Best Swiss Watches Under $500
Swiss watches come with an assumed level of quality that is superior to most other timepieces. The only problem is that this quality comes at a price. It is easy to spend more than $10,000 on a high-quality Swiss watch. That’s a price which many of us simply cannot afford.
For this reason, many watchmakers in Switzerland have been working to create a new category of Swiss-made timepieces that are more affordably priced. You’ll find fewer features available in the best Swiss watches under $500, but you’ll also find the same quality in these watches as their high-end luxury counterparts.
The Best Chart for Swiss Watches Under $500
All Swiss-made watches must be made of 50% or greater parts that were sourced from Switzerland. They must also be assembled and inspected within the country to qualify for this label. The chart below offers you a glimpse at the top-rated timepieces which meet or exceed these expectations.
|Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Men's Watch|| 5.0 || $$$ |
|Hamilton Men's Khaki King Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.4 || $$$ |
|Tissot Men's Quickster Chronograph Swiss Quartz Watch|| 4.1 || $$$ |
|Victorinox 241444 Classic Stainless/Leather Watch|| 4.6 || $$$ |
|Burberry Swiss Made Rose Gold Tone Unisex Bracelet Watch|| 4.3 || $$$ |
|Bulova Men's Calibrator Swiss Automatic Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.4 || $$$$ |
|Victorinox Maverick Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.6 || $$$ |
|Hamilton Men's Khaki Field Stainless Steel Watch|| 4.2 || $$$$ |
|Slow Jo 01 Swiss Made One-Hand 24-Hour Watch|| 4.7 || $$ |
|Bulova Men's Gemini Swiss Automatic Watch|| 5.0 || $$$$ |
What Are the Advantages of Owning a Swiss Watch?
For several generations, Switzerland has been the home of luxury watchmakers who have created fantastic timepieces with great prolificacy. Names like Rolex. Vacheron Constantin. Breguet. Piguet.
Speak these names and you’ll picture a timepiece that was made with a superior level of craftsmanship. The designs will be spectacular. The movements will be accurate and extremely consistent.
And you’ll be out of a ton of cash… until now. With some Swiss watches available today for $500 or less, you may not be able to own a diamond-studded masterpiece. You will get to take of these specific advantages that help to define what a Swiss-made timepiece must be.
- There are specific rules government movements. A Swiss watch must not exceed 12mm in thickness or 50mm in diameter. Half of the movement components must be made, assembled, and then inspected in Switzerland.
- Regulations regarding quality are very strict. Many of the regulations which govern the Swiss-made label have been in existence for over 400 years. Some older watches may not actually qualify for the current legal requirements of this label because of how stringent current rules are. This means there is a guaranteed quality of a real Swiss watch.
- ETA movements are generally the industry standard. One of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of a Swiss watch is to include a quartz movement. Owned by the Swatch Group, ETA movements can be automatic winding or hand-wound despite using mass-production techniques.
In the 1700s, if you were able to pull out a watch, then you were really somebody. Times may have changed, but the social status that comes with the ability to own a high-quality timepiece really hasn’t changed that much. The best Swiss watch under $500 might not be considered a high-end luxury timepiece, but it is a value purchase that can help you look good, feel good, and take advantage of the status a great-looking watch provides.
And here’s the good news: you can actually impress the in-laws with a great watch that won’t break your checking account.
How to Find the Best Swiss Watch Under $500 for Me
Although the number of Swiss watches under $500 is somewhat limited, it is still important to find a style that you’ll want to wear every day for years at a time. That can be surprisingly difficult to do. The fit of the watch is certainly important, but the timepiece design should also be attractive to you.
Since most watch designs are described in millimeters, you’ll need to be able to transcribe the size of the face diameter to how it sits on your wrist. Most people tend to prefer a watch that is 34-40mm in size, though larger watches with more weight may be in the 44-50mm range.
To determine what size will best fit your wrist, you’ll need to actually measure it. An easy way to do that if you don’t have a measuring tape available is to use a US $1 bill. These bills are 6-inches in length. If the bill wraps end to end perfectly or there’s a little extra space, then your wrist is 6-7 inches in length. You’ll want a watch that is 38-42mm.
If the gap space is large, then you’ll want a 44-50mm watch.
If the overlap is rather large, then you’ll want to stick to watches that are 34-38mm in size.
Thickness is also a concern. Larger diameters often require and added thickness. This adds to the weight of the watch. Standard thickness diameters tend to be between 6-10mm. If you plan on wearing the watch under clothing, then a thinner watch is the better option. Thicker watches work better when you want to show off a flashy style.
Then your lifestyle needs must be taken into account. If you’re looking for a watch that pairs with a professional outfit well, then you’re looking for a different design than someone who wants a leisure watch. You’ll also need to make sure that the strap or bracelet that comes with your preferred design will be able to fit your wrist out of the box.
GQ Magazine offers a number of additional tips to help you find the perfect watch.
What Are the Prices of the Best Swiss Watches Under $500?
Of course, every timepiece is going to be priced below $500 in this category.
What you need to watch out for with these Swiss watches are the extraordinary price drops and cuts that can sometimes be found in online listings. You may see a $1,000 watch listed as being on sale for $395. In this category, it is important to remember the value of the watch is based more on what you’re willing to pay for it. A $395 watch is never worth $1,000. It’s worth $395.
So the best watches in this category tend to be priced right around the $500 mark. You’ll find some quality timepieces priced for around $400. Only low-wear fashion watches are priced in the $200-$300 range or below.
Our Top 5 Picks
This stainless steel watch offers you casual luxury at a pretty incredible price. The watch width is 43mm, but the bracelet design offers a maximum wrist circumference of 190mm. Watch depth is 11mm. We love the brushed silver-tone look this timepiece provides while the push-button clasp double locks for a secure fit. It’s water-resistant up to 100 meters, features a sapphire crystal, and the see-through rear cover is a classy touch to finish off the look of this fantastic watch.
This watchmaker might not have the same name prestige of other Swiss brands, but you cannot deny the quality of this watch. It features a black, round dial with a day and date complication that displays at the 12 o’clock location. The 40mm case is made from stainless steel and the sapphire crystal is remarkably scratch resistant. It comes with a standard leather strap that is pretty comfortable and the tang clasp is secure as expected. The water-resistant rating is just 50 meters, so we recommend avoiding moisture exposure with this watch for best results.
If you love the idea of owning the best G-Shock watch, but you prefer a Swiss-made option, then this is going to be the right timepiece for you. This round watch features ion-plated stainless steel and luminous hands that stand out in all conditions. At 42mm, it isn’t over-sized, but it still fits comfortably on even small-to-medium wrists. The sapphire crystal is a nice addition to this watch and the contrast stitching on the leather strap enhances the number font remarkably well. Easily one of the best fashion-style watches in this category.
This beautiful watch features a Swiss-made sapphire crystal with a taupe dial and rose gold markers. The luminous accents are a nice touch to this design and the three hands offer you the classic analog look. A date complication is added to this watch in the standard 3 o’clock position as well. At 38mm, it’s one of the smaller watches in this category, but the design definitely speaks of casual elegance. It’s a lightweight watch, so those who like heavier watches may feel dissatisfied with it, but otherwise, this is an investment that makes sense.
This beautiful Swiss-made watch brings several different elements into play with its design. There is a skeletal element to the face of this watch, placed underneath a sapphire crystal. At 26-jewels, the automatic movements are extremely reliable. It also has a power reserve indicator at the 9 o’clock position so you know when it’s time to wear the watch again. Rose gold tones are offered throughout the watch and a key is provided for adjustments. Give it a look and we think you’ll be pleased with this timepiece as much as we were.
The best Swiss watches under $500 offer you an amazing value on an extremely reliable timepiece. Find your preferred design today and you’ll have a watch that you’re going to love for years to come.