14 Elite Types of Watches By Style, Movement & Functionality

From classic dress and luxury watches to high-tech sports watches and chronographs, there are countless types of watches. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the options when considering a purchase. That’s why we’ve created the ultimate reference guide to watch types, watch terminology & watches movement.

One of the biggest differences to consider when buying a watch is its movement. The movement is like the motor that powers your watch. Everything in a watch revolves around its movement. By movement, there are four types of watches.

Mechanical Watches

Speciality: A series of intricately small components that work together to power the watch.

  • Mechanical movements never require a battery as they require periodic manual winding to operate
  • Accurate to about ± 20 seconds per day.
  • Super reliable and just plain cool to look at
  • Higher price tag than other movements

Mechanical movements never need batteries because they require periodic manual winding to operate. They are accurate to about ± 20 seconds per day and are super reliable and easy to see. They justify the higher price tag compared to other movements because they have a series of complicated small components that work together to power the watch.

Automatic Watches

Speciality: Self-winding via kinetic energy

  • Automatic watches keep strength routinely with the aid of using using the motion of your wrist
  • Accurate to about ± 20 seconds per day.
  • Available for all budgets

An automatic watch is a self-winding watch with an internal spring, no batteries and very little maintenance for this type of watch. The watch automatically picks up the movement of your wrist and uses it to power the mechanism, so there’s no need to wind the watch by hand or buy a battery. They are accurate to about ± 20 seconds per day and are available for every budget.

Quartz Watches

Speciality: Very accurate and require minimal maintenance

  • Most affordable watch movement
  • Uses electronic circuits regulated by Quartz crystal
  • Accurate to about ± 15 seconds per day.
  • Requires batteries to function and batteries need to be replaced after every 2-3 years

A quartz watch is a type of watch that runs on electricity, the current is taken from the battery in the watch. They require batteries to function and replace them every 2-3 years. Quartz watches are one of the more popular and preferred types of watches over mechanical watches. They are one of the most affordable watch movements and are accurate to about ± 15 seconds per month.

Solar Watches

Speciality: The ability to convert light energy into electronic energy

  • Powered solely by any light
  • Doesn’t require battery replacements
  • Accurate to about ± 15 seconds per day.
  • Quartz crystal timekeeping

Solar clocks are powered by light, which is converted into energy. They use a battery that stores this energy and then powers the watch. There are two types of solar clocks:
primary and secondary solar clocks. Primary solar clocks convert light into energy and if there is no light, the clock will stop working.

The secondary solar movement has a rechargeable battery that can be recharged in addition to the solar cell so that even if not exposed to light for a period of time, you can still wear the watch for a period of time without experiencing it.  They are accurate to about ± 15 seconds per month and offer something completely different.

Types of Watches by Style

Your watch says a lot about you. Choose from a wide range of classic, sporty and elegant styles. It is not wrong to say that there is a watch for everyone.

Aviator Watches

Speciality: Best for pilots to read time

A type of watch originally designed for pilots. Pilot watches are considered one of the most practical watch designs and have many important features. These include readability, versatility, and durability. Since aviators are often used in harsh environments and wet conditions, many also feature waterproof designs.

Military Watches

Speciality: Best for timekeeping in adverse conditions

Military watches are tactical watches specially designed for military personnel and law enforcement. It has special features such as a compass, water resistance and a rugged strap that make it very useful in the field and on adventures.

Racing Watches

Speciality: Best for measuring race time

A race watch is a type of watch that is suitable for various races, from car racing to horse racing. Renowned for its exceptional precision and accuracy in tracking speed and distance. On average, this type of watch has a large dial and large numbers (Arabic or Roman).

It also features a chronograph subdial that displays speed and distance. A stylish tachymeter is often found on the outer edge of the dial. Cases are usually made from sturdy materials such as stainless steel or titanium. Leather straps are preferred as they are more durable.

Diving Watches

Speciality: Best for water resistance

A dive watch is a watch intended to be used for diving or underwater activities. Used by both professional and recreational divers, these watches are typically water resistant to depths of 100 meters or more. A diver’s watch is more than just a luxury accessory.
These are important tools that divers use to keep track of time after they are submerged in water. 

Field Watches

Speciality: Best for military purposes

Field watches were first introduced to the world in 1942 as rugged, reliable and easy-to-read wristwatches intended to be worn by soldiers on the battlefield. Even after the war, it continued to be loved by a wide range of people, from conductors to athletes. The style is still popular today and extends far beyond military applications. Field watches are built with durability and functionality in mind. It’s lightweight with a waterproof case and features a transparent dial, making telling the time as easy as possible in almost any environment.

Fashion Watches

Speciality: Best for style

Fashion watches are not necessarily made to keep time accurately, but to look good. Some put fashion watches in the jewelry category. Watches in this group are often less expensive than luxury ones, but you still get a hefty price tag. Many fashion watches use quartz movements and have simple complications. In some cases, it is not complicated at all. Designers often create entire collections that revolve around a particular style, including items such as leather handbags, leather belts, scarves, and purses.

Luxury Watches

Speciality: Best for style, prestige and collecting

A luxury watch is a fashion accessory that tells the time just like a cheap watch. What sets them apart is the superior quality of materials and workmanship, and often unique designs. Luxury watches are often exquisitely handcrafted and based on historical designs that have been developed over centuries. Luxury watches are not produced quickly or cheaply. They are stunning works of art that tell a story.

Smart Watches

Speciality: Best for syncing with your phone

A smartwatch is a type of wearable technology that connects to your smartphone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Most smartwatches can track your steps and make calls without taking out your phone. Some smartwatches have fitness features that track steps and calories burned. Wearable fitness trackers can help with sleep monitoring, heart rate, and GPS tracking.

Fitness Watches

Speciality: Best for tracking workouts

Fitness watches provide users with an easy-to-use device that helps them manage their health. Some fitness watches count steps, while others track heart rate and its patterns. Most fitness watches are water resistant to 30-50 meters. This means you can wear it in the shower or pool. Many fitness bands have interchangeable straps so you can wear them with your favorite strap.

Pocket Watches

Speciality: Best for easy access

A pocket watch is a watch designed to be worn in a pocket, as opposed to a wristwatch, which is worn on the wrist. From its development in the 16th century to the popularity of wristwatches after World War I, it was the most common type of wristwatch. At the end of the 20th century, pocket watches were replaced by wrist watches, but they are still manufactured and sold today.

Nurse Watches

Speciality: Best for medical professionals

A nurse watch is a type of watch designed for clinical healthcare workers. This allows caregivers to record time without constantly checking their smartphones. This is especially important during the critical moments of therapy when every second cannot be wasted. Nurse watches are often water resistant so they can wear them all day while continuously cleaning (and sanitizing) their hands.

Sports Watches

Speciality: Best for physical contact

A sports watch is a watch made specifically for sports. It can have different characteristics depending on the sport. It is often made waterproof. It tracks heart rate, activity and sleep, monitors speed and distance with GPS, and gives audio prompts during workouts and races. Sports watches help you achieve optimal athletic performance by providing real-time stats and coaching right on your wrist.

Wood Watches

Speciality: Best for environmentally conscious

A wooden watch is a watch made of wood, including the strap and case. Made of 100% real wood, and is comfortable, durable and eco-friendly. If your clock has anything to do with wood, it’s a wooden clock. Wood can be used as it is or in combination with other materials such as bamboo or copper.

Dress Watches

Speciality: Best for simplicity & wearing in events

A dress watch is a type of watch that can be worn with formal attire, especially for business or other “dressed up” occasions. A simple definition, but because this type of watch can be made in a wide variety of materials and styles, Various interpretations are possible. Some people think a simple gold or silver watch is chic enough, while others need to use expensive materials like diamonds, multiple complications, and platinum. Either way, a dress watch should be an elegant timepiece that can be fashionably paired with formal attire.

Types of Watches by Functionality

If functionality is paramount, choose a watch with lots of features.

Analogue Watches

Analog clocks feature traditional dials with three hands and are suitable for all budgets. A digital clock counts down in seconds and only shows the exact time, while an analog clock usually tells the time in 5-minute increments when you wave your hand over the dial. These hands also tell you the date and the day of the week.

A great feature of analog watches is that they represent the classic and traditional side of timepieces. It can also be perfectly worn for elegant occasions.

Digital Watches

Digital watches display the time in numbers and are often packed with features such as GPS, pedometers, and more. It contains no moving parts and instead relies on electronic circuitry to drive an LED or LCD to tell the time. A distinctive feature of digital watches is that they have an electronic display. The great thing about digital watches is that they also come in different price ranges. Perfect for sports and workwear.

Chronograph Watches

Chronograph watches have a dial with multiple subdials. These subdials often feature a tachymeter, a scale engraved on the edge of the watch. Used to measure velocity over a known distance. Other complications and functions with subdials often include stopwatches, tachymeters, etc. With a variety of styles and budgets available, there is a chronograph for everyone.

Hybrid Watches

Hybrid watches are characterized by a combination of analog and digital. It combines digital functionality with the mechanics of a traditional watch, offering functionality similar to that of a smartwatch. Perfect for sports and fitness, and these watches are available for every budget.

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