It’s important that the things you wear are appropriate for your lifestyle. If you’re still hoofing it back and forth to college, you probably don’t need an expensive leather weekender bag. Same goes for a watch. If you’re just starting out in life, there are things more important than being able to wear an expensive watch, like being able to make rent, for one.
Sure, everyone wants to keep up with the Joneses, but when you’re younger, there’s something to be said for just being able to stay just a few steps behind them. But just because you can’t afford the expensive watches your older brother wears doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. There are a ton of good-looking watches out there that will fit a smaller budget, and lucky for you, we’ve rounded up 20 of them (all under $100). Save up for an expensive time piece—it’ll be a nice gift to give to yourself when you’re more established. You’ll have earned it by then.
Timex Camper Watch
When you’re young, you’re going to stand out just by the mere act of wearing a watch. Everyone is carrying around a phone with a clock in it, so why wear a watch? Well, you wear a watch to look like an adult with places to be and people to see, of course. That’s why this Camper watch from Timex—a true American heritage brand—is a good bet. Clocking in at under $25 (yes, you read that right), you can beat it to hell and won’t be upset if you have to get a new one.
Timex Varsity Row Weekender
Headquartered in Connecticut, Timex has been making affordable watches since the mid-1800s and the Weekender is arguably their most iconic offering. One of the best features of the Weekender is the ability to easily swap out different watchbands whenever you get the itch, making this preppy Varsity Row offering the perfect weekend watch.
Casio MDV106-1A Watch
Headquartered in Tokyo and established in the 1940s, Casio is an electronics brand that has a ton of diverse offerings from calculators to watches (the brand’s first product was actually a smoking pipe—go figure). Their watches are especially affordable without sacrificing style, like this durable stainless steel dive watch with a coin-edge bezel, ribbed rubber band, and Japanese quartz movement.
Seiko Automatic Watch
Ever since Seiko opened its first Tokyo shop in the 1800s, they’ve been known for creating quality watches that blend craftsmanship with advanced technology. This rugged, military-inspired watch is a great starter watch, with its durable navy blue canvas band, brushed stainless steel case, and military-grade numerals.
Timex Original Gold Classic Watch
If you’ve got an eye for vintage watches, you’ll be delighted that you can pick up this vintage Timex for under $75. The antique gold-metal casing holds a simple, easy-to-read dial, and is paired with a genuine leather band. This is a watch that can easily be dressed up or dressed down, which will make it a staple in your wardrobe.
Casio Edifice Watch
Another offering from Casio, this chronograph-style watch looks expensive but still clocks in at under $100. The stainless steel case and band host a black face and dial with three subdails (read: a hell of a lot of numbers), and even though is not technically a dive watch, it’s still water-resistant up to 330 feet.
Skagen Ancher Watch
Denmark-based Skagen has been creating modern Danish goods since 1989, and the Ancher watch is one of their best offerings. The stainless steel watch features an elegant, intricate mesh band, black face with easy-to-read markings, and a black-and-red second hand for extra flair.
Timex Waterbury Watch
After cranking out watches for over 150 years, it’s no surprise that Timex has some well-known, classic watches in its archives. To celebrate the brand’s 160 year anniversary, they’ve re-released the Waterbury, a classic watch with a matte black stainless steel case, black face dotted with Arabic markings (and INDIGLO Night Light feature), and an intricately stitched leather band.
Cheapo Harold Japanese Wave Watch
Cheapo is a brand that thoroughly embraces the word “cheap” and seeks to make it no longer a dirty word, with its line of affordable watches, sunglasses, and other small accessories. Admittedly, “cheap” looks damn fine when looking at this Harold Japanese Wave watch. With its stainless steel case, refined white face with three subtle black hands, and patterned band designed to recall waves, it’s the perfect watch for your next beach vacation.
Aulta Seaward Nylon Watch
New-to-the-scene Aulta is a watch brand committed to the outdoor lifestyle. Their Seaward Nylon watch—with its simple design and army green band—is the ultimate watch for all of your outdoorsy weekend plans.
Komono Winston Watch
Komono is dedicated to making small things great, and with their watches (and stable of sunglasses), they do just that. The Winston watch is classic and crisp, with its deep blue face (and mineral crystal coating) and perforated leather strap.
Komono Magnus Watch
Another offering from Komono, the sophisticated Magnus watch features a brushed metal case, a classic white face (and red second hand for extra pop), and a dark brown leather strap. This is definitely your new work watch.
Ben Sherman Canvas Herringbone Watch
You might consider Ben Sherman only when you’re purchasing new dress shoes, but their accessories game is actually on point. This unique Canvas Herringbone watch offers a clean and understated look while still being unique. The blue canvas herringbone strap is the main feature here, but the classic stainless steel case, white face, and blue and silver hands round it out and make it a great watch to add to your work wardrobe.
MVMT Black Watch
Pronounced “movement,” MVMT is an IndieGoGo start-up, and we’re sure glad they were able to get funding, because their unique, affordable watches have us ready to join the movement. This all-black (save for cherry red accents) watch looks just the right amount of rock ‘n’ roll and has features like custom gunmetal stainless steel hands and markers, brushed black stainless steel case, and a hardened crystal face.
Elliot Havok Oxford Havok Watch
Elliot Havok is a Kickstarter-funded lifestyle brand that seeks to solve design problems for consumers without breaking the bank. This awesome Oxford Havok watch features a shiny gray face, stainless steel case, uniquely-designed hands, and leather band with woven Glen Plaid trim on the interior.
Nixon Gun Rose Time Teller Watch
Based in Southern California since the late 1990s, Nixon has become a brand known for creating quality, slightly off-kilter watches and accessories. The rose gold Gun Rose Time Teller features a stainless steel case and bracelet and a face coated in scratch-resistant mineral. As a bonus, it’s water-resistant for up to 330 feet.
VOID Sond Watch
Established in 2008 by a Swedish designer living in Hong Kong, in just a few short years, VOID has established itself as a brand that makes incredibly unique watches that are sure to grab everyone’s attention. The Sond watch especially looks like something out of The Jetsons, with its gray plastic casing, digital display, and nylon face. We’ve chosen the more subdued all-gray version, but you can mix and match the casing and the band, allowing for over 500 unique color combinations.
Seiko Sport Analog Watch
Seiko is known for its affordable line of chronographs, but with the Sport Analog watch, the brand brings a simpler option to the forefront. This understated watch has a classic stainless steel case, black face, and easy-to-read white numerals, as well as a navy blue canvas band, which is unique for Seiko. Another feature? Because the watch is solar-powered, you’ll never have to change the battery.
Horween Leather Timex Weekender
This isn’t your ordinary Timex Weeeknder. Each one is outfitted with a gorgeous, vegetable-tanned Dublin Ale leather band sourced from the Chicago-based Horween Leather Company. It is then hand cut and shaped in Form Function Form’s Orlando-based studio, and finished off with a button stud. Designed to be dressed up or down, this beauty will quickly become a staple in your wardrobe.
Citizen Eco-Drive Watch
A combination of rugged and refined, the Citizen Eco-Drive watch pairs a rugged, olive canvas band with a sophisticated black face dotted with military-style numerals and watch hands. It’s water-resistant up to 330 feet, which means it’ll take you from the office on Friday to whatever weekend adventures you have planned.