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7 Best Watches Under $500: Affordability for Functionality
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7 Best Watches Under $500: Affordability for Functionality

The perfect blend of style and affordability
Jan 14, 2024

With the intriguing available options of luxury timepieces, the best watches under $500 still offer an interesting array of features and styles that cater to various preferences – without breaking the bank. Some brands give interesting offers with various types of watches in different designs and styles.

Whether you're a seasoned horology enthusiast or a newcomer exploring the world of watches, finding an exquisite timepiece under $500 can be an exhilarating journey. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore a curated selection of affordable yet high-quality timepieces that exemplify exceptional value, showcasing the fusion of functionality, aesthetics, and affordability in the realm of watches under $500.

What to Look for in Watches Under $500

Watches under $500 represent a sweet spot where affordability meets quality, making them an appealing option for those seeking a reliable timepiece without breaking the bank. In this price range, customers might not find the intricate complications or prestigious brand names associated with luxury watches, but they can still expect a lot of bang for their buck.

Despite the price constraints, these watches often boast sturdy constructions using materials like stainless steel, sapphire crystal, and well-crafted straps. While they might not have the prestige of high-end brands, these watches often come from reputable manufacturers renowned for their commitment to craftsmanship and reliability, like Seiko.

Customers can anticipate reliable movements within this range – quartz movements are known for their precision or automatic movements that reflect traditional watchmaking techniques. While they might not feature the complex mechanics of pricier counterparts, these movements provide accurate timekeeping, offering good value for everyday wear.

The attention to detail in watches under $500 is also surprising. You'll find meticulous finishing on dials, precise markers, and thoughtful designs that mirror more expensive timepieces. These watches might lack the extravagance of luxury models, but they make up for it with their well-executed aesthetics.

Read also: The 13 Best Affordable Watches that Offer Great Value

Gnomon’s Picks: 7 Best Watches Under $500

Gnomon Watches presents a curated selection of seven exceptional watches under $500, each embodying the perfect fusion of affordability and quality. Let’s dive in!

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph Sunburst Blue Ref. SBDL097

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph Sunburst Blue Ref. SBDL097

Movement

Caliber V192

Dimension

41.4mm in diameter, 45.9mm lug to lug, 13mm thick.

Water resistance

100m


No one expects to get a chronograph watch at under $500 but, here you can grab the Seiko Prospex Speedtimer Chronograph Sunburst Blue at the best price. Its sunburst blue dial, reminiscent of the ocean's depths, captures attention with its radiant hue, while the contrasting sub-dials and sleek indices exude a timeless elegance. 

This chronograph, powered by Seiko's reliable automatic movement, not only delivers accurate timekeeping but also boasts a rugged stainless steel construction and impressive water resistance. 

Price: $479.00 USD

Marathon Pilot’s Navigator Government Black Ref. WW194013-S-BK-B

Marathon Pilot’s Navigator Government Black Ref. WW194013-S-BK-B

Movement

ETA FØ6 high-torque 3 jewels Quartz movement with EOL (End-of-Life) indicator.

Dimension

41mm in diameter, 48mm lugs to lugs, 13mm thick.

Water resistance

30m


The Marathon Pilot’s Navigator Government Black effortlessly combines rugged reliability with refined aesthetics, making it a standout choice, especially given its price.

If you’re looking for a rugged and bold watch under $500, this is the perfect choice for you. Its military-inspired design, complete with a legible dial and robust construction, caters to both enthusiasts and everyday wearers.

Price: $405.00 USD

Orient Star Contemporary Standard White Ref. RE-AU0006S

Orient Star Contemporary Standard White Ref. RE-AU0006S

Movement

Caliber F6N43

Dimension

38.5mm in diameter, 46.9mm lug to lug, 12.2mm thick.

Water resistance

100m


Next on the list is an appealing men’s dress watch under $500, the Orient Star Contemporary Standard White. This timepiece exudes understated sophistication with its sleek, minimalist design and impeccable craftsmanship. 

The pristine white dial adorned with polished silver indices and hands creates a refined aesthetic, complemented by a date window at the three o'clock position. Powered by a reliable automatic movement, this watch offers both elegance and functionality.

Price: $498.00 USD

Steinhart Ocean 39 Black Ceramic

Steinhart Ocean 39 Black Ceramic

Movement

SW200 Elaboré

Dimension

39mm in diameter, 47mm lug to lug, 12mm thick.

Water resistance

300m


A dive watch is one among the myriad options of the best watches under $500. Let’s take the Steinhart Ocean 39 Black Ceramic as an example. The watch blends robust functionality with sleek aesthetics, making it a compelling choice in the realm of dive watches. 

Crafted with precision and durability in mind, this timepiece boasts a black ceramic bezel and a stainless steel case, ensuring resistance to corrosion and scratches during underwater adventures. So, if you’re looking for the best men’s dive watch under $500, this is a perfect go-to option.

Price: $490.00 USD

Hitori Ryukyu Diver Retro Black

Hitori Ryukyu Diver Retro Black

Movement

Caliber NH36A. Japanese Automatic

Dimension

40.7mm in diameter, 46.5mm lug to lug, 11.7mm thick.

Water resistance

200m


As an independent watch brand, Hitori offers quite many reliable watches at exciting prices. The Hitori Ryukyu Diver Retro Black is an example that encapsulates the sophistication and reliability of dive watches in a single timepiece.

Its vintage-inspired design, with a striking retro black dial and luminescent markers, exudes a timeless appeal. Crafted for adventure, this watch boasts a durable stainless steel case and a reliable Japanese automatic movement, ensuring precise timekeeping even in the depths.

Price: $388.00 USD

Citizen Tsuyosa Gradient Teal Automatic Ref. NJ0151-88X

Citizen Tsuyosa Gradient Teal Automatic Ref. NJ0151-88X

Movement 

Caliber 8210

Dimension

40mm in diameter, 46mm lug to lug, 11.7mm thick.

Water resistance

50m


The Citizen Tsuyosa Gradient Teal Automatic stands out with its stunning gradient teal dial that transitions from a deep hue at the center to a lighter shade towards the edges, creating a mesmerizing visual effect. 

The 42mm stainless steel case houses reliable automatic movement, ensuring precise timekeeping. With its sleek yet robust build, eye-catching aesthetics, and commitment to quality, this Citizen watch effortlessly combines modern style with traditional watchmaking expertise

Price: $430.00 USD

Aristo Bauhaus 38 Creme Automatic 4H240-L - Sapphire

Aristo Bauhaus 38 Creme Automatic 4H240-L - Sapphire

Movement

SW 200, élaboré

Dimension

38mm in diameter, 36mm lug to lug, 9.5mm thick.

Water resistance

50m


Last but not least option for the best watch under $500 is the Aristo Bauhaus 38 Creme Automatic 4H240-L. The watch embodies understated sophistication with its elegant Bauhaus-inspired design.

Not to mention the timeless charm of the dial while boasting a refined creme-colored background adorned with minimalist hour markers and slender hands. Its 38mm stainless steel case strikes the perfect balance between presence and wearability, making it a versatile choice for those seeking classic style and impeccable craftsmanship at an accessible price point.

Price: $480.00 USD

Conclusion

The best watches under $500 may not deliver all the frills and status symbols of luxury watches, but they offer a solid balance of quality, style, and functionality. For customers seeking a timepiece that looks and feels more expensive than its price tag, these watches provide a gateway into the world of horology without breaking the bank.

Read also: 10 Affordable Swiss Watches for A Stylish Look on Budget

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