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
This Seastrong is the more visually complex option in the subline, 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 a submarine control panel. At 300m of water resistance, it runs on Alpina’s AL-525, a 26-jewel Swiss automatic with the signature black rotor. The brown and gray colorways are well under a grand, and still flaunt the gunmetal build and look.02/14/2023 06:33 am GMT
The SBDC063 is an accurate reissue of a 1968 vintage model. 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 professional diver that will always be in style, go for this guy. The black SPB0077J1 is iconic and more Submariner-like, but will cost you just a little over grand.02/14/2023 02:08 pm GMT
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.02/14/2023 06:43 am GMT
Luminox’s Pacific Diver is a spec-forward tool watch with functions as robust as its looks. It has a strong, matte aesthetic, with the almost gunmetal-looking texture of the toothed bezel complementing the smooth dial and brushed hands. One of many capabilities worth mentioning is the brand’s tritium gas lume, which provides an immediate, beautiful glow without the need to charge.02/14/2023 02:53 pm GMT
Named after a massive Arabian desert, the Rub’ Al Khali appropriately combines a sand-colored complexion with a sophisticated multi-stepped dial for an adventurous look that would go excellently with chukka desert boots. Its Swiss Made automatic movement can be viewed via the exhibition caseback, which is decorated with cool map-like markings, making the back as exciting as the front.02/14/2023 06:48 am GMT
This Glycine is a core timepiece from their Combat line, meaning it's a classic field watch with clean lines, legible all Arabic indices, and topnotch functions (including a viewable Swiss movement). The added moonphase, and even the slightly wider feuille hands, give it a charmingly dressy uniqueness though, allowing you to wear it in a wider range of dress codes.
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.02/14/2023 06:53 am GMT
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.02/14/2023 02:48 pm GMT
A truly unique and upscale beater, the Neo Grid uses the same classic square case, digital face template that G-Shock fans love. The ion-plated stainless steel case and the grid tunnel pattern throughout the case and bracelet, however, make it more tech-forward, modern, and gadget-like. It’s also way more durable than the average resin Casio, but has all of the functions, from the world time to the LED backlight.02/14/2023 02:28 pm GMT
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.02/14/2023 02:48 pm GMT
The Longines Presence is the perfect blend of understated and stately, with a super simple, matte dial that combines Roman numerals with simple stick hands. The best part about this traditional, automatic dress watch, is that its straightforward look can easily be transformed via strap changes. The multi-link steel bracelet it comes with adds extra sparkle, while a leather band would look clean and standard.02/14/2023 02:48 pm GMT
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.02/14/2023 02:38 pm GMT
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.02/14/2023 02:38 pm GMT
From the bold and sporty SevenFriday brand, the V3-01 literally looks like the watch manifestation of a car engine. Even the indices have a speedometer-like aesthetic. The layers of alternating discs on the dial, along with the PVD-coated gun metal case leans hard into the autosports look, while also ensuring its robust function is entertainingly plain to see.02/14/2023 02:43 pm GMT
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.02/14/2023 02:53 pm GMT
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
|02/17/2023||Updated description text, fixed links|
|01/30/2023||Updated the selection to reflect any changes, new models, or replacements for models no longer under $1000|
|07/20/2021||Original publish date|