10 Best Trap Exercises for Men
It’s okay if bodybuilding is not your thing, or you don’t have a fetish for lifting heavy weights. I mean, some of us still want to have a neck, you know!
But the thing is the trapezius muscles are often ignored, even for peeps who hit the gym frequently. That doesn’t mean the traps don’t get any workout at all. They do, but indirectly. The result is often sore and lagging trap muscles.
So, why not perform trap-dedicated exercises since a lot of other workouts already use these sets of muscles? That way, you build a bigger back while honing your strength and form for other exercises.
Check out 10 excellent trap exercises, specially handpicked for growing impressive traps.
1. Farmer’s Carry
Let’s kick off with one of the commonest yet effective trap exercises. It’s hard to imagine anyone trying to build their traps without the Farmer’s Carry. Heck! Even farmers do this routine (unintentionally), and a good number of them aren’t even familiar with the term. The point is, this exercise is one of the staples for gym-goers aiming for bigger and better backs. Here’s how it’s done:
- Choose your preferred weight – kettlebell, dumbbell, etc. – and hold one each in both hands the way a farmer would carry two sacks full of grains
- Start walking as you tighten your back and core
- Maintain an upright and firm posture as you take measured steps
Distance: Approx 40 to 60 meters for a lighter weight, approx 20 to 30 meters for a middle weight, approx 10 to 15 meters for a heavy weight
Sets: 2 to 3 sets
Rest: 2 minutes
2. Pull-Up Shrug
This exercise gives you the benefit of honing your pull-up form while working your traps at the same time. But that’s not all. Your lats are not left out, so you’re targeting more than one muscle with this fantastic tune-up exercise. To do this:
- Hang from a pull-up bar, maintaining a tight core and straight spine
- Pull yourself up slightly to move your shoulders back and down while simultaneously extending your head and neck upward
- Squeeze your abs and hold for a count
- Return to the starting position
Reps: 10 reps every minute for 10 straight minutes
Sets: 1 set
Rest: 2 minutes
3. Barbell Shrug
Here’s another shrugging exercise, but this time around with a weight to add a bit more pressure on the upper trap muscles. Do this with the following steps:
- Pull a barbell using the overhand grip, keeping your hands slightly beyond shoulder-width apart
- Let the weight hang in front of your waist at arm’s length
- Keep your back naturally arched and lean forward slightly at the hips
- Bend your knees slightly
- Raise your shoulders as high as you can, keeping your arms straight as you do this
- Pause briefly
- Return to the starting position
Reps: 5 reps per set
Sets: 3 sets
Rest: 2 minutes
4. Dumbbell Shrug
If you find the barbell shrug a tad too demanding (perhaps because your fitness level isn’t quite there yet), try this less intensive version. Here’s how it’s done:
- Grab a pair of dumbbells in each hand
- Let your hands hang at your sides with palms facing the sides of your body
- Bring your shoulders up high in a shrug and hold for a count in the top position
- Bring your shoulders back to the starting position
Reps: 12 reps per set
Sets: 5 sets
Rest: 45 seconds
5. Rack Pull
Apart from working your trapezius muscles, the rack pull is one of the trap exercises that hone your form and strength for other compound lifts. It involves pulling the weight (barbell) off the ground without the full range motion of a standard deadlift. You can remove your training shoes for this exercise if you want, but keep the socks on. Do the following:
- Stack up boxes or set up a rack to elevate the barbell just above your shins
- Hold the bar using an overhand grip, spreading your hand slightly beyond should-width apart
- Slowly hinge at the waist while pushing your hips back
- Pull the bar up as you stand up with your back straight
- Hold for a count at the top
- Slowly return the weight to the starting position
Reps: 5 reps per set using a heavier weight, and do 10 reps for one set with the load reduced
Sets: 6 sets with heavier weight and 1 set with a lighter load
Rest: 5 minutes for each heavy set
6. Barbell Row
Engage your middle and lower trapezius muscles together with your rhomboids and rear deltoid muscles with this rowing exercise. Develop your strength and stability using these steps:
- Position your hands slightly beyond shoulder-width apart on the barbell and grab it firmly using an overhand grip
- Make the barbell is at arm’s length
- Bend your hips and knees so that your upper body is parallel to the floor
- Pull the bar up to your upper abs while maintaining your bent position
- Squeeze your shoulder blades and hold at the top
- Slowly return the barbell to the starting position
Reps: 5 reps per set
Sets: 4 sets
Rest: 60 seconds
7. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Looking to work your deltoids while training your trapezius muscles? The dumbbell lateral raise provides both benefits. Your delt muscles are actively doing the most work in this exercise, but your upper traps are getting smoked, too.
When you do this exercise, don’t just throw the weight up as many guys do in the gym. Fast reps aren’t going to hit the muscles the way you want. Go slowly with controlled movements. Here’s how to do the dumbbell lateral raise correctly:
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand and let them hang at your sides
- Stand in a fully upright posture with your feet shoulder-width apart
- Make sure your palms are facing forward as you bend your elbows slightly
- Keep your elbows that way as you simultaneously bring both arms to shoulder level and slightly in front of you
- When your arms are at the top, they should form a “T” with your body
- Pause for one second before gradually reversing until you get to the starting position
Reps: 20 reps per set
Sets: 5 sets
Rest: 90 seconds
8. Incline Dumbbell Shrug
This is a less popular version of the dumbbell shrug, but it targets a spot on the back that is commonly overlooked, and that’s the lower traps muscles. Find a workout bench and follow these steps:
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie chest-down on an inclined workout bench
- Let your arms hang down on both sides with palms facing each other
- Pull your shoulder blades together by shrugging your shoulders upward
- Focus on squeezing your trap muscles when you reach the top position
- Pause at the top
- Return to the starting position
Reps: 10 to 12 reps per set
Sets: 5 sets
Rest: 45 seconds
9. Dumbbell Overhead Carry
Here’s one other exercise that can increase the tension in your traps and lead to muscle growth. Your lower body moves during the workout yet acts as a support for your upper body where the weight is. This puts pressure on your traps and spurs growth. Start with a comfortable weight as you do this:
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand and raise them above your head, with your palms facing each other
- Keep your upper arms next to your ears while you walk forward
- Keep the weight from moving as you walk by engaging your trapezius muscles
Reps: 45 seconds per set
Sets: 4 sets
Rest: 30 seconds
10. Overhead Barbell Shrug
Whoever thought shrugging would offer so much benefit? Here’s one more way you can combine it with barbells to work your upper trapezius muscles:
- Using an underhand grip that’s approximate twice shoulder width, raise a barbell high above your head, keeping your arms completely straight, and feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lock your elbows and make sure they stay that way throughout the exercise
- Shrug your shoulders as high as possible
- Pause for a couple of seconds when your shoulders are at the highest position
- Return your shoulders to the started position
Reps: 6 reps per set
Sets: 5 sets
Rest: 2 minutes
Recommended Gears for Trap Exercises
It’s no news that the versatility of kettlebells makes them must-haves for building your trapezius muscles. There are among the most comfortable exercise weights, yet they offer sufficient challenge to help you reach your fitness goals efficiently. Buying a set of kettlebells is an excellent investment, particularly if you want to train from home.
Adjustable dumbbells offer the flexibility of incrementally increasing weights to match your strength level. Getting an adjustable dumbbell means you are essentially buying an entire rack of weights. This eliminates the need to clutter your home or workout space with several dumbbells. Bowflex dumbbells are particularly durable and ideal for working those traps.
Working out in the gym can give you the push you need to crush your goals since there other people around. You’re not likely to get bored, and you have access to a wider assortment of equipment besides kettlebells and dumbbells. But before you hit the gym, you want to pack these workout essentials in your gym bag.
- Gym clothes: Going to the gym without proper apparel? How do you train? Sometimes, you can get to the gym before realizing you didn’t bring proper gym attire, especially if you go to the gym straight from work. To avoid forgetting your training apparel at home, make a list of the items you need at the gym and pin it to your bag.
- Sneakers: Even if you plan on doing some trap exercises without your shoes on (e.g., the rack pull), you still need a pair of good-quality sneakers for other routines.
- Reusable water bottle: Training the traps can knock the wind out of you. You might even discover that you get very hungry after training. But whether you are famished or not, it is crucial to stay hydrated during workouts. So, bring a bottle of water when going to the gym.
- Deodorant: Obviously, you want to be smelling nice before, during, and after your workouts.
Common Trap Training Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
As with nearly muscle training workouts, mistakes with trap training are common. This is particularly true if you are a beginner doing your training at home all by yourself without an experienced personal trainer to guide you. That doesn’t mean peeps who hit the gym don’t fall into the traps’ trap. However, those guys are more likely to see others doing it correctly and follow suit.
If you are putting in all the work yet results aren’t showing or your traps are lagging, you’re likely making one or more of the following common mistakes.
Performing Too Many Trap Workouts
It may seem like a good idea to do every trapezius exercise available, but trust me, targeting your trap muscles with a bunch of isolation workouts is not something you want because you’ll continue struggling but won’t really hit what you’re aiming for.
The ultimate goal for trap exercises is not merely to flaunt well-built trap muscles; your goal should also include:
- Developing wide lats that go all the way to your lower torso to give your upper body a V-taper
- A bulky tree-like structure in your lower back
- Huge rhomboids that shape into desirable “valleys” when you flex them
- Proper development and clear distinction in the infraspinatus and teres muscles
As you can imagine, all of these take more work than only workouts that focus on your traps. What you should really be aiming for are exercises that work the major muscles of your back, while also doing isolation workouts that target the traps alone.
In a nutshell, you need to include a lot of heavy vertical and horizontal pulling in your entire workout routines. While the vertical pulling smoke the lats and other muscles that contribute to width, horizontal pulling target traps, rhomboids, erector spinae, and other muscles that contribute to the thickness of your back.
Performing Excessive High-Rep Pump Workouts
Here’s one fact that many guys who hit the gym trying to get a pump don’t realize. You’re going to hit a plateau very fast if all you do is focus on getting a pump instead of becoming stronger. Focusing on high-rep pump training such as giant sets, supersets, drop sets, and others like them, are all good and fine and are likely to give you rapid results until they don’t. It won’t be long before all that progress comes to a screeching halt.
Gaining the size of muscles you want in your traps requires heavy strength training that increases your whole-body strength. If you want to continue getting bigger with your training, you need to continue getting stronger. If you gain a fair amount of size at the initial stages of your training without much strength, getting bigger will hit a plateau once your body graduates from that initial pump phase.
The most effective way to get stronger is through heavy resistance training. This is the surest and quickest path to building a stronger back, well-defined traps, and a thick and wide upper body.
Training Too Little
The trapezius muscles are always helping and supporting in many exercises; no argument there. The problem is that many people take that as working the trap muscles. Others relegate their trap muscles to the afterthought department. At best, the traps get a few sets of shrugs in an entire week’s training session.
No one ever gets a great back without putting in intense training, and this includes traps exercises, too. Focus on getting in two exercises and six sets at the very least in your trap routines. You can include intensifiers such as supersets and drop sets to get things more interesting.
Reaching Absolute Muscle Failure for Each Set
Training until muscle failure is where you can’t go any further with the weight and must end the set. For better results, you want to get as close to absolute muscle failure as possible without actually reaching there.
Aim for one or two reps short of muscle failure. Don’t worry if you can’t tell where this point is just yet. With regular training, you will eventually figure out where your particular sweet spot is. Whatever you do, it is best to avoid absolute muscle failure for workouts such as the deadlift, military press, squat, and bench press because it can be disastrous.
Focusing on the Upper Traps Only
This is perhaps one of the commonest mistakes since most people know how to isolate their upper traps with shrugs but don’t seem to understand how to target lower and middle trapezius muscles. Ignoring the slab of muscle in the middle of your upper back will not give you the type of result you are looking for.
You can avoid this mistake by doing more trap exercises that target the lower and middle trap muscles, such as the incline dumbbell shrug (number 8 on this list). The incline position of the exercise maximizes the contraction in your mid and lower back.
Training your trap muscles is a lot like training the calves or shoulders. The single, most effective way to getting well-developed traps is to build a great back. And getting a great back means training to become strong on a variety of key exercises.
There are really no shortcuts about traps training. You won’t magically build a drool-worthy back in a couple of weeks, so quit trying too hard or looking for “secret formulas.” There’re simply none.
Show up, put in the required work, and stay consistent with your routines, whether you workout at home or gym. That’s the best way to get results. And don’t forget rest, recovery, and good nutrition – these play a vital role in your progress.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the fastest way to build bigger traps?
The fastest and most efficient way to build bigger trapezoid muscles is to commit to a rigorous training regimen. Aim for between 10 and 15 trap exercises, with particular focus on the classic farmer’s carry (number 1 on this list) and the “king” of all trap-building workouts – the barbell shrug (number 3 on this list). But don’t do only one or two types of trap workouts.
Keep in mind, though, going too fast is a quick way to end up making mistakes. You want to balance your desire for fast results with the need for proper training and adequate rest. Don’t go into overdrive just because you want to build impressive traps in the shortest amount of time. Perform your trap workouts about 2 to 3 times per week with at least three days of full rest between each training session.
How soon should I expect to see results?
There is no definite answer to this one. Every individual has different muscle types, level of dedication, and other variables. However, with consistent practice, the average time it takes to start seeing good results is about eight weeks. Keep in mind that nutrition can also impact your results. Training your traps (and all types of workouts for that matter) should go with proper nutrition if you want better results. Check out recommended foods to eat pre-workout as well as post-workout.
Do trap exercises increase neck size?
Trap training does impact the neck since the muscles are near the back of your neck. Ultimately, trap workouts increase the space between your delts and neck. However, since they are not directly targeted at the neck, the impact is minimal. If you are aiming for a bigger neck, you need to do isolation exercises that target the neck.
10 Best Watches For Men Reviewed – 2021 Edition
For those living under a rock, everyone knows that the modern man doesn’t really wear a watch solely to know the time. Instead, it is more about a statement of your class and style. You also probably already know that the good quality watches for men can be found within a variety of price points, so there’s always something for you regardless of your budget.
Gents, since we all know these things, there’s really no point dancing around a preamble. Let’s just cut to the chase and see some of the best watches for men available on the market.
Best Watches for Men
1. Rado Centrix Jubile Black Dial
Simple but classy; that’s the easiest way to describe this Rado Centrix Jubile Black Dial watch. With only the quarter hour positions marked by diamonds and silver-tone hands, the watch presents a not-too-noisy and straightforward design. Apart from the small brand name, hour, minute, and seconds hand, the only other thing on the face is the calendar – talk about a neat watch!
Rado Centrix is an analog quartz watch, meaning its ticking movement is powered by a battery. This might not be your type of watch if you prefer an automatic or mechanical watch. But its no-frills design coupled with its tough scratch-resistant sapphire crystal gives it a certain easy appeal, making it one of the best watches for men who are looking to stand out with something uncomplicated yet trendy.
Rado has automatic watches, though, if that’s your preference. However, they cost a few hundred dollars more than the quartz model.
With only 30 meters of water-resistant rating, the Rado Centrix watch is splash-proof. But a splash-proof watch is not exactly what you’ll wear to the pool.
Getting caught up in occasional rain while wearing your Rado Centrix isn’t going to be a problem; neither will splashes of water have any effect on the watch. But you don’t want to submerge this watch in water. Your investment is better off contacting the smallest amount of water possible.
2. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
This next option is for men with deep pockets. If you intend to splash some serious cash on a timepiece, you might as well take a look at the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch. It’s not called the “moon watch” for nothing. It has actually been to the moon and back! The Omega Speedmaster is one of the few manual-winding chronograph movement watches that are worn on NASA missions.
The analog watch features a tough sapphire crystal dial window and comes complete with a presentation box that includes a Velcro strap, NATO strap, and strap changing tools.
With a 50-meter water resistance depth, you shouldn’t think of diving with this expensive watch on unless you plan to damage your prized possession!
While you can swim with it, it is best to avoid too much exposure to water and probably take it off. Like other chronograph watches, this one also features a stopwatch function that can be very useful when you need to use a timer. The bottom button at the side of the watch controls the function and can be used to start and stop timing.
Omega watches are not only made famous by NASA astronauts, movie characters like James Bond have also contributed to promoting the brand. If you prefer the version worn by James Bond (after he ditched Rolex in 1995), consider the more popular Omega Seamaster series. This particular Seamaster Planet Ocean is an automatic watch, so you will have to wear it almost daily or move it around for a bit every day. Needless to say, you’ll have to pay top dollar for it.
3. Gucci G -Timeless
Okay, Gucci is renowned as a first-rate fashion label, so it might come as a surprise to see the brand listed among watchmakers. First, buying a watch from a well-established fashion brand means you are paying extra for the designer label. And secondly, you might not get certain features found in other watches within the same price range.
However, Gucci is not just an authority in the clothing world. The company has gone ahead to also make a name for itself in the watch market and is even a leading brand in watchmaking. And the icing on the cake? Gucci watches are made in, you guessed it, Switzerland – giving the watchmaking section of the brand more class.
Most Gucci watch designs are strikingly unconventional as far as traditional watchmaking goes. The result? Gucci produces some of the best watches for men who prefer donning chic styles instead of the more common traditional designs.
So, if you are looking to stand out from the crowd, consider a Gucci watch. This G-Timeless model is from the Timeless collection. It comes with a mineral crystal face and quartz movement. Although it is a water-resistant watch, it is best suited for swimming in shallow waters.
The watch is battery operated. That means you might need to replace it, depending on how long it has stayed on the shelf. An automatic movement would have been desirable, but Gucci watches with that feature costs almost as twice as this one.
4. TAG Heuer Formula 1 Caliber 5 Automatic Watch
This might not be the most expensive watch on this list, but it certainly is really tricky knowing exactly where to begin to describe this TAG Heuer Watch.
TAG Heuer is a leading name in watchmaking. First, it is a Swiss brand. Secondly, the company has continued to win multiple prestigious awards. And thirdly, you don’t have to lose an arm and a leg to own one of their watches, although they don’t come cheap. Is there any wonder why one of their timepieces is included in the list of best watches for men?
This automatic TAG Heuer watch comes with a tough sapphire crystal glass that won’t scratch easily. The glass face houses a striking grey dial that is difficult to miss even in the dark, thanks to the rhodium-plated indexes coated in white Superluminova and the sleek steel hands. And just in case you didn’t catch that, it simply means the hands and markers glow in the dark.
The watch is powered by Caliber 5 mechanical movement with a backup power that can last up to 38 hours. It also comes with a fast date correction feature. As far as water resistance goes, you don’t have to take it off if you want to go for water skiing or any other serious surface water sports. In fact, it is safe for professional marine activities, too. But with only 200 meters water-resistant rating, you definitely shouldn’t be using this watch for scuba diving.
Seems like the Formula 1 collection is a combination of high-quality and bells and whistles, right? Well, it might be difficult to find fault with a watch that is designed with incredible Swiss-made technology. But here’s something to keep in mind, though; 43 mm isn’t exactly small, so the watch might look awkward on you if you have a small hand. You don’t want people thinking you got an oversized birthday present!
But that’s not something to split hairs too much about because you can opt for the 41 mm stainless steel version if you’re bent on owning a watch from the Formula 1 collection of TAG Heuer. It is also an automatic watch, so there’s no need for a battery.
5. Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 Automatic Watch
The Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 Automatic Watch is proof that you can get the best watches for men even if you’re not a CEO just yet. A high-quality Swiss watch, an automatic watch, and a synthetic sapphire glass are all wrapped into this very affordable timepiece! Quality and affordability don’t get any better than this Tissot Le Locle watch.
This watch is made from stainless steel and has a silver metal bracelet. The watch has a black dial and comes with a date function. You won’t be changing batteries since it is an automatic watch, but you’ll need to wear it or move it daily. It is a water-resistant watch with a 30-meter rating. Apart from the occasional splash of water from the sink, it is best to avoid getting this watch wet.
6. Bell & Ross BR 03-92 NIGHTLUM
The Bell & Ross BR 03-92 NIGHTLUM watch is the first watch on this list with a leather strap. Pay no attention to the “bell” in the name; there’s no bell and whistles with this watch, just a straightforward square watch with the traditional hours, minutes, and seconds hands with a date feature.
This watch has its origin in aviation and is perfect for gents who prefer simplicity and a square-shaped watch. But just because it is a simple watch doesn’t mean it is made from low-quality materials. This watch features a hard-wearing leather strap that is as tough as they come. The face is a rugged scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and the watch comes with a screwed-down crown.
All the hands are luminous, so you don’t have to squint to see what time is it, even in the dark. It is a water-resistant watch rated at 100 meters. So, it is perfect for swimming and some other water sports. However, I wouldn’t take it for diving. And the best part? It has an automatic movement. So, while this watch might not have the usual extra attractive trimmings, it sure packs quite a bit of functionality.
7. Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch
Here’s another leather strap watch that qualifies to be on this list of best watches for men. Why? You’ll know just in a bit. But first, let’s start with the one thing that is less appealing about the watch. The Horological Smartwatch from Frederique Constant is a Swiss quartz watch, meaning it is powered by a battery. Most watch nerds would prefer an automatic or mechanical watch, but this quartz watch comes with a battery that can last for more than 2years, so you won’t be changing the battery anytime soon.
Okay, now that we’ve gone past that hitch, let’s see what makes this watch outstanding. This elegant-looking timepiece is not called a smartwatch for nothing. It combines a lot of useful functions that hardly reflect on the price tag. This is the perfect watch if you are interested in getting a timepiece that will help you stay on track with your fitness goals.
The Smartwatch can track your athletic activities, including the number of daily steps, the total distance covered, and the total calories burned. You can even set the alarm to remind you to move if you haven’t done so for a certain period. And you can wear it to sleep or place it under your pillow to monitor and record your sleep. What are the details it records during sleep? It monitors how much time you spent in light sleep, deep sleep, and how much time you spent awake.
Okay, enough about activity tracking. Let’s get to the real reason this watch is called a smartwatch. It is built to automatically pick up the current time from your Smartphone, so you don’t ever need to set the time and date, even when you travel across time zones. Plus, all your data can be backed up to the cloud, making it easy to restore it in case you ever lose your phone or watch.
It comes with a locked crown, a push button, and a scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal face. It has a water-resistant rating of 50 meters, making it safe to use even when you sweat profusely or wash your hand in the sink. Just don’t go swimming with this watch as you might lose your investment.
8. Breitling Navitimer GMT
Did I say the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch was for those with deep pockets? Well, you might need to dig really deep into those pockets if you want to buy a Breitling Navitimer GMT. This is the most expensive watch on this list, but its price is not just what makes it one of the best watches for men; it’s its superior and outstanding quality. In fact, you can use the words “quality” and “Breitling” interchangeably as far as watches go (that’s my opinion, anyway!)
Usually, I should save the best for last, but as you’ll have noticed, I didn’t follow any particular order in listing these watches. The Breitling Navitimer GMT watch is an amazing timepiece, whether it appears at the top, bottom, or anywhere on any list.
There’s hardly anything a quality luxury watch should have that is lacking in this powerful timepiece. But that’s not surprising considering it is Swiss made. It has an automatic movement, rugged anti-scratch sapphire crystal glass, chronograph, and a bidirectional bezel function.
You simply can’t go wrong with this watch. It is an excellent investment for those who can afford it. And to set your mind at ease, the product comes with a solid 6-year warranty.
The last two watches on this list are great choices if you’re thinking budget. But just because you are living on a shoestring doesn’t mean you can’t find good quality watches. In fact, you can find some of the best watches for men under $500 here.
9. Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Watch
Need an affordable hybrid timepiece dubbed “the most accurate watch in the world?” A smart choice would be the Eco-Drive Chronograph from Citizen.
It’s rare to find a quartz watch that combines super accuracy with not needing a battery. Heck, even high-end chronograph watches tend to go out of sync with time.
This Eco-Drive chronometer timepiece is powered by light – just about any light! The watch face has a small solar panel that traps light, so there’s absolutely no need for a battery, ever! The watch also has an “Atomic Timekeeping” feature, making sure it never goes out of sync.
The Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Watch is made in Japan. And just before you raise an eyebrow because it’s not from the watchmaking capital of the world – Switzerland – rest assured that Japan also manufactures some of the best watches for men and women alike.
The watch has a superb quality build; it doesn’t scratch easily because it has a very tough protective sapphire crystal on the glass window lens (that’s the transparent part of the watch’s face). And with up to 200-meter water resistance rating, swimming and diving with the watch should be safe.
Here’s a clever and interesting feature. The watch saves energy by not moving all the hands when it is covered in a dark place for a while (under your sleeve, in a drawer, etc.) As soon as you bring it to light, you can visibly see how the seconds hand zoom by to catch up with the current time.
This might not be the best watch for you if you are looking for something with less “noise” on the face. Some people might find the face a bit too crowded. If you want a watch sleek design and a less cramped face, perhaps an unconventional watch like those from Gucci might suit you.
It might not be the most expensive quartz in the world, but it certainly is a great watch for its price. With a rating of 4.4 out of 5 from 605 customer reviews on Amazon and a solid 5-year manufacturer warranty, this is not a bad quartz watch at all.
10. Seiko Automatic Watch
This analog Seiko Automatic Watch is the least expensive on this list, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable. In fact, it is style pretty much like a Rolex Submariner, one of the best watches for men when it comes to taking a deep dive.
Like the previous Citizen watch, this one too is manufactured in Japan. Seiko is not new to the watchmaking business and has established itself as a company that produces high-quality and accurate timepieces.
This particular watch is built with a crystal made from mineral. While that is good, it is not quite as durable and robust as sapphire, but hey, if it’s built as high-quality as other luxury watches, it won’t be very affordable, right?
The auto watch is water-resistant for up to 100 meters. Meaning, it is great for swimming in a pool, but it might not be okay for diving. You definitely don’t want to be wearing this for your underwater exploration during the weekend.
Anyways, you don’t have to hate deep-diving to own this watch. There are other alternatives if diving is top on your weekend to-do list. The Seiko auto watch is simply not designed for such activities. And by the way, why is it called an automatic watch? Because it works by your movement. Instead of relying on batteries, it only works when you use it. This is perhaps one of the few cheap watches with such a feature.
While an automatic movement is generally a plus, it could also be a problem if you don’t use the watch for a couple of days. You may not lose your investment because you didn’t wear your Seiko 5 model for an entire day, but you may need to restart the watch manually. To do that, you need to turn the crown on the side of the watch a couple of times – about 10 to 15 times clockwise.
In Seiko’s defense, though, this is not peculiar to this watch. All automatic watches are designed that way. So if you can get past the fact that you might need to use this watch almost daily, then it could be the perfect watch for you.
What Makes a Quality Watch?
Big names are good; in fact, they are great. But watches are not just about Omega, Rolex, and TAG. Great watches are not found in Switzerland only. So, what exactly makes a watch great? Here are some important criteria to note.
Watch movement refers to the mechanism a watch uses to work. There are three types of watch movements, namely, quartz, mechanical, and automatic movements.
A watch with a quartz movement often uses a battery and is generally cheaper than a watch with mechanical or automatic movement. Mechanical watches require periodic winding to keep them functional. And automatic watches need to be worn or moved daily.
With quartz watches, you get ticking motion of the seconds-hand while mechanical and automatic watches have a sweeping or smooth seconds-hand motion. You can find good-quality watches with quartz movement, but in most cases, luxury watches have mechanical or automatic movements.
Watch Case Material
It doesn’t matter the mechanism of a watch – whether it ticks or sweeps – if the material used in building the case is poor, no one would be attracted to it in the first place. So, first things first, a watch case should provide aesthetics. But beyond that, it has to be durable to offer any form of protection. Good quality watches should have cases made from titanium, ceramic, or at least stainless steel.
The Glass on the Face
The glass on watch faces are called crystals and are made from different materials. Protecting the watch from dirt, water, and other potentially destructive materials might seem like an easy thing to do, but it is not. For this reason, the best watches for men need to have crystals made from tough and durable materials.
The three major materials are sapphire, acrylic, and mineral. Sapphire crystals are second only to diamonds in toughness, making them a more scratch-resistant and expensive. Acrylic faces or crystals are mostly found on cheaper watches. Personally, I don’t recommend buying any watch with this type of crystal because it scratches easily. Besides, it is mostly found in children’s watches.
Mineral crystals are simply glasses treated with chemicals or heat to improve their shatter and scratch resistance. They are not as durable as sapphire but are great choices if you are on a budget.
The weight of a metal strap will tell you whether it is made from solid material or not. Stainless steel, platinum, and gold are some of the best options for metal watch straps. A low-quality watch will have hollow stainless steel in its straps.
You can also find good quality watches with leather straps. The straps are made from durable leather. For example, this expensive Hublot Rose Gold watch comes with a leather strap.
Whether you choose a metal or leather strap watch is a matter of personal preference. One is not better than the other. Although, some people tend to think that metal strap watches should be worn at work during the day, while leather strap watches should be for more casual outings in the evenings or nights. Of course, that’s just an opinion. You can choose to do whatever suits you best.
What? Yeah, you read that right.
Complications don’t sound like a good thing but trust me; it is all good as far as quality watches go. Complications refer to a watch’s extra features besides telling the time.
A good-quality watch should have at least a date feature, you know, just to keep you up to date. Other useful features include a chronograph (stopwatch for timing yourself), a backlight, and many others.
Keep in mind, though, plenty of complications don’t exactly mean a watch is first-rate. There are many luxury and quality watches with minimal complications.
Which country makes the best watches for men? Or which country makes the best watches of any kind for that matter? The answer to this is highly subjective. However, there seems to be a consensus about three watchmaking countries. These are Switzerland, Japan, and Germany, with Switzerland being the undisputed champions.
Brands such as Omega, Tissot, Rolex, Tag, Breitling, and other luxury brands are made in Switzerland. But you can’t ignore other Japanese watchmaking giants such as Seiko and Citizen. These brands also compete favorably with many Swiss watches. German brands such as the A. Lange & Sohne is not left out too. In fact, they produce some of the most expensive and high-quality watches available.
Water Resistance Rating
Lastly, a quality watch should have a fair water resistance rating or a high rating if it is a diving watch. But here’s the thing, water-resistance ratings are usually confusing, especially if you take them literally. For example, it is easy to assume that a 50-meter water-resistance rating means you can dive down to 50 meters, but that is totally incorrect.
Horologists (that’s a fancy word for watch experts) recommend swimming with a watch only if it has a minimum water-resistance rating of 100 meters. A rating of 200 meters and upward is okay for diving. However, keep in mind that the water-resistance of a watch degrades over time, so you want to keep older watches out of the water as much as possible.
So, the best watches for men all have high water resistance ratings, right? Wrong! Many high-quality watches are not designed for diving, so they don’t need such high ratings.
There are a plethora of cheap watches with good water-resistance ratings. It depends on what the watch is designed to do. If you want a luxury watch that is built for deep diving, then you should keep an eye on the water-resistance ratings; otherwise, high a rating is not necessarily a sign of a quality watch.
The best watches for men do not necessarily need to have all the criteria listed above. You will notice that some of the watches in our review do not have a few of these features, too, but that doesn’t make them less valuable. It all comes down to what you are looking for in a watch.
Do not let a lean budget stop you from getting a quality timepiece. If you take a few moments to look through this list, you will find good quality watches that don’t cost much. And if you have a few extra bucks to throw around, there are also superb luxury watches to choose from, too.