At a time when high-tech smartwatches and fitness gadgets are becoming all the rage for your wrists, we will always have a soft spot for the classics timepieces (especially when they’re cheap watches which also stand the test of time).
It’s not every day you find sapphire crystal men’s watches for under $500, but we’ve done it. These are ten of the best looking and cheap watches that won’t break the bank – all of which I’d be happy to call my own.
For best results, wear these quality cheap watches with a nice suit or smart-casual attire, not to the gym.
The I.N.O.X is said to be the world’s strongest watch and Victorinox have proven this by running it over with a tank and using it’s strap to winch a human to safety in a mock rescue. The I.N.O.X now comes in a range of different colours and for just under $500 you’re getting a hell of a watch that will be resistant to almost any knock you give it.
In 2015, we travelled to Baselworld and whilst there we had lunch with Dr. Wolf D.Franke and his wife Kristina. They’re the founder of Advolat, a highly affordable and great quality Swiss watch brand. One model which really took our fancy was the sapphire crystal Bauhaus. This design which dedicated to Walter Gropius and the classic Bauhaus design of Weimar and Dessau. We were so in love we had to get one for ourselves.
Tissot Tradition Rose Gold PVD Quartz Classic Chronograph
The Tissot Tradition Rose Gold PVD Men’s Quartz Classic Chronograph promises to blend ultramodern watchmaking with a hint of nostalgia. The nostalgia piece comes with guilloche decoration, vintage finishes, and classical aesthetic details ideal for the contemporary watch wearer. A Quartz ETA G10.211 movement along with a stainless steel case with PVD coating, and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal makes this one of the more attractive options for men on a budget.
Seiko Stainless Steel Green Dial Chronograph
Seiko’s Stainless Steel Chronograph oozes class and a unique finishing. The large opened dial comes in a distinct green shade that will inspire you to go hunting or racing. Contrasting features in gold and white provide functionality in the form of glowing hands and hour markers, date display, and an unusual-for-an-analogue alarm feature. The final piece of the smart-casual puzzle is a brown crocodile-patterned leather strap.
SWATCH Sistem 21
Agruably the best value for money watch on the market the SWATCH Sistem21. You’re getting Swiss precision at a fraction of the cost. The Sistem21 features polished stainless steel case houses the groundbreaking SISTEM51 automatic watch design, while the openwork caseback reveals the inner workings of the self-winding mechanical movement.
Your quest for German efficiency at its finest, coolest, and cheapest is here. As automatic watches became increasingly expensive, Breytenbach became even more determined to build an automatic watch that offered both unique design and sufficient functionality at an affordable price. The BB7760 has it all from a Ronda 5020B Swiss Quartz movement, to a stainless steel case and bezel, to a leather crocodile strap. There’s even an eye-catching black and white face which wraps up the package in a surprisingly low price tag.
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Bulova 98B103 Marine Star Calendar Watch
Bulova introduced its first line of wristwatches in 1919 and maintains its tradition of excellence in technology and design today. With the 98B103 Marine Star Calendar Watch, the New York-based watchmaker brings the drama without bringing on bankruptcy. Bulova’s affordable watch combines a Japanese-quartz movement with a mineral crystal, a square stainless steel case, a black dial with a grid design, and a tough-looking black leather strap with distinctive perforations.
Citizen CA0331-56L Stainless Steel
Citizen Eco-Drive harnesses the power of light from any natural or artificial light source and converts it into energy – meaning it never needs a battery replacement and it’s hands down one of the coolest features you’ll see for under $500. The CA0331-56L Men’s Stainless Steel Mesh Strap Watch from Citizen gives the Eco-Drive movement a handsome, effortlessly sharp exterior with classic styling and a slightly sporty edge.
TRIWA Havana Nevil Brown
Swedish watch and sunglass company TRIWA takes its name from an acronym: TRansforming the Industry of WAtches. The company is out to bring attitude, individuality, and creativity to the traditional world of watches and accessories. The Havana Nevil Brown injects a little more sophistication into that ethos via a genuine leather strap, a stainless steel sun ray dial and brown chronograph sub dials. The orange contrast seconds hand makes it clear that the brand’s playfulness is still fully intact.
Daniel Wellington Classic York
Daniel Wellington is clear in its mission: provide attractive cheap watches for the preppy market. In keeping with DW tradition, the Classic York is thin and elegant with a clean, nearly-featureless face – designed to complement the bright patterns and colours of a Nato strap. The Quartz Japan citizen 1L22 movement-driven Classic York comes with a dark brown crocodile strap as a chic counterpart to its silver or rose gold body, as opposed to one of the brand’s famous Nato straps. It’s interchangeable if you’d prefer to stick with tradition.
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