A watch does not need to be overly expensive to be considered a good timepiece, and the models we’re featuring below prove just that. For this article, we’re featuring some of today’s best men’s watches under $300.
Three hundred dollars is kind of a sweet spot when it comes to affordable watches, it’s a budget that many of our readers are sticking to – whether buying the watch as a gift or for yourself – and at this price range you’ll still many of same reliable and well-known brands that you’ll find at the sub-$500 watch level.
We’ve included a diverse mix of watches on this list—from sleek dress watches to smartwatches for sports and fitness, from models perfect for the outdoors to those that you can use in the office. We’ll also provide sites on where you can purchase them, and include links to articles where you can learn more about the featured watch company.
(Please note, at the time of publishing, all these watches were selling for $300 or less. Prices may have fluctuated since then, possibly pushing them over the original budget).
Best Men’s Watches Under $300
Citizen BN0151-09L Promaster Professional Diver
This Citizen Promaster Professional Diver’s watch is for those looking for an affordable dive watch with up to 200m water resistance. What makes this watch special (and what makes all Citizen watches stand out), is the absence of a battery. This watch is powered by Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology, which only needs a light source and does not need a battery.
This is a 48mm watch with a blue stainless steel case, unidirectional bezel, and luminous hands and markers. The strap is molded polyurethane.
Garmin Forerunner 735XT
For those who would like a watch for fitness, there’s the Garmin Forerunner 735 XT is a GPS running watch with multisport features for training like measuring heart rate and advanced dynamics for running, cycling, and swimming.
This watch has automatic uploads to the brand’s Garmin Connect app and is compatible with Strava Live Segments. Another notable feature is LiveTrack, which allows the wearer’s family and friends can track the location.
This is Garmin’s most lightweight multisport watch at 40.2g. The lens is a chemically strengthened glass, and the watch has a silicone strap. To see all the specs and features, check out the Garmin website.
If you’d like to learn more about other Garmin models, you can check out a review that we wrote on Garmin’s solar-powered watches.
Luminox Leatherback SEA Turtle Giant 0337
This rugged and durable 44mm watch is by Swiss watchmaker Luminox, which is popular for outdoor watches. The brand, which is trusted by Navy Seals for more than two decades, is for those who lead an active lifestyle—Luminox watches have high-grade stainless steel and has an ultra scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that can handle extreme weather conditions.
The Luminox Leatherback SEA Turtle Giant 0337 is a 44mm model with a unidirectional bezel and Super Luminova, It’s water-resistant to 100m and has a battery life of up to 50 months.
This watch is equipped with Carbonox, which makes Luminox watches extremely durable while remaining lightweight (learn more about it here).
Read about Luminox history and collections here, and you can also check out our comparison of Luminox and G-Shock.
Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s I.N.O.X. Watch
Victorinox watches are known for their excellent build quality and functionality.
The Victorinox I.N.O.X. comes with a certain robust charm that makes it quite charming despite the tank-like case construction.
At 43mm diameter and 12mm case thickness, the stainless-steel case is chunky. To the point that this might feel a bit too clunky for those with smaller wrists. However, despite that, the I.N.O.X. is as sleek as they come when it comes to performance.
Operating using the ETA 2824 movement, the I.N.O.X. offers excellent time-keeping along with a rugged high shock-resistant build andwater resistance rating of up to 200-meters.
Stührling Skeleton Watch
For those who are looking for a formal occasion watch, there’s this Stührling Skeleton Watch.
This watch has a number of versions (see them all on Amazon). This model, which is automatic, self-winding, has a skeleton dial and an exhibition case back where one can see the movement of the watch. The case and link bracelet are made of stainless steel, with a two-time zone feature and a sun/moon subdial.
The brand is an American watch company founded in New York that traces its inspiration from Swiss watchmaker Max Stührling, who made watches in Switzerland in the late 1800s. The brand is known for its creative watch designs in the mid-range market.
You can learn more about the company and its watches in our Stührling Review article here.
Solios – The Solar White
The Solar White watch by Solios is has a clean, minimalist look: a white dial with 316L Stainless steel hypoallergenic case and a choice among different mesh and Eco-Vegan Leather.
Available in 36mm and 40mm sizes and a “Mini” for smaller wrists. This watch is solar-powered and just two hours of sun can power the watch for up to six months—a Solios watch also only needs one battery in its lifetime. It’s also made with sustainable materials and has a low carbon footprint.
Solios is a Montreal-based watch brand whose goal is to create sustainable and innovative watches that reduce the harm done to the environment. Learn more about the brand here.
You can also check out our feature article on Solios.
Nordgreen Pioneer Watch
This is another watch brand that aims to create sustainable watches. Based in Copenhagen, Nordgreen is a company that puts in an effort not just in designing stylish watches but also makes sure that they promote responsible manufacturing. You can learn more about the brand on their website, or this article we’ve published on our site.
Designed by Jakob Wagner, an award-winning Chief Designer for the brand, this 42mm watch is the brand’s take on a chronograph.
The Nordgreen Pioneer watch, which has a minimalist design, is made of stainless steel with three dial colors (black, white, and navy).
Some of the main features include a domed sapphire crystal glass, a Japanese quartz movement, and a water resistance to 50m. The watch has three color choices for the case (silver, rose gold, and gunmetal), and has interchangeable straps.
Momentum M50 Wristwatch
Assembled by hand in Canada and the US, Momentum watches specializes in making waterproof and durable watches that are suitable for outdoor use.
The Momentum Men’s M50 watches were inspired and worn by military and tactical units. This is a professional dive watch that’s durable and bulletproof.
The M50 Black-Ion watch is a 44mm mm timepiece with water resistance up to 500m, and a Japanese Miyota movement. It has a sapphire crystal that allows the watch to be durable and scratch-proof and has a Super Luminova dial that allows the wearer to see it clearly at night.
You can check out the different dial and strap options on Amazon, or explore the different customization options on the Momentum website.
Update: As of Sept 2021, this watch was still retailing on Momentum’s site for $295.
Timex Stainless Steel Bracelet With Diamond
This affordable Timex watch is for those looking for an affordable but stylish dress watch.
This is a simple analog rectangular watch with a stainless steel case and bracelet. Available in silver, gold-tone, and two-tone colors, this watch has a 33mm case with a deployment clasp. At 12 o’clock is a diamond marking and the rest of the index markers are positioned at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. The watch is water-resistant to 30m.
Learn more about Timex in our Timex Brand Review article, and see some more of Timex’s best men’s models here.
AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane AV-4011-0E
AVI-8 is a UK-based brand known for its aviation-inspired watches. Founded in the 2000s, it was started by watch industry veterans as well as history and aviation enthusiasts.
The AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane AV-4011-0E watch has a stainless steel round case and an army green strap. The movement is a Japanese quartz chronograph, with a date window at 3 o’clock. It has bold hands and Arabic numeral markers for easy reading, and vintage-inspired chronograph subdials.
You can read more about the brand in our AVI-8 Watch Review on the site, where we talk about its history and collections.
See more aviation and pilot-inspired watches in this Watch Ranker article on the Best Pilot Watches Under $500.
Seiko Prospex Padi SNE435P1
Seiko PADI is the Japanese watchmaker’s partnership with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. This one’s a dive watch with a solar movement and meets ISO standards, making it suitable for scuba diving.
Seiko Prospex Padi Solar (2021, this is still a great watch to consider but as of 2021 is very hard to find for under $300).
43.5mm watch is water-resistant to 200m, with a unidirectional rotating bezel and a screw-down crown. The case is stainless steel, with a Lumibrite feature on the hands and index markers. It also has a three-fold clasp with a secure lock.
Learn more about Seiko and its collections (which includes the Prospex line) in our Seiko Watch Review.
Garmin Venu SQ GPS Smartwatch
Garmin’s Venu SQ is a sports and fitness GPS smartwatch for those leading an active lifestyle. This model has an AMOLED display that allows the watch to be legible even under bright sunlight, and a durable Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
This watch has a wide range of fitness and sports features which are all enumerated and explained here. Some of the most notable ones include animated workouts, a personal Garmin Coach for running, and customized workouts using Garmin Connect.
You can also download songs using music apps like Spotify, pay using Garmin Pay for contactless payments, and get Smart Notifications using your smartphone.
Orient Sun and Moon Version 3
The Sun and Moon Version 3 (FAK00005D0) analog watch by Japanese watchmaker Orient is an upgraded version of Orient’s Sun and Moon watch, with the new caliber F6B24 that has an automatic, hand-winding and hacking seconds halt movement.
This updated model is a 42.5mm stainless steel watch with a domed sapphire crystal, leather band, and deployant clasp.
The dial has day/day and night sub-registers, Roman numeral numbers, and a day/date feature. The water resistance is up to 50m.
Seiko SGF206 Gold-Tone watch
This one is another watch by one of the biggest Japanese watch brands. This model is a gold-tone stainless steel watch for those looking for a reliable and stylish dress watch.
The Seiko SGF206 is a 36mm analog model with a Hardlex crystal and a steel link bracelet with a fold-over clasp. The bezel has a coin-edge design, and the dial has thin index markers with a day/date window at 3 o’clock. The water resistance is up to 30m.
Casio G-Shock Mudmaster GG-1000-1A3CR
This G-Shock Mudmaster model is a shock-resistant analog-digital watch with a 48mm case. As the name suggests, this is a mud-resistant watch that allows the wearer to take it on adventures with dirt and mud.
The markers are a combination of big Arabic numerals (12, 4, 6, and 9) and index markers. The face is powered by a high-visibility Super Illuminator which allows the wearer to read the watch in any weather condition. The water resistance is up to 200m.
Other features include a digital compass, a thermometer display, and multiple gaskets on the pipes guiding the buttons and keeping the mud out.
See more ana-digi watches here.
Bulova Precisionist 96B158
The Bulova Precisionist watch boasts of having one of the world’s most accurate movements, with a continuously sweeping second hand. The brand says that the Precisionist movement is three times more accurate than a standard quartz watch. This model is a simple yet stylish watch with a stainless steel case and a leather strap.
The Bulova Men’s 96B158 watch is an analog 42mm watch with water resistance to 30m. It has a multi-layer swirl pattern on a gray dial, mineral crystal, and luminous hour and minute hands. The date window is at 3 o’clock.
G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400
This is another G-Shock model for those looking for a watch that can endure severe weather conditions.
The G-Shock Rangeman GW-9400 has a 53mm case and a resin band. This watch has many features for outdoor activities, such as a compass, altimeter, and barometer, and thermometer, It also has a sunrise and sunset data feature, and a day, date, and month calendar.
This model is water-resistant to 200m. One of the most notable features of this watch is the cylindrical buttons that have improved impact resistance. The case and buttons are sealed, protecting the watch from the elements.
Citizen Eco-Drive Paradigm
The Citizen Eco-Drive Paradigm 6550-58E is a 32 mm watch that can be worn with casual wear and formal occasions. This model, which is powered by the brand’s battery-less Eco-Drive technology, has a titanium silver-tone case and bracelet that makes it lighter than other stainless steel watches and has luminous hands.
The dial is gray with a three-hand function and a date window at 3 o’clock. It has a hardened scratch-resistant mineral crystal and a water resistance of up to 30m.
You can learn more about Citizen’s history, background, and collections in our review of the brand.
Orient Kamasu Automatic Watch
The Orient Kamasu watch is a 42mm analog timepiece with an automatic movement. The case is a black ion-plated stainless steel with a black rubber strap, and the dial has luminous gold-tone hands and index markers.
This is a dive watch, with water resistance up to 200m. The minute markers are on the outer rim of the watch, and there’s a day/date window at 3 o’clock.
If you want more Orient watch choices, check out our list of Best Orient Watches For Men. You can also learn more about the brand and its collections here.
Casio G-Shock GST-S110-1A
Here’s another analog-digital watch by G-Shock. The Casio G-Shock GST-S110-1A is under the G-Steel line, which has watches with what Casio calls a “layer guard structure,” which contributes to the shock-resistance of the watch.
This solar-powered watch has a stainless steel case and resin case, steel and resin bezel, and mineral glass. It has a double LED light, World Time, five daily alarms, an hourly time signal, and a countdown timer. This line comes in both resin and stainless steel bands. The water resistance is up to 200m.
The wearer can use the hand-shift feature that moves the hands away and allows easy reading of the digital display.
Bulova Men’s 97A136 Classic Aerojet
A stylish dress watch by Bulova, this 41mm watch has a rose-gold tone stainless steel case and a croco-embossed leather strap, and a three-buckle closure. Above the 6 pm index hour marker is an open-aperture window that shows a part of the inner design.
This model has a 21-jewel automatic movement with a power reserve of up to 40 hours and has a water resistance of up to 30m. Another notable feature is the exhibition case back, and the placement of the crown on the two o’clock position.
You can learn more about Bulova here or see it placed side-by-side Orient, a brand that where Bulova is often compared to.
Samsung Galaxy Watch
The Samsung Galaxy watch is packed with fitness and health features perfect for those with an active lifestyle or those who set fitness goals and is also one of the top smartwatches for under $300.
Compatible with iOs and Android, some of the main features of this smartwatch includes tracking for sleep cycle, workouts, and calories, as well as a feature that allows the wearer to meditate (breathing exercises).
The watch is a 46mm model with a Gorilla Glass DX+ case and a silicone strap. It’s available in three colors: rose gold, silver, and midnight black
This model also has a wireless charger, which allows you to use the watch for days on a single charge. Explore the many features and color options of the watch on the Samsung website.
Casio Pro Trek PRW3500T-7
The Casio Pro Trek PRW3500T-7 is one of the brand’s durable, and feature-packed outdoor watches. This model is equipped with the Triple Sensor Version 3, which packs sensors 95% smaller than the previous models, promoting accuracy.
Some of the main features of this watch include altitude, barometric pressure, and direction readings, solar power, and a Barometric Pressure Tendency Alarm, which alerts the wearer if there are changes in pressure readings. It also has sunrise and sunset data, four daily alarms, a stopwatch, a countdown timer, and World Time (31 time zones, 48 cities + UTC).
This model is water-resistant to 200m and has a full auto LED display that illuminates the watch. It also has a low-temperature resistance (-10 C / 14 F).
Movado 605023 Juro Watch
Last but not least is this stainless steel watch by American watchmaker Movado. The Movado Men’s 605023 Juro is a 36mm model with a minimalist design of a black dial with no markers, just the hour and minute hands, and the iconic Movado dot at 12 o’clock.
The Movado Juro watch has a Swiss quartz movement with fixed stainless steel bezel and water resistance to 30m. It also has a link bracelet with a double lock and a durable sapphire window.
If you would like to see other recommended Movado watches for men, you can check out this article on our site. We’ve also previously published a Watch Review article on the brand, where we talk about its history, background, and collections.
Gucci SYNC XXL
The Gucci SYNC XXL watch by fashion brand Gucci is a Swiss quartz stainless steel with a 46mm case and a rubber strap. The watch has small index markers, a date window at 3 o’clock, and Gucci’s double G branding in the middle of the sunray dial.
This analog watch, which is coated with mineral glass, has a number of color options: blue, silver, gray, black, and red. The water resistance is up to 50m. We have a Gucci Brand Review on the site, for those who would like to learn more about the brand’s watches.