A mechanical watch is a great idea for anyone who loves to hear the seconds tick away. Instead of the silent Quartz movement, a mechanical watch uses a clockwork mechanism that requires a high level of craftsmanship to create. But a watch of this type is more than just good for timekeeping. It will also look amazing too.
It comes in a wide range of styles that means you can wear it for work, for sport, or for social pursuits. The best mechanical watches will offer water resistance, be durable, and have eye-catching aesthetics. It will be a piece of luxury that you’ll be proud to wear on your wrist.
To make sure you invest your money in one of the best mechanical watches on the market, then consider this list of the top ten, as well as the buying guide that follows it.
View The Best Mechanical Watches Below
1. Bulova Automatic Watch
Bulova is famous around the world for its luxury watches. This is a gorgeous example of what it does best. It has a sports design with a gunmetal stainless steel case and bracelet. This mechanical watch features an open aperture black dial that’s very bold. It’s a watch for men or women who don’t mind standing out from the crowd. It offers a 40-hour power reserve.
The case has a diameter of 46mm and a depth of 13 1/5mm, so it’s quite large, but with a weight of 14.1oz, it doesn’t feel too heavy on your wrist. You don’t need to worry about water either, as it can easily be submerged to 100m or 300ft without any fear of the skeleton automatic movement mechanism breaking. The exhibition case back is another excellent feature that truly enhances the aesthetics of this watch.
+ Skeleton automatic movement
+ Chunky case
+ Gorgeous looks
+ Gunmetal stainless steel case and bracelet
+ Sports style
Why We Liked It – Bulova watches are always of the highest standard, whether they are mechanical or not. This is a superb timepiece that has a truly unique style to it, making it a great investment if you prefer a mechanical movement to a Quartz one.
2. Stührling Original Stainless Steel Watch
Stührling is a watch brand that has over 15 million satisfied customers. And this timepiece is a perfect example of why Stührling watches are so popular. An incredible amount of attention to detail has gone into the design process. It has a gorgeous AM/PM indicator that has to be seen to be appreciated. The watch itself is beautiful, thanks to the skeleton design, as well as the lovely onion crown.
To further enhance the looks and luxury feel of the watch, it has an Aligator-embossed leather strap that is 24mm wide. Stührling watches always come with a comprehensive warranty, but it’s such a well-designed watch that you’re unlikely to encounter any issues with the mechanical movement.
+ Aligator-embossed real leather band
+ Gorgeous watch
+ AM/PM indicator
+ Onion crown
+ Comfortable to wear
Why We Liked It – We’re big fans of Stührling watches, and this is just a perfect example of why we like them so much. It’s a highly functional watch that keeps perfect time and looks great too.
3. Invicta Pro Diver Stainless Steel Watch
This Invicta mechanical watch has an automatic mechanism. It’s also a dive watch, and it offers water resistance up to 200m or 660ft. The display has a classic analog look to it, with a classic black dial. It perfectly complements the stainless steel band. The case is also made from stainless steel, and it has a diameter of 40mm.
This makes it substantial, but not too large, which is often an issue for many when they buy diving watches. It has a unidirectional bezel, as well as luminous hands and markers, so you can see the time when underwater or in the dark. A date indicator is also another eye-catching feature of this watch. It has a screw-down crown too.
+ Water-resistant to 660ft
+ Perfect for diving
+ Understated, classic looks
+ Reasonable price
+ Japanese automatic movement
Why We Liked It – Invicta has been making watches for almost 200 years. It’s impossible to be around for so long and not become experts in your field. This watch is perfect proof of Invicta’s expertise.
4. A ALPS Luxury Mechanical Skeleton Automatic Wrist Watch
This luxury watch comes with a surprisingly low price tag when you consider the quality that it offers. The aesthetics are stunning, and it looks to be a far more expensive timepiece than the price tag suggests. It features Roman numerals and Austrian diamond decorations, which give it a classic feel. Besides looks, it also offers high-quality technology, including a Skeleton mechanical movement that effectively delivers precise, accurate time.
It also offers a full metal crown design. Durability is another key feature, too. It has a stainless steel strap – including a hidden clasp – that will handle most daily use, and it’s also water-resistant up to 30m, which will keep it safe if you get caught in the rain.
+ Water resistance up to 30m
+ Skeleton mechanical movement
+ Hidden clasp
+ Stainless steel bracelet
+ Superb value for money
Why We Liked It – It’s one of those watches where there is a lot to love. It looks excellent, features high-grade components, and it’s very reasonably priced too.
5. Orient ‘Sun and Moon Version 2’ Japanese Watch
This mechanical watch from Orient is both modern and classic at the same time. It features a self-winding automatic movement, as well as a scratch-resistant, synthetic sapphire crystal window. The case is made from stainless steel, while the leather strap is 20mm wide and has a tang clasp.
There are two gorgeous indicators; one is for the day of the week, and the other – which is where the watch gets its name from – shows the sun and the moon. It also offers water resistance up to 165ft. It’s a truly stylish watch that’s understated, classic, but gorgeous at the same time.
+ Self-winding automatic movement
+ Sapphire crystal window
+ Sun and moon indicators
+ Date indicator
+ Leather band
Why We Liked It – It’s a high-quality watch that has a unique yet classic look to it. The automatic self-winding movement is also very effective, ensuring that the good looks are backed up by accurate timing.
6. Hamilton Khaki Field Watch
This Hamilton mechanical watch is one of those watches that you could imagine being worn at any point over the last century. It’s simply timeless. It has around a 38mm stainless steel case that works very well with the brown leather strap. Although it doesn’t have Arabic numerals, it does have white Arabic indices that stand out against the black dial.
This watch features a self-winding automatic movement, so you can be assured that it will keep good time. There is also a date window at the 3 o’clock area. The dial window is made from sapphire crystal, so there’s no need to worry about any scratches. It’s also water-resistant up to 100m or 330ft. And although everyone loves those Switzerland watches, this is a watchfully made in the USA.
+ Made in the USA
+ Automatic movement
+ Scratch-resistant dial window
+ Keeps perfect time
+ Brown leather band
Why We Liked It – This is a classic watch that delivers across the board with the self-winding mechanical movement, ensuring that it’s accurate and precise when it comes to timekeeping, too.
7. Orient ‘2nd Gen. Bambino Ver. 2’ Japanese Dress Watch
This is another of Orient’s famous mechanical watches which features an automatic movement that’s hand-winding and hacking. It’s an update of the classic Bambino watch – one of Orient’s bestselling watches. It has a metallic, sunburst dial, as well as a dome dial window that looks very good indeed.
Another feature that enhances the appearance of this watch is the small date indicator window that isn’t too big, but it’s prominent enough to make it legible, even when it’s glanced at. The polished hour markers and dauphine hands make it another one of Orient’s mechanical watches that must be considered for the style-conscious.
+ Automatic movement made in Japan
+ Domed mineral crystal dial window
+ 21,600 vibrations per hour
+ Leather band
Why We Liked It – Everyone thinks of Seiko watches when they think of Japanese watches, but this mechanical watch is proof that Orient might have overtaken Seiko as the best watch manufacturer in Japan.
8. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Watch
This field chronograph mechanical watch made by Timex features that world-famous Timex durability, making it ideal for a holiday or trek into a rugged environment. It has all the features that you need on your mechanical watch to make sure you’re never caught short while you’re away. It has an adjustable, green nylon strap that has a width of 20mm.
This will fit any wrist that has a maximum circumference of eight inches. The black case is made from brass and has a diameter of 43mm. The 30-minute chronograph function is another great element of this watch, and it measures to 1/20th of a second. It also offers water resistance to a depth of 100m or 300ft.
+ Highly durable watch
+ Effective chronograph function
+ Nylon strap
+ Water-resistant to 100m/300ft
+ Indiglo light-up watch dial
Why We Liked It – Timex watches are always popular with people who love the great outdoors, and this is another Timex watch that delivers robustness, durability, as well as good looks.
9. Winner Mechanical Wrist Watch
This is one of those mechanical watches that looks like no other watch on the market. Unlike you’re average Seiko watch, this one has a triangle dial design. The triangle case is made from stainless steel, while the band is made from PU leather, which doesn’t just look good but is also comfortable to wear.
The case has a diameter of 45mm, as well as a depth of 16mm. As this is a mechanical watch, you must always remember to wind it via the crown before each usage. It has a tang buckle that’s easy to clasp. The most surprising this about this mechanical watch is not its truly unique look, but the low price tag that belies the outstanding quality it offers.
+ Self-winding movement
+ Tang buckle
+ Unique looks
+ PU leather strap
+ Low price tag
Why We Liked It – This mechanical watch is in a league of its own when it comes to looks. But it doesn’t just look unique; it’s also affordably priced.
10. GLEIM Skeleton Automatic Mechanical Wrist Watch
Both men and women can wear this luminous mechanical watch. That’s because it has a retro hollow carved design that will look good on anyone’s wrist. This watch also has a brown leather strap that’s comfortable, as well as hard-wearing, and it has holes in it so that it’s breathable, making it an excellent choice for anyone who lives in a warm climate.
This watch’s case has a diameter of 42.5mm, a depth of 16mm, and is made from stainless steel. Of course, there is no need to worry about a battery, as it features an automatic movement. To wind it manually, you need to turn the crown between 20 and 25 turns.
+ Beautiful watch
+ Affordable price
+ Automatic movement
+ Large case
+ Leather band
Why We Liked It – It’s one of those watches that manages to look good, feel comfortable, and offer accurate time, as well as being affordably priced.
Mechanical Watches Buyer’s Guide
If you only have a basic interest in mechanical watches, or you’ve never bought a mechanical watch before, then you might be wondering what attributes are important to consider. Of course, the best watch for one person might not be the best watch for another. Make sure to read this buying guide carefully, so you pick the right watch for your needs.
The dial is an important feature of any watch, regardless of if it’s a mechanical watch or a non-mechanical watch. The dial is the heart and soul of a watch. Your watch has two primary functions. The first, of course, is to tell time. The second is for it to look good, as it’s a piece of jewelry. The shape of the dial will vary, with anything from round to triangle and other shapes in between.
Make sure to look around for one that suits your style. It will also feature numerals, which also come in a wide range of styles. Dials come in lots of different colors too. Whether you want a blue dial or silver dial, or something completely different, always choose one that best suits your style.
This is another feature that contributes to comfort and looks. A lot of cases will be made from stainless steel, and this is a durable, hard-wearing material that’s always a good option. You should always check the diameter and depth of the case, especially if you’re looking at mechanical watches online.
A 45mm case might look good on paper, but if you’re able to, get a ruler and work out just how big that is. Weight should also be considered. It’s all well and good having a gorgeous watch, but if it is too heavy, then you’re not going to enjoy wearing it.
There are many options for bands when it comes to mechanical watches. Stainless steel, gold, leather, and nylon are just a few of the materials you’ll find available. You can even get a rubber strap. Make sure to consider what you will find the most comfortable. If you’re located somewhere hot, then breathability has to be at the forefront of your mind.
Automatic or Self-Winding
If the mechanical watch is automatic or self-winding, then it will use the natural motion of your wrist to wind itself while you’re wearing the watch, meaning that you don’t need to worry about winding the watch every day. If you do not wear an automatic watch for a while, then the automatic mechanism cannot work, so you’ll need to wind the watch in those circumstances.
It doesn’t need to be a dive watch for it to feature water resistance. This is always a good feature as it means that the watch will remain safe even if you’re caught in the rain, or if the watch gets splashed. You can, of course, choose a watch that has a substantial amount of resistance if you’d like to wear it while swimming.
Dial Window Material
Sapphire crystal is a common material that you’ll find a dial window is made from. The biggest benefit of the sapphire crystal is that it’s resistant to scratching, which is why it’s highly recommended.
One common indicator you’ll find on a mechanical watch is a date box, so you know what day of the month it is. There are other indicators you’ll find on some watches. For example, an AM/PM indicator will tell you if it’s day or night. Some watch brands choose to represent the day with sun and represent the night with a moon, which can look aesthetic.
A chronograph function is best considered by anyone who wants to be able to use the watch as a stopwatch.
Mechanical watches will, at some point, require winding. That’s even true of automatic watches if they haven’t been worn for some time. That’s where the power reserve comes in. The power reserve is for when you’re unable to wear the watch; it’ll keep working without needing winding. Obviously, the larger the power reserve, the better.
What is a mechanical watch?
A mechanical watch is, quite simply, a watch that features a clockwork mechanism as opposed to a battery, which is what you’d find in a non-mechanical watch. These watches will often use a Quartz movement, such as you find in a Grand Seiko. Mechanical watches, therefore, do not require a battery, but they will require winding. Some mechanical watches are automatic, which means they self-wind when they are on your wrist.
Why are mechanical watches expensive?
Mechanical watches are no more expensive than Quartz watches. There are affordable watches, just as there are very expensive non-mechanical watches. It could be argued that mechanical watches are often very expensive because of the complicated machinery inside of them, even if they’re automatic.
What brands make the best mechanical watches?
If you’re the sort of person who chooses watches by brand rather than by the specific qualities of the watch, then you may want to look at mechanical watches made by Seiko, Winner, Timex, Hamilton, or Bulova, as these brands watches are some of the most famous in the mechanical category.
Always remember that a watch is more than just for timekeeping. It’s a piece of jewelry that should represent and complement your style, so always choose one that you like the look of. Beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder. If your friend doesn’t like a blue dial, but you do, then get the watch with the blue dial – it’s what you like that matters.
Did you know?
Seiko isn’t just the name of one of the world’s biggest watch brands. Seiko also means success and minute in Japanese, which is where Seiko is based. It’s the perfect name for a successful company dedicated to timekeeping.
Mechanical watches are a superb alternative to your standard digital watch or watch with a Quartz movement. The inclusion of a clockwork mechanism helps them keep accurate time, as well as giving you the satisfying sound of the seconds ticking away.
These watches often have eye-catching looks that stand out, and they’re affordably priced too. Remember that comfort should always be at the forefront of your mind when choosing one, though, as you don’t want a heavy, oversized case on your wrist.