Easy to Read Watches that are Simple to Use

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For many people, checking the time and date is as easy as a quick look at your cell phone. Some may even still use a flick of the wrist. Especially if they are wearing an expensive smartwatch or a fitness tracker. Many elderly people, however, feel that most watches fail them. Seniors need easy to read watches that are simple to use!

Most watches do not address the few basic needs that they have. So, something as “easy” as telling the time actually becomes hard to do. This greatly affects the daily life of seniors – especially the ones who have maintained the same schedule all their life. Easy to read watches are an important help for seniors with failing eyesight.

Video Guide to Choosing the Best Watches for Seniors and the Elderly

Here is a video I created that covers all the key points of this guide. Or, keep scrolling to read the details!

Comparison Chart: Wrist Watches for Seniors

In a hurry? Here are my recommended simple digital watches for the elderly and seniors who need a watch that is simple and easy to read.

Check out this list or keep on reading for a buying guide on watches and reviews of these models.

Timex Men's Easy Reader Large Dial Watch Timex Men's Easy Reader Large Dial Watch 491 Reviews $50.00 $32.50
AIBI Fashion Women's Watch Analog Quartz Simple Easy to Read Grey Leather Band 3ATM Waterproof Dial... AIBI Fashion Women's Watch Analog Quartz Simple Easy to Read Grey Leather Band 3ATM Waterproof Dial... 17 Reviews $19.99
Ultima Low Vision Watch - White Dial-Unisex Model Number 57750/103H0103 Ultima Low Vision Watch - White Dial-Unisex Model Number 57750/103H0103 22 Reviews $29.95 $21.95
TimeChant Atomic! Talking Watch - Sets Itself Senses Metal Easy-to-Read Talking Watch (1020) TimeChant Atomic! Talking Watch - Sets Itself Senses Metal Easy-to-Read Talking Watch (1020) 108 Reviews $43.99
eYotto Unisex Men's Women Simple Design Square Dial Rubber Band Digital LED Wrist Watch(Black) eYotto Unisex Men's Women Simple Design Square Dial Rubber Band Digital LED Wrist Watch(Black) 46 Reviews from $25.99
Men’s Digital Sport Watch Led Military 50M Waterproof Electronic Wrist Watch with Alarm Stopwatch... Men’s Digital Sport Watch Led Military 50M Waterproof Electronic Wrist Watch with Alarm Stopwatch... 139 Reviews $28.99 $14.99

Images, Ratings, & Prices from Amazon Product Advertising API - Updated on 2019-02-17 at 10:04 - contains affiliate links (see footer).

The Problems With Standard Watches

Most watches made today are designed for a younger generation – and therefore, younger eyes. There is little to no thought given to the visual needs that are necessary for many elderly people. As a result, some seniors have given up on using watches entirely and just use a clock instead. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

A Personal Example

I didn’t realize how much of an issue this was until a good friend brought it to my attention. He told me his father had dropped and broken his old watch, so he was struggling to find his dad a new watch he could use. Every watch that my friend would buy, his father would only wear for a week or so. Then, he would manage to find an excuse to stop wearing it. He tried 3 or 4 different popular brands, but his father was not impressed. Quite frankly, it seems like his dad was driving him crazy.

As a result, he sat his father down and asked him about it. Then, his father came out with the truth. He just couldn’t see the time on the modern digital watches anymore because their sleek looks and even tinier screens were too hard to read. But, his dad was just too embarrassed about his failing eyesight to say anything. He didn’t want to tell him that he just couldn’t see the tiny numbers as well as he could in the past, even with his glasses on.

senior man and son happy that he is using an easy to read watch
Finding the best watch for a senior or elderly loved one can be a challenge.

My friend knew I have experience working with seniors, so he told me this story to get some advice about this. I thought for a minute and gave him a list of important features a senior needs in a watch. Finding the right watch became a simple task because he had a list of what to look for.

Little did he know he was also helping me write an article! First, the list of features that senior citizens may find useful follows below. Next, I’ve included a list of watches that we considered that meet most of the criteria.

What to Look for When Choosing Watches for Elderly

Most elderly people prefer to use a wristwatch rather than using a smartphone to check the time of the day. So, keeping in mind the different needs of elderly people, it is very important that the watch be easy to read.

Here is the list of what to look for when choosing a watch for seniors and the elderly:

Large Watch Face

It probably goes without needing to be said but make sure that the face of the watch is large. The larger the face, the larger the display (usually)!

Contrasting Color Hands

The minute and hours hands should be a contrasting color so that they stand out from the background. This allows people with failing vision to read the time without straining their eyes.

close up of senior lady's arm with her finger on her watch
Keeping up with the time is important for taking medications and keeping up with a routine.

Large Numbers That Take Up the Majority of the Display

Similarly, for digital watches, choose a model in which the numbers take up the entire screen of the watch. Standard digital watches usually have tiny numbers for the time, date, and other features. Often, these displays become crowded and may not be easily readable for seniors. Ideally, the time is the only primary display on the screen for comfortable use.

Big, Tactile Buttons

Try and find a watch with big buttons because this feature allows for easy access to other functions of the watch, or setting the time. The buttons, if any, should also be “tactile” meaning the user can feel them and feel the “crunch” when they depress them.

Adjustable Straps

Check the number of holes in the watch strap. Elderly people may have thin wrists, so this means that they will need to fasten the strap on their wrists much tighter. More holes on the watch strap will help this.

Special Note for Seniors with Dementia

For seniors with dementia, only consider digital watch displays. Many dementia patients are unable to read a traditional watch face. (Thanks to reader Veronica for this suggestion.)

Examples of Easy to Read Watches for Seniors

Using the criteria above simplifies shopping for a watch for seniors. So, here are a few watches I recommend that meet all or most of the requirements above.

Recommended Analog Watches for Seniors

Timex Men’s T28071 Easy Reader Watch

Timex Men's Easy Reader Large Dial Watch

First up, the Timex Men’s T28071 Easy Reader Watch is an elegant, classy watch with a large black dial and easy to read hands.

The elegant look is completed with a polished silver-shaded case and a black genuine leather strap with contrasting stitching. This is more of a dress watch than some of the others

Bold, full-sized numbers on the screen clearly indicate the time, so you may not even need to put on your glasses every time you want to check the time!

This watch is also water-resistant up to 50m for short periods of swimming or water exercise class, for example.

The “Indiglo” light up dial makes it easy to tell time even in the dark, so it has plenty of easy to read features for seniors.

Finally, it isn’t distracting, since the analog movement goes silently around the face without the tick of the second hand.

 Read User Reviews of the Timex Easy Reader Watch 

AIBI Women’s Lady’s AB46301-3 Watch

AIBI Fashion Women's Watch Analog Quartz Simple Easy to Read Grey Leather Band 3ATM Waterproof Dial...

Another great watch for the elderly is this classic casual watch has an easy to read white dial with contrasting black Arabic numerals for easy viewing. The watch face is quite large which helps making it easier to see.

The soft grey leather strap provides a smooth and comfortable wearing experience. You can also get various colors of watch bands if gray isn’t your color.

The watch is splash resistant, so it’s suitable for everyday use. But, it’s not necessarily waterproof, so you can’t wear it while diving or swimming in water aerobics class. If it gets splashed during the day, it will still function just fine though. 

This one is just a simple basic watch that does the job. (Update 11/3/18 – the reviews at Amazon have slipped a little since I first recommended this one. A few people have reported theirs arrived broken but that Amazon replaced them.)

 Read User Reviews at Amazon 

Unisex Ultima Low Vision Watch

Ultima Low Vision Watch - White Dial-Unisex Model Number 57750/103H0103

The unisex Ultima Low Vision watch is another great watch for seniors.

I really like that it has a 1 5/8” dial size with big, black numbers that stand out perfectly against the white dial face.  This makes it very easy for people with limited vision to see. The hour and minute hands are also big, bold, and easy to see.

It looks more like a traditional “gold” watch that many seniors are used to wearing. The stainless steel back, quartz movement and gold-tone finish give it this classic look.

Users reports that the band of the watch is also very comfortable because it expands and contracts to give you a snug fit. It works well for office and casual environments due to its style and build.

See this Low Vision Watch at Amazon 

Recommended Digital Watches for Seniors

ATOMIC! Men’s Easy to Read Talking Watch

TimeChant Atomic! Talking Watch - Sets Itself Senses Metal Easy-to-Read Talking Watch (1020)

Finally, in terms of simple digital watches for elderly people, this one is perfect for a variety of reasons.

The Atomic Senses Men’s Easy to Read Talking Watch sets itself every day with the atomic clock. 

It also talks! At the press of a button, it says the time, day, date, month, and year – out loud. It is ideal for seniors who may be unable to see clearly regardless of the print size. This way, seniors can hear the time rather trying to see it!

But don’t worry, it is a digital watch with large numbers. So, it’s also easy to see for those who would like to tell the time the traditional way. The large, over-sized LCD digits are very easy to see and have a backlit display that’s perfect for daytime and nighttime viewing.

It also features a stylish, comfortable leather strap that fits nice and softly on the wrist. This material is great for elderly skin, which may be more sensitive than others.

Read Reviews and Learn More About This Talking Watch for Seniors at Amazon 

Men’s Digital Sport Watch with Date

Men’s Digital Sport Watch Led Military 50M Waterproof Electronic Wrist Watch with Alarm Stopwatch...

Thanks to reader Lisa who brought this need to my attention in the comments below.

Many seniors and elderly people, especially those in the early stages of dementia, have trouble keeping up the day of the week and the date.  This watch could help with that.

In addition to showing the time in an easy to see format, it also displays the day of the week and the current date. I like that it uses the three letter initial for the day of the week. I personally find the two letter day abbreviations confusing. This seems more clear to me.

The time though is the central focus of the display with big, bold numbers. There is also a backlight function that is helpful for seeing the time during bright or dim lighting conditions.

It is waterproof to 50m so it can be kept on for showering, bathing, washing dishes, etc.  No need for the senior to have to take it on and off and risk misplacing it. 

One concern to think about though. This watch has a few buttons and some extra functions like a stopwatch, alarm, and dual time settings. This could cause some problems if the user pushes buttons and gets the watch settings out of sync.

Check out this Watch With Date Display for Seniors at Amazon 

Summary and Recommendations

The best watch for seniors and the elderly is one that is easy to read, fits well, and simple to operate. Big bold numbers on large watch faces are the best. And, you can find simple watches in both analog and digital formats! There are many simple watches for seniors and the elderly that meet these criteria and are also stylish.

With this range of watches available for the elderly, keeping track of the time and even the date is not as difficult as you might think, especially for people suffering from dementia or loss of vision. You can also consider fitness trackers that also look like watches.

Don’t forget about keeping up with the time at home as well. Check out my guide to easy to see clocks for the elderly by clicking here.

I hope you find the perfect watch for yourself or your loved one soon. Let me know what watch you choose and why in the comments below, and of course, questions are always welcome too. Please share on social if you found this article helpful!

5 thoughts on “Easy to Read Watches that are Simple to Use”

  1. I appreciate the solid information including having only the time on the face. One other thing I hope you add — people with Alzheimers can no longer correctly read traditional dial clock faces, it’s in fact one of the ways doctors diagnose Alzheimers. If your loved one has this disease, get a digital face.

    • Hello – Veronica. Thanks for sharing this important detail. I’ve seen the drawings of clock faces by dementia patients so this makes perfect sense. I have added the information to the article. Thanks again for your contribution.

  2. I am looking for an easy to read watch for my dad that has the day of week, month, date, and ideally year to help him orient himself during the day. You m having a hard time finding one that offers all of this in an easy to read display. Any ideas?

    • Hi Lisa! Thanks for your question about an easy to read watch for your father. I’ve done a bit of research and found a good possibility on Amazon. You can view it by clicking here (affiliate link). I looked at several but chose this one because it has a large display, has a backlight function that makes it easier to see, uses the 3 letter initial for the day of the week (some only use the 2 day which I find confusing). I also like that the dates are on the screen at all times – no need to press a button to see them. But, it does not show the year – I couldn’t find one that did. And, there are some extra buttons for operating a stop watch that your dad may or may not find confusing. I sincerely hope this helps! –Scott

  3. Thank you for your informative article. It’s more difficult than one may think getting a large faced digital watch with simple buttons and a light that is easy to access. My Dad is early dementia sufferer and he has had me return 2 watches already – so after reading this info – hopefully, 3rd time’s the charm!

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