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Up to date Oct 13, 2022 12:05 PM

Watches underneath $500 ought to have a baseline operate of telling time. After that, the bells and whistles are simply bonuses, or, technically talking, problems. When contemplating the plethora of selections you’ll find in a watch—be it mechanical or quartz, analog or digital, area or diver—issues get a little bit slowed down in spec-reading over options. Reasonably priced watches aren’t any much less helpful than costly ones as a result of, effectively, even the perfect watches underneath half a grand carry out the identical process as an expensive one. You don’t must shell out hundreds of {dollars} so as to add an adjunct to your wrist for styling functions or easy timekeeping. These are the perfect watches underneath $500 for informal followers and collectors alike.

How we selected the perfect watches underneath $500

When discovering the perfect watches underneath $500, we used a mix of private expertise, hands-on testing, previous suggestions, and on-line analysis to slender down what’s price carrying. We in contrast specs like crystal high quality (the glass dome that goes over a dial), water resistance, model names, and band sorts to find what timepieces are greatest for most individuals. We additionally consulted professionals and collectors, combed via a whole lot of essential critiques and client impressions, and stored an eye fixed on essentially the most steadily cited value-oriented watches. We narrowed down our picks with the funds, accessibility, colour selection, measurement, band and crystal high quality, and water resistance in thoughts. One be aware: These aren’t smartwatches (if you would like that, take a look at our ideas on the Apple Watch 7), however they’re well chosen for people who need a timeless timepiece.

Issues to contemplate earlier than shopping for a watch underneath $500

A watch can supply many options, also called problems, that will enhance its worth, enchantment, and usefulness. However problems apart, there are a variety of issues to remember when looking for a brand new watch.


Consider the motion of a watch as its engine, or the way in which it will get its energy. Three varieties of actions exist for a watch: mechanical, computerized, and quartz.

Mechanical is the oldest kind of watch motion and it requires periodically hand-winding a spring to take care of its energy. An computerized motion is technically mechanical nevertheless it self-winds via the wearer’s pure wrist movement. Quartz replaces the mechanical workings of a watch with a crystal and battery, which can want changing each few years, relying on the watch’s particular capabilities. It have to be famous that the motion of a quartz watch offers essentially the most correct timekeeping. 


Like a tv set or digital digital camera, a watch’s model is often an indicator of its high quality. Names like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, and Roger Dubuis are that of luxurious and skew greater in value because of their intricate particulars and reliable actions. For this record, we’ve compiled extra budget-friendly, although dependable manufacturers in style with collectors and retailers in the present day: Orient, Seiko, G-Shock, Citizen, and Timex. Although not on this record, value-oriented manufacturers Bulova, Hamilton, Dan Henry, and Tissot are additionally identified for high quality timepieces.


It’s necessary to be conscious of a watch’s band, or strap, when buying a brand new timepiece. Bands made with fiber-like nylon are often constructed for a rugged aesthetic, typically present in area watches, and are powerful to tear and tear. Stainless-steel bands are made from metallic and supply sturdiness in opposition to the weather, together with rust resistance. These are sometimes with a end that leaves the band trying polished. To regulate a stainless-steel band, you’ll have to make use of instruments to take away its hyperlinks.

Water resistance

Even if you happen to’re not a diver, a watch’s water resistance is an important piece of knowledge that may let you know what event it may be worn. A watch with no or low water resistance will trigger corrosion and harm its internal workings. A timepiece that may deal with minor splashes, steam, and lightweight rain is one that gives roughly 50 meters of water resistance. 100 meters of water resistance can deal with the above, plus the strain of swimming. The upper the meter quantity, the higher it might probably deal with strain underwater. For a watch used day by day, we suggest aiming for a chunk with at the very least 100 meters of resistance for sturdiness

The most effective watches underneath $500: Evaluations & Suggestions

With among the key phrases outlined, it’s time to dive into our picks. Whereas we’ve chosen fashions for particular classes, watches are extremely subjective and there’s a variety of overlap right here. Make sure you take a look at your complete record of greatest watches underneath $500 earlier than committing to at least one mannequin. 

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Greatest total: Seiko Prospex Samurai 

Why it made the minimize: The good-looking Seiko Prospex Samurai is a stainless-steel watch that gives correct timekeeping and glorious water resistance, and with its appears, it’s sharp sufficient to put on day by day.


  • 44 mm case width
  • 200 meters water-resistance
  • Self-winding computerized motion


  • Informal sufficient for day by day put on
  • Stainless-steel
  • Enticing face


  • Chapter ring can seem barely misaligned
  • Band feels low-cost

The Seiko Prospex Samurai is constantly cited as a prime contender for sub-$500 watches, and we’ve got to agree. A sturdy diver that doubles as an informal watch, the Seiko Prospex Samurai has a stainless-steel case and band that ensures sturdiness and safety in opposition to water and minor scuffing. Although easy in design, its face is beautiful and might match any event or outfit you pair with it. Plus, its date window and easy-to-read face make it a strong on a regular basis look ahead to work and weekends alike.

This Seiko comes from the model’s nicknamed Samurai collection, because of its fingers resembling a samurai sword, and is a Prospex, or “Skilled Specs,” variant initially launched in 2017. Whereas we imagine the black and white colorway is essentially the most versatile, this timepiece additionally is available in different hues, like blue and inexperienced, so seize one which fits your temper. Its personal draw back is one which’s infamous with Seiko’s worth watches: misalignments. Some patrons report a barely misaligned date window and chapter ring, so watch out for an off-centered dial.

Most sustainable: NIXON Mild-Wave A1322-100m

The NIXON Light Wave A1322 is the most sustainable options of the best watches under $500.

Why it made the minimize: A trendy mariner’s watch that makes an effort to be inexperienced, this solar-powered watch eliminates the necessity for disposable watch batteries, and makes use of recycled ocean plastic for its band.


  • 37mm face
  • 20mm band
  • Water-proof to 100 meters


  • Water-proof
  • Photo voltaic-powered for battery-free operation
  • Band made from recycled ocean plastic


  • Takes some time to cost if left indoors
  • Watch interface is complicated

The NIXON Mild-Wave A1322-100m is a trendy mariner’s watch that places its oceanic theme proper up on the bow. With a lovely band made from recycled ocean plastic, paired with a battery-free design that capitalizes on solar energy, this watch will enchantment to ocean advocates and people concerned with inexperienced product design.

The NIXON Mild-Wave is available in seven colorways, with a spread of band designs and hues. With so many accessible colours, this watch is straightforward to type with numerous completely different aesthetics and can work effectively with sporty outfits in addition to polished workplace put on. In some methods the NIXON could also be extra married to its aesthetics than it’s to its operate, because the uniform minute-hands and the double-sided second-hand make it tough to inform exactly what time it’s. Nonetheless, it achieves its aesthetic goals—it is a handsome watch—and dignifies itself with its sturdy green-focused design.

Greatest computerized: Seiko 5 SNZG09K1

Seiko 5 SNZG09K1 is the best watch under $500.

Why it made the minimize: The Seiko 5 SNZG09K1 has a barely bigger measurement in comparison with different area watches and a see-thru again that gives an fascinating window to the watch’s internal workings.


  • 45mm case width
  • 100m water-resistance
  • See-thru again


  • Giant measurement for a area watch
  • Daring, easy-to-read dial
  • 48-hour energy reserve


  • Could also be too huge for these with smaller wrists
  • Could not present correct timekeeping

Our decide for the perfect computerized watch underneath $500 can be the best-looking area watch we’ve discovered: the Seiko 5 SNZG09K1. This engaging timepiece is barely bigger than most military-styled area watches with a case measurement of 45mm, in comparison with the trade customary 38mm to 44mm, making it a a lot bolder watch constructed for sport and informal use. The massive dial is obvious and simply digestible, particularly its day and date operate, and its secondhand wields a shiny pink pointer for straightforward monitoring. With 100m water resistance, this timepiece can freely stand up to rain and occasional immersion if wanted.

So far as self-winding computerized watches are involved, this one’s obtained effectivity. The Seiko 5 SNZG09K1 has a 48-hour energy reserve, which suggests you possibly can take it off and it’ll run for as much as two days earlier than it must wind up once more. And, after all, like all computerized watches, no batteries are required. Those that have smaller wrists might wish to strive the Seiko 5 SNK805 for a greater match.

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Greatest for diving: Orient Mako II

Orient Mako II is the best watch under $500 for diving.

Why it made the minimize: This beautiful, basic diver is accessible sufficient for entry-level collectors and can show dependable each underwater and at a weekend barbeque.


  • 41.5mm case measurement
  • 200m water-resistance
  • Computerized motion


  • 200m water-resistance
  • 120-click unidirectional bezel
  • Basic type


  • Should be hand-wound
  • Crown may be powerful to wind

Ask any severe watch collector they usually’ll agree: Orient’s Mako II is the quintessential diver. Thought-about a basic by many, this fashionable diving watch presents a fairly sized timepiece with distinctive particulars that make it extra engaging. This diver gives as much as 200 meters of water resistance, which suggests you possibly can take it into the bathe or a scorching tub with out fear. In fact, that additionally means you possibly can take it underwater for a dive. At the hours of darkness, it has a strong lume that glows the fingers and numerals of the dial, in addition to an accent on the 12-o-clock on the outer bezel. An added day-and-date operate makes this watch fitted to day by day put on.

Though it’s computerized, the Orient Mako II wants handbook winding, with its motion clocking in at round 4+ to six+ a day. It additionally options second hacking, so you possibly can manually regulate the secondhand for precision timekeeping. Its polished and brushed stainless-steel band will look sharp and deal with any water tossed its means.

Greatest digital: G-Shock GWM5610

G-Shock GWM5610 is the best digital watch under $500.

Why it made the minimize: The G-Shock line of watches is thought to be tough-as-nails and the GWM5610 provides the bells and whistles to make it as sensible as it’s tanky: atomic timekeeping, solar energy, and a transparent show with no muddle.


  • 43mm case width
  • 200 meters water-resistance
  • Photo voltaic-powered


  • Affect- and waterproof
  • Atomic (radio-controlled) timekeeping
  • Clear show with backlight


  • Completely different colorways get expensive

The most effective digital watch can be an improve to essentially the most sturdy. The GWM5610, an replace to the basic DW5600, is a tank constructed to resist heavy impression from the dings of day by day put on and as much as 200 meters of water resistance. It’s geared up with 5 day by day alarms, a backlight, a countdown timer, a stopwatch, and an auto-calendar, which implies that as soon as set, you now not must tweak it to account for leap years or shorter months. Distinctive to the GWM5610 is its atomic timekeeping, which makes use of radio alerts to auto synchronize the time at midnight. Its Powerful Photo voltaic can energy this look ahead to as much as a whopping 18 months with out publicity to mild.

The most effective half in regards to the GWM5610 is its uncluttered show, which, not like different G-Shock watches, makes studying the time and date a cinch. That show is made from mineral, which is extraordinarily powerful to scratch. Its 43mm case width makes it a sensible digital choice, and paired with its sturdiness, it’ll warrant day by day put on.

Greatesttrying: Q Timex Reissue Falcon Eye

Q Timex Reissue Falcon Eye is the best looking watch under $500.

Why it made the minimize: This ‘70s reissue by Timex is a battery-operated timepiece that has an adjustable band, and a beautiful electric-blue dial with pops of gold.


  • 38mm case width
  • 50 meters water resistance
  • Day and date problems


  • Adjustable band
  • Luminescent dial
  • Distinctive type


  • Not nice for small wrists
  • Low-cost band

This eye-catching timepiece from Timex is beautiful, refined, and exudes the power of the Nineteen Seventies. The Falcon Eye, named after its gold-tone colour round its dial much like that of a falcon, consists of an adjustable band that makes for a straightforward customized match with out the usage of instruments, and a luminescent dial for brightness at midnight. Its wavy electric-blue face appears terrific in distinction to its gold accents and stainless-steel band, and its glossy measurement—13mm thick, 38mm case width—makes it a watch acceptable for dressy events.

Its band, which additionally has a classic aesthetic, could also be one in all its solely downsides—some declare it feels low-cost and received’t regulate to smaller wrists, because the hyperlinks can’t be taken off and its lug width of 18mm doesn’t taper down sufficient. A alternative band could also be to ensure that these with sizing points. Nonetheless, for a quartz watch, this one is as stunning as they arrive.

Greatest chronograph: Citizen Chandler Eco-Drive

Citizen Chandler Eco-Drive is the best chronograph watch under $500.

Why it made the minimize: A glossy area watch with daring numerals and lume fingers, the Citizen Chandler Chronograph provides a powerful solar-power element and three engaging subdials to an simply digestible face.

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  • 39mm case width
  • 100 meters water resistance
  • Photo voltaic-powered


  • Clear, massive dial
  • Strong lume on fingers and hour marks
  • Glorious motion and battery


  • Grommets on band hinder buckle

With its rugged enchantment, the Citizen Chandler Chronograph is a straightforward watch with a big show that makes it distraction-free, and a shiny lux for straightforward studying at evening. It’s geared up with two push buttons that begin and cease its chronograph characteristic, whereas its subdials at 10- and 6-o-clock maintain observe of its passing seconds and minutes (its 2-o-clock sundial presents the navy time).

This watch’s nylon strap is constructed powerful to forestall ripping, although its grommets are considerably massive which hinders adjusting its buckle. As a result of it’s solar-powered, the Citizen Chandler Chronograph by no means wants a battery change and its energy reserve retains it ticking for 150 days with out mild publicity.

Its water resistance, whereas not as excessive as different picks on this record, offers ample safety within the rain and in moist situations, which additionally makes it appropriate for hikes and unpredictable weekends. Out there in inexperienced and blue, this timepiece lends an outdoorsy look to any ensemble.

Greatest funds: Timex Unisex Weekender

Timex Unisex Weekender is the best budget watch under $500.

Why it made the minimize: With its easy-to-read face and plethora of band kinds, the Timex Weekender is a dependable watch that’s versatile, engaging, and surprisingly reasonably priced.


  • 38mm case width
  • 30 meters water resistance
  • Nylon strap


  • Backlight
  • Versatile and light-weight
  • Loads of colour choices


  • Not constructed for water immersion
  • Loud ticking

The Timex Weekender will be the excellent candidate for an entry-level watch that received’t break the financial institution. Resembling the basic navy area watch with its nylon band and huge numbered dial, this timepiece has a shocking quantity of options that make it a strong worth decide. It has a backlight that illuminates your complete dial with a cool blue hue that can assist you learn it at midnight. It’s unisex-appropriate at 38mm vast, and its bands are available in a wide range of colours for styling. Moreover, these bands can be switched out, because the again of the watch incorporates a slip-thru design that permits you to slide a brand new strap in place with out the usage of instruments.

Right here’s a strong timepiece that you may toss on with out having to fret about feeling its presence because of its light-weight. It has its cons, although. For one, homeowners steadily say that the Timex Weekender has a reasonably loud tick to it. It’s additionally not fitted to a lot water exercise, with its resistance at 30m, so you might must take it off if you happen to get caught within the rain or want to clean dishes.


Q: Is Tissot a luxurious model?

Tissot is a luxurious model with a wealthy historical past and the usage of high-grade supplies. Nonetheless, it’s additionally reasonably priced, making it a strong entry-level luxurious model. Tissot manufactures Swiss-made watches and people bear a particular certification course of that maintains at the very least 60% of manufacturing have to be generated in Switzerland. Swiss-made watches are identified for being prime quality, however Tissot nonetheless manages to promote a few of its timepieces for effectively underneath $600.

Q: Is Rolex a luxurious model?

Rolex is a luxurious model and maybe essentially the most recognizable on the planet of watches. It’s identified for producing watches of extraordinarily prime quality, with actions which are correct and survive for many years. The model additionally holds a hefty price ticket and even its most cost-effective timepiece will set you again effectively over $3,000, warding away those that casually put on watches.

Q: How have you learnt if a watch is nice high quality?

You recognize if a watch is of excellent high quality by studying and understanding its specs. Markers of high quality lie in a mix of dependable actions, crystal (the glass dome that goes over a dial) kind, components, and the end of a timepiece. Typically talking, the dearer a watch, the higher high quality of components it depends on.

Ultimate ideas on the perfect watches underneath $500

The most effective watches underneath $500 show that you simply don’t must sacrifice a complete paycheck for consolation and high quality. In the case of a placing timepiece that’s dependable, waterproof, and informal sufficient for day by day put on, the Seiko Prospex Samurai proves it might probably maintain a mantle to even essentially the most extravagant of watches. Its easy design is easy-to-read and can match any outfit you possibly can throw at it.