In olden days, pocket watches were the only means of checking time on the move. However, these watches had only a hour hand and the watch mechanism was highly inaccurate. But after a few hundred years, Patek Philippe invented the first ever wristwatch. Initially, it was considered to a woman's accessory. But as time passed on men, too, began to use them.
There are two main ways in which watch displays: analog and digital. Analog display is one of the most primitive display methods. Watches with analog display have a numbered dial upon which are mounted a short rotating hour hand, a longer rotating minute hand and a third hand that shows the current second of the current minute.
Jewelry, designer and dressy watches almost always have analog display of the time. These watches come in a wide range of styles of hands, numbers, and other aspects of the analog dial. On the other hand a digital display simply shows the time as a number, e.g., 10:10 a.m. instead of a pair of hands pointing towards the numbers 10 and 2 on a dial.
Watches have to be powered to keep them running day in and day out. Some of the most common methods of doing so are springs or batteries. Some of them operate on the self winding mechanism while others can operate on light energy, kinetic energy or thermal power. The spring operated watches have a wound spring which has to be rewound by the user periodically while the battery operated ones use electricity derived from a replaceable battery.
The watches which operate on kinetic energy are powered by the movement of the wearer. Some electronic watches are also powered by light by using a photovoltaic cell. A thermal power based watches use the temperature difference between the wearer's arm and the surrounding environment to power up.
Modern watches can be chronographs and chronometers. These two terms sound similar and are often confused, although they are altogether different things. A chronograph is a watch in which the watch movement can function as a stopwatch whereas a chronometer is an all-mechanical watch or clock whose movement has been tested and certified to operate within a certain standard of accuracy by the COSC (Contrï¿½le Officiel Suisse des Chronomï¿½tres). See the Patek Philippe history.
Digital watches haven't replaced analog watches. In fact digital watches have fallen somewhat out of fashion, and these days most of the watches display time in analog form, although the internal parts of the watch are electronic. Jewelry or dressy watches rarely have digital displays. Digital display is particularly popular with "geek watches" that have a large number of features besides simply showing the date and time.
So the choice of digital or analog displays completely depends upon the user, his personality and, of course, the occasion as well.