Difference Between Wristwatch and Stopwatch

Watches are like small clocks which can be carried on wrists or pockets. There are different kinds of watches like Wristwatch, Stopwatch, Automatic watches, etc.

It helps the individuals look at the time easily. They are also used as fashion accessories. Watches have been there for centuries and with time the manufacturing companies are releasing better versions of watches every year.

Wristwatch vs Stopwatch

The main difference between a wristwatch and a stopwatch is that a wristwatch is worn on a band or strap tightened around the wrist and tells the current time. On the other hand, a stopwatch is a timepiece that is designed to measure the amount of time passed from a particular time when the piece is turned off. 

Wristwatch vs Stopwatch

A wristwatch is always running and telling the time no matter how roughly the moment of hand is. It’s a time-measuring machine. It is mostly worn around the left hand.

It also gives a fashion statement to the people. It has different kinds of movements like mechanical, automatic, or quartz. 

A stopwatch has only one sole purpose, which is to start and stop the buttons on it so that the time is measured from one particular time to another.

It is mostly carried in pockets. It is used to know the exact timing of a particular moment(as a race). There is much flexibility in using it and it does not work as per GMT.

Comparison Table Between Wristwatch and Stopwatch 

Parameters of Comparison        Wristwatch          Stopwatch
DefinitionIt is worn on the wrist and tells the current time.It is held in the hand and is used to time the duration of an event.
TypesDial watches, Smartwatches, Automatic watches, etc are a few of the types of wristwatches.It has only start and stop buttons and has no other varieties.  
AvailabilityThese can be bought anywhere like in watch stores, online, etc, and have good battery life. These are found in a few places because of their less usability of it.
CategoriesIt has a variety of categories like Analog, Electronic, Mechanical, Automatic, Quartz, etc.It’s just a pocket watch, hence has no categories in it.
UsabilityIt is usually attached to a band or bracelet, including metal bands or leather straps. It is mostly carried in pockets as it has only start and stop functions. 

What is a Wristwatch?

A wristwatch is a portable timepiece that is usually considered to be worn by a person. It is designed in a way that it shall be able to work consistently despite heavy moments or activities by a person.

These kinds of watches are always attached to a chain or band. It is mostly run by batteries or in some cases like automatic watches, it runs by solar energy.

In the early years of the 1960s, Mechanical watches were used everywhere which was driven by clockwork which is powered by winding and keeping time with an oscillating time wheel.

By the 1980s, Electronic quartz watches were invented taking over mechanical watches. 

With developments, More watches were invented such as smartwatches. They are computerized electronic devices that are worn on wrists and also require charging of their batteries from time to time.

Technological advancements kept increasing and watches can now show the date, month, and year. Modern watches also have time-related functions such as chronograph and alarm functions.

They even developed features like calculators, Bluetooth, and GPS technology. Few of them can monitor heart rate and other health-related checkups.

Most watches are commonly used for timekeeping, But there are certain kinds of expensive collectable watches which are limited edition.

They are valued more because of their craftsmanship, design, and special appeal. 

What is a Stopwatch?

A stopwatch is a time measuring piece that is only used to measure the amount of time passed from its start and stop.

The timing functions are generally controlled by two buttons. In a few cases, as in a sports stadium, a large digital stopwatch is used for viewing from distance.

It is done manually by a person who starts and stops it by pressing a button. A press of a second button will automatically reset the time to zero.

In the case of automatic stopwatches, Both start and stop are triggered automatically by their sensors.  

Mechanical stopwatches are powered by a mainspring, which can be stopped by pressing the knob on top of it. These are most commonly used for any particular event.

Electronic digital stopwatches have a crystal oscillator element which results in better accuracy than a mechanical stopwatch.

They contain a microchip inside them which helps them to work for digital functions. Along with microchips, these contain external sensors which allow them to be triggered by external events and measure the elapsed time more accurately than a mechanical watch.

These stopwatches can count milliseconds rather than centiseconds.

Main Differences Between Wristwatch and Stopwatch

  1. A wristwatch is used to check time anytime even with heavy movements whereas a stopwatch can only be used to calculate a particular amount of time. 
  2. A wristwatch has many types in it like analogue, automatic, smartwatches. Stopwatch has got only mechanical and digital.
  3. A wristwatch is worn on a strap or a band, whereas a stopwatch is a timepiece that is used only to measure time.
  4. A wristwatch has a lot of advanced technological features and the stopwatch has sensors which are triggered automatically to get accurate time.
  5. Sometimes wristwatches are also used to measure time because of their advanced technology but stopwatches can’t be used to check the time.
Difference Between Wristwatch and Stopwatch


A wristwatch is a watch with an analogue or digital dial that displays time and is worn on a hand. The motion of an individual doesn’t affect time.

Whereas a stopwatch is a handheld timepiece that is designed to measure the amount of time that processes between its start and stop.

A wristwatch can be used as a stopwatch but a stopwatch can’t be used to check the time. Even though both of them have their way of working, people use them for different occasions.

Hence, in this new age, a wristwatch can be more helpful compared to a stopwatch for good usage of time as it can work in either way.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0160791X20305716  
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