Quickly taking over the world of timekeeping, digital watches offer up a number of features that you won’t find anywhere else on the market.
Unbeatable battery life, impressive durability, and a myriad of technologically progressive features have begun to give digital watches the edge over the previously popular vintages. And that’s not to mention their versatility when it comes to their style and how to wear them.
With this new wave of modern watches, comes a whole new world of specifications to learn about.
Fear not! We’ve broken down all of the possible features you could find on a top digital watch in today’s market in our detailed and informative buying guide.
We’ve also collated some of the coolest digital watches on the market, both for their style and their technical details, allowing you to feel confident about the watch you decide to buy.
See Our Top Men’s Digital Watch Reviews
Best For Low Budgets1Timex Ironman Classic 30 Men's Digital Watch
Best For Low BudgetsTimex Ironman Classic 30 Men's Digital Watch
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Best Overall2G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 Men's Digital Watch
Best OverallG-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 Men's Digital Watch
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Best For Higher Budgets3Seiko SBEP001 Prospex Fieldmaster Men's Digital Watch
Best For Higher BudgetsSeiko SBEP001 Prospex Fieldmaster Men's Digital Watch
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1. Timex Ironman Classic 30 Men's Digital Watch
The Ironman Classic 30 from Timex is a beautiful timepiece that features a lightweight body and a solid build. Equipped with a 16mm adjustable resin strap (fits an 8-inch wrist circumference), the watch feels comfortable on the skin.
The size of the case is just right for both men and women, and the display is sealed for water resistance (up to 100m or 330 feet). Also, the acrylic lens is durable and doesn’t scratch easily, and the digital display is gray. Furthermore, the watch is designed with an Indiglo backlight that’s not too bright and only lights the numbers, which is easy on the eyes.
In terms of features, you get a 100-hour chronograph with 30-lap memory, 24-hour countdown timer, a customizable alarm (daily, weekday or weekend alarms). The watch can be set in two time zones and has a day, date, and month calendar feature.
- Lightweight and solid build
- Resin strap for added durability
- Easy access to all features
- The display is easy to read
- Available in a wide range of colors and patterns
- The battery is a bit difficult to replace
- The backlight only stays on for a second or two
- The start/split button can be hard to press
2. G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 Men's Digital Watch
The Rangeman is one of the larger G-Shock models on the market and, if you add the classic case protection, it’s also one of the bulkiest. However, the large face accommodates a series of extremely useful features and has an integrated solar cell that keeps the watch going with regular exposure to everyday light. In fact, there is a battery status indicator right in the middle of the watch’s face (the L-M-H / Low-Medium-High bar).
In addition, once you set the timezone, you don’t have to worry about setting the exact time. The watch communicates with the closest Worldwide Atomic Time transmitters in order to keep extremely accurate time. The GW-9400 is designed to communicate with six such transmitters all over the world.
The watch features 11 modes, among which you have the regular timekeeping mode (with 12h and 24h formats), world time mode (timekeeping in a different time zone), stopwatch (it can go on for 1,000 hours), 24h countdown timer, alarm (5 of them), and more.
Lastly, the watch comes with triple sensor technology with a built-in compass, thermometer, and barometer. It can also save some of the information so you can check it at a later date and it can be influenced by outside elements. The controls are easy to understand (each button on the side of the case has multiple functions), but it’s best to play with them until you learn how to make all the settings.
- Extremely durable build
- Lots of features and modes
- Solar-powered mechanism
- Extremely accurate when it communicates with one of the pre-set transmitters
- Large face that accommodates a series of information
- It has a bit of a learning curve
- It is rather bulky
- The illumination could stay on longer
3. Seiko SBEP001 Prospex Fieldmaster Men's Digital Watch
- Rotating bezel.
- Alarm and timer function.
- Dual time abilities.
Sitting somewhere between a traditional watch and a high-tech digital watch, the Seiko SBEP001 Prospex Fieldmaster is one of the most versatile watches on the market.
Made out of durable stainless steels, hardlex mineral crystal, and a silicone strap, owners can rest assured that this watch will last them a lifetime, with little but a scratch to show for it.
Its practicality is unparalleled with a handy dual-time function, a stopwatch, and multiple time zone abilities.
What’s more, boasting a water resistance of up to 200 meters, you won’t need to worry about taking this watch off. This has earned it the name of Fieldmaster, perfect for explorers both on land and sea.
- Power save mode to elongate battery life.
- World timer functions across 44 cities.
- Silicone strap for flexibility and comfort.
- Water-resistant to 200 meters.
- The display can be difficult to read.
- Background light only comes on briefly.
See Our Top Women’s Digital Watch Reviews
|1||Casio Women's Baby G-Shock Digital Watch||Buy On Amazon|
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|2||Freestyle Shark Mini Leash Mint Women's Digital Watch||Buy On Amazon|
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|3||Armitron Sport Women's 45/7012 Digital Watch||Buy On Amazon|
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1. Casio Women's Baby G-Shock Digital Watch
The Baby-G from Casio is the smaller, lighter version of the G Shock tactical style watch. It comes equipped with a comfortable resin band with buckle closure and features a resin case with a mineral dial window (42mm size).
The watch is powered by Japanese quartz movement and resists in water for up to 100m (330ft). It’s also shock resistant, so you can wear it during sports or performing physical activities. Overall, the dial is simple and easy to read, it supports both 12 and 24h format, and has world time function (29 time zones or 48 cities).
Other functions that make this watch a great deal are the 1/100-second stopwatch, countdown timer, and mute. Also, users enjoy the EL backlight with after-glow as the dial can be a bit dark during the day.
- Perfect for military/ROTC/medical staff
- Comfortable and easy to use
- A wide range of useful functions
- Water and shock resistant
- Durable design
- Equipped with EL backlight
- The display can be a bit dark
- The light doesn’t stay on very long
2. Freestyle Shark Mini Leash Mint Women's Digital Watch
The Freestyle brand began as a surf watch brand, designed to be durable enough to withstand the abuses of a high-intensity lifestyle, both in and out of the water.
This watch is ideal for ladies but is actually unisex, great for men who like a smaller watch style. It features Japanese quartz digital movement, a lap counter with memory, alarm, countdown timer and stopwatch, and standard digital functions with a backlight. The case is polycarbonate with hyrdro-pushers, which are able to be pushed under-water.
The digital face has NightVision Display which is ideal for underwater adventures or overnight camping trips.
The strap is a durable canvas synthetic with a solid stainless-steel buckle. The crystal is a durable hardened mineral that protects the watch face from scratches. It’s also water-resistant to 330 feet (100 meters).
- Made to be durable in and out of the water, making it ideal in particular for those who enjoy water sports.
- Has hydro-pushers, buttons which can be pushed underwater.
- Has calendar features, lap memory and other typical digital watch capacities.
- Small enough to be worn by a woman but also fine for men who like a smaller watch style.
- Doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some other other watches that have smartwatch capabilities.
- Battery life is unknown.
3. Armitron Sport Women's 45/7012 Digital Watch
- Features a chronograph and alarm.
- Dual time zone feature.
- Backlight for easy reading.
- Stationary bezel.
Boasting sporty aesthetics and a surprising amount of features, you definitely get your money’s worth with the Armitron Sport Women’s 45/7012. It’s perfect for those who are new to the world of digital watches and who just want to see what all the hype is about.
As well as being able to pick from the many colorways you can get this watch in, this sports watch has an inbuilt time, day and date display as well as backlight features and dual time abilities.
Despite sitting at the lower end of the price bracket of women’s digital watches, this watch still has an impressive water resistance of up to 100 meters, meaning you can use it while you’re going for a swim or having a snorkel in the sea.
- Water-resistant to 100 meters.
- Lots of colors to choose from.
- Small and lightweight.
- Soft and flexible band for comfortable wearing.
- Not very durable.
- Colour fades quickly.
See Our Top Kids Digital Watch Reviews
|1||Marvel Spiderman Kids Digital Watch||Buy On Amazon|
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|2||Casio DW9052 - 2 G-Shock Kids Digital Watch||Buy On Amazon|
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|3||Skmei Kids Multi Function Digital Watch||Buy On Amazon|
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1. Marvel Spiderman Kids Digital Watch
If you want to make a young Spiderman fan happy, this watch is a perfect gift! The silicone band is red and features images of the beloved Marvel character, so it will instantly become the main attraction.
The dial features a touchscreen feature and, besides telling the time, it also has 3 games, a voice recorder, and a selfie cam (for photos and videos). It also has more practical features such as a pedometer, alarm, stopwatch, and calculator.
The watch is safe for kids of all ages and the controls are easy to understand and use. It also has good battery life and charges using the USB port (which you can also use to download your kid’s video and photo creations).
- Very attractive design
- Cool features for kids of all ages
- An amazing gift for children who love Spiderman
- It takes pictures and videos
- Resistant build & comfortable to wear
- The pedometer is not very reliable
- The battery doesn’t last very long
2. Casio DW9052 - 2 G-Shock Kids Digital Watch
Perfect for an adventurous spirit, this G-Shock quartz watch is durable (as expected) and comfortable to wear for long periods of time. It features an all blue rubber case and bracelet, which makes it very eye-catching and easy to accessorize with casual and sports outfits.
It comes with all the standard G-Shock features such as one alarm, chronograph functions, and electro-luminescence backlight (which is very bright and easy to activate). While it doesn’t have many of the fancy features usually promoted in more expensive G-Shock watches, it is enough for most of us.
We also love the fact that it can be worn while doing water sports or working in the sea since it has very good water resistance.
Overall, it’s a basic timepiece with a quartz movement that’s both reliable and accurate. The side buttons are easy to access and the interface is quite easy to understand (unlike it happens with more complicated watches).
- Comfortable to wear
- Basic timekeeping features
- Appealing design
- Good water resistance
- A durable model with reliable movement
- Not that great for an adult
3. Skmei Kids Multi Function Digital Watch
- Recommended for ages 4 – 12.
- Stopwatch abilities.
- Alarm function.
- 12 or 24 hours time display.
It can be hard to find a digital watch for your little one that both looks and plays the part. Luckily, the Skmei Kids Multi Function is up for grabs for a very reasonable price and makes for the perfect first watch for kids.
A large display and colorful LED lighting makes it easy for children as young as four to learn to read the time using this watch.
Other than the time, kids will love playing around with the stopwatch features and can even set their own alarm for school.
What’s more, there’s no need to worry about damaging this watch with water as it stays waterproof up to 50 meters, making it ideal for playtime and holidays.
- Waterproof to 50 meters.
- Damage tested for durability.
- Seven colorful LED lights for easy reading.
- Comes with a 12 month warranty.
- Durability can be an issue.
- Watch strap breaks easily.
Digital Watch Buying Guide
Design & Style
One of the main draws to digital watches is that they come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re looking for a vintage digital watch to add a touch of class to your outfit or a stylish digital watch that will turn heads in the street, you’ll find something for you on the digital watch market.
There’s not a one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to digital watches. The focus is on the technology that drives them, rather than their aesthetics.
That is not to say that style is ignored during the design process. If anything, with little to hold them back, digital watch designers can be even more creative and explorative in their designs. Of course, the design also depends on who the watch is meant for: will it be a digital watch for women or for men?
One thing that most digital watches do have in common is their watch face, which we’ll explore a little more below.
Digital Watch Face
The digital watch face is the main thing that sets these watches apart from the more traditional style of watch.
Rather than the expected clock face with numbers around the outside and the hour, minute, and second hands, a digital watch allows you to read the time with just one quick glance.
This is thanks to the large digital display that spells out the time, rather than you needing to deduce it from the watch hands. This type of display makes it perfect for anyone on the go including active sportsmen and women.
Standard vs Inverted Display
The main difference between a standard digital display and an inverted one is the color of the numerals and the background.
While a standard digital display will show black numerals on a white background, an inverted display will show white numerals on a black background.
In most cases, choosing between the two is just a matter of preference.
If you’re planning on using your watch for diving, however, then you need to make sure that the display is easily readable under the water. For this, we’d recommend the standard digital display, as it tends to be easier to read in darker waters.
When it comes to size, there’s no typical definition of a digital watch.
A digital watch’s size doesn’t dictate its power, durability, or strength. In fact, sometimes smaller is better in the world of digital watches.
Some of the smallest digital watches are the most sought after. Their size and durability lend themselves perfectly to the more active watch wearer, hoping for a watch to wear on the sports field or subtly under a suit.
In today’s day and age, most buyers tend to prefer a thin digital watch. In fact, compared to analog watches, digital watches tend to be thinner as they don’t require any space for their movements.
This is a huge drawing card for digital watches as they can be much more subtle and lighter on the wrist, to the point where you may not even feel like you’re wearing a watch.
Of course, some of the more feature-heavy and tactical watches are a lot thicker. It simply depends on where you’ll be using the watch, what you’ll be using it for, and the aesthetics that you want to go for.
As technology continues on its upwards trajectory, digital watches are joining in. Nowadays, they come with more features than ever before, and it’s unlikely that you’ll ever find a digital watch that just simply tells the time.
Before you buy your digital watch, try to understand exactly what you’ll be using it for. From stopwatch abilities to compass features, GPS services to even a heart rate monitor, today’s digital watches have it all.
A waterproof digital watch is a great addition to anyone’s wrist. While not all digital watches are waterproof, it is a common feature on many. It is to what extent that they are waterproof that differs across models.
Each waterproof watch will come with a water resistance rating that indicates how much pressure the watch can take before it’s damaged. This is usually described in terms of meters.
Being waterproof and being able to be used underwater are two different things when it comes to digital watches. On most watches, you’ll find that the buttons cannot be used underwater; if they are, they can let water into the device and ruin it completely.
Always remember to check the instructions manual to see what your watch can and can’t do, before taking it for a swim.
If you want a waterproof watch for women, we have a review specifically for that!
Stopwatches are a handy feature that tends to be on even the simplest of digital watches.
Usually, the stopwatches are activated by the squeeze of a button and stopped using the same method.
Stopwatches come in useful in everyday life but are especially great on the sportsfield or while SCUBA diving.
Hikers, campers, RVers, explorers… everyone needs a helping hand once in a while, and our phones aren’t always able to be the saving grace.
This is where a digital compass watch comes in handy.
Using sensors to determine the earth’s magnetic field, some digital watches provide a useful compass feature around the outside of the dial to get you out of tricky situations.
On most models, a simple twist of the rim to line up North with where the number 12 would be, and the dial will realign itself to show the user the true north.
As mentioned earlier on in this buying guide, there is no end of designs when it comes to digital watches. Those looking for a watch with a slightly more vintage feel about it could choose a gold digital watch, whereas those looking for something a little more understated might prefer a black digital watch.
Whatever your preference, if you look hard enough, you’ll probably find a digital watch with the exact color shade that you’re looking for.
Traditionally, the main body of digital watches is made using a combination of stainless steel, plastic chassis, and mixed rubber.
Depending on the quality and style of the piece, plastic and glass may be used to build the watch dial. Glass is usually used on the more expensive models, whereas plastic may be used on the more affordable pieces.
Generally speaking, the straps match the style of the watch. Saying this, the straps can come in any sort of material. Popular options include stainless steel, leather, rubber, and cloth.
Stainless Steel Digital Watch
Those looking for a more retro-style watch can opt for a stainless steel digital watch. These watches are some of the most popular on the market as they are more of a statement piece rather than a practical digital watch.
Their bulky nature and stainless steel body allows them to be durable, and are great for divers.
Wooden Digital Watch
Wooden watches are one of the newest designs to grace the market, mainly for their fashionable looks and sustainable materials.
Using wood as the primary materials means these watches are a little bulkier, and they’re not waterproof. Consider these a fashion piece rather than a sporty or practical digital watch.
It’s not unusual for keen divers to choose a digital diving watch over an analog model. A diving watch offers up easy readability in the water, tends to be more waterproof, and has added features that can be useful.
A stopwatch, for example, can help a diver time how long they’ve been underwater, and some digital watches will even monitor the depth of your dive so that you can keep track of that.
Digital diving watches tend to be on the bulkier side, and definitely put practicality over style.
Designed with the hectic demands of the military in mind, a military digital watch can withstand even the most extreme of conditions. Made with the most durable of materials that can withstand shocks and vibrations and are waterproof, these watches don’t come cheaply.
As well as their durability designed for long-term use, military watches are designed to be read under any kind of light whether it be bright reflective sunshine or pitch-black midnight. The watch face themselves are engineered to never scratch or break, no matter what pressure they come under.
Despite their name, these watches come in handy for all types of people from police officers to hikers, adventure guides to mountain rescue teams.
Not all digital watches have to be practical, some are known and loved for their stylish nature.
Dress watches tend to speak for themselves. They are neither flashy nor completely minimalist. They are designed with just the right amount of style to draw attention and to be loved by everyone.
Finding a classy digital watch is easier than you might think. They don’t have the same extent of features as some of the more practical digital watches, but they do look fantastic on your wrist.
A job as demanding as a nurse needs a digital watch that can keep up, is reliable and, is simple to use.
A nurse watch has all of these qualities, with a simple watch face, convenient buttons to use the stopwatch and a long-life-battery. After all, the last thing a nurse needs is their watch to fail them in a time of need.
Digital watches can cost as much or as little as you want them to. For example, you will be able to find a cheap digital watch for as little as $20 on the market, though this will come with limited features and perhaps a short lifespan.
High-end digital watches can cost thousands of dollars, and tend to be decked out with all of the features you can imagine, with great water resistance, durability and will be made from high-quality materials.
Compared to traditional analog watches, digital watches are a lot more affordable, and you’ll be able to find something to suit your budget on the market.
Frequently Asked Questions
Setting the time on a digital watch varies from model to model, so it’s best to refer to the watches’ handbook or instruction manual if you’re struggling.
If that’s nowhere to be seen, try these generic tips:
- Switch your watch to Time Mode. This can usually be done using the buttons on the side, though some watches can be a little more complicated to set up.
- If your watch has recessed push buttons, you’ll need to use a pen or paperclip to activate the button.
- Once you’ve found the time mode, another button will allow you to tweak the settings and adjust to the right time. You may need to use several different buttons to do this or to press them several times.
- When you’ve found the right time, press the set button to finalize the time.
The first digital watches actually appeared as early as the 1920s, using wheels and numbers to depict the time. It was not until the 1970s that the first electrical digital watch made an appearance, known as the Hamilton Pulsar P1 Limited Edition digital wristwatch. It was invented by a man named George W Theiss.
Digital watches come in such a varied array of shapes, sizes, and uses, that narrowing down the best on the market is a tough job… but somebody had to do it!
Taking into consideration the design, style, and price of the watch, along with consideration from past users, this list of the best digital watches will put you one step closer to finding the watch of your dreams.
Whether you’ve got a spare 20 dollars, or are looking to splash out on something a little more expensive, whether you want something practical for work, or stylish for the weekend, you’ll find a watch on this list to suit your needs and budget.