Watch Guide: Types of Watches Explained

Our list makes a great starting point on your journey to learning more about the different types of watches. Our aim is to help you understand the world of watches so you can make a purchase that better suits your lifestyle.

 

Before we begin, it's important to differentiate 'Types' of watches from watch 'movements'. The latter is the internal mechanism that makes the watch tick. There are many types of movements, just as there are many types of watches. We will explore movement or mechanisms in a separate blog.

 

New types of watches appear as and when technology develops, fashion trends evolve and the needs of society change. Here are 16 notable types of watches or watch categories to look out for:

 

 

1. Analogue

2. Boyfriend Watches

3. Chronograph

4. Chronometers

5. Digital and Dual Display

6. Divers

7. Fashion

8. Gadget

9. Luxury

10. Nurses Fob

11. Pilot Watches

12. Pocket Watches

13. Radio Controlled

14. Skeleton

15. Smartwatches/Connected/Hybrid

16. Sports 

 

 

Analogue

 

Timex analog watch

 

You may remember learning to tell the time at school.  You may remember the excitement when you figured out how to read the hands on the clock face. Every watch that features the traditional 12 hour clock face, and features no digital elements, is known as an analogue (or analog) watch.

 

Then you discovered the digital watch and learning to tell the time became confusing all over again...

 

 

Boyfriend Watches

 

Apparently appearing to wear your boyfriend's clothes is in fashion...

 

Coach Boyfriend watch

 

Men's fashion designed for women. Boyfriend Watches come with a bigger watch face for a masculine touch. Popular among women who like to challenge the traditional feminine look. The 'boyfriend' fashion encompasses a whole range of clothes and accessories including jeans, jackets and watches.

 

 

Chronograph

 

Citizen Red Arrows Watch

 

A normal watch that has the added function of a stopwatch. This extra function on the watch is known as a 'complication'. The timer or stopwatch function is applied through pusher buttons and, quite magically, does not affect the normal timekeeping function. Chronographs are not to be confused with Chronometers (See below).

 

 

Chronometers

 

Breitling Chronometer

 

Chronometers are watches made in Switzerland that have been COSC-certified. Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) is the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. The institute tests Swiss watch movements to certify their accuracy and precision.

 

 

Digital

 

The watch that made learning to tell the time a little more complex...

 

Casio Digital Watch

 

Invented in 1970 by the Hamilton Watch Company, digital watches tell the time with a liquid crystal display (LCD) rather than ticking hands. Another big difference from the traditional analogue watch is the 24 hour clock.

 

For the best of both traditional and technological time-keeping, you can purchase Dual Display Watches which combine analogue and digital.

 

 

Divers Watches

 

Gucci Dive

 

If you're wanting to take your watch for a swim, then you'll need a watch that offers a fair amount of water resistance. Diving watches offer water resistance of 100m or more. You can also buy specialist watches suitable for deep sea diving (up to 3900m).

 

 

Fashion Watches

 

Rosefield lifestyle Rosefield pink strap watch

 

This watch is not especially a type, but is a category that you are likely to spot on your quest to purchase a watch. This category will always showcase watches that follow the latest fashion trends. For instance, today's fashion trends include Rose Gold and interchangeable straps.

 

 

Gadget Watches

 

Garmin watch

 

When we think of gadget watches there are often two things that come to mind: advanced technology and spy movies. However, not all gadgets on watches are technology based. They are simply watches that offer secondary functions to telling the time. This could include a calculator, fitness monitor, USB and much, much more.

 

 

Luxury Watches

 

Tissot watch

 

Tissot, Gucci, Breitling, Bremont, Omega, Rolex, TAG Heuer are just a few of the luxury watch brands. But what makes a timepiece a piece of luxury? Is it the quality of the materials, the complexity of the craftsmanship, the detail in the design? Is it the price-point? Is it the rarity? Is it the precision of the timekeeping? Is it the prestigious brand-name? Is it the advanced technology?

 

To some extent, all of these factors are relevant to determining whether a watch has the luxury factor.

 

 

Nurses Fob

 

Nurses Fob watch

 

Nurse fob watches were created for people who can't wear wristwatches for hygiene purposes, such as nurses. They were designed to be easily attached to uniforms.

 

 

Pilot Watches

 

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Strap Watch

 

Pilot Watches were designed for professional pilots, however they are also worn by aviation enthusiasts. Associated as luxury timepieces often designed by luxury brands such as Bremont, Breitling and Oris.

 

 

Pocket Watches

Woodford Pocket Watch

 

Historically an integral part of male attire during the Victorian period and used for hunting in England, Pocket Watches certainly offer traditional value. Available as Full Hunter (cover over pocket watch - see image above) and Half Hunter (pocket watch without cover).

 

 

Radio Controlled Watches

 

Radio Controlled watch

 

Radio Controlled Watches are automatically synchronised by a radio transmitter connected to the atomic clock*, keeping your watch accurate regardless of your location and time zone. This type of watch is perfect for those who travel frequently.

 

*Atomic Clock: Famously the most consistent and accurate timekeeping device.

 

 

Skeleton Watches 

 

Raymond Weil Skeleton Watch

 

You can be forgiven for thinking these watches are for Halloween. In fact, Skeleton Watches are created by removing all or part of the watch face to reveal the internal mechanism. These are stunning timepieces that reveal the beauty within.

 

 

Smartwatches 

 

Kronaby smartwatch

 

Also known as 'Hybrid' and 'Connected' Watches, Smartwatches are relatively new to the watch universe. These watches connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth allowing some of the functions on your phone to transfer to your watch. This might include receiving notifications, fitness and wellbeing trackers, GPS, music controls and much more. The smartwatch predecessors include the 'Fitness Trackers'. However, now you can keep fit and look stylish. These watches are great for trendy friends, tech-geeks and people with busy schedules!

Read More

 

 

Sports Watch

 

Asics watch

 

This particular watch may interest anyone wishing to keep fit and healthy this year. Sports watches are designed with sport in mind - especially running. These watches are often lighter than your regular watch and sometimes have digital functions to keep track of your fitness and progress. Asics and Adidas are key players in the creation of sports watches.

 

 

So there you have a review of the top types of watches. We hope you found this guide helpful. Want to know more about watches? Feel free to explore the House of Watches website to learn more and browse our exceptional timepiece collections...

 

 

In next month's blog, we're exploring watch mechanisms to find out what makes watches tick...