an ancient history of making watches. They use top-quality movements and metals like gold, diamond, or silver to add value to the watches.
Brands such as Rolex, Swiss, Hublot, etc., are some of the well-known watch brands that have their exclusive range and hold a greater value than other brands.
- Built to last long
- Offer great value
- It comes in various designs
- They are expensive to buy
Types of Watches Based on Function
1. Chronograph Watches:
A chronograph is a watch that features both timekeeping and stopwatch functions. The two types of chronographs are the digital chronograph, which uses electronic digits for measuring elapsed time, and the mechanical or manual chronograph that uses moving hands on a dial.
Chronographs are watches that can be used to measure intervals of time. They come in two or three sub-dials and can start/stop functions without interference with other watch functions.
Chronograph watches are a great way to keep track of time. But how do you know which one is right for you? Well, the length of time they record varies from watch-to-watch – but most Sekonda chronographs can go up to 30 or 60 minutes. Some Chronographs also feature tachymeter at their edge that allow users to convert elapsed times into speeds!
- It has a sophisticated design
- Provides additional information
- It’s expensive than a normal watch
2. Dive Watches
A dive watch is a type of wristwatch designed for underwater use. It typically has a bezel that can rotate to allow the wearer to read elapsed time as they swim. The watch also shows depth, decompression status, and other features specific to divers’ needs.
These watches are water-proof and come with a water-resistance rating that indicates the amount of depth they can withstand. If you find a watch having a rating of 330 ft. or 100, it refers to the rating.
The dive watches are relatively expensive compared to other watches because it comes with modern features such as shock resistance and magnetic resistance. The watch has a robust construction that is bound to last for long.
Professional divers need a watch that can withstand the pressure of deep water. That’s why many dive watches also have screw-down crowns for extra protection against leaks and other damage while underwater.
Furthermore, the watch has a rotating bezel used to track the time. It also uses lumes which a light-emitting material on the hands to tell you time in low-light conditions.
- Made from strong built
- Shock and metallic resistant
- Makes use of lume
- It has a rotating bezel
- Relatively expensive than other watches
- It’s a heavy watch
3. GMT Watches
The “Greenwich Mean Timewatch” was first created for pilots to help them keep track of time zones. This style has two dials, one that displays the home location’s current time and another showing a second-time zone.
This type of watch is also popular among travelers, who need to keep track of time in different zones and use a GMT watch to remind them that it’s still morning back home while it’s evening here.
Analog watches have a hand that rotates every 24 hours to show the second time zone. This way, you know what AM or PM it is in your intended location without setting the alarm for both times zones.
Watches mainly have 3 hands. However, the GMT watch has a 4th hand that rotates after every 24 hours. If you’re someone who travels a lot, the GMT watch is the most convenient watch for you.
- Has an extra hand
- It is difficult to read the hour hand
4. Military Watch
A military watch is also known as a field watch with features such as an analog or digital face, date display, water resistance, and high visibility.
It’s traditionally worn in the military by soldiers on active duty to tell them what time it would be at home during combat missions abroad. Today some people wear them for similar purposes so they can track the time when traveling overseas or just because they appreciate their rugged durability!
The military watch is easy to read and has a rubber casing that makes the watch durable in extreme weather conditions. If you’re on a camping trip or going for outdoor activity, get your hands on the military watch!
- It has a robust built
- Perfect for rugged terrains
- Extremely durable
- Not for everyday wear
5. Moon phase Watch
Moon phase watches can tell you about the moon phase of a particular day, whether it’s a super moon, new moon, etc. They are also sometimes called Moon Phase Calendars or Lunar Phases Watches. They come with additional features that most people would find useful, such as date calendars, day/night indicator dials (for when there’s no sun), and many more!
The moon is one of the oldest complications on watches. While it may be stylistic, its beauty can also tell us more about a month; birthdays, due dates, and holidays are all included in this complication!
You may be thinking that a moon phase watch isn’t needed in today’s time, but the characteristics of the watch would definitely appeal to those who love to collect watches.
- They are affordable
- Offers additional information
- Handling is difficult
- You need to wear it every day for a fully functional watch.
6. Aviator/Pilot Watches
The invention of the aviator watch is a perfect example that we don’t always have to look through history books to see how important watches are for our lives.
The aviator watch was born out of necessity, as pilots needed an accurate timepiece at their wrist when navigating flight paths across land and sea.
They have prominent and big markets with a large watch case, making it easier to read the time. Cartier built the first-ever aviator that came into existence. During World War II, the German pilots used aviator watches available in types A and B.
The type B watch has the inner ring marked with hours while the outer ring indicates the minute. Some of the aviator’s watches also have a chronograph.
- Suited for casual wear
- Offer additional features
- Bigger than other watches
7. Smart Watches
Modern smartwatches are a new trend in the tech industry and there are a lot of types of smartwatches available in the market. Some allow you to connect your phone and other gadgets through Bluetooth earphones without having to reach for your phone constantly.
Many smartwatches sync with your phone to notify you of incoming calls, text messages, and emails. Since they offer multiple features as that of a phone, they are rightfully called smartwatches. However, not every smartwatch is the same.
Some may have features ranging from sleep trackers to blood pressure monitors to controlling your smart home, while others may have shutter features and are water-resistant. What’s amazing about the smartwatches is? it allows you to customize it according to your own personal choice.
- It comes with many advanced features like checking your heartbeat, tracking your sleep pattern, and many more.
- Easy to use
- Needs to be charged frequently
Recently, we have written an article about men’s smartwatches that can be read here: Best Smartwatches For Men
8. GPS Watches
The best way to keep track of time is with a reliable GPS watch. These watches can be programmed to show the user their current position, how many miles they have traveled so far, and even what direction they are facing – all without ever needing an internet connection!
Modern GPS watches have a heartbeat sensor to capture your heart rate and display it on the screen. These watches are best for fitness trainers and athletes who want to monitor their progress.
The watch uses the digital format and may offer resistance from water, so you can use it with ease even when you’re sweaty. What makes GPS watches different from fitness trackers is that fit bits don’t use GPS technology. Although they are used to track your progress, it doesn’t give the accurate numbers like GPS watches.
- It helps you to track your progress
- Easy navigation
- It comes with additional features like checking your heartbeat, tracking your sleep pattern, and many more.
- It’s expensive
- Needs frequent charging.
9. Radio Controlled Watches
Searching for a watch that gives you precise time? You can’t go wrong with Atomic radio-controlled watches. They connect to atomic clocks, which is what makes them precise. Citizen claims that their radio-controlled timepieces only have a margin of error of one second in 100,000 years!
Your watch frequently connects with local transmitters, so you know it will stay as accurate as possible. To catch signals, you will usually need to be within 500km and 1,500 km of a transmitter to connect.
- It gives precise and accurate time
- Good battery life
- They are expensive
Now that you’re aware of the different types of watches, it will be much easier for you to shop for the right watch based on your requirements. Each type of watch is catered to fulfill the needs of the end-user.