Advertisements

The Best Watches for Men Are More Attainable Than You’d Think

14

A brief word of warning to all the true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool watch fanatics out there: the following list of “the best watches for men” probably isn’t what you’re picturing. It isn’t brimming with all of the most gloriously complicated, exquisitely designed, exorbitantly-priced timepieces to be birthed from the immaculate workshops of age-old Swiss masters this year. We do plenty of that kind of watch coverage elsewhere on our site—particularly in Wes Lang’s monthly column and Cam Wolf’s Watches of the Week roundup. Instead, we’re here today to celebrate the other kind of watches that we love here at GQ: the attainable ones, the knockabout ones, the ones that mere mortals can actually afford.

Don’t get us wrong: there are plenty of beautiful, well-made watches in this article—some of them even are the kind of tickers that’ll get a watch snob’s heart rate up. But none of them require all that much extra effort to find and acquire, or are all that “rare” in the collector’s sense of the word. If you’re after something special like that—maybe something vintage, or custom-built, or just plain out-of-the-norm—we’ve got an excellent guide to doing just that for you here. But if you scroll down, what you’ll find are your everyday drivers: watches you can live in, work in, and add to your cart to buy online without having to haggle over the price with a snooty midtown jeweler. So, without further ado, here are the 21 best watches for men.


The Best Watches Under $100

On a tight budget? Believe it or not, it isn’t hard to find a totally functional, truly handsome timepiece for less than an SUV’s worth of gas. In fact, we’ve got 16 more great options where these came from.

Casio A168WG-9

Concerned a gold watch will feel too flashy on your wrist? Take this $40 icon out for a test drive.
Amazon
$40

Buy Now

Timex Expedition Scout 36mm watch

The best bang-for-your-buck field watch—period.
Amazon
$39

Buy Now

Breda “Virgil” watch

There’s nothing square about a square-faced watch—especially one in a fetching gold-and-tan-leather combo.
Breda
$100

Buy Now

The Best Watches Under $200

For just a couple of Benjamins, you’ll find plenty of fine watches that share similar aesthetics to the way, way pricier options you’ve been coveting.

Q Timex Reissue Falcon Eye 38mm watch

Timex’s hottest reissue line is back with more Rolex-y vibes at prices you can stomach.
Todd Snyder
$179

Buy Now

Bulova Ambassador watch

Certain fits simply demand the flash of a sleek gold watch.
Amazon
$115

Buy Now

VOID PKG01 watch

VOID specializes in uncomplicated watches (we mean that as a compliment) that don’t look like anything else on the market today. If you want a watch that guarantees you’ll get asked “who makes that?” every time you wear it, this is it.
Amazon
$199

Buy Now

The Best Watches Under $500

Timepieces at the $500 level maybe aren’t up to full-on Swiss luxury standards, but they’re attractive enough to wear everyday and solid enough to last a lifetime.

Seiko Presage Cocktail Time SRPB46

When it comes to affordable watches that watch snobs will actually respect, Seiko is the undisputed king. Take this particular model, for one: behind that head-turning sunburst dial is a high quality automatic movement that features a stop-seconds function, can be hand-wound if desired, and is visible in motion via an open caseback.
Seiko
$495

Buy Now

Movado Men’s 2100002 Museum Black stainless steel watch

This timeless design still looks as good as it did in 1947. The same cannot be said about zoot suits and short-but-extra-wide ties.
Amazon
$216

Buy Now

Citizen Promaster Diver

Water-resistant up to 200 meters, this rugged beaut runs on the Citizen’s signature Eco-Drive movement—which is powered entirely by light and should last a literal lifetime.
Citizen
$395
$316

Buy Now

The Best Office Watches

Okay, fine, maybe you don’t actually have an office to go to at the moment. But strapping on a work-appropriate wristwatch might be just the thing to keep you locked in and focus from 9 to 5 while you’re WFH. We chose three tickers on the affordable end of the spectrum to include here—if you’re after more of an executive level timepiece, we’ve got plenty of suggestions for those, too.

Seiko stainless steel solar powered watch

Straight from the era of power lunches and giant mobile phones, this watch’s mid-’80s vibe might conjure contrast-collars and suspenders, but it’ll fit in nicely with some crisp jeans and a chore coat here in 2020.
Amazon
$132

Buy Now

Junghans Meister mechanical watch

Unlike your Noguchi coffee table, this is a midcentury modern conversation piece you can actually carry around with you and have conversations about.
Amazon
$843

Buy Now

Longines Heritage 1945 watch

Owning a vintage watch is great, except when you have to take it off to wash your hands or bring it in for repairs. This faithful update of a WWII-era design has everything you’d want in a vintage watch without the actual hassles of owning one—including a water-resistant case.
Longines
$1,800

Buy Now

The Best Dress Watches

A slick, suave tuxedo calls for a slick, suave watch. Here are three of the best for every budget.

Bulova 96B104 dress watch

Slim and streamlined enough to sit under the cuff of your tuxedo jacket.
Amazon
$90

Buy Now

Timex + Todd Snyder Marlin Blackout

The Marlin is a reissue of a ’60s-era timepiece from Timex that looks extremely right now. A lot of that has to do with the case: the smaller—by today’s mack truck sport watch standards—34 mm case size is something we’re feeling at the moment. That, and the fact that it’s just a handsome AF design, makes this guy a no-brainer buy.
Todd Snyder
$199

Buy Now

Cartier Tank Solo watch

A watch-world icon that is/was the watch of choice for folks like Andy Warhol, Princess Diana, and Henry Golding.
Cartier
$5,200

Buy Now

The Best ’80s Watches

Most ’80s design trends haven’t exactly stood the test of time. But unlike neon spandex, shoulder pads, and illustrated squiggly action lines, timepieces from the 1980s really hold up.

Swatch Sir Swatch 19

Swatch introduced the concept of an inexpensive, colorful, and collectible Swiss watch to the world in 1983. This 2020 re-issue is as funky and fresh as ever.
Swatch
$80

Buy Now

Casio G-Shock

Launched in 1983, streetwear’s favorite watch has been tough enough to stand the test of time.
Amazon
$400

Buy Now

Ebel Wave

This watch, named for the undulating lines on its bracelet, technically launched in the late 1970s, but the design was so ahead of its time that it became ubiquitous in the decade that followed. There’s still nothing else like it.
Ebel
$2,800

Buy Now

The Best Entry-Level Dive Watches

Whether you’ve had your scuba license for decades or you’re a certified landlubber who just likes the look, these dive watches will deliver serious style and practical performance without breaking the bank.

Seiko 5 Sports automatic watch

A watch that says “I love you,” but definitively not “Will you marry me?”
Amazon
$182

Buy Now

Hamilton Khaki Navy Automatic Movement watch

If you’re not ready to take the plunge on a Rolex Submariner, this Hamilton delivers all the right dive details (and a Swiss-made automatic movement) at a fraction of the price.
Amazon
$526

Buy Now

Unimatic Modello Uno U1-DZ military watch

Unimatic’s minimalist, Italian-made divers aren’t just a sight to behold—they’re waterproof up to 1000 feet and built to last.
Moda Operandi $530
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: