What’s the right watch? The one you’re sporting. And which one is that? The one you’ll be able to afford.
It’s easy reasoning, however bears repeating within the watch world, the place we’re so typically obsessive about probably the most pristine, gold-laden, house-costing timepieces. Sure, watches could be luxurious items, and people luxurious items are lovely. However a watch can even simply be the factor you put on in your wrist that tells the time and prices, properly, not as a lot as a home. And — quote us on this — that reasonably priced watch can nonetheless be superb.
A watch that prices lower than every week’s paycheck — typically a lot much less — nicely, there’s no have to remorse shopping for that. For one, you possibly can afford it. Additionally, a few of the greatest watchmaking corporations on the planet make reasonably priced watches; they make these watches properly, and with cool options, and plenty of fascinating historical past, and loads of dashing, fascinating, and distinctive type decisions.
(A aspect word: amongst our listing of the perfect reasonably priced watches, you’ll discover repeated manufacturers. For this reason: a handful of manufacturers make a bunch of the perfect reasonably priced watches. You’ll be able to all the time depend on the Seikos and Residents of the world to ship unimaginable worth.) Plus, there’s this: an reasonably priced watch doesn’t have to satisfy each single one in every of your watch wants. As a result of you possibly can afford to purchase a special one, too.
And there you’ve gotten it: reasonably priced watches have the facility to show extra individuals into watch nerds than haute horlogerie. Belief us: any one in every of these sub-$500 watches goes to make you are feeling good if you purchase it, and really feel even higher once you use it. As a result of they’re not low cost or chintzy. They do what you want, for much less, and shouldn’t you be saving to ship your child to school, anyway?
- 1 Timex MK1
- 2 Seiko 5
- 3 Bertucci T2
- 4 Citizen NH8350-83L
- 5 Swatch Sistem51
- 6 Withings Metal HR Sport
- 7 Mr. Jones Watches The Final Giggle
- 8 Timex Marlin Automated
- 9 Orient Bambino
- 10 Dan Henry 1972 Chrono Alarm
- 11 Brew Retrograph
- 12 Filson Subject
- 13 Seagull 1963 Chronograph
- 14 Casio G-Shock Mudmaster
- 15 Baltic HMS001
- 16 Nodus Retrospect II
- 17 Unimatic U2-C
- 18 Orient Mako USA II
- 19 Hamilton Khaki Area Mechanical
- 20 Seiko Presage “Cocktail Time”
- 21 Junghans Max Invoice Quartz
Right here’s one thing you gained’t discover just about anyplace else: an aluminum look ahead to lower than $100. Timex modeled it after a mil-spec watch it made within the 1980s that was meant to be discarded after it stopped working. The MK1 has an anodized aluminum case (replace: the model makes it in metal now, too), so it’s ultra-light on the wrist, and it has the basic Indiglo perform. And for $89, it could be the right summer time beater watch.
Worth: $89 (aluminum, nylon strap)
There’s some disagreement about what the “5” in Seiko 5 even means. In truth, to lots of its wearers, what issues is worth and selection: there are lots of of various variations of the Seiko 5, and dozens of the Seiko 5 Sport — and most all of them value lower than $200 (Some lower than $100). So simply determine: would you like it in black, white, blue, purple, or inexperienced? Or perhaps slate sunburst? With the crown at three o’clock or four? With a day/date? On a metal bracelet or on canvas? Properly, perhaps you actually need two or three…
Motion: Seiko 7S25/7S26/7S35/7S36 automated
Worth: Typically sub-$100; typically between $100-$200
Ever since surviving a Gear Patrol-induced stress check (learn: being dropped off a balcony), we’ve all the time had a profound respect for this robust little model, which frequently sells its watches with ugly plastic shrouds for additional safety. These are watches for the blue-blooded, outdoor-working everyman, and the A-2T, with its light-weight titanium case, hardy nylon band, luminous dial and unstoppable quartz motion, is the right look ahead to tenting or yard work.
Motion: Japan-made quartz
Timex Marlin not fairly your bag? The clunkily named Citizen NH8350-83L has comparable basic gown watch styling, plus a Miyota automated motion, for about $100 much less. You additionally get a 40mm chrome steel case with matching bracelet, plus a day-date perform.
Motion: Miyota 8200 automated
The Sistem51 made waves when it was introduced again in 2013. Right here was a Swiss-made mechanical motion for lower than $250. Swatch made it by automating the creation of the mechanical motion—a cool innovation—however actually, they have been forward of the sport in realizing that buyers needed a mechanical motion for lots lower than different Swiss watch corporations would supply. As we speak, they provide the Sistem51 in all types of variations, from the funky (Originals) to the dressy (Ironies). (And even a candy Hodinkee particular version.)
Motion: Sistem51 automated
Withings Metal HR Sport
French firm Withings was one of many first manufacturers to get in on the “hybrid smartwatch” recreation, pairing analog time-telling with on a regular basis sensible options by way of a smartphone app and intelligent digital integration. The brand new Metal HR Sport is their hardest but, and probably the greatest of those hybrids: past its chunky chrome steel development and classy stick palms, it has a coronary heart price monitor, multi-sport monitoring, GPS and VO2 evaluation.
Motion: Hybrid smartwatch
Mr. Jones Watches The Final Giggle
Crispin Jones, the founding father of Mr Jones Watches, graduated from the Royal School of Arts in London and hung out constructing interactive sculptures earlier than founding his watch firm. His watches, together with The Final Snicker, are supposed to provoke thought in addition to inform the time; this one, as an example, is a memento mori (a reminder of demise).
Motion: ST1 721 automated
Timex Marlin Automated
The handwound Marlin has some excessive 1960s styling happening; the brand new Automated model takes that down a notch. Does its a number of dial colour choices, domed acrylic crystal, and day/date perform make it the right cash-strapped gown watch? On metal mesh (ten bucks extra), it simply could be.
Motion: Miyota 8215
There are a complicated variety of Bambino generations, with totally different features, types, and dial colorways. (Critically.) Which suggests you’re spoiled for selection to seek out that one good mechanical gown look ahead to beneath $500—or perhaps you should purchase one for each go well with you personal.
Motion: Orient F6724 automated
Dan Henry 1972 Chrono Alarm
Dan Henry is an unapologetic homagist: he makes watches which are impressed by, and typically immediately mimic, the greats. That is divisive work, however amongst reasonably priced watch geeks, he’s principally beloved, as a result of he does what the greats have accomplished for a lot, a lot much less. The 1972 Chrono Alarm is an apparent homage to the primary ever black PVD watch, the Orfina Porsche Design Chronograph 1. Henry’s model makes use of a Miyota quartz motion, however the lovely design is all nonetheless there.
Motion: Miyota OS80 quartz
This isn’t your commonplace microbrand watch: its case is rectangular, its markers embrace a timer for pulling an espresso shot, and its chronograph motion is a hybrid meca-quartz. Plus, new colorways embrace the superbly popped Technicolor model, and a delectably good-looking Cobalt.
Motion: VK64 hybrid meca-quartz chronograph
Previous Filson watches have been made by Shinola, with worth tags to match. Their new line of subject watches are outsourced abroad, in order that they lose the American-made provenance—however achieve a rattling good drop in worth. For a troublesome, easy area watch with lumed markers, a screw-down crown, and sapphire crystal, that’s good.
Seagull 1963 Chronograph
Tianjin watch manufacturing unit was a powerhouse throughout China’s industrial revolution, pumping out quite a lot of watches, together with the nation’s first mechanical chronograph, the ST19, made for its pilots. At the moment, the manufacturing unit is called Seagull, and it makes the Seagull Chronograph, an homage to that unique watch. It’s probably the most reasonably priced mechanical chronographs on the market, with an excellent classic appear and feel.
Motion: Seagull ST19 hand-wound chronograph
Casio G-Shock Mudmaster
What makes a G-Shock so rattling indestructible? There’s plenty of excessive tech design concerned, however the primary protector is urethane-encased metallic, the descendant of Kikuo Ibe’s first prototype. The brand new Mudmaster consists of this, plus additional mud and sand resistance, and a completely new carbon-fiber strengthened resin “core guard” inside function that gives additional shock safety. Oh, and it additionally has a thermometer, digital compass, barometer, altimeter, and step counter.
Motion: Radio-controlled, solar-powered analog
Baltic, a French firm sourcing Asian-made elements and assembling them in France, made its splash with vintage-inspired dive watches just like the Aquascaphe. And but it’s their clear HMS 001 that cracks the sub-$500 vary. Fairly simply, in reality — lower than $400 will get you that lovely dial (we’ll take slate sunburst each time), blued palms, and the choice for an open case again.
Motion: Miyota 821 automated
Nodus Retrospect II
The younger LA-based model does versatile metal software watches higher than many others—and in its personal approach. The Retrospect II is a magnificence: it has a great deal of nice classic metal dive watch nods, a sunburst dial, and a bezel with a ceramic insert that slopes inward. It’s been bought out for a while — however ought to come again into inventory in July 2019.
Motion: Seiko NH35A automated
The Italian-designed model burst onto the scene in 2015 with its geometric-shaped markers and classically impressed case shapes. The U2-C is a made-in-Italy subject watch, with an automated Seiko motion and a wonderfully sized case. And it’s prepared for the sector with its 300 meter water resistance, all for 400 Euros.
Motion: Seiko NH35A automated
Orient Mako USA II
Orient — owned by Seiko since 20019 — determined to improve its Mako diver within the American market, and requested on-line watch communities for suggestions. The model got here away with requests for a sapphire crystal and a solid-end-link bracelet. Notably in its white-and-black dial, the brand new watch is a magnificence.
Motion: Orient F6922 automated
Hamilton Khaki Area Mechanical
Hamilton up to date this basic subject look ahead to 2019 with a couple of new PVD choices. The unique stays a lifeless ringer for a number of subject watches worn by the U.S. army throughout Vietnam and afterward. No, it’s not mil-spec — however it’s a Swiss-made watch with a killer American look.
Motion: ETA 2801-2 hand-wound
Seiko Presage “Cocktail Time”
The Seiko SARB065 “Cocktail Time” has all the time been harking back to the Seiko 5, however just a bit bit dressier: its motion is barely upgraded, after which there’s the sensible sunburst dial, with simply the correct quantity of flash. Just lately, Seiko launched a brand new line of “Presage” watches, together with the SARY082, which overhauls the previous Cocktail Time, and provides potential consumers a troublesome selection: new or previous?
Diameter: 40mm (SARB065); 40.5mm (SARY082)
Motion: 6R15C automated (SARB065); 4R57A automated (SARY082)
Junghans Max Invoice Quartz
Max Invoice is synonymous with the Bauhaus motion; for watch lovers, the items he designed for Junghans in 1961 stay cult favorites for not simply their clear, Nordic type, however their affordability too. And by swapping a quartz motion in (relatively than the ETA-based automated), they get a worth to match its utilitarian design.
Motion: Quartz J645.33