Swiss watches are considered by many to be the best watches on the market, but a lot of Swiss watch brands are also very expensive.
The brands we’ve chosen for this article are known for their watchmaking history and quality but that also make affordable watches that don’t have to cost thousands of dollars.
There are several factors that define a watch labeled as “Swiss made,” but at the simplest level it means that it was made or assembled in Switzerland or the Swiss region, the watch movement is Swiss, at least 60% of manufacturing costs are domestic (based in Switzerland) and the final watch inspection was done in Switzerland.
If half of the parts of the watch is made by Swiss manufacturers, it can carry the “Swiss movement” label.
Over half of the luxury watches in the world are from Switzerland, and the ones we’re featuring below will be some of the more reasonably priced ones. Here are some of the best Swiss watches under $500.
(Please note, all prices were checked at the time of publishing and all watches were selling online for $500 or less. However, prices may have fluctuated since then possibly pushing them over the original budget).
Best Swiss Watches Under $500
Hamilton H32515535 Jazzmaster
The Hamilton Jazzmaster watch continues to receive excellent reviews in terms of movement accuracy. One great detail about this automatic watch is the see-through case in the back of the watch, so you will be able to see the movement closely, and see the craftsmanship that came with the timepiece. It has a three-hand movement and a date function, as well as a power reserve of 80 hours.
The simple design is commonly praised as well, with its sleek leather strap (it has a stainless steel variety as well). Many say that the strap could take a few days to adjust, but once it does, it’s very comfortable on the wrist.
The case is 40mm, an analog display, and an anti-reflective sapphire dial window material. It’s a simple but elegant looking watch that you can wear every day, and can still look excellent as a dress watch. It’s water resistant up to 50m, which means you can take it swimming and showering (it’s best, however, that you just stick with the latter).
If this look isn’t for you, check out Hamilton Khaki Field analog watch, which has many similar functions as the previous model. This one also has a date at 3 o’clock, black dial, and a 40mm case, but the design is different: the khaki has all numerals (and bolder as well). This type of leather is suede, so it has a more rugged feel.
The Hamilton Khaki is an excellent field watch, a well-made timepiece that has been used since World War II.
Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X.
The Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. Watch is one of the models that stands out. This powerful timepiece is the only Swiss watch that is able to withstand 130 extreme endurance homologation tests. The strap is very durable—it’s made of leather that is used in making firefighter boots.
I.N.O.X.—a watch embodying the history of a pioneering brand that creates objects characterized by ultimate functionality and uncompromising quality—promotes durability, functionality, and style. This is a watch that pretty much has it all, and the best part is it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. It’s not cheap, but it’s certainly not as expensive as other luxury Swiss watches on the market today.
Victorinox is one of the most popular brands for quality watches and Swiss Army Knives, so you are sure that these models have been made with craftsmanship that guarantees your watch will last a long time.
Other Victorinox watches of the same price range that are worth checking out include the Victorinox Infantry, which looks great as a smart casual or dress watch. This watch continues to receive good reviews for its accuracy. It has an attractive mesh bracelet that has received a lot of praises for comfort and design, and an anti-reflective sapphire crystal dial window, and a dial with excellent readability. This one is still large (40mm case), so it’s mostly men who wear them, but this will also look excellent on women.
If a good luminous watch is what you’re looking for, you can also check out the Victorinox Swiss Army Night Vision.
The great thing about the Victorinox I.N.O.X. line is you will be able to choose from a wide array of models. There’s also the I.N.O.X. Titanium, I.N.O.X Professional Diver, I.N.O.X. Carbon, and I.N.O.X. V.
Glycine KMU 48 Kriegs Marine Uhren
The Glycine KMU 48 is a manual winding Swiss-made pilot watch perfect for those looking for a big timepiece.
This one has an XL size (48mm) and has three different styles, a steel case and buckle with a leather strap, and is waterproof up to 100 meters.
Glycine has been making watches in Switzerland since 1914. The brand maintains the philosophy of creating reasonably-priced and reliable watches that was meticulously created with high-quality materials.
Movado Museum Sport
This watch by Movado is those for those looking for a more contemporary design. This Swiss brand, which was founded in Switzerland in 1881, has already acquired hundreds of patents and awards for its design and technology.
The 42mm Museum Sport watch has a stainless steel case with a black PVD-finished bezel and a black dial with a date window at 6 o’clock, as well as a sleek detail of a signature dot at 12 o’clock. This model is water resistant only up to 30m.
The Movado Museum collection has a very distinct minimalist look (check their site for different Museum models), perfect for those looking for a simple yet elegant design that will look good at the office and dressy occasions. Considering this one…learn more about Movado watches here.
Frederique Constant Men’s 235M4S5 Slim Line Analog Swiss Quartz
A simple, classic design that can serve as an everyday watch or a dress watch, the Frederique Constant Slim Line is a collection of high-quality watches without the hefty price tag.
Some of the main features of this model include a Sapphire dial window material, stainless steel case, and a durable calfskin band. It’s not too big (37mm) compared to the other watches we’ve covered so far.
The Frederique Constant Slimline watches have neat and stylish ultra-flat designs that use modern technology and maintains the highest quality. The brand pays tribute to Geneva/Swiss watchmaking, which combines high quality and prices that are still relatively affordable.
If you are planning to use this watch for water activities, this might not be for you. This one is only water resistant up to 30—while it can withstand small splashes of water, it can’t be submerged.
Tissot Mens Le Locle Powermatic 80
Tissot is well-known for quality Swiss watches, delivering in design, accuracy, and value for money.
Le Locle is the name of Tissot’s home in the Swiss mountains. The brand calls this model “classical chic,” which is pretty much accurate when you look at it: elegant black leather or stainless steel strap (there are different colors and materials available), a black dial, and Roman numeral markers, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. It’s also has a power reserve of up to 80 hours.
The Tissot Men’s Heritage Visodate is a classic watch with a curved dial that mirrors the dome-shaped sapphire glass, which makes the date and day more visible.
This date function was introduced by Tissot in the 1950s, when the brand celebrated its centenary. This makes use of indexes rather than Roman numerals, has a power reserve of 38 hours. Like the Le Locle, it’s only water resistant up to 30m, so while it can take splashes, it is not recommended for showering or swimming.
If you want a Tissot watch that can be used in water, you can also check out the Tissot V8, a chronograph that’s water resistant up to 30m. It has a “tachymeter” written on the bezel, which is used for computations of speed and distance. The previous two have a simpler design, but this one is for the ones looking for a sporty look.
The dashboard-inspired counters and automobile inspired V8 theme make it a great watch for any car enthusiast or gearhead.
Wenger Sea Force 3H
The Wenger Sea Force watch is a top pick for men who love water activities. The watch is water resistant up to 200 meters, so you can take it with you to swimming, scuba diving, and other water sports.
This Swiss quartz watch has a stainless steel case and bezel. You can play with different designs of this watch, as it has stainless steel, leather, and silicone straps (you can also use a trusty NATO).
Wenger mixes contemporary design and craftsmanship that has been around since the 1890s, and the Sea Force line is a great example of this top-notch quality. If you’re looking for a sharp-looking watch that you can wear to work and when outdoors, this is a great model to consider. (you can choose from a wide array of designs of the Sea Force model here)
Raymond Weil Toccata
Raymond Weil, a luxury Swiss watch brand, combines sophisticated design and innovation and it definitely shows in the Raymond Weil Men’s ‘Toccata’.
This is the kind of watch that you can wear at work, and at the same time will look good with a wardrobe for a night out. It’s simple, straightforward, and most importantly, keeps accurate time.
Some of the main features include a 39mm stainless steel case, a black leather strap with an attractive alligator motif, white roman numerals on the dial, and a date window at 3 o’clock. The crown also has a sleek RW logo.
This is just one of the brand’s many Tocatta designs. To see other designs with the same functions, check the Raymond Weil website here.
If you’re a music lover, this is the brand that you should definitely check out. Raymond Weil constantly has a music-inspired collaboration for some of its watches. These are limited edition so they’re a bit more expensive.
Some of the most popular partnerships include The Beatles, David Bowie, Bob Marley, and AC/DC.
Swatch SUTS401 Sistem51
Last but definitely not least is the Swatch SUTS401 Sistem51.
Swatch, a well-known Swiss watch brand that is the youngest company on the list, having only been around since 1983. However, in that short time, they have gained a reputation for quality timepieces and trendy designs, some of which are now collector’s items.
While they are known for their modern look and designs their watches have also been seen on the wrists of high-powered CEOs and wall street bankers.
This is the only nickel-free watch (it made our list of best nickel-free watches) on this list, but don’t let the lightweight materials fool you—this has excellent and accurate movement, just as good as the other watches featured on this list. One of the features that stand out is the 90-hour power reserve.
Watch a review of this watch here:
Another review of this watch pointed out that the mechanical movement of this watch is made from 51 components, which form five modules, which are then connected into a single unit. A conventional movement usually has double (up to a hundred) components—the company introduced the simplified method three decades ago.
The 42mm Swatch Sistem51 Sistem Blue watch is a fun, playful looking timepiece that was made with Swiss craftsmanship Swatch is known for. The case is plastic, the strap is silicone, and it glows in the dark. There is also a small date display at 3 o’clock.
Bulova is a well-known American luxury watch brand, but the company had a Swiss watch line called Bulova AccuSwiss (other separate watch brands also include the Bulova Accutron and Bulova Clocks).
One of the watches from the AccuSwiss Tellaro collection is this 63B193 automatic watch, a 42.5mm timepiece crafted of a stainless steel bracelet with a minimalist black dial and a domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal. It also has a deployant clasp with push button.
This has since been discontinued, but there are still a number of sellers on sites like Amazon and eBay. This model has generally positive reviews, but one of the things that some users have pointed out is that the watch is big and a bit heavy, so it might take some getting used to at first.
There you have our list of more “affordable” Swiss watches. We’ve tried to include watches that are within a reasonable budget and included several different styles to match your personal taste and the occasion you’ll wear it for. While not everyone can afford or justify a luxury Swiss watch, this list proves that there are plenty of Swiss-made options that deliver quality from highly reputable brands without having to spend an arm and a leg to get your hands on one.