Home / Style / Buyers Guides

12 Fantastic Men’s Watches Under $500 (2012 Edition)

Good watches don’t need to cost thousands of dollars. However, at the very least they need to still make a statement and get the occasional compliment. I went hunting to find some of these fine specimens, in hope that my readers will stop to appreciate the not so expensive things in life.

If you’re looking for our Best Watches Under $1,000 article, it can be found here. Or our 2014 best watches under $500.

Best Watch #1 – Stuhrling Original Trackmaster Blue & Steel Watch
One quick look is enough to tell you that this watch is something special. The Stuhrling Original Trackmaster Blue & Steel Watch contains just about every piece of information you could ever want to know in the date window and chronograph subdials, and the vibrant blue face and strap make a huge style statement that’s playful while still being sophisticated.  (Price: $132.00 BUY) (FYI has just sold out on Gilt) – Props to Mum for finding it tho.

Best Watch #2 – G-Shock Aviation Watch
This is not a watch to be messed with. G-Shock masters the art of “large and in charge” with this Aviation concept watch that’s designed to keep accurate time even under the stress of the high G forces that occur during air racing. Plus it’s designed to look like an aircraft instrument panel, so it’s pretty much guaranteed to up your badass points by at least a thousand.  (Price: $280.00 BUY)

Best Watch #3 – Men’s Boccia Watch
Sometimes having the most high tech gear on the market isn’t actually an improvement, like when you used your top-of-the-line smartphone to drunk text your mom that…um…private text message that was actually meant for your girlfriend. For those times when simplicity is preferable, the Men’s Boccia Watch is exactly what you need.  (Price: $225.00 BUY)

Best Watch #4 – Bulova Marine Star
I don’t know if “BAMF” is an appropriate term to apply to a wristwatch, but I’m gonna go ahead and apply it. The Bulova Marine Star deserves it. Just take a look – the luminous hands, stylized numbers, black and grey pattern details, and chunky black ion-plated case more than earn the watch that coveted designation.  (Price: $450.00 BUY)

Best Watch #5 – Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph
Citizen Watch Company earned its name because the founders wanted the brand to be “close to the hearts of people everywhere.” It’s now become the world’s largest watchmaker, a distinction Citizen has held every year since 1986, and a leader in ecologically-friendly timekeeping. Case in point: the Eco-Drive Perpetual Chronograph that never needs a battery because it’s fueled by light. Yep, you heard that right: fueled by light. (Price: $374.25 BUY)

Best Watch #6 – Movado Sport Classic
Here’s another stunning blue watch (am I sensing a trend?) to add to your wardrobe: the Movado Sport Classic. The electric shade of blue on the silicone strap and aluminum bezel is complemented by a stainless steel case and an equally-bright shock of orange, guaranteeing that your wrist will get noticed when it’s wearing this.  (Price: $395.00 BUY)

Best Watch #7 – Hector Men’s 665274 Black PVD Genuine Leather Date Watch
Like the Boccia Watch, the Hector Men’s 665274 Black PVD Genuine Leather Date Watch capitalizes on simplicity. Yeah, it seems cool that your watch can calculate the exact distance from your current location to the moon and remember all the names of your one night stands, but does a watch really need to do that? No, it doesn’t. It just needs to tell time. (Price: $199.20 BUY)

Best Watch #8 – Seiko SSC008 Solar Aviator Alarm Chronograph Pilot Watch
After all that blue, black, and stainless steel, it’s time to rep a little gold on this list: the Solar Aviator Alarm Chronograph Pilot Watch by Seiko. This piece features a flight tachymeter bezel, a 12-hour analog alarm function, and a unique solar powered Quartz movement that collects light from any available source to store power.  (Price: $255.00 BUY)

Best Watch #9 – Seiko Alarm Chronograph
If the Pilot Watch isn’t your style, try this Seiko on for size instead. The features are on the simple side – chronograph up to 60 minutes in 1/5 second increments, split time measurement, and an alarm – but what it lacks in complicated tech touches it makes up for in sleek, sporty, black and yellow style.  (WWW)

Best Watch #10 – Thunderbirds 1048-02-e09b Fighting Falcon Pro Men’s Watch
Let’s take a minute to appreciate the history of Thunderbirds watches. Every Thunderbirds watch is inspired, designed for, and named after the elite squadron of the United States Air Force also known as the “Ambassadors in Blue.” The Thunderbirds, who tour the world giving aerobatic formation and solo flying performances, are the fastest flying jet team in the world. That’s a big reputation to live up to, but the Thunderbirds Fighting Falcon Pro Men’s Watch does it.  (Price: $300.00 BUY)

Best Watch #11 – Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance
If you’re looking for something strong and sturdy that will last you a lifetime, you can’t go wrong with Swiss Army. No, the Alliance watch doesn’t come with a can opener, a pair of scissors, three kinds of knife, a nail file, and another metal implement that you can’t even name, but it’s still got everything you need.  (Price: $425.00 BUY)

Best Watch #12 – Swatch New Gent
The Swatch New Gent watch is boldness at its best. Its minimalist, super-sleek design puts all the focus on the color, which will pop off your wrist like a breakfast pastry in a toaster. And since it comes in pretty much any color you can think of – from “orangy pink” to “rubine” to (you guessed it!) “blue” – you can have a watch that suits everything in your wardrobe.

If these don’t suit, more cool & affordable watches can be found at these online shops:


Get the biggest stories delivered to your inbox each weekday

13 May, 2012

Luc Wiesman

Founder and Editor-In-Chief
--> -->