We all have phones in our pockets, so choosing a watch for a teenager is more about the look and feel of a watch, rather than the accuracy of its timekeeping.
Today we’re going to be reviewing some of the best watches for teenagers (both boys and girls) in 2020.
While there are watches labeled “for men” and “for women”, my personal belief is that either a boy or girl should be able to wear a watch that speaks to them, regardless of the gender it is marketed towards.
To save you the trouble of reading the entire article, my personal favorite watches for teenagers are the Timex Weekender, Casio G-Shock, and Apple Watch, depending on your wants and needs. You can find them all readily available on Amazon.
The Timex Weekender is a perfect everyday watch. The Casio G-Shock is extremely durable, making it a great beater watch for someone more active. And the Apple Watch is for the tech-enthusiast who doesn’t want a traditional watch.
I’ll go more in-depth on each of these picks, as well as a bunch more options in this article, so you can find exactly the right watch to fit your needs.
The best watch for a teenager should also have a few key characteristics.
The Timex Weekender is a classic cool watch that is simple enough to be worn in just about any environment, or with any outfit.
They’re accurate, reliable, and have Indiglo technology that lights up the dial in the dark for when you (or the teenager you’re buying this for) inevitably stays out past curfew one night.
Timex is the essential “budget watch”. Even with a collection of over 30+ watches, I still find myself recommending the Timex Weekender to friends and family when they ask for a suggestion for the first watch.
It has everything you need, and nothing you don’t.
It also comes in a variety of colors and strap options. It’s very minimal, so it will match well with just about any outfit. It’s durable enough to live up to day-to-day use, and best of all, it’s extremely affordable.
Find the Timex Weekender on Amazon here.
Casio G-Shock DW5600E
To pair perfectly with a casual watch like the Timex Weekender, I would suggest a durable beater watch such as the Casio G-Shock DW5600.
They’re basically indestructible and make a great “do-anything” watch.
They’re perfect for sports, waterproof for swimming, and you just can’t break this thing, even if you tried.
With a watch like the Timex Weekender for dressy occasions and a G-Shock for the weekend, you have all your bases covered.
Now, maybe you’re someone who doesn’t need a dressy watch. You never dress up, and you’re always in shorts. I envy you. In that case, you might not need the Timex.
On the other hand, if you’re someone who mostly dresses up, and isn’t too hard on your watches, you might want to pass on the G-Shock as it wouldn’t benefit your lifestyle as much as someone who is incredibly active.
While I’m somewhere in the middle, I personally love the DW5600 in my collection and use it whenever I feel like I’m doing something that might put one of my more expensive watches in danger. My poor babies.
The G-Shock is one of the most durable watches on the planet. Best of all? They’re relatively affordable.
Check out the Casio G-Shock DW5600E on Amazon.
Fossil Grant, Nate, and Carlyle
I was gifted a gold fossil watch by my parents when I graduated high school. I loved the heck out of it. In many ways, it was my gateway to my current watch addiction.
Unfortunately, Fossil has a bad reputation in the watch community. But that’s mainly because of their price point rather than lack of quality.
Some people feel they are too expensive for what they offer; a quartz watch that looks decent, but doesn’t really bring anything extra to the table. Especially when you consider you can get fully automatic mechanical watches such as the Seiko 5 SNK mentioned earlier for a similar price.
While that may be true, that doesn’t mean Fossil watches are bad by any means.
In fact, Fossil watches often have very modern styles that you might find in other high-fashion and designer brands, for a much lower cost.
This is great for the “fashion-forward” teenager who might want a particular style that they see from designer brands.
And that’s the thing with Fossil – they’re more about the style over the function and quality.
They have a wide variety of options to choose from, and all are readily available on Amazon.
Some of my favorites are the Fossil Grant, a modern and sophisticated looking chronograph that comes in a variety of colors and straps.
The Fossil Nate is a bit more industrial, rugged, and tough looking.
Finally, the Fossil Carlyle is a smartwatch, comparable to the Apple Watch, that syncs with your iPhone or Android, and even has a touchscreen.
Overall, Fossil offers some great and unique designs for an affordable price. Not a bad choice if they have a particular style you’re looking for.
Seiko 5 SNK809
The Seiko 5 SNK809 is one of the most affordable automatic watches on the market. The automatic movement is made purely out of mechanical parts – meaning it runs completely without a battery.
It also has a see-through case back which allows you to see all of the cogs and mechanical parts inside. A mechanical watch like a Seiko 5 is a really cool gift for someone who is interested in machines and technology.
The Seiko 5 SNK series is a series of rugged and tough field watches that are simple and easy to read, yet classic in proportions and design.
While it’s not the most water-resistant watch, it’s certainly durable and can take a beating. Great as an everyday watch, with the caveat that I would probably avoid swimming in it.
The brushed stainless steel case ensures that scratches and dings aren’t very visible. Perfect for those who like to actually wear their watch, and not just keep it in a drawer, worrying that it might get damaged one day.
Overall, the Seiko 5 SNK809 is one of the best and most affordable automatic watches on the market. It’s readily available on Amazon, and also comes in a variety of dial and strap colors such as black (SNK809), blue (SNK807), and cream (SNK803).
Casio MDV106 Duro
If you want a watch that is essentially waterproof and has no problem getting wet, you’ll want a dive watch such as the Casio MDV106 Duro.
The Casio MDV Duro is a dive watch with 200 meters of water resistance. This means it can be submerged in up to 200 meters of water, without water damage. Since it’s made for divers, you’ll also be perfectly fine swimming with it, without fearing damage.
Waterproof-ness aside, the MDV106 is also a great looking watch. Slightly reminiscent of the popular Rolex Submariner, the Casio Marlin has a sunburst black dial that looks simply awesome.
At 44mm in diameter, it wears slightly on the larger side. Perfect for those with slightly larger wrists, or someone who just prefers a bigger watch overall.
Overall, the Casio MDV106 Duro is a cool looking dive watch that you can swim or dive in, without water damage.
Check out the Casio MDV106 Duro on Amazon.
Seiko 5 SNXS79
The Seiko 5 SNXS79 is the best affordable dress watch, in my opinion.
I’ve owned it for the past 3 years and can never see myself getting rid of it. Since it’s so simple and well made, it exudes a sense of luxury and looks way more expensive than it really is. You can check out my full review of the SNXS79 here.
Like the previously mentioned Seiko 5 SNK809, it has a mechanical movement and see-through case back, so you can admire the 7S26 Seiko mechanical movement from the inside. You can see how the watch actually works – all without needing a battery to power it.
Considering these amazingly-made tiny machines are generally under $100, I think it’s hard to argue that the Seiko 5s are some of the best value watches on any budget, and a watch that any teenager would certainly appreciate.
Check out the Seiko 5 SNXS79 on Amazon.
There are a gazillion different Swatch models and they’re all awesome.
They make an incredibly diverse range of cool and unique pieces. Some of their models, like the Swatch GN718 Originals, are rather simple executions of standard watch design. Some of their other offerings, however, are a bit more artistic, such as the Swatch GS124 Rainbow dial. Both are readily available on Amazon.
I think one of the best things about Swatch is the sheer variety of colors and styles they offer, at a very affordable price. This means you can buy a couple and create a collection, or just find one that you love, and rock it every day.
They also tend to come in various materials such as resin, which tend to be much more lightweight and comfortable than metal watches. Great for someone who wants to wear a watch, but doesn’t want the weight of a hefty stainless steel timepiece on their wrist.
Overall, Swatch watches are a fun and inexpensive way to add a pop of color or uniqueness to any watch collection. They also have a wide assortment of watch and strap combinations, so there’s sure to be one that fits your taste and budget.
How could I have a list of the best watches for teenagers without mentioning arguably one of the best value watches of all time?
Originally introduced in 1989, the F91w has certainly stood the test of time. The Casio F91w is a watch that’s so classic and affordable, I couldn’t resist buying one. That’s right. You’re talking to the proud owner of one of the most affordable watches in the world. Move aside, Rolex snobs.
Throwing the F91w on my wrist instantly brought me. a rush of nostalgia. Ah, a young Anthony. Not blogging about watches yet, but certainly already obsessing over them.
All jokes aside – coming in at less than the price of a full meal, the Casio F91W is notorious in the watch community for being a timeless digital classic.
In addition to the incredible value proposition the F91w offers, it’s also extremely lightweight, comfortable, and functional.
Being made of a resin material similar to that of a G-Shock, it’s extremely durable and scratch-resistant. Though not quite as indestructible as a G-Shock, you can certainly expect the F91w to take a beating for everyday wear.
I once read a story of a guy who found his F91w buried in the park. Covered in dirt, just a bit of a wash with soap and water was enough to bring the watch back to life, and he has since been wearing it for over 10 years.
Being a digital watch, it also has a wide variety of functional features such as a stop-watch, timers, alarms, and the ability to track various time zones.
The one drawback of such a retro-looking watch is that it lacks versatility when pairing with certain outfits. This isn’t a piece I’d suggest wearing to your next job interview, I though I guess it could display a level of individuality and confidence to your potential employer 🤔.
Overall, The Casio F91w is as functional and affordable as it is timeless. Pair it with a dress watch like the Seiko 5 SNXS79 or Orient Bambino for more formal occasions, and you have the perfect affordable two-watch collection.
Check out the Casio F91W on Amazon.
Apple Watch Series 5 or Series 3
If you’ve not been living under a rock for the past 5 years, you’ve almost certainly heard of the Apple Watch.
For those of you who have been living under a rock… The Apple Watch is Apple’s smartwatch that pairs with your iPhone to use compatible apps, and has a wide range of features.
Downloading podcasts, music, audiobooks, or even connect to your iMessage app are just a few features the Apple Watch has. This makes it extremely functional and convenient. You no longer need to pull your phone out of your pocket to check your notifications.
While the Apple Watch Series 5 is their newest model, it’s almost double the price of the Series 3, a slightly older, but still awesome model.
There are a wide variety of Apple Watch straps to choose from, so there’s always one to be found with just the right color combination. You can even buy a bunch and change them up depending on your mood that day.
It is also “swimproof” as defined by Apple. While this doesn’t mean it’s completely waterproof, it is water-resistant enough to wear swimming, washing your hands, in the rain, etc.
I don’t see a smartwatch as a replacement for a traditional watch, but when paired with a traditional watch, it can be a great addition to any watch collection.
Timex Expedition Scout
Love the thought of an affordable, simple, and reliable watch like the Timex Weekender, but want something a little more ‘rugged’? The Timex Expedition Scout is for you.
Leaning a bit more toward the “field watch’ side, the Timex Expedition is a great option from Timex for those who are a little more active, and a little tougher on their watch.
With a bit of water resistance (50m), You can do a bit of recreational swimming with this watch, without water damage.
The Timex Expedition Scout is a simple and sturdy watch that is ready for adventure.
Check out the Timex Expedition on Amazon.
Casio AE1200WHD-1A ‘World Time’
Want a watch that will make you feel like James Bond? It might not shoot lasers, but the Casio AE1200 World Time will definitely make you feel like a world-renown spy.
The Casio AE1200 has an impressive variety of features, such as an extremely useful “world time” complication that can track the time of any time zone
On the digital LCD display lies a world map that shifts depending on which part of the world you have selected. A nice detail. There are also stopwatch, timer, and alarm functions that can be activated at just the press of a button.
If it gets too dark, a button illuminates the entire display, so you can tell the time even when it’s dark out, without having to pull your phone out from your pocket.
It’s also extremely light and thin on the wrist, perfectly comfortable for every day wear, or those warmer months, when a leather watch strap is just too hot.
Overall, the Casio AE1200 is a cool and functional retro watch that will make you feel like you’re James Bond,
Check out the Casio AE1200 on Amazon.
Invicta Pro Diver 8926OB
If you’ve been looking at watches for any amount of time, you’ve almost certainly come across the Rolex Submariner. In fact, it’s one of the most popular watches in the world.
Well, you’re not going to find a Rolex on this list. Way too expensive, and dare I say… Even slightly overpriced, these days.
Offering a similar look for a fraction of the cost, the Invicta Pro Diver 8926OB may just be the best affordable Submariner alternative on the market.
It sports a fully automatic mechanical movement that runs without the need of batteries. Simply give the watch a shake, wear it on your wrist, or wind the crown to get it to function. A cool see-through case back even allows you to see the movement in action.
It also has a functional “dive bezel” that you can rotate, and use to time just about anything. From workouts to cooking, I tend to use mine almost daily.
The Pro Diver was one of the first mechanical watches I own, and highly recommend it as a fun and affordable way to get into mechanical watches.
Check out the Invicta Pro Diver 8926OB on Amazon here.
What Makes a Good Watch for a Teenager?
Since we all have a phone in our pocket, reliability and accuracy on a wristwatch aren’t as important as it would be in a pre-cellphone era.
With that said, there are other features that are probably more important than ever when picking a watch for a teenager.
Teenagers don’t typically have a lot of disposable income to spend on a watch, so it should be affordable to buy, but also replace, in case it were to somehow get lost or damaged.
A modern watch should be stylistic and have a purpose. Whether it’s cool and sleek, rugged and tough, or a combination of both, you want a watch that stands out for all the right reasons.
Plus, with the thousands of different watches available in 2020, you want to make sure to find a watch that suits your personal style.
Consider the types of clothes you wear and picking a watch to compliment that. If you wear lots of buttondown shirts or dress clothes, then maybe a more classic and simple dress watch is for you.
On the other hand, if you’re more into the streetwear aesthetic, you might want a watch that is a little more expressive and interesting instead.
It’s all about finding the right watch that fits your personal style.
Teenagers like doing stuff, unlike boring 25-year-old me, typing away at a computer all day.
Teenagers need a watch that can take a beating and keep on ticking, no matter what the watch is put through.
Generally, for your first watch, it’s a good idea to pick up a watch that has some water resistance (at least 100m), so you can swim in it, or get it wet, without having to worry about it.
If you’re a teenager just starting your watch collection, don’t feel the need to rush into it and buy dozens of watches at once.
Instead, start with 1 or maybe 2 watches that can compliment each other, and together, be worn in any situation.
From school, sports, job interviews, parties, and even the workplace – a versatile watch should be able to be worn on any occasion without looking out of place.
So, what are some of the best watches for teenagers?
The Final Verdict
With such a wide variety of watches available, choosing the right watch for a teenager should depend on a couple of key characteristics: affordability, versatility, style, and durability.
Simple and casual watches like the Timex Weekender can be dressed up or down, and get the job done, no matter the situation.
Mechanical watches like the Seiko 5 SNXS79 are a bit more interesting, since they run on a fully mechanical movement, and have a see-through case back, that lets you see the cogs from the inside.
Then there are watches like the Casio G-Shock that are extremely durable, and basically indestructable. perfect for the active teenager who might wear their watch for sports and other adventures.
Ultimately, the watch chosen will depend on the teenager’s style and preference. I hope this article was helpful in choosing the right watch. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know in the comments below, and I’ll be glad to answer.
Last update on 2021-02-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API