While traditionally elegant analog watches will always have a place in any man's collection, a digital watch is also becoming a practical and stylish choice in today's modern world.
Fortunately, there are tons of variations available in the market—from tactical outdoor watches to advanced fitness trackers, there will certainly be a digital timepiece that fits your specific lifestyle and preferences.
Ready to find out what the best digital wristwatches are?
Read on for my top 10 picks.
Garmin Instinct Outdoor Watch: Ultimate Choice
Made to withstand even the toughest environments, the Garmin Instinct Outdoor watch is extremely dependable and long-lasting.
Despite its many useful features, this digital chronometer is also priced very reasonably, which is why it's at the top of our list.
If you're wondering just how durable it is, you should know that it's not just water-resistant but also scratch-resistant and thermal-resistant!
Seeing as it's tested against U.S. military standards, you can wear this watch pretty much anywhere without worrying you'll damage it.
However, keep in mind that it's only water-resistant up to 100 meters, so don't take it diving.
Despite this, you can still accurately monitor all of your activities using its multiple navigational tools, barometric and altimetric readings, as well as fitness tracking.
For better readability and performance metrics, I recommend syncing your Garmin Instinct Outdoor watch to your smartphone. This way, you can receive notifications on both your watch and your phone too.
In terms of battery life, this electronic watch can last up to 14 days in smartwatch mode or 16 days in basic GPS mode, so it's definitely very convenient to use.
Overall, the Garmin Instinct Outdoor watch is exceptionally made, with features you can rely on, especially if you expect to spend a lot of time outdoors.
NanaDC Badass Rating: 4/5
- The watch's 16-hour GPS mode battery life or 2 weeks of standby mode is perfect for long hikes or outdoor activities, giving me peace of mind that it won't die on me when I need it most.
- With a waterproof rating of 100 meters, this watch is perfect for swimmers or anyone who wants to take it on aquatic adventures.
- The watch's rubberized material makes it incredibly durable and rugged, so I don't have to worry about damaging it if I accidentally drop it or hit it against a hard surface.
NanaDC Suave Rating: 2/5
- The watch's design combines the amazing features of the Vivoactive and Phoenix watches, making it a perfect blend of style and functionality.
- Tough, quality construction
- Accurate tracking technology
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Great battery life
- Some users find it a bit too rugged-looking
- Doesn't have all the complications of modern fitness trackers
The Series 6 is the most advanced yet from the Apple Watch line.
With a clear, always-on Retina display [R], a powerful processor, and accurate health and fitness measurements, you'll never miss a thing with this digital timepiece.
Those who love working out will appreciate its built-in activity profiles for all types of exercises, running, swimming, cycling, and yoga included.
The advanced heart rate tracking function will also help you monitor and improve your cardiovascular health.
What I like most about this LED watch is how user-friendly it is. Everything about it—its interface, software, and features—is made to be simple and easily accessible, so you never have a hard time while using it. Design-wise, it looks like modern professionalism at its finest.
Now, unlike the other electronic timepieces on this list, though, this is perfectly paired with an iPhone, so it may not be the right choice for you if you don't patronize Apple products.
If you're an Apple fan, though, you'll definitely be able to use its features to the fullest.
- Elegant display and design
- Very user-friendly
- All-around smartwatch
- Most suitable for those with existing Apple products
- Quite expensive
Casio Vintage Electroluminescence Watch: Top Affordable Pick
If you're looking for a good digital chronometer to fit your budget, the Casio Vintage Electroluminescence watch is your perfect bet. It's inexpensive, but it's still a quality timepiece that you can use for a long time.
I particularly like that you still get great features despite the meager price.
The watch is water-resistant up to 100 meters, which is good for everyday use. Additionally, it contains alarm and stopwatch functions, which can come in handy in a lot of different situations.
Lastly, its reliable quartz movement ensures accurate timekeeping.
The design looks high-end too, as it features complete stainless steel finishings all around the case and strap.
Its mineral crystal dial protects the face from any scratches, while the electroluminescence backlight [R] helps with readability even in dark environments.
Users with more to spend may prefer Casio G-Shock models, as these feature better technology, but I think this watch has great value for money, especially if you just want a daily beater.
NanaDC Badass Rating: 3/5
- Both the a1 5/8 and a1 6/8 have a sleek silver colorway and a durable stainless steel construction that makes them virtually indestructible. These watches are perfect for those who value durability and strength in their timepieces.
- While the a1 5/8 has a clearer display, the a1 6/8 offers a superior backlight that makes it easier to read in the dark. This is perfect for those who need a reliable timepiece that is easy to read at all times.
NanaDC Suave Rating: 4/5
- The a1 6/8 has a more colorful dial than the a1 5/8, with block capitals and the word 'illuminator' in red. This makes it a more eye-catching piece that is sure to draw compliments from others.
- Very affordable
- Good, reliable features for its price point
- Basic functions
- Some users may prefer higher quality materials
Tissot T-Touch Expert Titanium Watch
This watch retails for about a thousand dollars, so it's definitely a premium pick. Do its features justify the price, though?
Personally, I'm inclined to agree.
The T-Touch Expert is one of the finest options for rugged outdoor activities because of its cutting-edge technology and quality design.
It features a built-in compass, thermometer, barometer, and altimeter, so you have all the information you need when you're out in the wild.
It's also manufactured with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and anti-magnetic PVD titanium, which means it will withstand tough conditions too.
Worried about its battery? Well, it's completely solar-powered, so it will recharge automatically, wherever you are.
Some of the other digital timepieces on this list don't share this perk—that might explain its steeper price.
Another unique thing about this watch is its digital plus analog display.
This is a point of contention among users, though, as some like the cool, combination design while others prefer more touchscreen functionality.
One thing's for sure, though: This watch isn't cheap, so make sure you love everything about it before purchasing it!
- Very durable and high-quality
- Solar-powered for ultimate convenience
- Very expensive
- Learning curve involved when setting it up and using it for the first time
Casio G-Shock Military Watch
Casio's G-Shock technology has always been popular for its durability and dependability, which is why it's no surprise that the G-Shock Military is part of my top LED watches.
This tactical watch has a chunky and rugged build to support its superb water-resistant, scratch-resistant, and shock-resistant features, but its all-black finish still manages to give it a sleek look.
This makes it the perfect indoor or outdoor companion for any modern man.
Like the Tissot watch, the Casio G-Shock blends analog and digital faces in its display, but it's still organized quite clearly on the dial.
Other practical features include a countdown timer, stopwatch, and alarm functions.
Ultimately, though, get the Casio G-Shock if you're more after strength and convenience rather than watch complications.
Its quality construction and better-than-average water resistance make it a good choice for many of your more intense outdoor activities.
NanaDC Badass Rating: 5/5
- In my 15 years of wearing G-Shock watches, I have never had the mineral crystal break on me. The watch is extremely hard-wearing and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.
NanaDC Suave Rating: 0/5
- The Casio G-Shock's straps are made of heavy-duty resin and are very comfortable to wear. The sides are supported very well, making the watch very durable and robust.
- The all-black Casio G-Shock GA 101 A1 watch looks very sleek and has a tactical vibe that I really like. It's perfect for people who want to look fashionable and trendy.
- Tough and durable construction
- Water-resistant up to 200 meters
- Some users find its illumination isn't bright enough in low-light conditions
Suunto Core Outdoors Sports Watch
Another all-black option among the electronic timepieces on this list, the Suunto Core Outdoors Sports watch is clearly stylish, but it's also highly functional.
If the brand's reputation for serving outdoor adventurers is any indication, this watch is packed with many useful features such as a barometer, an altimeter, a compass, and updated sunrise/sunset times.
These help you navigate safely and successfully, and they also let you gauge your progress for easy performance tracking.
For those planning to go hiking or exploring, you'll find the weather trend graphs useful too.
The intelligent storm alarm will notify you ahead of time when weather conditions are changing so that you can plan accordingly.
Lastly, the LED digital display is designed well—it's compact, organized, and easy to read.
Overall, this watch is proof you can have a fully-functioning outdoor watch without sacrificing aesthetics!
NanaDC Badass Rating: 5/5
- As a military-style watch, the TSuntu Core All Black is perfect for those who don't need smartwatch capabilities or step counters. I've been wearing it for a couple of days now and I really like it. It's impressively robust, and the battery lasts about a year, which is remarkable.
- One of the coolest features of the TSuntu Core All Black is its storm alarm. It alerts you when there's a sudden drop in air pressure, which can indicate an incoming storm. This is a useful feature for anyone who spends time outdoors or needs to stay alert to changing weather conditions.
- The TSuntu Core All Black offers the convenience of a replaceable battery. The battery lasts about a year, which is incredible, and it's easy to swap out when it's time for a new one. This is a great feature for anyone who wants a low-maintenance watch that they can rely on.
NanaDC Suave Rating: 2/5
- The LED digital display is compact, well-organized, and easy to read, even in low-light conditions. I love that this watch manages to be both functional and stylish at the same time.
- The watch fits comfortably on my wrist and has quickly become my go-to watch for all of my outdoor adventures. I would highly recommend this watch to anyone who loves the outdoors and is looking for a reliable and stylish companion.
- Provides accurate measurements
- Lightweight and comfortable
- May not be the most durable
Timex Expedition Grid Shock Watch
The Timex Expedition Grid Shock watch looks very different compared to other digital chronometers.
First of all, its digital display is huge. At 50mm, it's big enough to show all sorts of metrics, not to mention the current day, date, and time.
In addition, since it's rectangularly-shaped, there's enough space to organize this information clearly on the screen.
Some of its useful functions include a 100-hour chronograph, 24-hour countdown timer, vibrating alarms, and multiple time zone capabilities.
If you're out at night, the Indiglo backlight will help you view the digital display easily.
I also appreciate that it's water-resistant, scratch-resistant, and shock-resistant to ISO standards. After all, if you plan to travel a lot, you want to be assured of its durability wherever you go.
NanaDC Badass Rating: 4/5
- I was amazed at how sturdy this watch is. I fell off my bike while wearing it and smashed myself up. But the watch was covered in soil and grit, and yet there wasn't a single mark on it. This speaks volumes about its toughness and durability.
- The Timex Expedition Grid Shock watch is just absolutely rock-solid and comfortable. I really like how it's equipped with cool features, including a timer, chronograph, and hydration alarm.
NanaDC Suave Rating: 2/5
- The Timex Expedition Grid Shock watch has a futuristic design that looks like something an astronaut would wear. I appreciate how it has a big face that's easy to read and how it's built to last. It's a cool and unique accessory that adds style to any outfit.
- The Indiglo feature on this watch is pretty cool. It illuminates the numbers, making them easy to read in low-light conditions. It's a useful feature that I appreciate, especially when I'm in a dimly lit environment.
- Tough and sturdy
- Display is easy to navigate
- May look and feel bulky on the wrist
Huawei GT2 Smart Watch
The Huawei GT2 Smartwatch can be placed in the same category as the Apple watch, but it's a cheaper option that's great for both iOS and non-iOS users alike.
This digital smartwatch is powered by Huawei's self-developed chip, which includes advanced power-saving technology for a full one-week charge. It also utilizes an AMOLED display [R] for responsive touchscreen functions.
Like other fitness watches, the Huawei GT2 has pre-installed exercise programs to guide you through any workout.
If you like viewing metrics, you'll love that it can track your heart rate, sleep schedule, step count, and calories burned too!
Besides this, the watch uses both GPS and GLONASS to increase location accuracy, so you won't get lost while you're out exploring.
However, do note it's just slightly water-resistant, so it's not suitable for swimming.
Ultimately, the Huawei GT2 is a worthy investment if you want a versatile timepiece for regular, everyday activities. For more intense, watersport-related ones, though, it's recommended to leave this at home.
NanaDC Badass Rating: 5/5
- HUAWEI WATCH GT 2 adopting the 3D glass screen in a smartwatch is a new step in the industry. AMOLED display with highly accurate touch response.
- Built with two positioning systems (GPS, GLONASS) together to detect more satellites, and increase positioning accuracy.
NanaDC Suave Rating: 2/5
- The color of the Huawei GT2 Smart Watch is simply stunning. The AMOLED display offers vivid colors that pop and make everything look sharp and clear. Whether you're looking at your fitness stats or checking your messages, the colors on this watch are a joy to behold.
- Comfort is key when it comes to a smartwatch, and the Huawei GT2 Smart Watch does not disappoint. The watch band is made from a soft, breathable material that feels great on the wrist. It's also adjustable, so you can find the perfect fit. The watch itself is lightweight and doesn't feel bulky or cumbersome, even when you're wearing it all day.
- Great battery life
- Clean and professional look
- Connects seamlessly with your smartphone
- Some users experience problems with app support
- Below-average water resistance
The Braun Prestige Digital is exactly what you'd expect a modern, digital timepiece to look like—clean, crisp, and just a little futuristic.
In fact, it won both the iF award and the Red Dot award in 2012 for product design.
In terms of its functions, I have to admit that it isn't as impressive as other digital ones. Still, it does have the basics down pat—it has a clear digital display, a 100-year perpetual calendar, chronograph and countdown functions, as well as a quality Swiss quartz movement.
Like the Huawei GT2, it's only slightly water-resistant, so you can't take it with you in the water.
If you're more after aesthetics than anything else, though, this is a great option for you.
- Award-winning design
- Quality German construction
- Basic functions
- Below average water resistance
Fitbit Charge 4 Watch
The last digital timepiece on this list is also the only one that's a dedicated fitness tracker.
Slim, lightweight, and powerful, the Fitbit Charge 4 is perfect for those with active lifestyles.
Whether you're indoors or outdoors, you can take advantage of its built-in GPS, heart rate tracker, and 20+ exercise programs to help you reach your goals.
Additionally, because it easily syncs to an app on your phone, you can easily view all the information on both of your digital devices.
Besides tracking daytime activity, it also monitors your sleep stages so you can manage your stress and relaxation levels.
Once it's connected, you'll receive all text messages and other notifications on your watch, making it easier to be away from your phone.
If you're always on-the-go, you'll certainly appreciate the convenience and practicality that this feature offers.
Want to kickstart your health and fitness journey? Consider picking this one up.
NanaDC Badass Rating: 2/5
- The built-in GPS tracking in the Fitbit Charge 4 using its onboard GPS is a feature that fitness enthusiasts will surely love. It allows me to track my walks and runs accurately.
- The battery life of the Fitbit Charge 4 is very impressive. It prolongs my usage time and makes charging more convenient.
- The waterproof feature of the Fitbit Charge 4 is perfect for swimming enthusiasts like me. I can wear it confidently in the shower, bath, or pool.
NanaDC Suave Rating: 4/5
- The Fitbit Charge 4 allows me to switch up its clock faces to match my style. It's fun and easy to customize.
- The minimal and unisex design of the Fitbit Charge 4 makes it perfect for anyone who loves simplicity. I appreciate its clean and sleek design.
- The Fitbit Charge 4 looks great on any wrist, whether it's a man's or a woman's. Its design is versatile and can complement any style.
- Great fitness tracker
- Slim, lightweight, and comfortable
- Not meant for intense, outdoor adventures
Worst Digital Wristwatch - Sony 3 Smart Wristwatch
The Sony SmartWatch series, particularly the SmartWatch 3, has garnered a rather mixed reception, with users and critics pointing out several shortcomings that dampen its appeal. Here's a list of the most common grievances:
- Lack of Functionality with GPS: The SmartWatch 3 doesn't offer many ways to leverage its GPS capabilities, which limits its usefulness for those seeking a watch with advanced navigational features.
- Absence of Heart Rate Monitor: Fitness enthusiasts might find the lack of a heart rate monitor disappointing, as it's a common feature in many other smartwatches.
- Poor Battery Life: Users frequently lament the short battery life, which requires more frequent charging than desired. This can be particularly inconvenient for those who use their watch intensively throughout the day.
- Annoying Charging System and Cumbersome Port: The charging system has been described as annoying, and the charging port as cumbersome, making the daily routine of powering up the device a bit of a hassle.
- Clunky Android Wear Interface: The integration with Android Wear is still seen as cumbersome to use, which can detract from the overall user experience.
- Proprietary Wrist Bands: The need to use proprietary wrist bands limits customization and can be a source of frustration for users looking to personalize their device.
- GPS Drains Battery Quickly: The GPS, while a useful feature, significantly drains the battery, compounding the issue of its already short lifespan.
- Uninspired Design: Some critics feel that compared to other Android Wear watches, the Sony SmartWatch 3's design lacks inspiration and style. Its square watch face and overall aesthetics don't seem to match up with competitors striving for a more fashionable look.
- Dim Screen: The screen's brightness is a point of contention, with users finding it too dim, especially in outdoor conditions where readability is crucial.
- Fiddly Bluetooth Connection: Establishing and maintaining a Bluetooth connection can be fiddly and unreliable at times, leading to frustrations when trying to sync with other devices.
Buying Guide for Digital Wristwatches
Now that you've read through the whole list of watches, how do you decide which is the right one for you?
Before anything else, ask yourself what you'll be using the digital wristwatch for. Will you be going trekking, hiking, swimming, and diving? Or will you be using it for light to moderate physical activities?
Is it more important for you to have a rugged piece that will withstand just about any condition you expose it to? Or are you looking for a more modern and stylish statement piece for any occasion?
Depending on your lifestyle and preferences, you may be more suited for a smartwatch or a simple fitness tracker than an advanced tactical watch.
For instance, while the Garmin Instinct Outdoor is one of the toughest options, you may prefer the Apple Series 6 if you're in the office 80% of the time.
Alternatively, if you're a professional hiker, a delicate smartwatch won't cut it for you.
Whether you'll be using the watch indoors or outdoors, durability is crucial. Pick one that's made of strong materials such as stainless steel, titanium, and sapphire crystal glass.
These will often cost more, but I wouldn't recommend skimping on quality if you have money to spend. After all, you want a digital timepiece that will last you a long time.
Like I said, price usually increases when higher quality materials are used.
Moreover, because digital timepieces are constantly being improved and updated, the costs of these can really shoot up. This doesn't mean that lower-priced ones perform poorly, though.
The key is to do your research before purchasing anything so that you know exactly what you're getting.
To Sum It Up
If you're on a budget, get the Casio Vintage Electroluminescence Watch. It's very affordable, and it has all the basic functions you'd want in a watch. Its classic design makes it a good statement piece too!
If you're in the market for a smartwatch, consider the Apple Series 6 Watch. It's stylish, technologically-advanced, and user-friendly—basically the perfect companion for all your other iOS devices.
Ultimately, though, my top pick is the Garmin Instinct Outdoor Watch. At a very reasonable price, you get a highly durable and functional watch that's tough enough to go practically anywhere! Definitely keep this one with you for the outdoors.
The premier digital timepieces are reliable in all aspects—from their basic timekeeping functions to their more advanced complications. Keep that in mind before making your next purchase!