The Best Men’s Watches Under 500 Dollars: Our Top Picks

Looking for a stylish timepiece? You don’t need to break the bank. We have done the research, and have weeded out anything too tacky or flashy. Here are three examples of the best men’s watches under 500 dollars (a reasonable amount to spend, considering it’s on your wrist all day long).

You don’t need a watch. Keeping track of the time is not an issue anymore – these days, everyone carries a cell phone. So what’s the point?

An analog (mechanical) wristwatch is one of the most stylish accessories a man can have. It is a personal statement. There’s often a story associated with a watch – perhaps it was received as a present for a special occasion, or inherited as a family heirloom. My own watch was given to me by my friends at an important time in my life.

Watches are also a reminder of our analog past, an era that has all but slipped away with the revolution of personal computing. When it was first developed and refined, the wristwatch had major implications for humanity – we welcomed a future where everyone could be “on time” and activities could be compartmentalized into neat chunks of hour increments.

Watches range from the deceptively cheap to the absurdly expensive, and come in all shapes and sizes. Things to consider include: material (e.g. plastic, silver, gold), band (e.g. plastic, steel, leather), diameter, weight, water resistance, lume (glow), movement speed (beats per hour). It goes on.

I used to be obsessed with watches, and have easily spent hundreds of hours perusing them online and in stores.

It will ultimately come down to a personal choice, but I have selected three of my personal favorites that cost less than $500:

1.) Seiko Orange Monster

A rare example of when bigger is better. It’s big, it’s orange and it will take a beating. This one will look great on larger wrists. Retails for: $200 – $300 (see more pictures and reviews).

The Best Men's Watches under 500 dollars: Seiko Orange Monster

Seiko Orange Monster

2.) Victorinox Original Swiss Army Quartz

A simple design with an easy-to-read face. Nothing fancy. Available in green, silver, black and brown. Retails for: $250 to $400 (see more pictures and reviews).

The Best Men's Watches under 500 dollars: Victorinox Swiss Army Original

Victorinox Swiss Army Original

3.) Tissot Visodate

Retro, understated style. Comes with a transparent back so you can see movement under the hood. Retails for: $450 to $500 (see more pictures and reviews).

The Best Men's Watches under 500 dollars: Tissot Visodate

Tissot Visodate

Bonus: Stylish vintage watches

The 60s, 70s and 80s were great decades for horology – companies such as Omega, Longines and Rolex were producing great looking watches with simple, eye catching designs.  These can now be found for sale on auction websites (eBay) and in specialty vintage watch stores.

Vintage watches can also be very expensive, partly because it’s difficult to find them in good condition. There’s no guarantee you will be able to find a good one for under $500, but there are some great deals out there.

If you decide to go this route, do your research first – start with the vintage sections of forums such as Watchuseek and Timezone. Make sure you’re buying the real thing, not a well made replica.

The Best Men's Watches under 500 dollars: vintage Longines watch

A classic Longines watch from the 60s

Before buying a watch, try it on in person. Watches often look better in pictures than they do in real life, and some just won’t “feel right” on your wrist. Try a few on before making a decision.

Less flash, more statement

Please do your own research online for accurate prices and retailer information, especially when it comes to used/vintage goods. Always look for reputable dealers with good feedback and reviews. Good luck! 

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  1. The Seiko Orange Monster is my most favorite piece in this list. Seiko timepieces are the best bang for the buck, the craftsmanship of this Japanese company is so admirable. Their watches are stylish and reliable, durable!

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