As enamored as we are of pricier timepieces, and as enthusiastically as we endorse indulging in them, we feel equally adamant that watch-lovers recognize the truly great value to be found on the lower end of the price spectrum. For less than $500, you can find a well-built, tasteful automatic watch from a respected manufacturer to fit any situation. Below, five of our favorites.
Hamilton Khaki Automatic
Before we really got the watch bug, we wore this and only this for years, and it served us brilliantly. Perfectly sized at 40mm, and perfectly at home with jeans and a t-shirt or something dressier, like chinos and a sportcoat. A friend even borrowed it for his wedding.
Seiko Automatic Stainless Steel Watch
Ok, so it’s currently $509, but considering the handsome green dial and the automatic movement’s 50-hour pour reserve, we think it’s worth it.
Tissot Heritage Visodate
We’ve written about this one before, but it bears repeating: Tissot’s Visodate is a beautiful, affordable dress watch with a vintage vibe that will make you feel far more dignified and cool than you really are.
Seiko SKX007 Diver
Anyone who knows watches knows this is the quintessential affordable option, and thus, if you poke around on various watch forums, you’ll see it included in collections that contain far pricier watches. The reason? Well, there are many: a reliable Japanese movement, a high-quality rubber strap, and a design that’s damn near iconic at this point — all for around $200. Crazy.
Steinhart Ocean One 39 Black
Not at a point in your life when you can afford to drop $8,000 on a Rolex Submariner? Or simply don’t want to? Consider Steinhart’s extremely faithful and extremely well-made homage, the Ocean One 39. Make no mistake: you’re getting a quality product here, not a “fake” like you might find on Canal Street.
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Main image via Hamilton International; other images via their respective vendors.