The best, most stylish smartwatch to buy for him this Valentine’s Day

Diesel On Full Guard Smartwatch display
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Whether given by a parent to a child, an employer to an employee, or girlfriend to boyfriend, the wristwatch has long been a safe gift choice that most appreciate. The sheer volume of choice available makes decisions difficult, a problem multiplied by the emergence of smartwatches, which add confusion over tech and compatibility into the mix.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and you decided to get your significant other a connected watch. Which one is right for you? Here is our choice of the best smartwatches generally; but maybe you want something that puts looks before features? That is what we are helping out with here. These are the best smartwatches for Valentine’s Day because they are about making an impression and making them feel special, not about how long the battery lasts or how many apps they run.

Apple Watch Series 3 Hermés $1,300

Apple Watch

Why the Hermés version? It’s undoubtedly the most special Apple Watch available, going that step beyond the Watch Edition due to the custom watch faces and genuine Hermés strap. We’re opting for the stainless steel Watch with a particular strap — the noir gala leather single tour rallye. A bit of a mouthful, but we adore the rally-style hole-punched black leather strap, which really suits the Apple Watch anyway, but when matched with the simplicity of the Hermés watch faces, it really comes together. Apple doesn’t sell this strap separately, plus it all comes in an attractive presentation box, so you are getting something very special.

The Apple Watch Series 3 is currently our top pick out of all the smartwatches available. It has the best user interface, smooth and fast performance, adequate battery life, a strong feature list –including the ability to make calls if you choose a cellular model — and a wealth of aftermarket accessories. He won’t be disappointed with the Apple Watch and the beautiful Hermés version is our personal pick.

If the significant price tag of the Apple Watch Hermés, or even the Series 3 watch is more than you want to spend, consider the still current Apple Watch Series 2 — it has almost all the same features, after all — and match it with a third-party strap. There is even a $100 rally-style strap from Burkley on our list.

Buy it now from:

Apple

Diesel OnFull Guard from $325/Skagen Falster from $275

No, we’re not being indecisive with our two Android Wear 2.0 selections. They both represent two very different styles, helping you choose the right one based on personal style preferences. The Diesel OnFull Guard is a bold, tough-looking, and incredibly masculine watch. It’s also heavily influenced by Diesel’s mechanical watch style, right down to the clever iridescent color effect over the watch face, highlighted by the large and high-resolution screen.

We reviewed the black model with a brown leather strap, which is probably the most restrained. We love the black model with the black steel band, and there is even a gold model with a gold metal band for those who feel the need to really stand out. While the watch isn’t packed out with features — and that is a good thing — the design makes us love it. However, it’s not for everyone, which is where the Skagen Falster comes in. Danish brand Skagen is known for its minimalist, restrained designs, and the Falster — its first full Android Wear smartwatch — continues that trend.

Simplicity of design doesn’t mean boring and the bars attaching the strap to the body really give the Falster visual fizz, as do the mesh metal straps. It’s these mesh straps that make the Falster so versatile, as they are suitable for day and evening wear, casual and smart. While the Diesel On Full Guard looks best with clothes you may buy from Diesel — by which we mean casual — the Falster can bridge the gap better between smart casual and smart. The features are basically the same as the Diesel, as both are Fossil-owned brands, and use the same platform and app.

Watches show off our personal style, which means it’s not one-size-fits-all. The Diesel and Skagen Android Wear watches do the same thing but will be worn by different types of people.

Diesel onFull Guard Skagen Falster

Alpina Horological Seastrong Hybrid 595 Swiss francs/$630

what is a hybrid smartwatch alpina seastrong

Maybe a smartwatch with a touchscreen isn’t what you want. How about a hybrid instead? Hybrid smartwatches give you the basic necessities such as fitness tracking and notifications, all wrapped up in a traditional watch body. Alpina, an established name in the watch world, has selected its gorgeous Diver 300 Automatic watch as the inspiration for the Seastrong Hybrid, bringing the cool and desirable diver watch look to the hybrid world.

In addition to the connected features, all synced up with a dedicated smartphone app, the Seastrong boasts sapphire crystal glass for durability, water resistance to a depth of 100 meters, a Swiss movement, and a choice of colors and straps. We adore the black-on-black look. Yes, it’s expensive for a hybrid watch, but most watch connoisseurs will recognize its value and be very happy to receive it. What’s more, the battery life is rated for an astonishing four years, depending on use, so you’re not buying yet another device to charge each day.

Buy it now from:

Alpina Amazon

Emporio Armani Connected Hybrid $295

Emporio Armani EA Connected Watch
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Emporio Armani Connected hybrid watch has always attracted compliments, probably more so than any other hybrid we’ve worn. The black metal strap and minimalist watch face, complete with the EA logo at the 12 o’clock mark, just looks so damn classy. Match it with the right outfit, and it’s stunning, plus it’s equally at home with casual weekend gear as it is with a suit. Putting on the EA Connected feels special and that is what you want from a watch.

It provides the same degree of functionality as most other hybrid smartwatches, so it delivers notifications from your phone, tracks your steps, and has programmable buttons for features like a remote camera shutter release. The battery inside is a simple coin cell, and should last a year before it needs replacing. However, you don’t really buy this for the features. You buy it for the style, and we think it’s gorgeous.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Fossil Q Commuter Hybrid from $175

Fossil Q Commuter hybrid smartwatch review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

It’s the splash of color on the Q Commuter hybrid’s watch face that makes us love this design. It’s fairly minimalist, and already has some visual flair thanks to the bars attaching the strap to the body, but the red tips on the hands, and the red hand showing step count, set the whole thing off perfectly — especially on the smoke stainless steel model with the mesh metal band. Like the Skagen Falster, the Q Commuter has a restrained design, meaning it will suit most outfits.

Functionality covers the basics — notifications, alarms, step count, customizable buttons, and music controls. The Q Commuter’s unique feature is its ability to show you what time you will arrive at a preset destination — like your work — at the push of a button. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters, and the battery should last for about a year before it needs swapping. Even then, it’s a simple and cheap coin cell. The price is another reason we recommend the Q Commuter, it’s great value for the design and functionality.

Buy it now from:

Amazon

Mobile

From the road to your wrist, see how Android has evolved over the past 10 years

Android started out as just a mobile operating system, but 10 years in it's pretty much everywhere. Check out our round-up of all the different Android variations that have cropped up so far, and what might be coming in the future.
Photography

Full frame or 4K for less than $1K? These 4 older cameras still have a lot to offer

Looking for a great camera deal? Sometimes, you might be better off buying one that's a few years -- last generation's professional models may not cost much more than today's entry-level models.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for November 2018

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2018.
Product Review

The new Palm phone resurrects a brand that should've stayed dead

Verizon's exclusive Palm syncs to your primary smartphone and acts as a secondary device, with features to help balance smartphone usage. But after spending some time with it, its limited capabilities don't live up to its high price.
Music

It’s about damn time: Spotify is coming to Apple Watch

Spotify subscribers will soon be able to jam out to their favorite tunes on their favorite workout accessory, as the Swedish streaming service has begun beta testing its official Apple Watch app.
Outdoors

Built to take a beating and still perform, these are the best hiking watches

A proper hiking watch should track exercise metrics and act as a navigational co-pilot during any kind of hike. Ideally, it'll even have a built-in GPS system and sensors. Here are five of the best hiking watches.
Wearables

Fitbit Charge 3 vs. Fitbit Versa: Which one should you choose?

Fitbit's latest fitness tracker -- the Charge 3 -- comes with smartwatch capabilities similar to the Fitbit Versa. With only a $50 difference between them, we pit the two wearables against each other to find out which one is worth the…
Mobile

Following reports of bricked devices, Apple’s WatchOS 5.1.1 fixes the issue

Apple pulled its WatchOS 5.1 software update after users reported their Apple Watch was bricked after installation. A new version of the update has been released, WatchOS 5.1.1, which should prevent the same issue from happening.
Wearables

Fitbit's latest update brings 'Quick Replies' feature to the Charge 3

Back in August, Fitbit confirmed its new wearable -- the Fitbit Charge 3. The new fitness tracker features a touchscreen OLED display, smartwatch capabilities, enhanced fitness features and more. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Wearables

The Michael Kors Access Runway smartwatch will soon be available in ceramic

Michael Kors has brought back the Access Runway name it last used in 2016, and this time attached it to a Wear OS smartwatch, complete with new tech, and a cool way of customizing the watch face, too.
Wearables

Wearable in Google patent will shake, bake, and shine to signal notifications

A new Google patent suggests that Google may be working on getting into the wearable game after all. The patent describes a wearable device that can vibrate, light up, and pulse when notifications arrive.
Mobile

Here's a look at what's inside Fossil's Pop-up Shop in New York

Fossil has released its first-ever smartwatch featuring Qualcomm's Snapdragon Wear 3100. The Fossil Sport comes packed with a heart rate monitor, built-in GPS, NFC, and Google's latest version of Wear OS. Here's everything you need to know.