Watches are more than tools for timekeeping. They're also fashion accessories that, when chosen appropriately, can become an extension of a person's personality.

But how do you decide what watch to wear for a specific type of occasion? A lot of the answer comes down to personal preference. However, there are some basic guidelines you can follow based on the type of occasion you're planning for.

And of course, keep in mind that these are just recommendations. If you feel inspired, go for it!

Keep reading to learn how to decide what watch to wear for different occasions. For information on finding the right watch fit, read our post on how to pick the right watch size.

Man wearing a black Nixon watch and sitting on a stool

    5 Different Occasions and What Watch to Wear for Each

    Formal Events

    When choosing what watch to wear for a formal occasion like a black-tie event or wedding, it's generally wise to start your watch selection process by putting together the rest of your outfit first and going with something understated on your wrist.

    For these types of occasions, look for a watch that adds a level of (subtle) sophistication to your look. Consider minimalist watches with stainless steel or leather straps and stick to neutral colors like silver, gold or black. In most cases, when selecting a watch for a formal event you should be thinking "less is more".

    Shop Nixon minimalist watches for men

    Shop Nixon minimalist watches for women

    Casual Outings

    Picking the right watch to wear as an everyday watch is much easier and affords you some extra freedom in your selection process. Go with whatever feels right!

    The main suggestion worth keeping in mind when selecting a watch for casual outings is to go with something that you find comfortable. Analog watches are a common selection as everyday watches and are available in a variety of materials including stainless steel, leather and rubber.

    Shop Nixon analog watches for men

    Shop Nixon analog watches for women

    Outdoor Adventures

    Choosing the right watch to wear for outdoor adventures all depends on the adventure and why you're wearing the watch.

    For example, if you're looking for a watch to wear while surfing you may be interested in having tide data available to you on a digital display. And if you're going hiking or camping, having weather alerts or an altimeter may be most important.

    In all cases, your outdoor watch should be rugged and able to withstand harder use. And generally, function should come before form when choosing a watch for outdoor adventures.

    Shop Nixon watches for hiking, camping and other outdoor activities

    Shop Nixon watches for surfing

    Man wearing the Nixon Regulus Expedition outdoor watch and holding a car door

    Professional Settings

    Deciding what watch to wear for professional settings is a similar process as deciding for formal events. Go with something sophisticated yet subtle. You don't want a watch that calls too much attention to itself but you also don't want something that looks out of place while in your less-than casual outfit.

    Again, neutral colors are your friend when you're at work or work events, so look at black, brown or silver watches. Plus, neutral colors mean you'll be able to wear your watch with multiple work outfits. Leather and stainless steel strap materials are both acceptable.

    Check out the links for analog watches under the "Casual Outings" section, or minimalist watches under "Formal Events".

    Special Occasions

    Special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries or other celebrations call for special watches. It's time to make a statement!

    Again, it's important to consider the entirety of your outfit when deciding on a watch to wear for special occasions. But instead of going with something subtle, go with something bold. Conversation starters are highly encouraged.

    Nixon watches that fit the description include:

    Choosing a watch to wear for a specific occasion is a fun thing to do. When in doubt, keep the general guidelines above in mind. But most of all, go with something that appropriately represents who you are! After all, watches tell time but they say something about you.