You don’t need hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars to obtain a quality timepiece. Sure, the big names such as Rolex, Breitling, and Patek Phillipe are amazing works of art, but not everyone has the budget for that. That’s alright because some of the most reliable watches can cost less than a $20 dollar bill.
If you aren’t someone that needs all the fancy features and designs of a Vacheron Constantin, then our job today is to prove that you can get quite the reliable and trusty wristwatch for $20 – and with the change to spare! Below are some of our best and favorite choices.
View The Best Cheap Watch Under $20 Below
1. CakCity Digital Sports Watch
For the sporty people looking for the best watch to take the bumps and scrapes of a hectic lifestyle, the Cakcity Digital Sports Watch is simple and monochromatic, with a large dial and clear numbers. In low light or dark environments, just click the “light” button to get the watch face to light up.
It’s shock-resistant and comes with a multitude of functions, including a stopwatch, military time and date, and an alarm. The watch is also waterproof of up to 50 meters, but it’s imperative to remember not to press any of the buttons underwater in case you damage the waterproof ring.
As for the movement, this digital watch comes with a Taiwan IC chipset that helps make the timekeeping as accurate as possible. The PU band and strap is soft, flexible and comfortable to wear.
+ A superior design for the super active individuals.
+ It comes with many basic functions, including a stopwatch and alarm.
+ Waterproof up to 50 meters.
+ PU band is flexible and soft.
Why We Like It – Sometimes you just want an accessory that can be thrown around without worrying about damaging it. This tough watch is best for those with a rougher lifestyle. Got more of a budget? Check out these cheap watches under 50 bucks.
2. Fanmis Electronic Multifunction Digital LED Watch
The Fanmis Electric is another men’s military-style army watch. You not only get the date, but the day of the week is automatically calculated. Not to mention, you get a working compass! This watch is best for those who like to be out and about.
The LED display comes with a blue-hued backlight for low light environments. With shock-resistance, plus a bunch of other functions, this is a great watch for your money.
The battery life lasts for a whopping three years and with the stainless steel back, this is a sturdy accessory made for the outdoors.
This fashionable watch comes with a Japanese quartz movement for accuracy, and it can take up to 50 meters of water. Are you a lover of water sports? No problem!
+ The military-style watch is made for everyday wear
+ Best for the toss and tumble of an active lifestyle.
+ Long battery life of 3 years.
+ Japanese quartz movement
Why We Like It – This is a black sports watch that goes with any outfit. The robust design with the Japanese quartz movement will ensure the watch provides accurate timekeeping.
3. Casio Collection Adults Watch
Casio is a trusted brand for affordable yet great quality watches. This particular design is simple. The plastic and resin combination makes for a digital watch that’s lightweight yet durable.
It’s black, so you know it goes with most outfits. Measuring at 35mm, even ladies looking for a tougher, more unisex watch can give this one a try.
You can tell the date and time accurately at any time of the day with the backlight function. The lightweight watch will be one of the best additions to your daily work routine and any outfit.
+ A very lightweight and comfortable design
+ Very affordable
+ Comes with all the basic functions
Why We Like It – It doesn’t really matter how stylish the watch is if it weighs down your wrist. You need your hands free to go about your daily tasks, and this lightweight watch is a great, cheap option.
4. SNE Digital Sports Water Resistant Watch
A lot of watches under the $20 price point are casual military-style sports watches, such as this SNE Digital Sports Watch. It’s easy to set up and adjust the watch to your liking. With 50m of water-resistance, the watch will be fine when it comes to washing your hands and other minor water-related activities. For swimming and showering, you’re still advised to take the watch off.
The tough and durable wristwatch is still comfortable to wear and features a soft polyurethane band. Plastics straps are light and easy to wear, making this watch one of our favorites. The digital numbers display are bright enough to read in any lighting condition.
+ It’s cheap – great value for your money
+ Water-resistant up to 50 m
+ Tough and durable made out of polyurethane.
+ Digital numbers light up
Why We Like it – This watch under $20 comes with a Taiwan IC chipset and a Japanese battery. The digital electronic movement provides a precise time.
5. Casio Collection MRW-200H-1BVEF Watch
Casio dominates our list with yet another option! With corroboration from fellow consumers, the Casio watch is extremely durable and robust. It can endure use and abuse and still remain in good condition! So if you’re looking for something high-quality yet cheap, you can toss around, you’ve found it.
The beautiful exterior could be confused with a much pricier watch than. Although the resin material could be scratched up over time, it’s what contributes to the comfort and lightness of the watch.
This watch tells the time and the date, and it has up to 100 m of water-resistance, which means it can go anywhere you go and be worn for water sports. Not bad for something under $20!
+ Proven to be reliable and durable.
+ Classy exterior
+ 100m of water resistance
Why We Like It – Plastic and resin may not be the most expensive materials out there, but they sure do contribute to the lightness of a watch.
6. SHENGKE Leather Luxury Quartz Wristwatch
Now we come back to watches for women, or unisex watches depending on your tastes. The SHENGKE is a stylish, yet affordable option with many choices of watch case colors and straps. They are so affordable, you can think about buying a couple to match your daily outfits.
The markers are spaced out Roman numerals or Arabic numbers and the occasional one with crystals. The Japanese quartz movement keeps precise time for long-term wear.
Speaking of long-term, with the stainless steel backing and a battery life of three years, you’re looking at a good few years with this new watch.
The slim leather band comes in a variety of colors, from black to the classic brown leather strap. They’re all light and breathable, making this a good choice under 20 dollars if you don’t want something too heavy on your wrist.
+ Tons of colors and style choices.
+ Stainless steel back
+ Affordable price
+ Long battery life
Why We Like It – Comparable to dress watches, these options are nothing but classy. With several strap and watch case options, you can mix and match this timepiece with any outfit.
7. Kavie Digital Sport Wristwatch
Unlike some of our digital sports watch options we mentioned above, there are a few color choices that come with this watch, other than the basic black.
Among the many other useful features, you also get shock-resistance, a stopwatch, auto date, backlight, a calendar, an alarm, and water-resistance.
With all of the above features, plus a comfortable rubber strap, you get the perfect concoction for everyday wear. The optimal choice for sporty individuals, the acrylic mirror is designed for heavy compression.
For lovers of the outdoors and sports, you’ve found the perfect partner to accompany you in all events and activities.
+ Comfortable silicone rubber watchband.
+ Many functions in one watch.
+ The acrylic mirror is designed for heavy compression.
+ Made for the outdoors.
Why We Like It – The shock-resistant watch is made for indoor and outdoor sports while providing supreme comfort for the wearer.
8. Moulin Digital Jelly Watch Dark
This watch is special in terms of style. This ladies’ watch is simple, sleek, and digitally displays the time. There is also a backlight for easy reading at any time of the day. The entire watch band, including the part encasing the watch face, is made from silicone. It’s easy to wear and super comfy on your wrist.
They come in a lot of colors, from classic black to pastel pink or mint. You can find one with the perfect strap color to enhance your outfit.
This is one of the cheapest watches with an expensive-looking exterior. Many people claim they couldn’t believe how expensive the watch looks on their wrists, considering this watch is under $20!
Not to mention, for those who have kids and pets, it’s hard to destroy and looks very elegant.
+ Affordable yet elegant.
+ Soft silicone band
+ Very lightweight and comfortable
Why We Like It – We assume all consumers like more value for their money. This takes that to a whole new level with an elegant and expensive style, despite the price point.
9. DYINGER Analog Quartz Wrist Watch
This next option is so stylish that it could be a dress watch! The simple and elegant style features a level of versatility that sports watches just do not provide.
As it’s waterproof under 30m, it can be worn for light swimming and daily splashes, but not for hardcore underwater activities. This simple men’s watch comes with a calendar window and Roman numeral markers to tell the time easily.
The brown leather band also rocks a faux python or croc style, which only adds to the classiness and timelessness of the watch.
+ Weighs only 50 grams
+ A classic and iconic design.
+ Waterproofed for daily activities
+ Brown leather band
Why We Like It – Dress watches are known to be a category of simple yet timeless watches. To be considered in this category means this is a versatile watch under $20, perfect for daily use.
10. CakCity Sport Waterproof Quartz Analog
Similar to the Moulin, the CakCity sports watch for women comes in a similar sleek silicone design. It’s suitable for sporty individuals and can also be a great accessory for business purposes.
This comes in two colors; black for simplicity, and red for ones who like to stand out. It’s waterproof with a refreshing analog display that isn’t seen on a lot of sports watches. This is a shock-resistant watch with a Japanese quartz movement for accurate time display.
+ It’s large in size and easy to read.
+ Soft silicone band for easy wear.
+ Japanese quartz movement
+ Waterproof and shock-resistant
Why We Like It – A sleek design that is perfect for a dress or a power suit. It’s what all women should have as a staple in their closet.
Cheap Watches Under $20 Buyer’s Guide
What to Look for Before Buying
Great and timeless watch designs do not need to set you back a pretty penny. Watches under 20 dollars should be affordable for most and can get you all the basic features. Dressy, sporty, casual, classy, a watch under 20 can equal all that too!
All it takes is a bit of research (thankfully all that is done for you), and some factors to consider. This way, you can figure out exactly what the best watch for you means. Let’s take a look!
Since you’re here reading about the best watches under 20 dollars, we know that budget is a huge consideration for most. Establish the amount of money you are willing to spend (in this case 20 dollars), and figure out if that’s enough to get all your needs met.
There’s a reason why these watches are more affordable. That’s not to say their quality is any less impressive, but it’s more about the materials used and the technology and skills used to craft the timepiece. While a Rolex is handmade with automatic movement, and all that jazz, cheap watches may not have all that. Aside from movement that affects the preciseness of timekeeping, watches can tell time all the same whether they cost 10 dollars or 10,000.
What do you want to be included in your brand new timepiece? A lot of basic budget watches come with a date window, with the day of the week, and date with alarms, stopwatches, backlights and more. What do you need and want in your watch? Since you’re looking at cheap watches under 20, we’re going to assume you don’t have high expectations in this category.
We personally feel this is one of the most important things a watch can have, especially if you’re thinking about placing it in your daily rotation. Some watches feature splashproof properties that are only good for washing your hands. Make sure your watch has at least that, and more if possible. You don’t want to have to take off your watch every time you wash your hands. You have much more of a chance of losing it that way.
For people who never take off their watches and lead active lifestyles, there are tons of sports watches, cheap, but that can handle daily wear and bumps.
On that note, do you need to find a watch that can withstand the strong jaws and teeth of your pet and the tosses and throws of your children? Even though these watches are affordable, you still want them to last you a few good years.
Durability ties into the materials used to construct the watch. Hopefully, you can find something with a tough watch face, such as sapphire crystal. But for the most part, watches under 20 come with a resin cover.
You can get the same material in the bands on these watches as you would on pricier options. You can find leather, silicone and sometimes even stainless steel. Although most options offer stainless steel backing, we’re sure you can find good deals with stainless chain links if you look really hard, and leather doesn’t float your boat.
Carrying on the same topic, the material affects the comfort of the watch. First of all, it should be lightweight enough to sit relatively unnoticed. It shouldn’t weigh you down and put a strain on your wrist. Choosing a material, be that leather, or rubber, that also feels soft and light on your wrist is preferable as well. You can’t really go wrong with leather, and silicone is great for those who love the outdoors.
Next up, look at the closure. How do you keep the watch secure on your wrist? Does it come with a standard belt buckle strap or a foldover clasp on the strap? It is convenient to wear? All of these questions come up when you think about the comfort of a watch.
While this section is purely subjective, we can still offer a few good pieces of advice. Watches that are too large steal the focus from the rest of the outfit and can look quite bulky. Watches that are too small could go unnoticed.
The key is to find the right size for your wrist. Don’t panic if you don’t know how to do that, because we have a watch sizing guide for you! Again, if you particularly like larger or smaller watches, we’re sure they would look great either way!
Now, this is the fun part. What style do you like? Since these watches are so affordable, there’s nothing stopping you from purchasing one in every style! If you want just one, then think about which occasions you’ll be donning this timepiece.
If it’s mostly for sports, then there are plenty of choices for you. Ones with leather straps add a touch of elegance to the mix, even if you’ve gone for a cheap price, and if you happen to find nylon or stainless steel straps we’re sure they add a different twist too.
What are Good Cheap Watch Brands?
Below are a few great, reputable and reliable watch brands that produce quality yet affordable watches.
Seiko – Seiko is a Japanese brand and the equivalent of the word “exquisite” or “success” (or both) in Japanese. They have been around since 1881 and have continued with their undisputed quality and elevated our confidence in the brand.
Timex – Timex is a Connecticut-based company that officially formed in 1944. They bring watches for all occasions, especially the old school Q Timex.
Citizen – Also another Japanese brand, Citizen was established in 1918 and is a reputable and internationally coveted brand.
Casio – You must have heard of Casio. Say hello to the parent of the G-shock and Baby-G line watches.
Swatch – We know tons of people that had Swatch watches as kids. Not to mention, their giant versions of their watches as wall clocks. They are Swiss-made watches that come at an affordable price.
An affordable watch may lack the finesse and movement of the long-standing luxury brands, but that doesn’t take away from the quality and reliability. There are a lot of options available that fit the well-constructed timepiece category but won’t cost you even half the price of their luxurious counterparts.
All it takes is some digging and some trust in well-established brands to find. Some of these affordable options may even be lumped in accidentally with the higher-end models due to their impeccable construction and elegance. We hope to have given you some insight on how to find the best affordable watch for you and provided more information on what to look for.
While it’s great to find an affordable wristwatch that can carry out all the daily tasks, there are still a few models that make excellent investment pieces. They include watches from designer brands such as Tudor, Rolex, Omega, Audemars Piguet and more. A lot of these pieces never go out of style and can fetch a pretty penny if put on consignment!
Did You Know
An interesting fact to note is that more expensive watches are not necessarily better. Quartz movement is generally used on more affordable designs, but did you know that quartz movement is more accurate?
As opposed to mechanical watches, the quartz is where it’s at for an accurate time. However, watch connoisseurs don’t purchase luxury watches solely for the accuracy of time, but for the craftsmanship.