The 40 Best Men’s Watches For Any Budget in 2021

Oct 14, 2021

Category: Style

As far as everyday carry and fashion are concerned, watches are certainly essential pieces of gear that brilliantly balance style and utility. In fact, even those that aren’t loaded with smart features, chronograph dials, and the like are a lot more useful than one might think — e.g. you can use them to navigate in conjunction with the sun in survival situations. And that makes them a lot less obsolete than some folks have been led to believe.

Of course, watches are also a bit of an investment, even on the low end (so long as quality and reliability are a concern of yours). That means there’s a balance to be struck between the features you desire and the cost you can afford. Thankfully, if you know where to look, you can get a spectacular watch at just about any price point. And that’s what we have for you today: an exhaustive list of spectacular timepieces that are stylish, functional, reliable, and available for as little as $75 and as much as $150,000. Whatever your budget, these are the best men’s watches available right now.

Timex Archive Camper MK1 Watch

Back in the 1980s, Timex released a civilian version of their standard-issue U.S. Army watch to the public. Now, they’ve revived that very timepiece again as a brilliant, budget-friendly style piece. Complete with a reliable quartz movement and durable resin case, this retro field watch — complete with a military-inspired grosgrain strap — is one of the most affordable ways to up your style game. Not to mention, if you don’t care for OD green, it comes in black, as well.

Purchase: $75

Orient 2nd Gen Bambino Ver. 2 Watch

Though they’re not held in as high esteem as their Swiss counterparts, there are plenty of Japanese watchmakers that craft beautiful, reliable timepieces that fit just about any budget and/or style. One such watch is the legendary Orient 2nd Gen Bambino Ver. 2 watch you see here. Not only is it remarkably affordable, but it still comes with an automatic self-winding movement — meaning you never have to fiddle with a winding crown or try to figure out how to replace the battery. As an added bonus, it comes in five different colorway combinations, so you can customize it to your wardrobe.

Purchase: $135

Jack Mason A101 Aviator Watch

One of the most tried-and-true watch styles, everyone should own at least one pilot watch. And you could do far worse than the comparably-affordable Jack Mason A101 Aviator Watch you see before you. Inspired by the instrument gauges found in airplane cockpits, this handsome timepiece is powered by a reliable Japanese quartz movement, has a durable 42mm stainless steel case, and is equipped with a beautiful and comfortable leather strap. Available with either a white or black dial, this wearable time-teller is a great addition to any collection.

Purchase: $175

RSD Icon RS-2102 Signature Series Watch

Roland Sands is certainly best known for his custom motorcycle design, but he’s also taken a dive into crafting a series of signature moto-inspired watches, like the RSD Icon RS-2102 Signature Series Watch you see here. Meant to incorporate Roland Sands’ signature style into a wearable accessory, this statement piece is fitted with a hefty 43mm 316L stainless steel case, a Miyota Japanese quartz movement, and a genuine Horween leather strap that’s both handsome and comfortable — and will be for years to come.

Purchase: $191

Armogan Spirit of St. Louis Chronograph

For lovers of both aviation and Art Deco styling, there are few watches out there as spot-on and impactful as the Armogan Spirit of St. Louis chronograph you see before you. As the name suggests, this watch was inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s plane of the same name — the one he piloted on the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight — and boasts handsome retro detailing on the chronograph dial, a suede leather strap that’s as striking as it is soft and comfortable, and the whole thing is powered by a reliable Miyota quartz movement. There’s even a trio of colorways, though we’re partial to the all-black option.

Purchase: $225

MWC Kampfshchwimmer Military Dive Watch

It isn’t often we come across timepieces that are crafted for military and law enforcement personnel in mind, especially when they’re specifically built to withstand some of the most extreme environments on the planet. But that’s exactly what you’ll find with the MWC Kampfshchwimmer Military Dive Watch — which has a 24-jewel automatic movement, a PVD-coated stainless steel case, and a water-resistance rating good for depths of up to 300m. What’s even more impressive, however, is that you can get all of that for just $349. And that makes this practically a must-have for the tactically-minded everyday carry enthusiasts out there.

Purchase: $349

Luminox Navy SEAL Foundation Exclusive Watch

The U.S. Navy SEALs are some of the most capable and impressive soldiers in the world. And Luminox actually has a long history of crafting watches for the military organization — 25 years, in fact. This particular example, however, is special because it benefits the Navy SEAL Foundation directly, is still built to the brand’s exacting ultra-tough standards (boasting 200m water-resistance, a CARBONOX case with a stainless steel back, a durable PU strap, etc.), and it is done up in an exclusive colorway. If you want to wear the same watch used by some of the toughest men and women on the planet, this is it.

Purchase: $395

Apple Watch Series 5

The gold standard in the smartwatch segment, the Apple Watch has dominated the space since its inception and each generation just gets better and better. The current generation, Series 5, is definitely no exception and includes some of the best upgrades — Apple’s or otherwise — to date. That includes an optional titanium case upgrade over the standard stainless steel, the industry’s only always-on low-temperature polysilicone and oxide display, and a slew of other built-in features. If you’re interested in entering the world of smartwatches, there’s an argument to be made that that should begin and end with the Apple Watch.

Purchase: $399+

Bamford Mayfair

If the Bamford name sounds familiar to you, that might be because of the brand’s exceptional work customizing pre-existing Rolex watches or even because of their collaborations with TAG Heuer, Shinola, Black Badger, or even Bentley (yes, the luxury car brand). What you might not know is that they also have their own in-house brand of watches that are a good deal more affordable than their custom work, but still boast the styling the brand is famous for. Their Mayfair is our personal favorite of their offerings and is available in a whopping 41 different color and material combinations.

Purchase: $445

Seiko Prospex “Arnie” SNJ027P1 Solar Watch

There are actually a large number of spectacular and iconic movie watches you, as a consumer, can purchase and add to your collection. However, some do tend to stand out a bit more than others. This classic Seiko Prospex SNJ027P1 solar-powered watch is one such offering. In fact, this redux is even nicknamed “Arnie” because it appeared in numerous previous forms on the wrist of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a number of his best films — including Predator, Commando, and The Running Man. On top of its pedigree, the solar charging aspect ensures you don’t even have to wind it or swap in new batteries, it has a durable silicone-wrapped stainless steel case with a matching strap, and it boasts that iconic Pepsi-style rotating dive timer bezel.

Purchase: $476

Timex American Documents Watch

Timex didn’t get their start crafting watches. Rather, back in the 1800s, they built mantle clocks housed in beautiful cherrywood cases. This watch pays homage to those original mantle clocks through its inspired design, USA-made craftsmanship, and display containers that are crafted from — you guessed it — cherrywood. Complete with a gold-plated Swiss quartz movement, “Aged Waterbury Brass” case back coin and crown insert, and timeless leather strap, this is a handsome, historic addition to any wardrobe.

Purchase: $495

Casio G-SHOCK Full-Metal 5000 GMWB5000D-1

For decades, G-SHOCK has been one of the top names in the watchmaking space — especially for those with a taste for streetwear. And while some of their later watches are spectacular in their own right, this one is special because it harkens back to the original model that got the whole Casio sub-brand started. The styling is intact, however, this new version is now crafted with a full-metal stainless steel case and matching link band. It also has a solar-powered movement, Bluetooth connectivity (which pairs with the brand’s mobile app), and it’s still just as rugged as fans of G-SHOCK have come to expect.

Purchase: $550

Junghans Max Bill Automatic Watch

The Junghans Max Bill is one of the most significant minimalist watches to come out of the Bauhaus movement. In fact, it’s just as impactful and relevant today as it was when it was first introduced — and there are more varieties than ever before. We’re fond of this particular one, however, because of its self-winding automatic movement, stainless steel case with a matching mesh band, and it’s utterly unadorned dial — which proves that sometimes less is more. For fans of minimalism, few other timepieces at any price will do.

Purchase: $700

Citizen Eco-Drive BN2029-01E Promaster Aqualand Depth Meter Watch

This solar-powered Citizen watch is certainly a hefty one, but with good reason. You see, this watch is a true diver — from its 200m water-resistance rating to its included onboard depth gauge. Furthermore, its stainless steel case hides away a solar-powered movement that will keep right on ticking so long as it gets exposed to sunlight every-so-often. Finally, it’s equipped with a synthetic band that looks good and offers a ton of durability, even if you do take this bad boy down into the ocean with you.

Purchase: $713

Unimatic U1-FM Watch

Unfortunately, it’s fairly difficult to find a durable dive watch that also boasts minimalist styling. Thankfully, those who have an appreciation for such a timepiece aren’t out of luck, as the folks at Unimatic have made just that in their U1-FM. Crafted in Italy, this sleek timepiece boasts little more on its dial than a few geometric markings and a trio of hands. Similarly, the bezel bears only one marker — the most important one, that is. Finally, only 400 examples of this particular watch will ever be made, so if you appreciate it, you’d better snatch one up quickly.

Purchase: $806

Victorinox I.N.O.X. Carbon

Victorinox is most definitely best known for their Swiss Army Knives, but that’s far from the only thing they build well. In fact, they have an entire series of Swiss Army Watches that certainly live up to the brand’s sterling reputation. This particular one is special to us for a number of reasons. For starters, it boasts a nigh-indestructible carbon fiber case that grants it waterproofing down to depths of 660ft. Furthermore, it has a paracord band that matches its striking dial that can be, in the case of emergency, undone and used as a survival tool. Lastly, the overall design and style is striking and unique — even amongst other survival-focused watches.

Purchase: $875

MTM Special Ops Silencer

The name of this particular watch is not just a cheeky reference to the firearm accessory. Rather, it’s a literal description of the purpose this watch serves. You see, on top of its hybrid analog-digital dial, ultra-tough case (which is waterproof down to 330ft), and unmistakeable tactical styling, this watch actually has an onboard LED system that can be used to communicate and/or signal for help in complete silence. It’s one of the most unique watches out there — one that’s especially useful to those with a taste for tactical operations, hunting, military exercises, and the like.

Purchase: $945+

Autodromo Group B Series 2 Watch

Though the golden age of rally car racing has come to a close, there are still scores of people that pine for the Group B era. For those folks, there probably will not be a more desirable watch than the Autodromo Group B Series 2 Watch — done up in a “Safari” colorway here. Of course, this watch is more than just striking good looks. It also has a sturdy titanium case with an integrated retro band, a Miyota 24-jewel automatic movement, and one of the easiest-to-read racing-inspired dials around. Pair that with a handmade display case and this is not a watch to pass up for those with a love of motorsports modern or vintage.

Purchase: $975

Hamilton Khaki Field Murph Auto Watch

Hamilton’s Khaki lineup is probably the brand’s most important and iconic series of watches. But even amongst their brethren, some of the watches stand out from the rest. That might not be more true than with the Murph Auto Watch you see here. You see, this watch was actually specially designed for an appearance in Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending sci-fi epic Interstellar. And that means this is one of the most iconic movie watches of all time — on top of being a spectacular automatic field watch. For those that have seen and loved the film, this watch is certain to be a hit.

Purchase: $1,004

Shinola The Monster Automatic Watch

Shinola has called Detroit, Michigan its home since the brand was revived back in 2011. And that means it has close ties to the Great Lakes of the United States, which is reflected by its series of Monster watches. With four named for the lakes — Ontario, Superior, Huron, and (of course) Michigan — and two bonus additions, these divers are as handsome as they are each loaded with character, reliability, and American styling. They’re also all automatic, which bodes well for anyone that doesn’t want to fiddle with winding, charging, or replacing batteries.

Purchase: $1,250+

Tissot T-Race MotoGP 2020 Automatic Chronograph

The official watch of MotoGP — the high-speed pinnacle of motorcycle racing — Tissot’s T-Race MotoGP 2020 Automatic Chronograph almost necessitated flash in the design process. But what the madmen at Tissot managed with this brake caliper-inspired watch is even better than we could have hoped for. Clearly, this watch was inspired by motorsports, but it’s also a reliable timekeeper with a self-winding movement, an ultra-tough case, a wheel-inspired exhibition cashback, and so much more.

Purchase: $1,295+

Alpina Seastrong Diver Gyre Auto Watch

There was a time when dive watches were simply made to withstand the ocean and its unforgiving elements. However, as time has gone by, more and more watchmakers are focusing on creating watches that offer synergy with the ocean, like the Alpina Seastrong dive watch you see here. Not only is it water-resistant to 1,000 feet — making it a true diver — but its case was actually crafted from recycled ocean waste, as was its NATO-style strap. If you’re a true lover of the ocean and you want to show off your environmentalism through a bit of sustainability, we can think of far worse ways to do it than by wearing this gorgeous timepiece.

Purchase: $1,482

Oris Aquis Date Relief

Another watch inspired directly by our planet’s oceans and waterways, the Oris Aquis Date Relief you see here was actually directly inspired by tumultuous stormy seas. Of course, these looks are only a part of the equation, as the quality of the timekeeper must match to do its inspiration justice. As such, this watch has a sturdy stainless steel case that can protect its self-winding automatic movement from depths of up to 300m, an easy-to-read dial with a 6 o’clock date window, a dive timer bezel with raised markings for easy tactile reading, and so much more.

Purchase: $2,100

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 68 Saturation x Andy Mann Watch

For those not in the know, Andy Mann is an award-winning photographer and a respectable conservationist who understands the delicate balance between man and nature. As such, he was the perfect person for Zodiac to call upon for this ocean-going dive watch — which draws inspiration from one of the sea’s most magnificent predators, the whitetip shark. It’s a hefty timepiece, measuring up at a diameter of 45mm, but that’s made up for by its exceptional water-resistance rating, which is good for depths as deep as 1,000 meters (3,280ft — well over half-a-mile). But only 182 of these watches have been built in total, making them an exceptional rarity.

Purchase: $2,295

Weiss Titanium American Issue Field Watch

Weiss is a spectacular watchmaking brand in that they hold themselves to a remarkably high standard and they make their timepieces here in the USA — which is a bit of a rarity in itself. And this watch might just be their best of all time, thanks to its ultra-thin titanium case, USA-made Caliber 1003 mechanical hand-wound movement, and its Horween leather strap (another USA-made addition). But all of that American greatness comes at a cost — not in price, but rather rarity. You see, only 100 of these watches are to ever be made; and that makes them even more special than you might have already thought.

Purchase: $2,800

Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Watch

At first glance, the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Watch looks a lot like a fairly standard dive watch. That might be because it boasts an iconic dive watch style. However, the really special part of this watch is not visible to the naked eye. You see, beneath the rotating bezel, inside the stainless steel case, and behind the striking black dial, this watch’s movement is housed in an anti-shock housing trusted by professionals that work in places with electromagnetic fields, which would ruin the reliability of lesser watches. This isn’t a watch, so much as its a geek-chic timepiece for true technological professionals.

Purchase: $3,199

Tudor Black Bay Diver

If you see a list of the best diving watches of all time and the Tudor Black Bay isn’t on the list, then the person who wrote it definitely did not do their homework properly. This watch is a true timekeeping icon and slots into a price point that’s a good deal more attainable than its much more expensive siblings at Rolex. Not to mention, with 12 available color combinations (just in the standard yearly catalog), there’s a Black Bay for everyone. And that goes double when you consider all the special editions released in this exceptional watch family. If you like Rolex, but you don’t want to spend quite that much, this is absolutely a worthy alternative.

Purchase: $3,475+

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 HUD

With its blacked-out ceramic case, matching synthetic band, and unmistakeable fighter jet HUD-inspired vibrant green-on-green dial, the Bell & Ross BR 03-92 HUD is one of the most striking takes on a pilot watch we’ve ever seen — and it’s sure to please those who “feel the need for speed.” Of course, this limited-to-999-example timepiece is more than just good looks; it also features a reliable automatic movement, luminous Super-LumiNova markings, an anti-scratch and -reflective sapphire crystal, and a 100m water-resistance rating.

Purchase: $3,990

Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 Watch

Back in 1957, Breitling released their very first Superocean watch — a timepiece inspired directly by the feel-good surfing lifestyle that had emerged at that time. Now, for 2020, they’ve revived and modernized that watch into the Superocean Heritage ’57 you see before you. Boasting retro styling cues, this duck dive-worthy piece features an iconic concave bezel, a COSC-certified chronometer automatic movement, and numerous bracelet/strap options.

Purchase: $4,835

IWC Pilot’s Watch Automatic Top Gun

The U.S. Navy’s TOP GUN flight school — which you might remember from the ’80s movie starring Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer — has consistently produced some of the best pilots in the world. So, for IWC to craft a watch that bears the school’s name, it had to be an exceptional timepiece worthy of the moniker. Luckily, with this automatic ceramic-cased pilot watch, they succeeded with flying colors (pun intended). Even if you’re not a flyboy yourself, this is still a watch worth wearing day-in and day-out.

Purchase: $5,600

Nomos Zurich World Time Watch

The concept of a worldtimer watch is a pretty spectacular one, granting wearer’s the ability to change the timezone of their watch with very little fuss — making them perfect for frequent travelers. However, they’re often quite busy and frankly a bit overwhelming. That’s not the case with the Nomos Zurich World Time Watch, which somehow manages to pack two dozen timezones into its rotating edge while still remaining somewhat minimalist and beautiful. Pair that with a durable stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, automatic movement, and a genuine Horween leather strap and this is definitely one of the best travel watches around.

Purchase: $6,100

TAG Heuer Monaco

All the way back in 1969, TAG Heuer released what would become their most iconic and impactful watch of all time, the Monaco. Today, they still offer a version of that original — the world’s very-first square automatic chronograph — with a modern automatic movement keeping it ticking along. Complete with an exhibition caseback, this is a watch for automotive enthusiasts of the highest caliber. And it’s one of the best ways you can cater your style to match that of The King of Cool himself, Steve McQueen — who wore this watch in both his personal and professional life (on and off the track).

Purchase: $6,150

Rolex Submariner Dive Watch

A list of best watches simply isn’t complete without a staple brand like Rolex making the list. And while there are a lot of folks who probably think they’re all hype, there’s enough history and supporters to suggest the exact opposite — especially in regards to their iconic dive watch, the Submariner. Classic, understated, reliable, and smart, this is a watch that belongs on every collector’s wrist. It’s powered by an in-house automatic movement, boasts a proprietary corrosion-resistant Oystersteel case and matching link band, and it has a handy unidirectional rotating dive timer bezel. This dive watch is as classic as they come.

Purchase: $7,900

Zenith Chronomaster Revival Shadow

One of the coolest things that Zenith has been doing lately is flipping through their catalog of lost and forgotten watch designs and bringing some of the back as modern timekeepers. And perhaps the best of these revivals thus far is the Zenith Chronomaster Revival Shadow you see here. Based on an obscure prototype from the 1970s, this watch has an A386-based matte titanium case, an El Primero automatic movement with a 50-hour power reserve, and a textured leather strap.

Purchase: $8,200

Panerai Luminor Marina Carbotech

The biggest issue with using metal to craft dive watches is that even those that are extremely corrosion-resistant will eventually break down. The simple fact is: metal and saltwater don’t play well with one another. This version of the legendary Panerai Luminor, however, does away with that issue entirely courtesy of its carbon fiber-based Carbotech case. It also features bright and easy-to-read markings that match the stitching on its Sportech strap, a shielded crown, 300m water-resistance, and so much more.

Purchase: $12,500

Parmigiani Tonda GT Watch

There appeared to be, for a long time, a belief in the worlds of fashion and gear that luxury and sportiness didn’t quite go together. And while that’s definitely changing as athleisure becomes the new standard in the fashion world, the watch industry has been proving the opposite for some time. Take, for instance, the Parmigiani Tonda GT Watch you see here. The styling, the materials, and definitely the price all speak to opulence. However, if you take a look at the chronograph movement’s functionality, you’ll realize that this is a racing-inspired watch through and through.

Purchase: $13,500+

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Anniversary Limited Series

Even if you exclude its impressive and reliable automatic movement, ultra-tough stainless steel case and matching strap, tachymeter bezel, etc, the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Anniversary Limited Series watch would still earn at least consideration for this list. That’s because this watch was based on the one that NASA astronauts take with them every time they leave the atmosphere. In fact, it’s a modern version of the watch that the Apollo missions brought with them to the moon, hence its name. Truly, for spacefaring aficionados and horology enthusiasts alike, this is not a watch you can simply pass up.

Purchase: $16,200

Grand Seiko Heritage Collection SLGH002

While Swiss watchmakers like to boast about their long histories and achievements, Grand Seiko has been making some of the finest luxury timepieces in the world — and they’ve been doing it around the world in Japan. This particular watch is special because it features a new automatic movement — caliber 9SA5 — which is the new standard for Grand Seiko’s timepieces until, well, they manage to make one that’s better. And that makes this particular 18k genuine yellow gold watch even more special than it would already be.

Purchase: $43,000

Singer Reimagined Track 1 Geneva Edition Watch

Watches and driving go together like peanut butter and jelly. After all, using a stopwatch is an integral part of measuring the performance of a race car driver. As such, it makes sense that one of the best car watches around was made by a name many are familiar with from the car world: Singer. Designed to represent the “bleeding edge of high-watchmaking design,” this watch draws inspiration from racing timepieces of the past but is also a beast all its own. In fact, it’s movement and dial display are wholly unique from other chronograph watches — which goes a long way toward setting this one apart. Of course, that level of perfection also comes with an extreme price tag that will scare off all but the most dedicated potential buyers.

Purchase: $80,690

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watch, with its unmistakable geometric case, was already one of the best and most historically-significant watches around. But the brand really changed the game when they unveiled their Selfwinding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin edition — which also took home the “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix prize — watchmaking’s most prestigious award. That’s because this watch is the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar automatic chronograph, boasting a case that’s just 6.3mm thick and a mind-bogglingly thin 2.89mm movement. Of course, with its rarity and exorbitant price tag, you’d have to be wildly wealthy to even consider getting one.

Purchase: $150,000

The 12 Best Tool Watches For Men

For those who want to ensure all their gear is purpose-driven, not just any timepiece will do. Rather, you’ll find what you’re looking for on our more concise list of the best tool watches for men.

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