For some people, a watch is nothing more than a timekeeping device. For many women, however, a watch is a fashion accessory that coordinates with an outfit, an occasion, and even a period in the day. Fortunately, there are wristwatch styles that suit every need, and there are also some styles that do more than simply adorn a wrist.
1. Casual Watches
Casual watches fit in the everyday category. They are available in various sizes and often in bright colors. A casual watch may be oversized with a very large face, or it may contain a small, plain design. One popular choice is to have a variety of colored watches, such as bright pink, purple, or orange, to match various casual clothing. Watch faces may be plastic or polyurethane, and the timekeeping mechanism may have either watch hands or a digital readout. Bands for casual watches come in several different materials, such as hard or flexible plastic, silicone, coarse ribbon-like fabric, and imitation or real leather. Casual watches are relatively inexpensive, allowing multiple options for varied occasions.
2. Sport Watches
Sport watches suit dynamic lifestyles and typically have several special features beyond simple timekeeping. Sport watches often have large faces to allow easy viewing at a glance, such as during exercise or other sporting activities. While all-metal materials are possible, designs that are more rugged often contain plastic and polyurethane elements to avoid rust or corrosion from water, salt, and sweat. Both digital readouts and watch hands are common as is a feature that tracks seconds. Sport watches may also serve as chronographs, acting as stopwatches that measure activities as well as keeping the time. They may have alarms and countdown timers, and they sometimes have glow lights for viewing in low-light conditions or at night. Many sport watches are waterproof or water resistant to various depths, making them ideal for diving, and some swimmer’s watches can count laps and remember lap times. The cost of sport watches largely depends on the number and the sophistication of extra features. Some sport watches fall into a fashion or luxury category. They might have stopwatch capabilities or alarms, but their dressier appearances and high-end materials make them ill-suited for many sporting activities.
3. Fashion Watches
Fashion watches are usually a step above casual watches in appearance, but they don’t reach the qualities of a luxury watch. They have style in addition to their utilitarian natures, and they can still include quite a bit of color; both muted tones and bright colors are common. With more metal, glass, and leather than plastic and polyurethane, fashion watches suit the business world, casual parties, or any semi-dressy occasion. There could be jeweled enhancements around the face or on the band, but they’re likely to be rhinestones, crystals, or simulated gems rather than diamonds or rubies. Faces come in standard round, square, or oval shapes, but there are also unique styles, including triangles and trapezoids. Fashion watches are often moderately priced, but they can also be somewhat expensive.
4. Customizable Watches
Customizable watches typically refer to styles with interchangeable watchbands, and they are frequently available in casual or fashion categories. Instead of purchasing several watches within a certain budget, the advantage lies in choosing one watch mechanism of higher quality and being able to create a new look with each band selection. A single watch can transition between casual and fashionable simply by customizing the band. Naturally, prices depend on the individual watch and band components.
5. Bracelet Watches
Bracelet watches look more like regular jewelry than standard watches. They typically have watch hands rather than digital readouts although digital features are possible. Bracelet designs vary greatly, and they sometimes include jeweled enhancements or enameled features. Bracelet watches may have metal-plate bands and be relatively inexpensive, or they can contain precious metals. While metal bracelets are most common, thin leather straps or strands of beads are also possible. These watches often look like bangle bracelets with watch faces of various shapes inserted into them. The bracelet bands can be smooth, braided, woven, and more, and they can have intricate designs or even contain fine metal mesh. Styles also range from narrow to wide as well as being close or loose fitting; the possibilities match those of regular bracelet designs. Prices depend on the materials involved, and watchbands that consist of closely fitted metal links are also considered bracelet watches.
6. Luxury or Designer Watches
Luxury watches are just what they appear to be. They are the cream of the crop and are made with precious metals, precious stones, or both. Gold and platinum are common, and diamonds make frequent appearances embedded in the face, around the face, or in the watchband. They may have the finest Swiss technology as well. Designer names typically raise watches into the luxury category, and other types of watches become luxury styles when expensive materials join other features. There are many luxury bracelet watches, and there are also customizable luxury watches that allow interchangeable bands. Luxury sport watches are not uncommon and can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
7. Vintage or Antique Watches
Vintage women’s watches have a unique, almost refined quality that many modern watches don’t have. They may be heirlooms and contain materials such as mother of pearl or cameos that conceal the watch itself. They are typically much smaller than modern watches. They likely have glass crystals over the faces, and, because of their age, they are liable to require winding to keep accurate time. However, quartz technology began in the 1960s and really took hold in the 1970s. Vintage bracelet styles are very common, and anything before the early 1970s also has watch hands rather than a digital readout. Price depends on the age, quality, and style.
8. Cartoon or Idol Watches
Many cartoon or idol watches are casual in style, but there are also high-end specimens that fit in the fashion or even luxury categories. Similarly, cartoon watches are not only for kids. Many adults wear them as well, maintaining fond memories from childhood. The range of characters in such watches is quite diverse. Disney characters are popular, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Tinkerbell, Cinderella, and Winnie the Pooh. Comic book characters, such as Spiderman and Batman, also appear. Vintage idols and characters, such as Betty Boop, Hopalong Cassidy, Mr. Peanut, and Snoopy are still popular, and modern characters from Star Wars, the Smurfs, and Hello Kitty also adorn watches. Cartoon and idol watches also make fine collectibles. Prices can vary greatly depending on availability.
9. Finger Ring Watches
Women looking for a stylish alternative to standard watches might consider finger ring watches. This style won’t interfere with bracelets, and they may be more comfortable or easier to view than wristwatches. They can be fairly diverse in terms of design, and they can have open faces or conceal the faces behind jewelry elements. Finger ring bands may have elasticized metal links or be standard ring style, and they can also fit casual, fashion, or luxury categories. Again, prices vary with the materials used.
10. Pendant Watches
Pendant watches could be just the right find for women who don’t want to wear watches on their wrists or fingers. Designed to hang on a neck chain or cord, these watches come in a variety of sizes and shapes, including some that are modeled after pocket watches. Like ring watches, pendant watches may have open or concealed faces. Materials typically include metal and glass, and many vintage or antique pendant watches are available with intricate and beautiful designs. Costs depend largely on materials and style.
Women’s Watch Styles for Every Occasion
While a jeweled watch for special occasions might be a one-time purchase or gift, there are so many affordable and stylish watches available that women can consider having a watch wardrobe to match their clothing and accessory wardrobes. Fun and funky watches, watches for work, and durable sport watches with multiple functions can join fashionable choices to complement nearly any occasion.