Best Watches Under $500 in 2022

Best Watches Under $500 in 2022

There’s an argument to be made that $500 represents the lower limit for an entry-level luxury watch. We think there’s cause to disagree. Whether you’re looking for a state-of-the-art smartwatch, a timepiece to impress around the office, or a tactical watch to take with you on the trail, you can get a whole lot for less than half a grand. You just have to know where to look.

While there are plenty of super cheap watches on the market, spreading your search to include the best watches for under 500 dollars gives you more opportunity to get a truly high-quality and specialized timepiece. Before spending your hard-earned cash, check out our comprehensive list.

20 Stylish Timepieces

DesignRetailer
Citizen Eco Drive Promaster Diver Watch
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Bulova 96B251 Men’s Moonwatch
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Michael Kors Slim Runway Watch
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Nixon A105 Sentry Quartz Movement Watch
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Samsung Galaxy Watch Smartwatch
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Tissot PR 100 Swiss Quartz Dress Watch
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Seiko 5 Sports Automatic Watch
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Fossil Men’s Nate Stainless Steel Quartz Watch
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Seiko SNKN37 Automatic Self-Wind Watch
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Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Chronograph
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G-Shock GG-1000 MUDMASTER Watch
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Orient Japanese Automatic Diving Watch
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Citizen AW1361-10H Eco-Drive Avion
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Seiko SSC139 Excelsior Solar Watch
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Michael Kors Lexington Chronograph
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Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle Touchscreen Smartwatch
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Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Watch
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Seiko SSA346J1 Presage Cocktail Watch
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Swatch YVS444G Irony Night Flight
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Seiko Men’s SRPA21 Prospex X Padi
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Citizen Eco Drive Promaster Diver Watch

Still the World’s Pre-eminent Dive Watch

Every feature that a serious diver could want is available in the Promaster, and they’re all handled expertly. But the coup de grace is the phenomenal Eco-Drive technology powering this watch. Just expose it to light – natural or artificial – and it will automatically charge for its entire life. It’s easily the top solar battery in use on a watch, and it offers an incredibly impressive power reserve of six hours.

Face ColorBlack
Case Size44 x 12 mm
MaterialsStainless steel, plastic
MovementEco-Drive (solar)
Waterproofing200 meters

Pros

  • Best-in-class battery
  • Incredibly reliable across the board
  • Backed by a five-year warranty

Cons

  • Not the flashiest dive watch around

Bulova 96B251 Men’s Moonwatch

Pilot Watch Essentials, Elegantly Displayed

Bulova’s Moonwatch takes the vast amounts of information available on a pilot watch and repackages it well. All the information is here, but Bulova’s exceptional sense of style shines through as well. The use of textured surfaces, simple indices, and a color scheme of black, silver, and white makes all the information accessible without being ugly or overwhelming.

Face ColorBlack
Case Size45 x 13.5 mm
MaterialsStainless steel, leather/nylon
MovementQuartz
Waterproofing30 meters

Pros

  • Two interchangeable bands
  • Great looking moon landing theme
  • Solid quartz movement

Cons

  • Backlighting is a little dim

Michael Kors Slim Runway Watch

Matte Black is the New Black

Michael Kors typically provides entry-level luxury products, but the sensibilities of this designer watch suggest something that goes well beyond the price tag of around $200. The simplicity really works here, and while our favorite is the completely black-on-black model, there are nearly a dozen bold choices to pick from here. Its slim design means it can fit a variety of different wrist sizes, and it can fit comfortably under the sleeve of your suit jacket.

Face ColorBlack
Case Size42 x 21 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
MovementJapanese Quartz
Waterproofing50 meters

Pros

  • Comes with a two-year warranty
  • 11 different color schemes
  • Slim and lightweight form factor

Cons

  • No advanced features

Nixon A105 Sentry Quartz Movement Watch

Traditionally Casual but Catered to Your Personality

The baseline A105 Nixon Sentry is conservative in its simple white and gray color scheme with red highlights, but that’s just one option among over two dozen. Regardless, there’s a nice sense of consistency to every watch in the line. This isn’t going to be the watch that grabs the attention of the entire office, but it’s a steady and reliable timepiece with a quartz movement that can provide you with good performance for a modest price and the means to express your personal style.

Face ColorWhite
Case Size42 x 11 mm
MaterialsStainless steel, leather
MovementJapanese quartz
Waterproofing100 meters

Pros

  • Wide variety of color options
  • Date and day window
  • Simple but expressive design

Cons

  • Crown feels a bit flimsy

Samsung Galaxy Watch Smartwatch

A Feature-Rich Smartwatch, Fairly Priced

The Apple Watch may be the most popular smartwatch around, but the Galaxy Watch gives Apple a run for their money for a reasonable price. This model in particular is in touch with its analog roots. It includes dial choices that look completely analog while providing you with all the best features of a men’s watch from a smart device. That more stripped-down design approach also allows these wristwatches to stay charged for days at a time.

Face ColorBlack
Case Size46 x 33 mm
MaterialsStainless steel, rubber
MovementSmartwatch
Waterproofing50 meters

Pros

  • Top-of-the-line smart features
  • Realistically analog dial

Cons

  • Mild difficulty with text syncing

Tissot PR 100 Swiss Quartz Dress Watch

The Definition of Boardroom Luxury

The Tissot PR 100 may look like some of the best men’s watches on the market, but it doesn’t demand the same prices. The band is loudly silver and makes use of some meticulous links, but the dial is as reserved as can be. That helps rein back what otherwise might be gaudy design choices, but it also makes the dial easier to read than most watches, even accounting for the three chronograph subdials. And holding it all together is Swiss design praised all over the world.

Face ColorBlack
Case Size41 x 11 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
MovementSwiss quartz
Waterproofing100 meters

Pros

  • Bejeweled but not overwhelming design
  • Precise Swiss engineering

Cons

  • May be too flashy for some

Seiko 5 Sports Automatic Watch

A Watch for True Sportsmen

The Seiko 5 has been a constant presence among the best entry-level men’s watches lists for over a year, and the latest entry is just as solid as ever. This is an outdoor watch through and through and is tough enough to handle even the most extreme activities. A Seiko automatic movement is designed to last a lifetime, and the Seiko 5 includes both Hardlex crystal protection and a water-resistant level appropriate even for the most enthusiastic beach bums.

Face ColorBlack
Case Size43 x 22 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
MovementAutomatic
Waterproofing100 meters

Pros

  • Incredibly durable design
  • Easy to read light-up display

Cons

  • Not built for serious divers

Fossil Men’s Nate Stainless Steel Quartz Watch

For Men Who Love Black

The entirety of the Nate’s body may just be variations of black, but Fossil has managed to create some serious distinctions in the spaces in between. This is largely accomplished through textured and raised lettering, but it’s a bold design choice that’s easier to read than you might imagine and that’s certain to draw eyes just about anywhere. And for sports enthusiasts, there are subdials on this quartz timepiece for keeping track of seconds, minutes, and hours.

Face ColorBlack
Case Size50 x 13 mm
MaterialsStainless steel, metal
MovementQuartz
Waterproofing50 meters

Pros

  • Distinctly monochrome design
  • Chronograph and date window

Cons

  • Black dial is difficult to read in the dark

Seiko SNKN37 Automatic Self-Wind Watch

A Blast From the Past

The SNKN37 is a watch your grandfather might have worn, and we mean that as a compliment. It’s classic without being nostalgic and retro without being kitsch. More importantly, it’s reliable. The self-winding automatic movement ensures that you never have to worry about losing time, just so long as you keep wearing it regularly. The leather strap feels soft and comfortable on the wrist while also expressing a uniquely textured surface.

Face ColorBlue
Case Size44 x 11 mm
MaterialsStainless steel, leather
MovementAutomatic
Waterproofing50 meters

Pros

  • Stylish, comfortable leather strap
  • Self-winding automatic movement

Cons

  • No luminous indices

Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Chronograph

Highly Functional and Powered by Light

The Citizen AT2141-52L takes the typical design of a dive watch and updates it without making everything cluttered. Three subdials and a date window all share space without becoming too crowded, and a large part of that comes down to the muted but outstanding gradient of the blue dial. But the coolest feature is the inclusion of Eco-Drive technology – a “solar” battery that lets you charge Eco-Drive watches in both the sun and artificial lighting. The stainless steel case is also sturdy enough for rough use.

Face ColorBlue
Case Size42 x 11 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
MovementJapanese quartz
Waterproofing100 meters

Pros

  • Stainless steel case protected by sapphire crystal
  • Impressive Eco-Drive battery

Cons

  • Brightness is a little weak

G-Shock GG-1000 MUDMASTER Watch

The Standard for Rugged Performance

G-Shock watches are designed for the roughest of use, but the Mudmaster is specifically designed for people who like to play in the dirt. It’s entirely mud resistant and makes use of some complex sensors that let it double as a thermometer, a compass, or a stopwatch. And the bright LED means that this watch is easy to read even in the dark. And in case something fails, there’s both a digital and analog display built-in. This Casio G-Shock is a great watch strong enough for the military but budgeted for the average consumer.

Face ColorGray
Case Size56 x 15 mm
MaterialsStainless steel, resin
MovementQuartz
Waterproofing200 meters

Pros

  • The most rugged men’s watch around
  • Broad assortment of sensors

Cons

  • Not meant to look pretty

Orient Japanese Automatic Diving Watch

Perfectly Executed Dive Watch Essentials

Orient recognizes that “ornate” and “attractive” aren’t always synonymous. This watch is focused on the essentials of dive watches: durability, water resistance, and accuracy. They excel in every aspect while still managing to put their own spin on the aesthetics of dive watches. There’s a nice layer of depth to the shades of classic blue in the face, and the indices and hands both have unique personalities without straying too far from a formula that works.

Face ColorBlue
Case Size42 x 13 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
MovementJapanese automatic
Waterproofing200 meters

Pros

  • Date and day window
  • Power reserve of 40 hours

Cons

  • May stick too close to tradition

Citizen AW1361-10H Eco-Drive Avion

A Sublimely Easy to Read Pilot Watch

Pilot watches may not be the necessity they once were for aviators, but Citizen makes a convincing argument for their continued value. The “Type B” dial used by this watch is both fun to navigate and incredibly functional, and all three arrays of numbers are easy to parse thanks to the clear lettering and the thoughtful spacing. It also comes with a phenomenal-feeling leather band with some exquisite stitching holding it together.

Face ColorGray
Case Size45 x 13 mm
MaterialsStainless steel, leather
MovementJapanese quartz
Waterproofing100 meters

Pros

  • Fun and function Type B dial
  • Clearly displayed pilot information

Cons

  • Poor functionality in the dark

Seiko SSC139 Excelsior Solar Watch

Looks Like it’s From Another World

The Excelsior doesn’t look like any other Eco-Drive watch on the planet. It doesn’t look like any other watch on the planet, period. But its futuristic design transforms it into an instant conversation piece, and it manages to pack in a lot of utility to boot. That includes a functional three-dial chronograph and a four-piece step motor. This wristwatch is even water-resistant enough to take with you snorkeling.

Face ColorBlack
Case Size43 x 12 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
MovementJapanese quartz
Waterproofing100 meters

Pros

  • Truly one-of-a-kind design
  • Automatically resets to current time

Cons

  • Slightly bulky form factor

Michael Kors Lexington Chronograph

Fashion and Functionality on a Budget

Michael Kors is primarily a fashion house, not a watch manufacturer, and that works to their benefit with the Lexington. This is a black dial timepiece under $500, but it looks like it would cost significantly more. There’s a nice balance of flash with substance thanks to the combination of ostentatious gold accents and a chronograph that puts those bright accents to more practical use. And if you find yourself not liking the traditional black and gold design, there are over a dozen variations to choose from.

Face ColorBlack
Case Size45 x 13 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
MovementQuartz
Waterproofing100 meters

Pros

  • Highly stylish design
  • Fully functional chronograph

Cons

  • Not practical for general use

Fossil Gen 5 Carlyle Touchscreen Smartwatch

A Fashion-Forward Approach to Smartwatches

Wear OS is a notoriously finicky smartwatch operating system, but Fossil does an incredible job making the most of it. Beneath the steel case is a battery that can keep pace with the big boys and a processor that won’t slow down even during more complex operations. But while Fossil’s biggest strength might be what they’ve done with the OS here, they’ve also created a clean interface that evokes the Apple Watch while still maintaining its own personality.

Face ColorVariable
Case Size44 x 12 mm
MaterialsStainless steel, silicone
MovementDigital
Waterproofing30 meters

Pros

  • Up to two days of battery life
  • Simple swipe-based navigation

Cons

  • A little light on features

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Watch

The Standard for Field Watches

The Hamilton Khaki field watch isn’t the cheapest watch on this list, but its unobtrusive stainless steel case belies a watch that’s built for reliability. The numbering is bright, legible, and backed by some serious luminosity. But the real appeal will be to collectors. This is a watch that was designed to mimic the look of the original field watches to every painstaking detail, and that’s reflected in the self-winding mechanical movement. The only concessions they’ve made for the sake of modernity come down to durability and precision.

Face ColorBlack
Case Size38 x 9 mm
MaterialsStainless steel, nylon
MovementMechanical
Waterproofing50 meters

Pros

  • Highly authentic field watch design
  • Very bright face

Cons

  • Too simplistic for some customers

Seiko SSA346J1 Presage Cocktail Watch

Seiko’s Most Elegant Budget Watch

Seiko may be best known for their sports watches, but they can get dressed up, too. The Presage Cocktail evokes the sensibilities of art deco and the romance of the Jazz Age, and the dial devoted exclusively to tracking the date is a refreshing change from the simple numerical windows packed into so many timepieces. This is a special occasion watch, and that’s reflected in its relatively long power reserve.

Face ColorOff-white
Case Size40 x 14 mm
MaterialsSteel, leather
MovementAutomatic
Waterproofing50 meters

Pros

  • An ideal choice for parties
  • Cool date tracking dial

Cons

  • Limited opportunity for wearing

Swatch YVS444G Irony Night Flight

A Modern Spin on the Pilot Watch

Pilot watches are often designed through the narrow expectations of nostalgia, but Swatch is blazing new territory with their Night Flight model. It reads bright both day and night and displays all the information you need in an easy-to-parse format. The three chronographs are fairly easy to read and are accompanied by a small but legible date window. The tachymeter, a crucial necessity in pilot watches, is also a real delight to use.

Face Color
Black
Case Size43 x 13 mm
MaterialsSteel
MovementQuartz
Waterproofing30 meters

Pros

  • Accurate adjustable tachymeter
  • Full chronograph and date window

Cons

  • Only water-resistant to 30 meters

Seiko Men’s SRPA21 Prospex X Padi

A Legendary Dive Watch With an Earned Reputation

The Seiko Prospex line is one of the most praised sports watch lines in the world, so it’s worth paying attention to when they partner with PADI (the Professional Association of Diving Instructors). This is a diving watch that takes its intent seriously, from the responsive but solidly unidirectional click of the bezel to the strict water resistance regulations. Even the emblematic blue and red color scheme serves a useful purpose of tracking elapsed time in less-than-clear waters.

Face ColorBlue
Case Size45 x 13.5 mm
MaterialsStainless steel
MovementAutomatic
Waterproofing100 meters

Pros

  • Produced entirely in-house by Seiko
  • Designed in close partnership with PADI
  • Stylish but functional color choice

Cons

  • Can be hard to find in stock

Wrapping Up

If you’re looking for the best watch for men, there are so many options to pick through and only so many hours in the day. But whether you’re looking to kick it old school or find the latest and coolest timepiece around, we can help you find the top watches under $500. And if you’ve had the chance to test out any of these wristwatches yourself, we encourage you to share your experience in the comments below.

If you liked our article on watches under $500, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.


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Team @ ISITRATED.com
By Team @ ISITRATED.com

The team @ ISITRATED.com is made up of experts and tech enthusiasts. All here to provide you with unbiased product reviews and informative buyers guides. Meet the team on our about us page.



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