Watch types

There are several different types of watches available in the market. These watch types are classified under three main categories that are based on functionality, movement, and style. To help you get a better understanding of watches, we delve into the different categories of watches and their subtypes.

Types of watches by functionality

Also known as tactical watches, functional timepieces were initially produced to focus on delivering a certain specific function. Following are the eight different types of watches that come under functionality-based watches:

  • Hybrid watches
  • Chronograph watches
  • Aviator watches
  • Military watches
  • Diving watches
  • Smartwatches
  • Fitness watches

Hybrid watches

These watches have an analogue dial integrated with smart functions. Hybrid watches deliver all kinds of useful functionality like step tracking, sleep pattern, and displaying notifications of messages or phone calls. One of the easiest ways to identify a hybrid watch is in its dial. These watches generally have a second small clock face that displays your smart functions.

Different Types of Watches

One of the highlight features of hybrid watches is that they are known to have longer battery life. Some of the popular hybrid watches include Fossil Hybrid smartwatch, Withings Move RCG, Garmin Vivomove HR, etc.

Chronograph watches

Referred to as stopwatches or racing watches, chronographs are used to measure specific periods of time. These watches are easily distinguishable based on their sub-dials, typically consisting of two or three small dials. The body of these watches feature pushers to record time to the T. Chronographs were initially designed for racing drivers to keep an accurate track of time.

The time duration some chronographs can record varies between 30 to 60 minutes. Some of these watches feature a tachymeter placed around the bezel that helps measure speed based on the time traveled over a specific distance. Chronographs are popular amongst pre-owned watches in Dubai.

Aviator watches

Aviator watches are referred to as pilot watches and are distinguished by their large size and easy-to-read dials. These watches were produced specifically for pilot’s to get an accurate reading of time. The features of an aviator watch include a legible and luminescent dial, a large winding crown, extra bezel markings, and dual time functions.

Military watches

As the name suggests, these watches were produced for military personnel to utilize the features to keep an accurate track of time and atmospheric-related information. This particular watch type is known for its robust characteristics. These watches are water resistant, non-reflective but still readable, and purpose-built to withstand harsh conditions. Military watches have features like compass, barometer and altimeter. These watches are also known as field watches.

Some of the popular military watches include Marathon WW194007 TSAR Military Diver, Casio G-Shock The 6900 Military, Marathon Military Navigator, etc.

“A gentleman’s choice of timepiece says as much about him as does his Saville Row suit.” – Ian Fleming

Diving watches

Dive watches are known for their deep water diving capabilities. Dive watches have a higher water resistance capability, a screw-down case, a screw-in case-back, a luminescent dial, and an expandable strap. Another distinctive feature is the rotating dial. This unique dial module helps divers keep track of time underwater and calculate the amount of air supply they have left based on time.


A fairly modern type of watch, smartwatches offer an extensive range of features and are among the latest forms of functional watches. These watches typically have a digital display and are connected to your mobile devices. They provide details regarding the call or message notifications, emails, and other elaborate sets of information.

Modern smartwatches are advanced and offer features like blood oxygen level detectors, heart rate monitors, sleep tracking, and much more. Brands like Apple, Samsung, and Fossil are known to produce some of the top smartwatches.

Fitness watches

These watches are built specifically to track your fitness routine and health. It comes with all kinds of features, which include a drink-water reminder, movement tracker, sleep tracking, calorie count, heart rate monitor, and more. Brands like Amazfit, Fitbit, and Garmin are known to produce high-quality fitness watches.

Top functional Watch brands and models

According to us, the following brands are amongst the most popular functional watches.

Types of Functional Watches Popular Watch Models
Hybrid watches Fossil Hybrid smartwatch, Garmin Vivomove HR
Chronograph watches Seiko SNA411P1 ‘Flightmaster,’ Tag Heuer Carrera, Zenith Defy El Primero 21, Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
Aviator watches (Pilot watches) Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King, Citizen JY0010-50E Eco-Drive Skyhawk A-T Titanium Watch,
Military watches (Field watches) Marathon WW194007 TSAR, Marathon Military Navigator, Casio G-Shock The 6900 Military
Diving watches Tag Heuer Aquaracer, Rolex Sea Dweller, Rolex Submariner, IWC Aquatimer
Smartwatches Apple Watch Series 8, Samsung Galaxy Watch, Fossil Gen 5
Fitness watches Fitbit Charge 4, Amazfit Bip, Garmin Vivosport

Types of Watches by movement

The calibre or the movement is referred to as the engine of a watch. It’s the powerhouse that enables the functioning of a watch. Following are the watch types classified based on their movement:

List of Movement Watches

  • Mechanical (Manual) watches
  • Automatic watches
  • Quartz watches
  • Solar watches

Mechanical (Manual) watches

Hand-wound movements or manual watches date back centuries. These watches require daily winding to keep functioning. How it works is that the tension created on the mainsprings transfers the force through a unit known as the gear train to the escarpment. This activity meters out power to the watch a little bit at a time.

This mechanism has been developed in such a way that the power is released in periodic intervals to cover a period of 24 hours.

Automatic watches

These watches are similar to that of manual winding watches. However, the differentiating factor is the presence of a free-spinning rotor that rotates in response to your body movements. The spinning of the rotator winds the mainspring, which in return powers the functionality of the watch. As long as your natural body movements are in play, the watch eliminates the need for manual winding.

Quartz watches

The Japanese were the ones who revolutionized the watch space with the introduction of a battery-powered quartz watch. The functioning of these watches is relatively simple. Batteries inside the watch deliver an electric charge to the quartz crystal triggering a vibration. This vibration is measured by a circuit which is then converted into a single electric beat that triggers once a second.

Solar watches

As the name suggests, solar watches are powered by solar cells built into your watch. A solar watch requires a sufficient amount of light and time to recharge. The benefit of these watches is that they require minimal maintenance, with battery replacements occurring only during wear out. Solar watches are as capable as other watches in terms of durability and features like water resistance.

Best movement Watch brands and models

Here are some of the top movement-based watch brands and models that you should know about.

Types of Watches Based on Movement Popular Watch Models
Mechanical watches Orient Monarch, Timex Expedition North Field Mechanical, Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical
Automatic watches Omega Speedmaster, Rolex Submariner, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Self-Winding Flying Tourbillon
Quartz watches TAG Heuer Formula 1 Ref. WAZ101A.FC8305, Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Chronograph, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
Solar watches TAG Heuer Aquaracer Solargraph – Best Luxury, G-SHOCK GMW-B5000MB-1 – Best All-Rounder, Seiko 5X Astron Series

“I like a few vintage Rolexes, and Panerais are good. I’m not into sports watches – I like chronometers.” – Jason Statham

Types of Watches by Style

Watch types that are focused purely on design aesthetics are referred to as style watches. Following are the different types of watches by style:

Style Watches

  • Sport watches
  • Dress watches
  • Analogue watches
  • Digital watches

Sport watches

These watches combine an aspect of styling with functionality. Sports watches consist of basic features such as an alarm, stopwatch, and other capabilities like water and shock resistance. Some of the popular sport watches include Garmin Epix (gen 2), Coros Pace 2, Garmin Forerunner 945, and Withings Steel HR.

Dress watches

The simplest forms of watches, Dress watches have an elegant sense of design with a minimalist approach. The whole focus of dress watches is to pair well with your suits, formal attire, or casual jackets. Generally, dress watches have a slim case size and leather strap, with some watches made of precious metals like gold or platinum.

“Everyone looks at your watch, and it represents who you are, your values, and your personal style.” – Kobe Bryant

Analogue watches

Most basic watch types, analogue watches, are described by a simple sense of style and functionality. These watches indicate the seconds, minutes, and hours using hands on a dial. It is the oldest and most traditional form of watch type and still remains to be a choice for luxury watch brands. Some of the well-known analogue watches include Tissot PRX, Stowa Flieger Verus 40, Seiko SKX007, etc.

Digital watches

A simple way of defining digital watches is watches that display time with the use of number numbers as opposed to the traditional manner of hands on a dial. It was in the 1970s when digital watches first emerged, and since then have become a popular choice of watch type.

Popular style watch brands and models

Following are the different types of style watches and their most popular models.

Types of Style Watches Popular Watch Models
Sport watches Garmin Epix (gen 2), Coros Pace 2, Garmin Forerunner 945, and Withings Steel HR
Dress watches Nordgreen Native, Vincero Icon Automatic, Montblanc Héritage Chronométrie, IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar
Analogue watches Kronaby Sekel, Seiko SKX007, Tissot PRX, Stowa Flieger Verus 40
Digital watches Casio G-Shock GBD800UC-5, Nixon Regulus SS, Casio Protrek PRW2500

Watch categories and their types

We have covered 15 different types of watches classified under three main categories. These watches deliver a varied sense of styling and functionality. From luxury brands like Rolex to consumer watches produced by Casio, watches have always been great fashion accessories.

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