Watches come in all price classes, and some people prefer a timepiece that is somewhat cheaper than what would be considered a luxury watch, yet not cheap enough to be considered a budget watch, and this is where the challenge lies.
How do you find the watches under $500? This guide lists the best brands and the best watches men and women can find for this price, complete with a buyers guide with tips and tricks for how to figure out which watch is right for you.
Whether you prefer a black leather watch, a watch with a steel case, quartz movement watches, or mechanical movement watches, there is something out there for you for under $500.
View The Best Watch Brands Under 500 Below
Citizen is a well-known Japanese watchmaker with their head office currently based in Tokyo, Japan. The company was originally founded in 1930, and it’s known for being the parent company of Bulova, which is also a watch company.
This Japanese Quartz movement watch from Citizen falls well under your $500 budget, and it’s a sleek and elegant timepiece that is water resistant to 100 meters. It handles low and high temperatures well and is powered directly by light instead of requiring a battery.
The stainless steel bracelet and steel case are both incredibly durable and classy, making this one of the best watches for men and women when you are looking for a product within your budget.
+ Center honeycomb pattern
+ Powered by light and not batteries
+ Resistant to extreme temperatures
+ Power reserve of 180 days
Why We Like It – The watches made by Citizen are durable and uniquely designed, and this timepiece is light-powered, which means it does not require any battery changes.
In 1903, Junghans – a German watch brand – had the largest watchmaking factory in the world, with over 3 000 employees working to manufacture watches on a daily basis. The company is now based in southwest Germany.
Junghans Max Bill Hand-Winding Watch
Here, Junghans has created a sleek and beautiful minimalist stainless steel watch, which is a perfect example of how less can sometimes be so much more. The dial window is made of hard plexiglass to prevent it from breaking or cracking.
It has a leather bezel and strap, and the white dial creates an amazing contrast with the black leather. This watch has a hand-winding mechanical movement that takes you back to the traditional way of getting a watch to tell time accurately.
+ 34-millimeter case diameter
+ Mechanical hand-winding
+ Buckle clasp and analog display
+ With original Max Bill design
Why We Like It – With a stainless steel mechanical movement watch like the Junghans Max Bill Hand, you get to carry on the tradition of winding up your watch yourself.
Casio makes a wide range of electronic equipment, but one of the products they specialize in is the watch! With headquarters in Japan, Casio leaves nothing unexplored, and they constantly release new, high-quality, and modern watch models.
Check out this stainless steel case watch with an analog display and quartz movement, and enjoy features like water resistance, inner slide-rotating bezel, 1/20-second chronograph, a large date window and more.
See for yourself why this is one of the best men and women watches with an automatic movement for under $500. The stainless steel bracelet closes with a push-button fold-over clasp to make sure it stays safely on your wrist, and the mineral dial window prevents it from scratching.
+ Rotating inner watch bezel
+ Anti-scratch mineral dial window
+ 1/20-second chronograph
+ Automatic quartz movement
Why We Like It – All rights reserved, this Casio watch greatly represents the brand with its timeless design and simple and accurate automatic movement. The stainless steel case and design makes it look more expensive than it is.
Hamilton belongs to the respected Swatch Group, and they have been manufacturing watches since 1892. They are known for their wristwatches and pocket watches. While the company is now run from Bienne, Switzerland, it was originally founded in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the United States.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Watch
This Hamilton watch has a round black dial, automatic hand-winding movement, a 38mm stainless steel case, and a stainless steel bracelet. The green Nato band is soft and comfortable, and it adapts well to the shape of your wrist without weighing you down. A durable buckle clasp keeps it in place, and it’s one of the top watches under $500 for someone who wants to go for a more casual look.
+ 38mm stainless steel case
+ 42-hour power reserve
+ Sapphire crystal dial window
+ Casual watch design
Why We Like It – An overly fancy watch isn’t always the right choice, and this black dial stainless steel timepiece is the perfect alternative when you want a watch you can wear all day.
Founded in 1881 by Kintaro Hattori, this Japanese watchmaking company produced the very first automatic quartz watch sometimes in the 1980s – approximately 100 years after the company foundation – and made their mark on watchmaking history.
Seiko Prospex GMT Kinetic Watch
Here we have a Kinetic automatic movement watch that stands out from the second you see it. It has a large black watch dial with a bidirectional bezel function. The red details are what makes it pop and stand out in a crowd.
The case is made of stainless steel, which is both practical, durable, and timeless. The Japanese Quartz movement has these watches running perfectly with highly accurate time-telling abilities.
+ Bidirectional bezel function
+ 100-meter water resistance
+ Men’s standard band length
+ Japanese Quartz movement
Why We Like It – If you’re looking for the best watch for men in terms of accuracy, this Quartz movement favorite is one of the watches under $500 you might want to consider.
Victorinox is not only a watchmaker, but they also manufacture quality knives and have been doing so since the start in 1884. Founded by the Swiss inventor Karl Elsener, it’s now the world’s biggest pocket knife manufacturer and a respected watchmaking brand.
Victorinox Swiss Army Maverick Chronograph Watch
The first thing you’ll notice about this watch is the large blue dial that gives it a classy touch. It’s perfect for both daily use and important business meetings and nicer events. It’s 43mm and has a screw-in case back and a triple-coated Sapphire crystal window that does not scratch easily, chronograph, tachymeter, and much more. It is one of the best men’s watches when you want sophistication and luxury for less than $500.
+ Sophisticated water resistant design
+ Automatic Swiss Quartz movement
+ Blue watch dial with date window
+ Stainless steel case and bracelet
Why We Like It – The best men’s watches are watches you can wear every day, and these classy and sophisticated timepieces will have you looking polished and sharp no matter where you go.
Tissot, a luxury watch brand, now serves over 150 countries in the world with their beautiful timepieces, and they have been in the business for even more years! Founded in 1853, by Swiss Charles-Félicien Tissot and his son, it’s a watch brand that seems unstoppable in terms of popularity
Tissot Black Dial Watch
The black rubber strap of this all rights reserved luxury watch makes it exceptionally comfortable to wear, and it has quartz movement for ultimate accuracy at all times. The case is made of stainless steel, and it’s water resistant to 100 meters, making it safe to use for swimming but not for deep-water activities like snorkeling.
The black dial nicely contrasts the stainless steel details. It’s a watch that makes both a great accessory, but also that’s exclusive and unique enough to be a remarkable timepiece that stands more than fine on its own.
+ Water resistant with chronograph
+ Stationary bezel function
+ Date window at 3 o’clock
+ Automatic watch movement
Why We Like It – This water-resistant swiss watch is beautifully crafted in stainless steel, and it’s water-resistant enough for you even to wear it in the shower or when you go swimming.
This watchmaker has been around for decades. Founded in 1875 by an immigrant named Joseph Bulova, it’s now based in New York (New York City), and their watches are being distributed to locations worldwide.
Bulova Marine Star
Forget standard watches that look just like the watch of someone else you know, and say hello to this stunning one-of-a-kind timepiece with analog display and Japanese quartz movement. It’s made with luxurious rose gold and stainless steel, and the rubber strap makes it comfortable to wear and easy to keep clean.
With a watch like this, you will have everyone looking at your wrist in awe. You get excellent and useful watch features like a three-subdial chronograph and 100-meter water resistance.
+ 44mm stainless steel case
+ Luxurious rose gold details
+ With three chronograph subdials
+ Durable rubber band with buckle closure
Why We Like It – The combination of function and elegance is what makes this watch such a success, and while it might not exactly be considered affordable, it’s well worth the money.
While the luxury watchmaker Invicta started out like a Swiss watch company, it now has American owners, and its headquarters are located in Hollywood, Florida.
Invicta Men’s Pro Diver Collection
When you buy a nice watch, it isn’t just about the price, but you also want your new timepiece to make an impression both on yourself and others. This diver’s watch comes with a 20-millimeter stainless steel bracelet and an exclusively designed 40-millimeter case. It has a large black dial with automatic movement and unidirectional bezel. These men’s watches are just as stunning as they sound when described.
+ Durable mineral dial window
+ Safety closure on fold-over clasp
+ 200-meter water resistance
+ Automatic Swiss movement
Why We Like It – The steel case and bracelet, in combination with the large black dial, come together nicely to create an exclusive look. Many are surprised to find that this watch costs less than $500.
The Swatch brand is a brand most people have come in contact with at some point, and the name Swatch actually stands for “Second Watch” (S + watch), which has to do with their products originally being intended for more casual use. It also has a secondary watch option for when you don’t want to wear a more expensive timepiece.
Swatch Sistem Lake Watch
A timepiece like this Swatch Sistem watch is a great example of how far the brand has come, and it looks and feels like it would cost a lot more than it does. This is a gorgeous dark blue watch dial with a blue-colored leather strap, with a stainless steel silver case that is water-resistant to 30 meters. The case back is transparent, and you get a durable, high-quality watch with exclusive looking details, which you can wear both to casual and nicer events.
+ 42mm case and 14mm case thickness
+ Automatic self-winding movement
+ With heavy-duty tang buckle clasp
+ Transparent case back and leather strap
Why We Like It – The color of the dial and the leather strap makes this timepiece stand out instantly, and it’s a great casual watch for someone who wants an affordable watch option that looks anything but cheap.
Watch Brands Under $500 Buyer’s Guide
It is always good to have a budget, and this article focuses on a set budget of five hundred dollars, to help you find the best watches mens’ fashion and fashion for women approve of, as well as the top products in terms of quality and durability.
Whether you are looking for a dive watch, a field watch, a vintage timepiece, or one with large luminous hands, there is something out there for you, and it’s all about knowing where to look. Here are a few aspects to take into consideration when making your decision.
The movement is important as it’s what determines how your watch tells time, and there are a few different varieties. You can opt for a mechanical movement watch where mechanics move the hourly hands. This way was once standard, back in the days. But be aware that this will require a little more of you, as you’ll have to wind it up regularly.
The good thing here is that a mechanical watch does not require a battery or battery changes, and many watch enthusiasts prefer this type. A Quartz watch is another option that’s considered the most accurate type of watches, and easier to work with for those who are not interested in hand-winding their timepiece.
Your options for the strap are many and varied. A stainless steel bracelet is great for someone who plans to use their watch for fancy events, business meetings and more, as it’s a look that goes perfectly with a suit, or can combine with everything.
If you are looking for something a little more casual, then perhaps a rubber or nylon band would be a better option. If you want something in between and something so versatile that you can wear it with any outfit, then a leather band is the way to go.
Most of the watch batteries used for the products mentioned here are very similar, but it’s always a good idea to have a look at the product specifications to see how long you can expect the battery to last. You can also check whether the watch of your choice actually uses a battery, or if it’s powered mechanically. The more you know about a product before you buy it, the more likely it is that you will end up being 100% happy with your purchase.
These are the top 10 watches from some of the number one watch brands in the world, and each is available for a price lower than $500. It’s hard to point out which watch is the world’s top timepiece for the price, as it depends on what you want to get out of your watches.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to do your research with your individual needs in mind. Having a good watch is still a very important fashion statement as well as an investment based on practicality, and it’s worth both the time it takes to find the right timepiece for you, and the money it costs you to purchase it.
Stick to your budget. Have a clear idea of how much you are able and willing to pay, and aim to find the perfect timepiece that falls within this budget.
Did You Know
A watch brand named Blancpain, founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jaques Blancpain, is considered the oldest watchmaking brand in the world.