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Top 10 Easy to Read Watches for Seniors in 2023

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I get it. You’re 70 years old, the kid’s kids have left the nest, Y2K has come and gone, you’ve survived 2012, and you also endured COVID – some life, huh?

Almost like you’d want to celebrate this time with a significant timepiece to remind yourself of all the struggles, medical alerts, and family members you’ve outlived. Well, lucky for you, some watches were specifically designed with those with poor eyesight in mind.

These are a great option for older people who may have already gone through several pairs of eyeglasses. The most important features on a watch are limited to price, legibility, and whether or not it’ll show your blood pressure. We’ll look past the regular smart watches and also look at some automatic and even some quartz options as well. Let’s dig in, shall we? 

What makes a Good Watch for Seniors? 

Before we list all the best options, I thought it appropriate to quickly discuss what makes a good watch for seniors in general. What makes a good watch for senior citizens tick, if you will – is it purely ease of use, a white background, or something with a mineral glass lens? 

Firstly, as the article states, I think a big factor is simply going to be whether or not you can read the darn thing! A legible dial and wearing experience is thus key for those with poor eyesight, especially those who have already had further complications around eyesight as well. Certain types of watches would be analogue and others digital, but remaining legible is something that should be present in all watches on this list. 

Magnifying glass

Secondly (if applicable) is a good battery life (or a good power reserve). Older folks might not move around as much, and besides a large face on the watch, they need to be able to actually use the watch for a long time. Daily activities are usually not as many as they used to be, meaning that a longer power reserve might be key. Or, in the case of electronic or quartz watches, a longer battery life is going to be something extremely useful. 

Battery Life

From there, we need to look at functionality – in terms of ergonomics and features. Big buttons? Yes, please! Then, the best option will also allow you to do way more than tell the time. Sure, a time-only option will be included in this list. However, I understand that some watches with emergency services at their disposal will also be a huge win.  

Lastly, the perfect watch will be one that is also quite easy to understand. Most mechanical watches are, so I’m definitely referring to your smart options here, but think about it. Your granddad barely knows what Facebook is; why would he want a watch that tells him Sarah just uploaded a picture? Where’s the value in that? Rather, add some safety features that are easy to understand. 

Apple emergency services

Also, not all seniors have a lot of money to spend on nice watches, so while some of these might be quite expensive, some will definitely be more affordable options. 

Tier 1: Mechanical Watches

We’re starting off strong by listing the best mechanical watches for those with poor eyesight. In case you don’t know what that means, this means no battery, no computer, and no LED screen. Pure old-fashioned perpetual energy. 

1: Seiko Prospex Automatic ‘White Dial King Samurai’ SRPE37

We’re starting off the list strong with Seiko – and why not? They’re a leader in providing some of the best value divers on the market, as highlighted in our previous article titled: Best Dive Watches for Every Budget Complete Guide.

While you might not go diving at the age of 70, you might be interested in learning that the ref. SRPE37 offers an extremely legible dial. A white ‘waffle’ dial is matched with raised and black-outlined hour markers and large hands – all of which are filled to the brim with luminous material. 

Seiko Prospex Automatic 'White Dial King Samurai' SRPE37 - Easy to read watches for seniors
Seiko Prospex Automatic ‘White Dial King Samurai’ SRPE37 – Source

What’s more, you have a black bezel in case you ever need to time how long it takes your grandson to call you every week. Priced at around $600 it certainly isn’t cheap, but you’re getting an automatic Seiko 4R35 within, granting you a solid 41 hours of power reserve. This is certainly a popular option if you are already a watch enthusiast or perhaps if your active lifestyle has you clanging and banging your wrist all over the place. 

Seiko’s are robust and built to survive, and the easily read option is no different – it just looks the part as well. 

2: Citizen Tsuyosa

I love these. The newly introduced ‘Tsuyosa’ line from Citizen is bound to be a cult classic, much like the Tissot PRX, the only difference being the styles. This Citizen is another easily read option hailing from Japan, offering the wearer a reliable 40-hour power reserve and a few colourful dials as well. The black or yellow ones might be the best when looking at easy-to-read dial offerings. However, the others are really worth considering. 

Citizen Tsuyosa Yellow Dial - Easy to read watches for seniors
Citizen Tsuyosa Yellow Dial – Source

Overall, the only drawback is the small crown. Sure, this could lead to less dig-in on your wrist (which, when looking at my Mum’s wrists, is a huge win), but also makes winding the watch really hard if needed. The stainless steel bracelet is nicely finished, and at $450 this is a great option to consider for active seniors. Sure, you only get a date function (Cyclops included), but sometimes that’s all you need – try reading a perpetual calendar quickly, I dare you… 

3: Stowa Flieger Range

Stowa is perhaps not a very famous brand, and their offerings are not the best when compared to others, but they still offer something worth mentioning here – affordable fliegers. And fliegers were designed for one purpose – to be easily read. This means you’ll be able to sport a sporty timepiece (albeit a bit large) and you might be able to tell the time incredibly quickly as well. Fliegers are all oversized with stark and empty dials and large, easily seen-hands, and Stowa is no different. Interesting fact, they made watches during WWII! 

Stowa Flieger - Easy to read watches for seniors
Stowa Flieger – Source

4: IWC Big Pilot 

Okay, so, maybe you want the real deal when it comes to fliegers – understandable. Let’s hop on over to the International Watch Company and introduce you to the Big Pilot. 46mm of brilliance and a good option if you like a big dial and nothing else. The only extra features are the power reserve (which is rated at 7 days, by the way!) and the massive crown, meaning winding the watch is a lot easier in the first place. 

IWC Big Pilot 46mm - Easy to read watches for seniors
IWC Big Pilot 46mm – Source

What’s more, these actually carry a lot of heritage with them. There are plenty of articles out there illustrating how important IWC was during WWII, and with the push for larger watches recently, IWC was at the forefront with the Big Pilot. There is a 43mm alternative if you are not bulk enough for the biggest of boy’s, but if we’re purely talking about legibility, the 46mm is the one to go for (at a price, of course). Offered on both a leather and stainless steel strap, this is a classic option that will always be a top pick for those looking to fight against the ‘regular watch’ size. 

5: Cartier Santos Large

Perhaps big and bold isn’t the only thing about you that people notice. Perhaps you drive a Lexus because it’s luxury and not because it’s a great value proposition. For you, I suggest the Cartier Santos, specifically any of the large models.

Cartier Santos Large - Easy to read watches for seniors
Cartier Santos Large – Source

The Santos is actually another pilot’s watch, but takes a very different approach to the previous two offerings. The Santos is certainly more subtle and opulent but retains that ease of legibility we crave. You get a nice, big, square dial – something unlike any other watch face. On this dial, you usually have elongated Roman numerals, something the French Maison is known for, and if you go for the right model, the dial remains incredibly legible. You also have the peace of mind that your watch will certainly slide under any dress cuff you might have, and every place is the right place for a Santos… 

6: Glashütte Original SeaQ 1-39-11-06-80-70 

This one is a bit of a funny one, but when you look at the requirements we had for a watch on this list, then it’s actually a good offering. Glashütte is known for making some of the most opulent and most loved watches on the market, and the SeaQ is something special. When looking at legibility, you have massive Arabic numerals shown with even larger hands, so you will be able to tell the time with ease. What’s more, the watch offers a whopping 200m of water resistance. For pure divers, this might be on the low side, but for seniors, this is more than enough! 

Glashütte Original SeaQ - Easy to read watches for seniors
Glashütte Original SeaQ – Source

Several different colour options are available for you to choose from, and with the rotating dive bezel, you have the ability to time events if you so choose. Slap it on a bracelet for daily wear or on a leather strap for more formal occasions, and you really have one of the most versatile divers money can buy – win. What’s more, your money will also be a lot ‘safer’ than any.

Tier 2: Quartz Offerings

Perhaps you want the reliability of quartz. You don’t want the steep learning curve of a mechanical movement, and you certainly are not willing to shell out top money for some of the top brands – especially on a watch! Whatever the case may be, quartz options are still excellent to consider, seeing as they are cheap, reliable, and can be beautiful as well. 

1: Casio Duro 

I’m not quite sure if Bill Gates has bad eyesight, but he does wear glasses, and he also wears this watch. A large dial that is dominated by the hour markers and hands matched with a black background and you have one of the most legible and easy-to-read dials on this list! What’s more, you’ll be able to rock a water-resistant watch that has a cult following. There isn’t really anything all that special about the Duro other than the fact that it’s a great watch for not a lot of money. 

Casio Duro - Easy to read watches for seniors
Casio Duro – Source

2: Timex Easy Reader 

Want something as classic and timeless as, well, a Timex? Well, the Easy Reader not only looks the part but is actually an extremely legible option! You have large numbers (Arabic Numerals) scattered around the dial to ensure you can read the time from miles away, and paired with the large display of that massive dial and you have a killer combo! The collection comes in various colour options and paired with different straps, so there is something for all of us really. Is it one of the ‘best watches’ money can buy? Of course not! However, it’s exceptional value, and it does what it says on the box – it’s easy to read.

Timex Easy Reader  - Easy to read watches for seniors
Timex Easy Reader – Source

3: Grand Seiko SBGV207 Quartz

Grand Seiko is perhaps something you might not have expected to see on this list, but I wanted to have something on here for everyone. With that in mind, we would highly suggest the SBGV207 Quartz, a time and date black dialled option offered in a steel construction that doesn’t really have anything else to do but help you tell the time. There are no big numbers on the dial, and the only real standout feature is the date window at the 3 o’clock position. 

Grand Seiko SBGV207 Quartz  - Easy to read watches for seniors
Grand Seiko SBGV207 Quartz – Source

Within you have a quartz movement, ensuring you never have to worry about winding your watch, something elderly people struggle with from time to time. The finishing of the case and bracelet are, of course, stunning, and even the no-nonsense dial is somewhat special when you look at the attention to detail on the indices and hands. Overall, a great choice for anyone looking for something special. 

4: Rolex Day-Date Oysterquartz ref. 19018

To round things off for the quartz offerings, I wanted to add something that was opulent yet functional. A true expression of luxury. With that said, let’s hop on over to the Crown with the Oysterquartz ref. 19018. You will not be able to purchase this anywhere else but the second-hand market, but it’s worth it. The Oysterquartz has a special place in many people’s hearts as something both unique yet still classic.

Rolex Day-Date Oysterquartz ref. 19018 - Easy to read watches for seniors
Rolex Day-Date Oysterquartz ref. 19018 – Source

This particular reference sports a full 18K yellow gold construction matched with a stark black dial and diamond-set hour markers. It certainly cannot be easier to tell the time – however, the dial isn’t as large as some of the other options on the list. This is certainly not the option for those who have the worst eye sight, but if you are still well off and you want something that’ll grab attention for all the right reasons, this is it. You even get a day and a date function as well! 

Tier 3: Smart, E, and Other Watches 

Now that we’ve gone through just about all the offerings that most of us ‘enthusiasts’ would consider viable, it’s about time we consider some of the best smartwatches or Apple watches that money can buy that are easy to read. Older adults might not be the most tech-savvy, but that doesn’t mean they are limited to analogue watches only… Just one thing to note! This list includes all watches that are not ‘purely’ mechanical or quartz. Thus, it can include others like solar watches as well. 

1: Citizen Garrison Titanium 

I’m including another Citizen on this list simply because it’s another steal for the price! We have the Garrison finished in Titanium and sporting an Eco-Drive movement. This means that your watch is powered by the sun, meaning you never have to worry about your battery running out of charge! This is a massive plus for anyone, especially those who may not be moving around enough to wind a watch, so, perfect for golden oldies. 

Citizen Garrison Titanium - Easy to read watches for seniors
Citizen Garrison Titanium – Source

The dial features large Arabic numerals plastered on an army-green dial matched with massive hands. This is the perfect combo for anyone looking to read something with a glance, and is also perfect at the price point it is offered at, which is only a couple of hundred dollars. It comes paired with a light brown leather strap, making it the perfect watch for the summer. 

2: Apple Watch Series 8

The Apple Watch might not be what most of ‘us’ like, but it still a great smart watch, and still exceptional when you look at what it can do for older folks. Medical alert systems, an SOS button, the ability to take phone calls, a fitness tracker, a step counter, heart rate monitoring, and so and… There really isn’t a limit to the Apple watch, especially this series 8. Tech-savvy seniors will line up for miles around the block for this bad boy; plus, it comes in south of $500. 

Apple Watch Series 8 - Easy to read watches for seniors
Apple Watch Series 8 – Source

The health features alone make it perfect for the elderly, but what about legibility? Sure, the small screen is somewhat limiting, but there are settings you can tamper with to make things a bit bigger and a bit easier to read. Older men and women might also want to show their uniqueness with a new strap, a leather one perhaps, which is something I love to see. It’s a hard time trying to find a reason why your granddad should not own one of these, my only quarrel is that I prefer a granddad with a Big Pilot… 

3: Garmin Fenix 6X

Garmin is another company known for producing some of the most respected smartwatches in the industry – and for good reason. Garmin can cram just about everything into a watch, and with the Fenix 6X, they did so with a rather sizable option as well. We have a 51mm option with the longest battery life of any Garmin yet – WIN! Features of this big boy include solar charging, a step counter, the ability to contact medical emergency personnel, an alarm clock, a heart rhythm checker, GPS (including current location!), health tracking features, and a whole lot more.

Garmin Fenix 6X - Easy to read watches for seniors
Garmin Fenix 6X – Source

With software updates, you also have the freedom to change your dial, meaning you can choose the dial that suits you the best! This beats almost any of the other options on this list when it comes to legibility and ease of use, but only if you are really comfortable with a tech watch. Otherwise, this might not be the best option for you…


And there you have it, folks! Some of the easiest-to-read options you will ever get! These should all be really easy for you to use on a daily basis and should not be that hard to ‘learn’ how to use. If you are opting for one of the smart options, I would highly suggest that you go to the shop and have someone teach you how to use them. I would still always go to the shop and see what fits, see how my eyes react, and see if I like the damn thing before buying it.

That said, with the prerequisites we had in mind in the beginning, all of these options will suit you perfectly fine and will help you at every step of your day. Stay safe out there! Plus, some of these options might actually be a great option to give to your children’s children too – another win! 

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