Watch aficionados will swear by some brands for watches. Many people believe that purchasing watches by brand, such as the more expensive and reputable ones, will guarantee quality. While that may be true, these watches also come at a steep price. How do you distinguish the difference between purchasing a watch for the brand name or for the actual quality and functions?
Affordable watches with the best value can also double as quality pieces that last for years. Price isn’t always an indicator of quality, which is why we have decided to talk about some of the best watches that come with a lower price tag.
There are plenty of reliable and trusted brands that have been around for decades or centuries that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Brands such as Seiko, Citizen, Timex, and a few others come to mind. Let’s dive right into some of the best value watches on the market today.
View The Best Value Watch Below
1. Invicta Pro Diver Quartz Watch
The Invicta Pro Diver watch comes with a black or blue dial with solid or two-tone stainless steel bracelet bands. It’s the best timeless design with a quartz movement to offer you the most precise time. Invicta is Latin for “invincible,” which is what this watch is with its quality build. The flame fusion crystal dial window is strong enough to resist damage and impact. The Pro Diver watch is named as such since it offers 200m of water resistance.
+ Water resistant up to 200m
+ Quartz movement
+ Flame fusion crystal window
+ Stainless steel
Why We Like It – For an affordable price, you get the sleek and classic look of a much more expensive watch, plus a quality build.
2. Michael Kors Watch
Known for being a luxury fashion brand, Michael Kors now creates watches as well. Coming in multiple colors for any skin tone and style, these leather strap watches have a mineral crystal dial and quartz movement. Paired with the leather strap is a stainless steel case and a tang buckle to secure the beautiful dress watch on your wrist. If simplicity is an important factor, this gorgeous watch is the best addition to any wardrobe. You don’t even need to take it off when you wash your hands as it’s water resistant up to 50 m.
+ Water-resistant up to 50m
+ Mineral crystal dial window
+ Leather strap
+ Stainless steel watch case
Why We Like It – The timeless design is one that will never go out of style. It will complement any outfit and is resistant to scratches.
3. Casio F91W-1 Classic Digital Watch
Sports watches are known to be tough, and Casio is a reliable brand that excels in these digital watches. This sports watch is capable of chronograph functions and also features an alarm as well as a night light.
This watch is small in design and is made with a resin case and a mineral dial window. For such a small wristwatch, the Casio digital watch comes with a lot of features, including an auto calendar, a stopwatch, and it has different measuring modes.
+ Tough design
+ Small size
Why We Like It – For an affordable watch, the design is incredibly durable and can withstand any sort of rigorous activity.
4. Fossil Grant Quartz Watch
What first captured our eye about this beautiful watch is the classy design. This round stainless steel watch case is covered by a mineral crystal dial window paired with a genuine leather strap. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s capable as well.
It features three separate dials on the black dial, helping keep track of hours. It also has a stopwatch function. The quartz watch is water-resistant up to 50 feet, which makes it suitable for daily wear.
+ Stainless steel watch case
+ Mineral crystal window
+ Genuine leather band
Why We Like It – We love the design, and the Fossil Grant Quartz watch is also constructed with high-quality materials, ensuring its longevity.
5. Casio ‘G-Shock’ Quartz Watch
The G-Shock line from Casio is famously durable and well-made. This heavy-duty watch is made in the USA and is shock-resistant (hence the name). It also operates on quartz movement but with a digital display. You get the afterglow EL backlight, alarm, and countdown timer along with a stopwatch and calendar functions. The rough and tumble sports watch is water-resistant up to 200 feet, making it a great choice for water sports lovers.
+ Heavy-duty build
+ Shock resistant
+ Quartz movement
+ Water-resistant up to 200 ft
Why We Like It – If we could compare this watch to a vehicle, it would probably be a military-grade tank with all the best features and robust construction.
6. Nine West Strap Watch
This beautiful dress watch for ladies comes with a domed mineral crystal lens that slightly enlarges the hour markers for easier reading. You can take your pick from two different colors of this Japanese quartz movement watch.
The band is plastic, and the case is made of metal, making this a very lightweight watch. It’s a rather large round watch from one of the most trusted fashion houses in the world. However, these classic designs have zero water resistance.
+ Japanese quartz movement
+ Domed mineral crystal lens
+ Classic design
Why We Like It – We love classic designs that will never go out of style, and the Nine West Strap Watch is just that.
7. Timex Easy Reader Watch
The best watch brands offer an easy-to-read watch face and reliable performance. The numbers are large and come with Indiglo, a back-light for clear viewing in low light conditions. The battery life on these easy-to-read watches can last up to 10 years with little maintenance! View accurate time and date with the date window at the three-hour mark, covered by a scratch-resistant mineral crystal window.
+ Water-resistant for 30m
+ Indiglo backlight
+ Long battery life
Why We Like It – The Timex Easy Reader watch comes with the legendary Timex durability with the metal case and mineral crystal window.
8. Timex Weekender
The Timex Weekender is a field watch that comes with nylon straps that are breathable for comfortable wear. The slip-through design is effortless to put on one-handed, making it easy to wear. The large and easy to read numbers are accompanied by their military time counterparts.
It also comes with Indiglo backlight so you can easily see the watch dial at night. Unfortunately, the Timex Weekender only has 30m of water resistance, which means it’s only suitable against minor splashes.
+ Breathable nylon band
+ Slip-through design
+ Indiglo backlight
+ Water resistance
Why We Like It – As a field watch, the design is sturdy and lightweight. It’s also easy to slip on and off with just one hand.
9. Swatch Blue Rebel
The beautiful blue dial with the matching plastic straps makes this sleek design a popular one. From one of the best and most trusted watch brands in the world, Swatch delivers another model with superior performance. This quartz movement watch comes with a day and a date window at the 3-hour mark highlighted in neon green. The mineral crystal window also makes sure the surface of these affordable watches are scratch-resistant and strong.
+ Day and date window
+ Mineral crystal dial window
+ Soft plastic band
+ Quartz movement
Why We Like It – Swatch has always made a name for itself for being an industry leader, and the Blue Rebel is a lightweight and casual design that will complement your wrist.
10. PALADA Digital Sports Watch
Digital watches often have a sportier design, and the large numbers on the black dial of this digital sports watch are easy to read during the day and at night. Just light up the dial with the “light” button in dim lighting.
The multiple functions make this watch an excellent choice for avid sports lovers. Its water resistance capability is up to 50m, which is enough for swimming and light water sports. The acrylic mirror dial is resistant to abrasions, and the rubber watch band is soft against the skin.
+ Water resistance of 50m
+ Acrylic mirror dial
+ Soft rubber band
+ LED backlight
Why We Like It – If you’re looking for a sporty design that can handle all indoor and outdoor sports, this is the perfect one for you!
Value Watches Buyer’s Guide
Whether you’re looking to invest in a classic piece that may cost upwards of 1000 dollars or one that just does the basic duty of telling time and won’t peak past 100 dollars, buying a watch follows the same rules. How do you know if you’re getting quality for the price? Whether it be a military watch, a dive watch, or one with a steel bracelet or a rubber strap, we want the watches we choose to compliment us. Below are a few tips on how to find the perfect watch for you.
Your budget is a big reason why you’re seeking out the best affordable watches. What features do you absolutely need, and what will you not settle for? Some people go into a purchase, having already established their budget.
Then there are people on the other end of the spectrum that don’t have an initial budget. The latter are more at risk of overspending and purchasing a watch with a bunch of features that they might never use but could be the reason for the staggering price tag.
You can have a rough idea of how much you’re willing to spend by establishing a price range, but give it some wiggle room when you’re browsing products just so you have enough leeway in case you need to increase or decrease your budget. It’s also important to familiarize yourself with watches and know what you want and don’t want. Thankfully, we’ve done the research and can give you pointers on what to look for.
The materials of your watch can affect the price. Since we’re talking about the ones with the best value, we won’t be going into any of the fancier materials. However, it’s worth mentioning that some watches can be diamond-encrusted, made from 24k gold, or other precious metals that can significantly drive up the price. If all this flash and luxury isn’t what you need, then there are just a few materials more affordable watches have to offer.
We would suggest stainless steel. Stainless steel is a tough metal that won’t corrode or oxidize. If you don’t plan to take it off your wrist, your watch will be put through the test by facing weather conditions, temperature changes in your body, and more. A stainless steel case for your watch will be the most reliable. Ones with stainless steel straps – whether it’s in a steel bracelet form or a mesh link band – will be the toughest.
Not only are stainless steel watches near-invincible against the elements, but they also feature unsurpassed water resistance, making these steel watches among the strongest made on the market.
A stainless steel case is the most popular, but some manufacturers also use resin and aluminum. The two alternatives are very lightweight, so if you are participating in rigorous activities, they could be of consideration. The material of the case and strap don’t have to be the same. A stainless steel case can be paired with leather straps. If you’re going for leather, try to lean more towards ethically sourced leather.
Leather watch straps compared to stainless steel are much softer and gentler on the skin. If you pair your stainless steel case with leather straps, you can enjoy durability with comfort.
There are also ceramic, nylon, resin, plastic, rubber and many other materials used for watch straps. Consider the lifestyle you lead to identify which is most suitable for you. If you often participate in water activities, we would advise against nylon options since they absorb water. If you never take your watch off and you enjoy heavy cardio, the chances are, you will sweat right into the leather strap. In this case, we would suggest resin, plastic, or rubber straps to accompany your stainless steel case.
Other than the watch case and watch strap, you also have to consider the material of the dial window. On the more affordable watch options, you will mostly be presented with mineral crystal dial windows. However, the top quality dials that you will find on more expensive and luxurious watches are made from sapphire crystal. Sapphire crystal is much harder than the alternatives and can sure take a beating.
If you lead a rough and tumble lifestyle, we would suggest the scratch and impact-resistant sapphire crystal dial windows. For those looking for toughness, a stainless steel case with sapphire crystal to protect the dial is the toughest of all.
The dial is also important. The decorations and hour markers need to be clear. If you have a black dial, you would want light-colored markers to contrast the dark color. Some of the best watches have dials that also feature a window for the day and date. This helps you keep track of the day as well as the time.
Watches are divided by movement as well. The movement also adds to the value and the price tag of a timepiece. Quartz movement, mechanical movement, and automatic movement are usually the most popular. Let’s learn a little more about them in detail
Quartz movement is often found in mid to low end watches due to its cheap manufacturing. Just because they are more affordable, it doesn’t mean they are any less effective. Quartz watches offer the most exact and accurate time. We can thank the amazing and long-standing watch brand Seiko for the introduction of quartz movement.
They operate by a battery that sends signals through the quartz crystal embedded in your watch. Since quartz crystals always vibrate at a specific frequency, this contributes to the accuracy of their results. They are lower maintenance and are easy to use. They also don’t require as many repairs and checkups as automatic movement, and mechanical movement watches.
Automatic movement is the self-winding option that works with the kinetic energy of your movements. Basically, it means you power the watch with your movements. Manual winding is also not required, which makes it one of the best and easiest movements to maintain.
It might stop if left alone for a while – and it’s a good idea to bring it in for a workup – but automatic movement watches will continue functioning once you start wearing it again. One amazing thing about automatic movement (which is why a lot of luxury watches such as Rolexes adopt it) is its longevity. With proper craftsmanship, your best automatic movement watch could last a lifetime.
Mechanical movement possesses excellent craftsmanship and was the first watch to be designed. There are rotary mechanisms in a finely crafted mechanical watch that are admired by horologists all around the world. Like the automatic movement, you don’t need to replace batteries. They also last a good long while, and they look beautiful.
What type of watch do you want? A field watch, a dive watch, an aviator, a GMT, a driving watch, or a dress watch? There are many different designs and types of watches out there that can also impact the price. Think of what type of best value watch you want.
A dive watch was developed for divers, just like the field watch was also designed for a specific need. Aviator watches are the epitome of class, while dress watches can literally be worn with almost any outfit.
Maybe you’re only purchasing a watch for a specific purpose. Do you want a tough and robust design that’s also shockproof and can handle impact? Then maybe a sports watch, or dive watch is more up your alley.
Perhaps you just want a more luxurious piece for special occasions or one that will fit in with your basic or flamboyant tastes.
If telling time is all you need, then you have a wide array of choices in front of you. However, if you want specific functions for very unique needs, then you may need to take time to find the perfect one. The best watches will always meet your needs. There are even watches that have heart rate monitors (smartwatches) and ones with chronographs and even astronomical watches that allow you to keep tabs on the stars and planets.
The functions are almost as diverse as the design and materials used, and this is where you should spend the most time researching when it comes to best watches. The perfect one for you may not be the best one for another. Identifying what you want and what services you need your watch to carry out will narrow down your choices. Start by thinking about the type of life you lead.
With all the talk about the capabilities and appearance of the best watches, we can’t forget to mention the inner workings. Whether or not your watch needs a battery depends on the type of movement. If you don’t want the hassle of replacing batteries, then you should look into mechanical and automatic movements. To be named as one of the best watches, we would suggest a watch with a power reserve. There is also another form of power that can operate watches, and that is light power.
The Citizen Eco-drive watch line operates with only the power of sunlight or artificial lighting. They also have a power reserve function that can store power for up to 8 months or more! Citizen is the first watch manufacturer to introduce the Eco-Drive tech. The Citizen Eco-Drive is surprisingly affordable and is one of the best options when it comes to watch power.
For supreme reliability, low maintenance, stability, and convenience, we would recommend the Citizen Eco-Drive technology in terms of power.
Finally, one important thing to look for is water resistance. The pro divers offer the best watches with waterproofing capabilities due to demographics. Watches with 30m of resistance means they are splashproof. The best watches would provide 100m or more of water-resistance to be used safely and comfortably for most water sports. Watches with 50m of water-resistance are suitable for light swimming.
The best watches will always be the ones you reach for the most. Buying a new watch is a fun and exciting activity despite all the research you must do. If you follow our list of best tips and best choices, you will most likely emerge with the perfect watch that will accompany you through everything.
Did You Know
Watches have been to places most humans have not. We’re talking about outer space, to the moon, and to the bottom of the ocean.
An expensive watch doesn’t always mean it’s a better product. Some of the best watches are affordable and reliable. Unless you are looking at the top luxury watches such as Rolex and Breitling, you are more often than not paying for the brand name.