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The 13 Best Affordable Watches that Offer Great Value
If it is not expensive, it is not a great watch. While in fact, there are plenty of best affordable watches out there that also offer great value. Well, it is true that there is always a reason or more why a timepiece costs almost half the price of your
car. It could be because of the components used in constructing the watch.
For instance, a mechanical movement is more pricey than a quartz, especially when it is an in-house one. A mechanical watch is manufactured with incredible care, and sometimes it even requires a hand for the finishing to meet the standard. It also applies to a fine leather band where it would price higher than a plastic strap.
But in the real world of watchmaking industry, many watch brands have found a way to make a high-quality watch with affordable price. Here we have gathered some examples of the best affordable watches that won’t break the bank.
Best affordable watches under $500
Instead of a good-looking accessory that happens to tell the time, with $500 on your hand you can get a tool-watch with various features, stunning design, and more capability. Several top affordable watch brands have been chosen due to their reputation of being durable and having solid build.
Speaking about a French watch brand, Yema, you might have been familiar with its iconic dive watch ‘Superman’ that was produced in 1963. However, another unique collection from Yema deserves the attention too. It is the LED series which is the reissue of the popular LED digital watch back in the advent of quartz timepieces in the 70s-80s. In this price range, the brand offers you a 316 stainless steel case and 100m water resistance. If you are a science fiction fan, you definitely want to have it.
Seiko Prospex Digi-Tuna Solar X LOWERCASE Ref. SBEP005
It does not need extra money for extra features because Seiko, one of the most popular affordable watch brands, can provide its best products at a wide range of prices, and this Seiko Prospex is one of the examples. The Prospex series is addressed for professional users. That’s why here Seiko, collaborating with Lowercase, makes a fantastic timepiece where the case presents the iconic Tuna Can for more protection and is paired with a caliber S802 that has a 200m water resistance.
Aristo Jager - 3H41
German quality is unquestionable, Aristo watches not exempt. The Jager-3H41 describes the word impressive. This timepiece is inspired by pilot watches in the 60s where it prioritized legibility over anything else. But, the brand also doesn’t forget to complete the traits with smooth ticking automatic movement featuring hacking and hand winding, sapphire crystal and the military look with a dark green Nato strap.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Handwinding White 38 - Nato Ref. H69439411
If you are thinking about having a tough and robust field watch, then the Hamilton Khaki series is what it is. Hamilton not only offers you the best affordable watches with Swiss mechanical movements, but also a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and durable stainless steel case. The specs do recall the brand’s history making timepieces for military purposes.
Steinhart Ocean 1 Bronze
If you are a watch enthusiast, you are probably knowledgeable about Steinhart, one of the best affordable watch brands with top quality products. Considered as a new watch brand that was founded in 2001, it didn't take a long time for Steinhart to attract the watch lovers with the high standard and top affordable watches the brand offered. It is proven by many collectors who seek for Steinhart’s most popular collection, Ocean 1. This Ocean 1 Bronze uses ETA 2824-2/SW 200 movement, sapphire crystal, and a water resistance up to 300m.
Best affordable watches under $700
Sure, there are many options of great watches under $500. However, if you have more budget, there’s nothing wrong with purchasing timepieces where richer complications―moonphase, GMT, date window― are available.
Pablo Profundo VB-1
A very vintage inspired dive watch is exhibited here by Pablo through its Profundo VB-1. You can see the red triangle on the bezel gives detail of old submariners. While other brands usually cost a fortune for this kind of 60s iconic dive watch, Pablo let all watch enthusiasts with every budget have the chance to own this type of timepiece.
Evant Polestar Concept One
When several true watch enthusiasts came as a group, they would make a really fine piece of watch. That’s what happened with Evant watches. The founders are passionate watch collectors from different backgrounds. They successfully produce good quality timepieces and Polestar Concept One is one of them. Imagine having an affordable dive watch with German standard and Swiss Made Automatic Sellita SW200-1 Elaboré movement.
Squale 20 ATMOS Root Beer Ceramic - 1545
When we speak of a dive watch, Squale, as the pioneer in this field, would always be on top of the list. The 20 ATMOS Root Beer Ceramic - 1545 may not give you a deep sea exploration, but you can still wear it to up 200m water depth, or just to chill by the pool. Also, in this price range, Squale lets you have a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, Swiss automatic movement, and ceramic bezel which is more reliable than other materials. Ceramic does not easily scratch the surface as others are very prone to such damage.
Alpina Seastrong Diver GMT Ref. AL-247LNN4TV6
Not only in a pilot watch, now you can find a GMT complication on a dive watch, just like what Alpina does to this watch. Instead of having a 24-hour bezel for the Greenwich Mean Time feature, this brand keeps the typical dive watch design with the unidirectional bezel. Not to mention the 300m water resistance, sapphire crystal the titanium, and titanium PVD coating on the 316L stainless steel case that makes the Alpina game stronger. You can have all these traits without needing to blow your budget.
See also: Dive Watch Edition: 3 Stunning Timepieces to Rock on Wrist
Glycine Combat Classic 40 "MoonPhase" Blue Ref. GL0113
Glycine has been known for a Swiss watch brand that crafts tool watches due to its precise and fine movement. Among those reliable collections, there are field watches that bear dressier looks. Let’s say the Combat Classic 40 "MoonPhase" Blue Ref. GL0113. It has a breathtaking appearance in a black leather strap and dark blue dial which is filled with date window and moonphase complications.
Best affordable watches under $1,000
If you have a grand at your bank, you might want to consider the timepiece we’ve listed below. You can even still save up a couple dollars from it. They are all here from a well-built dive watch, a remarkable sporty watch to a dress watch with in-house movement.
Dievas Marine 500
Dievas has been manufacturing professional watches over the years. The collections ⎯Vortex, Time Attack, Focal, Shadow⎯ are admired by watch lovers. The admiration keeps going until this day, mostly to today's version of Vortex called Marine 500. It is a dive watch with a 500m water resistance and is powered by Swiss made ETA2824-2 automatic movement. As the brand always focuses on quality, Le Jour uses a high grade 316L stainless steel case with a special scratch protection to make it robust in any condition.
Orient Star Avant-Garde Skeleton Blackout Ref. RK-AV0A03B
Perfection and mastery of craft has always been in every Japanese brand’s DNA. It is shown by the products which have superior quality, such as in the Avant-Garde Skeleton line-up of Orient Star. The art of the watch is presented marvelously through its intricate dial workings. What’s more interesting is that this timepiece has a very long power reserve, up to 50 hours, without self-winding. You can see the speedometer-inspired power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock.
Mido Baroncelli Big Date Blue Ref. M027.426.36.043.00
Apart from being a beautiful dress watch, the Baroncelli Big Date offers you more value by using its own-developed movement, Mido Caliber 80. Staying as simple as a dress watch should be, the watch sets a blue colored theme for the dial and its leather strap. The elegant vibe is also well elevated by the rose gold PVD coating on the case.