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The Year's Best Watches for Older Men

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Classic Watches for Older Men

Your wristwatch is one of the most visible elements of your style, and one of those fashion choices by which people, for better or worse, will judge you. Older men like me can make a clean, clear statement simply by choosing the right watch—and we can confound expectations by not being too conservative. This article is not about Rolex "investments"—it's about affordable, handsome, functional style statements for the older man.

Virtually all wristwatches can tell time, so this guide is focused more on the impact and message of your new watch than the precision of its movement. In this article, we're focused on the look.

Michael Kors' elegant slim runway watch is perfect for the older man.

Michael Kors' elegant slim runway watch is perfect for the older man.

1. Michael Kors Men's Slim Runway Quartz Watch

As an older man myself, I am positively fired up about this piece by Michael Kors. It manages to be both classic and cool, one of the hardest tricks to pull off. The stone-cold black metal presentation goes with the steel-gray touches in my hair, and the monochrome design radiates confidence and, above all, decisiveness. Basically this watch just looks like it was made for me, and for all older men.

Michael Kors has the touch, in my opinion. Nearly everything he touches is something you want in your closet, from sleek blazers to timepieces and other accessories. Those of us who remember him from his Project Runway days know that he is a highly discerning designer with a take-no-prisoners approach to style.

The Basics:

  • Imported
  • 2 Year International Warranty
  • Slim Runway Black IP Three-Hand Watch
  • Japanese-quartz movement
  • Water resistant to 50m

From the brand: "The Michael Kors Slim Runway watch is polished perfection. A classic three-link bracelet and monochromatic sunray dial with stick indexes add up to a wear-with-everything timepiece that dresses up and down with ease."

This classic Timex piece is exactly right for  more casual looks and events.

This classic Timex piece is exactly right for more casual looks and events.

2. Timex Men's Weekender Watch

A Timex Weekender is, in my opinion, both reliably old-fashioned and cool as hell. The watch just says "confident man," and combined with a little age and a touch of gray, it's a guaranteed win.

You can't always wear a dark, serious piece that goes with your best suit -- when you're out on a sunny Saturday, or walking in a crisp fall forest, a Timex Weekender is simply the watch you need to have on your wrist. It's definitely not for kids, which in my opinion makes it even better.

The Basics:

  • Imported
  • Brown Genuine Leather Slip Thru Strap
  • Round Cream Dial
  • Full Arabic Numerals
  • 24 Hour Military Time
  • Indiglo Light Up Watch Dial
  • Water resistant to 30 meter (100 feet)

From the brand: "The Weekender collection is all about versatility. Easily switch it up with interchangeable slip-thru and quick-release straps. From leather to fabric and with a wide selection of colors to choose from, you’ve got options."

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3. Fossil Men's Grant Quartz Stainless Steel and Leather Chronograph

I love the weight and authority that this Fossil watch brings to an older man's wrist. While the Michael Kors piece is dark and serious, and the Weekender is built for a weekend in the country, this beautiful Fossil wrist watch is made for more casual moments when you nonetheless want to impress. This watch also has an impressive range of features, more than the previous two.

This is made for the man who appreciates a watch that can do a little more than you might expect: it has stopwatch functionality, three separate dials to track hours, minutes and seconds; a timer; and 24 hour display.

The Basics:

  • Quartz movement with luminous 3-hand analog display
  • Mineral crystal face
  • Imported
  • Round blue plated stainless steel case with silver top ring
  • Blue dial and Roman numerals
  • Brown leather band with buckle closure
  • Multifunction watch with stopwatch functionality; three separate dials to track hours, minutes and seconds; timer; 24 hour
  • Water resistant to 165 feet

4. Timex Men's Easy Reader Date Leather Strap Watch

I have included this watch because I think there needs to be one for older men who are, you know, a little older. I can still read without glasses for the most part, but there are times when I need to get up close on the smaller print. This sturdy, worthy Timex has large numerals that don't look tragically LARGE—the piece is still stylish.

If you're looking for a watch for an older man that will be kind to his aging eyes, but also sharp and stylish, then Timex Easy Readers are an excellent choice. They're convenient and age-appropriate, in the best way.

The Basics:

  • Made in USA or Imported
  • Easy to Read White Dial with Full Arabic Numerals
  • Black Genuine Leather Strap
  • Date Window
  • Indiglo Light Up Watch Dial
  • Water resistant to 99 feet (30 Meter)

From the brand: "True to its name, easy-to-read numbers are balanced with the clean dial design. When it comes to a well-made watch, every detail matters. The all-metal case and mineral glass lens offer strength and durability. The revolutionary Indiglo back-light technology changed how the world told time in the dark."


Timex Was a Rebel Company?

It may seem hard to picture, but according to Timex the brand now synonymous with "solid choice" was once on the cutting edge of timepiece style. The venerable company was established in 1854, under the name "the Waterbury Clock Company." Timex was among the first watchmakers to use metal instead of wood, reflecting the all-encompassing influence of what historians sometimes refer to as the Second Industrial Revolution, when automation and interchangeable metal parts changed much more than just the way watches were made. Timex watches were also smaller and more accurate, thanks undoubtedly to the mechanized assembly and precision metal gears.

According to the Timex website, the company can even claim influence in the rise of the automobile assembly line adopted by Henry Ford to revolutionize his industry. The more you look at Timex, the more you see a trend-setting brand that has literally been there from the beginning of modern watch-making.

The first Timex wristwatch was simply its smallest model of clock, given two metal posts and a leather band to be worn on the wrist.


5. Invicta Men's 8928OB Pro Diver Gold Stainless Automatic Watch

This is the last watch I'll discuss here, and it stands out for its flashy, gold-and-stainless presentation. It's also a diver watch, which might seem a little pretentious on an older man. Unless, of course, that older man is actually a diver, or could pass for one.

For the man who can pull off a fairly flashy piece of wrist steel, this watch is just about perfect. For the rest of us, one of the other watches in this guide are probably a smarter choice. You be the guide, and as the kids who almost certainly will not be wearing a watch with this heft like to say, "you do you."

The Basics:

  • Corrugated unidirectional bezel
  • Luminous hands/markers
  • Magnified date window at 3 o'clock
  • Gold-plated stainless steel case with mineral dial window
  • Water resistant to 200 m (660 ft)
A chronograph, aka any timepiece with a stopwatch feature

A chronograph, aka any timepiece with a stopwatch feature

What's the Difference Between a Chronometer and a Chronograph?

In simple terms, the difference is this:

A "chronometer" is a watch with the highest possible standard of precision. It's a coveted designation that's withheld for watches that have passed the very stringent tests conducted by the Swiss Official Chronometer Control (COSC). No quartz-movement watches can earn the "chronometer" imprimatur—only automatic and mechanical watches can qualify.

A "chronograph" is essentially just a timepiece that can be used as a stopwatch, with no designation of quality or rigorous testing. If your phone can serve as a stopwatch, then technically it too is a chronograph.


So What About That Rolex?

Rolex is, of course, the standard bearer of high-style men's watches. They can easily cost as much as your car, even if your car is a Jaguar, and some models are vanishingly rare. That, of course, is one of the secrets to the Rolex mystique, as well as the price-point: the company tightly controls the supply of its product, which serves to drive up the price.

But there's more to Rolex than just a keen understanding of supply-side economics.The watches themselves are the product of genuinely high-quality craftmanship, and the design of a Rolex shows foresight and an appreciation of classic style. But is that enough to make a Rolex watch, which is after all simply a means to tell tell time, an investment-level possession? There's literally no answer to that. If the world believes that a Rolex is precious, then a Rolex is precious. Sometimes it's truly that simple.

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JC Scull on March 07, 2020:

I enjoy reading about watches and have a few quality time pieces. Excellent article.

Angelladywriter on October 14, 2019:

Very interesting subject.

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