28 Oct 6 Quality Men’s Watches Under $100
There’s no need to burn your entire wallet when shopping for a new watch. Plenty of great quality watches on the market are affordable and get the job done just right.
Quality isn’t usually the top standard in budget watches, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be. You don’t need to own a $58,000 Rolex Daytona or even a $4,000 Omega Seamaster to have a good grasp on time. Here’s a list of solid, entry-level watches all retailing somewhere under $100 for the frugal man that wants to be to able to tell time and look good doing it.
The Timex Weekender is a classic, clean, casual watch. It’s an all around great starter watch that can be worn daily with most outfits. This is a watch you can wear dressed up at work on the weekdays and then dressed down while backpacking on the weekends.
It’s versatile, hardy, and for such a low price, you won’t feel bad if you beat the hell out of it. Unlike other watches that are available in one size, Timex Weekenders are available in 31, 38, and 40 mm cases to perfectly fit your hand. A huge college of woven nylon straps are available for purchase and can be easily interchanged to match your mood or your current outfit. Some of these straps are very stylish and can make your otherwise simple Timex Weekender pop with an ample amount of personality.
One thing to consider about the ruggedness of the Timex Weekender is its lack of water resistance. It’s only water-resistant up to 99 ft (30 m), so it can handle splashes and brief submerges underwater, but you shouldn’t count on it for other wet activities like you would with a diving watch. Another possible downside to this watch is its loud ticking sound — it may drive you nuts if you’re trying to sleep with it on your wrist — so that’s another thing to keep in mind.
The Seiko 5 is a great-looking casual watch with woven canvas strap. The particular model shown here, Seiko 5 SNK807, features a dark blue dial and matching dark blue canvas strap contrasted by 37 mm stainless steel case and bezel and white numbers and gradation.
Seiko 5 watches are pretty popular and are readily available in a ton of varying styles, which makes them great to collect, modify, mix, and match with different outfits. This watch is an excellent entry-level watch for anyone ready to count on a tried-and-true everyday watch for a very long time. For all others, the Seiko 5 military field watch makes a great casual-use addition to any ongoing watch collection.
Like the Timex Weekender above, this particular Seiko 5 model can handle small amounts of water contact but is not suitable for submerging in water for long periods of time. Although it’s water-resistant up to only 99 ft (30 m), other Seiko 5 models are manufactured as very water-resistant diving watches that can be used for swimming or scuba diving up to 660 ft (200 m).
Keep in mind that this Seiko 5 SNK807 is a automatic mechanical watch that self-winds and is self-wound by movement. While it does not operate with a battery, it will need to be worn regularly or wound manually by turning the crown to maintain accuracy.
Citizen watches are usually priced starting at $165 (and great quality for their price point), but if you keep an eye out for sales, these quality Japanese manufactured watches can dip below the $100 mark. The Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E with black dial, date window, 37.2 mm stainless steel case, and green stitched canvas strap is a great example of a casual but rugged, everyday watch.
The military look of the Citizen is fits any casual setting, especially when worn in the great outdoors. The black dial is sharp and pairs well with the military drab green strap. Using the crown, the displayed date can also be easily adjusted. Although some people may find the size of the crown a bit too large, it doesn’t protrude too much to make the watch cumbersome at all.
One thing to note is that Citizen Eco-Drive are solar powered, so they’ll need periodic exposure to sunlight every now and then to continue performing optimally. Since it’s water-resistant up to 330 ft (100 m), this Citizen watch is perfectly suitable to wear while showering, snorkeling, or swimming. All in all, it’s just a tough watch that just looks too damn good to pass up when the price is right.
If you’re looking for the most bang for your buck, look no further than these rugged Russian watches. They’re very cheap but they’re built like tanks.
Vostok is a Russian watch manufacturing company that started in 1942 and became the official supplier of watches for the Soviet Union’s Defense Department in 1965. Vostok watches are available in a ton of styles and are often taken apart and modified, allowing for thousands of unique variations. Their most famous watches are the Vostok Amphibia and the Vostok Komandirskie.
The Vostok Amphibia is an actual diver’s watch with water resistance up to 660 ft (200 m). The model pictured, Vostok Amphibia 2416B/420526, is a variation of “the Zissou watch” worn by Bill Murray’s character in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. It features a stainless steel, graduated, bidirectional, rotating bezel; black dial with a ship’s iconic steering wheel located at 12 o’clock, an anchor at the 6 o’clock position, and a braided rope around the perimeter; luminous hands and markings; date window; 40 mm stainless steel case, and stainless steel band.
While Vostok watches are available with automatic movements, many of these watches come with mechanical movements, so they’ll need to be regularly hand-wound every 24 hours to continue keeping time accurately. The one other thing to watch out for is fakes being sold online. The company still makes virtually indestructible watches today, but plenty of real vintage timepieces can be found just as well starting at about $45.
The Bulova 96b104 is your standard, American, classic-style dress watch. It’s simple, clean, sharp, and matches well with most articles of clothing or other accessories.
This Bulova watch has a 37 mm stainless steel case, white dial, and a black leather calfskin band. There aren’t many marking on this watch face besides the Bulova logo, a small date window, and 12 silver stick indices. This is a dressy watch, but not a luxurious watch, so it comes very reasonably priced and won’t break the bank for when you need to put on your best Sunday suit.
It’s only water resistant up to 99 ft (30 m), so besides quick slashes of water, this Bulova watch should not be worn while swimming or showering. Although it’s not a casual, everyday watch like some of the others on this list, it’s a beautiful first watch that’ll come in handy during the right occasions.
Stuhrling Original Aviator 699.02
The Stuhrling Original Aviator 699.02 is an American watch styled after pilot watches, with an adventurous watch face design. For the wanderlusting outdoorsmen of the world, this Stuhrling Original Aviator makes a worthy wrist companion.
The grey dial contains textured features along with a date window and unique day display that’s unhindered by its luminous skeletal hands. Only the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock hours are printed but all hour and minute markings are luminous for easy reading. The Stuhrling Original Aviator comes with a decently large 44 mm stainless steel case and a comfortable, stud-accented, light-brown, leather strap.
Not only does it look good, it’s also reliable. Although pilot watches aren’t normally known for their water resistance, this watch is water-resistant up to 330 ft (100 m), which means it can withstand pretty much any activities involving water with the exception of deep scuba diving. Simply put this a great value watch with an ideal price tag to match.
Invicta Pro-Diver 8935: $65
Seiko SNE102: $97
Timex Expedition Rugged Chronograph: $45
Do you have a particular watch under the $100 limit that is your favorite? What’s your go-to watch in this budget category? Leave your own suggestions in the comment section below.