There’s never been a better time for those who like to keep time. With the advent of new technologies, the watch business has thrived over recent years, from smart watches to classic time pieces built with the best quality. As a dad who’s always on the go, I love having a trusty watch to help me stay on schedule. I am sure I am not alone, which is why I decided to pull this short list together of the most popular watches that live up to the hype.
I looked at style, function and versatility, only selecting the watches that not only had the best reviews, but also passed the eye test of my wife. Because, let’s face it guys, if the wife doesn’t like it, you won’t hear the end of it.
Here’s a closer look at the best men’s watches for 2018, no matter what your budget is:
$2,500 – $4,000
I couldn’t start this list without first addressing why watches made in Switzerland are some of the best in the world. Unlike non-Swiss watches, which typically are made on an assembly line and comprise gears made of plastic, Swiss watches are handmade with metal components. Not only can you see the quality, you can feel it when you pick up a Swiss watch, because it’s much heavier than a knock-off.
So, which Swiss watch on the market right now has my vote? It comes from one of my favorite watch brands, Ball Watch, the leading brand in official railroad standard watches. Introducing the Hydrocarbon Deepquest, with an a striking black dial. How could you not fall in love with the watch at first look? Of course, I am not recommending this on its looks; that’s just the silver icing on the cake. Ball is known for combining innovation and creativity to make some of the best watches in the world. And, they’ve had time to perfect their recipe, as they are the second-oldest watchmaker in the world. But this watch, in particular, has my vote because it was designed to endure the most extreme conditions for divers. It’s housed with an impressive 43m titanium case that’s COSC Certified. With 15 built in micro gas tubes, this masterpiece with light up in the dark for 25 years without a recharge. So, if you get stranded on your next family camping trip, at least you’ll know what time it is.
Finally, as I mentioned before, Swiss watches are handmade and built with highest quality of components, and this watch is no exception. Insider tip: Owners of Ball watches around the world are part of a secret club called Ballers.
$1,500 – $2,499
For those who want all the features of new smart watch but still need the luxury of a classic watch, introducing the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45. It’s designed with the purest Swiss watchmaking tradition, but comes fully equipped with connected features to help you get through every challenge of your day. It’s a little pricey, but sometimes it’s worth the extra dough to look and feel good. Compatible with Android and IOS, this model features Bluetooth capability with a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection and includes a microphone, gyroscope with Tilt Detection, chronograph, alarm, timer and GPS features. The AMOLED touch display is very straight forward, making the whole experience simple and easy to follow.
I love this watch because it has the best of both worlds: new tech and a classic, sporty look. Not to mention, it comes with a 2-year Amazon warranty. Like I said before, it’s a little pricey but that’s going to be a given when you’re a brand-name that consistently puts out quality product year after year.
We have entered a new era of watch making, as watchmakers are blending the old with the new, and the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Navihawk is a clear example of this at its finest. Fully equipped with GPS technology. It’s completely self sufficient, doesn’t need to connect to a host device, it’s durable and has an array of utility capabilities – all while maintaining a classic, timeless look. The Citizen Promaster is a masterpiece, with a face that maximizes space with efficiency, featuring the time, day of the week, date, a second time zone, as well as a host of other features with the push of the function selector. You’ll gain access to a battery charge indicator, chronograph, alarm and second time zone adjuster. I love this watch for all the reasons above and a host of other reasons. The Citizen Promaster certainly sits at the apex of this new generation of watches that combine new technologies with time-tested craftsmanship.
$250 – $499
With the advent of technology, it’s amazing what features you can get in a smartwatch for less than $500. Of course, not all smart watches are built equally. One company that continues to lead the way in this department is Samsung, and its new Samsung Gear S3 is the latest proof that the company still holds the title. Released earlier this year, the S3 is built with premium materials throughout the entire construction process. Unlike many smart watches on the market, the S3 doesn’t run on Android Wear, but rather its own promising OS named Tizen. With 4GB of storage, you don’t have to rely on a connection to listen to your music freely. It also comes fully loaded with activity trackers and has a user interface that’s beautifully designed and more user friendly than any of the other smart watches I’ve seen on the market today. One downside is the fact that there are still a limited number of apps available, but that won’t be for long. This watch is a good investment, as the sky’s the limit on its new, innovative operating system.
I wouldn’t be steering you in the right direction if I didn’t mention the new Apple Watch 3 with GPS and cellular capabilities. Priced at $399, the Apple Watch 3 definitely lives up to its name, with a few new innards that make all the difference between it and its predecessor. It’s probably the best smartwatch on the market today. The only reason I didn’t list it first was because the Samsung Gear S3 has a more versatile look that can be worn for any occasion. Plus, it is much more durable.
Anyway, back to the Apple 3. Its LTE packs more connection power than the 2, but that, of course, means it’s sucking more life out of the battery. It’s still a shock to me that making calls, checking emails and receiving notifications is such a simple process on this device, even the grandparents could figure it out. Finally, if you’re an athlete of any kind, you’re going to love the fitness tracking on this watch, as I believe it’s the best on the market. It’s also swim-proof, which is a plus for me, as I love to track my lap times in the pool.
$100 – $249
There are a dozen smart watches you can get within this price range and most of them offer very similar features, separated only by aesthetics that are subjective and vary depending on the eye of the observer. That’s why my next watch veers from the smart watch world and comes from the luxury watch world. It’s the Michael Kors Slim Runway Black.
The polished all-black look is what first got my attention. But, the design of this monochrome masterpiece is what sold me. It’s versatile and can be worn for any occasion, from work or family get-togethers to weddings or other classy events. And, its engineered to last, with ion-plated stainless steel, and is water resistant up to 165 feet. Not bad for a designer watch that’s priced under $200.
$1 – $99
With watches that push 50K and beyond, who would think you could get a Bulova watch for under $100? The new Bulova 96B104 is priced at just $79 and you get to flaunt the name while you’re at it. This Swiss watch is simple yet elegantly crafted to last. It even comes with a leather strap that brings out the silver-toned stainless steel face. I love this watch for many reasons, including the fact that James Bond once wore a Bulova.
Don’t see your favorite watch on here? Please comment below and tell us why your favorite time piece should make our next list of Most Popular Watches that Live up to the Hype.