When it comes to choosing a proper medical watch it can be difficult to make a decision because of the many different options available to you.
Price, design, display readability and comfort are all important factors to consider when you purchase a watch for medical purposes.
The watches featured in our 10 best affordable medical watches list range from around $12 – $50 depending on the watches brand with Casio offering the least expensive watches of the group, however they are all great options and very useful, design friendly and easy to read watches.
Our list does not follow any particular order, so the last item in our list is definitely not the least. It’s all about offering choices based on the watches functionality, design and your personal choice.
1. Casio Women’s LRW200H-7BVCF Watch
The first watch in our list of 10 best affordable medical watches for nurses is the Casio Women’s LRW200H-7BVCF Watch. This popular watch features a multi-color hour marker design with a separate date window.
The white background display and hands are protected by a mineral crystal dial window, while other components of the watch’s are designed using a combination of resin and plastic materials.
As far as water protection goes this watch has an exceptionally good water resistant depth of 330 ft. (100 m). This watch is a great choice for nurses that want a basic affordable watch for keeping track of their time.
2. Casio Women’s Classic Analog Watch
Casio does an excellent job of designing affordable watches that are functional and easy to read and the Casio Classic Analog Watch is a great example of a simple watch that makes keep track of time at a glance quick and easy.
This watch sports a quartz movement design with a plastic case & resin band, and is water resistant so it can stand up to regular cleaning/washing.
The simple white background (with a silver center), silver time hands and large black numbers ensure you’ll be able to quickly see the time and keep track of the seconds at a glance.
3. Casio Men’s MRW200H-1BCT
Casio Men’s watch is another great watch for quick time keeping and features a reverse black background with white numbers and hands for quick time observation. It features a protective dial crystal, non-click rotating bezel and luminous hour hands for easy observation in low illumination areas.
It also has a date window and is water resistant for up to 330 ft (110 M). As for as material goes the watch is made from resin material so it is easy to clean (as is the case with all of our listed Casio watches).
4. Casio Unisex Analog Resin Strap Casual Watch
The Casio Unisex Analog Watch in some ways mimics the women’s classic analog watch, however it features a slightly different design with a solid white background and black hands for reading the time.
The black time numbers are also designed slightly different to give the watch a more unisex design while the resin material, protective mineral crystal and water resistant properties ensure you don’t have to worry about the watch getting destroyed in regular day to day work.
According to the specs the watch is capable of a +/-20 seconds per month accuracy for limited time differential over long periods of time.
5. Swatch White Bishop White Dial Unisex Watch
Swatch is often known for their elegant, accurate time pieces, which are often a bit pricier than other basic analog watches, however if you’re in the Swatch market than the Swatch White Bishop Watch is a very affordable wrist watch within the Swatch brand.
This watch features an elegant white strap and background with gold colored numbers and accented time hands.
The Dial window has a scratch resistant mineral cover while the case and band are made out of rubber/plastic material. Water resistance is also a feature of the watch with a water resistant depth of up to 30 Meters.
6. Timex Expedition Rugged Core Analog Field Watch
The Timex Expedition Rugged Core Analog Watch stands up to its name by being built with a strong, lightweight resin case and strap. This watch features an indiglo night-light for easy viewing in dark environments, has a date window for keeping track of the current date and is water resistant for up to 165 ft.
While this watch may be a bit more rugged than the other watches in this list its durability, resin made design, clean time display and night-light cannot be overlooked.
7. Swatch Women’s Quartz Rainbow Dial Plastic Watch
Swatch Women’s Quartz Rainbow Watch is another great Swatch watch for those of you who like a flashier look. It features a rainbow/tie dye design with large/bold white numbers for easy reading.
As mentioned by its name this watch is made of quartz and plastic material so cleaning it should be fairly easy and it is water resistant for up to 99 ft, so you don’t have to worry about getting it wet when you have to clean your hands.
8. Swatch Originals Twice Again White Dial Black Silicone Unisex Watch
Swatch’s Twice Again Unisex Watch offers a simple yet elegant time piece with a black silicone band and plastic dial window.
The large/bold number display ensures easy visibility while the dark hands against the white background allow for quick time keeping and the additional calendar window allows for keeping track of the day and date.
This watch also includes luminous hands that glow in dark environments with quartz movement and features water resistant properties up to 100 ft.
9. Timex Unisex “Weekender” Solid Color Watch
The Timex Unisex “Weekender” Watch is a great choice for nurses and medical professionals that want a large display with an alternative military time function. It features a protective mineral crystal dial window and is water resistant up to 99 ft.
The watches band is made of nylon material rather than plastic, rubber or silicone, so that is something to consider when deciding purchase this watch if you prefer another type of band material, however it is an excellent choice as far as quality watches go
10. Prestige Medical Nurse Lanyard Watch Military Time
Prestige Medical makes a range of medical products for nurses and healthcare professionals including a number of medical watches such as the Nurse Lanyard Military Time Watch.
What makes this watch unique from the other watches in our list is that you can wear it around your neck rather than on your wrist, however you can also swap out the lanyard for another type of strap and wear it on an ID/clothing loop if you prefer.
In addition to using a lanyard the watch also displays military time and has a water resistant casing. If you prefer a lanyard watch over a traditional wrist watch then Prestige Medical’s Nurse Lanyard Military Time Watch may be the right choice for you.
5 Reasons why nurses wear watches
Medical watches are an extremely valuable and even indispensable tool for nurses that need to keep track of time for various work related activities.
On a daily basis nurses may be responsible for dozens of medical tasks from recording patient vital signs and administering medication to lab charting and performing pain assessments.
Having a quality watch can provide significant value and convenience to nurses that need to be able to effectively manage their daily duties.
Here are some of the important tasks where medical watches have been proven to be fundamental in providing adequate patient care.
Tracking /recording vitals
One of the most common uses for medical watches among nurses is tracking patient vitals such as respiratory rate and apical pulse rates.
Watches with a second hand or digital wrist watches with second counters can help provide accurate time tracking for better assessments.
Being able to accurately track a patients vitals can give nurses clues to the patients current health status and alert them to any potential health abnormalities.
When providing care to patients dealing with a sudden trauma or when medications are involved being able to assess a patients vitals can help nurses identify if a treatment or medication is effective, ineffective or creating a potentially adverse reaction on the patients condition.
Scheduling / administering medication
Medical watches allow nurses to keep track of time when providing medication to patients on a scheduled basis to ensure that the medication is given at proper time intervals.
Some nurses may choose to use a watch with an alarm so that they can be alerted of upcoming scheduled medications.
In some instances nurses may be required to administer a drug over a 1 – 5 minute period (IV over 1 – IV over 5), in which they need to keep track of how quickly/slowly the administration is occurring.
Slowing the administration of medications can significantly reduce the exposure to potential medical complications and health risks, which can vary greatly depending on how rapidly the drug is administered, what drug is being administered and any physiological factors that may influence the drugs reaction among other things.
Performing pain assessments
Pain assessments / reassessments are common in the nursing field and being able to properly assess a patients pain level can help nurses identify potential medical issues and track recovery progress.
Performing pain assessments are important for determining whether or not a treatment or medication is improving, worsening or having no effect on a patients condition, and being able to identify the length and severity of the assessment is invaluable for future treatments.
Documentation / lab charting
Medical documentation and lab charting often require accurate time and date records of tests, treatments, assessments and/or medical interactions that are performed while at work.
Whenever any kind of interaction is made with a patient or test it may need to be charted and recorded in order to track the patients medical condition and ensure everyone involved has a clear understanding of the patients health and any treatments he/she has received.
Without accurate record keeping it may be significantly more difficult to measure a patients health progress and/or the results of a test over time.
It can also create issues for record keepers as they may be confused of the order in which a given treatment or medication was provided, further complicating issues.
Keeping track of the time
Aside from all of the benefits previously mentioned owning a wristwatch allows nurses to always be able to keep track of the time whenever they need to.
On the most basic level a watch is a timepiece and provides the user with a precise sense of time at a quick glance.
Even in hospitals, clinics, medical offices and healthcare centers where clocks may be abundant having a medical watch means nurse are able to see the time without having to squint at a clock or reorient themselves to face the clock in the room, which means they can spend more time focusing on patients and less time changing their position to try and track the time.
For nurses who work in a location that doesn’t have many clocks or are extremely mobile and need to always have the time in front of them owning a wrist watch can provide you a lot of convenience and even shave some time off of a busy work schedule.
How to choose a great medical watch
When it comes to choosing a great medical watch it is important to determine which features are important to you as it can have a big impact on how much use and functionality you’ll get out of your watch.
A great medical watch allows nurses to quickly keep track of the time and monitor their patients vital signs by being easy to read, readily accessible and non obtrusive.
While many different types of watches can be used for medical purposes there are a number of important features you should take into consideration when buying a watch.
To make your buying experience as smooth as possible here are some things to consider when choosing a medical watch.
The watch face
When choosing a medical watch decide what type of watch face you want and what elements of the watch face are most important to you.
Is it better for you to buy a watch with a 12 hour display cycle or one that tells military time?
Is a watch with a second hand an important feature or do you prefer a digital watch over a classic analog watch?
Figuring what type of watch face will work best for your particular use case can help you quickly narrow down the right watch for your needs.
Another important watch characteristic to determine is whether you’ll need a watch that has regular numbers or large numbers.
If you have perfect vision and prefer a cleaner look then you may be happy going with a watch that has regular or small numbers, however if you have difficulty reading regular text or you’d prefer a watch that has numbers you can easily see to make quick important observations than you may want to choose a watch with large face numbers.
As an important side note most nurses prefer a watch with a contrasting background that makes it easy to quickly tell and track the time.
For example watches that have a white background may go best with large black hour, minute and second hands along with black or dark readable numbers.
The background, clock hands and numbers of a watch should complement each other, but stand apart so that you can quickly identify and keep track of the time.
Lastly, determine if it is important to have a watch that has an illuminated watch face or glow in the dark feature.
If you find yourself working in areas with poor lighting it may be advantageous to choose a watch that is able to illuminate in dark areas so that you’ll be able to read the time more effectively.
The material of a watch is extremely important for maintaining a germ free environment and maximizing the longevity of the watch.
When purchasing a watch choose one that can be easily cleaned and won’t accidentally puncture or pinch the skin, which for example can happen with some metal link bands.
Many medical watches are made using plastic, resin and rubber materials, which are able to be washed fairly frequently and don’t harm or sensitize the skin like some watches with metal bands might.
If you work in an area where you’re likely to collect lots of germs then make sure you choose a watch that’s made out of a quality resin or similar material as you’ll be able to clean it easily and you’ll have a better experience removing germs than if you use a watch with fabric or leather materials.
If on the other hand you don’t need to be too concerned with germs getting attached to your watch and band than buying one with a leather or fabric band may be perfectly fine.
Also consider any allergic reactions you may have to the watch you’re interested in buying.
If you have allergies to certain material then check to see if the watch is made using hypoallergenic components that will minimize your chances of having an allergic reaction.
Lastly, look for watches that are waterproof/water resistant as you’ll likely be washing your watch on a regular basis and you don’t want a watch that’s going to be easily damaged or collect germs.
A watch with a decent level of watch protection is not only important for its longevity, it’s also safer and can save you lot’s of money in the long run.
When it comes to how you wear your watch you should decide whether you want to wear a wrist watch or a lapel/lanyard watch based on your needs and personal preference.
Wrist watches are great for nurses that want to quickly keep track of the time and don’t want to attach a watch to their clothing or wear one around their neck.
Wrist watches are always accessible at a quick glance, hard to lose and extremely lightweight.
With that said some nurses may feel that lapel/lanyard watches are a better fit for them.
Lapel/lanyard watches allow nurses to easily wash their hands without having to worry about taking off their off or getting it wet.
These watches are also great for nurses who find wrist watches uncomfortable or for those who have allergy sensitivities to certain materials.
As far as the cons are concerned lapel/lanyard medical watches may be a little frustrating if a nurse has to constantly reach for their watch throughout their work shift rather than being able to simply lift their wrist to keep track of the time.
Additionally lapel/lanyard watches may become irritating if not worn properly or get in the way of work, so correct placement of a lapel/lanyard watch is definitely important for nurses that prefer them over wrist watches.
Each watch type has its own benefits and disadvantages, and their is no one perfect solution for everyone.
In the end many nurses enjoy the benefits and simplicity of wearing a wrist watch, however some nurses find lapel/lanyard watches to have their own set of unique benefits that outweigh wrist watches in their particular case.
Things to consider when buying a medical watch:
As a quick review here are 6 questions you should consider when buying a medical watch.
- Do you need a glow in the dark or illuminated watch face?
- Are large hour, minute & second hand numbers important to you?
- Do you need a watch with a 2nd hand or a digital face?
- Should your watch show military time?
- Do you need a watch that is waterproof/water resistant?
- Do you prefer a wrist watch or a lapel/lanyard watch?
Analog, Digital or Smartwatch
As watches become smarter and capable of providing more information and features the question of what type of watch is best suited for the job can feel like a difficult question to answer.
In our experience choosing a analog, digital or smartwatch can be boiled down to asking yourself some basic questions and deciding whether or not you need or simply just want a particular feature.
Are features such as glance-able notifications, watch face customization and health tracking important or necessary for you? If so than you may want to go with a smartwatch that can assist you with all of those needs, rather than carrying around multiple devices to due the same job of a single device.
If however those features aren’t important to you and you’d rather have an inexpensive watch that’s extremely light and doesn’t need to be charged regularly or you’re worried that your watch will get lost, damaged or stolen then you may just want to go with an analog or digital watch, which can save you money and the hassle of replacing it every-time something happens to your watch.
Here are some simple things to think about when determine which watch you want to buy:
Go with an analog watch if:
- You don’t care about receiving glance-able notifications /text messages on your wrist
- You want the lightest watch available
- You frequently lose or damage your watch
- You are budget constrained, but need a watch for medical purposes
- Your job discourages smartwatches
- You prefer the analog watch design
- You want a watch that lasts a long time / doesn’t need regular charging
Go with a digital watch if:
- You have trouble reading analog watches
- You want the lightest watch available
- You don’t have a lot of money to spend
- You’re worried about losing/damaging your watch
- You want a watch that doesn’t require frequent charging
- You aren’t allowed to wear smartwatches at work
Go with a smartwatch if:
- You want/need to receive text messages and/or notifications without having to pull your phone out
- You want/need to keep track of certain aspects of your health
- You want to customize your watch face and/or applications (ex: switch between large digital and analog faces)
- You want a bright/lit display
- You want additional features that aren’t available on analog/digital watches
How much should you spend?
The cost of a good medical watch really depends on the watches brand and the features the buyer considers important.
For the most part nurses can expect to purchase a decent medical watch at around $20 – $35.
Watches that fall into $50 and up range may offer additional features, better water resistances, longer warranties, better battery life and a stronger brand name.
When choosing a medical watch cost is important, however it should not be the only factor to consider when making your purchase.
The quality of the watch, it’s features and it’s lifespan should all be factored in your buying decision.
While a really inexpensive watch may sound like a tempting offer it may end up being more of a headache if it ends up breaking quickly or causing a rash or allergic reaction due to the products material.
Conversely, choosing a watch that costs $50 or less is a great way to ensure that you aren’t spending too much money if you don’t plan on using your watch as a piece of jewelry or outside of work place.
As mentioned previously you can purchase a fairly good medical watch that costs between $20 – $35 from a number of reputable, popular brands.
If money isn’t an object than feel free to purchase a nicer watch with all the bells and whistles, however remember to consider the factors we mentioned earlier so that you choose a watch that has the appropriate features for your work needs.
How to make a final buying decision
To make your final buying decision a little easier we’ve put together a few tips for buying a great medical watch.
Here are some things you should do before placing your order:
- Write down a list of your must have’s (not unnecessary wants)
- Read trusted reviews for important insights and information
- Comparison shop different watches to find the best watch for your needs
Write down your must have’s
By writing down your must have’s such as large numbers, glow in the dark hands and water resistance you’ll be better able to faze out other watches that may be pretty, but don’t offer the features you need.
However, when writing down your must have’s make sure they are truly the things you need and not just the things you want as you may end up limiting your options and passing over a perfectly good, inexpensive watch because it lacks a feature that you want, but don’t really need.
Read trusted reviews
Trusted reviews are a great way to learn a lot about the watches you’re interested in and they can help you identify potential benefits or faults that the watch may have, which you may not have thought about.
For example, you may find a watch that has a number of great features that you enjoy and the reviews may have high ratings, but some people feel that the numbers are difficult to read or it has poor night visibility.
If these are features that you find highly important then it would be good to know ahead of time and reading reviews can definitely save you some time and money when it comes to picking out the best watch.
Comparison shopping allows you to compare various watches and brands that offer many of the same features, but often at different prices.
If you take your time and look at multiple watches you may end up finding a great watch at a much lower price than other competitor brands.
Just be sure that you read the reviews and buy from a trusted source to limit your chances of buying a watch that is designed without quality in mind.