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Your online guide to finding and comparing the best men’s watches

A men’s watch is undoubtedly a key fashion accessory and the perfect finishing touch to any man’s outfit, whether it's formal or casual. With such a large range of material, functions and strap styles to choose from, and on top of that the choice of the latest designers and cheap high street brands, it’s no wonder choosing the best men’s watches can be daunting. So let us guide you through our online treasure chest of men’s watches to find your perfect new timepiece. Then make your way over to our comparison tables to shop for your men’s designer watch or cheap men’s watch at the best price.

The watch: a brief history

From the humble hourglass to sundials and clocks, we’ve always looked for ways to measure the passing of time. The earliest clocks are said to have been created by Italian monks as a way of telling them when to pray. Next came the pocket watch, invented in 16th century Tudor, UK, and worn around the neck because of their size and weight. By the 17th century these had been improved to be more accurate and reliable.

The modern day men’s watch was created in the 19th century by Patek Phillippe, though a wristwatch was considered a woman’s accessory up until the turn of the 20th century. During the Great War soldiers began to realize that it was much easier and quicker to glance at a wristwatch than reach into their layers of clothing to read a pocket watch. They became more dependent on wristwatches as the war continued and the need for accurate timepieces grew.

In 2012 a men’s watch is a staple accessory adorning the wrist of many men. Since it is often the only piece of jewellery or accessory worn by a man it is an opportunity to express individuality and taste.

Analog vs. digital men’s watches

An analog watch is considered a more formal choice of men’s watch and is a classic and timeless piece. It features hour and minute hands and a twelve-hour day.

A digital watch is considered a more casual alternative to the analog men’s watch. The display is LCD or LED and numbers are digital and can be set to display a 12-hour or 24-hour clock.

Comparing functions

Water resistant – a common feature on sports watches, water resistance protects a watch from water damage. The amount of protection varies from watch to watch so be aware of this if you’re looking for a watch you can use in water. When you’re shopping for your men’s watch, a good option is to look for a watch that’s waterproof to 100 metres.

Chronograph – a chronograph men’s watch has both a stopwatch and a display watch. The dial has several sub-dials with a scale and a second hand that can be stopped and started without affecting the displayed time.

Tachymeter – a tachymeter is a scale on the outside rim of an analog men’s watch. It is used with a chronograph to compute speed, distance or units based on a certain distance or factor, e.g. miles per hour.

Perpetual calendar – a men’s watch with a perpetual calendar will display both time and a calendar. Calendars on watches can vary from simply displaying the date to displaying the date, month, year and even century. A watch with a perpetual calendar will need to be adjusted manually at certain intervals. For example, a semi-perpetual calendar will need adjusting on leap years.

Choosing the perfect men’s watch by occasion

Formal/work – A good buy for the office or classy occasion, many formal men’s watches on sale will have a stainless steel or black leather strap, which is great for dressier occasions.

Dressy - A statement piece to offset any dress suit. Look to designer men’s watches for the best investment buys.

Casual – An everyday choice for someone looking for functionality over fashion. A good men’s watch to compliment casual clothes.

Sport - The perfect men’s watch for the active men among us. With features such as water resistance and ability to withstand vigorous activity this is perfect for the outdoorsy type.

Looking after your new men’s watch

Looking after and maintaining your watch is very important to protect its appearance and keep it ticking– literally. Here are some pointers to prolong the life of your new men’s watch.

  • Avoid water damage and always check your watch’s water resistance.
  • Avoid contact with high temperatures or chemicals. 
  • Don’t wear aftershave or moisturisers near your watch because it can erode the material on the strap.
  •  Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight because this can fade leather straps. 
  • Clean metal straps with a soft toothbrush and soap and water.
  • Leather straps should be loosened in the summer to avoid absorbing sweat. 

Delivery and returns

It is always best when you compare men’s watches to check online independent retailers’ delivery and returns policy before buying men’s watches. Many retailers will allow you to return or exchange your watch within a certain period of time. Also, many watches will come with warranties which are a great plus if you want a watch that will last you years.