Looking for some investment timepieces that don’t cost an arm and a leg? We’ve got you covered right here with the 15 best men’s
Whether you’re looking for a Swiss automatic, a high-quality quartz, or an artful conversation piece, all are represented here!
15 of Our Faves Under $500
Here are our picks in the categories of field, dive, pilot, dress, and casual
- Casio G-Shock Rangeman GW9400
- Bulova Lunar Pilot
- Seiko Coutura SSG019
- Hamilton Khaki Field H70555533
- Bertucci A-11T Americana
- Seiko Prospex PADI Turtle SRPA21
- Orient 70th Anniversary Limited Edition Diver
- Victorinox Swiss Army INOX Pro Diver
- Laco Aachen Blaue Stunde Pilot
- Tissot Le Locle T0064071603300
- Tissot Visodate T1184301602100
- Timex Marlin Automatic 40
- Timex American Documents
- Mr. Jones Sun and Moon
- Swatch Sistem51 SY23S403
The Casio G-Shock GW-9400 is the most rugged and tactical of the field watches, and it’s loaded with features. These include a 1000-hour stopwatch, 24-hour countdown timer, sunrise and sunset data, and a Triple Sensor which includes a compass, pressure sensor, and temperature sensor. At an imposing 53mm, this digital survivalist watch is as tough as it looks.
This historically important legend is designed to pilot you all the way to the moon, as it did for the Apollo 15 Lunar mission. The Bulova Lunar Pilot is a refined and well-designed chronograph known for being impressively high-functioning. It has 100m of water resistance, a sapphire crystal, and runs on Bulova’s proprietary Ultra High Frequency quartz movement for advanced accuracy and reliability.
The Seiko Coutura is impressive and uncommon both in design and function. Aesthetically, it's a wild mix of organic and machine-like designwork, from the leaf and spider web textures in brilliant blue to the industrial subdial and angular integrated bracelet. Function-wise, it runs on light power and a radio-controlled timekeeper for military precision.
From its multi-layered dial face and silver-outlined syringe hands, to the brown contrast-stitched leather band, this Hamilton Khaki Field is the sophisticated timepiece of the field watch group. Its Arabic numerals are highlighted by a racetrack, making it exceedingly legible. It runs on Hamilton’s H-10 caliber, an automatic movement with an 80-hour power reserve.
Though inspired by WWII US Military watches, the vintage quality of the Bertucci A-11t Americana makes it fun and even a little playful. The small seconds dial is an amusing and useful touch, while its 42mm case boasts a titanium construction. Other features include a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, lume, and 200m of water resistance.
Classic yet distinct, the Seiko Prospex Turtle SRPA21 rocks a high-shine Pepsi bezel with a silky blue sunburst dial. The cushion-like case gives this 45mm tool watch a unique look, while maintaining the timeless diver aesthetic. As a Prospex PADI, it has 200m of water resistance, a robust automatic movement, and is durable enough for actual diving.
This limited edition timepiece takes Orient’s beloved dive watch template, and decks it out with exquisite design features. This includes a gold gradient dial face, a shiny bronze-toned case, and a sophisticated calfskin leather strap. Limited to only 2500 pieces, this diver features a sapphire crystal, 200m of water resistance, and a 22-jewel automatic movement.
Despite its brawny stainless steel and rubber construction, the Victorinox INOX Diver still exudes an elegant sleekness. It boasts a smart, clean design, exemplified by bezel numbers that are visible straight on and from the side. An ISO-certified diving watch, this INOX also has anti-magnetic properties, military time, and a triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal.
If you’re looking for a pilot watch that’s classic but fun and eye-catching, the Laco Aachen Blaue Stunde is your guy. It has a sandblasted stainless steel case for a lustrous yet tactile quality, and a blue sunray dial that complements the traditionally legible pilot-style face. The 21-jewel automatic movement can be seen through the exhibition sapphire caseback.
This Tissot Le Locle features a diamond-patterned dial in a silver-tone that perfectly matches the case, giving the whole watch an elegant sculptural quality. A smooth track runs behind the Roman numeral indices providing legibility and a graceful design. The back of this 39mm timepiece is beautifully engraved, and displays the automatic movement through exhibition windows.
Perfect for important meetings or black-tie dinners, this vintage-inspired Tissot Visodate’s cursive appellation, applied indices, and gold sunburst dial level it up from the standard Visodates. It also runs on Tissot’s exclusive Powermatic 80, an automatic movement that stays accurate even if it hasn’t been worn for three days.
This Timex Marlin is a modern and cool take on the traditional dress watch. Whether you’re going for gold or silver accents, the long indices and minimalist design allow the applied indices to really shine. The black sunburst background is more contemporary, while the silver adds elegance through its pearl-like gloss
The Timex American Documents is a clean and slick everyday watch that can easily pass as a dress watch with the right suit. The small seconds dial adds a touch of tool-like practicality to the organized design, without taking away from its minimalism. Additionally, this Timex is leveled up with a gold-plated Swiss automatic movement.
Mr. Jones watches are true pieces of art created by Crispin Jones, a designer with a Royal College of Arts pedigree (each timepiece even comes with signed paperwork). The Sun and Moon watch features a moving day-to-night image to tell the minutes, right above a minimalist hours subdial. Every Mr. Jones model is an exquisite, interactive conversation piece that tells time in a unique and creative way.
Swatch fuses its playfully colorful and collectible design language with full-on Swiss sophistication here. This line is called Sistem51 because each timepiece is made of 51 parts, including a 90-hour Swiss automatic movement, which you can admire through the gorgeous patterned exhibition caseback. The denim blue leather strap matches the dial, which features a sunburst in the middle, and a racetrack outside of that, where the applied indices sit.
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We sure hope so! The sub-500 category is a great place to shop since you can spend a little extra on high-quality and well-built pieces, without having to think about insurance or future resale value. It’s the fun parts about investment buying, without the burdens!