Choosing a first watch for a child

If you were anything like me, your first watch was neat, Swiss-made Flik Flak, all etched in pretty colours and featuring two funny characters as hands. It was a simple watch, from a simpler time. Light weight with a plastic fibre strap… Things have changed since the 80’s.

Technology and a warning

When I was a little older my parents made the drastic mistake of getting me a novel new watch, one that featured a fall keyboard and calculator. This effectively wiped out my ability to do basic arithmetic as I typed in every math problem I was presented with into the thing and – to this day – I confess I still don’t know my times tables. Sigh.


There are so many amazing watches you can get a child these days, ones that are virtually indestructible, waterproof and can be set to have multiple, convenient alarms and reminders. Some even come with tracking devices or the use of apps, but I would recommend for a child’s first watch, a simple analogue watch so they can really get to grips with telling the time in the most traditional fashion.

Telling the time can be difficult for children at first, so it is imperative that they can count up to sixty before you bother buying a watch. It can also be useful to buy a large clock to use for demonstrations of how to tell the time. You can also peak their interest by showing them sundials and old grandfather clocks.



Naturally I would recommend a Flik Flak if a child is fairly young, but beyond the age of four a child will no doubt be looking to show off to friends to there are many different styles to choose from that could make the child happy while also being ergonomically and good for learning. A good example of a simple and effective watch kids like is the classic Casio (above). It is a durable, water resistant watch and isn’t something that will be ridiculed by other kids. One downside to it is it has a digital face, so should probably be reserved for kids that can already tell time well.

Another good bet for children as they get a little older is the G-shock watches. These come in both digital and analogue versions and, while being virtually indestructible, they are also popular with both boys and girls and come in a variety of colours. They are fairly chunky though, so could be difficult with certain school uniforms.

For obvious reasons, it’s best not to buy watches for children that are overly expensive – when they are older and graduation from university or starting a new job you can always splash out on something from Watches of Switzerland, but for now a cheap watch is fairly easy to find. In fact, you can find effective watches in Christmas crackers, a slightly nicer watch might just make a child care a bit more about learning about telling the time.