Which watch features could you never go without?


With some notable exceptions, most watches today tell the time in hours, minutes and seconds.


When second-hands were added to timepieces in the 18th century, they were seen as a luxury. Few people actually needed to tell the time accurate to the nearest second. But everyone wanted to be able to.


Even today, for most watch owners, second-hands are a superfluous luxury. They're there not because we need them, but simply because it's possible to have them.


Over the past few decades, a whole host of features have been added to wristwatches, from moon phase calendars to chronographs to GPS. Sometimes these features are useful and have an obvious purpose. Mostly, they're there simply because they can be, or 'just in case', a bit like the contents of Michael McIntyre's Man Drawer (and what man doesn't have a drawer full of old allen keys, instruction manuals for obsolete electrical appliances, and used AA batteries?).

"Just give me a great looking time-only watch." ~ Richard Paige

In a recent rant against the proliferation of features on luxury timepieces, water-maker Richard Paige wrote on A Blog to Watch:

"I’m almost afraid to ask someone with a nice watch, ”what time is it?’ I’m afraid they’ll tell me the time, the date, the phase of the moon and the rotation of the earth. Great information, but useless to me. After all is said and done, just give me a great looking time-only watch."


All this has made us curious to know: do you prefer feature-rich watches, or minimalist timepieces? What features are a must-have for every watch you buy? And what could you never do without?


We've put together a list of features to help you decide what matters when it comes to choosing a watch.

  • minute hand
  • second hand
  • date
  • day of the week
  • alarm
  • chronograph
  • water resistant
  • countdown timer
  • wrist strap
  • waterproof
  • self-winding
  • dual or multi timezone
  • unbreakable
  • moon phase calendar
  • tidal range indicator
  • rotation of the earth monitor
  • barometer
  • altimeter
  • storm alarm
  • thermometer
  • atomic timekeeping
  • cold resistant
  • solar powered
  • GPS
  • design features


Which features could you never go without on a timepiece? On the other hand, which features would you never use?