Travellers might want to bring a watch or alarm clock with them, or they might want to buy timepieces while travelling. These can be nice souvenirs.



While the use of watches has decreased with mobile phones getting common, they can be nice accessories and are often more practical than the phone for checking the time. Some watches have additional functionality.

An alarm clock can be useful, as your accommodation might not have one. For most travellers their mobile phone includes the functionality, and is better equipped for handling time zone changes – although a dumb clock can sometimes avoid problems with the phone outsmarting itself (and thus behaving unpredictably). Some alarm clocks depend on the frequency of the local electricity grid.

A generic watch with plastic cover can be bought for cheap, and can be discarded or lost without too much pain.

A sport watch is often watertight to great depths and can include functionality useful e.g. for divers (who might need a real dive computer, which is a kind of smartwatch), and more reliable than a smartphone in harsh environments.

A smartwatch can be convenient, with many of the functions of a smartphone, although often offloading some of their functionality to a compatible one. They often by default include some more unusual apps, typically for measuring exercise and your general well-being in a number of ways.

Pirated watches are sold cheaply at markets in low-income countries. Some of these are deliberately made poorly enough not to be mistaken for a brand watch. Just like other pirated goods, they might be confiscated at border crossings, with possible consequences for the wearer.



Switzerland has a legacy of watchmaking. Fashion capitals such as Paris, Milan and London are also good places to buy a high-end watch.

Japan is famous for Seiko's release of the first liquid crystal display digital watch in 1973.

Germany is known for its aviator watches (called Fliegeruhr in German), originally produced for Luftwaffe pilots during World War II.

Russia is known for the watches produced at the Petrodvorets Watch Factory in Peterhof, with a legacy dating back to Imperial Russian times.

Stay safe


A watch can easily be lost or stolen, and an expensive watch might give away the fact that someone is rich, and thereby a potentially lucrative target for scams and robbery.

On the other hand, having a cheap watch at your wrist can save you from showing your expensive smartphone when checking the time.

See also

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