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The 6 Best Automatic Watches for Teenage Boys

Posted on November 18 2020

Best Watches for Teenagers

 

You may believe that the popularity of smartphones has meant that younger people would no longer have a need for a wristwatch. You’d be partially correct. Very few of us really require a watch. We have even less demand for a mechanical model. But there is more to the story.

Do Teenagers Wear Watches?


The question could be - does anybody still wear a watch? If we’re carrying a very precise clock in our pockets all day, do we really need a wristwatch?
Of course, we don’t.

We like watches. We like the style, the functionality and the kudos that particular brands can receive. Watches are worn as jewellery, and for men, often their only piece of jewellery. Teenagers are the most image-conscious demographic and probably the most influenced by changing fashions and brand names.

The answer is yes. Teenagers do wear watches - my kids own multiple each, including this one.

 



But, do teenagers wear good watches? That’s a question that is more open to debate. As I discussed here, fashion watches aren’t all poorly designed or produced - but many are. The norm for fashionable watches aimed at teenagers and young adults is for relatively cheap watches to be branded by a fashion house and sold at a higher price than their quality would suggest.

So we have kids wanting to wear brand name jewellery and fashion labels with no history of watch production marketing to them. Someone needs to sort the wheat from the chaff.

The Best Watches for Teenagers


In this day and age, nobody should have to suffer the indignity of wearing an ugly or poorly made watch. For the good of our kids, mine and yours, I present a list of five high-quality mechanical watches that should appeal to teenagers.

I’ve selected the watches based on the build quality, specifications, design and price. And of course the brand name.

 

Calvin Klein Infinite watch

 

The Best Big Name Brand


I wanted to jump in straight away with a great watch from a designer label. It also helps that I have a silver version of this model. I can vouch for the quality.

Produced by Calvin Klein this watch has one massive selling point. It's a Swiss Made Automatic watch. This is an ETA powered dress watch, produced in Switzerland and available for less than £200. That has got to grab a teenager's attention.

Here’s the unboxing of mine.

 



The styling is probably the most formal on the list and it features a classic black dial. There’s an obligatory 50m water resistance and a mineral crystal. The attractive movement is visible through the exhibition case back and there is a 22mm stainless steel bracelet. If there’s one watch on this list that demonstrates that a fashion watch can be a good quality this is it.

I’d add a final thought. This watch was originally released at a much higher price. I presume that once it is sold out it will be discontinued.

Calvin Klein Infinite K5S3414Y

  • 42mm Diameter
  • 10mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Swiss Automatic movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 50M Water Resistance

 



Invicta Star Wars Watch

 

Best for the SF/Gamer Geek


As a watch producer Invicta often receive a lot of negativity in the watch collecting community. They’re easy to criticise if you don’t like their affordable and often over the top style. Cheap and colourful models don’t usually impress watch aficionados. But they can be ideal for teenagers.

Although the company is American owned, Invicta has its roots in Switzerland during the late 1880s. Its corporate headquarters are in Switzerland along with its customer service centre and its current president is a fifth-generation watchmaker. Invicta also owns a number of other brands including Glycine.

Aside from the bling, over-sized models, they also do some cool collaborations. This Star Wars model is one such design.

At 47mm it is quite a large watch, and probably not suitable for a younger teenager. You need decent sized wrists to be comfortable with a watch this large and thick.

The Star Wars elements aren’t too obvious - there’s no big logo. But the black design references Darth Vader and the 12 o’clock position has his helmet. It’s surprisingly understated, with other nice touches.

The specs are impressive for the price and include a reliable Japanese automatic movement and 300M water resistance.

Invicta Star Wars 26161

  • 47mm Diameter
  • 17mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Automatic movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 300M Water Resistance

 



Ted Baker Daquir Watch

 

The Best Dress Watch


British clothing brand Ted Baker is a reasonably new company, having been founded in the late 1980s. In the UK they’re a household name, with stores throughout the country and concessions in large department stores including House of Fraser and Selfridges.

Ted Baker’s styling has been focused on smart casual so it seems fitting that the watch of theirs that most impressed me is a relatively dressy piece. The Daquir is on the smart side of smart casual, but also has enough colour to still catch the eye.

It’s the kind of watch a teenager could wear with casual clothing or for formal occasions.

There are a couple of nice design points, including the gold second hand and the single use of numerals at 12 o’clock. Perhaps most surprising is the use of an automatic movement - most fashion watches tend to favour the cheaper quartz alternative. Whatsmore, this watch can be picked up for under £200 so there’s a lot of watch for the money. It also features a signed crown, a display back and a leather strap that has a colourful rear.

The packaging is smart too, handy if you’re buying this as a gift.

Ted Baker Daquir BKPDQF903

  • 40mm Diameter
  • 12mm 0.9hick
  • Stainless Steel
  • Automatic movement
  • 50M Water Resistance


Fossil Grant Skeleton Watch

 

The Best Skeleton Watch


Fossil is a young brand founded in the mid-1980s - read more here. The Fossil Group owns a handful of other brands with Zodiac Watches probably being of most interest to watch fans. As a watch manufacturer, they produce watches for a selection of popular names including, Burberry, DKNY, Emporio Armani, Michael Kors and Adidas.

Although positioned as a fashion watch brand they do have design studios in Biel, Switzerland and manufacturing facilities in China.

I’ve picked this Fossil watch for the list as there are definitely some teenagers who appreciate the workmanship and mechanical technology used in watches. A skeleton watch, with cut-away sections, displays the working movement.

On this Fossil model, the movement can be seen through the dial and also through an exhibition case back.  It also includes sub-dials that show the day and month etc. The overall impression is of sophistication but it would be equally at home if you’re going for a steampunk aesthetic.

The watch also benefits from a high-quality leather strap and 50m water resistance. It’s a more delicate piece than a watch like the Invicta, but allows those fascinated with engineering to see the internal works in action.

Fossil Grant ME3140

  • 44mm Diameter
  • 11mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Automatic movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 50M Water Resistance



Seiko Street Boy Watch

 

The Best Bling Watch


My 16-year-old will only wear bling watches. He wants his watches to be gold and reminiscent of the diamond-encrusted Rolex’s worn by his favourite rapper’s. This watch from Seiko ticks a lot of his boxes and is an affordable automatic model. It’s part of Seiko’s 5 line.

The Seiko 5 line of watches were designed with value for money in mind. The concept is relatively simple - well made and affordable mechanical watches, with the design emphasis on a young demographic.

What this has meant in practical terms, is a series of watches built with Japanese in-house movements and often taking design cues from other, more expensive, Seiko designs.

First launched in 1963, the Seiko 5 line had very clear specifications. Five features each watch should have. Still in use today, the suggested attributes are:

  • An Automatic Movement
  • Day/date displayed in a single window
  • Water resistance
  • Crown at the 4 o’clock position
  • Durable case and bracelet

 

With that in mind, this a well made functional watch, designed to provide good value for money.

The colour is the standout feature. However, there are other nice touches - I particularly like the font used on the bezel for example. The crown at 4 o’clock is unusual and part of the DNA of the Seiko 5 style - it adds a cool little quirk to this watch.

It’s a mid-sized model and should be suitable for most teenagers. Powered by Seiko’s own automatic movement, it is built to be durable.

Seiko Street Boy SRPE74K1

  • 42.5mm Diameter
  • 13mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Automatic movement
  • Hardlex Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance



Orient Kanno Automatic Watch

 

The Best for Sports and the Outdoors


Along with Seiko, Orient is a brand that I regularly feature on this blog. Orient Watch is wholly owned and operated by Seiko Epson Corp, one of the three pillars that make up Seiko Group. However, although related, there's no real involvement between the two watch brands.

They are both similar companies that produce high-quality mid-priced watches, often inspired by iconic designs. A big selling point for Orient is that they manufacture their own in-house movements. Again like Seiko, they have a large range, with designs that cover most watch types.

For the teenager who loves the outdoors and sports and also wants an automatic watch - this would be my choice. It’s a rugged, 44mm, divers watch. It comes with a tough, rubber strap that can handle water and mud, as well as being easily replaced.

It’s a pretty standard dive watch design, although the distinctive red bezel does give it more character.

Like the previous Seiko, this watch is designed to be hard-wearing and reliable. It has Orient’s in-house movement and 200M of water resistance. Ideal for the sea or the pool. The dial is easy to read and includes both the day and the date.

Orient Kanno RA-AA0011B119B

  • 44mm Diameter
  • 13mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Automatic movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 200M Water Resistance


Conclusion


Mechanical watches aren’t for everyone. They aren’t as accurate as our phones and they need to be taken care of. You might think that they’d not be popular with teenagers.

But there are many reasons why people like watches - and that includes teenagers. They like to wear a brand name on their wrist. They also like jewellery. For some, they just appreciate the workmanship and engineering know-how.

Or it could be that the watch is the result of a collaboration. The watch could reference a superhero or sports star. Whatever the reason, kids seem to still love watches.

In this post, I’ve highlighted what I believe are the best watches for teenagers. Watches that present good value for money, as well as ticking the boxes on a kids wish-list. If you’ve more to add, comment below.

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