Wristwatches have come a long way from the time-telling pieces of yore. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the first wristwatch was made for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary by the Swiss watch manufacturer Patek Philippe way back in 1868. While it was no doubt gorgeous, it likely wouldn’t hold a candle to the watches of today, which serve a wide range of functions. From models that can withstand the elements when submerged underwater, allowing for carefree swimming, to those that track your fitness, sleep, and even menstrual cycles, the best women’s watches do it all and then some.
What are the best women’s watches?
The answer greatly varies by the type of watch you’re shopping for. A timepiece that’s great for running, for instance, might not be stylish enough for a night out on the town. Alternately, a fashion watch that looks great on your wrist might make for a poor choice for a dip in the ocean. Below, find a quick guide to a few of the different types of women’s watches out there to help you determine which one is right for you.
Fashion watch: With a heavy emphasis on style, fashion watches add an elevated aesthetic to any ensemble.
Sport watch: A sport watch is one that can be worn during vigorous activity. Not only will it hold its own as you push your body to the max, these timepieces make the experience that much easier with music, training sessions, trackers, and more.
Luxury watch: A luxury watch is typically an investment piece that you’ll own for years to come. Many cost upwards of thousands of dollars and are made from time-honored
Smart watch: Smart watches can be connected to your phone to answer texts and calls, download apps, surf the web, and more.
In addition to type, each watch has several other features, including band style (think fabric, bracelet, bangle, leather, plastic, or rubber), case size, face background, and analog or digital time displays, to consider.
We’ve rounded up a slew of options that are sure to suit you, no matter what your style preferences. Keep scrolling for Woman’s World’s picks for the best women’s watches of 2019.
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Tory Burch Phipps
Best Designer Watch — Tory Burch Phipps Mesh Strap Watch
Where to buy: $295, Nordstrom
When it comes to high-end goods, you can’t go wrong with Tory Burch. The American fashion designer is known for her refined shoes and handbags, but we’re gonna let you in on a little secret: Her watches are equally as tasteful. This classic square watch, which comes in gold or black, and has a plated leather band, is proof.
Take it from this Nordstrom shopper, who wrote, “Looks great dressed up with bracelets for a night out or sophisticated as a standalone piece for an important day at the office. Received many compliments!"
Apple Series 5 Watch
Best Apple Watch — Apple Watch Series 5 With GPS and Cellular
Where to buy: From $499, Best Buy
The Apple watch is in its own category when it comes to smartwatches, and for good reason. Its latest Series 5 iteration, newly launched this fall, has just about everything you could ever want or need in a technologically-advanced time reader. Where does one even begun? Perhaps the always-on retina display? GPS? Readily available fitness and health stats, which pair with an electrocardiogram (ECG) app? Throw in the ability to text, stream music, communicate with Siri, and download apps, including a menstrual cycle tracker, and you’ve got yourself the perfect smartwatch.
Michael Kors Mini Parker Watch
Best Water Resistant Watch —MICHAEL Michael Kors Mini Parker
Where to buy: $124.97 (Originally $250), Nordstrom Rack
If you’re a diver — or even someone who loves to swim — finding a watch that you can wear in the water is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, most standard watches are only rated for atmospheres (ATMs) between 3 and 5. That means they’re water-resistant for depths of about 100 to 165 feet — the rough equivalent to the water you'd encounter during a quick shower or bath, according to the Huffington Post. Professional diving watches, on the other hand, tend to be more functional than stylish. This MICHAEL Michael Kors timepiece, which is rated for 10 ATM, or about 330 feet of water, is the perfect happy medium. Not only is it suitable for swimming, you’ll actually want to wear it out and about thanks to its gorgeous rose gold laser-cut detailing and crystal face accents.
Nixon Ss Watch
Best Digital Watch — Nixon Siren SS
Where to buy: $125, Nixon
Finding a digital watch that effortlessly pairs a modern display with a classically fashionable design can be tricky, but Nixon effortlessly marries the two with its Siren SS. In addition to keeping you on schedule, it will show you the date along with a chronograph and a countdown timer. Plus, you can wash dishes in it or head to the beach, since it's rated for up to 10 ATM.
Anne Klein Diamond
Best Affordable Watch — Anne Klein Diamond Dial Bracelet Watch
Where to buy: From $30.97, Amazon
No one would ever believe that this eye-catching little watch from Anne Klein rings in at less than $50. Its clean, minimalist sundial ray looks just like far pricier models — and that little diamond marker doesn’t hurt, either! Choose from six different metal and face color combos.
Mvmt Essex Watch
Best Watch for Small Wrist — MVMT Avenue Essex Watch
Where to buy: $80.50 (Originally $115), MVMT
Your watch won’t do you any good if it’s constantly hanging off your wrists. MVMT’s petite, 28 mm Essex watch offers up a snug fit for those with tinier wrist circumference. Wrote one happy buyer, “I love this watch. The size is perfect for my smaller wrist. The craftsmanship and quality are top notch and the style is trendy yet timeless.”
The genuine leather band is interchangeable, and the face is rated for 3 ATM. It also comes with a 24-month warranty should anything go awry.
Fitbit Versa 2
Best Smartwatch — Fitbit Versa 2
Where to buy: From $199.95, Fitbit
Apart from the Apple series 5, there’s one piece that came up time and time again in our search for the best woman’s smartwatch — the Fitbit Versa 2. With this little beauty, everything you need to take on the day is at your fingertips, from your personalized sleep score, which is tracked via your nighttime patterns to show you where there’s room for shut-eye improvement, to your Spotify playlist. A large, easy-to-read display keeps the time handy at all hours, and Amazon’s Alexa will be on call for questions or commands when you need to go hands-free. You can also pair it with your phone for GPS services.
Kate Spade Metro Scallop Watch
Best Watch Bracelet — Kate Spade Metro Scallop Bracelet Watch
Where to buy: $250, Kate Spade
Some watches look so chic, you won’t even notice you’re wearing one! That’s exactly the case with this stunning Kate Spade design, which features a slim, scalloped strap, a mother of pearl face, and a rose gold finish. Can you say chic?
Guess Chain Watch
Best Fashion Watch — Guess Chain Bracelet Watch
Where to buy: $125, Macy’s
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This Guess chain watch is as unique as they come thanks to its double stainless steel chain straps. Featuring an elegant rectangular face and a ‘G’-shaped link closure, it’s a head-turning piece that any fashionista will appreciate. It also comes in rose gold or silver and includes a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Garmin Forerunner 245
Best Watch for Runners — Garmin Forerunner 245 Music
Where to buy: $349.99, Garmin
Knowing where you’re going is key for those who regularly hit the pavement. Considering that Garmin is king in the GPS department, it only makes sense that its watch collection is fully optimized to help you maintain your course with a sophisticated navigation system. Built specifically with runners in mind, the Forerunner 245 has plenty of other great features for athletes, including stream service synching for all your favorite tunes, adaptive training plans from Garmin coach, safety and tracking features, and a battery that lasts up to a full week without a charge. This watch also makes it easy to track your progress, with crucial running metrics that include cadence, stride length, ground radio time, and more.