You can tell a lot about a man by the watch he wears.
Whether he’s into sports and is only really concerned about an easy to use stop-watch, or loves something that does it all like a smartwatch, or prefers the finer things in life and has something that’s a real investment. Before buying, know what it is that’s important to you and what you need it for. Is it for everyday, is it a dress watch or does it need to be waterproof? Are you after a smartwatch to enhance your organisation and efficiency, a minimal option to add the finishing touches to an outfit, or something to show off on special occasions? When testing these watches, we looked for those that were comfortable, sat well on the wrist and that looked good too. We looked for a range of materials from rubber, metal and even bamboo straps, as well as monologue and digital in designs that range from the classic to innovative. You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Meridian Milanese 38mm silver navy
This watch not only looks the part, but is the real deal too. Featuring a large luminous field dial, with metallic detailing and an oversized domed-glass cover, it’s a watch worth its weight in silver. Built for the explorer inside us all, it’s built on design aspects from previous land, sea and air models, yet its overall look makes it a perfect modern day option. Such is it’s contemporary build, it not only looks great on the wrist, but feels great too.
Instrmnt watch k black
Hailing from the heart of Glasgow, design studio Instrmnt is renowned for making sleek, forward-thinking product –especially in the world of watches. This watch from its K-Series is made from nitrile rubber, a material created through polymerisation. This basically means it allows for elasticity, longevity and a silk-like texture, making it extra comfortable on the wrist. The clock face itself is slightly smaller than average, which only adds to the minimalist look.
Casio G-SHOCK GM-6900 metal bezel series
Chunky, heavy and made from stainless steel, this golden number offers everything you’d expect from a G-Shock watch. It’s a show piece that suits both formal occasions, as well as more casual events too. A little heavier on the wrist than your standard wristwatch, it’s extra comfortable thanks to the expertly designed strap. Water-resistant, shock-resistant and robust, this is the watch for any occasion.
Tudor Heritage chrono blue
This is what we like to call an investment. It’s a watch that’ll only increase in value if it’s kept in good condition and will be sure to dazzle on every outing, not only for its mele of orange, blue and off-white, but for the overall quality look. To be worn on special occasions and kept in its nifty presentation box when it isn’t being worn, this is a stand-out piece. It also has a textured strap which makes it super comfortable and allows it to sit just above the cuff, making it an effortless wear.
Suunto 7 GPS Sportswatch
If you’re looking for a watch that meets both your style and sporting demands, then this is it. Something that truly combines smartwatch with fashion, the latest (and best) Suunto is a watch for all occasions. Its slick glass screen looks elegant on the wrist and makes for a clean HD image too. It’s slender build (unlike many other smartwatches we’ve seen) also means it can be worn in more formal outings too.
Nixon sentry leather
An elegant timepiece, built to last. The perfect watch for a black tie event, thanks to its depth and detail. Made with a solid stainless steel case and hardened mineral crystal, this is a real work of art. The leather strap fits snug around the wrist, but not too tight it becomes uncomfortable. Its 100m waterproof rating also means it’ll also survive outside of big occasions and looks ace with most outfits.
Seiko 5 sports watch
A classic watch that was originally released back in 1963, its new all-black look effortlessly brings it into modern day relevance. While it might look chunky and robust, it’s actually pretty lightweight thanks to its nylon strap, that also makes it extra comfortable. The clock face itself isn’t the biggest thanks to the robust bezel surrounding it, but it does the job and looks ace.
adidas process M1 watch
A classic-looking watch with a twist from the brand with three stripes, this is a modern watch from an adidas perspective. Coming in rose gold, giving it an extra sense of maturity (something you don’t often get with sports brands) the 20mm stainless steel six link strap ensures it feels as good as it looks. It’s heavier than it looks, but thanks to its slender shape it's not too weighty. A cheaper option for someone looking for something a little more high-end.
Victorinox Swiss Army maverick watch
Thanks to its smooth rubber strap with chain-like links, this watch wraps your wrists in comfort. It’s more than just a watch too (the clue’s in the Swiss Army title) and offers military time, the date and even an end-of-life indicator (for when under water). It’s scratch-resistant qualities also means it always looks as pristine as it did on the day you bought it.
The verdict: Men's watches Our best buy has to be Larrson and Jennings’ Meridian Milanese 38mm Silver Navy, thanks to its stand-out look for a modest cost. It’s comfortable, looks the part and can be worn on all occasions. We’d also recommend the Suunto 7 GPS Sports Watch for those looking for something a little more techy, albeit a little more expensive too