The most scratch-resistant kind of watch crystal is sapphire. Meaning, if you buy a timepiece with a sapphire crystal, it will be less prone to scratch than a watch with a different kind of crystal.
Sapphire crystal watches, for example, are more robust than other watch varieties. No doubt, glass thickness and quality can vary but most likely you get better quality and long life with sapphire crystal than your standard glass.
In addition, when a watchmaker uses a sapphire crystal, the watch is likely to be of superior quality. That’s not always the case, but it’s a good indicator anyway.
Watches with sapphire crystal protecting the face are typically quite expensive. This is because it’s the most scratch-resistant material you can get. We’ve done some research for you and come up with suggestions for cheap sapphire crystal watches. Note, when we say cheap, we mean they’re not budget but are good value for money.
Finding a ‘cheap’ sapphire watch can take a lot of effort. Most that come with this super-strong material are luxury or higher-end watches, typically Swiss-made. We’ve found 15 cheap sapphire crystal watches from known brands that are both strong and stylish.
Edifice Solar Quartz Chronograph
This Casio model EQS-900DB-1AVCR is a little different from the typical retro styling you get with the brand. It’s like a metallic G-Shock, if anything. And of course, it’s water-resistant to 100m.
The Edifice has a 45.8mm stainless steel case and a matching 12mm bracelet and carbon dial.
The Edifice certainly comes with a solid handful of features for what you pay, including a three sub-dial chronograph, date display, battery level indicator, 1-second stopwatch, and a solar panel for boosting the battery. Inside is a Quartz movement.
The dial has a black carbon look, silver and red accents, including the minute and hour hands.
You can find this watch at under $160.
Prospex Dive Watch
Also known by its model number – SRPE05 – this is popular Seiko ticks many boxes when it comes to an affordable dress watch.
As well as sapphire crystal, the face is a khaki waffle design with luminous hands and hour markers. It has a black bezel, and the crown is located at the 4 position. At the 3 position, you’ll notice a date window.
The case is 45mm in stainless steel with a 22mm silicone band and a double-locking foldover clasp.
Inside is a Japanese Quartz automatic movement with a 50-hour power reserve. What’s more, it offers 200m water resistance.
You can find this timepiece for around $450.
The Seiko SUR307 is another another stunning watch from Seiko.
With its pristine white dial, this watch is guaranteed to garner you a lot of praises. That complements stainless steel so wonderfully.
This is a quartz watch that is sometimes referred to as the quartz equivalent of the more expensive Seiko SARX series. The watch is little over 40mm in diameter, which is a suitable fit for most wrists. Especially for wrists that are medium to big.
The indices and hands of the watch are finished in the same silver tone as the dial. The hands on this watch are luminescent, so you can see the time even in the dark.
The sapphire crystal’s reflectiveness is once again one of the watch’s major flaws. It does have a coating, but it may not be sufficient to prevent glare in high light.
OK, we’re going to go off-piste a little because we’re meant to be looking at cheap sapphire crystal watches, but ‘cheap’ is subjective, and we couldn’t mention Seiko without covering the Alpinist.
This watch has metamorphosed a lot over the years; it’s one of Seiko’s best selling models. However, the most popular has been the green-faced version, the SARB017.
With a bottle-green face and dark brown alligator leather strap, this model oozes sophistication. The stainless steel case is 39.5mm with a 12mm strap.
The face offers hour index markers, with every other being an Arabic numeral, a date window at the 3 position, a rotating compass ring, and a bidirectional bezel. Inside you’ll find a Japanese automatic movement. What’s more, it has a 50-hour power reserve and 200m water resistance. So you get a lot of value for money.
This is more of a stylish field watch than a dive watch, despite the waterproof rating.
Seiko watch prices range wildly, so this is cheap for the brand at around $835.
Swiss Army Maverick
Victorinox is a brand famous for making Swiss Army Knives, but more recently started producing Swiss watches. In particular, their INOX range goes through rigorous testing, but as a bit of a by-product, their high standards rub off on their other ranges, too. For example, the Maverick, a field and dive watch in one, offering 100m water resistance.
It has a deep blue face with silver hour markers, second, minute, and hour hands. There’s an inner circle with the time in 24-hour format and a date window at the 6 position. The bezel is unidirectional with 5-minute interval markers with numbers every 10 minutes.
The 43mm case is stainless steel, and the leather band measures 22mm. The face is protected by triple coated, anti-reflective sapphire crystal.
This watch comes in a multitude of colours, so you can find one to suit your exact style.
For all this practicality, function and style, around $475 isn’t bad.
The Victorinox Night Vision (model 241665) watch is a Swiss-made wristwatch with a really interesting design.
This watch is perfect for daily use and is designed to be read comfortably at night. The hands, numbers, and indexes on the black dial are all luminous. In addition, the watch is made of titanium.
The pusher on the side may be used to light up the dial in a soothing blue glow.
If you press the pusher twice, the white LED light will turn on. Then press it three times to activate the SOS light.
The primary problem is that this watch’s water resistance is just 50 metres (165ft). As a result, you must keep this watch away from water.
The sapphire crystal, on the other hand, has a triple anti-reflective coating. This significantly reduces glare on the watch’s crystal in very strong light.
This watch is big, with a diameter of 42mm and a thickness of 13.25mm. It’s suited for wrists that are medium to big.
Men’s SBB Evo2
Mondaine watches offer a classic Swiss design that comes with some reliable functions. Offering minimalist aesthetics, Mondaine watches bear the ‘Swiss Made’ stamp with pride.
The SBB Evo2 is designed for those who enjoy the contemporary style. The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal not only offers protection but excellent reliability.
The stainless steel case is 40mm with a leather 20mm band. The face offers a simple silver hour and minute markers and hands, with a bold red second hand. Inside is a Quartz movement.
This is a wonderful unisex option and certainly one of the best bargain sapphire crystal watches if you like simple on a budget.
You can find this watch for around $200.
Pro Diver 13727
Invicta produces some budget-friendly watches. And that’s certainly what you get with the Pro Diver series, which all come with sapphire crystals-something you rarely see under $100.
Instantly recognized as a dive watch, this 48mm stainless steel watch has a corrugated edge, a ribbed rubber 24mm strap.
It has luminous markers on the black face with chunky numbers and hour indexes, along with red accents and silver numbers. Inside is a Japanese Quartz movement offering an analogue display.
There’s a unidirectional bezel, chronograph for 60 seconds and 60 minutes, as well as a 24-hour time period, date window tucked in at the 4 positions, and a tachymeter.
Furthermore, an absolute steal at under $100.
Triton Dive Watch
Orient are better known for their Ray and Mako dive watches, so we’ve purposely veered away from that to appreciate their other watches. Furthermore, neither of these two offers sapphire crystal.
The Triton comes with a stainless steel 43mm case with a matching 22mm bracelet, so it’s pretty chunky on the wrist. It has a screw-down crown at the 4 position, which is unique. Also, it has an analogue display, protected by an anti-reflective sapphire glass, unidirectional bezel, and 200m water resistance. Inside is an automatic Japanese movement, and from this, you can enjoy up to 40-hours of power reserve.
Perhaps not the cheapest of the cheap sapphire crystal watches on this list, but affordable at around $530.
- Learn more about Orient watches, here.
The Orient Kamasu diving watch is one of the best value dive watches on the market today. As a result, it ranks first in our list of the best inexpensive sapphire crystal watches.
To begin with, this diver is driven by an Orient automatic movement that was designed in-house and manufactured in Japan. It’s unusual to come across a low-cost mechanical watch with a sapphire crystal.
The watch even has a unidirectional bezel with 120 clicks. Some may like it, while others may not since it takes longer to configure than a 60-click.
The lovely hues that these diving watches come in are another something we like about this range. The colours green and red are our favourites.
The case is 41.8mm, and inside that lives an automatic movement. Overall, it offers 200m water resistance; which should be enough for practically all water activities.
The case size for the Kamasu series is 41.8mm. As a result, it’s a good fit for medium to big wrists.
Although the watch is labelled as a dive watch, it is not an ISO-compliant diver. It is thus suitable for swimming, snorkelling, and free diving. However, it may not withstand scuba diving depths.
Carson Powermatic 80 Automatic
Tissot is a brand you may have heard of, and for good reason. It’s a great brand to have in any classic collection.
The Carson Powermatic 80 has a minimalistic design with a black face, a date window at the 6 position, hour and minute markers and slender second, minute and hour hands. The stainless steel case is 40mm, and the matching bracelet is 26mm. You can find the crown at the 3 position.
Inside is an automatic movement powering an analogue display.
This model only offers 50m water resistance, but that’s enough protection from the rain or a shower.
You can’t go wrong with a Tissot, and for around $460, this will offer you longevity and durability.
One of the tiniest sapphire crystal watches on our list is the Tissot Secret Date.
The watch has a case diameter of 39mm and is suitable for most wrist sizes, particularly those with medium or small wrist widths.
This Swiss-made clock has a sleek black and stainless steel style that we like.
The watch is powered by a Swiss quartz movement that is very accurate. This watch also has a better water resistant rating of 100 metres (330ft). So you don’t have to be concerned if your watch gets wet.
The hidden date function is the coolest feature of this watch. It is accessed by pressing the push-button crown on the watch’s side. When you set the date, the dial will light up.
Overall, this Tissot watch is a highly attractive wristwatch at a reasonable price.
Citizen is mostly known for its Eco Drive range, which are solar-powered. The Corso is one such watch, and this means it’ll need next to no maintenance.
Inside the 41mm stainless steel case is a Japanese Quartz movement. The bracelet is also stainless steel and measures 21mm.
The black face offers a minimalist but sophisticated style. It has jewels for hour markers with the exception of 3, 6, 9 and 12. There’s a date window at the three position, which is where you’ll also find the crown. The whole watch is water-resistant to 100m.
Given this is an Eco Drive with Japanese movements and sapphire crystal, this really does belong on the list of cheap sapphire crystal watches at under $300.
With its deep, dark blue dial and reddish-brown leather band, the Citizen BU2070-12L watch is a very stunning timepiece.
It’s a stylish daily watch that is likely to catch people’s attention.
With a 44mm case size, this watch is ideal for those with wider wrists or who like enormous watch designs.
The date is presented in subdials rather than a date window, which is a unique feature of this watch face. The display has a sporty chronograph style to it, but it isn’t a chronograph.
The day and date are, however, quite tiny on the subdials, making them difficult to see for some.
Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology is used once again to power this watch, making it a dependable and accurate solar watch that requires very little maintenance.
Field Khaki King
Finally, we reach the Field Khaki King by Hamilton. At around the average price point on this list, Hamilton is famous for its high-quality timepieces, so there’s a lot of bang for your buck.
The stainless steel case is 40mm with an anti-reflective sapphire crystal window. It has an automatic self-winding movement and a unique date window at the 12 position, which features the day in words and the date. It offers both 12 and 24-hour time formats (the latter being on the inner dial). The sword-shaped hands are luminous so that you can see in poor lighting conditions. To finish the look off, there is a 19mm brown leather band with white stitching.
This watch is only water-resistant to 50m, so don’t swim in it for too long!
For such a beloved brand, this is a steal at under $493.
We’ve given you a tour of some of the best brands on the market offering cheap sapphire crystal watches. We think, for the price of some of these timepieces, you’d be getting a whole lot of value. Sapphire crystal is THE hardest material you can get to protect your dial and offers anti-reflection for total readability, so it’s well worth the investment.
Last Updated on December 11, 2022
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