There is something timeless about a watch. Having to use a watch to tell time is obsolete, yet we still wear them on our wrists. A fashion statement for men (and some women), watches are an accessory we can’t get enough of. In addition to fashion, some wristwatches have incorporated a technological flavor into their design, giving us more reasons to want them so badly. These are ten of those watches.
When looking to find the best, it’s best to stay focused on one area, and that means no “smart” watches or devices marketed to Google that you happen to wear on your wrist. It needs to be functional; I need to actually be able to tell time with my watch. In case you haven’t caught on, it must also look good! The technology needs to be unique, or give the watch a flare that sets it apart, making it more advanced than others on the market. There is a fine line between technologically advanced and gimmicky, so even though the Timex thumbnail watch is an incredible concept, it’s not very practical. The same can be said for the “flexible” watches that fit on your skin like a band aid, I may be too old-school on this point, but watches need a band and they go on your risk. Also, size matters. The HM3 Thunderbolt is an amazing watch, but having something the size of a Boeing twin engine attached to your arm isn’t going to cut it either. Most importantly, no lasers or James Bond-type poisonous darts can shoot out from the wristwatch. Just kidding, of course poisonous darts are allowed!
To make this list, the watch needs that special something, an X-factor that turns it into a conversational piece based on function, design or the mystery of how it works. Also, if your watch possesses an advancement that makes it the perfect gift, that helps; watches really are the perfect gift, and we’ll try to help there as well.
10 Binary Watch - <$50
Let's start at the bottom of the barrel and work our way up. Here’s the computer nerd watch for those that remember a simpler time of Apple II computers and the Assembly programming language. This watch, from UK Gadget shop Boystuff, displays the time in binary code via lights. Of course, the circuitry is also visible, making others wonder if maybe you made that watch yourself. Owning this watch allows you permission to look down on the others using “numbers” to tell time - such simple minds.
Buy this for…Anyone that has been told they should just tell someone the time and not how to construct a watch.
9 Television Remote Control Wristwatch - $100
This was available from Hammacher Schlemmer and yes, it's somewhat “gimmicky”, but it's also the best of its breed. In addition to telling time, this watch is a universal remote that controls channels, volume and DVR controls (play, rewind, etc…). What sets this watch apart from the other “remote control” watches is the look, a brushed stainless steel finish that looks badass and is fit for any channel surfer or rock star.
Buy this for…Someone who is lazy, but also believes they relate to rock n’ roll guitarist Slash.
8 Ziiiro Watch - $120 - $180
There are no hands on this watch; you just follow the swirls to tell time. Very trippy! The inner circle is the hour and the outer swirl is the minutes. That’s your training and now you are ready to go. It’s also very flexible, combining silicone and metal to form a bracelet-like band. This one is an instant conversational piece.
Buy this for…Someone who likes to “experiment”, or owned several Swatches when younger (it comes in multiple colors, yeah!) Essentially this watch is perfect for anyone that puts the color “orange” in their list of top 5 colors.
7 Storm Circuit Watch - $250
This particular watch uses a pair of LED segments to tell the current time, one for the hours and the other for minutes. This particular watch has a very futuristic look to it and is available from London’s Storm. It’s a mix of retro and new, this watch looks really great. The Storm Ciruit watch has a chain-link stainless steel metal band with a protective crystal that is offerred in several colors (get black), making for a sleek, tough looking watch that’s guaranteed to spark up conversations when given a glance. Plus, Storm Circuit is an awesome name for a watch.
By this for…That friend who only wears “chain” accessories and appreciates conversation pieces.
6 Liquid Time - Price Unknown
For some reason there are two names for this watch. In addition to Liquid Time the watch is known as “From Nowhere to Nowhere.” The watch, designed by Andy Kurovets, uses two LCD screens to fit the watch into the illusion of an hour glass and uses typography that forms numbers to tell times. It goes without saying that any watch named Liquid Time looks sharp and the metal body comes in black, red and silver. You really can’t go wrong with any of these choices.
Buy this for…Someone into psychedelic images, dropping acid or both (note: Most people into psychedelic images are into both.)
5 Polar RS800CX - $660
Sport watches specifically designed for running have been around for a very long time, but this one has 80 features in it. Is this technically a “smart” watch? Not by my definition (not able to do a Google search), but I can see where some consider its inclusion splitting hairs. Not only does this watch measure distance, but also temperature, heart rate, cadence and even running stride length. There are so many other features, but what makes this watch fantastic is that it also looks good. This is the watch for the serious athlete who doesn’t want to have to switch back and forth. They can go for a run or hit the treadmill at the gym and then head right out on the town. This watch won’t tell you how many bars you stopped at, but it will let you know the distance traveled during your bar-hopping adventure.
Buy this for…A runner, but only a very serious runner. Also, a bar-hopper, but only a very serious bar-hopper.
4 Seiko Astron - $1,500 - $2,400
This is the most basic watch that made the list; it’s Seiko, which says safe and reliable. However, this isn’t your father’s Seiko; instead, this stainless steel watch is solar powered and is marketed as the world’s first GPS solar watch. The Seiko Astron is GPS controlled, meaning it's programmed into 39 time zones and will change automatically by synchronizing via a satellite. But what if I’m always flying, won’t that mess with my head? They thought of that too, you can disable the feature using airplane mode - genius. In addition to the GPS and solar features, this watch is sharp, keeping in tune with the classic watch vibe, but dressed in black and chrome to give it that extra sleek look.
Buy this for…someone who is lacking a fancy watch, but isn’t too daring. This person is a frequent traveler and can appreciate the GPS functions. This person also never buys Boardwalk.
3 Azimuth SP-1 Mecanique - $5,000
Known as the Spaceship Watch, the SP-1 Mecanique doesn’t discriminate, it is for anyone who lives on Earth. The face is planet Earth as seen from space and it rotates every minute. In addition to the “big thinking” display, the watch has a jumping hour display and a 3 dimensional minute hand. The watch is made of stainless steel and has a sapphire crystal screen; the band is a perforated leather strap in Earth blue.
Buy this for…Anyone who enjoyed Astronomy class or really likes the color blue.
2 HD3 Slyde - $5,000 - $67,000
This one is all is about fit, well not entirely. It also looks great (black PVD steel) and will be instantly noticed when worn. Features include 232x240 pixels, 28x29mm active zone LED screen with a sapphire crystal that in a way forms to (covers) the wearer’s wrist. The watch does not have any buttons, using a touch screen and CLT electronic movement. This watch is for someone who refuses to get a “smart” watch based on principle, but secretly really wants to just get a “smart” watch.
Buy this for…someone who likes things snug, that hipster friend who wears the really skinny jeans. He’ll appreciate the fit and sleekness of the Slyde. Just understand he’ll never admit it unless he can do so ironically.
1 Tread 1 - $12,000 - $25,000
This watch is flat out cool looking. The Tread 1, according to Devon, is a return to a simpler time. The watch has interwoven time belts that “flip” the numbers to tell you the time. The belts are controlled by a very small motor that provides power. The look of this watch may not be for everyone, but it reminds me of the old Masterlock locks. The locks they used to shoot guns at to show you how tough they could be - they still locked!
Buy this for…Someone who likes modern, but old-school watches, or someone that is really into the old Masterlock locks commercials.