As we’ve said time and time before, every man should own, wear, and/or carry a watch. They’re a timeless piece of style with plenty of functionality for real-world situations. They can also act as the cherry on top of the cake when it comes to bringing an outfit together or creating the right impression with the right people — one of preparedness and togetherness.
Of course, picking the right watch is another prospect entirely, as the market is saturated with options — some good, others not-so-much. Never fear, however, as there are worthwhile offerings for any budget, big or small. Whether you just need a simple minimalist timekeeper to glance at on your morning commute or you want a hardcore mil-spec dive watch that you can take to the ends of the earth, you’ll find them all here. And the best part is, not a single one of the watches on the following list will cost you more than $1,000.
Timex Allied Watch
Inspired by the field watch worn by soldiers in WWII, the Timex Allied watch is about as stylistically timeless as they come. It’s also especially unique for its combination of a brass case paired with a stonewashed leather strap — making for an excellent accessory for both casual and formal occasions. It’s also water-resistant to 50 meters and has luminous markings for low-light reading.
Techne Instruments Harrier 386 Watch
Interestingly, this watch design was first created for use by French anti-gang brigades. It turned out so beautifully, however, that Techne Instruments decided to make it for general consumption, as well. Boasting a reliable Miyota quartz movement, an ultra-tough aluminum alloy case, a built-in hack feature, and anti-shock housing — it’s a lot more than just a good-looking timepeice.
Orient Sun and Moon Version 3 Watch
Orient has been a mainstay in the watchmaking business since 1950 — and, with offerings like their ‘Sun and Moon Version 3’ watch, it’s easy to see why. A handsome, if somewhat formal offering, this beautiful timekeeper features a Japanese automatic movement (so you never have to wind it or replace the battery), a stunning day vs. night indicator, and even a day-of-the-week sub-dial. And while you wouldn’t want to take this one on a dive, it’s water-resistant to 50 meters, so you don’t have to worry about splashes here and there.
Void Watches THE V01MKII-BL/MB
While their heyday was certainly in the ’90s and early-2000s, digital watches will still forever hold a place in the hearts of some horological enthusiasts. And that goes double when the offerings presented are as beautiful as this Void watch. This marvelous minimalist timepiece is based on an original design from 2008, it features a tough stainless steel case and comes in a number of different colors and finishes so you can match it to your specific style. The delicate chain mail band is a nice touch, as well.
MWC A-11 WWII Military Watch
A near perfect visual reproduction of the actual WWII field watch that helped Allied Forces topple the Axis, this gorgeous timepiece is a must-have for anyone who appreciates horological and war history. But, while the appearance is perfectly traditional, the guts of this machine are all modern — including a self-winding automatic movement and a built-in hacking function. It also comes with a NATO strap and boasts a stainless steel case.
Seiko SKX007J1 Dive Watch
One of the brand’s most popular and iconic dive watches, the Seiko you see before you is a veritable steal for how much you get out of it versus what you’ll pay. For instance, it has a self-winding movement that will never need a new battery, the stainless steel case is good for depths up to 200 meters, and it boasts a scratch-resistant mineral crystal. Its value is definitely not hurt by the fact that this watch is remarkably handsome, as well. If you’re looking to start a Seiko collection or you just want to add one to your other watches, make it this dive watch.
Jack Mason A102 Aviator Chronograph Watch
Headquartered out of Dallas, Texas, Jack Mason is responsible for making some of the most handsome and capable timepieces out there today — many of which were inspired by historically significant eras and/or developments. Take this one, for instance. The A102 Aviator Chronograph is designed to mimic the instrument gauges found within the cockpit of an aircraft. Of course, it’s not just styling — it also features a reliable Japanese quartz movement, a super-tough stainless steel case, and 100 meters of water resistance. It’s simple, beautiful, stylish, and a reliable pick for any horological enthusiast.
MWC Submariner Dive Watch
While there are few if any military-grade dive watches we wouldn’t want to own, some stand head and shoulders above the others. The MWC Submariner fits into the latter category. Done up in an all-black PVD coating, this insanely tough stainless steel dive watch was made to handle the worst of the worst and keep on ticking. It also features a self-winding 24-jewel movement, a water-resistance rating of 300 meters, a 41-hour power reserve, and a screw-down crown for extra durability when underwater. When it comes to mil-spec watches, this one is tops.
Braun Prestige Chronograph Watch
Braun holds a fairly singular distinction in the watch world, in that some of the brand’s designs were worked on by the likes of Dieter Rams, the godfather of the Bauhaus movement. And some of their most iconic designs (or at least new products inspired by those long passed) are actually still in production in some form or another today — like the Prestige chronograph. This German-made watch boasts a reliable Swiss movement, has won many awards (including a Red Dot Design award), and is one of the most iconic and clean watches ever envisioned.
Miansai M12 Watch
Not everyone is looking for a busy, do-everything, adventure-ready wristwatch with all the bells and whistles you could ever want. Rather, some folks prefer cleanliness, reliability, and simple elegance — all of which are present in the Miansai M12 watch. Handsome without being overly flashy, this simple minimalist timekeeper does its job masterfully, courtesy of a Swiss-made quartz movement. And while it appears to have a very basic, traditional appearance — it’s also a bit of a departure from the norm, as exemplified by its off-set crown (a simple adjustment that makes for a lot more comfort to the wearer).
Tsovet JPT-CC38 Watch
If there’s anyone who does functional minimalism well, it’s the folks at Southern California-based Tsovet. And their JPT-CC38 is a prime example of just how good they are at it. Boasting all the functions of a normally-busy chronograph watch, this particular one manages to keep its dial uncluttered and pared-down without sacrificing anything — be it readability, beauty, or functionality. There’s even a date window, placed unobtrusively at the three-o-clock position. It also features a Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel case, and a black leather band.
Tissot Visodate Automatic Watch
If you’ve ever wondered if its possible to have a bold statement piece without it being too gaudy or overdone, you’ve come to the right place. Thanks to its timeless design and juxtaposition of silver accents on a black dial, Tissot’s Visodate automatic watch manages to look eye-catching but doesn’t over do it with extraneous design details. It also features an easy-to-read calendar window (with both day and date markers), a reliable movement that never needs batteries or winding, and it has a beautiful and clear sapphire crystal protecting the dial. This watch says plenty without overdoing it, which is more than we can say for busier competitors.
Apple Watch Series 4
If you’re looking for sheer up-to-date technology and hardcore functionality, you can certainly do no better than the Apple Watch Series 4. Its external design is fairly no-nonsense, making way for all the impressive tech inside. That includes the ability to function as a standalone music streaming device (you no longer need to tether it to your phone), enough water resistance that you can swim with it without worry, literal hundreds of compatible onboard apps, and it can now even take an EKG or alert the authorities when you’re having a cardiac event. It’s not the prettiest watch in the world (not that it’s ugly, either), but it may very well be the most comprehensively functional.
Laco Augsburg 42 Pilot Watch
There are a lot of really beautiful and well-built pilot watches out there. But far fewer of them can boast that they were actually used by pilots across the generations, like Laco. Simple and sturdy, this handsome and historically significant timepiece is unmarred by bells and whistles, instead opting for a simple 12-hour dial mated to a riveted and stitched premium leather band. The case is made from stainless steel and has a water resistance of 5 ATM. And this watch is also offered with two different movement options: a Miyota quartz movement or an in-house Laco automatic movement. Of course, the latter will cost you more, but that may be worth it to some.
Triwa Tio Watch
Proof positive that simplicity and eye-catching design can still go hand-in-hand, the Triwa Tio watch is an exercise in iconography that falls a bit outside the norm. Of course, it’s not overly gaudy or overdone but the trio of hands on the dial — done in red, blue, and white — offers a handsome and unexpected pop of color. Of course, it’s not without its mechanical and material merits, either. This watch boasts a Miyota automatic movement, a sapphire crystal, a stainless steel case, and a handsome premium leather band. It’s also one of the few limited editions on our list, with only 300 ever being made. If this one has caught your eye, you’d better act quickly.
Luminox ICE-SAR Arctic 1001 Watch
We’re not exactly certain that this is the toughest watch on our list, but the pedigree is undeniably impressive, as this particular timepiece wasn’t built just to be stout — it was made to survive some of the harshest environments on the planet. That’s right, this watch (as the name suggests) was made to be worn by Icelandic search-and-rescue teams who operate in the freezing cold waters of the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. The case is made from a proprietary ultra-tough composite called CARBONOX; it boasts extra crown protection to keep out the elements, it’s water-resistant to 660 feet, and it features the Luminox self-powered illumination that’s good for 25 years of light.
Citizen Eco-Drive AT4010-50E Chronograph Watch
If you’ve been waiting for a race-ready watch, then you’re in luck, as this is the first on our list — and it’s a plenty impressive one, to boot. With a tachymeter bezel, trio of sub-dials (which include a day/date, 24-hour dial, and a selector dial that lets you choose between time zones), and a date window at the 4 o’clock position — this timepiece might look a bit busy. And it is, but that’s because it has a nearly overwhelming amount of functionality. Better still, it’s not bogged down by excess weight, as it is made from ultra-durable and lightweight titanium. Sure, this is one of the busier timepieces on our list but that’s because it packs a wallop in regards to what it can do.
Seiko Prospex Street Series Watch
When it comes to Japanese watch brands, few (if any) are as widely respected and lauded as Seiko. And the brand has been doing an excellent job of keeping up with reasons to deserve their shimmering reputation — like releasing this new series of streetwear-inspired Prospex watches. Done up in an urbanized style, these dive watches boast rotating dive timer bezels, 200 meters of water-resistance, solar-powered movements (with whopping 10-month power reserves), screw-down crowns (for extra durability in the water or harsh weather), and ruggedized silicone straps. They’re also available in a trio of matte-finished colorways, but the OD green you see here is our favorite.
Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon Watch
As far as we know, there’s only one series of watches that has survived being run over by a 64-ton tank — and you’re looking at it. Loved in the horological world for its unique balance of extreme durability and stylishness, the Victorinox I.N.O.X. watches are a shining beacon of everyday carry. This one is even more special, however, thanks to the addition of a paracord bracelet (perfect for emergency survival situations) and its stand-out carbon fiber case. It also features both 12-hour and 24-hour dial markers, a triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal, and will even let you know ahead of time when the battery inside is dying so you can get it squared away long before it stops ticking.
Uniform Wares M40 PreciDrive Watch
Out of East London, England, the folks at Uniform Wares never set out to make minimalist watches. Rather, they wanted to create styles that showcased all their hard work — the minimalism was merely a result of their overall goal. Whatever the reasoning, they’ve done an excellent job if their M40 PreciDrive watch is any indication. Boasting a very unique polished stainless steel case, dial, hour markings, and even hands, this is a strikingly handsome watch perfect for those who like their everyday carry uncluttered and as barebones as possible. They even went so far as to integrate the Italian leather band into the watch case without lugs, adding to the minimalism and making for an appearance unlike any other.
Junghans Max Bill Hand-Wound Watch
While most folks prefer their watches to be self-winding automatics, solar-powered, or even battery powered — there are still those who appreciate the intricacies of hand-wound movements. Similarly, there’s a ritualism to them unheard of elsewhere in the world of watches and everyday carry. Of course, they’re not for everyone but if you can appreciate their historical significance and the sheer beauty of this particular example — the Max Bill from Junghans — then this might be the watch for you. Beautiful, simple, elegant, and comfortable (thanks to a felt band), this is a unique watch for a very particular kind of horological fanatic.
Hamilton HML-H70575733 Khaki Field Watch
Titanium is one of the most impressive metals available to the public, thanks to its extraordinary strength-to-weight ratio. And that also makes it an excellent construction material for a timepiece, as it will hold up well to normal everyday use or even hardcore outdoor usage without weighing down your wrist. This titanium watch from Hamilton has an even better leg up, however, as it also boasts a PVD coating for extra durability. Pair that with its timeless field watch styling, Swiss automatic movement, and 330-foot water resistance and this is a singularly reliable wristwatch.
Unimatic U1-DZN Automatic Watch
Drawing inspiration from both military field and dive watches, this absolutely gorgeous olive drab offering from Unimatic is a special timepiece indeed. Made specifically to be read easily — even in deep, dark, murky waters — it features bright Super-LumiNova markings on both its hands and face. It also has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, both rubber and nylon straps, and a handy dive timer bezel. Perfect for both in-the-field wear and as a part of your everyday carry, this military-inspired timepiece is unbeatable.
Filson & USFS Watch
In light of the recent fires, perhaps never before has it become so apparent how essential the United States Forest Service is when it comes to protecting and preserving our wild lands. And that’s why Filson built this absolutely stunning wristwatch — as an homage to the men and women who keep watch over our National and State Parks. And the tribute wouldn’t mean much if the watch wasn’t a superb offering — which it is, boasting a PVD-coated stainless steel case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and a reliable quartz movement. It’s even water resistant to 990 feet.
Oris 73375944034MB Automatic Watch
A heritage watch brand boasting tremendous workmanship, styling, and more — Oris is nigh unmatched when it comes to the sub-$1,000 price point. You won’t find any fancy complications here, but — honestly — this handsome timepiece doesn’t need them. It does plenty well with its stainless steel case and matching band, Swiss-made automatic movement, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and unobtrusive date window (found at the 6 o’clock position). If it’s a timeless heirloom piece you seek, you’ll not do better than this one.
Hamilton H38455751 Intra-Matic Auto Watch
It’s not just military-inspired field watches that Hamilton excels at building — they’ve also got quite the catalogue of more refined, luxury pieces like the Intra-Matic Auto Watch you see before you. With its minimalist markings, Swiss-made automatic movement, brushed stainless steel case, and premium leather band, this is the kind of wristwatch you could wear to a wedding, business meeting, or even a black tie affair and it would fit in swimmingly.
Lum-Tec Combat Field X3 Watch
One of the most impressive mil-spec watches available today, Lum-Tec’s Combat Field X3 watch manages to be durable and reliable enough to take out onto the battlefield, but still has styling that wouldn’t look out of place in your day-to-day life. The white-on-black minimalist appearance, however, doesn’t brag all it has to offer — including a Swiss-made automatic movement, a titanium carbide PVD coating on its stainless steel case, a military-grade anti-reflective crystal, 200m water-resistance, and more. It’s also worth noting that only 100 of these watches will ever be made, so you’d better get on top of it if this one strikes your fancy.
Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch
Weiss holds the singular distinction of being the only American watch brand that makes their own movements here in the United States. And that makes this one, as timeless and simply styled as it is, something special in the watch and everyday carry worlds. Inspired both by traditional Swiss watchmaking and the field watches worn by soldiers during WWII, this absolutely stunning USA-made timepiece is a bastion of beauty, refinement, and exemplifies American craftsmanship. Truly, anyone who owns one can count themselves lucky.
Autodromo Group B Series 2 Night Stage II Watch
Inspired by what many folks believe is the golden age of rally car racing, this retro-styled wristwatch is a thing of vintage beauty — from its titanium case with its integrated stainless steel tapered band to its Miyota automatic movement and unique rally computer-inspired dial, this might just be Autodromo’s magnum opus. Or at least it is for anyone who appreciates throwback looks, rally racing, and unique iconography.
Shinola The Canfield Sport Watch
Made to traipse the line between the overtly bold and the understated, Shinola’s Canfield Sport Watch is unique in that it inexplicably draws onlookers to it, yet it still requires a trained eye to really grasp its beauty therein. With a polished PVD-coated case, ceramic bezel and band, trio of sub-dials, and black-on-black appearance, this is a statement watch for the ages. If you’re looking for an unforgettable watch to add to your collection, go no further.
40 Best Watches For Any Budget
Not everyone has a completely restricted spending cap for their timepiece. If you’re looking for some options with a bit less rigidity in regards to cost, we’re certain you can find something you like on our list of the 40 best men’s watches for any budget.
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