Watches Buddy

7 Best Watches For College Students (Reviewed)

best watches for college students

Maybe you’ve got a graduation coming up. Or maybe someone you know has had a tough semester. Perhaps it’s an upcoming birthday.

There are any number of reasons to get your favorite college student a watch as a gift, and one of the best is that there are a lot of great watches from which to choose.

So, without further ado, here’s a list of the best watches for college students, and the bonus is that they’re all available at some very reasonable prices, too.

1 Orient Men’s Japanese Automatic / Hand-Winding Stainless Steel 200 Meter Diving Watch


If your college student is into water sports and diving, this is the watch you absolutely have to put on your gift list. For starters, it’s a great watch overall, and it the diving features are to die for, and the combination makes it one of the best watches for college students.

It’s also a great value. It’s hard to find a quality watch for under $100, and at the listed price of $134 on Amazon, the Orient undercuts dozens of high-end watches while outperforming them into the process.

  • Excellent case size for comfort and fit
  • Clear and easy to read
  • Detailed finish on hands is typical of a much more expensive, premium watch
  • Can be synchronized to the atomic clock
  • Great choice for someone into swimming / snorkeling
  • Water resistance is only to 200 meters, so it’s not really suitable for deep diving
  • Those who read numbers may have some visibility issues while diving

2 Fossil Fenmore Multifunction Black Dial Men’s Watch BQ2364


Fossil Fenmore has been in the watch making game since 1984, and they also make luxury watches under some flashier brand names. That’s reflected in the design of this watch, with a classic black look that can be worn in just about any setting.

The price is also right, too. You can find this watch for under $100, although you may have some issues with it being out of stock and hard to find.

  • Great looking watch
  • Excellent price
  • Reliable watch from a trustworthy manufacturer
  • All black look can present some visibility issues

3 Fitbit Versa 3, Black


Fitbit has been going upscale in recent years, diving into the smartwatch market after years of establishing itself as a reliable manufacturer of fitness tracking bands.

The process hasn’t been seamless, but those who choose this watch will find themselves facing the usual array of Fitbit tradeoffs—plenty of fitness-oriented features, along with some issues related to fitness-tracking results and the use of the app.

The other main strength of the Fitbit Versa 3 is pricing. Garmin watches have become the favorite among fitness fanatics in the last decade, but the prices have mushroomed, and at under $200 the Versa represents a solid value. It’s one of the best watches for college students, and the Fitbit product has shown enough staying power to be used and worn well beyond your recipient’s college years.

  • Light, comfortable and easy to wear
  • Integrates with the Fitbit app
  • Fitbit has become known for watches that are excellent fitness motivators, and this watch is no exception
  • Syncing up with the app can be difficult, and some users have reported that the watch seizes up and stops on a regular basis
  • Fitbit has been in some hot water for inaccurate fitness results, and while the issues have been smoothed out some, they still exist to some extent.

4 Apple Watch SE


Any watch by Apple quickly becomes an industry standard, and that’s been true of the Series watches, which are now up to Series 7.

This watch represents an effort to provide a lower-priced watch that still performs well with most of the Apple design traits and bells and whistles.

The SE has all the features of the Series 6 at a much lower price, and it’s got a funky look that will definitely appeal to the student set.

The fitness tracking features are superb, so if you’ve been frustrated by Apple priciness and your college student is a brand acolyte, this is definitely a great choice.

  • High-quality Apple design
  • Possibly the best watch on the market for use with a phone
  • Impressive array of fitness features minus the high price
  • The always-on display has been a huge Apple strength, but it’s missing from this watch
  • Mediocre battery life presents ongoing issues

5 OBLVLO Luxury Rose Gold Watches Men’s Skeleton Dial


Looking for something different and fashionable when you go to buy a watch for your college student?

The unique look of this trending watch will doubtless draw a reaction, and it’s one of the best watches for college students who are looking for something dressy for those special occasions that pop up.

It’s primary value is as a piece of jewelry, but the OBLVLO has also garnered some surprisingly solid reviews as a timepiece.

  • Engaging and unique look and feel
  • Luxury appearance for under $200
  • Polished rose gold case will defiantly draw attention
  • Bigger and bulkier in real life
  • Busy watch face may make readability an issue

6 Seiko Women’s SUP173 “Jewelry-Solar Classic”


With a billing as a “jewelry solar classic,” you’d expect this watch to be different, and it definitely is that. This watch also falls into the luxury look category, and it really is a beautiful piece.

It’s designed to mimic the look and feel of Seiko’s other luxury watches for women, some of which feature genuine diamonds. The substitution here is Swarovski crystals, and the Arabic numbers give it a different look and feel as well.

The price point is a huge plus as well. Watches that look this elegant are supposed to costs a lot more, but this one currently lists on Amazon for $144.

  • Gorgeous piece that can easily be worn as jewelry
  • Comfortable, light and easy to wear despite the elegant look
  • Design features Swarovski crystals and a mother of pearl face
  • Excellent price point at under $150
  • Battery issues and protocol with a solar-powered watch take some getting used to
  • Lack of a second hand will be an inconvenience for some

7 Orient Men’s ‘2nd Gen. Bambino V2’


This is an “all things to all people” watch that purports to be a dress watch, and the domed crystal definitely sets it off. It’s still got a fairly thin profile, and the brushed stainless steel gives it an elegant feel as well. It’s easy to read even with the applied Roman numerals.

Functionally, this watch will add an average of about ten seconds to your day, which isn’t great at this price point. It has hackable movement, and the dome crystal sets it off from other watches in this category without changing the price point.

  • Works well as a dress watch
  • Domed crystal sets it off and adds style points
  • Classic look and feel for a great price
  • Awkward-looking band
  • Tends to run a little fast