10 best women’s watches: Keep time in style

Adorn your wrist with one of these timepieces

Chloë James
Thursday 17 December 2020 15:56

For decades women’s watches were designed as daintier, more decorative afterthoughts to their male counterparts. Thankfully that’s all in the past. 

Whether you prefer digital or analogue, metal or leather, chunky or dainty, there’s a watch to suit every taste.

We know that for most watch wearers, a single piece tends to be reworn on a daily basis rather than switched out according to an outfit. 

Watches are a staple addition unlike any other to an accessories collection, making it all the more important to find one that best suits you.

For this reason, every item on this list needed to be worth the investment. To decide which watches made the cut, we spent hours wearing each one to check not just its comfort level but its fit and aesthetic appeal. 

We even gave our phones a break and actually relied on each piece to check the time. Ground-breaking.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Nixon mint sentry stainless steel watch

If you, like us, have embraced this year’s love for pastels, this watch is perfect. Finished all-over in mint, it’s made of stainless steel and waterproof up to 100m. This was one of the most comfortable watches we tried — it can be adjusted by even the smallest degrees, so it’s never that tiny bit too tight or too loose. We really liked the contemporary detailing on the watch face, especially the inclusion of a date display. If mint’s a bit too bold for you, it’s also available in black, silver, gold, green, navy and grey.

Limit expandable watch

Limit has been in the watchmaking game for over a century now and have perfected the balance between quality and affordability. At just £22, this stainless steel gold piece is an absolute steal. It has a stretchy, bracelet-like band, which feels sturdier and much more comfortable than we anticipated. We especially liked the font of the clock face, giving it a classic, antique feel.

Casio LA670WEFL-4A2EF leather watch in pink

You can’t talk about watches without mentioning Casio. The Japanese brand has become synonymous with functionality, specialising in digital interfaces. Our favourite of itscollection is this pink leather-strapped option. Not only does it promise accuracy to within 30 seconds, it has an auto-calendar feature to set the date. You can set your own alarm (especially useful for anyone trying to eliminate phone distractions) and it has seven pre-set timer functions up to 30 minutes. It feels really light on your wrist and, for the unintentionally careless, is cased in resin to ensure it survives any accidental bumps and scratches. The pink, white and gold combo also gave us serious vintage vibes. 

Vivienne Westwood Warwick II watch

Considering Vivienne Westwood’s reputation for edgy yet timeless accessories, we shouldn’t have been surprised by how much we loved this watch. The strap is 100 per cent real leather and a flattering shade of light blue — bold enough to make it a statement piece, but not so distracting you can’t pair it with most outfits. It’s also surprisingly functional: it’s water-resistant up to 50 metres and comfortable on the wrist.

Olivia Burton celestial black mother of pearl dial and gold bracelet

This watch is typical of Olivia Burton’s fun, vintage-inspired designs. As part of its celestial collection, its face is studded with Swarovski crystal stars against a dark backdrop like the night sky. More than just a pretty face, it’s resistant to water up to 10m deep and cased in yellow gold-plated stainless steel. We loved how low-key and elegant this looked worn with both casual and dressy outfits.

Daniel Wellington petite evergold watch

If you prefer something super sleek, Daniel Wellington has you covered. Instagram’s favourite watch brand offers its petite evergold watch in three different widths — 28mm, 32mm and 36mm — but we think the smallest makes the most elegant addition to your collection. The face is minimal and classy, while the mesh strap (which is made of double plated stainless steel) is very comfortable and can adjust to anywhere between 150 and 205mm. It’s also resistant up to 30m underwater and available in rose gold, silver and with a black watch face.

Tissot T109.610.16.037.00 watch

The name might be a bit of a mouthful, but there’s nothing confusing about this watch. Simple and straightforward, it has a simple brown leather band and stainless steel case. The face is bigger than many watches we tried but feels very sturdy. You can feel the quality and craftsmanship behind this piece, which definitely serves as a long-term investment. 

Coach Perry watch

Coach might be best known for its bags, but its watch collection is no less impressive. The standout is the Perry watch — a leopard-print, leather-strapped design, complete with the brand’s iconic gold horse and carriage logo. Leopard might not be the most subtle of prints, but it somehow manages to be a standout accessory that isn’t too ostentatious. This is thanks in part to the watch face which, at 36mm, isn’t too big or too small. Comfy and cool, it’s perfect for dressing up neutral outfits. While you might not expect it to be the most durable of watches, it can also survive in up to 99m of water.

Versus Versace fire island watch

You can always rely on Versace for something a little bit different. Coated in black silicone, the fire island watch features the Versus line’s lion logo at the centre. As if this wasn’t cool enough, the watch uses Indiglo technology to backlight this a bright blue. Surprisingly versatile, this makes a slick addition to any accessories collection. However, we did find it a bit fiddly to adjust to the perfect size.

Thomas Sabo golden ornaments watch

The ultimate decorative watch, this is plated in yellow-gold with an ornamental Arabesque bead for a dial. At 38mm, the face is bigger than average and. Has an eye-catching Roman numeral display. It does feel quite heavy on but not so much that it’s distracting. The perfect alternative to a statement bracelet.

The verdict: Women’s watches

Simple yet eye-catching, our favourite is the Nixon sentry stainless steel watch. While we loved it in mint, those looking for something simpler are also given the widest range of shades to choose from. Those who prefer a leather band will also love the Vivienne Westwood Warwick II, while the Daniel Wellington petite overgold makes a sleek addition to any outfit.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.