Best Automatic Watches Under Your Budget
Timepieces come in all different shapes and sizes. Manufacturers use many different materials in the construction of their best automatic watches, ranging from sapphire glass to stainless steel cases – and everything in-between. You’ll find Swiss movements, Japanese movements, and even some Chinese movements in this category today.
You’ll also find a wide variety of price points offered. Automatic watches that are under your budget may range in price from under $50 to right around $1,000. With the best watch reviews available to you, it will become possible to find the perfect timepiece to give as a gift or wear yourself today.
What is your budget? What is your look? Let’s find the best automatic watch for you today.
AUTOMATIC WATCH BUYING GUIDE
There are several ways you can narrow your choices down to find the best automatic watch for you that fits nicely into your budget. We have divided these ways down below to give you a better idea on what to look for.
Each watch brand has its own unique style and characteristics that sets it apart from other brands. You want to find a brand that has similar tastes and interests to better match the style you are looking for. When looking for a reasonably priced watch in your budget, consider the features you want as well – especially if it is going to be for more practical use rather than just fashion.
Watches also vary when it comes to their shape, size, and the materials used in their production. The watch case includes the middle, bezel, and back parts of the watch and there are many choices to be found in this category as well.
This is what makes the watch perform. Mechanical and quartz. You will find that automatic watches fall into the category of mechanical movement because of the different parts that make up the watch including the gears and springs. Many people prefer automatic watches because the movements to them are much more refined and show the craftsmanship of the watch.
Does your watch need to be water resistant? This is something that varies by watch brand and type, so you should always research the specific watch you are going to purchase to determine if it is water-resistant. Another watch from the same brand with a similar style may not have the same specs.
Finally, your budget comes into play. A lot of the time, you will find that when you pay more, the watch may be better quality and can possibly last much longer. You need to decide how much you are willing to invest in a timepiece and if you want to have it for the long haul or see a higher resale value for the watch later on.
WHAT ARE THE BEST AUTOMATIC WATCHES UNDER $1,000?
If your budget is capped at $1,000, then you have several different styles and automatic movements from which to choose in a timepiece. You’ll find gold inlays, wide dials, and Swiss manufacturing available in this category. There are also watches from the US, Asia, and Germany that can be found with regularity in this category.
Not sure which type of automatic watch is right for you? Then we’ve put together a chart of the best automatic watches under $1,000 that is based on public reviews from real owners. This way you can quickly compare the features and fashion of each watch to find the one which will best meet your needs.
|Tissot Men's Luxury Analog Display Watch|| 5.0 || $$$$ |
|Hamilton Men's Khaki Analog Display Automatic Watch|| 4.7 || $$$$ |
|Frederique Constant Men's Slim Line Automatic Watch|| 4.3 || $$$$ |
|Victorinox Swiss Army Men's Automatic Chrono Watch|| 4.0 || $$$ |
|Tissot T-Race MotoGP Black Dial Automatic Watch|| 4.1 || $$$$$ |
|Tag Heuer Men's Formula 1 Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.5 || $$$$$ |
|Tissot PRC 200 Men's Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.6 || $$$$ |
|Bulova Kirkwood Swiss Automatic Stainless Steel Watch|| 5.0 || $$$ |
|Tissot Chemin Des Tourelles Automatic Watch|| 5.0 || $$$$ |
|Raymond Weil Men's Automatic Stainless Steel Watch|| 5.0 || $$$$ |
We’ve picked out three of our favorite timepieces in this category to give you a closer look at what is available in our industry right now. Each one features a specific strength in the design, which could make it the best watch for you.
This beautiful watch offers classic style in a luxury format. The luminescent hands and markers make it extremely easy to check on the time in virtually any condition. It features a skeleton watch back, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a pull/push crown for easy setting. The automatic movement has an 80-hour power reserve and the watch is water-resistant to 165 feet. It’s heavy, but not bulky, and works with virtually every fashion and style.
This 40mm stainless steel Swiss automatic watch features an anti-reflection sapphire dial window that gives you a pure look at the time. This timepiece features blue colorization on the dial, classic number fonts, and contrast stitching on the leather band to enhance any look. It has 330 feet of water-resistance built into the design, a stationary coin-edge bezel with offers a fantastic addition, and an outer minute track. If you’re looking for a reliable timepiece with a traditional, but updated look, this is the best automatic watch for you.
This is the timepiece that offers you a subtle fashion statement for a very reasonable price. We loved how secure the textured calfskin band happens to be, especially with the Deployant clasp as part of the design. A date complication is added to this simple dial design, which is protected by a sapphire crystal. The minimalist design extends to the stick indices, onion crown, and open lugs on this 40mm timepiece. If you want to make a statement without pomp and circumstance, then you’re going to want to take a look at this incredible watch.
WHAT POWER OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE BEST AUTOMATIC WATCHES?
The best automatic watches are living things. They may not breathe, but they do rely on your movement in order to survive. Many of today’s timepieces in this category are self-winding and need kinetic energy in order to continue operating. That means you need to strap your watch on each day, wear it while you’re out and about, and enjoy all of the benefits of owning a top-quality timepiece.
Sounds like a rough life, right?
There are some additional power options that are available in automatic watches in addition to the popular self-winding kinetics. Here are some of the best alternatives to consider.
- These watches will charge the automatic functionsbased on natural or artificial light. You will want to avoid wearing long sleeves or keeping this type of watch in a box or drawer for storage for the best possible experience.
- Some watches in this category will just operate on a simple battery. Look for 1-year battery warranties and a minimum of 2-year battery life options in the best watch reviews to get the right timepiece with this power option.
- Hand-wound.This is your traditional style of watch, requiring winding every 24-72 hours in order to operate.
If you feel the itch, the pull, the urge to follow in your father’s footsteps to own a top quality automatic watch, then be sure to follow these additional tips from Esquire Magazine to find the right timepiece for you.
WHAT ARE THE BEST AUTOMATIC WATCHES UNDER $500?
You can still find a fantastic automatic watch if your budget is limited to $500 or less. You’ll find fewer precious metals involved in the designs of these timepieces, but there are still several top-of-the-line features that can be found in this category. The best automatic watches under $500 typically have these three features.
- Sapphire Crystals
- 316L Stainless Steel
- A 2-Year Limited Warranty [At Minimum]
You’ll still find timepieces from Switzerland, Germany, and the US in this category, along with high-end Japanese watches, for your consideration.
The chart below offers you an easy way to compare and contrast these features and designs in these timepieces so you can find the one that speaks loudest to you.
|Bulova Men's Calibrator Swiss Automatic Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.4 || $$$$ |
|Seiko Mechanical Standard Models Automatic Watch|| 4.7 || $$$ |
|Tissot Men's Automatic III Swiss Automatic Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.0 || $$$ |
|Victorinox Men's Alliance Swiss Automatic Watch|| 4.0 || $$$$ |
|Orient Men's Sun and Moon Automatic Dress Watch|| 5.0 || $$$$ |
|Seiko Mechanical Elegant Model Automatic Watch|| 4.7 || $$$ |
|Bulova Men's 96B175 Precisionist Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.7 || $$$ |
|Frederique Constant Men's Index Analog Display Watch|| 4.3 || $$$$ |
|Luminox Men's Ops Carbon Swiss Quartz Resign Watch|| 4.7 || $$$ |
|Hamilton Men's Khaki Field Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.2 || $$$$ |
There are a few automatic watches that stand out to us above the rest in this category. We’ve taken a closer look at a few of them so you can get to know these timepieces a little bit more. Could one of these watches be the right one for you today?
This watch offers value shoppers the opportunity to combine classic design elements with an updated modern look. We’re particularly attracted to the rose gold tones that are incorporated into this watch. It features a date window, power indicator, and a 43mm case that offers comfortable wear. It’s also one of the few under $500 automatic watches that features a Swiss movement and a sapphire crystal. Value screams from this timepiece. Put it on your wrist and you are going to be satisfied.
This timepiece is evidence that Seiko is continuing to do great things in the watch industry. This 37mm stainless steel beauty keeps a reasonably accurate time, within 40 seconds total on a daily basis. It fits snugly, doesn’t feel bulky on the wrist, and offers the classic look which works for almost any purpose. With 23-jewels and a sapphire band and crystal, you’ll find that this timepiece offers a fantastic price for advanced features. Ignore this timepiece at your own risk if you want a new watch today.
This automatic watch might not feature sapphire everything, but the 316L surgical-grade stainless steel is almost as durable. The silver dial with index numerals is easy enough to read and the 3-bar water resistance gives this watch some added endurance. The ETA 2836-2 movement is consistently accurate. We appreciated how the fixed stainless steel bezel brings attention to the timepiece, but not in a flashy way. At 40mm, we found this watch was sized and weighted correctly for a fantastic overall wearing experience.
Why Do Automatic Watches Set the Standard in the Timepiece Industry?
For many watch owners, the least important thing their watch does is tell the time. This is why you’ll find just as many people using their smartphone to determine the time as a high-quality watch.
It’s also why an automatic watch tends to be preferred. It’s not just because this kind of watch can keep accurate times. It’s also how it makes timekeeping happen.
Because automatic watches really are living things, there are some unique advantages that can be found over quartz movement timepieces. These are the reasons why many people prefer an automatic watch.
- The seconds sweep by. Quartz watches require a ticking motion in order for the time to be accurately maintained. Tick. Automatic watches offer more of a sweeping motion, which is quieter and much more attractive from a visual standpoint.
- It needs you.Unless you’re wearing an automatic watch with a complete battery backup, you must wear it on a regular basis for it to continue operating. Some models can go up to 5 days without being worn and still have power, but the cheap automatic watches may require daily wear.
- Each design reflects your personality.Automatic watches come in many different styles and price points. This means you can find the perfect watch to meet your needs without really compromising the overall quality of the watch.
WHAT ARE THE BEST AUTOMATIC WATCHES UNDER $200?
If your budget is tight and you can’t spend more than $200 on a new timepiece, then you might think you have to settle for a sub-standard watch. Maybe that was true in the past, but that is most certainly not the case today.
Many watches in this category might be considered fashion watches, but you’ll still find some models that offer top-quality features. Instead of being packed with these features, however, you’ll typically find each model has one specifically strong feature that dominates the style of the watch.
Because this is the most popular category of automatic watches, there are literally thousands of models from which to choose. The chart below offers you a fast way to compare and contrast the best automatic watches under $200.
|Bulova 21 Jewel Automatic Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.5 || $$ |
|Seiko Men's Diver's Automatic Watch|| 4.5 || $$$ |
|Bulova Snorkel Quartz Stainless Steel Automatic Watch|| 4.6 || $$$ |
|Bulova Men's Marine Star Silver Stainless Steel Watch|| 5.0 || $$ |
|Burei Men's Analog Display Automatic Movement Watch|| 4.0 || $$ |
|Henry Jan 23K Gold Plated Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.9 || $$ |
|Seiko 5 Sports Automatic Black Dial Watch|| 4.6 || $$ |
|Fossil Townsman Automatic Leather Watch|| 4.0 || $$$ |
|Citizen Men's Nighthawk Stainless Steel Eco-Drive|| 4.7 || $$$ |
|Seagull M172s Automatic Mechanical Watch|| 4.0 || $$$ |
And here’s a closer look at some of the best options that are available right now for purchase.
Finding an analog mechanical watch for under $200 was quite the challenge. Discovering one with a superior quality level was even more challenging. It’s a good thing we found this electric blue and gold timepiece that features stainless steel craftsmanship and coin-edge detailing. Although there are cost-saving features built into the watch, like the mineral glass crystal, overall the wear experience is still very positive. Wear this watch for about 8 hours each day for accurate timing and you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.
Japanese movements have come a long way since the 1970s. Many automatic watches in this category are extremely accurate, including this sports model offered at an incredible price. The 23-jewel self-winding movement on this watch, Calibre 7S36, gives you a reliable wear experience. Seiko has also included their Hardlex mineral crystal for added impact resistance. Not a fan of the black nylon strap, but that can be swapped out pretty easily. If you are value shopping for a new timepiece, you’ll need to consider this watch.
This automatic watch from the Eco-Drive line offered by this brand is one of the most fantastic timepiece looks we’ve encountered for this entire site. It features a dual-time display, pilot’s slide rule, and a fold-over push-button clasp. There is also a low-charge warning and easy-to-read dials with the luminous display. It’s water-resistant up to 200 meters, but even Citizen doesn’t recommend this watch for scuba diving. Watch out for the price on this one – new models will spike to $300 or more when demand is high for it.
WHAT ARE THE BEST AUTOMATIC WATCHES UNDER $100?
When your kids become interested in watches, you don’t want to give them an expensive watch at first. Even the most responsible children need to learn what it means to wear a timepiece on a regular basis. A $1,000 automatic watch can quickly become a $1,000 paperweight.
You may also want a backup watch for your high-end automatic when you don’t want to wear it for some reason. These are the automatic watches that won’t break your budget, will still look fantastic, and you won’t really be worried about whether or not they get scratched up at the end of the day.
The chart below offers you a look at the best options that are available in this category right now. The best automatic watches under $100 can introduce you to this category without much risk, but the rewards can be great.
|Seiko Men's Automatic Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.1 || $$ |
|Invicta Men's Pro Diver 23k Gold Plated Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.3 || $$$ |
|Invicta 8926OB Pro Diver Automatic Watch w/ Link Bracelet|| 4.3 || $$$ |
|Timex Weekender Fairfield Slip-Thru Strap Watch|| 4.4 || $$ |
|Kenneth Cole NY Men's Automatic Gunmetal Watch|| 4.1 || $$$ |
|Seiko SNK807 Automatic Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.1 || $$ |
|GuTe Dress Gentlemen Decor Automatic Watch|| 4.0 || $ |
|Invicta Men's Pro Diver 18k Japanese Automatic Watch|| 4.4 || $$$ |
|Fanmis Sapphire Rotatable Bezel Automatic Watch|| 5.0 || $$ |
|Burei Luminous Day and Date Automatic Watch|| 4.2 || $$ |
Many of these watches can be tried out at your local department store if you want to give them a test run. Then make sure you come back and shop online for your authentic automatic watches. Department store pricing can be triple or more that of what you’ll find for the exact same timepiece online being sold by an authorized dealer or reseller.
This might be the best value purchase that is available in the industry today. The sword-shaped hands, Hardlex mineral crystal, and classic black dial design are all trademarks of the Seiko brand. Having the hour markers on the inside circle instead of the outer is a little strange at first, but easy enough to get used to viewing. Add in the precision 21-jewel movement for this automatic watch and the classic sweeping second hand and you’ll have a fantastic watch at an even better price.
This Pro Diver style of watch features a stainless steel design, unidirectional bezel, and luminous hands and markers that make it easy to see the time. It’s a 40mm design which features a Japanese automatic movement with a date complication in the standard location. The bracelet is also made from stainless steel links, with the fold-over clasp securing the timepiece on the wrist with confidence. It may be a recreational or casual fashion watch, but the durability is good and it feels heavy, but not bulky. We loved this watch.
A sapphire glass dial protection for less than $50? It didn’t seem like it could be true. Yet here is this highly affordable automatic watch, offered in a classic design, giving you a versatile and durable timepiece at a great price. Now the steel on this watch feels like it is a lower grade than others and the quartz movement is an off-the-shelf type, but it does offer water-resistance and a calendar complication. It’s easy to read, is comfortable, and the most affordable value buy in this category in our opinion.
ARE YOU READY TO FIND THE BEST CHEAP AUTOMATIC WATCH TODAY?
No matter what your budget might be, these are the best automatic watches that you are going to find in our industry today. Because these watches often rely on kinetic energy to maintain their power, it is important to wear your watch every day if you can. This will make sure that your watch always has the energy to spare so that you can always be on-time.
Find your price point. Discover the features that you’re going to want to have in your watch. Locate the size which works best for your wrist. When you do, you will find that there is an amazing deal awaiting you right now so that you can complete your look with a high-quality timepiece.