31.10.2023 | 18 MIN
Choosing a watch is slowly becoming a science of its own. What style, for what occasion, all this must be taken into account. In our guide, you'll find the best men's watches from the most popular watch styles.
If you're looking for the perfect gift and don't want to spend hours reading reviews and researching, here you'll find inspiration for watches you won't go wrong with. In fact, we do the careful selection right in our editorial office, where we review them ourselves. And at the very end of our guide, we've summarised how and what we chose.
Have you set your price budget a little lower? We've selected the more affordable models in each category:
A quick rundown of the categories and winners:
A dress watch is a basis. An accessory that reveals a lot about a man in society. It's such an elite among watches. And unless it's a supremely formal event, there's quite a field of choice.
Category winner: Certina DS-1 Big Date
For joyous occasions, you don't have to be afraid to reach for a more colourful dial, for example, or a design with a colourful element that subtly enhances the overall look. Because social watches don't have to be boring. It should be a pleasure to wear it with your shirt to work, as well as your t-shirt when you go to sit down with friends in the evening.
The Certina DS-1 Big Date is exactly that, and its popularity only confirms it. The famous shade of green, the interesting smoke gradient, the polished case and the mesh steel bracelet - that's what I'm talking about. They are also offered in other shades, beautiful in blue for example, and if you reach for black, they could be considered as formal.
Even though the rules for choosing a dress watch are more relaxed than they are for a downright formal watch, it still holds true that they should be rather minimalistic, elegant and not draw too much attention to themselves.
Among the nominees were the fascinating Orient Star with moonphase and the Tissot Gentleman. Both are perfect alternatives and each have their merits. The Orient Star will impress you with its sophisticated dial, the Tissot Gentleman with its unwavering versatility.
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Watches for formal events or for a strict work dress code have pretty much clearly defined rules. First of all, they have to be really elegant and minimalist in design.
Category winner: Tissot Le Locle Automatic
Materials also play a role. Please forget about the plastic case or silicone strap. The strap should be leather, and in basic leather colours - brown or black. The case should be steel or precious metal, and in silver or gold. Why this is so is based on the established rules.
The specialist in social classics is the Swiss Tissot. I then choose the Tissot Le Locle model with automatic movement not only because it meets all the criteria, but because it offers more than a good price/performance ratio and most importantly, it is a beautiful watch.
Of course, you can also choose from other models and brands. In any case, for men's formal watches, choose really carefully. This is because it is a classic that will never go out of style, and if you choose the right piece, it will probably do the job for many, many years.
With formal watches, it's also all about size. The diameter of the case should not exceed 42 mm and the thickness should ideally be chosen so that the watch fits nicely under the cuff of your shirt.
The selection also included a model from Frederique Constant, which, like Tissot, bets on a guilloche dial and the refinement of Roman numerals. In addition, it has the popular flywheel visor for which the brand has become famous. But there is also a version without an open heart. Another perfect choice for formal events would be the Mido Baroncelli models. The minimalist dial with a blued hand looks clean yet interesting. So you won't go wrong with either.
A watch for everyday wear is a challenging category. After all, you're looking for a watch that can stand up to almost any company and handle almost any situation.
Category winner: Citizen Sports CB588
A watch for everyday wear should ideally have at least 100 meters of water resistance so that you don't have to practically take it off. Also, a metal bracelet will come in handy, as it is more durable than leather or silicone straps and has a longer lifespan. And they should be sporty-elegant in style so they go with almost everything.
The Citizen Sports CB588 has all of this, plus it offers higher water resistance, practical features like automatic time and date synchronization via radio reception (so it's really accurate), an alarm or a stopwatch. And it's solar powered, so you don't have to run to the watchmaker for a good decade to change the battery.
And since they'll experience all sorts of things with you, you should also think about making sure they have a sapphire crystal that you won't scratch right away and that you'll appreciate luminescence or other types of lighting at night.
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The sporty style is incredibly sexy. No question about it. And among the most popular sports watches are definitely chronographs, or watches with stopwatches. This is despite the fact that very few people use a stopwatch in practice.
Category winner: Tissot Supersport Quartz Chronograph
And if we're talking about a racing watch, there's usually also a tachymetric scale for measuring speed. Brands like Tag Heuer or Rolex will come to mind. But Swiss Tissot is also among the top, especially with its current Tissot Supersport collection.
The very energetic design can be felt not only on the dial, but also in the shape of the case or bracelet. In addition, the high-precision quartz movement from ETA boasts a maximum deviation of +- 10 seconds per year, and the stopwatch measures with an accuracy of 1/10th of a second for 30 minutes. The watch also features 100m water resistance, sapphire crystal and luminescence.
You can have the Supersport model in several colours and the leather strap doesn't take away from the charm. In short, Tissot knows how to make a sports watch. Its connection to the world of fast speeds is evidenced by the fact that Tissot began sponsoring motorsports in the 1970s and today you will see its logo at prestigious events such as MotoGP as the official timekeeper...
Also shortlisted is the absolutely gorgeous retro Frederique Constant Vintage Rally, which delights with an automatic chronograph and a dial shade in the colour of the Austin-Healey 100S NOJ 393. For collectors or lovers of retro watches, an absolute top pick.
Diving watches are a category that few people buy for the actual purpose of diving with a watch anymore. Still, their popularity hasn't changed. In fact, it's quite the opposite. And there is a growing interest especially in those pure diving watches, functional not only aesthetically but also technically.
Category winner: Tissot Seastar 2000 Professional Automatic
Almost every brand has some cool divers that they've really gone all out with. But the current top diver model from Tissot, the Seastar 2000, exceeded expectations, and that wasn't exactly small. This is their first dive watch with official ISO 6425 certification. Water resistance has reached 600 meters, it even has a helium valve, a thick sapphire crystal and even on it's back, so you can see the Powermatic 80 automatic movement through it.
The rotating lunette is ceramic and no expense has been spared on luminescence here. The thickness of the watch can be a downside, because the Seastar 2000 is not really a small watch. But if you were looking for a really sturdy diver with an incredibly hilarious dial, Tissot makes just that.
A rotating lunette with a 60-minute scale, great legibility, high water resistance, strong luminescence or backlighting. A diver's watch is not only stylish but also practical. At least you don't have to worry about drowning.
If you're intrigued by the Tissots but are bothered by the slightly larger size, I definitely recommend the Orient Star Sports Diver 1964 with a similar turquoise dial as an alternative. The Certina made the shortlist for its titanium workmanship and hilarious ochre shade of luminescence.
Pilot's watches, or also aviation watches do not have as clearly defined design elements as, for example, diving models. This is why watches with the pilot designation are often diametrically opposed to each other. At the same time, however, they are one of the most popular styles of men's watches. Iconic pilot watches can be made by Zenith, IWC or Breitling, for example.
The more modern concept is often with a logarithmic scale, which pilots used to calculate, for example, range or fuel consumption. Therefore, they sometimes look complicated, but all the more appealing.
The Citizen Promaster Sky JY802 has been leading in popularity among the stalwarts for quite a while now. There are a number of reasons for this: the aforementioned appealing design, the titanium case and bracelet that lends them lightness (despite their larger size, which many men also appreciate), and the radio time synchronization coupled with solar charging.
So in summary, they're big, yet fantastically light, they go absolutely accurate, they recharge with light and that makes them basically carefree. And because they're in the best category, we're taking anti-reflective sapphire crystal, 200m water resistance and as a bonus, lighting, alarm and stopwatch.
The Prim Aviator Dual Time has been a big and very pleasant surprise and will appeal to enthusiasts of classic pilot style and automatic movements. The Hamilton X-Windy is one of the most popular men's Hamiltons and let's face it, it's a cool watch in design and function.
Today we perceive military watches differently. They're more like durable, indestructible G-Shock watches, or conversely super modern sport testers like the Garmin Fenix or Tactix. But we chose from the classic ones, which are called "field watches".
Category winner: Hamilton Khaki Field Captain America
The Hamilton Khaki Field Captain America is a perfect example of how to bring a just historic military watch into the 21st century and make a vintage timepiece an ageless classic.
The brilliantly simple design brought to life with refined details is exactly what makes the Captain America one of the most popular models from this Native American brand with an incredible history.
Inside is an automatic movement with 80 hours of power reserve, they have a larger 42mm diameter (but a smaller 38mm version is also available) and have been given a sexy Avant-Garde nickname.
Hamilton watches fought on many fronts and starred in many movies. And there is no doubt that this particular model will win a place with many more watch enthusiasts.
Someone is afraid of the third world, someone is afraid of a mutating virus, someone is afraid of the elements. Having a watch for discomfort has its advantages. Even in less catastrophic scenarios. Whether we're talking about manually demanding jobs, gardening, adrenaline sports, soldiers, firefighters... Durable, outdoor watches definitely come together at home.
Category winner: Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-2000
Luminoxes are the perfect choice for those who want a simple, uncluttered yet sophisticated outdoor watch. We were impressed with the sleeker design while maintaining purely outdoor features. But the winner is the G-Shocks, because when it comes to durable and feature-packed watches, nothing beats the G-Shocks.
Perhaps a durable smartwatch like the Garmin Fenix or Epix would be a logical choice, but in this selection we were looking for a classic that doesn't need to be recharged.
The top model of such a watch is the Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GWG-2000, the most feature-packed model in the Mudmaster family. Because Mudmasters are watches that you can run over with a truck, expose to extreme temperatures, and they can still tell you what the temperature is, altitude meters, and help you find directions via the compass, thanks to the Triple Sensor.
They get the exact time automatically via a good old long-wave radio signal. No novelties like Bluetooth. And if you happen to not get to a watchmaker for a few years? No problem, this watch is solar-powered.
The rugged dimensions and durability make it the perfect tool for extreme conditions, but also as a casual field wear watch for anyone looking for a proper guy's watch with useful features.
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Creating an interesting retro watch is not as easy as it might seem. Many brands "revive" their vintage models in an attempt to attract attention, or even to obscure the fact that they have no new ideas. That's why we're picking ones where this is definitely not the case.
Category winner: Citizen Promaster Bullhead
The Certina DS PH200M has been loved for several years now. And have been awarded many times. If you're looking for a retro dive watch, Certina is the way to go. Bulls, in turn, are based on a design that has literally walked on the moon! However, the Citizen Bullhead reissue is nothing less than the perfect timeless watchmaking treat.
The Bullheads, which earned their nickname from the two pushers unusually placed above the twelve, were typical of the 1970 s and were produced by a number of brands. Citizen was among them, although at the time they were automatic chronographs, even with flyback complications. You could see one of the original versions in the movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, worn by Brad Pitt.
Today, the reincarnation is very faithful in design to its predecessor, but with a modern twist. The movement is quartz and powered by light, the water resistance is a luxurious 200 meters, and you can have it in both steel and titanium, which Citizen does first class.
The Bullhead is quite heavy in design and will appeal more to advanced chronomaniacs than complete novices, but either way, it won't get lost on the wrist or in a collection.
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Skleton watches are as plentiful as saffron. But often, when a brand makes them, they're really worth it and there needs to be a story or a special element behind the watch.
Category winner: Orient Star Classic Skeleton
When you look at the Edoxes, you immediately think of the much more expensive model from Zenith, but of course in a much more affordable version. Frederique Constant, on the other hand, impresses with its versatility and comfort on the wrist. Yet the winner is the Orient Star.
Orient Star introduced its skeleton to celebrate 70 years since the first Orient Star watch. It has not only won with the design aspect (and managed to achieve the hard thing in skeletons such as legibility), but also the technological one.
Through the dial you can observe its F8 movement with a silicon thread that is specially dyed. But above all, it has antimagnetic properties and resists wear and tear well. It's a model for true connoisseurs, but it certainly can't be said to be intended only as a showcase. It belongs on the wrist and thanks to its smaller dimensions it will also be very comfortable to wear.
It also won us over with its excellent anti-glare and Sallaz polish. At the price it is offered for it is an excellent value for money.
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The automatic watch category is very demanding. It is a very demanding category, because automatics have a lot of potential. That's why we have slightly modified the category to "Reliable automatic watches for everyday wear". That is, a watch with a beautiful movement inside, but practical enough to put on your wrist every morning without hesitation.
Category winner: Tissot PRX Automatic
For us, the nominees are all winners. Frederique Constant by the way fantastically incorporated a world time complication and delighted with a Manufacture movement to boot, all at an unbeatable price. The Seiko Sharp Edged mesmerises with its dial structure, but also with its craftsmanship, which is incredible. Especially at this price. But there can only be one winner, and the first place went to the Tissot PRX Automatic thanks to its huge popularity.
The Tissot PRX emerged in 2021 as a bit of a revelation. For a sensational price, you get a stylish automatic with a high power reserve and workmanship that makes it seem like the watch is at least twice as expensive.
They also get plus points for 100-metre water resistance and luminescence, because when it comes to watches for everyday wear, you have to think practically.
Hilarious design, interesting dial structure and of course the strong name of Swiss Tissot also played a role in the decision.
Actually, they could boldly be nominated in the categories of retro and social watches, but it is the category of reliable automatics for everyday wear that probably suits them best.
Classic watches are now technologically obsolete. Smartwatches on paper playfully nudge them in the pocket in almost everything. Still, there are plenty of us who expect more from a watch than just a functional device. We want comfort, a sense of luxury, premium materials and yet accurate time.
In that case, you want a quartz watch with advanced timekeeping. The choice is of course radio reception, GPS or Bluetooth.
Category winner: Seiko Astron GPS Solar
All the nominees fulfilled the brief to a tee. The G-Shocks won us over not only with their combination of RC and Bluetooth synchronization but also with their color scheme. The Tissot T-Touch was an instant hit because it offers a hybrid way to have a beautiful Swiss watch and several smart features at the same time. But first place goes to the Seiko Astron GPS Solar.
With GPS synchronization, the Astrons can keep time anywhere in the world, extremely fast, and they have perfect workmanship, the best materials and an irresistible business design.
The Seiko Astron SSH135J1 also appealed to us with the pattern on the dial, which Seiko simply knows how to do. Also impressive is the anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystal, which is so perfect that you feel the glass isn't even there. And the titanium finish? You'll never cease to marvel at the lightness and quality of the watch at the same time.
Digital watches evoke nostalgia for us. It's just so retro. But the great thing about retro is that it's not only immortal, but sometimes it's also timeless or even can turn back time in a way.
Category winner: Hamilton American Classic PSR
G-Shocks were nominated for their original, modern design and reputed durability. The Bulovas caught our eye in the gaming edition thanks to the see-through movement. But the winner is the Hamilton Pulsar PSR.
Because having a watch that has been worn by famous presidents, or admired by the world on the wrist of a movie hero, or perhaps was a historic first in something... That's what every watch enthusiast wants!
That's exactly why we're picking this model from Hamilton that has done it all. It's a reissue of the world's first digital watch from the 1970s - the Hamilton PSR, known as the Pulsar in its glory days.
Worn by Elvis Presley, Elton John, President Ford and actor Jack Nicholson. And in film, they appeared on Roger Moore' s wrist in the Bond film To Live and Let Die. And that's just the beginning of the list.
But celebrity non-celebrities, milestone non-milestone, the main thing is that the reissue looks amazing even today. Whether in the classic steelbook or the new all-black version. They may not have any smart gadgets, but that's exactly what you'll love about them.
Hamilton PSR in black.
Watchmaking is a traditional art that each generation tries to push a little further. New complications, new technologies, new materials. That's why we've included a category of Watches with watchmaking, design or material innovation.
Category winner: Hamilton Jazzmaster Face 2 Face III
Both Bulova and Frederique Constant offer models with unique movements that showcase decidedly great watchmaking innovation. And yet, the Hamilton Jazzmaster Face 2 Face III won our hearts.
Part of the case is rotatable, so the owner can alternate between enjoying the view of the beautifully decorated movement or the dial.
The movement is a Hamilton H-41 based on the famous ETA Valjoux 7750. Thanks to the house, it also offers a stopwatch complication, date and day of the week.
With the model, we also appreciated the imaginative use of the pulsometer scale on the back, which runs as if backwards, as well as the blue detailing, which also adds a design flair to the watch.
It deserves its place in the best-of-the-best selection mainly for its precision workmanship, but more importantly for its sensational playfulness and fun element, which is also something you don't see too often. The limited edition has 999 pieces.
This selection of the Best Men's Watches was created as a practical guide to choosing a watch. That's why you'll only find models that are currently on offer, available and that you can use to make yourself or someone else happy. And that's why we keep the list up to date.
And what did we choose from? The best models from the brands we know, know and wear ourselves have been selected. That's also why you won't find Rolexes or Orisks here. However, we would put our hands up for the watches we've chosen and we have detailed reviews on most of them, where you can find out everything you need to know about the watches.
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