The 10 Best Watches For Boys
This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in March of 2018. Just because children get their hands on cell phones from an early age these days, that doesn't mean they can't find a use for a traditional timepiece on their wrists. These watches for boys come with analog or digital faces (or both) and offer a wide range of functions, from stopwatches and calendars to alarms. We've ranked them here by their accuracy, durability, and style. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 14, 2020:
While many of the options from our previous list remain, we saw fit to remove the Nicerio Waterproof Dual Time, both for availability reasons and because its thick hands often obscured the data on its digital faces beyond legibility. We replaced it with an absolute classic in the Casio Data Bank, which has been updated to include a negative LCD readout and a beige strap, as opposed to the traditional gold or silver bracelet.
The biggest factor in any parent's decision here is going to be age, however, as certain kids (and, sadly, certain adults) can't yet read an analog clock or watch, necessitating a digital display. Very young children would benefit most from things like water and shock resistance, as well, though both are nice features to have at any age. If you're trying to teach your child how to read an analog time display, the DC Comics Batman Kids' Time-Teacher is a great choice, as it clearly labels its hour and minute hands. Any timepiece with both a digital and analog display, like the Cofuo Digital Kids Sports, is good for this, as well, as it can create a mental correlation between the digital time and its analog counterpart.
The watches on this list tend to skew a little young, however, so we wanted to include something for the boys in your life that are entering their teen years and are old and responsible enough to appreciate and utilize a nicer watch than those. For this, we turned to Seiko and Hamilton, each of whom has a fine mechanical model in our special honors section. Both are a little pricier than the rest of the list, but would make excellent gifts for special occasions like a graduation or religious rite of passage.
April 25, 2019:
Given the brand's reliability and this particular models resemblance to the company's famed G-Shock line, the Casio model that used to live at number four took a big leap up to our top spot. Our old number three selection, however, did not fair so well on a fresh viewing, falling all the way to the 10th spot due to poor quality control resulting in accuracy issues between the digital and and analog readouts. Now, a few minutes off in either direction might not seem like a lot, but you have to remember that a child's watch that marries an analog and digital display is likely going to be the predominant means by which they learn to tell analog time, and any discrepancy might harm that education.
Elsewhere, construction issues with the Misskt Outdoors model previously at number 10 finally got it booted from the list, as too often its hands would either cease to properly function or fall of entirely, rendering the device a moderately attractive bracelet, rather than a watch. A new addition to replace it comes from LEGO, and boasts a Star Wars theme complete with your child's very own LEGO Darth Vader. And if you're son wouldn't like that, it may be time to consider some new parenting strategies.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical This model comes loaded with a lot of historical significance, as it's a faithful reproduction of the timepieces issued to members of the United States armed forces in the Vietnam era. It features a 24-hour time scale on the inner ring of the dial, and comes on a durable NATO strap. It's not an automatic movement, however, so it'll need to be wound every so often. hamiltonwatch.com
Seiko 5 Sports SRPD65 This dive-style offering features an unidirectional elapsed time bezel and a day-date complication at three o'clock. Its case and riveted bracelet are made of stainless steel with an ion black finish, and its hands and markers glow brightly in the dark. It's water-resistant to 100 meters, so it's suitable for swimming, but not for actual scuba diving. seikousa.com
A Brief History Of Watches
While manufacturers were eventually able to create smaller, more wearable watches, these first models were still too big to slip in a pocket or attach to the wrist.
It's not something we often think about, but the ability to know the exact time on-demand is relatively new. For most of human history, you had to rely on the movement of the sun or the giant tower clock in your town.
That all began to change in Europe during the 16th century. Portable clocks had been invented a century before, but they were still too large and bulky to be easily carried on one's person. While manufacturers were eventually able to create smaller, more wearable watches, these first models were still too big to slip in a pocket or attach to the wrist. Instead, they were worn on pendants around the neck, just like Flavor Flav.
These new timepieces were called "watches" because they were generally worn by men standing watch, such as sailors and patrolmen. There was just one problem: they were terrible at actually telling time, as a person's natural movements jostled the internal mechanisms and threw them off.
Over the next 100 years or so, craftsmen managed to create watches that were able to retain their accuracy while being worn. They struggled to handle inclement weather, however, and needed to be shielded from the elements. Luckily, around 1675, England's King Charles II popularized the use of waistcoats — and these garments just happened to have pockets that were ideal for holding watches.
During the Enlightenment, other features began to appear on dials, such as chronometers. These additions took the watch out of the realm of pure jewelry, enabling it to be seen as a scientific instrument.
In the early 20th century, a few wild and crazy Europeans began experimenting with a new fashion trend: wearing bracelets with clocks attached. The practice was considered silly and mocked at first, until someone realized how advantageous these new "wristwatches" were for one thing: fighting wars.
The ability to synchronize watches made it much easier to schedule troop movements and attacks, and during WWI wristwatches became part of most standard-issue uniforms. Once the war was over, the soldiers who returned home did so with an appreciation for the device's usefulness, and so they became ubiquitous in peacetime, as well.
This would remain the case until the 21st century, at which time smartphones began to make watches redundant for many people. However, their demise was short-lived, as smartwatches hit the scene not long after.
While they may not be quite as omnipresent as they once were, it doesn't look like watches are going the way of the dodo anytime soon. Whether worn for style or function, they're an essential part of the wardrobe for many people.
Then again, maybe Flavor Flav will bring back the neckwatch.
Choosing The Best Timepiece For Your Boy
If you've decided that it's time for the boy in your life to start wearing a watch, there are a few things to consider before making your purchase.
The first thing you need to decide is whether to buy analog or digital — but more on that later.
The pricier ones are likely to be more durable, but only to a point, so ask yourself whether you trust your son not to break or lose it before you plunk down your cash.
The next question is what, exactly, you want the watch to accomplish. If it's simply to teach him how to tell time, then a cheap, basic model will do. However, there's a whole host of other available features, including GPS trackers, calendars, nightlights, and more. Those bells and whistles won't be necessary for every kid, but they're worth considering.
Give some thought to the durability, as well. Active kids will need a watch that has a rugged band, scratch-resistant face, and some degree of waterproofing. If your kid prefers to stay indoors, you can forgo some of that robustness, but those features are not likely to add too much to the total price (and boys are generally clumsy anyway).
Speaking of price, you'll find that some are quite inexpensive, while others will take more of a bite out of your wallet. The pricier ones are likely to be more durable, but only to a point, so ask yourself whether you trust your son not to break or lose it before you plunk down your cash. It may be smarter to start out with a few cheap models until he proves he can be trusted with a fancier one.
Or you can let him break a nice one and use it as an excuse to teach him that it's "time" he started paying his own way.
How To Teach Kids To Tell Time
While you can always sidestep the issue by buying your boy a digital model, opting for an analog watch will offer you the opportunity to teach your child how to tell time. Of course, that's something that's easier said than done, as it's not as simple as just handing him a watch and telling him to figure it out.
Of course, that's something that's easier said than done, as it's not as simple as just handing him a watch and telling him to figure it out.
It may be best to start off by simply explaining the general concept of time, and tying certain activities to the corresponding times at which they occur. You can then help form a general frame of reference for certain periods of the day.
Start showing him how long certain activities take so that he has a sense of time's passage. For example, he can learn that brushing his teeth takes two minutes, or his favorite TV show is a half-hour long (unless he's a die-hard Law & Order: SVU fan, of course).
Once he has a rough idea of how time works, you can introduce clocks and watches. Incorporate these pieces into the activities mentioned above, so that he has a sense of what a clock looks like after time passes.
From there, it's largely a matter of practice. Quiz him occasionally, both with reading times and multiplying by five. The more you do this, the easier it will be for him to instantly recall the information. Soon, he'll be able to read his watch at a glance.
That's when you can surprise him with a digital version, so he can immediately let all those new skills go to waste.