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 watch that fits your specific lifestyle and preferences.
Ready to find out what the best digital watches are?
Read on for my top 10 picks.
Garmin Instinct Outdoor Watch: Best Overall
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 watch is also priced very reasonably, which is why it's at the top of our list.
- Rugged GPS watch built to withstand the toughest environments
- Constructed to U.S. Military standard 810G for thermal, shock and water resistance (rated to 100...
- Built in 3 axis compass and barometric altimeter, plus multiple global navigation satellite systems...
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 digital 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.
- 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
Apple Series 6 Watch: Best Value
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 watch.
- GPS model lets you take calls and reply to texts from your wrist
- Measure your blood oxygen with an all-new sensor and app
- Check your heart rhythm with the ECG app
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 digital 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 digital watches on this list, though, this is best 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: Best Budget Pick
If you're looking for a good digital watch to fit your budget, the Casio Vintage Electroluminescence watch is your best 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.
- Quartz movement
- Protective mineral crystal protects watch from scratches
- Case diameter: 32 mm
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.
- 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.
- T-Touch Expert solar watch featuring textured rubber bezel and round patterned dial with luminescent...
- 43 mm titanium case with anti-reflective sapphire dial window
- Swiss quartz movement with analog-digital display
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 watches 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 digital 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.
- Water Resistance Depth: 200.00
- Case Diameter: 51 Millimeters
- Band Size: Mens-Standard
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.
- 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 digital watches 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.
- Suunto Core: This classic outdoor sports watch is packed with intelligent features like a Storm...
- Essential for Adventure: This watch has dual times, a date display, and alarm, plus predicted times...
- Suunto Sports Watches: Versatile and durable, Suunto sports watches are great for running, swimming,...
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!
- 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 watches.
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.
- Adjustable black 16mm resin strap fits up to 8 inch wrist circumference
- 100 hour chronograph; 24 hour countdown timer; 3 vibrating and audible daily, weekday or weekend...
- 24 hour military time mode; 3 time zones; Occasion reminders; Hydration timer; month, day and date...
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.
- Tough and sturdy
- Display is easy to navigate
- May look and feel bulky on the wrist
Huawei GT2 Smart Watch
The Huawei GT2 Smart watch 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.
- HUAWEI Kirin A1 Self-developed Chip: This smart watch comes with HUAWEI's self-developed wearable...
- 1.2 Inch (42MM) or 1.4 Inch (46MM) AMOLED Display with 3D Glass Screen: HUAWEI WATCH GT 2 adopting...
- 15 Workout Modes and Full-time Fitness Trainer: Multiple professional training courses from entry to...
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 best to leave this at home.
- Great battery life
- Clean and professional look
- Connects seamlessly with your smartphone
- Some users experience problems with app support
- Below average water resistance
Braun Prestige Digital Watch
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.
- Swiss quartz digital
- Chronograph and countdown
- 100 year perpetual calendar with day
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 watch 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.
- Use built-in GPS to see your pace and distance on screen during outdoor runs, rides, hikes and more...
- With Active Zone Minutes, feel a buzz when you reach your target heart rate zones during exercise,...
- Get a 90-day free trial of the Fitbit Premium to help you stay active, sleep well and manage stress....
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.
- Great fitness tracker
- Slim, lightweight, and comfortable
- Not meant for intense, outdoor adventures
Buying Guide for Digital Watches
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 watch 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 best digital watches are reliable in all aspects—from their basic timekeeping functions to their more advanced complications. Keep that in mind before making your next purchase!
Links, prices, and images were pulled from the Amazon API. Last updated on 2021-05-06.