Watch on the water

Tool Watch: Everything You Need To Know About Tool Watches

Discover everything you need to know about the tool watch with this useful guide! We will be looking into how tool watches serve a purpose and which is the best tool watch around.

Watches come in many different forms and it can be a challenge to keep on top of them all. That’s why we have put together this deep dive, so you can impress your watch-loving friends with your tool watch knowledge.

What Is A Tool Watch?

Tool watch

The best place to begin is to explore what the term ‘tool watch’ means. Originally, the term was coined to describe a timepiece that also served a purpose as a tool.

Think of a diver’s watch with its rotating bezel and resistance to underwater pressure and you’ve got yourself a tool watch. Obviously you wouldn’t use your watch as a DIY tool but, much in the same way, you can use it to make your life easier.

After all, humans began using tools all those years ago for convenience as much as anything. If something can make our lives easier, the human race generally jumps on board at the drop of a hat.

While other watches focus more on looking good, a tool watch’s main purpose in life is to serve its owner. A tool watch is commonly reliable, easy to read, accurate, hard-wearing and relatively cheap in case it gets a few scratches or dings in the line of duty.

If you work in a fairly rugged industry, it might be better to wear your tool watch during the week and save the Breitling for the weekends. That’s not to say that luxury tool watches aren’t a thing, because when it comes to watches, where there’s a will there’s a way.

Different Types Of Tool Watch

Like DIY tools, each tool watch serves a different purpose. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of tool watches available.

Dive Watches

Dive watch

The main feature of a tool dive watch is its water resistance and ability to handle pressure. A diver’s watch that isn’t even water resistant isn’t going to last very long as its wearer plunges deeper and deeper below the surface.

The water resistance system can sometimes be a little confusing but we have tried to simplify it with the help of Vaer’s guide.

  • 1 ATM (10m) – Basically offers zero water resistance
  • 3 ATM (30m) – Small splashes okay, steam or submersion are a no-no
  • 5 ATM (50m) – Brief submersion and showering are okay
  • 10 ATM (100m) – Handles swimming and submersion 
  • 10 ATM + Lock Crown – Functionally waterproof
  • 20 ATM (200m) – Can be taken on deep dives
  • 30 ATM (300m) – Will still work at depths of oxygen toxicity
  • 100 ATM (1000m) – Will handle basically any aquatic situation you throw at it


glow-in-the-dark watch

Glow-in-the-dark watches have been around for decades and they keep getting better. Their purpose is simple, to shine in the dark so their wearer can tell the time with ease.

Most tool watches are pretty versatile and come with many features, with luminosity being a common one. To make a watch glow is a relatively simple process and the treatment can last for years.

In years gone by, radioactive materials were used to make watches glow, which caused serious health concerns. Thankfully, the watch industry moved away from that dangerous process with the invention of Super-LumiNova.

Magnetic Resistance

wrist watch

Magnets are something we encounter on a daily basis but we often don’t realise. For instance, our vacuum cleaners, microwaves, and even computer screens operate with a level of magnetism.

Exposure to strong magnetic forces can impact how a watch’s parts work. If the inner workings of a watch become distorted due strong magnetism they can become less accurate, and ultimately useless as a timepiece.

Modern wrist watches require a strong level or magnetic resistance to cope with the daily rigors we put them through. However, some tool watches go above and beyond the norm for wearers who put them through extra strain. For instance, anyone working in a laboratory or a pilot will require a watch with greater magnetic resistance due to the instruments they use.

Shock Resistance

shock-resistant watch

Tool watches are so shock resistant that most manufacturers don’t even advertise this fact. In days gone by, the intricate mechanisms of watches were vulnerable to shocks and vibrations in everyday life.

Imagine driving your car and your wrist watch stopping every time you hit a bump, or vibrations transfer from the steering wheel to your wrist. These everyday occurrences were troublesome for watchmakers but these days tool watches are made with more robust materials.

Materials like shock absorbers, protective cages and silicon hairsprings are all used for shock resistance. With these improved materials the shocks that destroyed watches in the past are no longer an issue.

What To Look For In A Tool Watch

tool watch

Tool watches cover a lot of different elements so it’s important to know why you require one.

If it’s for a watch you can wear because you are in the water a lot then a dive watch is your first port of call. When diving to the depths of the ocean there isn’t much light so combining a dive watch with a luminous dial or hands is a great idea.

If you work a heavy-duty job surrounded by lots of machinery, or you swing a sledgehammer quite often, something with greater shock resistance than the norm is essential.

Besides how they function, the style of a tool watch is also important. You want your tool watch to be legible so a relatively plain dial is often the way to go.

Many tool watch manufacturers opt for a black background as often the ones using them are outdoors when they need to see them. The darker the dial the easier it is to see in bright light.

What material the watch strap is made from is something else to consider. A durable material will allow you to go about your business without worrying about it catching or snagging on something.

What Is The Toolwatch App?

If you are wearing your watch then it should accurately display the time, otherwise it’s just an elaborate bracelet. One way to ensure your tool watch is in perfect working order is to use the Toolwatch app.

This watch accuracy app allows users to register their tool and then it will calculate to a greater degree than we can ourselves, how well it is running. Over time, the more data collected by the app, the more accurately you will understand how well your watch is ticking.

Watches At Uniform Wares

watch on wrist

Here at Uniform Wares we bring contemporary British watches for sale that have been crafted by Swiss engineers. Our watches are shipped all over the world and we offer secure SSL encrypted payments.

Not only do we sell a variety of minimalist-inspired watches but we also have different watch straps to suit your taste. No matter the occasion our watches look classy and modern but with their own sense of character.

Our contemporary watches are designed at our studio in the heart of East London in men’s, women’s, and unisex styles.

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