Wrist Watch for a 12 Year Old Boy

Updated on November 24, 2012
T.M. asks from Dublin, CA
10 answers

My son is going to be 12 next month and he really wants a watch. He thinks it needs to be something gold and shiny - so not practical or really his style. I want to spend about $75-100 on a watch that will last him a few years but be practical for him to wear daily. He wants a real face with numbers, not a digital display. I thought a Swatch style watch would be fun, but he said they look like girl watches. I've looked on line and there are soo many options I'm overwhelmed. I hate going to the mall - it's my last option. I'm thinking a leather band is more practical than a metal band as it could be more easily replaced if needed? I'm also worried about the size of the face as well - he's on the skinny side and I don't want some large man's watch on his skinny wrist. Any input on brands, style or websites to check out is appreciated! TIA

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So What Happened?

Just wanted to say thanks for everyone's input. I ended up sucking it up and taking him to the mall to see what he actually liked and try them on. The sales people steered us to G-Shock (a Casio) brand as the latest "trendy" watch. We ended up with a digital one with rubber band that is water resitant with about a million options (stop watch, alarm, etc). It was at the top of my budget at $99 but he's thrilled with it and has gotten tons of compliments on it. Funny thing is now everywhere we look we see kids/adults wearing them. He does have a cell phone but it can't be seen at school and 1/2 the classroom clocks don't work so he really felt like it was something he needed. He's always been very responsible with his possessions and takes care of his things so I don't feel like I'm wasting money here. Thanks again!

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answers from Mansfield on

wow thats a lot to spend on a 12 year olds watch. I cant imagine spending that much. all3 or mine have watches but didnt spend more than $15 on them. They have had them for over a year and wear them nearly everyday, one accidently went in the pool once too but it was dried out quick enough that it was fine. I am thinking you should just find him a nice looking watch at a local retail store (target jcp walmart whatever) that if he breaks, loses or whatever no big deal. You are probably more likely to find one that will fit his skinny arms and be able to adjust with him too.

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answers from Topeka on

kohls has lots to choose from

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answers from Honolulu on

Especially for a kid...I would HIGHLY suggest, getting a watch that is water resistant. If not, once he gets in wet and/or in water (by mistake etc.) it will be ruined and so will your money be wasted.

Swatch (there are many styles, it is unisex, and some come shiny and gold or silver). I have a "shiny" silver one, stainless steel. It is not girly at all. And in fact, looks like a mens watch.
Swatch are GOOD watches, easy to change the battery, and they make Mens, watches. Even athletic types.

Timex watches
Swiss Army watches

Do not spend a chunk of change on it, unless he is mature and responsible.
Does he want a shiny gold or silver watch... because other kids his age have that style??? Typically, this is why.

Metal bands/stainless steel etc., is more practical than leather. It can get wet. And it lasts a very very long time. ALL of the watches I have had, are metal bands. I had a couple of leather types, but it does not last... after awhile, the band will look old. And by the time it needs to be replaced... your son, will be into another style, of watch/watch face/color/type.
Metal bands, can be sized. Easily. At the jeweler. And you keep the links that are taken off, for future use if need be, to make it bigger.

But no matter what, I would think that you have to buy it, WITH him. Even if online. Because, he seems picky as to what he wants... and many times, kids think that "Mommy" picks a wrong style.
And if you don't shop with him for it, in store or online, make sure you know the return or exchange policy of the store.

Or would he want a fake "Rolex?" LOL
I mean, not many "kids" wear "gold shiny" watches. Especially 12 year olds. Not even many adults. Is he trying to impress someone?
Or do all his friends wear gold shiny watches??
It is, at that age... going to break or get lost or get wet and broken.
So something to REALLY consider.

And perhaps even in 8 months, he will change his mind again, and want another style of watch.
At 12 years old anyway, they will NOT... be wearing this watch for years... like an adult would.

Costco has watches too.

Even if you shop online for it... your son STILL would have to try it on to see the size... ie: you said he has skinny wrists.

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answers from Portland on

I frequently buy Timex watches. They are frequently less than $20 on sale, $49 or so regular price. I always buy analog (full face). I have one now that I think came from the women's line but it likes quite masculine and would be the right size for a 12 yo.

My watches last for years. I end up having to put in new batteries.

I've never had to replace a metal band. Unless he's quite rough, a metal band should hold up well. But if it doesn't they are easy to replace as a leather one. And it is more flashy like he's requesting.

I would definitely not spend $50 or more dollars. Because he's 12 he will not be treasuring this watch and want to wear it for a few years. His idea of what he wants will change every few months.

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answers from Austin on

Get him a started watch..

Go to target and purchase a timex.. They have the metal ones that look like what he wants..

Make sure it is waterproof. This means it can be splashed with water.

If you think he will be submerging the watch (falling or being thrown into a swimming pool, lake etc. , he will need a water resistant watch.. I cannot imaging any of these Timex watches would be more than $50.

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answers from Redding on

My boys got their first watches at probably about age 7. Watches for kids are cheap these days since most people use phones as their time piece.
Here's a link for some watches with bands for boys...http://www.amazon.com/Timex-T79051-First-Outdoor-Velcro/d...
I asked my husband if he'd like a watch for Christmas since neither of us have worn one in YEARS... he said "why would I want a watch?".
Anyway, I wouldnt spend 100 bucks on a watch... I dont see ANYONE with them on anymore, do you?

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answers from Jacksonville on

Ugh. My son (14) wanted a "bling-y" watch too. His back up plan was a digital one that I hated. We found a nice compromise though. Walmart, like $15.
But, if you are willing to spend $75, I would go into an Eddie Bauer or look in their sales catalog (or online even). Or go to Overstock.com online and look. They have TONS of watches. EB often has leather banded watches with actual faces, usually Swiss Army design.

But, honestly, I would steer him away from anything too blingy. But maybe that is what is popular among his friends... Maybe go less expensive, with a Timex for $30 and see how it goes. He may not even end up wearing it. My son has had a few over the years, and he is always really excited the first 3 days, and then stops bothering. His ipod has a clock on it.... almost all kids have clocks on their "devices", so watches aren't a "staple" like they used to be.

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answers from Dallas on

That's quite a bit of money for something that he is likely to lose or have stolen or leave somewhere. I consider any watch in middle school to be a "practice" watch.
Just something to think about.

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answers from Dallas on

We have had wonderful luck with Swiss Army and Fossil watches. Swiss Army might be too pricy, but I have successfully purchased them inexpensively off Amazon. I would find a watch store, or go into a department store and view the watches in person. I wouldn't buy from there though, they are almost always cheaper online.

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answers from Las Vegas on

My older kids have Cell phones 9 his phone was about $200 13 hers was about $300 they had to work for there money to pay for the phones ... And keep making money to pay the bills... if it is about money get him something else for his B-Day and make him work for the money to get the watch...