Modern watches can do more than just tell time. For students, a reliable watch makes all the difference. College students use watches to plan their schedules, set alarms, time their exams, and it’s a part of their outfits. This article outlines the best watches for college students you can pick today at affordable prices.
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Buyer’s Guide: How to pick the right watch for college students
As a student, there are many things that demand money besides a good watch. So it’s wise to budget for your next watch. Usually, $50-$150 is a good spot for a student’s watch.
You may think spending $50 and above on a watch is way too much. But in my experience, watches under $30 hardly last a year. You need a watch that’s affordable and will last longer. Thankful enough, the watches on this list are affordable.
Wasting money on faulty watches will only keep you in the vicious cycle of spending more money on another watch.
When you shop for a student’s watch, go for durable ones. Look for watches that can withstand your daily lifestyle as a student. Usually, a good student’s watch should be able to last you four years.
If you are buying online, there are two ways to ensure a watch’s durability. The likely way is to buy watches that have been stress-tested by professionals like soldiers and divers. Another logical way is to read through customers’ reviews for the said watch on sites like Amazon or Bestbuy.
One other thing you should look for in student’s watches is the aesthetics of the watch. Go for a watch that looks better and more stylish. Most established watch brands Hamilton, Seiko design their watches to look attractive.
As a college student, you should go for a watch that blends with a variety of outfits. Look for a timepiece that can match both your weekly and week-end outfits without the necessity of swapping watches.
It is easier to give your watch a boost in fashion by simply swapping straps. Watches with easily replaceable straps give you more options with your dressing style. So one thing to look at is how easy it is to replace the bracelets.
For the type of bracelet, choose resin or plastic bands if you want bands that are water-resistant, or go for leather or nato straps if you like nicer straps.
For a student lifestyle, a waterproof watch is compulsory. A 30 meters water-resistant watch is good only if you regularly wash hands. For more water uses, a 50 meters water-resistant watch is good for showering and a 100 meters and beyond is better for diving. Whatever choice you choose depends on your daily activity.
For accurate timekeeping, I recommend a quartz movement. Watches with quartz movement have fewer parts and keep time accurately. The best part is these types of watches are very affordable and will definitely fit your budget.
However, automatic watches are also a good fit for some. Unlike quartz watches, these watches do not use batteries. They simply follow your hand movement to wind-up. So you need not carry an extra battery if the watch runs out of juice in the middle of a lecture.
If you are obsessed with quality, the watch brand is the place to look out for. Many watchmakers have build up a reputation for themselves over the years. Further down, I’ve put together a careful thought on the best watch brands for college students.
Reliable Digital Watches For School
Casio is among the best affordable watch brands for college students. If you are out for a beater watch that just does the job, the Casio DW5600E is what you crave for.
This cheap digital watch uses a plastic case that works in the watch’s favor. The plastic case keeps the watch safe by absorbing shock better than metal cases.
This watch is comparably minimal. It’s a perfect choice for students with small wrists. Its rectangular dial measures 42.8mm wide and 13.4mm thick.
With a design rooted in its 1980s history, this timepiece comes with many functions, including a countdown timer, stopwatch, alarm, backlight, and chronograph. The watch is rated to 200 meters of water resistance.
This best budget watch is worth going for if you are looking for a timepiece as tough as nails yet affordable. The Timex Ironman Endure 30 is an alternative to consider for this watch.
This watch, however, lacks a dual time zone function. As such, this is not a perfect travel watch.
This nice affordable watch is ideal for women. It comes with a 34mm resin case and strap, which protects the watch from shock. The digital dial displays the time with a day and date display at the top.
The dial is made from an acrylic crystal. This crystal scratches easily but is the easiest crystal to polish.
The watch features a dedicated Indiglo button to illuminate the dial in the dark. This makes it easy to read in the dark. Also, this timepiece has a water resistance rating of 100 meters. It is suitable for swimming but not diving.
Other features of this watch include a countdown timer, alarm, two time zones, and a 100-hour chronograph.
Suunto manufactures good watches for sports and outdoor activities. Suunto Core is one of the best inexpensive men’s watches for outdoor purposes.
Looking at its build quality, this watch comes with an aluminum bezel that acts as a rotating compass. Its strap is silicone made, and its display is almost jet-black within.
Because of its dark display, the readouts look dim but readable under any lighting condition. Using a CR2032 battery, the Suunto Core has a battery life that can last you for a year. One reason why it has a long battery life is that this watch lacks a GPS function.
This watch comes with an altimeter. Unlike other watches, its altimeter measures pressure and uses this data to calculate altitude (up to 9000m). The advantage is that it continues to work even when you move into a sheltered area where there’s no direct communication with GPS satellites.
This affordable quality watch also features a barometer sensor. Its barometer reading includes a storm alert feature. This storm alarm warns you of a sudden drop in air pressure implying an impending storm in most cases.
You can easily toggle between compass, altimeter, or barometer readings using a single button. Beneath the read-out area is another screen that displays the time, stopwatch, and date.
Other features include preset sunrise and sunset times for over 400 locations and a 30-meter waterproof rating.
As a college student who wants a watch that works for other outdoor activities, we recommend the Suunto Core.
Nice Affordable Men’s watches For College Students
For a college student who wants a decent everyday timepiece that is incredibly affordable, go with this Eco-Drive BM8180-03E. The main appeal of this watch is its solar-powered technology. This is the best watch on a budget with a solar technology feature.
It comes with a sleek brushed stainless steel case and bezel. The case is 37mm in diameter and 9mm thick. A scratch-resistant mineral crystal protects the dial window.
Underneath the black dial is integrated solar panels that are invisible to the naked eye. These panels generate constant energy to power the watch movement. This is useful as you do not need to replace the battery in this model.
What’s more, the BM8180-03E has a 100-meter waterproof rating. It also features bold luminous hands that glow in the dark. You also get a day/date complication at the 3 o’clock position.
While you can always replace the strap with leather or fabric alternatives, the timepiece comes with a durable canvas wristband. This band is very comfortable on the wrist.
For college students, this is a midrange watch with a rugged design that will last for years.
This diver’s watch has a durable stainless steel case and bracelet with safety. The steel case is 40mm in diameter, has a 48mm lug-to-lug distance, and it’s 14mm thick. This makes it a suitable timepiece for those with large wrists.
The stainless steel bracelet on this watch is 20mm wide and tapers to 18mm at the clasp. The dial is protected with a mineral crystal. It also has lume hour markers and hands for night use though the lume fades out quickly.
The aluminum bezel on this timepiece is uni-directional, a feature that’s common with dive watches. Typical of a diving watch, this timepiece has a water-resistance rating of 200 meters.
Seiko is among the best watch brands affordable for college students. Its watches are built with quality and are readily available.
The Seiko 5 SNK809 is one of the most popular student watches made. It is a total steal for its price. This timepiece has a simple design that fits every outfit.
The black dial is legible with white Arabic numerals on the hour markers. On the dial is a day/date complication at the 3 o’clock position. This makes it easy to read the day and date as you plan. Its luminous hour hands allow you to tell the time in the dark easily.
The dial window is covered with Seiko’s in-house Hardlex mineral crystal. This crystal is scratch-resistant compared with other mineral crystals.
The crown on this timepiece is placed at the 4 o’clock position. This makes it possible to move your wrist without feeling uncomfortable as its the case with crowns at the 3 o’clock position.
The stainless steel case and lugs have a brushed finishing. This makes the case less likely to pick up scratches easily.
This Seiko 5 ships out with a canvas strap. Though the strap looks basic, you can easily replace them with leather or Nato strap.
Casio G-Shock watches are mainly known for their shock-resistant function. This G-Shock GG-1000 is no exception. This is the best watch for college students with an active lifestyle.
This Mudmaster has an impressive solid build design. Its dial features a digital face with analog dials. Its large dial size helps you easily read all the important info it displays.
The analog hands give you time at a glance while the digital display reveals the day and date. This tan-colored watch comes with a dual-sensor (thermometer and compass).
What’s more, this twin sensor quartz watch is water-resistant up to 200 meters. It also comes with a world time feature, stopwatch, and countdown timer.
Best Watch Brands for College Students
College life comes with lots of schedules and hustles that need planning ahead of time. Considering all these, being efficient with your timekeeping is the best way to win. The reason why a good timepiece will always keep you ahead of things.
If you find it difficult to choose a good watch brand to stick to, this section is for you. Below is a well-curated list of the best watch brands for college students for your consideration.
For those college students who plan on switching between watches for every occasion, try Orient watches. Their watches are adorable and packed with innovative features.
One thing Orient does best with their watches is the legibility of the watch dial. The dial and watch hands colors are carefully chosen so that they are easily seen at a first glance. What’s more, their watches are affordable.
The Timex Group USA, popularly known as Timex began its journey in the mid-1850s. With years of experience down the line, its watches have become popular among college students.
Timex watches are appealing among college students for two reasons. The most obvious one is that they are affordable. You don’t need to burn out your savings to get your hands on a Timex watch. Secondly, Timex releases a wide variety of watches each year. So there’s always something for everyone. What I like about this is if you hate one of their designs, you’d always fall in love with another.
In 1881, Seiko started her history at a small shop in Ginza, Tokyo Japan. With lots of watches on their catalog today, there’s always a timepiece you’d love.
For those who envy quartz watches, Seiko is the place to start. Their quartz watches are very affordable and come with the Japanese movement.
Seiko has also made a name for itself with its in-house Hardlex watch crystal. Though a mineral crystal, these crystals have been coated in such a way that it hard to pick up scratches.
If you want a brand that blends quality with affordability, it’s Invicta. Invicta tries as much as possible to deliver watches with high-end features like stainless steel bracelets, sapphire watch crystals, and Japanese automatic movement at very low prices. This means you can always wear something classic without necessarily spending more. We have a whole review on Invicta watches for your consideration.
If you are always looking for classy and elegant watches for students, turn your attention to Hamilton. Hamilton started out as an American company before it was bought by the Swiss Group. The good side of this story is you have the best of both worlds in one watch. On one hand, is the greatness of American designs combined with the art of Swiss watchmaking.
The watchmaker constantly pushes watches with different designs and colors onto the market each year. Their watches are very affordable too.
While there’s a choice for everyone, the Seiko 5 stands out and fits every occasion. For students with an active lifestyle, we recommend the Casio GG-1000 and the Suunto Core. They are both great student watches that will last long outdoors.