Wristwatches or Lapel/FOB Style Watches?


  • Specializes in Neuro, Med-surg.. Has 1 years experience.

I have read a few older posts on this site regarding this topic, but I thought I would get some more POV.

I'm a new male nurse and typically just wear whatever cheap watch I happen to have on my wrist. I like having an alarm on mine, so I often go digital. That said (while looking for a watch with alarms) I came across the FOB style and lapel style watches. They are actually kind of intriguing to me.

If I had one, I wouldn't get a watch band dirty with all of the hand washing, and I would think it would be more sanitary than wearing a wrist watch. You would just sort of look down and see the time and BINGO!

But I don't know how practical they are. Are they easy to use in practice? Do they actually have greater benefits to nurses as compared to a wrist watch? And is there a way to wear one fairly discreetly? All the ones I have seen are (pardon me for saying) pretty feminine. Can they be attached to name badges? Finally, my scrubs don't have any belt loops, so I'm not sure wear/how to attach a FOB carbiner style watch.

This topic certainly isn't Earth-shattering; I just was curious about trying something different out (although I hear that the lapel watches are quite traditional in Europe).



8,343 Posts

Has 18 years experience.

I wear a fob on my left breast. Don't have to worry about it being pushed up to wash my hands, arms.

One of my male coworkers has a pen loop on his scrubs he attaches a carbinerier type to.

I've only lost one over the years. Went through the washer when I forgot to take it off before chucking it into the washer.


300 Posts

I wear my FOB on my right breast pocket and mine is black. You can get fob's with interchangeable bands ....like mine. I know some nurses that get them to match their top.


68 Posts

I wear a plain silver circular fob on my left chest. It's oriented so that all I have to do is look down and read it. Keeps my hands free and I don't have to worry about it getting dirty. I used to wear a wristwatch, but then I got hibiclens under the band once and didn't realize it until my wrist was blistered. Took about 3 weeks for it to heal and itched horribly! I also don't wear my wedding band or any other rings, for that reason.

A fob is clean, stays clean, and is convenient. The only thing I wish I had was one that had a nightlight/glowed in the dark. As for looking feminine, there are some nice uni-sex styles on Amazon for not a lot of money Amazon.com: nurse fob watch


219 Posts

Specializes in Neuro, Med-surg.. Has 1 years experience.

Thanks for some of the tips and links! Do these watches just stay on with a safety pin style attachment then?

One thing that may bug me is off a fob watch on my chest or wherever may get hung up in my stethoscope when I wear it around my neck (which I do for most of my shift).


219 Posts

Specializes in Neuro, Med-surg.. Has 1 years experience.

Do many male nurses wear these lapel or fob watches?


1 Article; 852 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner. Has 5 years experience.

Mine is glow in the dark, secured with a pin. I wear it over my left breast too. It's plain metal and came in male or female sizes. It's totally hands free and doesn't get in the way of my stethoscope. I can see through isolation gowns to read it. My favorite part is keeping my hands free and I can wash them without taking my watch off, easy and clean!


1,753 Posts

Specializes in Surgical, quality,management. Has 12 years experience.

Yes it is kept on with a safety pin attachment.

I wear my bell to the left so I wear my watch on the left as well as there is less chance of it getting tangled in the bell than the ear pieces.

Many nurses wear fobs in the UK and Ireland if you want a watch it has to be a fob as we do "naked below the elbow"

In australia men wear them as well. Just don't pick the yellow one in a flowered shape case! or disney characters! http://www.google.com.au/search?num=10&hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1311&bih=622&q=nurses+fob+watch&oq=nurses+fob&gs_l=img.1.0.0j0i24l9.1155.3910.0.6334. http://www.google.com.au/search?num=10&hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1311&bih=622&q=nurses+fob+watch&oq=nurses+fob&gs_l=img.1.0.0j0i24l9.1155.3910.0.6334.

There are more gender neutral ones in silicone cases nurses fob watch - Google Search

as well as the traditional ones nurses fob watch - Google Search


219 Posts

Specializes in Neuro, Med-surg.. Has 1 years experience.

Wow! Thanks for the great info! It looks as though there is quite a range in prices with these fobs. Can you recommend any good brands that are available in the states?