15 Best Watches Under $500

November 26, 2021

Watches are that piece of accessories that elevate the whole look and for sure that there is a watch for everyone. The misconception of buying an expensive watch because it will always be nice is not always true, that’s why here we devoted our research into the best watches under $500 as this might be the next perfect gift for anyone.

Some people say watches are just a manner of showing time while others devote money, time, and research into the best watch so they could pass it to the next generation. Best examples of Rolexes that shut up in value as time goes on change the perception of buying watches, some also treat it as an investment – a bit of an expensive one. Before you start shopping for your next best watch under $500 there are a few things to keep in mind.

Features To Keep In Mind

Size

Watches come in different sizes and this is one of the factors that drive the prices of watches in any category. Watches made for men are commonly big, feature bulky dimensions and thick glass tops. Watches made for ladies on the other hand are commonly small and feature thin strips. 

Material

Watches are primarily made out of layers of materials. These materials include ceramic, titanium, stainless steel and steel, metal, or alloys. Each material carries a special ability when it comes to resistance, longevity, and resistance to time. For example, titanium is three times more durable than stainless steel while at the same time being lightweight. On the other hand, stainless steel is very rust-resistant and irritates the skin way less compared to other materials. Other pieces of materials that need consideration are the type of glass – primarily found as sapphire, crystal, mineral, or plastic.

Fun Fact: K1 mineral crystal is the most common crystal used in designer watches and is more scratch-resistant than regular mineral crystal. It’s even more shatter-resistant than sapphire crystal.

Country Of Origin

One very important aspect of buying a watch is the country of origin. Switzerland is known for the better quality of watches at a premium price – together with delicious chocolates out of Zurich. The country of origin is important because of the consumer’s perception when reselling. At the $500 price tag, shopping in watches made in Sweden, the US, or elsewhere from China is a big plus.

Water Resistance

Despite not being on your plan to go swimming or having a shower with your watch on, having a water-resistant watch is always a good idea. Watches come in different standards of waterproof capabilities, say 50 meters or less. The watch is good to go for rainy outdoors or pool activities without getting your watch on and off. At above 50 meters of waterproof capability, the best watches under $500 could get you swimming without clogging the internals, above 100 meters you are ready for deep diving.

Style And Design

This is maybe one of the reasons why you would be looking for a watch. Watches are the best accessory to elevate your style and upper your looks. They come in different styles and technologies, some as smartwatches, others as your luxury piece of accessories. Be sure to fit your watch with your outfit – wearing an Apple Smart Watch with a nice office suite does not look as professional.

Brand

The brand is the stamp of quality, assuring what you get in what you pay for. The best brands are not always the most expensive brands. Pandora, Swatch, Seiko are the best examples of high-quality watches at an affordable price. 

Fun Fact: Japanese brands such as Seiko built watches based on Japanese culture – simply said, it is a sin in Japan to sell something of bad quality, that’s why we see million mile Toyotas and infinite timeless watches.

Our Top Picks OF BEST WATCHES Under $500

Best Japanese Watch Under $500: Seiko 5 Gold-Tone

The Seiko 5 Gold-Tone features a stainless steel bracelet and a classic analog display which is a timeless design that will remain opulent for years to come. It is resistant to 30 meters of water diving – definitely not ideal for diving but it can withstand rainy days or a pool dive easily.

The stainless steel case is 35.5 mm and features a Hardlex dial window – if you are curious about what a hardlex dial window is, it’s simply a type of glass invented by Seiko as a step up in hardness from polycarbonate watch crystals, more resistant to scratches compared to conventional glasses or hardcore plastic. Comes in a lifelong fold-over clasp that does not irritate the skin.

Pros

  • Under $200
  • Good Value For Price
  • Sunray Dial
  • Gold Color 
  • Day And Date Window
  • Automatic Watch

Cons

  • 30 Meter Water Resistant
  • Fitment Issues Of Claps To Larger Wrists
  • Very Bright Gold Color

[Dimensions: 3.94 x 3.94 x 5.91 inches” | Color: Gold Tone |: Watch Movement: Japanese Quartz | Water Resistance Depth: 30.00 meters]

Best Comfortable Swiss: Swatch Quartz Silicone Strap

The Swatch Quartz Silicone Strap is a big bold watch that comes in 7 different colors – each makes for an unquestionably stylish design. Big Bold is a new segment collection inspired by bold ideas, designed for even bolder personalities. The watch case is 47mm thick and the bold arrows point to the right direction of your next move- together with time. The best feature of this watch is its versatility. Swatch watches are not categorized into the premium section but they could be worn in any style, say that outdoor, indoor, school or office.

Pros: 

  • Water Resistant To 30 Meters
  • Free Battery Exchange In Any Swatch Retailer
  • 2 Year International Warranty
  • Transparent Design 
  • Silent

Cons: 

  • Plastic Made
  • Transparent Strap Turns Yellow In A Few Months
  • Way Too Big

[Dimensions: 9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 inches” | Color: Wide Variety Of Colors |: Watch Movement: Swiss Quartz | Water Resistance Depth: 30.00 meters]

Best In Promo: OPK Luxury Watch

The OPK Luxury Watch comes in 3 different colors and a valid promo code is available until 10/26/2021 at 11:59 PM, you will see the discount apply at checkout. This is a precise watch featuring a Japanese quartz movement, stainless steel body, and shell. The best feature of this watch is the price as originally sold for 48$ and free shipping you also get a promotional discount using our link.

OPK is resistant to up to 30 meters of water – can easily withstand a splash of water or a rainy walk but no swimming, diving, or snorkeling for long periods of time. The tiny calendar window displays day and date wrapped in the 40mm case shell. Extra features include a 30-day return policy and a full-year warranty. The watch fits in the casual category and could be worn with most types of outfits – this is the best watch for gifting someone under $50.

[Dimensions: 5.83 x 2.56 x 1.38 inches | Color: Gold, Silver |: Watch Movement: Japanese Quartz | Water Resistance Depth: 30.00 meters]

Pros:

  • Solid 
  • Comfortable
  • Great Color Options
  • Feels And Looks Much More Expensive
  • Best For Watch For Gifts
  • Comes With A Promo Code

Cons:

  • Stainless Steel Material
  • 2 Day Promo

[Dimensions: 5.83 x 2.56 x 1.38 inches | Color: Gold, Silver |: Watch Movement: Japanese Quartz | Water Resistance Depth: 30.00 meters]

Best Well-Known Brand: Michael Kors Bayville Two-Tone Watch

If you are still asking yourself the question “are Michael kors watches still in style” do not hesitate to look it up. Michael Kors is somewhat referred to as an essential styling accessory. The new Bayville Two-Tone Watch is the latest arrival from New York which comes in 5 different colors. Michael Kors’ Bayville watch looks nice and is best combined with a suit, despite the spirit of Michael Kors being part of an innovative collection with a modern American style—cool, sporty, and sophisticated it could also be worn with many other accessories and outfits.

As we go down further to the list of the best watches under $500 there are better and better specifications as we start to pay top dollar for these watches. The Bayville Two-Tone watch is resistant to up to 50 meters of water, wearable while swimming in shallow water. The case is 44mm thick, 22mm bandwidth, and features a scratch-resistant mineral crystal, Quartz movement with chronograph analog display. The stainless steel strap is made of high-quality stainless steel that does not irritate the skin and lasts a lifetime if cared for properly.

[Dimensions: 1.73 x 0.87 x 0.43 inches | Color: 5 different two-tone colors |: Watch Movement: Quartz | Water Resistance Depth: 50.00 meters]

Pros: 

  • High Quality Material
  • Does Not Irritate Skin
  • Two Tone Color
  • Well-Known Brand
  • Giftable Packaging

Cons:

  • Premium Price Assembled In China

Best Unisex: Tissot Unisex-Adult Carson

Tissot has been a well-known Swiss brand since 1853. They use special materials, advanced functionalities, and meticulous design in the production process of their watches. The plus sign symbolizes the Swiss flag to represent the quality and reliability of their products. This Tissot watch comes at $272, features Swiss quartz movement, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a roman dial time and date.

Differently from the other best watches under $500 the Tissot Unisex Adult Carson comes with a stainless steel bracelet that opens in a butterfly clasp with push-button. It is water-resistant up to 50-meters and 5 bars of pressure, suitable for short periods of recreational swimming and showering, but not diving or snorkeling. Suitable for both genders it could also be fitted with most outfits.

[Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.7 x 3.4 inches | Color: Gray |: Watch Movement: Swiss Quartz | Water Resistance Depth: 50.00 meters]

Pros:

  • 50 Meter Water Resistance
  • Classic Design 
  • Luxury Brand
  • Slim And Sleek
  • Super Classy And Luxurious
  • Elegant But Versatile

Cons:

  • Lack Of Color Choices

Best Feminine: Movado Bold Evolution

In addition to the list of the best watches under $500 we also had to include watches made for females. To start off the list of best female watches with the Swiss Movado brand. The Bold Evolution watches are made by Movado are notable for composure and style.

The refined swiss engineering provides precise timekeeping and minimal maintenance for a reliable and worry-free timepiece. The slim and sleek Movado features a 34 mm pale yellow gold ion-plated stainless steel case and mesh bracelet with a pale yellow gold-toned dial.

Water-resistant stainless steel will not wear out in the long term and the watch has 3ATM waterproof capability, meaning it could go underwater for a short period of time but not serious swimming or snorkeling.

[Dimensions:  7 x 5 x 7 inches | Color: Gold |: Watch Movement: Swiss Quartz | Water Resistance Depth: 50.00 meters]

Pros:

  • Swiss Brand
  • Timeless Design 
  • Gold Toned That Will Not Wear Off

Cons:

  • The main purpose of watching time is off

Best Budget Watch For Women’s : Fossil Riley

Fossil Riley is an American brand inspired by American creativity and ingenuity. The crystal-accented multifunction quartz watch brings style and luxurious small pieces of shiny diamonds at an affordable price. It comes in 9 color variations – the case shell of Fossil watches remains classic style yet Fossil has sprinkled things up by adding sporty features, Riley is a style that transcends the season.

The multifunctional case shows time, day, and the date and the watch itself is water-resistant up to 100 meters, suitable for bathing, swimming, or snorkeling, but is not resistant enough to withstand scuba diving.

Fact: This is one of the most water-resistant watches on our list. Daily activities and short periods of swimming will not cause any problems whatsoever, however, the deeper you dive the higher the pressure goes which is not the best case scenario with this watch. At $69 this is the best watch for women under $100.

[Dimensions:  0.59 x 0.59 x 0.59 inches | Color: Wide Variety Of 9 Colors|: Watch Movement: Quartz | Water Resistance Depth: 100.00 meters]

Pros:

  • Wide Variety Of Colors
  • Classic Yet Opulent Design
  • Feels More Premium Than It’s Sale Price
  • Beautiful And Elegant

Cons:

  • A Little Heavy

Perfect Size: Fossil Jacqueline Stainless Steel

Keeping up with the Fossil line up we have the Jacqueline models. These are watches made with the finest and most luxe materials to create a watch that is feminine with a classic twist. The case size is 36mm and features a quartz movement with a three-hand analog display, date window, and Roman dial time.

The stainless steel case does not irritate the skin while the stainless steel mesh band with self-adjustable sliding closure. Water-resistant up to 30 meters, able to withstand daily activities such as a rainy day or a splash of water. Not suitable for swimming, snorkeling, or diving. Suitable with most outfits including dresses, suits, jeans, or casual outfits. This is the best Jacqueline watch under the $200 price tag.

[Dimensions:  1.42 x 1.38 x 0.59 inches | Color: Wide Variety Of 9 Colors|: Watch Movement: Quartz | Water Resistance Depth: 100.00 meters]

Pros:

  • Elegant Design
  • Wide Color Options
  • Perfect size

Cons:

  • Stem to set timer too short to be used easily

Honorable Mention: Michael Kors Women’s Slim Runway

The Michael Kors Slim Runway falls under the best automatic watches under $500. This is the perfect watch to wear during office hours and casual outfits. It features a quartz movement with an analog display and an aluminum bracelet. Comes in a wide variety of colors that will not wear out if well-kept. Water-resistant to 10AT, meaning that you could easily handle day-to-day activities, a short period of swimming time but no diving or snorkeling. 

The case size is 42mm which makes for the perfect size women watch. Silver stick indexes point elegantly to the hours and minutes but there is no date or day window dial. Tiny diamonds in each time dial make for a really pretty design. At $172 this is a perfect timepiece best suited for gifts or a lovely Valentine’s Day.

[Dimensions:  4.7 x 4.3 x 3.7 inches  | Color: Wide Variety Of 9 Colors|: Watch Movement: Quartz | Water Resistance Depth: 100.00 meters]

Pros:

  • Perfect for Office
  • Perfect Size 
  • Great Price
  • Does Not Irritate The Skin

Cons:

  • Made Out Of Aluminum Which Can Wear Out If There Is To Much Friction

Best Budget Made In Switzerland: Wenger Urban Classic

Following up on our list we have the Wenger Urban Classic. This is the best unisex adult watch under $500, made in Switzerland and it packs tons of premium features. To start off the bracelet is a mesh type – watches under the current trends use meshed bracelet design because it does not wear out easily, looks pretty and does not irritate the skin.

The Wenger Urban Classic is relatively a new watchmaker company. They started in 2016 and they are building up efforts to bring the Swiss quality of watchmaking at an affordable price. The Wenger Urban Classic is part of a budget-friendly collection – it features Swiss quartz movement, chronograph functions, and a date aperture, and scratch-resistant, anti-reflective sapphire crystal. The wide range of three-hand models and chronographs that are water-resistant to 10 ATM/100m offers everything you need for an active, mobile lifestyle. This watch in particular has a case size of 44mm and is water-resistant up to 100 meters.

[Dimensions:  4.37 x 3.62 x 2.91 inches | Color: Single Color |: Watch Movement: Swiss Quartz | Water Resistance Depth: 100.00 meters]

Pros: 

  • Easy Combo With Most Outfits
  • Water Resistance To 100 Meters
  • Swiss Quality 
  • Sapphire Coated Crystal

Cons:

  • Lack Of Color Options

Honorable Mention: Orient ‘Bambino Version IV’

The Orient’s Bambino Version IV quality-wise is on another level than what its price shows. It’s not as well made as a Rolex or Omega, but instead, it rivals brands like Hamilton. The case is polished steel that is really bright and even. The watch has a domed mineral crystal that is very thick. The watch has a signed buckle but no signed crown. The hands are short and the red second’s hands are somewhat of a turnoff. The dial is the real showpiece of the watch and its best attribute. It’s a sunburst dial that plays with the light going from bright blue to a dark blue almost black color. The movement is hackable and hand winds.

The thing about this watch is that it can be dressed down with a different strap and be worn with very casual attire. Overall as a first automatic, it’s a great piece, as a new collector you will be proud to own one, veteran collectors will be impressed by its quality to price ratio. It’s a great watch that mixes vintage appeal with some modern styling.

Dimensions: 4.72 x 4.72 x 4.72 inches; 8 Ounces  Color: Blue; Green, Gold Accents; Gray, Rose Gold Accents; Brown, Rose Gold Accents |: Watch Movement: Japanese Automatic | Water Resistance Depth: 100 feet (30m)]

Pros: 

  • Automatic
  • Domed crystal
  • 50 meter Water Resistance
  • Date indicator

Cons: 

  • Rotor noise
  • The crown is not signed 

Honorable Mention: BOSS Men’s Pilot Edition

Boss watches are tailored in a perfectly clean way to lifestyles where style doesn’t compromise. This Boss watch is crafted with two logarithmic scsalesand a slide-rule bezel for a host of calculations. It is designed in stainless steel with blue painting for a manly look. This multifunctional watch marries aviation-inspired functionalities with a sporty aesthetic. The Pilot Edition Chrono is created for men ready to soar higher than ever before.

The quartz watch movement is powered by a replaceable battery that charges and runs the watch. The best feature of this watch is that the BOSS company offers a 2-years warranty against defects in materials or any workmanship that prevents the watch from functioning properly.

Dimensions: 4.8 x 4.72 x 3.62 inches; 13.76 Ounces  Color: Blue |: Watch Movement: Quartz Water Resistance Depth: 5 Bar (Shower)]

Honorable Mention: Graf Zeppelin

The Zeppelin watches are characterized by precision, quality, and formidable design. The smooth stainless steel of the watch measures 40 mm in width and 10 mm in depth. Housed inside the steel is a high-quality automatic Swiss Made Ronda 706B quartz movement. The timepiece includes a Hesalite crystal that sits over the dial and comes with a date/day, moon phase, and 24h display. The handmade brown leather strap finishes the look of this outstanding model for men.

Dimensions: 0.39 x 0.39 x 0.39 inches; 2.05 Ounces Color: Blue |: Watch Movement: Ronda 706B, quartz-controlled | Water Resistance Depth: 30 m

Pros:

  • Aesthetics
  • Functionality
  • Good price for a quality moonphase

Cons:

  • It needs sapphire glass.

Honorable Mention: Bulova Men’s Classic Aerojet 

Bulova is an American Brand, and it’s well known for its innovation, craftsmanship, and its advanced watch technology. From the Classic Automatic Collection, we bring you this wonderful watch with its very refined features. It comes with 3 Hand Automatic 21 jewel movement and a 42-hour power reserve. 

The Bulova Classic 98A187 also features a stainless steel case and rose gold-tone crown at two o’clock position. Continuing with open aperture gray dial with rose gold-tone hands and markers, exhibition case back, boxed mineral glass, croco-embossed black leather strap with three-piece buckle closure, and water resistance to 30 meters.

Dimensions: 4.72 x 4.72 x 4.72 inches; 3.53 Ounces | Color: Gray dial with black band|: Watch Movement: Automatic | Water Resistance Depth: 30 m

Pros:

  • Automatic
  • Perfect Size 
  • Great Price

Cons:

  • No calendar

Honorable Mention: OUPINKE Swiss Brand Men Automatic Watch Tourbillon 

OUPINKE is a Swiss watch brand, which combines craftsmanship, elegance, and technology. The team continues to introduce the advanced technology and core components of the Swiss watches manufacturing industry, making each watch more precise and refined. The watch that we are bringing features an automatic mechanical movement with 50 hours of energy storage. Year, month, day, date, time are all on your wrist, this watch shows it all.

The strap is made of tungsten steel, which makes it look more luxurious and it’s stronger than stainless steel. A great feature that this watch has to offer is that it absorbs light thanks to the phosphor material, and it allows you to tell time even if you are in a very dark place. The watch can withstand water pressure up to 50 meters.

Dimensions:  5.67 x 5.12 x 3.07 inches; 1.1 Pounds | Color: Great variability of colors|: Watch Movement: Automatic | Water Resistance Depth: 50 m

Pros:

  • Automatic
  • Phosphorescent dial
  • Multiple Calendar Windows
  • Tungsten steel strap

Cons:

  • The crown is difficult to manually wind

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