You know what?
Back in the 1970s, Quartz watches took the world by storm.
And everybody thought that would spell the death of the automatic watch, but time has proven otherwise.
Automatic movements are still at the top of the game because of their reliability, functionality, and convenience.
And with all the options out there, automatic watches have become more and more affordable.
In this list, I’ve compiled the best affordable automatic watches out there.
So read on to find out more.
|AT A GLANCE: MY TOP 5 PICKS FOR THE MOST AFFORDABLE AUTOMATIC WATCHES|
- Reviews of The Best Affordable Automatic Watches
- 1. Vostok Amphibian Scuba Dude Automatic Watch
- 2. Seiko SNK809
- 3. Seiko 5 Sports Automatic Watch (SRPE71)
- 4.Thomas Earnshaw ES-8059-03
- 5. Orient Bambino ‘2nd Gen. Bambino Ver. 2’ Automatic Watch
- 6. Hamilton Khaki King Automatic Watch
- 7. Bulova 97A109 Automatic Watch
- 8.Fossil Men’s Grant Stainless Steel Quartz Chronograph Watch
- 9. Alpina AL-240NS4E6B
- 10. Bulova 96C123 Automatic Dress Watch
- Top 10 skeleton watches for your style & budget
- Best watches for women under $200
- Best luxury watch brands
- Best Swiss watch brands
- Best vintage watch brands
- Best American watch brands
Reviews of The Best Affordable Automatic Watches
1. Vostok Amphibian Scuba Dude Automatic Watch
Kicking off our list is one of the best affordable automatic dive watches out there.
It doesn’t feature the classic features one would assemble with a dive watch, but it definitely has the features.
The design is pretty unique, featuring a large 45mm square case which makes reading the time really easy, especially with the way the face is designed.
On the dial itself, you’ll find an almost teal-like background which is a great base for the white stick markers and hands on the watch.
Also on the dial is a little date window for a bit of extra functionality.
The hands and dots on the face are luminous, so no matter what the lighting conditions are, rest assured that you’ll be able to read the time with ease.
The strap is made out of nylon and it comes in a variety of colors, my personal favorite being the orange one as it contrasts really nicely with the face.
But if you want something less loud, you can also go for the version with a black strap which is just as beautiful.
It’s water-resistant up to 200m, so you can easily bring this with you on a dive or a swim, making this one of the top models on this list.
2. Seiko SNK809
Seiko has long been known as the go-to brand when you’re in the need of a watch of very high quality that’s also very affordable.
But among all the Seiko options available out there, this model is probably the best affordable Seiko automatic watch you can get your hands on.
This is all because of its simplicity.
It features a predominantly black colorway, with a black nylon strap and black background on the dial.
The highlights are in the case, which is stainless steel, and in the markers and hands which share the same silver-gray tone of the case.
This provides just the right amount of contrast for you to be able to easily read the time.
The case is relatively small, especially when taking into consideration how large men’s watches have grown to be.
But the 37mm case gives the watch an unassuming and humble look, which is perfect for those who don’t want to come off as too flashy or flamboyant when wearing their timepiece.
This is truly a casual watch that you can wear on a daily basis, as its style is one of those classic and timeless ones that will never die.
So if you’re on the hunt for an everyday watch that performs, Seiko has got you covered with this great automatic model.
3. Seiko 5 Sports Automatic Watch (SRPE71)
While the previous entry in our list was also by Seiko, this model is completely different and serves a different purpose.
This Seiko model was designed for sports, and don’t be fooled by its price tag because this is really one of the best affordable automatic sports watches you can get your hands on.
Which is why this model tends to get sold out real quick.
It has a sleek design that makes it a great model to wear while going for a run or heading to the gym.
But while it is a sports watch, it was also designed to be worn out of the gym or running track.
So if you have to head to work after exercising, there’s no need to worry about your watch not looking good with your casual attire.
After all, Seiko is also known for its ability to be flexible with their watches.
There are large Arabic markers and hands really stand out against the black background of the dial, so reading the time is very easy.
And on top of that, there’s also a perfectly placed date and day window on the dial for even more convenience.
Convenient, affordable, and functional.
What more to expect from a brand like Seiko?
4.Thomas Earnshaw ES-8059-03
This is a brand that isn’t that well known, but the quality of their watches surpass their reputation by a lot.
This model from Thomas Earnshaw ranks among the best affordable automatic moon phase watches you can buy today.
It features a skeleton dial that adds even more flair to the moon phase design of this watch.
It has a rose-gold toned case that complements the brown leather strap perfectly, making this a great dress watch that you can get at a relaxed price.
Right below the 12 o’clock position is the moon phase dial, which is a really classy detail on the dial and is great for those looking for that specific style.
It runs on an automatic movement, so you can expect to lose some time here and there, but overall this is a top-quality piece deserving a spot on this list.
- Sweeping bridges over dial face positioned over dual flywheel dial with depth and detail
- Hardened domed mineral crystal lens
- Chinese-automatic Movement
- Case Diameter: 43mm
- Water-resistant to 50m (165ft: in general, suitable for short periods of recreational swimming, but not diving or snorkeling
5. Orient Bambino ‘2nd Gen. Bambino Ver. 2’ Automatic Watch
Orient is yet another one of those brands that always delivers when it comes to affordability, practicality, and functionality.
This is one of the most popular models coming from the brand, considering its simple design that allows you to wear this watch to any occasion.
It could be a casual day out, or even a night at the theater, and this watch will still work with your outfit of choice.
This is a very basic dress watch, which is part of the reason it can fit in at both casual and formal settings easily.
It has a white dial with silver markers, which is reminiscents of the old-school watches that still bring as much style with them today as they did back in the day.
And aside from that, the design of the watch allows you to read time very easily, which can sometimes be a complaint with affordable dress watches.
While the watch is priced pretty low, especially when compared to other models of its caliber, it’s also very durable.
So you can expect this watch to be on your wrist for years more to come.
6. Hamilton Khaki King Automatic Watch
When it comes to affordable watches, there’s no safer type to go for than the military watch.
And I’m talking about old-school type military watches like this model from Hamilton.
It has a classic brown strap with cream stitching along the sides that is as about as classic as it gets.
But the true beauty of this model really lies in the dial.
It features a deep black dial and white markers.
This simplicity is what makes it a great combination of casual and formal.
One of the best characteristics though, and also a pretty unique one is the placement of the day and date display.
Instead of being tucked into a miniature space beside the 3 o’clock position, this model has its display right below the 12 o’clock position.
This makes the watch look pretty unique, and honestly gives it a really nice look.
The combination of unique details on a generally classic watch is the main reason this model is on the list.
And we haven’t even mentioned the high-quality automatic movement being utilized by this model.
Another cool feature of this watch is that it’s designed to be unisex.
While the size may show that it’s best for men, this would really look like a nice, tough piece on women as well.
And that’s the type of flexibility you’d always want from an affordable watch.
7. Bulova 97A109 Automatic Watch
Capping off our list is this nice and simple piece from Bulova with a special detail.
This is a semi-skeleton watch, so it’s not fully transparent which can sometimes be a bit too much for people.
But it does have a tiny skeleton sub-dial to showcase the gears of the watch.
This gives the watch a certain balance between flashy and laid back.
It has a rose-gold colored stainless steel case and a black dial, which is a classic Bulova color combination.
The watch also runs on Bulova’s in-house movement that has a great reputation in the horology community.
Combine that with a nice brown strap, and you have yourself a balanced watch that’s perfect for those looking for class and simplicity without having to bust the bank.
8.Fossil Men’s Grant Stainless Steel Quartz Chronograph Watch
Usually, when one thinks of a skeleton watch, they automatically assume it comes with a steep price.
But this Fossil model is proof that you don’t need to bust the bank to get a skeleton watch.
It features a brown leather strap, which is about as classic as it gets with fossil.
It also has blue details on the case which really stand out when placed with the strap and the transparent dial.
While the skeleton design is nice, it still doesn’t take away from the watch’s functionality at all.
Reading time is a breeze with this model, which makes it one of the best affordable automatic skeleton watches on the market today.
The movement on this model is Swiss-Automatic, so timekeeping is no problem at all as long as you make sure to wear this watch out every now and then.
The model is also water-resistant up to 165ft, so you won’t need to take it off in the shower or if you’re going for a swim.
But since it comes with a leather strap, it isn’t the best idea to get it wet.
9. Alpina AL-240NS4E6B
While the watch’s nametag may be really long, this model from Alpina really delivers.
It has a Swiss-Automatic movement, which is known all around the world of horology as an elite movement.
It has a blue dial with luminescent hands and markers, which make it a very nice watch to look at.
With this on your wrist, you’ll look both classy and sophisticated.
This is one of the more functional models on our list since on top of the elite movement, great design, 165ft of water-resistance, it also has a chronograph.
It has a seconds counter, a 30-minute counter, and a 12-hour counter, all located on separate sub-dials.
This might lead you to believe that the dial is cluttered and hard to navigate around, but that’s far from the case.
Everything is arranged properly and neatly on the dial to allow for easy reading, whether it be the current time or any of the sub-dials.
It’s for this reason that this is one of the best affordable automatic chronograph watches you’ll find in today’s market.
So for those looking for both function and style, you may have found the watch for you with this Alpina model.
- Alpiner Swiss-made classic quartz
- 3 hands, date and engraved caseback
- Case Diameter: 42mm, Water Resistant: 100m/330ft
- 3 year
- Swiss Quartz
10. Bulova 96C123 Automatic Dress Watch
Bulova is a brand known worldwide for their great designs and innovative ideas.
While this watch may be a bit more toned down compared to other Bulova models out there, but this is still one of the best affordable automatic dress watches available.
It has a large stainless steel case, measuring 41mm in diameter.
This may be large, but it isn’t too big that it looks tacky.
To contrast the stainless steel on the case and the strap, Bulova chose a deep black background for the dial with silver hands and minimalist stick markers.
This dial design allows you to look classy as ever while also being able to read the time very easily.
After all, that is the primary function of a watch.
At the 3 o’clock position is a date and day window with a very straightforward font, adding even more to the watch’s simplicity and style.
On top of all of that, the watch is also water-resistant up to 100, so showers and light swims will be no problem for this model (just don’t bring it with you on your next dive).
Bulova is also known for its functionality aside from their style, so rest assured that the automatic movement on this model will keep your watch ticking as long as you wear it.
Other great watches for you:
- Seiko SARB035 review
- Seiko SNK793 review
- Seiko SNE331 review
- Seiko SSC017 review
- Seiko SGG711 review
So that’s it.
The best affordable watches out there today.
Now, it’d be impossible to name the absolute BEST one because that all depends on taste.
Some people might prefer the flashier pieces, while others might prefer the simpler, more laid back ones.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important to note that as long as you enjoy the watch you’ve chosen, there’s nobody who can tell you that you aren’t wearing the best watch for you.