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What Are the Best Watches for Flight Attendants?

flight attendant watch

If you are a flight attendant and you are looking to invest in a watch before you buy you want to make sure that you can wear it to work.

In this article, I’ll explain how to choose your flight attendant watch and explain the requirements most airlines have for it.

You’ll also find a selection of the best watches available that won’t break the bank.

Do flight attendants have to wear a watch?

Yes. To work as a flight attendant you will be required to wear a watch –  it’s an FAA requirement as well as an airline requirement.

So, if you are going to a cabin crew interview, my advice is to dress for the job and wear a watch.

It can instantly improve your style and make you look more professional.

Plus it’s a mandatory item for cabin crews and you want to look like one, so it will look much more professional and elegant to check the time with your watch, not with your phone.

Why do flight attendants have to wear a watch?

It’s mandatory for timing during emergency procedures: to be able to synchronize in case of a planned emergency landing, and also essential for keeping track of time (getting to the briefing on time, informing passengers about the remaining time to destination, knowing if the boarding is being slow and therefore you are being delayed).

So, as you can see, a must-have item for any flight attendant.

Flight Attendant’s watch requirements

Not all watches meet the standards required, so check here to see the ones that suit the needs of most airlines.

  • It has to have a working second hand and clear time divisions, as in an emergency landing you may be given a time until impact and therefore you’ll need to synchronize with the rest of the crew.
  • Most airlines prefer plain watches with small faces. The maximum diameter differs from airline to airline but it should be moderate in size.
  • Black, Brown, Silver or Gold straps are preferred. But this differs from airline to airline. In Qatar Airways rose Gold straps are not allowed.
  • It can be a digital, analog or a smartwatch.
  • Dial must be white, black, grey, brown or metal.
  • Use a conservative business-style watch. No big, fancy, colorful watches. Wear one with a  gold, silver, metal or black leather strap

What to look for?

  • Design and quality – The style of your watch is a very personal choice but regardless of the design you want to make sure that the material of the watch you choose is of the highest quality.
  • Watch movement reliability – Being always aware of the time is part of a cabin crew’s job, a very important part, so for that, you need a reliable watch.
  • Easy to take it off/remove – as sometimes you will be required to take it off at security control points.
  • Dual-time zone functionality – indicates the time in two different time zones, or in UTC which is the time the aviation industry uses. When you frequently land in different countries with a big-time difference it’s a super helpful functionality to have.
  • Night visibility led light – for those red-eye flights (late night flights) this is very useful, especially when the cabin is dimmed and you can’t see anything.
  • Easy to change the time – some watches are very complicated to use and difficult to change the time on. Avoid these if you want to fly with peace of mind.
  • Durable, resistant material – there is absolutely no doubt that your watch will get knocked about and its face will get scratched while at work. So make sure it’s durable and robust.
  • Long-Battery life or Automatic Movement – you don’t want to have to be constantly changing the battery or charging it.
  • Economical – don’t buy anything too expensive, remember that it will probably get quite battered. It should be of a quality good enough to wear every day in the robust working environment of a commercial airline, so price your watch accordingly.
  • Water-resistant –  you will need a watch that can handle water splashes from washing your hands or from being out in the rain.

Best watches for female flight attendants

Best gift

If you are looking for the best gift for your flight attendant daughter, girlfriend or your wife, we’ve got you covered.

This is a cute Michael Kors watch with a World Map face. She’ll love it!

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When you are working on a plane, you can’t use your phone freely, so these watches can be useful to get your smartphone notifications and app alerts and manage your flying schedule and calendar.

And if your primary concern is the design, you should check out these Fossil smartwatches.

They are attractive watches that easily pair with dressy or casual attire.

This is augmented by the fact that they have interchangeable bands that can completely change the look if you want.

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Analog watches are classier, dressier and a timeless fashion accessory.

So choose between a glamorous chronograph bracelet watch or a timeless reliable Seiko dress watch.

They both look great and are practical for work.

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Chrono watches are always one of the most popular options with flight attendants.

Almost all of us own or have owned one.

They meet all the requirements; a working second hand and a clear time division with all the hours and minutes easily readable.

Both Fossil and Michael Kors are flight attendant favorites.

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Even though an analog watch always looks more sophisticated, a digital watch can be modern, cool, it’s easily readable compared to an analog watch and it has other features such as alarm, led light (for red-eye flights).

You can’t go wrong with a classic Casio watch. You’ll get superb value for money and a lovely retro/vintage look.

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Dual Time

Useful for flight attendants and frequent travelers, these watches allow you to know the time in two locations at once.

Great for those living in two different time zones.

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Leather strap

This is by far the most elegant type of watch.

A leather strap always helps you look better in professional settings, and it always stands out as classy and stylish.

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Trustworthy brands and affordable, nice-looking watches are not incompatible things.

Go for a well-priced watch that you won’t cry over if you break it!

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Best watches for male flight attendants


Smartwatches for male flight attendants can be very useful for checking calendar, roster, and flight details.

You will be able to see your flight number, departing and arriving times, etc. in a watch like this.

And since we are not allowed to check our phones at work you’ll also be able to check your phone’s messages, FB, IG, etc. on your watch.

Always handy.

I also love the sleep tracker function because we have different sleeping patterns every day and it’s always interesting to know if you’ve had sufficient time in bed, or if the quality of your sleep was good.

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The classic analog watch is always a good investment.

They are made to last and to tell the time, that’s all. So they are so, well, ‘timeless’ because they are simple and good at what they do.

Smartwatches depreciate and date the minute you put them on your wrist because there are always new models with new technology coming on to the market.


Most Chrono watches were originally designed for a specific reason: for race car drivers, pilots, and other action types,  but now, due to popular demand, they have become one of the most popular watches in the world.

It’s an elegant choice of style for any occasion because it goes with any look.

Check out these two stylish options.

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Rubber band

They look younger, trendier and more versatile than the leather or metal straps.

Yes, maybe they are not the most durable strap but they are comfortable, waterproof, easy to clean and cheaply replaceable if damaged.

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Dual Time

If you are frequently in two time zones this is highly recommended.

One of the most practical inventions ever for flight attendants.

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Leather strap

They never go out of style, a leather strap watch is synonymous with luxury and classic style.

A very good choice for a professional look in aviation.

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An automatic watch can last for a lifetime (unlike the battery-powered or quartz watch).

If you want a well built, reliable automatic movement everyday watch, this is it!

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If you want this just for work I certainly wouldn’t spend my money on an expensive watch, I’m an expert in cracking watches on board.

Check out these affordable watches for flight attendants.

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So, there we have it.

Whether you are looking for a watch for yourself or for a flight attendant friend, always make sure it fulfills the requirements of your airline and look for the characteristics that we have listed above.

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