It’s easy to dismiss watches as being superfluous and not much more than simple fashion accessories. After all, we all have phones and we’re always a click or glance away from seeing the time. However, a watch can be significantly easier and more accessible and, if you’ve been wearing a watch all of your life, it’s hard to break the habit.
As your eyes and dexterity begin to fail you, it’s important to choose watches that adapt to your needs, and that’s what we’ll look at here. If you’re a senior with reduced eyesight, mobility, and/or other health problems, this guide will help you find the perfect watch.
The Features to Look For
Many modern watches are complicated and fiddly. They include a host of features and are generally not designed for users with limited sight and other issues. However, some manufacturers have a watch in their range that is tailormade for people like this, including features such as:
- A Large Face: The bigger the face, the easier it is to see the details. Larger displays are important for all senior devices and gadgets. This doesn’t always mean that the watch itself is large, but that space has been better used with less clutter and much bolder features.
- Large Details: Forget about chronographs with a multitude of features and intricate designs. The average user buys these watches because they like the look of them and have no idea what those extra features do. When you have vision problems, you need to go back to basics and these features will hinder your ability to read the time.
- Contrasting Colors: The hands should be contrasting colors, as this makes them easier to see for people with vision problems. For instance, if the background is black, the hands should be white. Some watches use neon-colored hands that are easy to see in the light and will illuminate when it’s dark.
- Big Buttons: No one likes small and fiddly buttons and if you have problems with hand strength and dexterity, they can be a nightmare. Look for watches with one or two large buttons that are easy to press, as opposed to multiple small knobs that are difficult to turn.
4 of the Best Easy-to-Read Watches for Seniors
What follows is a list of several of the best, easily readable watches aimed at seniors. They are affordable, solidly built, and offer multiple different features and styles.
Timex Easy Reader
When it comes to affordable watches, you can’t go wrong with Timex. It’s a solid brand and has produced some fantastic watches over the years, and The Easy Reader is no exception.
Available for under $50, with styles for men and women, this sturdy timepiece features a large dial and large numbers. Contrasting colors help the numbers and dials stand out and there is also a backlit feature.
It’s splash-resistant, scratch-resistant, and features stainless steel or leather straps. The Timex Easy Reader range is expansive yet inexpensive. We recommend browsing through and finding a watch that suits your style.
Ferenzi Easy Reader for Women
This watch has a streamlined strap and a huge face. There is no date or day feature and every other number has been replaced by a dot, allowing for the maximum possible space for the remaining numbers.
If you have vision problems and still struggle to read the time on the Timex Easy Reader, this could be the watch for you.
This quartz watch has a little more to it than the Ferenzi, with more numbers and detail. Regardless, it’s still easy to read due to the sharp contrast provided by a brown background and white numbers/dials.
A lot of senior watches have a white background and are very simple in nature. This one has warmer colors and is a great combination of practicality and aesthetics.
CakCity Military Watch
This digital watch has a large screen and a bold digital display, with blue/green digits standing out against a black background. It’s strong, sturdy, and flexible, and it also comes with an alarm and a stopwatch.
Smart Watches for Seniors
It’s not all about big displays and tactile buttons; it’s not just about being able to tell the time. Watches have come a long way over the last ten years or so and you can now purchase smartwatches that utilize a multitude of features.
For instance, they can contain built-in heart-rate monitors, GPS, and tracking features. They can tell when you’re moving, when you’re sleeping, and even where you are. All this is incredibly useful if you’re worried about your health, trying to get fit, or want to collect metrics for a caregiver or healthcare provider.
Smartwatches are often dismissed as being expensive, but they actually cost the same as many low-to-middle priced watches. For example, the Apple Watch is one of the industry’s leading smartwatches and is available for as little as $199. You can even add cellular capability to it and connect it with your phone.
Garmin, Samsung, and Fitbit are also worth considering, as they are all top brands and have high-quality smartwatches for less than $300.
What About Cheaper Smart Watches?
There are cheaper smartwatches available on Amazon and eBay. These are often made in China and utilize a wide host of brands, none of which you will have heard of. We have seen a few of them recommended on lists of the best elderly watches, but we can’t recommend them ourselves.
The problem with cheap tech like this is that the manufacturers have to cut a lot of corners. If you manage to get something that works, it’s often at the expense of the construction, which means it will be cheap, flimsy, and unable to withstand water or damage.
You only need to look at the reviews of these watches to see where we’re coming from. There are scores of negative reports, complaining about watches that are broken out of the box, watches that won’t turn on, can’t connect to the internet, and break within days.