A good watch should not just be limited in purpose to a fashion accessory – it is after all, pretty much a necessity, so it needs to be well functioning as well as aesthetically stylish. Durable and generally more affordable, digital watches are the way to go. The Idle Man rounds up the 4 best designs to go for right now.
It goes without saying that every man should have a good selection of watches in his repertoire – and if you don’t, then it’s definitely time to sort it out (excuse the pun). A good watch can complete an outfit and add that little touch of class and sophistication to a look. But where to start? There’s a plethora of brands to choose from, but it seems the ultimate debate in buying a watch is between analogue and digital.
There’s definitely pros and cons to each. Analogue is obviously a lot more classic and will give off effortless heritage vibes, so it’s probably more appropriate for a smarter occasion. But let’s face it, most of the time your look is going to be more off-duty, so you can get away with a more contemporary, digital style. Digital watches are also really durable and are often a lot less expensive than analogue watches, so even more of a reason to get involved. Most brands have ventured into digital watches for men, but we’ve selected the top rated men’s watches to check out before you make your decision.
Casio has become somewhat of a modern classic – the name has become pretty much synonymous with stylish digital offerings. Their timepieces have gained a huge reputation in a relatively short time, and combine strong, lasting technology with effortlessly cool retro vibes. Whether you go for a statement gold or a more subtle silver version, Casio have so many models that’ll be sure to add a bit of interest to any casual look.
The beauty of Casio digital watches is that they’re super versatile, and widely recognised in the sartorial style stakes, so they’ll even work for more formal occasions – especially if you’re into that 80s, Wolf of Wall Street thing.
Nixon are also a relatively new brand that has shot to prominence in recent years. Their Southern Californian heritage has created a firm base for quality products, with the laid back attitude of the skate parks and surf lifestyle playing a huge influence designing some of the best men’s digital watches around.
Nixon’s Unit model combines the best of both analogue and digital watches – it features all sorts of technical wizardry like a calendar and a timer, but with a custom solid stainless steel case feels like a classic analogue. It’s quite a hefty style, so it’s not a watch that is going to fit neatly under a suit jacket. Instead, make it the statement piece of your street inspired outfit and wear with a simple white tee and jeans combo.
If you’re after something even more practical, the Ultratide model has all the same features but is completely waterproof – so you might not be deep sea diving, but at least you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your watch will be covered from any dangerous spillages down the pub.
As an established technology brand, you might better know Braun for their electric razors, hair straighteners or kitchen appliances. But Braun have actually created a really nice range of watches with all that technological expertise. Their designs have gained global recognition by watch gurus, and you can expect all the technical qualities of a top of the range digital watch – energy saving motion detector, chronograph and countdown, all shown on a liquid crystal display. Now that’s a bit more impressive than a toaster.
But it’s the aesthetics of Braun’s cool digital watches that is their stand-out feature. The clean, stainless steel bracelet looks pretty cutting-edge, and it’s subtle enough to wear in a more formal outfit – no one likes a show off in the office. It also comes in a leather version, which is a nice combination of the classic analogue and the contemporary digital.
So we’ve already mentioned Casio as a classic digital wrist watch, but the G-Shock electronic watches deserve a bit of recognition in their own right. Where the iconic Casio watch that may initially come to mind is more of a fashion accessory, the G-Shock is all about functionality. These bad-boys are built to withstand the elements, can go 200 meters underwater (again, great for unfortunate dropping in your pint situations) and are shock resistant – all whilst being solar powered.
But just because function is their strong point, doesn’t mean to say that they don’t look great. If you’re after a chunkier style, you can’t do much better than a G-Shock. They come in a whole range of designs and colours, so you can make as much of a statement as you want – just keep the rest of your outfit simple to avoid clashing.
A huge pro with stylish digital watches is the additional tech benefits they give in comparison to analogue. Polar specialises at health-based technology, and has developed an extensive range of wristwear to help monitor heart rate and performance, whilst simultaneously connecting to your smartphone. Clever stuff. But they’ve also mastered the aesthetic side of it too. It’s sleek aesthetic and touch screen give a much more contemporary look than classic digital watches, and it’s subtleness means that you can wear it all day before you hit the gym.
The 5 Best Digital Watches Right Now
- Casio G-Shock
On That Note
Digital watches are having a massive comeback at the moment. Their old school, retro vibes not only make a sartorial statement and add the perfect finishing touch to smart and casual outfits, but also come with impressive technical benefits. But this doesn’t compromise the aesthetic appeal, and frankly some of the coolest watches out there today are digital. So whether you’ve already got a strong collection of watches under your belt, there’s always room for a digital to mix up your repertoire.