A watch says a lot about a man. Obviously, if you’re walking around with a $10,000 Rolex on your wrist, you’re broadcasting the “I’m wealthy” signal. But if you’re not wealthy enough (yet!) to buy a high-end watch, or if you already have a high-end watch but you don’t want to wear it in your everyday life (try wearing a Rolex on the subway and see what happens), it’s good to spend a bit of cash to get a nice-looking watch that you don’t have to worry about losing or damaging.
So, we scouted some of our favorites, assembling a list of the 20 best watches available for under $200—they look good enough to wear anywhere, but are affordable enough that you won’t have to break the bank to buy ‘em.
Timex Weekender Watch
Timex is a true American heritage brand—headquartered in Connecticut, they’ve been making affordable watches since the mid-1800s. The Weekender is arguably their most iconic watch, and it certainly “takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’” like the brand’s famous slogan professed. The best part about the Weekender (aside from its price) is the ability to easily swap out different watchbands whenever you get the itch, and this particular model pairs a rugged leather strap with a classic Timex face, making it quite literally the perfect weekend watch.
Skagen Ancher Quartz Watch
Skagen is a company named for its Denmark roots (Skagen is a seaside village where the North and Baltic Seas meet), and since 1989, the brand has been creating products that reflect everything that’s respected about modern Danish design. The stainless steel Ancher watch features an intricate mesh band, crisp white face with easy-to-read markings, and a black-and-red second hand for extra flair.
Aulta Leeway Nylon Watch
Aulta watches are built out of a commitment to surf culture, so their ocean blue Leeway watch is a beyond-appropriate offering. The watch features multiple chronographs that measure the seconds, minutes, hours, and days with Japanese Miyota movement, as well as luminescent hands, and a durable stainless steel case (with a screw down backing) to ensure it’s built to last and water-resistant up to 100 meters.
Timex for J. Crew Andros Watch
Timex has paired up with J. Crew to create modernized takes on classic watches the revered American watch brand had on offer throughout its 150+ year history, like this Andros watch. Named for the Andros Barrier Reef in the Bahamas, it’s a dive-style watch with a functioning bezel, luminescent hands, day and date display, and navy nylon strap, making it a watch that will look good on the water and off.
Timex Weekender Chronograph Military Watch
This is one watch that won’t hurt your bank account but looks like it did. A military-style chronograph from Timex, the watch features a classic stainless steel case with a white face, large easy-to-read numbers, and three, count ‘em, three subdials. Topped off with a deep blue leather strap, this is a watch you’ll never want to take off. And you won’t have to—it’s water-resistant for up to 100 feet.
Timex for J. Crew 1600 Watch
Another offering from the Timex and J. Crew collaboration, this elegant watch is named 1600 for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, perhaps better known as the address of the White House. Why? This watch, with its gray face, classic markings, and distinguished brown leather strap, was inspired by the presidential cool exuded by guys like JFK and Bill Clinton.
Seiko Adventure Solar Watch
Since Seiko opened its first shop in Tokyo in the late 1800s, they’ve been creating quality watches that blend craftsmanship with the very best technology available. With this Adventure Solar watch, Seiko offers a solar-powered watch featuring a compass dial, luminescent hands, a protective Hardlex crystal window, and an alarm chronograph.
TRIWA Lomin Watch
A young watch company based in Stockholm, Sweden, TRIWA creates classic watches at affordable prices. The Lomin model is one of their best offerings, featuring a bezeled face for depth with second markings around it allowing for precise timing. The brown and tan nylon striped band adds a casual vibe.
Seiko Dive Watch
Another offering from Seiko, this watch is a bit more rugged than other Seiko dive watches you’ll find, with its tough rubber wristband, red and blue bezel, and Hardlex crystal coating on the face. It’ll be perfect for any adventurous activity you throw at it, and because it’s a dive watch, it’s water-resistant for up to 656 feet, so you can wear it anywhere near water and not worry about ruining it.
Skagen Hald Watch
Another offering from Denmark-based Skagen, this Hald watch will literally stand out from the crowd, mainly because the watch’s case sits higher on the wrist than usual, making it appear to be hovering above your arm. Pair that with the gorgeous deep blue face with silver numerals and subdials that track 24-hour time and the date, and you’ve got yourself a show-stopping watch.
Nixon Sentry 38 Watch
Started in the late 1990s and based in Southern California, Nixon prides itself on “making the little shit better,” and that “little shit,” of course, is watches and accessories. The Sentry 38 watch is classy and playful all at once, with a classic stainless steel case and gray face with three-hand quartz movement. Seafoam green accents appear around the face as well as on the second hand, and the striped nylon strap helps make it the ultimate casual watch.
Tsovet JPT-TF40 Watch
California-based Tsovet makes incredible watches that are usually much, much more expensive than the JPT-TF40, so you should snatch this one up now. With a matte stainless steel case, classic black face, easy-to-read numerals, luminescent hands, and a military-style canvas band with exposed stitching, it’ll quickly become your go-to watch.
Braun Classic Analog Watch
Yes, the German brand behind your beard trimmer makes watches—and they make damn good ones, like this classic analog watch. Featuring a stainless steel case, black face (with a subdial that measures seconds), and a luxe dark brown leather band, this is a watch to wear to that big presentation you’re giving at work.
VOID V03B Watch
VOID was established in 2008 by a Swedish designer living in Hong Kong, and in its seven-year lifespan, it has established itself as a brand that makes whimsical, unique watches that are sure to get your attention. The V03B is one of VOID’s more subdued offerings, with its gray face, stainless steel case, gray nylon NATO strap, and small concentric numbers in white.
TOKYOBay Grant Watch
TOKYOBay was established in San Francisco the early 1990s, attempting to bring Japanese sensibilities to the Bay area (thus the name). Its Grant Watch—with its domed dial, black face, Japanese Miyota movement, and brown Italian leather band—is the perfect everyday watch, whether you’re East Coast or West Coast.
Daniel Wellington Classic Warwick
Named after a distinguished British man the company’s founder met on vacation, Daniel Wellington’s watches are classic and refined while being simultaneously preppy and casual. The majority of Daniel Wellington’s offerings—like the Classic Warwick—come with an interchangeable NATO strap whose roots go back to the British Navy. The simplicity of the watch’s face and surrounding case (you can choose from rose gold or silver) pair well with the preppy, colorful straps, allowing you to dress up a casual outfit or dress down a suit.
VOID V01EL Watch
Another offering from VOID, the V01EL is the first watch the brand ever released, and its unique structure might change your mind about digital watches. The brushed stainless steel face with digital display (push one button to reveal the time, push the other button to reveal the date) will serve as a statement piece.
Bulova for J. Crew Air Warden Watch
The legendary NYC-based watchmaker has been producing quality watches for over 140 years (it has the distinction of creating timepieces for NASA, including the spaceship that carried astronauts to the moon for the first time), so when they partnered with J. Crew, it was only appropriate that they reissued a popular watch from the 1940s. This military-style watch features classic olive canvas strap, a face with military markings, and unique mint green numerals.
Rossling & Co. Silver & White Watch
Montreal-based Rossling & Co.’s watches are perfectly classic, so they can easily be dressed up or dressed down. This handsome quartz watch is understated, but has key features that make it stand out, like the blue hands (and subdail to measure seconds, which you don’t usually see on dressier watches), and a gray tweed strap. It would look just as good with a tailored navy suit as it would with an old t-shirt and a pair of board shorts.
Armogan Spirit of St. Louis Watch
The Spirit of St. Louis was the name of the plane that Charles Lindbergh famously flew solo from New York to Paris in 1927, and now it’s being honored as the namesake of this gorgeous watch from Armogan. The watch features multiple dials that ape airplane gauges and numerals reminiscent of 1920s style as well as a buttery suede/leather band. This is one watch you’ll want to wear whenever you’re jet setting.
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