Our official ranking of the best affordable watches in the world right now, plus where to go to bag a discount
Choosing the best men’s watch can be an exciting, but daunting experience. The best watches are long-term, beautiful investments. They provide confidence, inspire the imagination, and are suitable for a wide variety of occasions. Below, we’ve reviewed the 7 best men’s watches you can buy from the top brands for under $500. Let’s get started!
Best Men’s Watch: Berkeley by Oliver Coen
The Berkeley by Oliver Coen wins the best men’s watch under $500 award, not just because it’s jaw-droppingly beautiful, but because it also comes with something quite remarkable…
Oliver Coen craft their watches in Switzerland in the most advanced watch facility in the world to achieve astonishing levels of precision and reliability.
They back up their claim by offering a lifetime warranty, so should anything happen to the watch, they will repair or replace it for free. This puts the Berkeley in a league of its own in terms of value for money, but let’s move on to the design of the watch.
The stunning timepiece features a gold case composed of surgical-grade stainless steel. The sophisticated dial displays a wealth of information while remaining effortlessly readable.
The exceptional design, build quality, and lifetime warranty combine to make the Berkeley the best men’s watch under $500.
Rating: 9.5 /10
Price: $199 ($169 with code ‘Insider15’)
Buy from: www.olivercoen.com
Best Men’s Watch Runner Up: Helvetica No1 Light by Mondaine
If our top pick is sold or you want a similarly attractive watch, consider Mondaine’s Helvetica watch.
Inspired by the font which was designed by Swiss designer Max Miedinger, the Helvetica No1 Light is a charmingly understated watch.
Rating: 8.7 /10
Buy from: www.mondaine.com
Budget pick: BN0032 by Braun
Not many people know the German brand famous for electric shavers, have been making watches for over 40 years.
The BN0032 features on our guide to the best men’s watches due to it’s clean, modern design and relatively cheap price.
Rating: 8.2 /10
Buy from: www.braun-clocks.com
Also great: SGEH67P1 by Seiko
Another company that gives two fingers to catchy model names. Seiko is one of the world’s most respected watch companies and often the starting point for budding watch collectors.
The SGEH67P1 is a beautiful watch combining monochrome tones with a classic dial.
Rating: 7.9 /10
Buy from: www.seikousa.com
Men’s Watches — the best of the rest:
Everytime by Tissot
Tissot introduced the first mass-produced pocket watch in 1853 and have been making reliable watches ever since.
The Swiss-made Everytimefeatures a classic design that will age beautifully, therefore earning its place on our best men’s watch guide.
Rating: 7.5 /10
Buy from: www.tissotshop.com
Night Flight by Swatch
The Night Flight takes inspiration from the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, making it the best affordable alternative.
Made in Switzerland, the men’s watch features a black chronograph dial homed in a classic stainless steel case.
Rating: 7.2 /10
Buy from: www.swatch.com
C40 by Uniform Wares
If prominent branding isn’t your thing, Uniform Wares is the best watch for you.
The irresistibly clean and logo-free dial is paired with an Italian nitrile rubber strap. An elegant, minimal, luxury timepiece.
Rating: 7 /10
Buy from www.uniformwares.com
I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to the best men’s watches under $500. Below, we’ve answered some common questions about men’s watches.
Where to buy men’s watches?
There are many places to buy men’s watches. Most people used to buy men’s watches from department stores such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, or even Walmart. Unfortunately, their staff usually aren’t knowledgeable about watches. We recommend buyers to shop direct with the watch companies via their website. You will receive customer service by watch experts. If you need to use a warranty, they already have all your details – so you don’t need to keep track of paper receipts.
What wrist do men’s watches go on?
You can wear your wristwatch on either hand, but the left wrist is the ‘proper’ one. Most people are right-handed. As such, they wore the watch on the left wrist so they could check the time while writing with a pen.
What is a watch ‘movement’?
A watch movement is the piece of the watch that keeps the time. There are various ways movements do this. Quartz movements send an electronic charge through a piece of quartz crystal. Automatic watches use traditional cogs and levers.
Quartz vs Automatic
Should you buy a quartz men’s watch or an automatic watch? Quartz watches are more accurate and cheaper to buy/maintain than automatic watches. This is because quartz watches are very simple when compared to automatic movements. Think of quartz watches as wine and automatic watches as champagne. Both are great. But to get a good bottle of champagne (automatic), you should spend more than you would on a bottle of wine (quartz). As a general rule of thumb, if you’re spending less than $500, go quartz, anything above that, go automatic.
Are watches an investment?
Some watch collectors invest in men’s watches. There is no price ceiling when it comes to men’s watches. Many men’s watches increase in value by thousands of dollars. But many watches also depreciate in value.
The best investment watches are by watch brands with rich histories. These include watch brands such as Rolex, Patek Phillipe, and Jaeger LeCoultre. Look for a limited edition and unusual watches.
What is a chronograph watch?
A chronograph watch is a specific type of watch that has a stopwatch function with a display. They were first used to measure time for activities such as diving, car racing, and piloting. Chronograph watches have various ‘sub-styles’. These include racing and pilot watches.