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How to Choose a Wristwatch Based on Your Engineering Position

Do You Need a Calculator?

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Picking a watch to wear in your engineering work is more than making a fashion statement. There are important functions to consider, including readability, resistance to magnetism, smartwatch functions, and rugged casing for active jobs.

Most professionals continue to wear wristwatches because they offer a quicker, more convenient, and ultimately more professional way of checking the time. Nonetheless, watches, particularly modern digital watches, offer a wide range of additional functions, including the ability to track multiple time zones, advanced and accurate stopwatch functionality, water-resistance, and tough durability for engineers in the field.

Smartwatches and hybrids can also help to track your data, including activity and sleep tracking and convenient music manipulation to help keep you in your best workflow without distractions or interruptions.

Modern watches also offer sleek design-oriented faces that fit beneath the cuff of a button-down, while easily translating between work and hobby.

Here are a few considerations to help you decide which features make up your ideal watch.

1. What Are Your Preferences for Readability and Display?

The key feature of any watch is its face design and readability. While with time we can get used or reading almost any display, there are some displays that are more conducive to telling time than others.

Many people still prefer an analog display, reading time with their spatial memory. Others will prefer to look at the numerical values of the digital time display. If you can’t decide which is best for you, a hybrid display could simplify this decision.

However, make sure that the display fits your personal and work needs. A face that is too crowded could make it difficult to find and manage a split-second reading. A watch that is so minimalistic that it has no landmarks, on the other hand, could take longer to compute. Readability is ultimately subjective but requires a well-balanced display.

2. How Much Do You Travel?

Many watches offer the opportunity to keep track of multiple time zones right on the face. This can be useful if you work long-term with teams located in different timezones.

Or if you travel to many different locations, the modern smartwatch hybrids are able to change their analog display based on the GPS tracking of your connected smartphone. This means that as long as your the type of engineer who keeps a smartphone on you, you’ll always have the correct time without having to fiddle with dials.

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3. Do You Need Instant Notifications?

Some people find notifications for phone calls and emails overbearingly distracting and are better off without instant access to them.

Others, however, particularly those in management or communications positions, live and die in the workplace by their emails. In this case, a smartwatch can offer discreet notifications for phone calls, text messages, and emails. This is also true of timers, to give you a gentle nudge when a meeting has run too long.

4. Does It Need a Rugged Case?

Contemporary digital watches prove that you can pack powerful smartwatch capabilities, such as Bluetooth connectivity, into a durable hard case that you can take with you on the more dirty and physical jobs.

Rugged and field watches will have a hard, durable case that’s scratch resistance and thick enough to protect the face. A rugged watch will have strong water resistance, making it suitable for rough travel and working outdoors in messy terrain.

5. Should It Be Anti-Magnetic?

Engineering fields that require working with electronics or high magnetic fields in the lab or workplace could warp the time-keeping capabilities of a normal watch. One way to keep these electronic projects from interfering with your watch and sense of time is to find a model that is anti-magnetic.

6. Are You Looking for a Renewable Energy Watch?

The engineering field drives one to consider interesting energy solutions. Solar watches are one wearable example of this. A solar watch uses a solar sensor that absorbs light to recharge the watch battery. This means forgetting about changing the battery or plugging the watch in at night.

7. Do You Need to Track Outdoor Conditions?

Many outdoor watches have advanced sensors inside them that allow you to quickly measure aspects of your environment. Common measurements include temperature, air pressure, altitude, and direction. Some high-end smartwatches even offer GPS pairing and support.

8. Would You Like It to Measure Your Physical Conditions?

For those with desk jobs, a watch that helps to keep track of and offer feedback on physical measurements, such as heart rate, step tracking, and sleep tracking. This can help to improve personal health and increase physical awareness, as well as provide a reminder to take care of physical needs.

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9. Should It Have Backlight?

If you often find yourself reading in low-light situations, then a trustworthy blacklight or glow feature could be indispensable to how you use your watch. Glow is not only useful working in the field or while camping, but it can also come in handy commuting after dark, for night owls, and for consistent indoor work with inconsistent lighting. The best glow is created by watches using micro gas tubes. These offer a lighting that can last for decades without decreased performance.

10. Do You Need a Calculator?

There’s a lot of time to be saved with an on-wrist calculator, such as a touch-screen smartwatch or retro calculator watch. While it won’t be able to graph your data for you, if you’re frequently crunching numbers on the go, this compact calculator on the wrist could be indispensable to your work life. Additionally, you won’t be able to drop it when measuring in the field.

11. Do You Dream of a Mechanical Watch?

For those who have found their way into the engineering field by studying the Newtonian clockwork universe, there is no more elegant way of staying in touch with one’s roots and sense of wonder than wearing a mechanical watch. These masterpieces are one of the early triumphs of precision engineering, and their legacy and function continues to this day.

Ultimately, the ideal watch for your position is one that matches your style and all the functions that you’re looking for, whether it’s connectivity and smart capabilities, the classic digital field watch with hard casing, or the elegant timepiece that helps you to keep your appointments no matter the timezone.


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