If you’re shopping for your next watch with a reasonable budget of $200 and are set on an automatic watch you may find it’s a frustrating experience. With a sea of cheap quartz watches online, it can take quite a bit of searching to find quality automatics.
While some people may even doubt if you can find a decent automatic watch under this price point since they associate them with more expensive price ranges. But rest assured there are plenty of good options from very reputable watchmakers.
In the following list, you’ll find a wide variety of watch styles from dress to dive watches. All from brands with a history of making reliable and quality timepieces, the other obvious criteria were that the watch had an automatic movement and retail price at the time of publishing that was within the original budget.
(Please note, all prices were checked at the time of publishing and all watches were selling for $200 or less. However, prices may have fluctuated since then, possibly pushing them over the original budget).
Best Automatic Watches Under $200
Orient ‘Bambino Version IV’ Automatic Dress Watch
“Bambino Version IV” is an automatic dress watch made by Orient, a brand known for unique, superior-quality timepieces. From 1950 to the present day, Orient continues to perfect their craft by developing unique mechanical movements. Movements like those found in this “Bambino Version IV”.
Orient desires to redefine style by utilizing the latest Japanese street fashion for the world to consume. The Bambino Version IV presents us with domed watch face glass that helps accent bronze hour mark accents. A classy look with black watch face, bronze hour markers and gold accented first, second, and third hands.
Complete with a brown calfskin wrist strap. A great watch, with a historical movement, classy dress style, but also sporty and can be worn daily. This watch is imported from Japan and utilizes a Japanese-automatic movement, has a 41mm case diameter, and is water-resistant to 30m. To convert that for the readers, it withstands splashes or brief immersion in water. Not suitable for swimming or bathing. Has a date window with date only.
Seiko 5 Blue Dial Automatic Watch (SRPB37K1)
The Seiko 5 is an aquatic lover’s watch. With a water resistance measured in ATM (atmospheres) this watch can withstand the pressure of 10 ATMs and lends itself to people interested in diving and snorkeling with their timepiece. Unlike water-resistant watches, the Seiko 5 handles a depth of 100 meters completely submerged.
The movement in this Seiko 5 is a 24 jewel automatic movement named “Calibre 4R36.” Seiko’s movements are created in Shizukuishi, Iwate. This model comes with a stainless steel case and band, with a push-button deployment clasp with a safety locking feature. This is a great band and safety lock for diving.
The glass is made of hardlex mineral crystal and has a case size of 44mm diameter and a 13mm thickness. It is thick enough to dive with but slim enough to wear daily with no wardrobe issues. With Luminus first, second, and third hands, complete with day and date, this Seiko is a functional beauty of a watch.
Bulova Men’s Classic American Clipper (96C130)
Simple and elegant, this Bulova Men’s Classic American Clipper is a day/date design by Bulova. With a 40-hour power reserve, this automatic self-winding watch is a great budget dress watch for those not looking to spend a lot but look like they did.
With a case diameter of 42mm and thickness of 11.5mm, this watch is small enough to fit comfortably under a shirt cuff.
This watch is water-resistant, and can handle water from washing your hands, but not built for swimming or diving.
Timex Men’s Marlin Automatic 40mm Watch
Timex is a brand most people are well known for their affordable quartz watches that “Keep on Ticking” but but may not know they also make quality automatic timepieces. This watch shows the beauty in a simple design.
The Timex Marlin is an example of how Timex has stayed in the watch game for so many years. This two-tone watch looks amazing with the gold bezel, gold, and luminous watch hands set against a black background.
With a black strap and watch face, simplicity was in mind when Timex made the Marlin. The Timex Marlin is a recreation of Timex’s 1960’s watch captures the Mid-century design Timex set out to produce. The simple date window, with no day display which is common among dress watches. Domed acrylic crystal to protect the watch face, and water-resistant to 30m.
Customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive, most customers purchased the watch’s mid-century design, and enjoy the “old soul” feeling they gain when wearing it.
Gold-tone 20mm stainless steel bracelet fits up to 8-inch wrist. Timex utilizes a 21-jewel automatic movement with a 40-hour power reserve. Dark, classic look. Classy and reasonably priced.
Swatch Irony Automatic Movement Black Dial Unisex Watch
The white-on-black offset design throughout this Swatch Irony unisex watch exemplifies Swatch as a company. White and black luminous hands, date window, inner time, and outer stopwatch allow for style and functionality.
Swatch is owned by the Swatch group, which produces high-end watches such as Omega, Longines, and Tissot along with multiple others. It’s a surprisingly affordable Swiss Quartz from an often underappreciated brand considering the quality and price point.
This watch is a part of Swatch’s Sistem Slate Collection, utilizing a swiss quartz movement, and is water-resistant to 30 meters. With a 42mm case diameter and a mineral crystal face, this watch is made strong. With the tuff wrist strap, most customers rant about enjoying having a swiss made automatic watch for a great price.
Vostok Amphibian Automatic Self-Winding Military Diver
Vostok Amphibian Automatic introduces itself within its title. This is a true diver watch. With a waterproof rating of 200 meters, there isn’t anywhere this watch can’t go. Swim, dive, climb a mountain, do anything with this watch on and be confident it will keep time for you.
The Vostok Amphibian uses a 31 ruby jewel self-winding movement with a power reserve of 31 hours. Shock-resistant, central second hand, rotated bezel, lumination on hands, and dots for night visibility. For people with an extremely active lifestyle and don’t want to have to worry about their watch breaking or being scuffed from their adventurous life.
Assembled in the USA, Vostok is made by the official supplier of the Defense Department of the Soviet Union and the modern Russian Army. A great selection for divers, boat lovers, and surfers. A tank of a watch for a great price.
Orient ‘Bambino Open Heart’ Japanese Automatic Dress Watch
The Orient “Bambino Open Heart” is the second entry on our list from this Japanese watch brand. Orient is known for unique, superior-quality timepieces and for developing unique self-winding movements at an affordable price.
A classic look with a modern skeleton style watch known as “Open Heart.”
This is a small, lightweight dress watch for nice dinner parties or a night out on the town. At 40.5mm diameter, and with a domed mineral crystal face, this watch is sleek and fits easily under a form-fitting shirt.
Open heart dial style allows for visual confirmation of the Japanese-automatic movement. Creating a conversation piece everywhere you go and water-resistant to 30 meters. Not suitable for swimming or bathing. The dark leather band matches well with the gold-tone, highly rated by customers on every platform.
Stuhrling Original Men’s Automatic Watch Skeleton Watch (33151)
The stunning design of this skeletal dial on this Stuhrling Original makes it a unique entry in this list.
There is also a second-hand sub-dial that complements the plume-style hands perfectly and the hour markers use a shark-teeth motif in gives this skeletal watch a certain edge.
The watch is secured with a 22mm alligator embossed leather strap giving a classy finish. The movement is an automatic self-winding 22-jewel. Stuhrling watches come with a 2-year international warranty.
Seiko Recraft Automatic Blue Dial Watch (SNKN37)
We have a second Seiko on this list and there are plenty of reasons! Build quality, longevity, and accuracy are what define Seiko. The shape of this Seiko Recraft is designed with comfortability and day-long wear in mind.
The Recraft has a 43.5 mm stainless steel case with a day and a date window at the 3 o’clock position. Seiko automatic self-wind movement, and distressed leather band with buckle closure. The type of closure is important for comfort and all-day wear. Leather lends itself to be more comfortable for all-day wear than bands made with different materials. With a shiny blue face, and stainless steel hands and numbers, this is a great casual watch. A good choice for everyday workwear, hanging with friends, and anything the weekend can throw at you.
Fossil Men’s Townsman Automatic Stainless Steel Mechanical Watch
The Fossil Townsman Stainless Steel watch rounds out our list. This watch is great for date night, guys night out, work, gym, literally any occasion this watch shines. The skeleton-style dial makes the inner workings of the watch visible for all to see. A great conversation starter, with a 48mm case and 24mm bandwidth, this watch stands out.
Fossil truly made a timepiece that covers all the bases in what you want and needs from a watch at this price. The face of the watch is the mineral crystal, and it runs on a Fossil automatic movement provided with a 3-hand display. Fossil also offers other bands for this watch that fit well and are a quick change. There are several color and strap options for this watch that vary slightly in price but if you’re not picky you can usually find one under the $200 mark.