The Best Beater Watches Under $200: 13 Affordable, Durable Watches You Can Wear Every Day

by   |  in Style Tips

Just because beater watches are affordable, doesn’t mean they have to be low quality or unenjoyable to wear. Beaters are an important part of a man’s watch collection, after all. In this article, we’ve rounded up 13 of our favorite beater watches across four different categories.

You can’t be afraid to rough up your everyday beater watch. In fact, you chose it specifically so it can take a beating. Because of this, it should be durable, and relatively cheap. 

We made sure each watch in this buying guide ticked both boxes.

Secondly, a good beater is practical. It’s not a fashion piece (though our entries here are quite stylish), so accuracy and legibility are important qualities.

Great as affordable everyday watches, wearing on an outdoor adventure, or just while cleaning your car, these are our favorite beater watches!

 

Field Style Watches

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Let’s first start with our picks for field style watches. Below you will find our favorites!

Timex Weekender 38

With Timex’s signature updated-vintage style, the Weekender is a looker. Unlike others in its dollar bracket though, it’s also been known to last for several years.

Timex watches have a famously loud tick, which I think gives the Weekender substance and weight. It’s also a really satisfying sound, like a healthy car engine.

Timex Weekender 38mm
$41.30

A textured play on our classic Weekender collection gives you fun options to customize your straps depending on your outfit or mood.

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The bezel is smooth and made of polished brass, which is sufficiently strong for the price. It’s rounded, as are the lugs, for a clean, modern look, and makes the watch less likely to bump hard onto surfaces or get caught on anything.

The red second hand pops subtly in front of a cream, black, blue, or gray face, for a more vintage look. It pops more boldly in front of a white face, for a more modern look. 

Finally, being under 40mm makes the Weekender suitable for most wrists.

DETAILS of the Timex Weekender:

MovementQuartz
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter38mm
Band Material TypeLeather
Band Width20mm

Timex Expedition Scout Chronograph

Leave it to Timex to design a chronograph that works well with basically any strap you put it on. 

Its fun vintage style, with large rounded fonts on the face and smooth bezel, is a less serious look than most high-end chronographs. However, its genuine chronograph movement and functional date window elevate it from other cool fashion watches in its price range (seeing a pattern with Timex?).

Timex Expedition Scout Chronograph

The Expedition Scout Chronograph maintains the classic outdoor design of the original and enhances it with chronograph functionality. It is now as appropriate for the office as it is for the trail.

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In fact, I trust the Expedition’s chronograph movement as a timer more than that of many upscale mechanical watches. Its accurate quartz movement isn’t beholden to beat rates and other complications that can come with a mechanical.

It’s also one of the most legible chronographs out there. This reliable watch definitely checks the “practical” box of the beater watch prerequisites.

The case is large, as chronographs tend to be, to fit all of the subdials.

And as versatile as this face is, my favorite strap is the original leather with the stitching on the sides that make it look more high-end. 

DETAILS of the Timex Expedition Scout Chronograph:

MovementQuartz
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter42mm
Band Material TypeLeather
Band Width20mm

Seiko SNK803

This Seiko is like the dependable Ralph Lauren khakis of beater watches.

It’s as practical as a beater watch should be, featuring a precise 21 jewel automatic movement, durable Hardlex crystal, and a strong stitched fabric strap. 

Seiko SNK803
$99.00

From the master craftsmen at Seiko, the Seiko Men's Seiko 5 Automatic Beige Canvas Strap Watch is a cutting-edge timepiece with a masculine appeal. Featuring an analog dial and a beige canvas band, this watch is packed with style and would be a great addition to your watch collection.

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This Seiko gives off the calm and reliable vibes associated with the color beige, but none of the dullness. This is due to its lively design. 

It features a common irreverent field watch design, with the minute indices on the bigger outer circle of the face, and the hour indices in the middle smaller circle. 

The hour, minute, and second hands are also boldly outlined, with the second hand featuring a circle at the other end of the pointer, for a fun aesthetic reminiscent of playing cards.

And in a fashion era in which whites and beiges tend to be used for more ceremonial occasions, this Seiko beater will likely attract some attention.

DETAILS of the Seiko SNK803:

MovementAutomatic
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter37mm
Band Material TypeFabric
Band Width18mm

Rugged, Analog, Military Grade Watches

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Looking for a beater that’s as durable as it gets?

Marathon Military Field Watch

This watch is the strong, silent type. Its small, seemingly lightweight case and all brown color don’t attract much attention, but boy is it packed with real-deal government specified military capabilities.

Marathon Military Field Watch
$200.00

The case is actually a high-impact fibershell, with a sapphire crystal over the face. This tank-level protection makes the Marathon Military one of the most rugged analog watches at this price point.

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The case is actually a high-impact fibershell, with a sapphire crystal over the face. This tank-level protection makes the Marathon Military one of the most rugged analog watches at this price point.

The quartz movement is Swiss-made and high-torque, which means the force applied to work the movement is strong and reliable. There’s also an End-of-Life indicator to alert you when to change the battery, built-in circuitry will cause the second hand to move erratically.

The Maraglo lume on the markers and hands can be charged by a light source, it works effectively at night, and it looks really cool next to the desert tan watchcase and strap.

DETAILS of the Marathon Military Field Watch:

MovementQuartz
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter34mm
Band Material TypeNylon
Band Width16mm

Vostok Army Mechanical

This beater uniquely incorporates vintage Eastern military aesthetics that you don’t often see in military style watches in these parts.

The large case allows the indices to lie far apart from each other on the face. The hands are compact, with the minute hand stopping short of touching the outer markers around the edge of the face. 

Vostok Army Mechanical
$55.80

Classic Vostok model made by the official supplier of the Defense Department of the Soviet Union and modern Russian Army.

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The bezel also features mostly space, with no markers between the 10, 20, 30, and 40 indicators. The aesthetic, in short, is sparse but not minimalistic.

Considering Vostok is made by the official supplier of the Russian Defense Department, it’s no surprise that this timepiece has a large but stoic presence, on top of being a useful military style watch.

The unidirectional bezel and manual hand-winding movement are a fun feature, and the anti-shock balance and luminous hands and dots make this Vostok a practical beater.

DETAILS of the Vostok Army Mechanical:

MovementManual Hand-winding
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter39mm
Band Material TypeLeather
Band Width18mm

Seiko SNK805

This Seiko represents the quintessential military style watch.

Like the beige Seiko, this guy boasts a strong Hardlex crystal, a durable strap, and an accurate automatic movement with 21 jewels — wear this guy for eight hours straight or manually wind the crown in order to maintain accuracy.

Seiko 5 SNK805
$93.98

This watch eatures a stylish and durable green fabric strap that closes with a traditional buckle. The watch's green dial matches its strap and boasts easy-to-read Arabic hour and minute markers. The dial also features silver-toned hands and a date window at the three o'clock position.

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The green color and traditional buckle definitely lean more into its military inspiration than its beige cousin. This watch goes great with other utilitarian looks like bomber jackets and work boots.

On the practical side, the SNK805 has exceedingly legible Arabic numbers and a functional date window, two military watch must-haves. This will definitely one of the best beater watches out there!

DETAILS of the SNK805:

MovementAutomatic
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter37mm
Band Material TypeNylon
Band Width18mm

Reliable Dive Watches

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We love a good dive watch. Here are our picks below.

Stuhrling Aquadiver

Another classic design!

The Stuhrling Aquadiver features every design element you think of when you think of a definitive dive watch: Large case, unidirectional bezel with crisp bottle-cap ratcheting on the edges, a number-only date window, and distinctive markers on the face — in this case, gigantic 12, 3, 6, and 9 indices.

Stuhrling Aquadiver
$89.95

The Stuhrling Aquadiver features every design element you think of when you think of a definitive dive watch: Large case, unidirectional bezel with crisp bottle-cap ratcheting on the edges, a number-only date window, and distinctive markers on the face.

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This genuine dive watch is water resistant at 200m and features a screw-down crown that forms a watertight seal.

The case is made of surgical grade stainless steel, and the scratch-resistant crystal is tough enough to survive the pressures of diving. This watch can really take a beating.

For under $200, the Stuhrling Aquadiver is comparable, aesthetically and functionally, to Seiko dive watches in the $300-500 range.

DETAILS of the Stuhrling Aquadiver:

MovementQuartz
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter42mm
Band Material TypeStainless Steel
Band Width22mm

Vostok Amphibian

The Vostok Amphibian features the same design language as the Vostok Army, with its sparse but commanding aesthetic. The Amphibian, however, is the sea-faring complement to its dry-land comrade.

Vostok Amphibian

The Vostok Amphibian features the same design language as the Vostok Army, with its sparse but commanding aesthetic. The Amphibian, however, is the sea-faring complement to its dry-land comrade.

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The face is a beautiful aquamarine, and the watch is water resistant up to 200m. The case is a four-pointed square, but has rounded sides giving it a clever submarine aesthetic.

The automatic self-winding movement features 31 ruby jewels, but can also be wound up with a winding stem if it hasn’t been worn for a while (or you can gift yourself an automatic watch winder).

The Amphibian also features a rotating bezel, luminous hands and markers, and anti-shock capabilities.

Basically, if Sean Connery’s Soviet submarine in Hunt for Red October were a watch, it would be the Vostok Amphibian.

DETAILS of the Vostok Amphibian:

MovementAutomatic
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter48mm
Band Material TypeStainless Steel
Band Width22mm

Citizen BI1041 Blue

As Citizen is an official timekeeper for the US Open and Disney parks, it’s no surprise that this watch is equal parts show and sport.

First the sport: This Citizen is water-resistant at 100m, with a scratch-resistant anti-reflective mineral crystal, and a stainless steel case. 

Citizen BI1041 Blue
$80.49

This Citizen is water-resistant at 100m, with a scratch-resistant anti-reflective mineral crystal, and a stainless steel case.

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The quartz movement is reliable and precise, and the hands and indices feature a highly effective luminescence. 

This watch is a classic dive. 

Now the show: The dial is a unique, show-stopping glossy blue that almost looks like a gradient depending on the angle and how the light hits it. It’s reminiscent of the deep sea, and is eye-catching even from far away.

The traditional silver-toned bezel features ratcheted edges and large numbers. The strap is a nautical blue to match the face.

Citizen is known for elegant yet powerful timepieces, and this watch is no exception. 

DETAILS of the Citizen BI1041:

MovementQuartz
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter42mm
Band Material TypePolyurethane
Band Width2mm

Minimalist Beater Watches

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Not looking for anything flashy? Well, the best beater watches can also be minimalistic as well.

Casio G-Shock Solar

There’s nothing on this watch that doesn’t need to be there, and it features all the capabilities that an outdoor watch should have. By forgoing any style-forward features, this watch is a classic beater and, ironically, also very stylish. 

Casio G-Shock Solar
$52.26

Shock-resistant structure that includes a hollow-structured case & all-directional protective covering.

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It’s a G-Shock, so you know it’s shock-resistant and has water resistance (up to 200m this time). It also has an electroluminescent backlight that’s perfect for late-night missions.

This watch features a hollow-structured case and all-directional protective covering, which just means that it’s as rugged as it looks.

It’s no different than the others in the G-Shock line in that it has a thick, combat boot aesthetic, and high-quality outdoor watch features. However, I like this model especially because of its environmentally friendly solar technology.

DETAILS of the Casio G-Shock Solar:

MovementQuartz
DisplayDigital
Case Diameter34mm
Band Material TypeResin
Band Width13mm

Skagen Black Stainless Steel

This watch features a much different kind of minimalism than the Casio G-Shock. It’s a clean-lined Danish minimalism that’s more aesthetically driven.

This Skagen is the most fashion-forward in the roundup, with a modern and sophisticated, but playful look.

Skagen Black Stainless Steel

The Skagen features a round 40mm stainless steel case, with a black matte dial, three-hand quartz movement with scratch-resistant mineral crystal glass.

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The entire watch is matte, with a simple black face that features white swords with red centers as the hour indices. There’s a small grey subdial to indicate the seconds, located above hour 6. 

Discriminate pops of red throughout the face give the watch dimension, keeping it minimalist but not monotonous.

Don’t let all that modern sophistication fool you. With a stainless steel case, a durable silicon strap, a scratch-resistant mineral glass, and an affordable price, this Skagen can handle an activity-filled day outdoors like any other beater.

DETAILS of the Skagen Black Stainless Steel:

MovementQuartz
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter40mm
Band Material TypeSilicon
Band Width20mm

“Dress” Beater Watches

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Don’t be fooled: Beater watches can be dressy as well!

Victorinox INOX

In the battle between function and form, the Victorinox INOX represents an undeniable draw.

The hour markers and hands are a sleek flat-tipped sword shape, a subtle remix of the classic and expected sword shapes usually found in dress watches. The second hand is a bold red, but so elegantly thin that it doesn’t disrupt the face’s harmony.

Victorinox INOX
$319.99

The hour markers and hands are a sleek flat-tipped sword shape, a subtle remix of the classic and expected sword shapes usually found in dress watches. The second hand is a bold red, but so elegantly thin that it doesn’t disrupt the face’s harmony.

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My favorite part of this INOX is the bezel. The base of the whole case is perfectly round, but the bezel is hexagonal and slopes down into the round base, adding dimension at every angle of the watch.

This Swiss masterpiece is also waterproof at 200m and has been subjected to 130 endurance tests by Victorinox.

It’s a distinguished look that you can literally wear while rock climbing or to a formal wedding.

DETAILS of the Victorinox INOX:

MovementQuartz
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter43mm
Band Material TypeStainless Steel
Band Width21mm

Seiko SNE102

While the Victorinox represents elegance, this Seiko watch represents fanciness.

The Alligator-embossed leather is a rich brown with fine stitching on the edges. The luminous gold colored indices and baton hands shine on top of the stark dark blue dial that’s almost a formal black.

Seiko SNE102
$106.98

The perfect round dress watch featuring a two-tone case and dark blue dial with baton hour markers.

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The bezel and crown are also gold and connect to a silver-toned case and lugs, for a beautiful gold and silver two-tone aesthetic.

No beater screams evening wear like this one. 

And of course, this Seiko features their scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal, a stainless steel case, Eco-Drive movement, and a solid caseback. This Seiko beater watch is Mike Tyson in a Versace tuxedo.

DETAILS of the Seiko SNE102:

MovementQuartz
DisplayAnalog
Case Diameter39mm
Band Material TypeLeather
Band Width20mm

Add Some Beater Watches to Your Collection! 

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Beater watches are the truest wristwatches out there. Remember, wristwatches were the working man’s answer to the pocket watch; they were meant to be able to take a beating.

Since they’re such cheap durable watches, it’s both easy and important to have several beaters in your watch collection. 

We hope you liked our roundup of the best beater watches, let us know which ones you add to your collection!

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