10 Best Affordable Watch Brands
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Searching For The Best Affordable Watch Brands
We can’t afford a high-stakes shopping spree with a guarantee of a Rolex, nor is it admirable to dumpster dive your way into first-class fashion. Affordability is where it’s at, and we’re spoiled with hundreds of options.
Aside from Gucci, Cartier, and Versace, brands like Seiko, Citizen, and Bulova provide cost-effective alternatives for budget-conscious customers. The question is, what company should you opt for?
For those searching for the best birthday gift or a neat treat-yo-self present, we’re counting down 10 of the best affordable watch brands that money can buy. We’ll also let you in on some shopper knowledge regarding quality, price, material, and other factors to look out for. Let’s get started!
10 Best Affordable Watch Brands
Seiko, a company founded in the bustling streets of Tokyo, Japan, started off as a humble side hustle by the likes of Kintaro Hattori. It’s an old origin story that takes root in the late 1800s.
Working at the ripe age of 22, Hattori had a knack for repairing watches and clocks. Seiko, now an acclaimed luxury brand, has graduated far from its preliminary days of fixing. With over 130 years of experience under its belt, the business is now known as a powerhouse in quality watch-making.
Seiko has definitely made it into the history books, as their designs have been used by several reputable organizations, such as the Japan National Railway and the Tokyo Olympics. Now presided over by chairman Shinji Hattori, Seiko continues to produce premium watches for customers to enjoy. Currently, their collection includes Astron, Prospex, Presage, Diamond, and more.
Unfortunately, you can’t buy Seiko watches off their official website. If you’re interested in a particular design, the brand will redirect you to one of its partnered retailers. Depending on the model, we estimate that their prices range between $100 to as much as $200,000.
Obviously, the most expensive models are the rarest out of their collection. For those looking for something more affordable, we suggest opting for its new selection of watches.
So, why is Seiko included in our best affordable watch brands lineup? We’ll give you our reasons down below.
- Considered a reputable watch brand in the industry
- Offers a vast collection of models on its website
- Available at several retailers
- Features include GPS connectivity and sports timer
- Known for its beauty, quality, and durability
- Provides a watch finder on its website
With a company as old as Swatch, you’ve got to wonder—what makes them tick? Honestly, we wish we could tell you in a more straightforward manner, but it’s a clockwork mess of business vernacular.
Long story short, this accessory brand has been in business since 1928. Founded by Nicolas G. Hayek, Swatch prides itself on reviving the Swiss watch-making tradition. They’re now home to 17 brands, including Tourbillon and Hour Passion.
So, what makes Swatch recognizable as a brand? From BIOCERAMIC to collaborations with Peanuts and Beijing 2022, this watch company is definitely avid in the latest trends and fads.
Their collection offers a bright and bold mix of printed wristbands, which further accentuates the simplistic design of the dials. You’re also free to design your own accessory, as customers can upload their own patterns and personalized messages.
Price-wise, Swatch watches typically retail for $50 to $228. It’s definitely a bargain considering the types of features included in their designs. From sporty models to classic dials, some accessories contain water-resistant properties and bio-sourced materials.
If you’re not totally convinced of Swatch’s staying power, we’ll explain why they’re included in our best affordable watch brands list.
- Offers a broad selection of high-quality watches
- Home to several collections, including Clear, Colors of Nature, and Peanuts
- Reasonably affordable
- Customers can personalize their own watches
- Some designs are water-resistant
- Offers Affirm as an alternative payment option
Considered a hot-spot for trendy designs, Fossil takes heavy inspiration from American fads and pop culture for its accessories and watches. The brand’s origin story is anything but sentimental or humble. In fact, founder Tom Kartsosis started Fossil in 1984 to gain fame and notoriety.
His determination and confidence pushed the company into a million-dollar business. Today, Fossil has partnered with several reputable labels, including Puma, Armani Exchange, Kate Spade, and Tory Burch.
Let’s talk about their watches. Fossil typically caters to elegant, simplistic designs, as most models feature subtle prints and hues. Dials vary from analog, Roman numeral, crosshair, and more.
If you’re looking for something specific, customers can narrow their search by checking off select categories. This includes watches organized by movement, material, and color. They also sell smartwatches, where buyers can opt for Hybrid or Gen alternatives.
For those wondering how much a Fossil watch costs, prices usually range from $60 to $300. Compared to the companies we’ve featured so far, they’re definitely considered a contender within our best affordable watch brands lineup. If you’re in need of additional specifics, we’ll provide some highlights down below:
- Offers designs for both men and women
- Made out of high-quality materials, including stainless steel, ceramic, and eco-leather
- Most models are water-resistant
- Customers can choose to engrave their watches
- Free shipping on all orders
For watch aficionados, the drama starts and ends between the Swiss and the Japanese. While most refer to Rolex and Cartier as the crown jewel in European watch-making, others resort to Seiko and Casio as their Asian counterparts.
Casio, a company born in Mitaka, Tokyo, had a reputation for innovative designs during the 1940s. Their first designs were far from the watches we know and love today. Instead, the brand was recognized for Japan’s first electric calculator: the Casio 14-A.
It wasn’t until 1974 that Casio produced its first watch, the digital Casiotron. Since then, the company has produced multiple award-winning designs, ranging from the G-Shock series to the Oceanus collection.
According to the brand, some of their models are used by athletes, law enforcement officers, and military personnel. This is all thanks to its water-resistant build and damage-proof technology.
Regarding price, a Casio watch can retail as low as $80 to as high as $1,700. It’s worth noting that most of their models sell for $100 to $200. If you’re interested in investing in one, we’ll discuss why they’re featured in our best affordable watch brands guide.
- Considered a reputable brand within the industry
- Home to hundreds of designs
- Their G-Shock watches are designed to survive harsh weather conditions
- Some of their designs come with paired apps (such as G-Shock and MR-G Connected)
- Provides support on their website
- Limited-time free shipping
Like the Swiss Army knife, Victorinox watches are crisp, sharp, and widely practical. Otherwise known for its travel gear and cutlery, this European brand is recognized for its iconic red and white logo embossed in every product.
It all started in 1884 when founder Karl Elsener developed his signature collection of army knives for the Swiss military. Over the years, the company’s focus on high-quality metals and craftsmanship led them down the watch-making industry. It wasn’t until 1984 that Victorinox first introduced its selection of time-pieces.
Victorinox watches are made out of the finest materials. From Maverick to Airboss Mechanical, the Swiss Army uses a mix of damask metal, carbon, alox, and more. You can find a wide selection of in-season models, as options vary from diving, pilot, chronograph, and business watches.
Despite its gleaming collection, you should be wary of its prices, as costs range between $300 to $2,495. Fortunately, the brand offers a 5-year warranty to help cover material defects.
Compared to luxury labels like Cartier and Rolex, Victorinox definitely has a place in our best affordable watch brands listicle. If you do decide to support this company, we’ll let you in on some customer highlights.
- Has designs for both men and women
- Offers a wide selection of premium watches to choose from
- Made with high-quality materials
- Sells replacement straps
- Provides a 5-year warranty to help cover defects
- Free ground shipping on all orders
Everybody needs a good ol’ reliable watch. If you’re not into fancy pants marketing but still desire the class and elegance of a regular time-piece, then I’m sure that you and Citizen will get along swimmingly.
Established in Nishitokiyo, Japan, this old-school pioneer of watch-making has been innovating designs since 1918. They’re considered the best of both worlds, given that founders Rodolphe Schmid and Kamekichi Yakamazi share Swiss and Japanese backgrounds. The company prides itself in launching the first-ever quartz crystal titanium watch of its time.
Compared to the best affordable watch brands we’ve listed so far, Citizen is relatively active in environmentalism. In 1976, they produced the first solar-powered watches made with Eco-Drive technology.
Aside from its sustainability initiatives, customers can find a broad assortment of trendy time-pieces. They’re currently organized by collection, including Promaster, Super Titanium, and Nighthawk.
You can take care knowing that Citizen watches are made with highly-advanced technology. Some time-pieces feature satellite GPS tracking, atomic time-keeping, and a super titanium outer shell. Prices vary, considering that most models retail between $157 to $7,400. Don’t worry; it’s relatively easy to find a decent watch for under $1,000.
In need of more specifics? We’ll feature some highlights associated with Citizen watches.
- Creates designs for both men and women
- Offers solar-powered watches as an eco-friendly alternative
- Some time-pieces come with neat features, such as GPS tracking and a titanium outer shell
- Has a 5-year warranty to help cover manufacturing defects
- Provides Klarna as an alternative payment option
- Free ground shipping on all orders
Since we featured G-Shock previously in our best affordable watch brands review, we’ll save you the trouble of reading over their origin story by skipping to the main bits. Owned by Casio, this acclaimed collection is favored by outdoor enthusiasts and the military. They’re designed with the sturdiest materials, as G-Shock watches are water-resistant and damage-proof.
Casio’s collection of G-Shock beauties is limitless. Feeling overwhelmed? Welcome to the party. Most first-time buyers are at a loss of where to start. Judging by their web page, it appears that their watches are divided into 9 different categories. This includes analog, G-Steel, Mr-G, and more.
They also offer a limited-edition selection where customers can find rare timepieces. Costs vary between $70 to $8,000. It’s certainly more affordable than paying $18,000 for a Cartier model.
G-Shock watches, according to hundreds of experts, are well worth the money. If you’re still on the fence, we’ll share some highlights associated with this brand.
- Considered reputable by hundreds of experts
- Offered for men and women
- Water-resistant and shock-proof
- Links to smartphone apps
- Provides manuals and quick guides on its website
- Free shipping on orders $99 or more
According to the brand’s company mission, Timex is a group of ‘rebel watch-makers with a cause.’ They definitely stirred the time-piece industry by implementing a few changes of their own.
In choosing metal over wood and small over large dial movements, let’s just say that some old-school connoisseurs would gag and gasp at their unconventional twists. Timex states that they’re the watch brand of the people, as customers don’t have to pay an exorbitant fee for a high-quality model.
Between 1900 and 1945, the Timex watch became a symbol of female empowerment. They take pride in many ‘firsts,’ as their designs are attributed to NASA and the World Trade Center. Since Thomas Olsen’s step down as founder, the company continues to pioneer the latest advancements in time-piece making.
Timex’s watch collection consists of automatic, vintage-inspired, chronograph, digital, and more. They also collaborate with several reputable companies, including Peanuts, Ironman, and the NHL. Price-wise, you’re looking at a ballpark of around $45 to $1,000. It’s not bad, considering they offer customization options and a handy GPS app.
Since Timex is included in our best affordable watch brands guide, it’s necessary that we feature some initial highlights associated with this company.
- Provides designs for both men and women
- Some models are water-resistant
- Offers customizations options
- Home to several collaborations
- Has a 1-year warranty to help cover repair costs
- Positive customer reviews
Like most reputable watch companies, Hamilton has been in business since the dawn of time. Puns aside, this luxury brand first opened its doors in 1892. They played a critical role in the development of aviation, as their designs were used by the U.S Airmail Service.
Other notable accomplishments include its invention of the world’s first electronic watch and its 5-seconds of fame in movies Shanghai Express, Interstellar, and The Martian. Given its impressive credentials, I think it’s fair to say that Hamilton is the watch company of the 20th century.
Hamilton combines traditional Swiss watch-making with a hint of “American spirit.” Currently, its collection boasts a wide selection of in-season models, including American Classic, Broadway, Khaki Aviation, and Ventura.
If you’re looking for something specific, all time-pieces are organized into different categories, such as case size, dial color, and type of water resistance. In terms of price, costs range between $270 to $4,205.
Hamilton is certainly a favorite among history-buffs, but what about the average customer? If you’re in need of some extra convincing, we’ll provide some highlights down below.
- Popularized by movies such as The Martian and Interstellar
- Offers a wide degree of water resistance
- Provides watch manuals on its website
- Issues a 24-month warranty and service repairs
- Positive customer reviews
- Free ground shipping on all orders
You can’t get red-carpet ready without including a Bulova watch with your celebrity fit. This all-American brand was founded by Joseph Bulova in 1875. Not much is known about the company’s origin story, other than that they’re owned by Citizen.
Aside from its glamorous selection of time-pieces, this online retailer is recognized for its Hollywood partnerships. The brand is affiliated with the Grammy awards and the Frank Sinatra School in Queens, New York.
Their designs are nothing short of glitz and glamor. Most Bulova watches feature crystals, gold-tinted dials, and stainless steel wristbands. Offered for both men and women, collections range from Marine Star, Regatta, Curv, and Precisionists. Unfortunately, you’ll have to fork over a handsome sum when investing in a Bulova time-piece, as prices range from $99 to $3,150.
I think it’s fair to say that Bulova watches are designed for the modern-day trendsetter. But, if you’re still wondering why this company is included in our best affordable watch brands lineup, we’ll provide a few tell-tale reasons in the following segment.
- Offers a timeless selection of high-quality watches
- Affiliated with the Grammy Awards
- Provides a service repair program for customers to request
- Has watch manuals on its website
- Positive customer reviews
- Free shipping on all orders
What Is the Best Affordable Luxury Watch?
Timex appears to be the best affordable luxury watch brand on the market. On average, you’re looking at a price range of $45 to $1,000. We understand that it’s a rather large ballpark, but you can take care knowing that most models sell for around $100 to $400.
It’s worth noting that this only includes time-pieces. Leather straps, dials, and bases aren’t considered here, as separate components usually retail for a lower price.
Aside from Timex, brands like Swatch, Fossil, and G-Shock also take the cake on affordability. If you decide to shop at any of these three boutiques, you’re guaranteed to find a cheap watch for around $50 to $70.
What Are The Best Watches for Your Money?
We’ll be totally blunt here. The best watches are oftentimes the most expensive. Brands like Seiko, G-Shock, and Casio are considered the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to luxury timepieces.
According to hundreds of experts, their designs are durable, well-made, and high-quality in terms of material. Unfortunately, you’re looking at a price range of about $70 to $8,000, with most watches retailing for over $400.
Of course, finding the best watch depends on your values and needs. For instance, G-Shock is a great timepiece to have if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. Its durable mold can help prevent everyday wear and tear. Seiko, while outrageously expensive, is an unmatched brand due to its seamless design and beautiful construction. The decision is ultimately up to you.
What Is The #1 Watch Brand?
Durable, beautifully constructed, and trusted by thousands of customers—Casio is the number one watch brand out of our top 10 list. Considering that G-Shock is part of their collection, it’s almost like killing two birds with one stone. They’re favored by hundreds of watch aficionados due to their reliability and semi-affordable prices.
We understand that they aren’t the most visually attractive designs on the market, but they definitely pass the test in terms of durability—which we find the most important.
How to Shop the Best Affordable Watch Brands
There’s a good chance we missed a few brands while going through our top 10 list. If you happen to encounter a company outside of Seiko, Fossil, Timex, or Hamilton, there are a few tell-tale signs that showcase its legitimacy and credibility. Here, we’ll discuss some key points that shoppers should look out for, ranging from quality, durability, to battery life.
Brand recognition alone isn’t going to guarantee a high-quality product. It’s important to do some background research before investing in a watch, especially if it’s expensive.
Usually, well-known companies like Seiko and Casio are upfront on how their watches are made and the materials used during construction. Lesser-known boutiques don’t provide the same amount of information, which lowers their degree of credibility.
The best affordable watch brands should use a mix of stainless steel, titanium, and crystal. The cover piece should be made out of crystal, whether that be quartz or sapphire. Cheap models are typically constructed out of scratch-prone materials such as plastic. It’s always important to check the product descriptions to see if they skimp out on certain components.
Durability depends on the materials used. Scratch-resistant components, such as quartz or sapphire can help increase the longevity of your watch. Sturdy metals like stainless steel and titanium are much more reliable compared to bendable plastic. You should also look out for other specifications, as anti-damage cases can also prevent normal wear and tear.
Watches come in all shapes and sizes. Obviously, it’s important to consider your personal tastes before settling in on a brand. Some designs cater to outdoor enthusiasts, as they usually come in bulky, technological-looking silhouettes. Others opt for a more elegant take, as other timepieces feature a more delicate composition.
So, do you prefer analog or digital? Preferences aside, displays can also mean the type of quartz movement offered and the overall design of the timepiece. Watches can be touch-screen, offer a roman numeral dial, or can read milliseconds if it’s designed for sports activities. At the end of the day, it depends on what your needs are.
A good watch should last for up to 3 to 5 years. It’s worth noting that this only applies to non-touch-screen timepieces, as Apple models can simply be charged. Before you settle on a design, it’s crucial to look at its battery life to help save any future hassle.
Some luxury watches offer a bit of somethin’ somethin’ to help soften the exorbitant price tag. This may include water resistance, glow in the dark hands, or a time-zone-friendly dial. Of course, the basic components of the watch should never be overlooked. Special features should always be seen as the cherry-on-top and not as the final deciding factor.
As you’ve probably already noticed, watches don’t have a set price tag. It’s a large ballpark, as some designs can retail as low as $45 and as high as $8,000. Considering that most timepieces are a hefty investment, it’s absolutely crucial to consider your overall budget. Before settling in on a model, you should also factor in other elements, such as quality and durability.
What Is The Most Reliable Watch Brand?
Casio is the most reliable watch brand on the market. Are you surprised? We named it our number 1 brand out of our top 10, so it shouldn’t be astounding that it’s the most durable out of the bunch.
They offer sturdy timepieces for a semi-reasonable price. There’s a reason why they’re loved by hundreds of watch aficionados, as most models last through the test of time (no pun intended).
Most experts agree that G-Shock is a reliable watch for hikers, campers, and athletes. Compared to more delicate designs offered by Seiko or Bulova, this hefty timepiece can survive through extreme conditions. Basically, you don’t have to worry about flushing $400 down the drain.
Where Are The Best Watches Made?
According to sources online, the best affordable watch brands source their materials from Switzerland, Germany, and Japan. Most companies on our list, such as Seiko and Victorinox, produce their timepieces from these three countries.
Based on multiple reports, most agree that Switzerland is the number one place to get a watch. Why? Well, they often use high-quality mechanisms and premium materials for their designs. It’s a standard unmatched by any other country.
We get it; watch shopping is an intimidating arena to enter. Its high level of craftsmanship paired with faint-worthy prices can often leave buyers frazzled and confused. There’s no need to sweat, as we provided you the best of the best to help make things easier.
Hopefully, by the end of this best affordable watch brands review, you’ve become more informed and in charge of your decisions.