For Men, For Women

15 Best Watches for College Students 2023: For the Gents and Ladies

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O. Christopher

15 Best Watches for College Students 2021 For the Gents and Ladies

The best watches for college students will carry a sense of style and class, be durable enough to survive the daily hustle & bustle, and it won’t put a hole in the pocket either.

That is surely some going to be some list.

That said, I know just how challenging it is to pick a suitable watch for college.

I used to go with a Casio GA-2100 Watch but I understand that we do have different styles.

That is why I went back to the drawing board to look at what makes a great watch for a college student – and which timepieces fall in that category too.


Top Affordable Watches for Male College Students

I know, it should have been ladies first.

But then, I might just be saving the best for last (I guess everyone is happy now ha-ha).

That said, here are the most stylish watches you could wear to your next class – and you wouldn’t even have to pay through your nose to get them.

1. SUUNTO Core Military Men’s Watch

SUUNTO Core Alpha Outdoor Watch, Stealth
  • SUUNTO Core Alpha Watch: The SUUNTO Core Alpha packs the key...
  • Bring Out The Explorer In You: Combining an altimeter, barometer...
  • Tested For Military Standards: Designed for the toughest and most...
  • Adventure Starts Here: Whether you are fishing, hunting, running,...
  • Authentic Heritage: Founded in 1936, Suunto brings over 80 years...

Best For: Outdoor Loving Students

If you a fan of the outdoors and you get involved in a lot of activities, SUUNTO has just the thing for you.

This unit is so strong that it made our list of the top affordable hiking watches to buy this year. How’s that?

For starters, the all-black quartz watch carries an altimeter, barometer, and compass sensor to boost your senses when outdoors. The watch also ensures that you never run out of daylight with an inbuilt sunlight/ sunset setting.

While the SUUNTO Core Military Men’s Watch is designed to bring out the explorer in you, it is also as stylish as they come. Especially with the all-black finishing that SUUNTO chooses here, making the watch look like a tactical outfit on its own.

2. Fossil Townsman Mechanical Automatic Watch

Fossil Men's Townsman Automatic Stainless Steel and Leather Two-Hand Skeleton Watch, Color: Silver,...
  • Fossil has always been inspired by American creativity and...
  • Transparently cool-Townsman reveals the inner workings of the...
  • Case size: 44mm; Band size: 22mm; automatic mechanical movement...
  • Stainless steel case with blue dial; genuine brown leather band...
  • Water resistant to 50m (165ft): suitable for short periods of...

Best For: the classic student

If you are not into owning something that shows a lot of class, don’t go for this watch.

For those that thought Fossil is only great at making smartwatches, think again. This traditional watch shows why the brand is doing a fine job of redefining the smartwatch trend with classical designs.

Delving under the hood, we have an automatic movement on this watch. At this price point, it is also one of the most inexpensive automatic watches that we have seen ever.

On the watch surface is a system of chronographs worked into an open-heart dial, giving you a sneak peek into the beautiful movement.

Made available in multiple color options, you will always find that color that best resonates with your style.

3. Casio Unisex White Watch – Most Affordable Watch for Medical Students

Casio Unisex F108WHC-7BCF Watch
  • Square white watch featuring illuminating dial with 24-hour stop...
  • 42 mm resin case and mineral dial window
  • Quartz movement with digital display
  • Resin band with buckle closure
  • Water resistant to 50 m (165 ft): In general, suitable for short...

Best For: male medical students

If the medical students here are not satisfied with the watches for paramedics & EMTs or timepieces for medical doctors that we have reviewed, this is the unit for them.

For starters, we have to mention just how affordable this unit is. The fact that it is made by Casio assures us that this price is not giving us something flimsy.

What attracted us to the watch, besides the amazing brand behind it, was the color.

Decked out in all white – which contrasts amazingly against the black number displays – we knew that the medical students in the house would love this one.

As long as you are not asked to go bare below the elbows, the ruggedness, durability, water-resistance, and simplistic elegance of this watch will do it for you any day.

4. Timex Men’s Expedition Watch

Timex Men's T49870 Expedition Metal Field Brown Leather Strap Watch
  • Adjustable brown 18mm genuine leather strap fits up to 8-inch...
  • Cream dial with date window at 3 o'clock; full Arabic numerals
  • Silver-tone 39mm brass case with mineral glass crystal
  • Indiglo light-up watch dial. Pull out the crown to set the time
  • Water resistant to 50m (165 ft): In general, suitable for short...

Best For: everyday usage

The watch face might be too busy to pass as a dress watch, but Timex made sure you won’t need another daily driver once you get this pick.

To allow more users to get in on the watch, the brand makes it available in multiple color options.

No matter what color finish you get, the watch comes with the same brass case wrapped around a scratch-resistant, mineral crystal glass. A genuine leather strap speaks more class about your watch and person – so make sure to rock it well.

For those who love chronographs, Timex gives you three different ones on the watch dial. Even at that, the watch face doesn’t look too crowded.

Complete with a tachymeter bezel (etched on the inside), this watch provides an unbeatable value for money.

5. VOSTOK Komandirskie Automatic Watch

Vostok Komandirskie Automatic Self-Winding Mens Russian Military Wristwatch WR 200m #65-02 Case...
  • Classic Vostok model made by the official supplier of the Defense...
  • 200 m (20 Bar) Water Resistant
  • Dimensions: approx. 1.6x1.9x0.6 inches (approx. 41x48x15 mm). Lug...
  • Automatic VOSTOK self-winding movement with 32 ruby jewels (no...
  • Luminous hands and dots. Assembled for sales in the US by Sputnik...

Best For: everyday use and formal events

The name might be a mouthful but Vostok does know how to make a mean watch.

The automatic watch is as beautiful as they come. It also packs a bezel on the outside. That, and the 200m water resistance rating, tells us that this can double as a diving watch for you.

A beautiful design element helps the watch stand out better from the bunch. Observing the watch dial, you would observe that the time is kept in the 24-hour format.

Finished off with a date window complication at the 6 O’clock mark, this watch is a beauty for ages.

Oh, did we tell you that you can get it in multiple color options also?

6. NAVIForce Sport Military Watch

NAVIFORCE Mens Military Watches Sport Waterproof Quartz Leather Casual Date Luxury Wrist Watch Rose...
  • NAVIFORCE military waterproof watch,a nice mix of sport and...
  • Sports analog quartz watches: Japanese original quartz movement,...
  • Mul-tifunction watch: Three subdials display the week & date...
  • Harden glass for scratch resistant, 250mm genuine leather...
  • Water resistant to 3 ATM (30 M): Washing hands, raining or...

Best For: sports-loving guys

One look at this watch and you already know that it can take a beating.

That is not the only standout thing here, though. It is almost too good to be true that we could get something as beautiful as this from the stables of a veteran watchmaker at this price.

Still, NAVIForce treats us to a decent grade leather strap on an alloy watch case, finished off with a hardened glass surface.

Looking into the glass puts us face to face with an intricate system of three sub-dials, all designed to make the watch even more beautiful and functional.

The sneak peeks we get into the inner workings of the watch almost make this one a skeleton watch too. Boasting 30m water resistance, a sporty watch at this price range is always a great deal.

7. Diesel Men’s Armbar

Diesel Men's 50mm Armbar Quartz Stainless Steel and Denim Three-Hand Date Watch, Color: Silver,...
  • Bold, ironic and never shy, Diesel doesn't follow trends; it...
  • Pack a punch in the Diesel Armbar watch. A detail-packed blue...
  • Case size: 45mm, Band size: 22mm; mineral crystal face resists...
  • Round stainless steel case with a blue dial and rose gold-tone...
  • Water resistant up to 100m (330ft): Can be worn bathing, swimming...

Best For: every college guy out there

Diesel has defined a niche for itself at crafting some of the most beautiful watches that do not conform to the norms, yet staying rugged.

Very rarely do you see a deeply-finished, all-black watch that remains appealing like this. The secret ingredient has to be the contrasting watch dial which takes a color gradient all around.

The watch will survive in water up to the first 30m and no more. That should be enough for most guys, though.

Looking as tough on the outside as it is on the inside, this is one watch every college guy should have in their collections.

Best Wristwatches for Female College Students

The men don’t get to have all the fun.

We did some more digging and came up with some great watches that you will find hard to ignore.

All bark and no bite, you think?

Wait till you see what we have in stock for you.

1. Fossil FB-01 Dive-Inspired Watch

Fossil Men's FB-01 Quartz Stainless Steel Three-Hand Watch, Color: Silver/Black (Model: FS5652)
  • Fossil has always been inspired by American creativity and...
  • Resurfacing from the depths of Fossil's iconic history comes our...
  • Case size: 42mm; Band size: 22mm; quartz movement with 3-hand...
  • Stainless steel case with black sunray dial; stainless steel...
  • Water resistant to 100m (330ft): suitable for bathing, swimming...

Best For: oversized watch lovers

Any college lady who likes to have an oversized watch on her wrists would love this Fossil FB-01 watch.

This watch bears an uncanny resemblance to the Rolex Explorer in the design element. Though it retains the originality of design to Fossil, we love that it nods to one of the greatest watches of all time.

Like the best watches out there, you also get to choose this one in a variety of customizations – from dial colors to diverse bezel designs.

Yes, there is a bezel. After all, it is a dive-inspired watch. That should explain the impressive 100m water resistance rating that ships with the watch too.

Carrying only one complication, this unit can also double as a dress watch if you so wish.

2. Speidel Medical Scrub Glow Watch

Speidel Glow Scrub Watch™, Electroluminescent Nurse Doctors Medical Professionals Students Men...
  • FEATURING A 38MM, 5ATM CASE: The Scrub Glow is Easy to Read with...
  • DURABILITY & COMFORT: Easy to Clean Super Soft 100% Silicone...
  • MULTIPLE COLOR OPTIONS: Available in a Variety of Scrub Matching...

Best for: female medical students

We discussed this watch under our list of the best watches for doctors, top picks for male nurses, and functional timepieces for paramedics – and we have brought it back here again.

The major selling point of this watch is how specialized it is to medical students. Speidel allows you to choose the silicone band to match the color of your scrubs – which just takes watch personalization to a whole new level for us.

The best part is that the watch features a pulse scale right on the dial. This makes your job way easier if you were ever asked to take a pulse reading. Get used to it now and it helps you better when you graduate school.

Of course, the 38mm watch is as water-resistant as they come – scoring on the 50m scale. You won’t have to worry about taking it off before washing your hands.

To round it all off, we also love the luminous hour markers and hands on the watch.

3. Wristology Olivia Women’s Watch

WRISTOLOGY Numbers Womens Nurse Watch Leather Strap in Gold - Interchangeable Navy Blue Genuine...
  • LARGE, EASY TO READ WATCH FACE - 38mm oversized big case with...
  • MADE FOR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS - Quartz medical watch with second...
  • HIGH QUALITY AND DURABLE - 30 meter water resistance, long...
  • THE PERFECT GIFT - Our best selling watch is a great present for...

Best For: female medical professionals

It seems our female nurses, doctors, and medical professionals are having the best of this list.

At 38mm, most ladies won’t have an issue with this watch at all. It fits just right.

The watch face is somehow designed to be more legible, even making you feel like the watch is larger than it is. A very visible, sweeping second watch hand also makes aspects of your work easier on-the-go.

A 30m waterproof rating might not be much, but it will keep your watch safe when washing your hands or dealing with water.

Finally, this is an affordable watch to buy as a medical professional. If you were not considering the Speidel above, that is.

4. Timex Unisex Weekender

Timex Weekender Analog Beige Dial Unisex Watch - T2N651
  • Adjustable olive green 20 millimeter nylon slip-thru strap fits...
  • Cream dial with full Arabic numerals; 24-hour military time
  • Silver-tone 38 millimeter brass case with mineral glass crystal
  • Indiglo light-up watch dial
  • Water resistant to 30 meters (100 feet): In general, withstands...

Best For: stylish ladies

Just look at the nylon strap on that watch!

What is there not to love?

Thankfully, it is not just a pretty face. Timex would never allow that to happen anyways.

The military-time wristwatch carries a sturdy, gold-plated case wrapped around the watch glass.

The watch dial is bare save for the hour markers, branding information, and the indication of Indiglo technology. That simply means the watch will remain visible in low-light situations.

Whether to class, around the area, or to a party with friends, this watch fits just comfortably in almost any situation.

5. Zeitholz Wooden Watch

Zeitholz Wooden Watch for Men - Stolpen Model, Handcrafted from 100% Natural Rosewood with Quartz...
  • Minimalist and sporty design: The Stolpen is made from natural...
  • Lasting Quality: We are a young German company, obsessed with...
  • The Perfect Fit: With its easily adjustable strap, our wood...
  • A thoughtful and unique gift: A stylish watch can be a man’s...

Best For: eco-friendly watch enthusiasts

Zeitholz brings class and style to the eco-friendly watch movement with this wooden watch.

The design element of the timepiece especially stands out, most notably around where the hour markers were etched into the wooden bezel and watch face.

The dial itself is a simplistic beauty to look at.  Besides the watch branding information, there is nothing else to see here. We just love that silence on the dial, so to speak.

Adjustable to slim or thick wrist sizes, the splash-proof watch is as fashionable as it is functional.

Best Smartwatches for College Students

We intentionally left the smartwatches out of the above lists so we can have the room to introduce you to those traditional watches.

If you prefer smartwatches instead, or need to get one with your traditional watch, here are the perfect options for college students.

1. Apple Watch Series 5

Best For: iOS device users

The Series 6 watches are the latest here, we know. As a college student, though, we don’t see why you need to splash out on that when you can get most of what you need on the Series 5 watches.

That said, the Apple Watch series is a great set of smartwatches but they will perform best when paired with an iOS device.

The amazing thing about this watch is how it makes it easier to get your notifications. Even when in classes, you don’t have to whip out your phone every time to see what alerts you just received. Just make sure it doesn’t distract you too much.

The Apple Watch also allows you to keep an eye on your health, track your fitness levels, monitor your menstruation cycles, improve your sleep… the whole nine yards.

2. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3

SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch 3 (41mm, GPS, Bluetooth) Smart Watch with Advanced Health Monitoring, Fitness...
  • STYLE YOU CAN COUNT ON: Galaxy Watch3 combines style—two sizes,...
  • LEAVE YOUR PHONE BEHND: Galaxy Watch3 gives you the freedom to...
  • You can share the PDF report of your ECG recording with your...
  • BATTERY BUILT FOR ENDURANCE: The Galaxy Watch3’s long-lasting...
  • STRONGER INSIGHTS. NEXT-LEVEL FITNESS: Spend your time moving...

Best For: Samsung device users

Samsung does a better work of cross-platform compatibility with the Galaxy Watch series. While the watch can work with an iPhone and other android devices, though, we would prefer it if you paired them with Samsung devices only.

The watch also provides a ton of insights into your health – from heart rate to sleep tracking, among others.

Perhaps the best part of this watch is the traditional design. You get a single watch that acts like a smartwatch and looks like any other normal timepiece. That beats the box form factor that the Apple watches come in.

The bezel is also as beautiful as it is functional. Besides making navigation easier, the watch bezel also means extra protection for the glass face.

3. Fossil Gen 5 Smartwatch

Fossil 44mm Gen 5 Carlyle Stainless and Silicone Touchscreen Smart Watch with Heart Rate, Color:...
  • Smartwatches powered with Wear OS by Google work with iPhone and...
  • Battery: 24 Hr plus multi day extended mode Varies based on usage...
  • Health and fitness: Heart Rate and Activity Tracking using Google...
  • Lifestyle: This smart watch has always on display with thousands...
  • Smart watch functions: Stay connected with notifications for...

Best For: cross-platform pairing

If you happen to have an android as well as an iOS device, you should be looking at a Fossil Gen 5.

But that is not the only thing that makes this watch a darling.

For one, Fossil makes this smartwatch available in a series of different designs – from the Carlyle, Juliana, and Collider to the Garrett. All of these watches are as beautiful as they come.

Like Samsung, Fossil also makes its smartwatches look like traditional watches. Fossil seems to do a better job of that, though.

When you don’t want to deal with the platform-specific biases that the Apple and Samsung smartwatches have, this is the one to go for.

How We Chose These Watches

These timepieces didn’t just happen to be in this collection of the best watches for college students by chance.

Taking from personal experience and researching what college students need, these criteria guided the formation of the buying guide above:


The material of make on watches for college students should not be flimsy.

Every day, students have to take the bus/ train to get to school. Most only jump out of bed at the latest hour and start rushing to class. I’ve been there too, so I know.

Thus, the ideal watch for such a student should not break on the tiniest impact.

That is why we chose a combination of materials – from the watch case to the bracelet – that withstand abuse and such a high-paced lifestyle better.

Water Resistance

Whether you forgot to take off the watch before having a bath or got pushed into the pool by your best friend, we don’t want your watch to suffer for it.

Fortunately, the least depth that any watch on this list will survive is 30m.

In other words, you are covered for being around water with these watches, as long as you don’t exceed their recommended depths.


Some students need more out of their watches than others.

For some, the watch is there to complete their style and dressing. You will find what you want on the list.

For others, the watch should also be able to help them do their work better. That is why we chose the exact watches for medical students that you find above.

Even if you only needed to set an alarm, track a second time or run a stopwatch, you will find that the chronograph watches on this list are more than capable of doing all that.


This goes without saying.

While some students can have more to splash on their watches, others do not have that same kind of opportunity.

We cannot be one-sided to any party, though.

Looking at that, we chose watches at different price ranges – from the most inexpensive ones to slightly costly picks.

The fact is that the costly picks on this list, so to speak, are rather inexpensive too. Thus, if you want to step up your style, you should look at all the watches to choose which best complements you.


College doesn’t have to rid you of your style.

These watches – from the choice for medical students to guys and ladies – are all specially chosen to add a bit of style and glamour into your life.

The best part is that they all do so without drawing too much attention to yourself.

Final Words – It’s School Time

What wristwatch will be adorning those wrists the next time you are stepping out?

Regardless of your style, sense of fashion, and other factors you might want to consider, you’ll find all you need within those best watches for college students above.

If you are looking for something more professional, look at our watches for professionals here.

O. Christopher