Move over engagement rings, there's a new accessory in town and it's both gorgeous and practical. According to fashion shopping platform Lyst's wedding report, this year's must-have accessory is the engagement watch, with "demand for engagement watches increasing 39% year-on-year."
An appealing alternative to the traditional diamond ring, couples are opting for something a little more functional to pop the question with and they can be just as luxurious too! From jewel-studded statements to vintage buys, and beautiful affordable pieces, there's an engagement watch to suit every style and budget.
But what exactly is an engagement watch and who wears one we hear you ask? Keep reading to explore everything you need to know about this timeless trend, including how to give an engagement watch and the best ones to buy now.
What Is an Engagement Watch & Who Wears One?
An engagement watch does the same job as an engagement ring would, in the form of a watch!
Anybody can receive an engagement watch but typically one is given instead of a ring when proposing. The key is to make sure your partner would prefer to have a more unique accessory to wear rather than the traditional option.
You can also gift an engagement watch post-proposal if you weren't the one to pop the question but want a romantic gesture to show your partner how much they mean to you. They can be worn everyday and make a lovely object to invest in or to pass down generations.
Which Engagement Watch Should You Buy?
Watches tend to be expensive which is what makes them a luxury investment and a way to mark this major milestone in your life, but that doesn't mean you have to break the bank in order to jump on this trend. There a lots of lovely affordable options to choose from, with our edit of the best engagement rings starting from just £99.
As for the model and make of watch? Just like an engagement ring, the watch you choose should suit your partner's style and taste. According to Lyst, vintage options have become a popular choice, but engagement watches come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Ultimately, it comes down to you as a couple so opt for an engagement watch you know they will treasure, not the one you think you should be getting!
The 20 Best Engagement Watches
1. Iconic Link Amber Watch – from £189, Daniel Wellington
Featuring a light brown dial and a sunray finish, the Iconic Amber watch by Daniel Wellington is a unique and on-trend option. Available in three different sizes, it'll add a stylish touch to any outfit.
2. Tank Must Watch – £2,310, Cartier
Cartier is an iconic brand so your partner is bound to be pleased with the Tank Must watch. The design is understated enough to be worn everyday, yet special enough to be suitable for this momentous occasion.
3. Indigo Rose Gold Strawberry Thief Watch - £229, Morris & Co. X August Berg
For something a little bit out there, look to the Strawberry Thief watch from the Morris & Co. X August Berg collection. Crafted with prints by renowned designed William Morris, this spectacular piece is the perfect pick for artsy couples.
4. Heritage Flagship 38.5mm Automatic Watch - £1,310, Longines
You can't go wrong with a Longines watch - especially one as stunning as this. The timeless brown strap and gold detailing on the dial make it a fail-safe option if you aren't sure of your partner's preferred watch taste.
5. Gold G-Frame 21mm Watch - £1,030, Gucci
For a fashion-forward partner look no further than this gorgeous gold Gucci engagement watch. The distinct colourway and bee motif make it undeniably designer, something we bet they'll love having pride of place on their wrist.
READ MORE: 22 Seriously Romantic Outdoor Proposal Ideas
6. Neutra Chronograph Stainless Steel Mesh Watch - £159, Fossil
Engagement watches don't come much cooler than this all-black ensemble by Fossil. You can even have it engraved for free which is a lovely touch if you want to add a sweet message or a sentimental date.
7. Serpenti Tubogas Stainless Steel Watch - £4,860, Bvlagri
Sleek, stylish and sure to garner lots of compliments, the Serpenti watch by Bvlgari is the perfect mix of a watch and a bracelet. If your partner is a designer lover we bet they've had their eyes on this before...
8. Hybrid Smartwatch - £189, Skagen
If you know your other half would prefer a smartwatch but you want a proposal-appropriate option, why not go for this hybrid smartwatch by Skagen? It'll track their activity, texts, social media and lots more, while still looking as sleek as a traditional timepiece.
9. Oversized Runway Watch - £239, Michael Kors
A proposal is a statement of your love and this spectacular Michael Kors watch screams statement alright! Its pavé dial makes it a brilliant alternative to a sparkling diamond ring and the signature print strap gives it a gorgeous finish.
10. Spring Drive Snowflake Watch - £5,400, Seiko
Japanese watch maker Seiko makes pieces that are crafted by Takumi artisans, using the highest standard of precision and durability. Just like your marriage, the Snowflake watch will stand the test of time and look superb while doing it.
11. Park Watch - £175, Coach
Have you ever seen a more wedding-ready watch? Named after the glamorous New York City street, this elegant design features an embroidery-inspired floral print dial and shimmering crystals that will look wonderful when worn on the big day.
12. Formula 1 Watch - £1,350 Tag Heuer
The three dial navy face on this stainless steel Tag Heuer watch will let them tell the time with upmost elegance. Plus, it's also waterproof - a necessity should your partner be forgetful!
13. Gc Steel Analogue Watch - £350, Guess
We haven't seen a watch quite like this chain link design by Guess before and we adore it. Rose gold straps, with a mother-of-pearl dial? Yes, please.
14. Philosopher Watch - £159, Nordgreen
Danish designer Nordgreen serves up minimalist, Scandi-cool watches that eco-aware couples will love. For every watch sold, they donate to their Giving Back Programme, paving the way for a more sustainable future.
15. Champagne Watch - £165, Couer De Lion
Every order from Coeur De Lion arrives in beautiful satin case - the perfect packaging for a romantic proposal. When you open the box to reveal this stunning champagne watch... well, the rest will be history!
READ MORE: 35 of the Most Romantic Christmas Proposals
16. No.29 Watch - £375, The Camden Watch Company
Vintage engagement watches are a popular choice and we love the No.29 watch by The Camden Watch Company. Based on the detailing found on Victorian steam engines, the crown engraving is inspired by a section of bridge that spans the Regent's Canal in Camden.
17. Premier Lotus Automatic 31mm - POA, Harry Winston
Harry Winston watches are truly spectacular and the Premier Lotus is a real showstopper. Featuring a dazzling floral dial and a rose gold strap, nothing says 'Will you marry me?" quite like this beauty.
18. Heure 21mm Mother Of Pearl Watch - £4,050, Hermes
Encrusted with diamonds and featuring the iconic Hermes 'H', this timepiece is a fabulous option for stylish couples. We predict excitement as soon as you whip out the tell-tale orange box...
19. Carl Brashear Calibre 401 Watch - £3,350 Oris
A fabric strap is a comfortable option which is really important if your partner will be wearing their engagement watch everyday. The Carl Brashear watch by Oris is made from bronze which will react with oxygen and skin moisture, creating a unique and beautiful finish overtime.
21. Happy Sport 36mm Watch - £5,620, Chopard
We couldn't resist finishing our round-up with this adorable watch by Chopard. With four diamonds on the dial and a red stone love heart detail, it's an ideal engagement accessory.
Now you've got the engagement watch sorted, start planning where you're going to get down on one knee with these unique and romantic romantic proposal ideas.