Every man needs a wristwatch. Watches are an extension of a gentleman’s personality, but they also make a huge statement when paired with a favorite outfit. Every person you come across will be able to tell you the time since everyone has a phone.
This goes to show how the trends and needs in watches have changed dramatically over the years. Far more than just timekeeping tools, this guide to the best men’s watches under $500 will help you find a watch at an affordable price, providing everything you’re looking for in a luxury timepiece.
Here’s our guide to the best watches for men this year, featuring timepieces from the Japanese manufacturer Seiko, American brand Hamilton, motorsport enthusiast Tissot, and eco-friendly Citizen.
View The Best Mens Watch Under $500 Below
1. Michael Kors Slim Runway Quartz Watch
Overall, our chosen best watch for men is stylish and compact. The Michael Kors Slim Runway watch is a low maintenance model that’s powered by an accurate quartz movement. Its incredibly slim case depth of just 9mm will promise to sit underneath the cuff of your shirt whenever you need to pair it with something professional.
This men’s watch presents the time via a grey dial with darkened stick indexes and a robust stainless steel case for wearing every day of the week. For under 500 dollars, it’s an affordable watch for all occasions.
+ 50-meter water resistance
+ Easy-to-read three-handed dial
+ 44mm black PVD coated stainless steel case
+ Black PVD coated stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp
+ Anti-reflective sapphire glass lens
Why We Like It – The sleek black PVD coated finish on the surface of this watch’s steel case and bracelet will exude a sleek look for those occasions when you want to create a lasting impression.
2. SEIKO PRESAGE Power Reserve Cocktail Time
For under 500 dollars, you can get an in-house made Seiko movement with a power reserve of 41 hours. The Seiko Presage Power Reserve Cocktail Time watch on a black leather strap is a 50-meter water-resistant watch crafted from polished stainless steel. The steel watch looks similar to one of Grand Seiko’s higher-end models with its needle-fine blued steel central second hands and faceted hour and minute hands.
Powered by an automatic movement as opposed to the Japanese quartz movement, the power reserve scale of this watch is incorporated into the periphery of the dial between 12 and 4 o’clock, accompanied by a date dial at 6 o’clock for keeping on track of those important days of each month.
+ 40.5mm stainless steel case
+ Silver guilloche textured dial
+ 50-meter water resistance
+ Black leather strap with three-fold clasp
+ Power reserve indicator and date ring
Why We Like It – The Calibre 4R57, which propels this Seiko Presage watch, features 29 jewels. It’s a Japanese movement that provides a 41-hour power reserve.
3. Invicta Grand Diver Automatic Watch
If you’re looking for diving watches under $500, the Invicta Grand Diver watch is everything you need in a water-friendly watch, plus more. Its legible black dial with green luminous hour markers and arrow-tipped hands will allow you to reference the time in low-light conditions. The unidirectional rotating diver’s bezel can be used to keep track of remaining dive time.
The watch’s Japanese Caliber NH35A keeps accurate time for you, making for a nice alternative to a Japanese quartz movement. A mineral glass lens protects the dial of this stainless steel watch, and the date aperture is positioned under a cyclops lens to complete that unmistakable diver’s look.
+ 300-meter water resistant case
+ Powered by an automatic movement
+ 47mm stainless steel case
+ Stainless steel bracelet with fold-over safety clasp
+ Tritnite luminous filled hands and indexes for optimum readability
Why We Like It – Stylish elements like the easy-grip screw-in crown, cyclops date lens, and rotating bezel give you everything you need in a rugged diving tool.
4. Seiko COUTURA Japanese Quartz Watch
The best watches men are looking for on the market right now are those that offer plenty of technical features combined with a classic and professional aesthetic, like this elegant Seiko Coutura model. It’s a solar-powered stainless steel watch equipped with a power save function, a quick start function, a day and date display, a world time feature, and a radio signal receiving function.
Its captivating blue dial is equipped with Lumibrite on the hands and indexes for keeping track of time during the night. This is a feature you’ll certainly make the most out of if you’re a frequent traveler since the sub-dial at 6 o’clock also offers a dual time zone.
+ 100-meter water-resistant stainless steel case
+ 24-hour track and world time zone
+ Radio signal/day-date
+ Radio Sync Solar movement
+ Lumibrite hands and indexes
Why We Like It – Aside from its many gadgets, this Seiko Coutura watch also looks incredibly refined. Its stainless steel bracelet features flecks of yellow gold PVD elements running through it.
5. Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Watch
This military-inspired gent’s watch from the Hamilton Khaki Field range is one of the best men’s watches on the market right now. Its pilot-influenced dial design features large white Arabic numerals, framing a 24-hour track on the inside, accompanied by legible minute markers and hands treated with luminous technology.
Built to last, you can enjoy this Hamilton watch on a comfortable khaki-colored NATO strap, which attaches to integrated lugs for a true 1960’s look. Its beating heart is the ultra-reliable H-50 movement, which delivers an 80-hour power reserve for periods off the wrist.
+ 38mm stainless steel model
+ Black pilot dial with Arabic hour markers
+ Anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass
+ Powered by an automatic movement
+ 50-meter water resistant case
Why We Like It – This retro-inspired military watch is imbued with classic Hamilton design features and comes in a discreet 38mm size for slender wrists.
6. Fossil Dean Chronograph Dress Quartz Watch
This Fossil watch will combine sporty chronograph features with materials that make it suitable as a dress watch. The steel watch is powered by a quartz movement and presents the time clearly on a black dial with chronograph dials positioned at 12, 6, and 9 o’clock.
If you like getting a little more out of your watch, it’s the perfect choice since the stopwatch features can be activated effortlessly by polished push-pieces on the side of the watch’s 45mm stainless steel case. The chronograph watch also features a discreet date aperture at 3 o’clock, along with a sophisticated steel bracelet that secures to the wrist with a folding clasp engraved with the Fossil logo.
+ 50-meter water resistant case
+ Chronograph watch with date aperture
+ Powered by a quartz movement
+ Black dial with Arabic hour numerals
+ Stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp
Why We Like It – The convenience of a quartz movement means you won’t need to regularly service or maintain a watch like the Fossil Dean Chronograph model.
7. Casio Pro Trek Tough Solar Digital Sport Watch
Casio is a name synonymous with affordability and reliability, so you can be sure this watch will keep accurate time regardless of where and how you wear it. This is thanks to a solar-powered battery that provides features such as a moon age display, tide graph, thermometer, and world time function.
You can choose to display the time in either 12- or 24-hour format, and the watch also features an altimeter, an alarm, an altitude addition function, a calendar, a barometer, a digital compass, and 200-meter water resistance. It’s the ultimate tool for the gadget-friendly loving guy. But who’s to say it can’t look neat on the wrist too? Its lightweight titanium bracelet will dress your wrist up for occasions where first impressions count.
+ A myriad of technical features
+ Barometer, altimeter, world time function, moon age, thermometer
+ Lightweight titanium case and bracelet with 200m water resistance
+ Solar-powered device
+ Digital display
Why We Like It – For a watch under 500 dollars, this model provides you with pretty much everything you’ll ever need in a sporty digital watch.
8. Citizen Watches BN0200-56E Eco-Drive
If you like your eco-friendly watches, this solar-powered Citizen watch offers a feature-packed spec, housed inside a robust and rugged-looking case made from lightweight titanium. The Citizen Pro Master Dive watch boasts a water-resistant capability of 200 meters.
Its unidirectional rotating bezel will ensure dive time can only be reduced, never extended. Plus, a legible black and white diver’s watch filled with supreme luminosity will grant you a clear dial to work with while under great depths of water.
+ Legible unidirectional rotating bezel
+ 200-meter water resistant lightweight titanium case
+ Powered by light
+ Screw-down crown and case back
+ Durable mineral glass lens
Why We Like It – Enabling it to uphold its 200-meter water resistance, the Pro Master Dive watch features a screw-down crown and case, as well as a one-way rotating bezel for optimum diving safety.
9. Tissot Chrono XL
Tissot has been manufacturing affordable wristwatches for hundreds of years. This Chrono XL Classic will turn heads thanks to its vibrant, rich blue dial and striking brown leather strap, giving it a classic look. The chronograph counters at 10, 2, and 6 o’clock provide minutes, seconds, and 12-hour functions, respectively, facilitated by the polished push-pieces at 2 and 4 o’clock on the side of the watch’s steel case.
The entire dial – date feature included – is protected underneath a sapphire crystal glass lens, integrated with anti-reflective and scratch-resistant properties. The 45mm watch is powered by a quartz movement held inside a 100-meter water resistant case.
+ Vivid blue chronograph dial
+ Sapphire glass lens
+ Date window at 4 o’clock
+ Stylish brown leather strap
+ 45mm steel case with 50-meter water resistance
Why We Like It – This watch makes our list of best men’s watches under 500 dollars since its design is geared towards the fashion-conscious gent.
10. Swatch Irony Night Flight
The Night Flight watch by Swatch is the ultimate companion for leisure, work, and travel. It combines functionality with style, having been equipped with a tachymeter scale on its black bezel that can be used in conjunction with chronograph dials at 10, 2, and 6 o’clock. The watch is a low-maintenance model powered by quartz.
You can slip it on before heading out of the door to an interview, a business meeting, or a meal with friends. Its confident 43mm stainless steel case width won’t go unnoticed on the wrist. Plus, with a stainless steel bracelet like this, it can complete a sophisticated ensemble without you even needing to put any effort in.
+ Powered by a quartz movement
+ 43mm stainless steel case and bracelet
+ Black chronograph dial
+ 30-meter water resistance
+ Round date feature at 6 o’clock
Why We Like It – As well as recording all your personal bests, this Swatch chronograph also enables you to keep track of the days in the month, thanks to a discreet date window at 6 o’clock.
Mens Watches Under 500 Buyer’s Guide
Why are men still buying wristwatches?
When the mobile phone market flourished, the watch industry looked bleak. People weren’t investing in traditional watches any longer since they could use their phones for stopwatch features and timekeeping. But like all the greatest inventions in history, a love for classic watches returned, and here are a few reasons why.
Men’s watches enhance your personal branding
As a man, creating your own personal branding is an important way to express what’s important to you. Wearing a watch shows that you care about turning up on time to an event. It’s a subtle way to communicate that you respect the time people invest in you and vice versa. Your choice in watch brand will also give other watch enthusiasts a clue to who you are as a person, especially if you’re meeting someone for the first time.
A watch is a statement piece
Wearing a watch as a statement piece is one great way to show off your taste in style. You’re punctual, and you want people to know that you take pride in your appearance. Women have all the fun with jewelry and clothing accessories, so a watch for a man can act as that centerpiece to a smart outfit or a professional suit.
Chronograph watches exude casual undertones when paired with relaxed, sporty attire, just like a luxurious gold dress watch will complete an elegant evening ensemble with a minimalist dial design.
Women notice watches
Make no mistake, women will take notice of the finer details, and they’ll appreciate it when a gentleman goes that extra mile to finish his outfit off properly with a watch. Attention to detail is everything. Match your shoes with your outfit, and always wear your favorite watch on your wrist.
Not only will it round-off your outfit nicely, but it will tell her a little bit about your personality. A watch is also a great conversation starter if you’re sat at the bar wondering how to start talking to the person next to you. Wearing a watch that gets you noticed for all the right reasons is well worth the investment.
Less time on your phone
We’re the generation of tech-lovers that surround ourselves with social media and immerse ourselves in technology 24/7. We just can’t help procrastinating with our phones in our hands. A wristwatch is one less reason to pick up your phone.
You’ll be surprised at how little you’ll rely on your phone to check the time once you start wearing a wristwatch. A habit you may once have thought would be impossible to break will soon become a distant memory with a watch on the wrist.
Did you know
According to a recent survey conducted by LGI Network, the average watch collector owns 19 watches! You may not need as large a watch collection like that, but having one timepiece for special occasions as well as one for wearing every day of the week, is a great way to begin building your selection.
So, that’s our guide to the best men’s watches under $500. You can buy a modern, quality watch that offers so much in terms of functions and features for a very appealing price tag nowadays. If you’re not buying a watch for its brand name alone, you can easily find a less expensive watch in a style of your choice within this price bracket.
From classic chronographs, dress watches, day-date models, and gold PVD watches, to GMT features, moon phases, and stylish dive watches, there’s a watch for every taste and every need in our guide to this year’s best men’s watches.