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
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.02/22/2023 07:43 pm GMT
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 gloss02/14/2023 01:58 pm GMT
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.02/22/2023 07:58 pm GMT
Arguably one of Bulova’s most iconic watches, the legend behind the Lunar Pilot is that the Commander of Apollo 15 used one when his Omega broke. A go-to Speedy alternative, this super sporty and highly-accurate, high-performance chronograph looks great paired with a traditional oyster or its exquisite weave-patterned leather strap.02/22/2023 07:44 pm GMT
The Seiko Coutura stuns in both the function and looks departments. It’s a light-powered timepiece that’s also radio-synced, meaning it stays military-precise. Meanwhile, its entire design is known for combining techy and organic elements—just check out the leaf-like texturing on the brilliant blue dial or the spider web design at the day pointer. It’s machine meets nature, for a truly unique eye-catcher.02/22/2023 07:45 pm GMT
Based on the American A-11 watches from WW2, the Vaer S5 is a true-blue field watch with some modern upgrades. The hard lines and syringe hands on the dial provide legibility and bold style. Further cinching the legitimacy factor are 15 layers of Superluminova and an insanely precise quartz movement.02/22/2023 07:46 pm GMT
Classic yet distinct, the Seiko Prospex SRPE99 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.02/22/2023 07:48 pm GMT
This highly-engineered and spec-forward Orient M-Force combines a brawny, athletic build with a Midas touch. The gold gradient face is framed by bronze-toned armor around the crisp bezel. The hard lines and heavy construction house excellent features like a scratch-resistant sapphire, a workhorse automatic movement, and 200 meters of water resistance.02/22/2023 07:50 pm GMT
Victorinox applies their no-nonsense, function-forward signature touch to this distinguished diver. The Maverick checks all of the boxes for a true and classic dive watch, from the crisp and high-gloss bezel to the necessary water resistance. Still, touches like the individually unique cardinals (a mix of Arabic numerals, a date, and an impeccable Swiss Army application at the 12), add a leveled-up elegance.02/22/2023 07:51 pm GMT
Available as a 40mm and 42mm to accommodate different wrist sizes and personal styles, the Laco Type B Aachen is as classic as a pilot watch can get. If you’re looking for a historical flieger, this watch is that and more. Moreover, the Miyota movement, a workhorse that doesn’t get nearly as much credit it deserves for how attractively layered and jeweled it is, can be admired through the caseback.02/22/2023 07:52 pm GMT
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.02/22/2023 07:53 pm GMT
This version (T0194301104100) of Tissot’s vintage-inspired Visodate is a modernized, sleeked out version of the timepiece that may have descended from the elusive Rear Window watch that James Stewart wears. Its overall simple look and cursive logo are definitely throwbacks, but the silky sunray dial and sharp elements bring it into the 21st century, meaning you can wear this Swiss automatic with a high-shine steel bracelet or a traditional leather strap.02/22/2023 07:59 pm GMT
Leave it to Timex to take a standard dive watch template and infuse it with a ton of respectable cool factor. The bold and generously-sized indices and monocle hour hand are just two examples of confidently playful, but still professional features. They also up the legibility at every angle. Plus, a viewable automatic is always a welcome extra from this bang-for-buck brand.02/22/2023 07:55 pm GMT
Thanks to Citizen’s long-standing partnership with Disney, they’re able to incorporate motifs from the entertainment company’s several properties. In this case, it’s from Avatar, but the application is so creatively abstract, the dial just looks like a multi-dimensional design with an ocean-inspired color palette. It’s the kind of watch that can satisfy the artistically inclined, though since this is Citizen, it’s also durably built and powered by their Eco-Drive light tech which makes it so you’ll never need to change the battery.02/22/2023 07:56 pm GMT
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.02/22/2023 07:57 pm GMT
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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!
|02/22/2023||Updated description text, fixed links|
|02/12/2023||Added / updated recommendations, updated links and text|
|07/13/2021||Original publish date|