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Watch Styles Explained

Shopping for a watch can be tricky. There are tons of different styles, materials, and qualities to choose from. Choosing the right watch for yourself (or as a gift) is much easier when you understand your options.

Watch band materials

The band is what wraps around the wearer’s wrist, and is commonly made of leather, canvas, or different types of metals. The type of band you choose should depend on how and where you’ll wear your watch.

Metal watch bands have a more elevated look. Common metal types include resin, titanium, silver, platinum, and gold.

For a more functional and durable watch, choose leather or canvas. This won’t chip or break if you’re camping, working outdoors or working with your hands often.

Watch band styles

Watch bands can come in a strap or bracelet. A strap is what is sounds like — a single band of material that wraps around the wrist. Straps are typically made of leather or canvas.

The bracelet strap is made of metal, and often looks like a series of links or a thick chain. Common materials are resin, titanium, silver, platinum, and gold. Just like other types of jewelry, bracelet straps might be plated, meaning they have one metal as the core and another, finer metal layered on the outside.

The face of the watch is what tells you the time. In most watches, this will be the hands and numbers. In wearable tech, it could be a screen.

The case is material that covers the face of the watch. The most common material is resin, which is durable enough to withstand everyday wear.

Watch styles

Casual and field watches

As the name suggests, casual watches are for everyday wear. They tend to be more durable and less expensive than other watch styles. Similarly, field watches are the most durable and practical, designed to withstand the outdoors and many different conditions.

Of all watch styles, these will be the most functional, but can still be very stylish and high quality. Common materials include leather, hard metals, and easy-to-read faces.

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Fashion watches

These watches are made to add to an outfit. They are beautiful timepieces that range from minimalist to maximalist in aesthetic. They are typically less functional and the faces might be harder to read. It’s common to find fashion watches without any numbers on the face. Fashion watches may also be ornamented with gemstones, diamonds, or even Swarovski® crystals.

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Dress watches

The most elegant of all watch styles, dress watches are made of the finest materials and just for special occasions. Wear dress watches with cocktail attire or even at black tie events. Some people even wear dress watches at their wedding.

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