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Top 5 Adventure Watches Under $500

By Akil Wingate


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The adventure bug eventually hits even the best of us weekend warriors. We long for an off road slog through the woods or plowing through billowing sands of desert turf, whipping at 85 miles per hour in an all terrain vehicle, donning our camouflage and sunglasses and that robust military, pilot or seafaring watch that withstands anything our adventure throws at it.

Well we’ve found 5 such adventure watches that will take anything you dish at it and ask for more. What’s more, they all retail for less than $500.

AVI 8 Supermarine Seafire

AVI 8 Supermarine Seafire. Photo courtesy of AVI 8.


Count AVI-8 as an alpha male of watch brands. In an effort to translate the audacious brilliance of the aviation watches to the sea, the Supermarine series was born. The Supermarine Seafire is just that watch that couples all the robust technical ingenuity and functionality of an aviation timepiece with the needs of a watch for the sea. The Supermarine Seafire series, notably the 4205, is sleek and stylish, masculine and tough. It retails for a charming $135. The Seafire boasts a 43mm stainless steel case with a coin edged bezel. Its silver white dial harkens back to a classic era with the classic numerals and split timing chronograph precision for the modern age to boot.

Seiko Mens SSCO81 Solar Classic Adventure Watch

Seiko SSCO81 Mens Adventure Watch. Photo courtesy of Seiko.


Seiko has essentially reinvented the wheel when fusing style and adventure to a classic brand. The SSCO81 Solar Classic Adventure Watch is the timepiece fit for your outdoor adventure. But should you be the kind to quickly bow out of a black tie affair to car chase villains through wild city streets, this is also your watch. It fits nicely in both folders as an adventure watch and a stylish watch.

Retailing for only $199, the Seiko is all kinds of sweet with its compass dial and subtle brown leather strap. As far as that title goes, yes it is a solar powered behemoth of a watch. Here’s just the sort of “smart” watch that doesn’t ask for your wifi password nor post to Instagram automatically. It also clocks in with an alarm chronograph to keep you on your toes.

Huckberry Seiko Dive Watch

Huckberry Seiko Dive Watch. Photo courtesy of Seiko.


Seiko holds more than one spot on our list. And there is a reason. The fine folks at Seiko have nailed down a winning formula for crafting stellar adventure watches and keeping the asking price low. Meet the Huckberry Dive Watch. Seiko is proud to recount the history of this remarkable diver’s watch. Its predecessors fought in Vietnam and were worn by bad asses like Robert Redford and Martin Sheen.

Today’s incarnation can be yours for $178. Its Seiko 7S26 mechanical movement implements a self-winding movement based on the movement of your wrist. Add to that its robust 40mm case and Lum Tec suede leather strap. The Huckberry also has a water resistance of 200m and a scratch and shatter resistant crystal.

Laco 1925 Pilot Watch

Laco 1925 Classic Pilot. Photo courtesy of Laco.


Laco reminds us how long the German watchmaker has been in the business by virtue of its name. Its series of robust and stylish pilot watches range in prices from midmarket to upmarket. But never along the way are the functionality, precision and quality compromised. That brings us to the modestly priced pilot watches filling out Laco’s larger constellation of pilot timepieces.

The 1925 Men’s 861688 Laco 1925 Pilot Classic retails for $337. Stainless steel case, synthetic sapphire crystal, 50m water resistance and leather band all merge together to complete this strong offering from Laco. The Japanese automatic movement is precise and a fitting mesh with the painstaking German engineering rendered here.

Melbourne Hawthorn

Melbourne Hawthorn. Photo courtesy of Melbourne.

The Melbourne Hawthorn is a beautifully rendered timepiece with its brown leather strap and steel buckle. It is the convergence of style and sport that makes this timepiece cut a svelte silhouette that is one part rugged and the other part refined. Don’t worry about taking this off road and getting muddy.

It’s built for such adventures. And then when you’ve cleaned yourself up, put on the tux and tie and take it with you. It boasts a 42mm stainless steel case, an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, and 100m of water resistance. It’s meant to do some heavy lifting. But your wallet won’t be. It retails for $313.

About Akil Wingate

Akil Wingate is an explorer, producer, filmmaker and writer based in Paris, France. When he isn't traipsing the globe he is usually whipping up a mean millefeuille stracciatella in the kitchen. Learn more about WYCA's Editorial Process.

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