A clear and precise watch with a sturdy, comfortable strap is a must for any medical professional.
Display readability is another extremely important factor. So much so, there are watches available designed specifically for nurses that feature bright dial indicators for reading vitals with greater accuracy.
That being said, there are also many non-nurse-specific options that are perfectly adequate too.
- Quick Overview
- Best Watches for Nurses
- Our Top 10 Picks
- Watches for Nurses: Reviews
- Smartwatches for Nurses
- Lapel Pin Watches for Nurses
- What to look for when buying a nurses watch
Whether you are looking for a sports watch that will provide the features and robust build quality required for busy days on the ward, or maybe even a smartwatch to enjoy the added convenience of the many apps available, there’s definitely an option out there for you.
In this review roundup, we have explored a range of suitable watches for nurses to bring you a definitive list of high-quality options.
These are the results…
Our Top 10 Picks
Watches for Nurses: Reviews
1. EDITOR’S CHOICE (WOMEN’S): Speidel Women’s Scrub Petite Watch
Speidel does a whole series of watches designed specifically for medical professionals. Our top pick for women is their Women nurses has to be the White Scrub Petite Watch.
This elegant, unobtrusive watch is designed for smaller wrists between 5.9 inches and 7.9 inches.
The face is bright and features both 12 and 24hr indicators.
The hands also glow in the dark so you will be able to read the time on the ward even while the lights are out.
The second hand is bright red for better visibility. A design choice to make it easier to take accurate pulse readings.
The silicone wrist band is bright white and can be wiped clean with ease. Another feature aimed squarely at busy medical professionals.
And being water-resistant to 50 meters you will not need to worry about taking the watch off when working with water.
Overall this is a fantastic watch for women nurses. It looks great, it is affordable and there’s a couple of really great design choices here that will make your life easier. Our number one pick for good reason.
2. Casio Women’s Dive Series Sport Watch
Another great watch for nurses is the Women’s Dive Series Sports Watch from Casio.
As the name suggests this is a sports watch and unlike the top pick from Speidel, is not designed specifically for medical professionals.
However, despite this, there’s a ton of great features here that make it a recommended choice for nurses.
First off, this watch is built to last. While not being overly bulky (you don’t want your timepiece to get in the way as you work); there’s still robustness that is definitely reassuring.
The watch face has a plain white background that helps make the hands nice and visible.
The numerical hour markers are also displayed using different colors. The end result is most attractive.
The hour, minute, and second hands would benefit from being more distinct, (in poor light it might be a little difficult to take accurate readings).
That being said, the rotating bezel is a handy feature for marking a point while taking vital signs.
There’s a handy date display at the 3 o’clock position. If like me you’re always forgetting what day it is, a quick glance at your watch is a lot better than having to reach for your phone for the date.
Being a dive watch Casio has engineered this with a water resistance of up to 100 meters. There’s no worrying here when it comes to running a patient’s bath or any other jobs involving water.
The dial window is also extremely durable. Made from mineral crystal (this is a sports watch after all) the window is scratch resistant and will certainly take a heavy knock or two.
Finally, as the watch and strap are made with resin you can wipe it clean in a flash.
3. EDITOR’S CHOICE (MEN’S): Timex Unisex Expedition Classic Digital Chrono
On to our top choice watch for male nurses now. The timepiece to receive that accolade is the Timex Unisex Expedition Classic.
And the great thing about the Unisex appeal (it comes in a variety of colors) this watch will suit most nurses whatever their sex or aesthetic preferences.
This is the first digital display watch to make my top 10. However, like the Casio offering reviewed above this is primarily a sport watch, (it has not been designed for nurses in mind).
Again, this does not mean that it doesn’t deliver all the features you need for a reliable timepiece at work.
Made from resin, this is a durable watch that also manages to be lightweight around the wrist, (no bulky options here thank you very much, even for the men).
These attributes make it comfortable and extremely easy to clean. The robust design also means it will take the inevitable knocks it will get on the ward.
Being a sports watch the list of functions is good. There’s a stopwatch, built-in alarm selection, and a countdown timer.
There’s also an indigo backlight for readability on dark wards. It is also water-resistant up to 100 meters.
Essentially, if you are a medical professional that needs a watch for punctual timekeeping, the reading of vitals, plus for using down the gym or at the running track, the Expedition Classic is the one to buy.
A highly recommended choice for male nurses.
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4. VAVC Scrub Watch
VAVC is another watch brand that aims to have the needs of medical professionals covered.
Here we have the VAVC Scrub Watch for nurses, (and doctors and medical students for that matter).
This has similar features to the top pick from Speidel. Namely, a clear dial face with easy-to-read hands, and an especially bright second hand for taking important vitals. This too is red in color.
Where I especially like the design from VAVC is the robustness of the watch. Made with 316L surgical grade stainless steel this really is designed to withstand the many knocks and bumps it is going to get on a daily basis when used in a busy medical environment.
The glass dial cover is a sapphire-coated mineral crystal. Again this will not scratch or crack easily. Finally, the genuine calfskin leather looks very nice while also offering the longevity you need.
That being said, the strap is easily replaceable when the time comes.
The VAVC Scrub watch is also water-resistant to 50 meters.
5. Speidel Scrub Watch for Medical Professionals
Being such a fan of the Speidel series of scrub watches, I had to include this model designed for men as the wrist size is larger than what you will get from the top pick for women above.
Coming from Speidel this is aimed at medical professionals of course. The same attributes described above are present here as a result.
It has an easy-to-read dial, with clear markings and bright colored hands for taking readings.
It is also water-resistant to up to 30-meter waters meaning it will be able to withstand the inevitable splashes that are experienced in the medical workplace.
The silicone strap is durable and easy to clean and will fit wrist sizes between 6.7 inches to 8.3 inches.
Whether you’re a Nurse, Doctor, Surgeon, EMT Worker, or medical student you will be satisfied with this watch. Highly recommended.
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6. Timex Women’s Easy Reader Stainless Steel Watch
The final entry in this category of best watches for nurses is the Timex Women’s Easy Reader Date Expansion Band Watch.
This is another watch with an easy-to-read dial. The mineral crystal dial window means that you won’t be able to scratch this little number in a hurry.
You will probably have to go all out and smash the watch with a hammer in order to crack I, (but please don’t try that at home).
The sleek-looking brass case and stainless steel expansion bracelet are aesthetically very pleasing, while also enhancing the robust nature of the timepiece.
For nighttime use, the watch features an Indiglo backlight.
Similar to our top pick Timex for men, this also has the date display featured at the 3 o’clock position, (no more wondering what day it is).
And for those water-prone jobs, the watch resistance up to 30 meters.
What more could you ask for?
Smartwatches for Nurses
For those with the budget and in need of extra features outside the medical workplace (or inside if you have a digital stethoscope that requires access to an app), a SmartWatch may well be the best option for you.
Let’s take a look at two of the best on the market today.
7. BEST SMARTWATCH: Apple Watch Series 6
The Apple Watch doesn’t need any introduction really. Version 6 is the current latest release and is the most feature-heavy smartwatch on the market.
There’s loads of functionality here that will benefit a medical professional. A working nurse would definitely appreciate the advantages of using one.
Breaking down some of those nurse-specific benefits, clarity, and ease of use is one big factor.
If you’re an iPhone user, the ability to link together so that you do not need to access your phone for certain types of alerts is obviously a good thing.
The watch itself has a very clear display for time-keeping and rudimentary alerts.
However, with the abundance of health-care-related apps available there’s ways of making your work life easier, no matter your role.
Nursing apps are particularly well catered for on iTunes.
Furthermore, the Apple Watch has a high-quality, durable construction. It is also water-resistant and if you happen to enjoy sports outside of the medical workplace, you will benefit from features such as the heart rate monitor and activity trackers.
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8. Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch
For nurses uninterested in the Apple ecosystem, the best smartwatch on the market is currently the Samsung Gear S2.
There’s a wide range of features and functionality available with the S2 that will definitely appeal to nurses and medical staff in general.
The AMOLED touchscreen is extremely clear and has a 360 x 360-pixel resolution.
The screen is a 1.2-inch display that provides enough area for practical use, while not being too bulky on the wrist.
The watch face is also interchangeable which means you can choose the best features for your working day, and then change the face in line with what you need for your personal life.
What I especially like about the S2 is that it simulates a normal watch to a better degree than the Apple Watch.
This is a personal preference of aesthetics, however, and each of us will have a different view.
There’s a ton of apps available of course, with healthcare-related ones being especially well catered for.
The design of the watch is directed towards sports users too, so you know that the watch will be durable in tough conditions. It also has an IP68 water resistance rating.
- Related Content: Best Scrubs for Plus Sizes – 2021 Reviews
Lapel Pin Watches for Nurses
The final category of the watch in our top 10 is the lapel watch.
For those that don’t want an accessory around their wrist, or feel that such an adornment will only get in the way, the lapel watch is a great compromise.
Simply hang your timepiece from your lapel.
Let’s take a closer look at the 2 lapel watches that made the grade.
9. BEST LAPEL WATCH: WIOR Nurses Lapel Pin Watch
The WIOR Nurses Lapel Pin Watch is a fantastic option for those looking for an alternative type of timepiece. It is also the lowest budget watch in this review roundup.
Made from waterproof alloy the watch has been specifically designed for healthcare environments.
It can be easily pinned to any nurses’ clothing and/or scrubs and will hold fast as you go about your busy working day.
The clear dial is easy to read and has pronounced indicators.
The second hand is also bright red in order to aid you when taking vitals. This shows up well against the white face.
Being a lapel watch there is very little in the way of additional functionality, however, for those looking for a sturdy, elegant timepiece that they know will pin tightly to their lapel throughout the day, this is the option for you.
10. Dakota Clip Watch With LED Flashlight, Mini Clip Microlight Watch
The final watch in the top 10 is the Dakota Watch Company Mini Clip Microlight Watch.
This offers a little more in the way of features when compared to the WIOR in that it has an LED flashlight built-in.
It also has a red light for illumination in low light conditions. A design feature that will mean your night vision will not be altered after taking a look at the watch.
Light functions aside, the Dakota watch is built with the busy nurse in mind. It is water-resistant for up to 30 minutes and is made from an alloy that is easy to clean.
It can be easily clipped to a nurse’s belt loop and is able to withstand the knocks and bumps that it will inevitably experience in the ownership of a busy medical professional.
Being designed specifically for nurses and medical staff the watch has an easy-to-read dial, with bright luminous hands and hour markers.
The red second hand is there to aid you while checking your patient’s pulse.
What to look for when buying a nurses watch
Watch design & features
The design of the watch you choose is very much down to personal preference, however, the differences between the various designs are worth thinking about.
Do you prefer classic analog watches, or is a digital watch more to your liking? There are also a number of smartwatches available today. Lapel or lanyard watches remain popular with nurses as they free up the wrist and can be placed conveniently in the pocket or chest. This is helpful if you don’t want to have to remove a watch every time you wash your hands.
A digital watch with an accurate stopwatch and timer clearly has its benefits. If you are a tech-savvy nurse and utilize smartphone apps on the job, a smartwatch would be a good choice.
The characteristics of the watch face are another important consideration. A watch used for medical purposes should have a clean and easy-to-read face. This could mean easily discernable numbers on an analog watch dial, or bright, large numbers on a digital watch.
A watch face with a contrasting background to the dial (black face to white digits or markings for example) is popular with medical professionals as they make it easier to track the time.
Furthermore, if you find yourself working in areas where light is an issue, a night shift first responder to a car accident, for instance, a face that can be illuminated will clearly be beneficial.
I personally use a smartwatch. I like the fact that when I twist my wrist the face automatically lights up with the time. It has an easy-to-read stopwatch too.
Material and strap
Anyone working in the medical field knows the importance of keeping a germ-free environment. It applies to our shoes, our scrubs, and yes, even our watches.
To this end, you should choose a watch that is easy to clean and germ-resistant. Thankfully, a lot of modern watches fit that description.
Many watches, along with their straps are constructed using materials such as plastic, resin, silicone, and rubber. Avoid leather straps as they can soak up contaminants and begin to smell over time.
A water-resistant watch is also recommended, at the very least it will mean you won’t have to take it off every time you wash your hands.
Bulky watches with rigid edges or metal adornments and buttons should be avoided. They are clunky and could get in the way during a procedure. You might also inadvertently catch the watch on your clothing, or worse still, the patient.
As with any watch, medical or otherwise, if you have allergies to certain materials, take a look at the manufacturer’s specs of the watch to see whether it has any hypoallergenic components.