While it’s advisable to be skeptical of products that push style over substance, it’s equally advisable to celebrate those that can bring both to the table. For a long time, digital watches suffered from bulky, unattractive designs—like wearing calculators on your wrist.
But times have changed, and you now have more options that better suit your overall aesthetic—without skimping on functionality.
It’s an idea that seems so basic, and yet few have taken advantage of it—shouldn’t a digital watch always look like it was designed to be worn as part of an interstellar military uniform? The Gosasa Sports watch would look right at home on the wrist of a Stormtrooper (especially the white option—although it’s also available in black, camo, pink digital camo, and bright neon pink), and features a bright LED display, 7 backlight color options, and is water resistant (but not waterproof, so try not to push its limits). It’s unique, for sure.
If you’re a fan of watchbands but can do without the watch itself, the Mastop Lava is the ingenious solution you’ve been looking for. The digital time readout is built into the stainless steel band, which makes it look less like a watch and more like a cool bracelet. Despite its minimal design, the 12-hour clock can also show month, date, and year. It’s not the most robust when it comes to functions, but it’s eye-catching.
Maybe you’re not someone who likes to look at a digital watch and immediately read the time. You like to make a little game of it. The Vemupohal uses stacks of colored LED lights to tell you the hour and minute. Available in black and silver, it’s all but guaranteed to start a conversation.
This sleek, simply black-and-gold watch combines the elegance of a traditional watch with the functionality of digital. The LED display (especially in dark rooms) goes “all black” until you need to know the time, which is accessible by the push of a button. It has stopwatch and alarm functions, and will complement a look without overpowering it.
Although it’s fun, digital watches don’t necessarily have to go super sci-fi to be stylish. The Shifenmei watch is a great example of a vast improvement over clunky, plastic digital watches that tend to look way too childish for an adult to pull off. Featuring an elegant and practical display (which can adjust to lighting conditions), rugged nylon band, and a fairly robust slate of options (like calendars, alarms, and countdown timers), these watches look great and can hold up to active use. They’re also available in an array of color schemes to suit any preference.