Super-techy smartwatches might be getting all the attention at the moment, but there’s still a place for digital watches. With far greater battery life, more resilient bodies and some smart features, here’s our pick of the best on the market.
1. Casio F-91W: £7, amazon
This is the classic Casio, and really the classic digital watch. It’s as simple as you can get: it has three buttons, an easy-to-read face and a back light. It’s cheap, robust, and straightforward.
2. Storm Men’s Digimec: £130, House of Fraser
Lots of watches claim to be futuristic – but this really does look like the kind of watch that an advanced alien race would wear. It shows the time in a stunning way that makes the face look like a piece of art, even if it’s not so readable.
3. Garmin Unisex Vivoactive: £160, argos
This is on its way to being smart – it has Bluetooth and GPS, and can use those to give you information like the weather with a companion app – but it’s also fairly straightforward. So if you want to give smartwatches a try but don’t want anything too complicated, this could do the job.
4. Swatch Touch Yellow Flake: £67, Swatch
Swatch’s digital Touch watches are undeniably distinctive. Using a big LCD screen and no push buttons, they look futuristic but in a slightly retro way. They are rugged and have the normal functions, and come in a huge range of different colours and designs.
5. Timex Marathon: £21, Watch Shop
This is explicitly designed for runners, without packing in all of the often expensive technology that comes with such timepieces. It has all the necessary features to time your work out and the build to withstand exercise, but fits it all into a decently-priced package.
6. Suunto Men’s Ambit 3 Peak: £210, Wiggle
This a serious walkers’ watch and can track where you’ve been as well as how far you’ve walked. It does all that while retaining a classic design and robust build and offers a simple way of telling the time.
7. Nixon Newton Digital: £110, Watch Shop
Coming in a range of colours, Nixon’s watch does little more than tell the time — but it does so in a design-conscious way. A huge read-out gives access to the time quickly and a chunky face and strap means it won’t get damaged.
8. Adidas Men’s Santiago XL: £67, Watch Shop
This has a slightly old school look; more noughties than nineties, it's is sportier-looking than the Casios on the list. It packs in all the expected features, like a timer and an alarm, around the brand’s distinctive logo and stripes.
9. Lorus Alarm Chronograph Watch: £24, Watch Shop
Lorus makes no-nonsense reliable watches that are simple to use and will take a bit of a battering. This one is a new launch for this year and comes in a tough plastic case.
10. Casio Men’s Classic Leisure Watch: £25, amazon
Essentially the classier version of the F-91W, this packs in all of the same (very few) features but with a steel body. It’s still firmly in the digital watch camp — but without the plastic looks and feel.
The Casio F-91W is a classic, and for good reason — it’s cheap and straightforward, doing everything it needs to and nothing it doesn’t. If its retro look is a little much, then you can get the one with the stainless steel strap, for a little more classiness.
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