How to Buy a Watch as a Gift for Her – A Practical Guide

Buying a watch for yourself is challenging enough. But if you’re buying it as a gift for a lady, it becomes an even bigger challenge. There are so many factors to consider and the last thing you want is to spend a fortune on a watch that she is not going to like.

But fear not.

While it might seem complicated, breaking the process down into steps makes it manageable and easy. Here’s what you need to consider to help you buy the perfect watch for her!

Does She Like Watches?

The very first thing to ask yourself is: Does she wear watches? Does she like them? If the answer to the questions is no, then forget the watch. Find something else. Some women love watches and see it as an accessory to complete their look. Others see it as a nuisance – an archaic one-function device.

Consider her work and lifestyle too. Some people work in jobs that make it difficult to wear a watch – such as nurses or chefs.

To keep it short, just think about whether you’ve seen her wear a watch before and what if so, what style it was. This will give you pointers.

What’s Her Style?

If the answer to question 1 was yes, then next consider her style. Does she like minimalist or maximalist designs? Is she an active, outdoorsy person or someone who likes to dress up and look pretty? You can categorize her style into one of the following 4 options:

1. Sporty Style

sporty watch on the woman's wrist
  • Personality: She loves being active and is health conscious – running, hiking, water sports, climbing, swimming, cycling, and going to the gym.
  • Best Watch Features: Rubber or waterproof strap, GPS tracker, large digital display, resistant, altimeter, barometer, compass, sunrise/sunset time, diving depth measurements, heart rate tracker
  • Best Brands: Suunto, Timex, G-Shock, Fitbit, Apple Watch, TomTom, Polar
The Fitbit Blaze lets you track your workouts and daily movements in style.
suunto core alitemeter watch
The Suunto Core Alitemeter is full of features that any sports lover would appreciate.
Withings Steel HR is sleek and stylish. You can’t really tell if this is a sports watch. Ideal for the sporty fashionista.

2. Fashionista

a woman wearing a fashionista gold watch
  • Personality: She loves dressing up, make up and looking pretty. She’s just naturally on the glamorous side and enjoys going out to formal and casual events.
  • Best Watch Features: Bangle or bracelet watch, rose, yellow or white gold tones, gemstones and sparkly embellishments.
  • Best Brands: Swarovski, Bulgari, Michael Kors, Tissot, Olivia Burton, Guess, Gucci, Titan.
swarovski women's crystalline leather watch
Swarovski Women’s Crystalline Watch is sleek and contemporary with a radiant design.
guess women's stainless steel crystal watch
Guess 34MM crystal watch is perfect for a glamorous day or night around the town.
michael kors Greer automatic stainless watch
Michael Korrs takes it to the next level with this stunning automatic movement watch.
anne klein women's bangle watch and bracelet
This Ann Klein watch lets you layer while keeping the different elements cohesive.

3. Casual Style

a woman wearing a brown casual watch
  • Personality: She likes dressing down or slipping into a sundress or jeans and a t-shirt every now and then.
  • Best Watch Features: Leather strap, large watch face, less bling
  • Best brands: Fossil, Coach, Casio, Lacoste, Seiko, Timex
fossil women's charter hybrid smartwatch
The Fossil Hybrid Smartwatch  looks like a watch but is a lot smarter
Timex Weekender Chronograph is stylishly simple with a vintage look
coach 14503981 pink leather women's watch
The Coach 14503981 is classy, elegant and not too flashy. Ideal for everyday wear.

4. Formal and Workwear

a woman wearing a formal pink leather watch

Personality: She goes to work or attends formal events and likes to look nice. It’s not all about the bling but about looking great.

Best Watch Features: Bracelet band or high-quality leather strap, some gemstone embellishments

Best brands: Guess, Michael Kors, Coach, Fossil, Withings

michael kors women's pink leather watch
Michael Kors Pyper has a stylish minimalist no-nonsense look for everyday formal or casual wear.
fossil women's stainless Leather watch
Fossil Jacqueline Quartz keeps it simple and completes your look.
Michael Kors MK5774  is delicate and classy, suitable for any formal or smart casual event.
anne klein womens genuine diamond bangle watch
Anne Klein takes it to the next level with this stunning bangle bracelet.

Pick the Right Watch Color

vintage watch

Now you know her style, think about her preferences in color. Color is often the single-most important factor when it comes to choosing any item, be it jewelry or your toothbrush. You could get everything right but bomb because the color just wasn’t what she would wear.

First, think the color of accessories she often wears. If you choose a bracelet band, your main options will be white, rose and yellow gold tones. Take your cues from the type of accessories she normally wears. Does she wear a lot of silver colored accessories? Chances are she will love a silver-hued watch.

You can also factor in her favorite color. For casual and sporty watches, colorful straps are more common and you can take a bit of a gamble here. If she loves purple, maybe she’ll be thrilled with a purple strap watch.

If you would rather err on the side of caution, stick to neutrals like white, brown, navy, black and beige. These look great on almost everyone and also go with most outfits, making the watch more useful and versatile.

However, generally, darker toned watches such as black, dark brown and navy look amazing on dark or tan skin tones while white, brown, cream and beiges look great paired with pale or fair skin tones. Again, think about the colors she normally wears as this will point you in the right direction.

Choose the Right Watch Size

a woman wearing a watch

While large watch faces are popular these days for casual wear, there is such a thing as ‘too big’ when it comes to watches. Likewise, tiny watch faces can be annoying and difficult to see.  Again, take your cues from her usual style. Does she like large, statement designs? Or does she prefer small, dainty items?

Also consider the size of her wrists. If she’s got a really tiny wrist, pick a smaller watch that will not overwhelm her wrist. Consider a watch with a face that’s around 28 to 38 mm in diameter (watch faces or ‘cases’ as they are called are measured in millimeters). These are common sizes that suit most people.

If she’s got a larger wrist, you can opt to choose a larger watch. Some watch faces come in sizes up to 55mm and more! These might be too large, so it’s best to pick something that is neutral – neither too large nor too small.

In terms of the band size of the watch, it’s always better to opt for a larger band than a small one because often these are adjustable. If the bracelet band is too big, she can always have the metal links taken out to suit her wrist size. And if the strap is too large, having a few more holes punched in isn’t too difficult. If the watch is too small however, there’s little that can be done to make it right.

Before You Buy

Don’t forget that you’ll also have to research brands and types of watches before you settle on the perfect watch for her. Read our guide on how to buy a watch which details types of watch movements, materials used in the crystal, types of bands, best brands and other basic technical information.

For over $50, you can find good quality watches. Of course, the more you’re willing to spend, the more options you will have.

Or why not browse for watches to get an idea about what you want? Amazon has a stunning range of watches from a few dollars all the way up to $50,000 and more! Check out top brands like Tiffany & Co, Bulgari, Gucci, Invicta, Casio and many more featured on Amazon.  There is surely something for everyone.

For more affordable, unique, or vintage watches, check Etsy’s wide range. You may be able to pick out some special finds here.

Wrapping Up

A well-chosen watch can elevate how a person looks, adding that final finishing touch. But not every watch suits every person. It’s important to consider factors like wrist size, color preferences, and lifestyle, among others, to pick the perfect watch.

Dani Rhys

Dani Rhys has worked as a writer and editor for over 15 years in the jewelry niche. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics and Education. She has always been interested in expression through fashion and accessories, and her extensive experience in the field has made her a respected voice in jewelry trends and education. As the chief editor of Jewelry Shopping Guide, she not only leads the content strategy but also shares her insights through engaging articles. Her passion for storytelling is reflected in every piece she curates, exploring the intricate relationship between jewelry and personal identity.

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