The term “affordable” is a tough one to nail down since what seems cheap to one person may seem expensive to another. While some watch collectors may be able to afford to spend thousands of dollars on a single watch, a first-time watch buyer may not want to spend more than he would on a new pair of jeans.
However, we’ve come up with this list of watches with our average reader in mind. If you’re looking for a reliable, quality watch made by a reputable watchmaker without spending more than a few hundred on your next watch then you’re in the right place.
The following list of recommendations all come from affordable watch brands that have a proven track record of making quality timepieces.
If the prices on these watches below are still more than you planned to spend or you have a very specific budget, then also check out these top watch picks under $100 or these under $200 for more affordable options.
Below we’ll explore different watch styles and features, and give some background information in case you want to learn more about each watch brand.
Best Affordable Watches for Men
The Timex Marlin is an automatic 40mm leather watch that has a simple, sleek design of index markers against a silver-tone dial, stainless steel case, and a domed acrylic crystal.
Powered by a 21-jewel automatic movement and is powered by the person wearing the watch, this model is a reissue of the brand’s iconic design from the 1960s. The brown leather strap is from S.B. Foot Tanning Company, a Minnesota leather company that also makes the famous Red Wing Shoes. This model also has a date window at 3 o’clock and is water-resistant to 30m.
Other Marlin variations include a gold-tone case with a black dial and strap or a silver-tone case with a black dial and strap.
Citizen Chandler Stainless Steel Quartz Watch (Model: BM6838-17L)
The Citizen Chandler Military watch is a watch with a good balance of sporty and sleek. This model has a 42mm stainless steel case with a brown leather strap. Against the blue dial are legible Arabic numeral markers, with a date window at 3 o’clock. The watch is powered by Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology, which means that the watch will never need a battery, as it can be powered by any light. The watch is powered by Caliber number E111 and has water resistance to 100m.
See the full line of Citizen Chandler models here.
Stuhrling Regatta 792 Automatic Diver
The Stuhrling Regatta 792 is a 42mm automatic watch with a brush-finished dial and a stainless steel triple-row link.
This watch is known to be a homage model for the Rolex Submariner, one of the most popular dive watches in the world. It has a combination of circle and sticks index markers, as well as the luminous triangle at 12 o’clock and Rolex-style hands. There is a large date window at 3 o’clock.
The watch is water-resistant to 200m, which makes it a dive watch. The bezel is unidirectional and has a push-button deployant clasp.
See the full line of Stuhrling Regatta watches here.
Hamilton Khaki Field Quartz (H68201093)
The Hamilton Khaki Field watch has a unique brown dial, paired with a brown nylon NATO strap. The 38mm stainless steel dial has luminous Arabic numeral markers and hands. The watch also has a fixed bezel and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. This timepiece by Hamilton has a field watch style, which makes it a good casual, everyday watch.
Hamilton has a wide range of watch styles under different price ranges and this is one of the more affordable entry-level models that the brand offers. See some more top-rated Hamilton Watches here.
Casio F91W-1 Casual Sport Watch
This is for those looking for a no-frills watch by a trusted watchmaker. The F-91W watch by Casio is one of the brand’s most popular releases. Introduced in the late 1980s, this best-seller is a casual watch with a resin band, with the iconic rectangular case.
This digital watch is popular for the affordable price tag and long battery life. It’s a chronograph with a 1/100-second stopwatch, daily alarm, 12/24 hour format, auto calendar, and an hourly time beep.
On the left side of the watch is an LED backlight display that illuminates the watch. The watch is also water-resistant to 100m. We featured this and other Casio models in our Iconic 80s watches article.
Seiko 5 Automatic SNK805
The Seiko 5 series is a collection that many have referred to as an excellent entry-level automatic watch. The “5” translates to the watch features offered by the line: a day/date display, water resistance, crown at 4 o’clock. automatic display, and a durable case.
The Seiko 5 SNK805 is a watch for those who are looking for a sporty, everyday timepiece. This one’s military-inspired model has a 38mm case, with an automatic movement and analog display, a day and date window at 3 o’clock, and a green nylon strap.
This is a popular model that has received many positive reviews. The Seiko 5 line is considered by many to be one of the best mechanical watches in its price range.
Learn more about other Seiko models in our Seiko Watches For Men article.
Orient ‘Bambino Open Heart’ Japanese Automatic
The Bambino line by Japanese watchmaker Orient is a well-respected collection of affordable automatic watches, making it another excellent set of entry-level watches for the price range and one of our top picks for affordable men’s dress watches.
There’s the simple and elegant Orient Bambino, with its clean dial and index markers. There’s also the Orient Classic Open Heart model, with the same neat dial, but a peek at the caliber F6T22 automatic movement which was developed especially for the open heart models.
The case is a 46mm stainless steel, with a domed mineral crystal. In addition to the see-through “Open Heart” dial, the watch also has an exhibition case back. If you’re looking for a dress watch – but not a fan of this particular style – check out the whole line of Orient Bambino watches on Amazon.
Solio – The Solar Black
Solios is a Canadian watch brand that focuses on making solar watches using sustainable material. The brand also concentrates on clean, minimalist designs.
One of these is The Solar Black, which has a mesh strap available in a variety of colors and can be interchanged with leather variants. The solar-powered analog watch has thin index markers and hands and is available in 36mm and 42mm stainless steel case sizes. It was made with a low carbon footprint, and sustainable watch materials.
The Montreal-based company was recently certified as a B Corporation for “social and environmental performance” and the first watch brand that we know of to receive this distinction.
Nordgreen Native Minimalist Watch
Nordgreen is a Danish watch company that is not only known for simple yet sophisticated watches—but it is also part of the brand’s philosophy to use materials that are sustainable.
One of Nordgreen’s bestsellers. the Nordgreen Native watch features a white dial and a brown leather strap. Designed by renowned artist and the brand’s chief designer Jakob Wagner, this watch is available in 32mm, 36mm, and 40mm dial sizes.
On the stainless steel case is a white dial and thin index markers and hands (black and blue variants are also available). The watch is water-resistant to 30m and runs on a Japanese quartz movement. The straps are interchangeable, and there are four case colors to choose from (silver, gunmetal, gold, and silver). See details on Nordgreen.com
Garmin Venu GPS Smartwatch
This one is for those who are looking for a watch for a wide range of activities. Garmin Venu is a GPS Smartwatch for an active lifestyle.
This is a GPS smartwatch packed with health and fitness features, which include the Pulse Ox Sensor, which gauges the wearer’s blood oxygen saturation; Sleep Monitoring, which provides a breakdown of the different sleep stages, and Heart Rate Alerts, which samples the wearer’s heart rate. This watch also helps promote wellness with Hydration Tracking, which reminds the wearer how to stay hydrated; and Mindful Breathing, which has breathing activities to help with stress. There are also over more than 20 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps.
See full specs on Garmin
Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X.
Swiss brand Victorinox is known for its Swiss Army knives and durable watches. One of its most popular watches is the I.N.O.X., which is made from high-grade stainless steel and has gone through testing under extreme conditions.
This is the only Swiss watch that can handle 130 extreme endurance homologation tests, making it an excellent timepiece for the outdoors and adventures. According to Victorinox, this watch can also handle a ten-meter drop and can dive up to 200m below sea level.
This is a 43mm analog quartz model, with a genuine rubber strap, screw-down crown, and a removable compass bumper that protects the watch from scratches.
Triwa Smoky Nevil Chronograph
TRIWA (Transforming the Industry of Watches) is a relatively new watch brand from Sweden. It was founded in 2007 by a group of friends who looked for a refreshing way of selling watches. The brand, which designs the watches at their Stockholm Creative Studio, concentrates on “contemporary design, modern distribution, and creative marketing”. The Triwa Smoky Nevil is one of the brand’s most popular models. A 42mm watch that runs on a Japanese movement, it has a stainless steel case and a black dial.
There are two subdials, with thin index markers with gold plated watch hands. This model is battery-operated and has water resistance to 100m. See details on Triwa.com
AVI-8 Men’s AV-4011 Hawker Hurricane
AVI-8 makes timepieces made possible by a collaboration between pilots and engineers and inspired by the history of aircraft and military aviation. The brand’s philosophy is to make watches that are not only stylish and enjoyable to wear, but also functional.
One of these watches is the AVI-8 Men’s AV-4011 Hawker Hurricane watch, which is a tribute to the iconic aircraft from WW2. This is a chronograph with a simple yet stylish design of legible Arabic numeral markers and subdials, and a hand-stitched leather strap.
The watch is a 42m stainless steel, with a Japan quartz chronograph movement and a water resistance to 50m. See more details on the AVI-8 website.
Luminox Navy Seal Men’s Watch Black Dial (XS.3501/3500 Series)
A robust and durable watch by Swiss watchmaker Luminox, the Navy Seal 3501.L model has features excellent for the outdoors: a carbon compound case, tempered scratch-resistant mineral crystal, and illumination.
This 45mm model has a stainless steel case back and a carbon compound unidirectional bezel. It has bold, legible Arabic numeral markers and a date window at 3 o clock. The watch is also water-resistant to 200m.
The feature that makes this and other Luminox watches special is the Luminox self-powered illumination feature Luminox Light Technology, which gives the watch a constant glow for up to 25 years. Learn more about this technology in our article on Tritium Watches.
Fossil Nate Chronograph
The Fossil Nate Chronograph is a robust black-plated stainless steel watch that has a 50mm case and a three-hand analog display. It’s a chronograph with three subdials and a date window between 4 and 5 pm as well as a scratch-resistant mineral crystal.
All aspects of the watch are in black but remain legible. The matte black dial has a combination of large Arabic numeral and index markers. The water resistance is up to 50m.
This all-black watch by American brand Fossil is for those looking for a dark, oversized timepiece with a military-style.
Invicta Pro Diver 29176
We wrote about the watch on our Pepsi Bezel Watches article (iconic watch design where the top half of the bezel is blue, and the bottom half is red).
The Invicta Pro Diver 29176 is a dive watch with a 42mm stainless steel case and strap. The watch, which has a Japan automatic movement, has a screw-down crown and a water resistance to 200m. It also has a mineral crystal and an exhibition case back.
Bulova Classic Quartz Watch (96C125)
Bulova’s watches have a wide range of styles and functions–Open Heart designs, chronographs, dive watches, and so on. This watch is off the Classic collection, which is perfect for those looking for an everyday watch that will also look good in dress clothes.
The Bulova 96C125 has a stainless steel case and bracelet, silver-tone hands and index markers, and a domed crystal. In addition to the date window at 3 o’clock, there is also a day window at 12 o’clock.
The watch, which has a blue dial, runs on a quartz movement and is water-resistant to 30m.
Braun Men’s 3-Hand Analog Quartz Watch
Braun is another brand that concentrates on minimalist watches. The German brand, which also sells clocks, designs watches with a neat dial, as seen on their 3-hand analog quartz model.
The Braun BN0231 is a classic watch with a white dial and black Arabic numeral markers. The hour and minute hands are black, and the yellow seconds hand brings a pop of color and a good contrast to the rest of the details of the watch.
This is a 38mm model with an alloy case, leather strap (colors variations include blue, pink, tan, and white), and a mineral glass. This watch is not water-resistant.
Tissot T-Classic Tradition Men’s Dress Watch
This is a simple and elegant model by Swiss watchmaker Tissot. The vintage design and subtle decorations make it an everyday watch that has a timeless look
The Tissot Tradition, from the brand’s T-Classic collection, is a 42mm model with a stainless steel case, domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a silver dial. The strap is brown leather (embossed cow leather, alligator lookalike) with a butterfly clasp.
Powered by a Swiss quartz movement, the watch has a combination of index and Arabic (12 and 6) and index markers and has a date window at 3 o’clock. The water resistance is up to 30m.
Alpina Startimer Pilot Big Date
Alpina is a Swiss watchmaker that has been around since 1883, making it a pioneer in the Swiss watchmaking industry. Today, the brand continues to be known for its high-quality timepieces, innovation, and precision.
The Alpina Startimer Pilot watch has a sporty look that’s perfect for the outdoors. The Startimer collection is inspired by pilot watches, with precise movement and legible markers. This one has a black dial with large Arabic numeral markers and luminous hands.
The watch has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, as well as a solid case back and a screw-down crown. The water resistance is up to 100m.
G-Shock XL Tactical Watch GA-700UC-8ACR
Known for their durability and robust design, Casio G-Shock watches are for those looking for a big, multi-function timepiece that can take a beating.
The G-Shock XL GA-700UC-8ACR has a water-resistance of 200m, making it a watch suitable for diving. Some of the main features include four daily alarms, hourly time signal, World Time, and 31 time zones.
This is an analog-digital watch with a Super Illuminator LED light with Afterglow, and a 1/1000 second stopwatch. If you like the look of this watch, see our list of G-Shock Watches for Diving.
Movado Bold Black Dial Quartz
Swiss brand Movado is known for its Museum watch, where a dot is placed at 12 o’clock. Inspired by the Bauhaus art movement, this design continues to be present in the brand’s watches.
The Movado Bold Quartz is a 42mm model with a plain black dial, which is excellent for those who want a marker-free dial. The watch has no markers, just hands and the dot at 12 o’clock. The watch has a stainless steel case, scratch-resistant mineral crystal, and a water-resistance to 100 feet.
To see other Movado models, you can visit our Movado Watches for Men article.
Mondaine SBB Classic Chronograph
Mondaine is a Swiss watchmaker known for its unique watch design. The brand took the design blueprint of the Swiss Railways Clock licensed by the Federal Swiss Railways and created their own version.
One of these is the 36mm Mondaine SBB Chronograph, which has a white dial, stainless steel case, and a leather strap. The thick, legible markers and hands are black, and the red seconds hand brightens the dial.
This model is powered by a Ronda 517 quartz movement and has day/date windows at 3 o’clock. The water resistance is up to 30m.
Junghans Max Bill Quartz
Junghans is another brand that makes watches inspired by the Bauhaus movement. One of their most popular collaborators is artist Max Bill, who came up with a unique, minimalist design.
One of these is the Junghans Max Bill quartz watch, which has a stainless steel case and a mesh strap. This 38mm model has a beige leather strap and is water-resistant to 30m.
The watch has a minimalist style, with a simple white case and thin texts (Arabic numeral markers and date window) and hands. The water resistance is up to 30.
Graf Zeppelin Pilot Watch (LZ127)
German-made Zeppelin watches have a vintage look and have a good combination of a laid-back and sophisticated design. The Graf Zeppelin LZ127 watch is a 42mm watch with a polished stainless steel case and a white dial, with a brown leather strap. This model has black Arabic numeral markers, a date window at 6 o’clock, and two Chrono subdials. The movement is a quartz caliber 6S21, and the water resistance is up to 50m.
Nixon Re-Run Digital Fashion Watch
Nixon’s watch collections have diverse styles and features. They have simple analog watches excellent for daily wear, but they also have a wide range of retro-style watches.
One of these is the Nixon Re-Run, a digital watch with an 80’s design. Some of the main features include a digital calendar, countdown times, alarm, and dual time.
The 38mm watch, which is available in different colors (mint, gunmetal, copper, gold), has a custom LCD in the negative or positive display. The strap is 5-link stainless steel, and the water resistance is up to 30m.
Swatch Irony Automatic Black Dial Unisex Watch (YIB400)
Swatch is one of the most popular brands for simple and durable watches with unique designs. They’re famous for colorful designs, but they also make a wide array of simple, black-and-white models.
The Swatch Irony YIB400, which is from the brand’s Sistem Slate collection, is a 42mm model with white hands and markers against a black background.
Running on a Swiss quartz movement, this watch is water-resistant to 30m. This is a bit different from the usual resin and plastic materials—the case is stainless steel and the strap is black leather.
Skagen Aaren Quartz Analog Watch
This one for those looking for a watch that can bring a splash of color to their wardrobe. Scandinavian brand Skagen has a line of watches with a minimalist layout but with bright colors.
The Skagen Aaren (which means to add color and fun) watch is available in a wide array of colors, inspired by the bright houses of the Nyhavn district.
The watch has a 41mm aluminum case and a sandblasted dial, with a three-hand movement and Arabic numeral markers. The strap is interchangeable, so it’s easy to play around with. The water-resistant is up to 30m.
Shinola Runwell Quartz Watch
Shinola is a Detroit-based watchmaker that makes high-quality quartz watches.
The Shinola Runwell Watch is the brand’s flagship style, a simple yet stylish watch with a high-accuracyArgonite 1069 quartz movement. This model has a striking green dial, and large white Arabic numeral markers, and a small seconds function. The hands are coated with Super Luminova.
The case is stainless steel with a pumpkin crown and a domed sapphire crystal. The strap is US-made, hand-sewn premium leather.
Ingersoll Armstrong Chronograph
Ingersoll is one of the oldest American watchmakers. The brand has been around since 1892, producing pocket watches and wristwatches, and is known for some of its iconic timepieces such as their classic Mickey Mouse watches.
Today, the brand continues to make precise, high-quality wristwatches. One of these is the Ingersoll Armstrong Chronograph watch, a good model for those looking for a large and easy-to-read Chrono timepiece with a vintage look.
The watch runs on a quartz movement and has a handsome blue dial on a polished stainless steel case. The strap is black genuine leather, and the water resistance is up to 100m.