Even with a 1k budget, you can have a lot of fun finding some quality timepieces. After all, we did it with a budget of $500, $200, and $100! In this article, we’re rounding up the 15 best men’s
From Swiss hard-hitters to impressive high-functioners from smaller brands, a wide range is represented. A cool grand can definitely get you some distinct designs, reliable automatics, and excellent quartz pieces. Let’s get right to it!
15 Of Our Favorites Under $1000
We’ve categorized divers in its own section, then general sport and field
- Alpina Seastrong 300 AL-525LNN4TV6
- Seiko Prospex SPB077J1
- Victorinox Maverick Chronograph
- TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300 WAY1110.FT8021
- Boldr Expedition Dune 7
- Glycine KMU 48 Rose Gold
- Longines Conquest L3.7188.8.131.52
- Luminox Bear Grylls GMT XB.3762
- Casio G-Shock GMW-B5000GD-1JF
- Frederique Constant FC-292MC4P6
- Longines Le Grande 49212112
- Tissot Ballade Powermatic 80
- Junghans Max Bill Automatic 027/3501.00
- SEVENFRIDAY M-Series M3/01
- Hamilton Ventura H24655331 XXL
The AL-525LNN4TV6 is the more visually complex option in the Seastrong line, especially when compared to the clean 525LBx versions. The extra linework and jagged case shape give it a more masculine and tool-like aesthetic, like the dashboard of a submarine control panel. It features 300m of water resistance, a gunmetal PVD case, and runs on Alpina’s AL-525 caliber, a 26-jewel Swiss automatic movement with the brand’s signature black rotor.
Also dubbed the “Baby Marine Master” after their 1968 vintage model, this Seiko Prospex has notable upgrades while maintaining the iconic style. It boasts a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, 200m of water resistance, and it runs on Seiko’s 6R15 automatic movement, with hacking, hand-winding, and a 50-hour power reserve. If you’re looking for a robust, professional diver that will always be in style, go for this guy.
As Victorinox does, the Maverick Chronograph is robust and useful, featuring a unidirectional bezel, a handsome chronograph dial with tachymeter, and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that’s triple-coated with anti-reflective treatment. Unique from other Victorinox offerings, this timepiece is refined, sleek, and layered. Go for the two-tone green and gold for uniqueness, the black dial and bezel for a Submariner vibe, or the matte all-black for an authoritative look.
The multi-surfaced and sculptural style of the Aquaracer’s rubber strap and etched stainless steel bezel perfectly combine toughness and beauty. Keeping in with this theme, the applied indices sit on a race track texture adding both stylish dimensionality and legibility. This guy runs on an accurate quartz movement, has a sapphire crystal, 300m of water resistance, and wears a prestigious Swiss name to top it all off.
Named after a massive dune in Southern Africa, the Dune 7 appropriately combines a sand-colored complexion with a sophisticated multi-stepped dial for an adventurous field look that would go excellently with chukka desert boots. It runs on a Swiss-made automatic movement, has a retro-cool double dome sapphire, and is coated with Swiss Superluminova BGW9, which is both potent and visually appealing.
This Glycine KMU is for you if you’re looking for an especially fashionable watch that’s much more than just a fashion watch. The 18k rose gold-plated case, fun contrasting dial colors, and croco-embossed leather strap are a stylish and eye-catching combination. The KMU also scores high on the function department, with its 100m water resistance and its automatic movement that has a decorated rotor tapisserie that you can admire through the exhibition caseback.
This elegant Longines Conquest is a timeless sport watch that blends together the classy light and polished palette of the Rolex Explorer II with the clean bezel and legible Arabic indices of the Explorer I. It has superior water resistance though at 300m, and runs on Longines’ L888 automatic movement which has a whopping 78-hour power reserve.
This distinct maximalist watch is aesthetically unusual because it’s jam-packed with unlike functions, dotted with orange accents, and finished off with a high-sparkle mesh bracelet. It has a GMT hand with several major cities on its bezel, and boasts an excellent self-powered, 25-year glow with a compelling and legible mix of dark green, light green, and yellow hues. Unlike any other combination of styles out there, this watch is truly unique.
The GMW-B5000GD-1JF takes G-Shock’s trademark ruggedness and smooths it out a bit with its black-ion stainless steel build and its 43mm case. Still tactical though, this durable watch doesn’t lose any tough guy points, boasting major shock-resistance, elongated battery life, radio-synced precision, and plenty more. It's a stronger and sleeker G-Shock — best of both worlds!
In the grand tradition of Frederique Constant, this timepiece is elegant, a bit whimsical, but still highly-wearable. It seamlessly incorporates a chronograph without interrupting the overall dress watch quality, exemplified by the beautiful leather strap and the stately Roman indices. The different textures on its face, including a tapisserie-like middle dial, make for a more interesting look than your average formal watch.
Longines really delivers with this timepiece, combining quality materials with a timeless dress watch style. The gold-plated stainless steel case is more corrosion-resistant than solid gold, the classy Roman-numeraled dial is protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire, the movement is a Swiss-made automatic, and the black alligator strap adds a swanky touch. Keep in mind that when this beloved timepiece is low in stock, it can creep over the $1000 mark a bit!
The sophisticated mix of textures, sleek minimalist indices, and Jubilee-like bracelet makes this Tissot Ballade appropriate for black-tie occasions and professional situations alike. Tissot’s Powermatic 80 is a Swiss automatic that keeps going even after three days of not wearing it. It's accurate within -2/+4 seconds per day and COSC-certified just like many Omega and Rolex watches. In fact, this satiny timepiece has been compared to Omega’s Globemaster.
Max Bill is an industrial designer whose timepiece designs are in the MOMA, so this automatic is literally a work of art. With its German Bauhaus practicality and the hints of light playful green, this watch is versatile and smart casual, easily worn with jeans or a suit. If you want to be classy but not too fancy, the Junghans Max Bill is for you.
It doesn’t get more bold or different than this M-Series M3/01, as it uses three rotating discs to display the time for a fun and fascinating visual experience. This modern statement piece features a gunmetal stainless steel construction and the Miyota 8215 caliber, which is a 21-jewel Japanese automatic and hand-winding movement.
The ever-popular Ventura gets an industrial remix and an automatic movement with this unique timepiece. Mesh fencing on the dial-face allows you to see its H-10 caliber, an 80-hour 25-jewel automatic. Of course, it still has the iconic retro-futuristic shield design that everyone, including Elvis in the 60s, loves so much.
We hope this was helpful!
The main issue with an under $1000 budget is the endless choices! While that’s not the worst problem to have, we hope we helped you narrow down this rabbit hole a bit.
Whether you’re going for a dive or a dress