Finding affordable watches that weigh in under $200 might seem like hard work. Swiss-made watches, proper watches, are very expensive. They’ve been painstakingly made with love and precision.
Swiss-made watches are the best you can get. But, you can get your hands on a decent watch that delivers bang for your buck.
Some watches won’t tick with platinum-plated movement. Not all are made from titanium or ceramic. Some won’t offer you a precise ECG reading of your heart. But you can get something that holds a timeless design where the simplicity of the build means it’ll be reliable for many years.
If you’re here for the kind of watches that stockbrokers and investors wear, you’re in the wrong place (but you can find that here).
Let’s take a look into some great men’s watches that look fantastic but fall under $200
G-Shock – GA-700SK-1AER
$159 / £129
Usually, with a budget watch, you get a simple, minimalistic and sleek design. Uncluttered faces and basic wristbands. Not here. Not with G-Shock. G-Shock has always been associated with chunky devices.
The GA-700SK-1AER is a skeleton watch, too, so you can see right inside.
It exudes the 80s. The case is a clear resin which is both water-resistant (to 200m) and scratch-proof thanks to the mineral crystal face. This in itself for the price, is sensational. It also has a funky LED backlight which makes the whole thing a bit of a showpiece.
Timex – T80
$99 / £55
Swiss watches are often understated and simple. Timex takes these characteristics and folds them into a sub $100 watch.
This stainless steel 34mm digital watch is instantly recognisable in either silver, gold, rose gold or black.
It has their trademark Indiglo backlight (and if you think that’s cool, you can read more about the Indiglo collection here).
Another throw-back, this watch takes us to the 80s. It’s a fun-looking device with some serious functions.
It has an expansion wristband that can be changed, a light-up face and can go to 30m under water.
Accurist – MB955B
$159.99 / £129.99
If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the talking clock that you could call on your landline by dialling 123. If not, there’s not enough time to go into what a landline is.
Accurist are timekeepers and they make some vintage offerings that are, unsurprisingly, incredibly accurate.
This men’s watch is a little Del Boy looking, and that is perfectly OK. It comes with quartz movement inside. It’s a 31mm golden stainless steel case and band with a square, black dal. The face itself offers you the time and the date, hour and minute markers but no numbers.
Rotary Canterbury Chrono
$179.99 / £159
An actual Swiss-made chronograph under $200.
This 40mm by 10mm stainless steel watch offers 50m water-resistance under a sapphire crystal dome. It has a genuine black leather strap which can be swapped for a metal bracelet. The face offers three sub-dials as well as the date and time. The numerals are Roman.
You really won’t find a better-priced genuine Swiss-made chronograph for this price.
Jean Paul Gaulthier Pilote
$189 / £159
You might be surprised that you can get a JPG watch for under $200, but the reality is that most of the range is in and around this price point.
Many years of aviation has inspired this watch in its design and technology. It gives you the date and time as well as showing off traditional time hands. There’s a real sense of flair, here.
It’s made of stainless steel in a whopping 45mm case. The dial is black with baton hour markers. The glass on top is mineral crystal. The strap is made of leather and the whole thing offers 100m of water-resistance.
$169 / £139
MVMT is a home-grown brand that has experienced a surge in popularity recently. Rightly so, too. The Opar showcases just how insanely-good-looking minimal can be.
Inspired by mid-century watches, the Opar is a stainless steel 41mm case with a matching stainless steel bracelet and a dome of a crystal lens on top. The dial has multiple functions and sings in a deep navy blue.
Inside it’s powered by quartz movement and will dive up to 50m with you (so, more likely in a shower or heavy drain; don’t go diving in it).
Daniel Wellington Warwick Watch
$179 / £139
Back in 2006 a Swedish businessman met a fellow from England as they backpacked across Australia. This Englishman wore a battered Rolex on a NATO strap that had seen better days. Only 3 years later, Daniel Wellington watches hit the market, named after that Englishman. The watch was a huge success.
It has a stainless steel case and white dial. It can withstand 30m of water-resistance (splashes, not dives).
The case is 40mm by 6mm and the nylon strap comes in a funky two-tone.
Some people wouldn’t bother to sniff at a watch under $1,000 for fear of plastic cases. The truth is, you can pick up a very good-looking, functional and reliable timepiece for a price that won’t make you cry if you do accidentally break it. All the while, it’ll blend in with any outfit, for any occasion.
If there’s a lady in your life who might like something new, but you’re on a budget. Check out our review of affordable watches for women.
Last Updated on April 23, 2020