It is no secret that most people out there desire premium timepieces. Patek Philippe, Rolex, Cartier, you name it, they will all appeal to the modern gentleman. However, when rookie watch aficionados enter the expansive world of timepieces, most will gravitate towards more modest selections in order to minimize the financial investment in an unfamiliar endeavor yet.
The reality of the watch market is that very few people can afford to pay $10,000 or more for a timepiece. Nevertheless, if you fall into this category, it doesn’t mean you should avoid the entire industry. In truth, there are a plethora of outstanding watch brands that are quite affordable.
Circumstances have changed, and so has the watch community. Respect for the tiny device that rests on one’s wrist and displays the time is eventually what brings watch devotees altogether. Whether you wear a $50,000 Audemars Piguet or a $50 Swatch, you share a common interest in horology. And today, this devotion is cherished more than ever before.
Having said that, arguably the most pivotal factor to consider when evaluating inexpensive timepieces is whether or not they give a good return on investment. A watch may be cost-effective, but if it lacks quality, it is not to be considered.
A fantastic timepiece doesn’t have to cost more than your monthly rent. Indeed, it can. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, there is a real carnival of elegant, well-made watches under $1,000 from a multitude of reputable timepiece manufacturers.
Well, certainly, affordable watches may not have the most precise Swiss movements, or be built from a lavish combo of carbon fiber and white gold, but as regular timepieces, they will serve the purpose. They are not status emblems, nor opulent items, not even technological marvels, but rather necessary tools. They are both everywhere and nowhere at once.
So what should you check for in a reasonable watch? In all honesty, the most essential trick is to shun brands that appear to spend more money on social media promotion than on quality. There’s a lot to sort through, so we’ve searched the watch market up and down for the most affordable watch brands and made this list for you.
Here are 30 affordable watch brands that deserve your full attention:
- 30. Calvin Klein
- 29. Uniform Wares
- 28. Nixon
- 27. Nordgreen
- 26. Oris
- 25. Tommy Hilfiger
- 24. Fossil
- 23. Daniel Wellington
- 22. Shinola
- 21. MVMT
- 20. Guess
- 19. Tsovet
- 18. Junghans
- 17. Skagen
- 16. Movado
- 15. Mondaine
- 14. Citizen
- 13. Swatch
- 12. Triwa
- 11. Raymond Weil
- 10. AVI-8
- 9. Casio
- 8. Timex
- 7. G-Shock
- 6. Hamilton
- 5. Tissot
- 4. Stuhrling
- 3. Alpina
- 2. Victorinox
- 1. Seiko
30. Calvin Klein
When Calvin Klein was first introduced to the public in 1968, it quickly became a household name. Therefore, even though its watches have a basic and clean appearance, they are characterized by excellent craftsmanship and value.
Since the Swatch Group is CK’s timepiece maker, every watch from this brand is equipped with a legitimate, high-quality Swiss movement and proudly displays the “Swiss made” badge.
However, because of their intended purpose as fashion accessories, these timepieces have inexpensive quartz movements and other plain design elements. As a result, they are better off as supporting cast members in an outfit than leading ones.
29. Uniform Wares
This watch company aimed to define a trademark whose entire artistic content was planned and refined in-house. The upshot was a new wave of sophisticated deluxe timepieces that have had an undeniable influence on horology.
Uniform Wares provides a collection of top-quality items that speak for themselves, representing the label’s self-assured and laid-back view on life. The British brand is distinguished by its lug-less cases, sterile displays, and a neat, minimalist look overall.
And as it has expanded and perfected its appearance, the brand has also refined its craftsmanship, which is currently conducted entirely in Switzerland. Although you might be enticed by all of these, it will be the pricing that definitely makes your “add to cart” button itch.
In 1997, Andy Laats and Chad DiNenna established Nixon in California, the United States. The idea originated when DiNenna was unable to find a timepiece that could express his sense of style.
The brand was initially marketed to adventure seekers and was sold in a variety of surf, skate, and ski shops. Nonetheless, since its meager roots, Nixon has expanded to offer accessories, clothes, portable speakers, and headphones in over 80 countries worldwide.
The company sells classic, vintage, and modern watches for men or women, which are influenced by many of the most prominent fashion trends of the present day.
Founded in 2017, Nordgreen is a relatively new label, but its polished and intricate timepieces belie the company’s youth.
With its main office in Copenhagen, the company took advantage of the keen eye of Jakob Wagner, a world-famous Danish designer who worked for Bang & Olufsen, an electronics company known for its innovative ideas and high-quality craftsmanship.
Nordgreen boasts the distinctively Nordic spirit of sleek performance, fusing artistic value with optimal functionality into a harmonic statement of fine taste.
What if you could acquire an intricate, well-designed, and durable watch without spending a fortune? Hello, Oris! It all started in 1904 in the Swiss municipality of Holstein. Two watchmakers, Paul Cattin and George Christian, took over a shuttered watch company and negotiated a lease with the local mayor.
Within its seven collections, the brand provides a spectrum of elegant, futuristic pieces and continues to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of its items. Simply put, rather than fully restructure and alter the path, the manufacturer intends to improve its existing timepieces.
Therefore, whether you’re searching for something chunkier and sportier or slimmer and more sophisticated, Oris has something for you.
25. Tommy Hilfiger
Tommy Hilfiger is a highly regarded name in the fashion industry, but did you know the brand also makes watches? Since 1985, the company has been famous for its high quality products, and it is proud of its refined and elegant American flair.
Tommy Hilfiger boasts unquestionably superior timepieces that are not only stylish but also of outstanding quality and exquisite design. The brand manufactures sporty, classic, and chronograph watches with oversized dials.
Do you need a classy timepiece without being overly concerned with the movement? Then Tommy Hilfiger may be a good fit for you.
Fossil has always been influenced by American creative thinking. Since 1984, the brand has tried to bring new energy to the industry by making watches that are fashionable, interesting, and affordable but also have a distinct retro style.
The everlasting appearance and traditional faces of Fossil timepieces are a daring stance that will give character to your ensemble. Whether you favor rose gold watches, leather or steel, or bright or dark colors, you may discover something to complement your style.
23. Daniel Wellington
Want to create a good impression during a business meeting? Want to convey a serious appearance without going overboard? You want to be taken more seriously, right? Would you prefer to convey a confident demeanor that is composed, attentive, and smartly subtle? Is your budget relatively modest?
If you answered “yes” to all of the above, you should thoroughly research the Daniel Wellington watches. The Swedish brand‘s timepieces are a competent re-creation of the traditional men’s dress watch, thanks to their high-quality brown leather strap, stainless steel fixed bezel, and analog minute and hour hands.
Since the company places a significant emphasis on the culture of Instagram influencers, the new generation is most likely to be seen wearing DW timepieces. Still, everyone should keep an eye on this label because it has a variety of dress watches that are not only minimalist but also passably elegant and can be worn casually.
From its origins as a Rochester shoe polish business to its current makeover as a Detroit fashion label, Shinola has made great strides. With a claimed goal of revitalizing American manufacturing, the company produces leather goods, bicycles, and timepieces, but watches are its main segment.
Shinola’s quartz watches use a movement called the Argonite, which is hand-assembled in Detroit with Swiss and other imported components. In other words, you will receive timepieces with an abundance of buzzwords as well as nostalgic designs that represent America’s heritage.
Fashion should not cost a fortune. Following this adage, the MVMT timepieces satisfy a demand in the luxury watch market for an entry-level price point. The brand was founded in 2013 by two friends in Los Angeles. Jake Kassan and Kramer LaPlante desired to challenge the status quo of premium accouterments by designing a more affordable range of premium items.
MVMT takes pride in offering elegant, minimalist styles at a lower price point than competing high-end watches. Which is excellent, if the timepieces can withstand the test of time. It remains to be seen!
Guess was founded in 1981 by Georges Marciano, and its first watch series debuted in 1984 under the names “Guess,” “Guess Collection,” and “Guess Steel.” The high-end brand’s collection of timepieces has grown substantially over the years and can now be bought in retail stores throughout the globe.
But, are Guess timepieces of high quality and do they offer good value for money? It depends on what you want out of a watch. If you are seeking a really beautiful and trendy item from a designer brand and the appearance is more important to you than the technical aspect, then you should go for this baby!
When compared to other, more established watch companies, Tsovet is just getting warmed up. However, does this diminish its value as a brand? Everyone has to begin someplace, and Tsovet seems to be off to a great start, especially given that the label provides moderately priced, high-quality watches.
All of the brand’s timepieces have bright faces and strong leather bands. The minimalist designs of the Tsovet traditional watches come in many different shades, and their 316L aerospace-grade stainless steel cases are complemented by scratch-immune dials and sapphire crystals.
What began in 1861 with the establishment of an enterprise in Schramberg quickly developed into one of the most successful projects in the German watchmaking market. With over 3000 employees in 1903, Junghans was the largest clock manufacturer in the world, but it was not until 1927 that the company began creating wristwatches.
As a watchmaker, Junghans is likely most recognized for its Bauhaus-influenced, clean art style, which has made the brand distinguish itself. Although watch standards have altered over time, Junghans’ ethos has stayed constant.
The label has long been linked with virtues such as excellence, trustworthiness, accuracy, and enthusiasm. Therefore, a Junghans watch is defined by attention to detail, skillful craftsmanship, and artistic subtlety.
Dubbed after the most northern town in Denmark, Skagen is another paragon of the unpretentious Scandinavian style. The brand, established in 1986 in the United States by a Danish couple, focuses on delivering affordable, sophisticated timepieces.
From colorful unisex shapes with silicone straps to fashionable stainless steel mash patterns, Skagen’s collection offers an extraordinary selection of refined watches to complement any ensemble. The truth is, the popularity of all things Scandinavian, from apparel to furnishings, has increased in recent years, so purchasing a Skagen watch will definitely keep you in vogue.
Movado is an American watch brand recognized for its emphasis on producing exquisite and extravagant timepieces. The brand was started in 1881 in Switzerland, but it was not until 1905 that the company established its moniker as Movado, which means “always in motion.”
The shiny dot at noon on all Movado timepieces is an instantly recognizable trademark. Furthermore, Movado watches have a reputation for being simple yet sophisticated. That being said, this is a label worth exploring if you seek inexpensive luxury without sacrificing style and quality.
Since 1986, Mondaine has brought the unmistakable elegance of the Official Swiss Railway Watch to the arm. The designs of Mondaine’s timepieces are typically minimalist, with sleek and classic features. In fact, many of the brand’s watches are influenced by traditional Swiss railway clocks.
The iconic red hand, for example, was inspired by the crimson signs railway conductors used to wave and alert passengers when a train entered or left the station. Thus, all timepieces made by Mondaine embody the clean aesthetic of classic modernity to perfection.
On the whole, Mondaine could be a brand to consider if you are looking for a polish and everlasting wristwatch with an innovative outline and Swiss craftsmanship.
Citizen’s origins date back to 1930, when the company was established by Japanese and Swiss investors. Even though Citizen is a Japanese brand, what many people don’t know is that it was first established in Switzerland in 1918 by a man who marketed watches in Japan called Schmid.
The brand is recognized for a plethora of technological advancements, including the 1993 introduction of the world’s first multi-band atomic time-tracking watch and the creation of the solar-powered quartz mechanism.
Citizen watches generally emphasize efficiency and durability, although there is a model for everyone. The best part is that they are affordably priced while still maintaining excellent performance.
Swatch started as a brand in Switzerland in 1983, during the quartz crisis and in response to the fierce competition with quartz watches from Japan.
The main goal of Swatch was to get people interested in mechanical timepieces again and make analog watches more popular in a world where digital items were becoming the norm. The term “Swatch” itself is derived from the concept of “second watch,” meaning these timepieces are intended to be easygoing, practical, and replaceable.
Today, Swatch manufactures a wide variety of watches, not just in plastic, but that material remains the company’s core product. Overall, if you want to get into the world of Swiss mechanical timepieces on a budget, Swatch is the way to go because of its interesting and innovative technology.
Triwa is a groundbreaking and futuristic watch and accessories brand established in 2007 with the mission of converting the concept of a luxury item into a mark of elegance. The acronym stands for “transforming the watch industry,” and the company prioritizes attention to detail in all of its designs.
Each Triwa watch is a careful combination of timeless silhouettes, current Swedish craftsmanship, and selective components. With one hand on aesthetics and the other on creativity, Triwa is a philosophy that, like time itself, is ever-changing and never static.
11. Raymond Weil
Raymond Weil is comparable to Frederique Constant in many aspects, particularly regarding their frequently formal and dressy styles. The brand was founded in 1976 in Geneva by Raymond Weil and Simone Bedat as a family business and focuses on the entry-level Swiss deluxe market.
Nowadays, a large percentage of Raymond Weil’s watch designs feature classic timepieces with an emphasis on mechanical and quartz movements. Therefore, this brand is a wonderful choice if you are barely dipping your toes into the premium watch market and appreciate stylish timekeepers.
The brightest minds in engineering, science, design, and flying have collaborated to build state-of-the-art technologies for the fundamental objective of a nation’s security.
The AVI-8 line of watches aspires to celebrate both the airplane and the unseen tale of the people who have worked tirelessly inside and outside the cockpit to bring these extraordinary machines to life. As a result, few contemporary watchmakers offer beautiful and reasonably priced pilot watches like the AVI-8.
The brand’s combination of thoughtful design and painstaking regard for precision resulted in timepieces that are certain to endure. Therefore, AVI-8 makes watches that are trustworthy, durable, and completely wearable.
Casio is a name that requires little introduction because it is already well-known worldwide. The company, which was created in 1956, is credited with several electronic advancements and specializes in musical instruments and calculators.
Since Casio is largely an engineering firm, it concentrates on digital and analog quartz timepieces rather than mechanical watches. Hence, if you’re looking for cheap quartz watches, Casio is one of the best brands to choose from because it can keep its prices low without sacrificing quality.
Casio provides some of the most reasonably priced watches that won’t be mocked, creating a charmingly retro design that even the most pretentious elite can appreciate. Regarding analog watches, they have dressy pieces, dive watches, and everything else. You should take a look at their website!
What do Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, and Bill Clinton have in common? You guessed correctly: Timex watches. The first Timex piece came into view in 1950, but at that point, the company had already established an almost century-long heritage of watchmaking and was able to compete with their more expensive European rivals without breaking the bank.
Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were just two of many famous Americans who wore reasonably priced Timex watches in the 1990s. The company even made a limited-edition model with an American flag design for George W. Bush.
And how is the brand doing currently? Well, it manufactures a multitude of models that span most of the in-demand categories. On the one hand, its cheapest models can be purchased for less than $50, but they also boast a myriad of exceptional goods in the $100-$300 price range. Overall, Timex will provide whatever it is that you desire.
When it comes to watches that surpass their category and achieve heights of notoriety normally reserved for peak fashion icons, the G-Shock may be the biggest analogy at this price point.
G-Shock is basically a sub-brand of Casio, and its history is extremely fascinating. These timepieces, whose acronym stands for Gravitational Shock, are built to withstand harsh impacts, severe conditions, and extreme weather conditions.
Perfectly comfortable on the wrists of expert military tactical commanders and Walmart shoppers alike, the G-Shock is more than a sturdy watch; it’s a lifestyle statement for outdoors and sports enthusiasts.
Swiss watch manufacturer Hamilton has a rich and noteworthy pedigree. Today, the brand concentrates mostly on mechanical watches that are shaped by classic designs, particularly from World War II, when the business focused exclusively on producing military timepieces.
In light of the foregoing, Hamilton may be described as a Swiss brand with American roots that concentrates on producing high-quality mechanical timepieces at prices that provide exceptional value.
Even though Hamilton’s watches are more costly than those of their Japanese rivals, if you desire Swiss excellence and reliability, it is one of the best options available.
Tissot is a watch manufacturer with a long track record, having been established in 1853 in Le Locle, Switzerland. Even though it may be perceived by some as a premium trademark, it is more accurately defined as a maker of affordable, luxurious Swiss watches. Be that as it may, there is no dispute about the craftsmanship of Tissot’s timepieces.
The brand must be included in any assessment of the finest reasonable watch brands, with two variables distinguishing it from others in this group. The first is its extensive background, which we’ve already told you about. The second is that it is a traditional Swiss company, not Japanese.
Some of you may not bother about the provenance of your watch, but others will appreciate wearing a piece of Swiss heritage. Those in the latter category should consider Tissot. At the moment, the label is part of the Swatch group, along with Omega, Hamilton, Mido, and Longines, among others.
The year 1999 saw the founding of the New York-based company, Stuhrling, as the brand’s owner, Chaim Fischer, wanted to bring back the name of a well-respected manufacturer from the past, Max Stuhrling. Since its debut, the brand’s value and prestige have risen sharply thanks to one-of-a-kind and affordably priced timepieces.
Stuhrling’s most recent designs feature a vast selection of timepieces, comprising skeletons, chronographs, dives, and GMTs. However, it was the development of chronographic watches that was primarily responsible for the company’s success, and its flawless delivery of middle-to-lower class timepieces has been attracting a large number of buyers globally.
When it comes to reasonably priced Swiss watch companies, Alpina deserves the title. However, when talking about inexpensive watchmakers as a whole, the company is ranked considerably higher than most of the timepieces on this list, with prices of $1,000 or more.
Since its founding in 1883, Alpina has been at the vanguard of horological technology and has always sought to progress in all aspects of its operations, from quality management to work environment.
Therefore, the real kicker is that Alpina timepieces are well-constructed and feature an excellent level of precision and workmanship. Obviously, they give off a far more upscale appearance than, for instance, Casio, but you’ll have to pay for it.
Victorinox is famous for its Swiss Army knives, but the company also manufactures timepieces. Precisely in 1989, the brand decided to begin manufacturing watches in the United States under the moniker Swiss Army. Their timekeepers were a resounding success, and the rest, as they say, is history.
This Swiss-based label knows how to design and market a nice watch that can draw the interest of even the most fastidious consumers. Most of its timepieces are sturdy outdoor items made for performance and usefulness. The amazing thing is that, despite their robustness, Victorinox’s watches’ beauty and finish are outstanding.
Honestly, finishing this ranking with any other name than Seiko would be a blatant mistake since the Japanese company, established in Tokyo in 1881, has amassed such a cult status over the decades.
And while Seiko was primarily a manufacturer of affordable timepieces, it is now one of the top watch companies in the world, covering a spectrum of models at growing price ranges with correspondingly superior levels of workmanship and precision.
Therefore, whether you pay $75 for a simple watch or $500 for a more expensive one, you will know that you are receiving one of the finest offers on the market. Seiko has played a vital role in the development of horology, which makes it all the more endearing. The brand is renowned for bringing the first quartz wristwatches to the globe.
Even though Seiko produces a large number of quartz and smartwatches, the Seiko 5 series of high-end mechanical timepieces is widely praised by watch aficionados. Hence, ownership of one of these newborns grants admission to one of the strongest and most enthusiastic collector networks in existence.
Allow us to be the ones to remind you that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to buy an excellent watch. You can instead find the optimal price-quality ratio without sacrificing design either. If you have concluded that this is the path you choose to take, it is recommended to cling to the brands on this list. They won’t disappoint you!
Why Should You Trust WYCA
As a watch aficionado with a lifelong passion for budget-friendly options, I’ve developed a keen eye for spotting high-quality timepieces at excellent prices. My love for affordable watches has driven me to explore various brands, especially on the more affordable end, and identify those that deliver outstanding value.
My list of the best affordable watch brands comes from many years of personal experience and extensive research.