The 10 Best Digital Watches for Enthusiasts in 2024: Entry-Level to Luxury

The 10 Best Digital Watches for Enthusiasts in 2024: Entry-Level to Luxury

Digital watches with electronic movements have not been around nearly as long as their analog, mechanical-powered counterparts, but since their heyday in the 1970s and ‘80s — an era most mechanical-watch purists decry as the “Quartz Crisis” — the category has continued to occupy a respectable niche within the timepiece industry. It has also has produced some models — at a surprisingly wide range of price points — that have become iconic in their own right. Here are our top 10 digital watches in the modern era, starting under $100 and topping out over $15,000.

Timex Ironman Original


Price: $70, Case Size: 42mm, Case Height: 14.64mm, Lug Width: 18mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Movement: Quartz Digital

Despite its origins as a watch for sports and fitness, the Timex Ironman is regarded as one of the top “tech geek watches” of the 1980s and ‘90s. Originally called the Timex Triathlon, the first version debuted in 1984, aimed at athletes competing in the Ironman Triathlon; two years later, Timex acquired the rights to the Ironman name and released an upgraded model, which is very similar to the model still sold today and still popular with law enforcement and military officers. The Ironman is water-resistant to 200 meters (twice the rating of the 1980s watch) and features a large LED display for its various functions, including stopwatch with lap and split times, countdown timers, Indiglo night light, daily and weekend alarms, and training-friendly devices for runners, including a 99-lap counter and a 30-lap memory recall. More trivia: like the far more expensive and iconic Omega Speedmaster, the Timex Ironman is one of the few watches certified by NASA for use on space missions.

Casio G-Shock


Price: $150, Case Size: 42.8mm, Case Height: 13.4 mm, Lug to Lug: 48.9mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Movement: Solar Quartz Digital

You knew there would be at least one G-Shock on this list, right? In the service of keeping it diverse, we’re featuring only the iconic DW5600, the granddaddy of all G-Shocks, whose rectangular-cased, digital-display design has been a mainstay since 1983. (If you want to see more G-Shocks, digital and analog, click here.) This watch’s black resin case was not only an industry first but also an early forerunner of the black-on-black trend that would take a firm hold on the luxury end of the watch world years later. The classic gray field of this model’s LCD dial frames the compact readout of time, date, and running seconds. Like most all watches in G-Shock’s extensive DW5600 family, its durable resin case boasts a 200-meter water resistance and its digital functions include a 1/100-second stopwatch, countdown timer, multi-function alarm, a full calendar accurate to 2099, and an electro-luminescent backlight with afterglow.

Bulova Computron

Price: $280, Case size: 40mm, Thickness 13.9mm, Lug-To-Lug: 41mm, Crystal: Mineral Crystal with LED display, Water-Resistance: 30 meters, Movement: LED Quartz

Bulova, which had helped pioneer the electronic era of watchmaking with the groundbreaking Accutron technology, presented its first all-digital timekeeper, the Computron LED, in the 1980s, and reintroduced it as part of the American brand’s vintage-inspired Archive collection in 2019. The watch is notable for its unusual trapezoidal gold-toned case with a digital LED readout of the time angled on its side, a style known to some as a “driver’s watch,” since it enables a driver with his hands on a steering wheel to check the time without tilting the watch or taking his hands from the wheel; the angled layout also eliminates the glare that makes other LED watches difficult to read under direct sunlight. The Computron features an “on-demand” display of the time and the date, both operated by a single command button, which helps conserve the watch’s battery life when it’s not in use.

Seiko Prospex “Arnie” SNJ025

Price: $420, Case Size: 47.8mm, Thickness: 13.8mm, Lug-to-Lug: 50.5mm, Lug Width: 22mm, Crystal: Hardlex, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Movement: Seiko Solar Caliber H851

Big-screen action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger wore a bulky, analog-digital Seiko watch in two of his 1980s blockbusters, Commando and Predator. That watch, Reference H558-5000, nicknamed the “Arnie,” has been resurrected as a member of Seiko’s sporty, performance-oriented Prospex collection. The modern model carries the reference number SNJ025 and retains the emblematic "tuna can" case of the original, a hallmark of many Seiko divers since the 1960s. Replacing the original watch’s standard quartz movement is a modern, solar-powered movement, the in-house Caliber H851. The Prospex’s steel case is even larger than the original's, which measured just under 46mm (Arnold would likely approve), and boasts an ISO-certified 200 meters of water resistance. Its array of functions, displayed on the digital screen at 12 o’clock, include a 1/100-second chronograph, daily alarms, a full calendar, and an LED illuminating light function that adds even more clarity to the dial’s already impressive array of luminous-coated elements.

Tissot PRX Digital

Price: $375 - $450, Case size: 35mm - 40mm, Thickness: 10.94mm, Lug Width: 11mm - 12mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100 meters, Movement: Quartz Digital DGT-2040

The Tissot PRX Digital, which comes in both 35mm and 40mm case sizes, takes the popular, 1970s-revival PRX series out of its analog comfort zone into more high-tech, tool-oriented territory while still retaining the sport-luxury elements that made the model a hit. The PRX Digital, offered in both 35mm and 40mm steel cases, pays homage to earlier digital watches from the brand’s ‘70s and ‘80s period, particularly the Stratos from 1976. The Swiss-made quartz Caliber DGT-2040 powers the functions displayed on the dial’s sapphire screen, which can be switched via the case’s three side-mounted pushers from time display with date, to a second time zone, to stopwatch, alarm, countdown timer, and full date display. The backlight for the digital screen offers strong illumination in the dark and the watches are water-resistant to 100 meters.

Citizen Promaster Skyhawk A-T

Price: $750, Case Diameter: 45mm, Thickness: 15mm, Lug-to-Lug: 52mm, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Eco-Drive U680

Citizen unveiled its Promaster line of professional-grade tool watches in 1989, with models engineered specifically for “sea, air, and land.” A standout in the “Air” collection, designed to appeal to fans of both traditional pilot watches and high-tech timing instruments, is the Citizen Promaster Skyhawk, which takes its vibrant blue and yellow colorway from the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s elite flight demonstration squadron. The 45mm stainless steel case houses an Eco-Drive caliber with Atomic Timekeeping (the “A-T” in the model name). The blue analog-digital dial, with yellow highlights and a Blue Angels insignia, was inspired by the coordinate axis on the radar screens found in airplane cockpits. Its multiple functions include a dual-time UTC display, a 1/100-second chronograph, a perpetual calendar, two alarms, and a rotating slide-rule bezel for calculating flight times. The Blue Angels insignia appears in full color on the watch’s solid caseback, behind which beats the light-powered Eco-Drive Caliber U680, built to run for nearly 1.5 years on a full charge.

Hamilton Ventura Edge Dune Limited Edition

Price: $2,500, Case Size: 51mm x 47.2mm, Thickness; 13.8mm, Lug Width: 23mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 100 meters, Movement: Quartz Digital

Hamilton, “the watchmaker of filmmakers,” has a long history of making watches that have appeared on the silver screen, a tradition that stretches back to 1932, and the brand’s iconoclastic Ventura model has led the way, appearing in films as diverse as the 1961 Elvis Presley vehicle Blue Hawaii, sci-fi comedy Men in Black, and the adventures of Indiana Jones. For 2024’s Dune 2, at the request of director Dennis Villeneuve, Hamilton collaborated with the film’s prop master Doug Harlocker to create a wild-looking timepiece, based on the iconic Ventura, that would be suitable for wear on the desert planet of Arrakis, where the epic sci-fi fantasy is set. The Ventura Edge “Desert Watch,” limited to 2,000 pieces, has a large angular case in black PVD-coated stainless steel and a digital dial whose numerals glow bright blue, reminiscent of the eye color of the alien Fremen in the movie.

Girard-Perregaux Casquette 2.0

Price: $4,700, Case Size: 42.4mm x 33.6mm, Thickness: 14.64mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 50 meters, Movement: Girard-Perregaux Quartz Caliber GP3980-1474

In 1976, at the height of the quartz and digital dominance of the watch industry, one of the oldest and most traditional Swiss watch maisons, Girard-Perregaux, introduced a timepiece that captured the era’s horological zeitgeist, with an avant-garde tubular LED display for the time and an angular sidestepped case that brought to mind a 1070s’ muscle car. Girard-Perregaux resurrected the watch — adopting the nickname given to it at the time, “Casquette” as its official moniker, and adding a “2.0” to denote its modern reimagining — in 2022 in an 820-piece limited edition (a callout to the 1970s model’s total production run of 8,200). The case and bracelet are made of lightweight, hypoallergenic, scratch-resistant ceramic, with titanium used for the caseback and pushers. Girard-Perregaux developed a new, thoroughly modern quartz caliber for the Casquette 2.0, which powers an LED time display of hours, minutes, seconds, day, and date viewable on demand via the pushers, a functional attribute that conserves battery life. As a clever bonus feature, the indications also include a “secret date,” programmable by the owner, that can be used as a reminder of a special occasion like an anniversary. The original 820-piece run of the Casquette 2.0 sold out quickly, but Girard-Perregaux has revisited the quirky, retro model since then with an even more limited version (100 pieces) designed in partnership with Saint-Laurent, and another special edition is expected in 2024. 

Omega Speedmaster X-33 Marstimer

Price: $7,000, Case Size: 45mm, Thickness: 14.9mm, Lug-to-Lug: 48.5mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 30 meters, Movement: Omega Quartz Caliber 5622

Omega, maker of the Speedmaster “Moonwatch,” the first watch worn on the moon and the only timepiece officially certified for space missions by NASA, has created an ingenious analog-digital version of the Speedmaster designed to be worn by the astronauts whose mission is to conquer the next frontier of space travel, the planet Mars. The Speedmaster X-33 Mastimer, which debuted in 2022, was developed in a partnership between the Swiss luxury watchmaker and NASA’s counterpart in Europe, the European Space Agency (ESA). Its 45mm case in grade 5 titanium contains the specially developed thermocompensated quartz movement, Caliber 5622, whose array of indications, in analog-digital style, include an MTC function that tracks the solar date and time of Mars at Earth’s prime meridian, taking into account the length of a Martian day, which is 39 minutes longer than an Earth one. Also included is a solar compass that can find true north on both Earth and Mars — a very useful function for the astronauts who will eventually wear the watch, and a cool talking point for the vast majority of wearers, who can snap one up here on Earth. The anodized aluminum bezel and the dial’s second hand pay a colorful tribute to the Red Planet with their red hematite coloring, reminiscent of the distinctive dust on Mars’ planetary surface. 

Breitling Emergency II

Price: $15,725, Case Size: 51mm, Thickness: 21.6mm, Lug-to-Lug: 65.5mm, Lug Width: 26mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 50 meters, Movement: Breitling Thermocompensated SuperQuartz caliber

Introduced in 1995, the Breitling Emergency is literally a watch that has saved lives. The first watch with a built-in micro-transmitter that operated on an international air distress frequency, enabling a pilot to contact search-and-rescue teams after an emergency or crash landing. The second-generation Emergency II, launched in 2015, upped the ante with the addition of a dual-frequency personal locator beacon (PLB), that can both issue alerts as well as guide rescuers to the wearer’s location by accessing a network of satellites and ground receiving stations. The analog-digital display, powered by Breitling’s thermocompensated SuperQuartz movement, includes an array of indicators including 12/24 hour times, alarms, multilingual calendars, a 1/100-second chronograph, and an end-of-life indicator for its rechargeable battery; all this, of course, is in addition to the built-in antenna that activates the PLB, which can be deployed by a screwed-down knob in the lower right of the titanium case. Make sure you’re really in trouble before activating it, as the FCC, which monitors the frequencies, does not take kindly to their misuse. 

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