In a world where time is a priceless commodity, a reliable watch is more than just a fashion statement—it’s a necessity. But owning a stylish timepiece doesn’t have to break the bank. In this blog post, we delve into the realm of affordable watches and watch accessories, focusing on known brands that combine quality, style, and value.

From the timeless elegance of Seiko and Casio’s technological prowess to Tissot’s classic designs and Swatch’s modern flair, we’ll guide you through a selection of watches that offer both sophistication and affordability.

Whether you’re a seasoned watch enthusiast or a first-time buyer, our curated list will help you find a watch that fits your style and budget, without compromising on quality. Join us as we explore how these trusted brands are making luxury accessible, proving that you don’t have to spend a fortune to keep time in style.

Here are our top five picks for affordable watches and gear for the watch lover in your life.

The Swatch X Blancpain 50 Fathoms

We’ve made fun of the Moonswatch on this site quite a bit primarily because of the hype surrounding the piece and Swatch Group’s refusal to let the make enough of the watch watch escape the hypebeasts and end up in the hands of first-time collectors. That said, we do love the Swatch X Blancpain 50 Fathoms.

This automatic watch runs Swatch’s Sistem 51 automatic movement which makes it a favorite of ours and the styling and utility are superior to the Moonswatch’s. Basically, you’re looking at a $450 watch that is classicly styled, well-made, and very wearable. The bad news? You’re going to have to find a store that sells them since you can’t get them online yet.

The Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80

I have actively recommended the Le Locle line for years and at about $450 this is a can’t-miss automatic timepiece. The Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 beautifully marries traditional aesthetics with modern technology. Named after Tissot’s hometown in Switzerland, this watch is part of a line that pays homage to the brand’s rich heritage. It features the Powermatic 80 movement, renowned for its remarkable 80-hour power reserve, ensuring reliability and precision over an extended period. The design exudes classic elegance, with a meticulously crafted stainless steel case and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. It’s a great first automatic for folks looking for a dressier watch.

Seiko SSK003 GMT

This watch is a major departure for Seiko and their first foray into an affordable automatic GMT watch. The watch is truly lovely with great detail and multiple color variations. We loved the orange model but this blue and red GMT is also great. Priced at about $420, this is a nice alternative to the Le Locle if you’re looking for something sportier and with a GMT feature.

GMT watches, named after Greenwich Mean Time, are a quintessential tool for travelers and professionals who navigate multiple time zones. These watches feature a secondary hour hand and often a 24-hour bezel, allowing users to track time in at least two different time zones simultaneously. To use a GMT watch, you set the standard hour hand to local time, while the GMT hand is set to the time zone of your choice, typically your home time zone.

This dual time tracking is facilitated by the 24-hour scale, which clearly distinguishes between AM and PM in the second time zone. Some models allow for the independent setting of the GMT hand, while others require the bezel to be rotated for the second time zone.

This functionality makes GMT watches incredibly practical for frequent travelers, business professionals dealing with international colleagues, or anyone needing to stay connected across time zones. With their unique blend of functionality and sophistication, GMT watches offer a stylish solution to the complexities of a global lifestyle.

CASIO G-SHOCK Carbon Core Guard Ga-2100-1ajf

This Casio G-Shock is also called the Casioak because of its resemblance to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. This rugged watch is great for folks who work with their hands or enjoy the outdoors and because it’s a G-Shock you’re pretty much guaranteed years of solid and reliable wear. And this watch costs about $100 on a bad day and $50 during holiday sales. It’s a great second watch for someone who already has an automatic.

Nearly any watch winder

Investing in a watch winder for an automatic watch offers several benefits that enhance both the functionality and longevity of your timepiece. Firstly, a watch winder keeps the watch movement active when not worn, ensuring that the time and date settings remain accurate, saving the wearer the inconvenience of manual resetting.

This is particularly beneficial for watches with complex features like perpetual calendars or moon phases. Secondly, the rotation movement provided by the winder helps in maintaining the lubrication of the watch’s internal mechanisms. This regular motion prevents the oils from congealing, which can reduce wear and tear and potentially extend the watch’s lifespan.

Additionally, a watch winder serves as a secure and elegant storage solution, protecting your watch from dust and other environmental factors while displaying it in an aesthetically pleasing manner. For collectors and enthusiasts, a watch winder is not just a practical accessory but also a testament to their dedication to preserving the precision and beauty of their automatic timepieces.

A winder is something few watch lovers pick up for themselves so it’s worth getting them one if you know they have a few automatic watches. Want to be especially nice? Pick up a Tissot, Swatch, or Seiko above and get them a bonus watch winder. After all, this is the season for giving.

ByJohn Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

Leave a Reply