Analog and Digital Watch Tips

Tips for selecting the best analog and digital watches for your lifestyle, including comparing watch features, identifying popular trends, and purchasing niche watches.

Are analog watches more stylish than digital?

Are analog watches more stylish than digital?

Analog watches are more stylish than digital watches because of their distinguished and elegant appearance. Despite the digital revolution, analog watches are the “watch of choice” by business executives, high rollers, and fashion savvy crowds. Those whom support analog watches believe digital watches appear too athletic, sporty, and rugged.

Based on the current market availability of digital and analog watches, there are far fewer “suit-appropriate” digital watches than analog models. Rolex, a manufacturer of ultra premium watches, exemplifies the stature and esteem of analog watches. In general, analog models are constructed out of high quality, heavy, and durable metals, such as titanium, stainless steel, and metal. While the materials are attractive by themselves, high-end models contain silver and gold finishes or trims, which adds an additional level of notoriety. To further clarify that analog watches are more stylish, most designer watches, such as those made by Kenneth Cole, Tag Heuer, Movado, Brietling, Ebel, Corum, Cartier, and Omega, are of the analog variety.

After substantial research, it is apparent luxurious and fashionable watches, such as ESQ watches, are analog, but driven by a highly accurate Quartz crystal. Before purchasing a watch, consider other variables besides fashion, such as how you will use the watch. Review your needs against both analog and digital watches, as having a stylish watch you cannot rely on is pointless, even if that Michael Kors ceramic watch looks perfect for your wrist.

How to care for your analog watch

How to care for your analog watch

Analog watches are built with durability in mind, but maximize the lifespan of your watch by cleaning it regularly, limiting its exposure to hot – and cold – temperatures, maintain metal bracelets, and care for the watchstraps. The easiest method to care for your analog watch is to use a microfiber cloth and polish the watch in a circular motion everyday. Removing water stains, wear marks and scruffs as you notice them increases the lifespan of the watch. Untreated stains or blemishes wear down your analog watch. When showering with an analog watch, use your towel to pat it dry after each session. Furthermore, when submerged in chlorinated or salt water, rinse your watch with fresh water and pat dry.

Do not exposure your analog or Kenneth Cole KC watch to extreme temperatures, such as on icy surfaces or near fireplaces. Extreme temperatures decrease the lifespan of analog watches, as it damages their batteries and causes other components to malfunction unexpectedly. Extremely frigid temperatures may also cause the timepiece to breakdown until it reaches operating temperatures.


Caring for Your Analog Watch’s Straps and Bands

Analog watches with metal bracelet-type bands must be cleaned regularly, as dirt, perspiration, and other oils collect underneath the strap. The inner-parts of the band should be wiped clean at least once a day, as it may cause skin irritation after prolonged untreated use. Soak the bracelet band once a month in warm soapy water, thoroughly rinsing all soap residues from the bracelet. If your analog watch is not waterproof or water resistant, outsource the cleaning to your jeweler.

Lighting for digital watches

Lighting for digital watches

There are two types of digital watches, which are classified by their display technique. Watches employ two primary technologies, Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), and Light Emitting Diode (LED).


LCD digital watches

Digital watches that use an LCD require a separate source of light, as the crystals do not emit anything without the help of a light source. Reflective LCDs, often used on digital watches, reflect the light onto the LCD from the external source. With digital watches, light only passes through the appropriate crystals at the designated time. For example, to display the number “8” the watch would only shine light onto the appropriate layer, which is a polarized film. A tiny microprocessor tells the LCD which crystals to shine light onto, resulting in the formation of the number. Because of the simplicity of a digital watch, manufacturers employ a single-plane LCD, which are much more basic than LCDs used for computer monitors and televisions. In addition to displaying the numbers, watches contain a glowing backlight, which enables users to see the numbers in dark environments.


LED digital watches

Light emitting diodes are the newest craze within the display industry, as they are multifunctional devices that perform a variety of tasks. Most notably used for televisions, LEDs are in Christmas lights, coffee makers, and everything in between. An LED display contains millions of tiny light bulbs, which are controlled by a semiconductor. In digital watches, the microprocessor tells the watch when to display certain lights, which form numbers. Unlike LCDs, LEDs do not need a separate light source or a backlight, as the LEDs change the color of the numbers to a fluorescent variety viewable in the dark.

Top watches with alarms

Top watches with alarms

Alarms are a quintessential component of modern day watches, as it seams everyone is constantly on a move. Whether you need to set alarms for waking up in the morning or as a reminder to attend an important meeting, alarms serve as a virtual secretary. Analog and digital watches keep up with your busy schedules, featuring single and multi-alarm scenarios. Most entry-level digital watches feature a basic single-tone, one-time alarm, whereas high-end models offer repetitive alarms, multi-scheduling options, and different audible alerts.

Digital and polar watches are ideal for alarms, as they have several buttons on the chassis, which ease the process of setting up the alarm. Furthermore, the time can be set accurately, such as 7:38. The LCD or LED display facilitates the process by displaying an alarm icon once the watch is set. Several midrange models enable the user to set the days of the week the alarm goes on. Depending on the internal memory, digital watches can hold multiple alarms each day. When purchasing a new digital watch, ensure you select a model with enough “horsepower” to meet your needs.

Select analog watches support alarms, however; research indicates alarms are not available on all entry-level models. Midrange and high-end manufacturers include alarm support, but it is much harder to set an analog alarm accurately. Setting an analog alarm for a specific time, such as 6:23 a.m., poses a challenge, as it is difficult to set the hour and minute hands to their exact position. Persons with visual impairments should purchase a digital watch for improved accuracy.  

How to care for your digital watch

How to care for your digital watch

Most digital watches contact a Liquid Crystal Display or Light Emitting Diode, which are powered by a battery and tiny microprocessor. Caring for your digital watch is self-intuitive, but avoid exposing the watch to extreme conditions, such as temperatures, water (very hot or cold), and synthetic elements. Since the digital watch contains an onboard computer, do not submerge it into water unless it is water resistant. As a rule of thumb, use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the digital watch each night, removing any debris it may have accumulated.


Cleaning the band of your digital watch

To preserve the lifespan of your leather band, keep a cloth handy and wipe any perspiration that accumulates underneath the band. Oils on your skin deteriorate the natural oils in the leather, causing unforeseen damage. Remove other oils, salts, and spills from the band by wiping it clean with a mildly wet and soapy cloth. Wipe the inside of the strap with alcohol. For best results, wear the strap loosely on your wrist, allowing the air to circulate around the band. Care for all other bands by using a wet and soapy cloth to wipe clean the band or strap after a few days. Remove any lotions, chemicals, or other substances as they occur, which ensures the band will not breakdown or break because of external conditions. Do not use bleach wipes or other cleaning supplies on your bands, as they may damage your watch.

Top digital watch features

Top digital watch features

Given the popularity of the iPhone and other multifunctional devices, an increasing number of digital watches contain a wide array of features. Digital watches contain an internal ultra-low voltage microprocessor, which enables the watch to perform relatively complex tasks. The number of features a digital watch contain is relative to its price, as high-end watches can perform tasks such as making and receiving phone calls.

The most popular digital watch features for entry-level and mid-range models include:

  • Stopwatch: Press a button and the watch begins counting time, which is idea for runners.
  • Timer: Don’t hear the kitchen timer? Set your watch instead, you’ll definitely hear the timer this time! 
  • Alarm Clock: Never be late for an important meeting, as digital watches feature various alarm settings.
  • Pedometer: Midrange watches calculate how many steps you take whilst tracking the calories you burnt.
  • Calendar: Basic watches list the date on the LCD, whereas midrange models offer a monthly view.
  • Calculator: Compute quick mathematical problems on your wrist, midrange models feature a tiny keypad.

High-end and sophisticated digital watch features include:

  • Address Book: Select digital watches store up to 25 names and numbers, but high-end models have more built-in memory, up to 2 GB.
  • Altimeter: Ever wonder how high you are above sea level? Altimeter watches display your altitude.
  • Global Positioning System: High-end Garmin watches track your GPS location.
  • Heart Rate Monitor: Using a strap or wireless transmitter, watches measure your heart rate in beats-per-minute.
  • Media Playback: Top-of-the-line digital watches include media playback, most commonly MP3, using a headphone jack.
  • Operating System: Sophisticated watches operate as a pseudo-smartphone, using a Symbian or Android based operating system.
  • Weather Forecasting: Select watches, such as those made by Oregon Scientific, forecast the weather.

Advantages of dual face watches

Advantages of dual face watches

Businesspersons and consumers whom travel frequently often become confused as to what time zone they are in. Dual face watches remove the guesswork from calculating one’s time zone, especially for those who have family or work in another time zone. Dual face watches such as the Concord dial chronograph watch portray the time in two time zones of the user’s choice, such as the time in San Francisco (Pacific) and New York (Eastern). Avoid calling a business associate at the wrong time or missing a corporate conference call, as dual face watches keep you synchronized in both locations simultaneously.

The dual face watch technology, developed by the Swiss in 1853, ensures travelers and businesspersons never have to compute the math to convert time zones. There are many advantages of dual face watches, such as not having to think twice before calling or visiting someone. For example, while traveling in Europe users can set their watches to the native time zone whilst keeping their hometowns time zone intact, which is great for making calls back home. Furthermore, individuals do not have to switch between time zones if they travel to a certain location, such as corporate headquarters, frequently.

Pros and cons of analog watches

Pros and cons of analog watches

There are a variety of benefits and disadvantages to utilizing analog watches, but one must analyze their practicality in modern society based on the fundamental principle of time. An analog watch represents a twelve-hour day, providing individuals with a quick overview of how they are allocating their time. For example, someone refers to time in relation to the pie-chart style display, such as “it is a quarter after ten.” Regardless of the antiquated technology, analog watches set foundational framework for basic timekeeping.


Analog watch advantages

  • Setting the Time: Most analog watches feature two adjustable knobs, which control the hour and minute hands.
  • Theory of Time: Analog watches convey the passage of time visually, enabling a person to quickly identify the hour and relative minutes, such as “about a quarter before six.”
  • Power: Analog watches require a fraction of the power as their digital and feature-ridden counterparts.
  • Attractiveness: High quality analog watches have a certain prestige, inherent beauty, and whimsical nature. Watches such as the Invicta watch, are family heirlooms and survive multiple generations.
  • Durability: Analog watches, typically constructed with metals and break-resistant glass, feel sturdy, and rarely break under normal operating conditions.

Analog watch disadvantages

  • Moving Parts: The chances for breakage increase for analog watches, as the hour and minute hands are movable parts, subject to accidental damage and wear over time.
  • Exact Time: During circumstances where one needs an exact time, it is more difficult to identify the minute and second hands.
  • Feature Set: In the age of multifunction peripherals, analog watches are designed to perform one task, telling the time, extraordinarily well.

There are many pros and cons of analog watches, so before purchasing a watch, assess your personal needs in relation to the technology you desire. Analog and digital watches cater to different demographics, so ensure you purchase the appropriate watch for your unique situation.

Pros and cons of digital watches

Pros and cons of digital watches

Watches are not immune to the rampant digitalization of modern society. Once considered a “gem” or “jewel” of the wrist, modern-day digital watches would appall their analogous ancestors. Digital watches operate under a new-age approach to telling time, which sparks an age-old debate of practicality versus accuracy. Cool digital watches convey the time in the form of HOUR : MINUTE : SECOND AM/PM , unlike analog watches that convey time in a relative pie-chart display. Perhaps, if nothing else, it marks a generational shift in the way we convey information.

Digital watch advantages

  • Accuracy: Digital watches display time as a scientific unit of measurement, unlike analog watches which displays time in a visual pie-chart display.
  • Athleticism: Digital watches are durable and water resistant, in addition to offering a variety of sports features, such as a stopwatch and lap timer.
  • Features: Digital watches are essentially tiny computers, which contain an ultra-low level microprocessor. Digital watches have built in calendars, calculators, and timers. For example, an altimeter watch uses a digital display to identify one’s altitude.

Digital watch disadvantages

  • Disposable: While the build quality of digital watches is improving, most of the models on the market are disposable. Unlike losing a Rolex, digital watches can be replaced without straining your checkbook.
  • Battery Life: Digital watches utilize specialty batteries, which often need to be replaced once or twice a year, depending on the model.
  • Attractiveness:  As more generations resort to digital watches, their fashion and style continues to improve, but has not met the same stature as their analogous cousins.

Purchasing a watch is as much about the technology as it is your personal needs. Consider a digital watch if you require the exact time, a rich feature set, and a modern look.

How precise are analog watches?

How precise are analog watches?

The precision of analog watches has increased significantly over the past two decades, as newer technologies became available. Individuals often desire the glamour and prestige analog watches offer, but with the precision of digital technology. Chronometer watches are relatively precise, as they must withstand a series of tests, but Quartz watches are the most precise.

Chronometer watches are less accurate than Quartz models, but represent a body of watches that have passed a variety of tests by a certifying agency, such as the Swiss Chronometer Testing Bureau. In ancient times, the term chronometer was used to signify highly precise timekeeping.

A Quartz-based analog watch is much more accurate than chronometer-based models. Quartz watches use an electronic oscillator, which is regulated by a Quartz crystal. Quartz watches oscillate 32,768 times per second, and are accurate within 10 seconds per month. An atomic watch is amongst the most accurate analog watch on the market today.

Despite the advancement in analog watch technology, they will never achieve digital accuracy because of the way information is displayed. It is extremely difficult to calculate the exact second – or minute – using the miniscule ticks and revolving hands. Digital watches provide a scientific measurement, which is much easier to read. Proponents whom argue digital watches are less accurate do not consider the user’s visual accuracy.