With immense developments made in Haute Horology over the last few decades, it’s becoming increasingly rare to find a budget watch that doesn’t promise good value for its price point. Affordable brands are honing into the needs of the wearer much more specifically these days, ensuring that a blend of form, function, and practicality is guaranteed in each design.
If you’re looking for a watch under $500 you won’t struggle to find at least one design from this guide that matches your tastes and your practical needs in equal measures. This article lists some household names that have been in the industry for years, as well as some younger manufacturers. Choose between sports watches, chronographs, classic three-handed dress watches, solar-powered wristwatches, and pilots watches. Read on to learn a little about what each watch under $500 offers for its affordable price tag.
Citizen Promaster Chrono Diver
Description: With a 1/5th-second chronograph, a dual time feature (12 hours and 24 hours), 200-meter water resistance, and date feature - Citizen packs a whole lot of watch into this price tag. Wear this Promaster chronograph to explore daring depths underwater, or enjoy its sporty undertones courtesy of a vibrant blue colored bezel that frames a dramatic black dial. Its stainless steel bracelet will look sleek with whatever attire you decide to pair it with. The great thing about Citizen watches that incorporate the brand’s ground-breaking Eco-Drive technology is that any source of light will ensure they keep precision time 24.7.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical
Description: Dressed in military green tones, this Khaki Field watch is powered by an automatic watch proving that for its price point, it’s a great value-for-money design. The 38mm stainless steel case is a comfortable fit on any slender wrist. The triangular hour markers are a distinct look of a vintage pilot watch. Infused with original 1960’s style, this Hamilton watch under $500 is an innovative recreation of an original model from the brand’s heritage. Its dark green dial is matched perfectly with a khaki green NATO-style strap, yet its modern movement is capable of an extended powered reserve of up to 80 hours.
Tissot Chrono XL Classic
Description: This Tissot chronograph watch exudes a classic everyday look encased within a sporty design. A captivating blue dial is home to a set of chronograph sub-dials at 10 o’clock (minutes), 2 o’clock (hours), and 6 o’clock (seconds). The date aperture at 4 o’clock will enable you to keep track of all those important days throughout each month, and its huge 45mm stainless steel case, equipped with a “T” engraved folding clasp creates a confident and domineering presence on the wrist. If you want a watch that combines a sporty yet professional aesthetic with a reliable quartz-powered movement – the Tissot Chrono XL Classic watch is a robust and reliable companion that can be purchased for under $500
Description: Watches from Victorinox’s Alliance collection are clean and minimalist. These crisp designs are geared towards lovers of contemporary timepieces. This quartz watch is perfect if you’re looking for a budget watch that can add a touch of finesse and refinement to your wardrobe. Its grey dial features the iconic Victorinox emblem at the 12 o’clock location. Balanced by a crisp white date aperture at 3 o’clock. A soft and classic-looking black leather strap will keep you looking smart every day of the week, as will its smoothly sculpted lugs and fine stick indexes around the hour track.
Rotary Limited Edition Heritage Titanium Automatic
Description: Rotary’s 125th anniversary is being celebrated this year and what better way to celebrate this milestone than with a limited edition watch? The fine finishes and exquisitely sleek aesthetics of this watch look and feel rare when worn on the wrist. For a watch under $500, this special edition of just 300 pieces worldwide is a versatile, reliable timepiece for wearing to every imaginable occasion. It features a 42mm titanium case for a lightweight feel, together with a crisp white day-date feature at 3 o’clock. A sword and Ox hour hand completes this design perfectly, as does an eye-catching water-resistant Khaki strap with a Rotary pin buckle.
Timex M79 Automatic
Description: The winning features of this Timex M79 model are its blue and black unidirectional rotating bezel and retro-inspired stainless steel mesh-style bracelet with folding clasp. Together these features create a vintage-inspired diving watch aesthetic. Despite the 1970’s retro influences, this timepiece can’t be worn for diving as such, since it only offers a modest 50-meter water resistance. Moreover, the timepiece creates a look that harkens back to an important era for Timex. The watch’s black dial features luminous plots that assist with time reading underwater, along with a day-date feature that will allow you to keep organized throughout the week.
Casio G-Shock Mudmaster Carbon Core Guard
Description: Just some of the features of the Casio G-Shock Mudmaster Carbon Core watch include; a dust and mud-resistant case made from a carbon-reinforced resin case, a built-in compass, countdown timer function, altimeter, automatic calendar, and barometer. Its hardy, robust design makes it suitable for all outdoor activities, combined with 200-meter water resistance, a comfortable resin strap, and an automatic light that illuminates the dial-in light-limiting conditions or at night. When paired with a smartphone this Casio G-Shock watch automatically adjusts the time and records mission logs for you. For under $500 this multifunctional tool is perfect for any adventurist or thrill seeker.