Best Automatic Watches Under $500

Written by Paul Morrison
| Last Updated on July 27, 2021

Looking for automatic watches can be challenging. With all those options out there, what watch should you buy?

Today, we’ll review some of the best automatic watches under $500. You’ll have the best of both worlds because you’ll get a great watch that won’t break your bank!

If you’re into that, then keep reading this review and find your next timepiece.

Best Overall

Seiko SKX009

Seiko Pepsi Driver

Best Value

Orient Mako II

Orient Mako II

Best Budget

Amphibia Vostok

Vostok Amphibia

Here Are the Top 9 Best Automatic Watches Under $500

  • Seiko Pepsi Driver SKX009
  • Orient Mako II
  • Vostok Amphibia
  • Bulova Automatic Movement Dress Watch
  • Hamilton Khaki King
  • Hamilton Khaki Field
  • Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80
  • Orient Bambino
  • Seiko 5 SNK809

Product TitleSeiko Pepsi Driver SKX009

Best Overall

Seiko SKX009

Seiko has proven itself to be an excellent go-to watch company, regardless of watch type. Plus, they have a wide selection of watches for any budget.

If you’re looking for one of the best automatic watches out there that won’t break your bank, the Seiko SKX009 comes highly recommended.

On its face, the SKX009 looks like your usual Seiko dive watch. It has a day/date function on the 3 o’ clock position and luminous markers for effortless timekeeping.

Like other Seiko watches, the SKX009 sports the familiar 7S26B automatic workhorse movement. It’s a self-winding movement that’s sure to keep your watch accurate at all times.

Everything we’ve mentioned above is protected by a durable stainless steel case and a screw-down crown. You can even take the Seiko SKX009 for a dive because it has a water resistance of up to 200 meters!

Finally, we especially enjoy the fact that we can interchange the strap of this Seiko watch. We can choose between a metal or rubber band for the bracelet, perfect for matching our style.

And let’s not forget, you can enjoy all this for only less than $500. Now that sounds like a sweet deal.


  • Comes from a reliable and trusted company
  • Doubles as one of the best dive watches
  • Interchangeable straps
  • Beautiful blue dial


  • Model: SKX009K1
  • Caliber 7S26 Japanese Self-Winding Automatic Movement
  • Battery: 1 Lithium-ion
  • Case Size: 42 mm
  • Features: Day/Date Function on the 3 o’ clock mark; Uni-Directional Bezel; Luminous Markers
  • Materials: Stainless Steel Case; Hardlex Crystal; Metal or Rubber Band Bracelet
  • Water Resistant up to 200 meters

Orient Mako II

Best Value for Money

Orient Mako II

Orient is one of those Japanese watch brands known for its excellence and craftsmanship when it comes to watchmaking.

This is why we’re more than happy to find an Orient automatic watch that can make it on this list.

The Orient Mako II is perfect for all watch lovers because of the number of features it comes with for a very reasonable price point. Retailing at less than $200, the Mako II is practically a steal.

The Mako II sports an in-house Caliber F6922 Japanese automatic movement, plus hand-winding and hacking features. It gives the watch an impressive 40-hours of power reserve in a single charge.

We love the fact that the Mako II doubles as a dive watch because of its 200 meters water resistance.

You can take it with you for a swim or dive with no problem! The screw-down crown makes sure to keep everything inside protected and sealed.

If you want one of the best automatic dive watches out there that won’t break your bank, the Mako II is an easy choice. It also comes in a variety of colors for you to enjoy.


  • Perfect for water activities
  • Highly affordable for the jam-packed features
  • Comes from a company with over 65 years of experience in watchmaking
  • Best dive watch for the price point


  • Model: FAA02002D9
  • Caliber F6922 Japanese Automatic Movement
  • Case Size: 41.5 mm
  • Features: Day/Date Function on the 3 o’ clock mark; 120- Click Unidirectional Bezel; Luminous Markers
  • Materials: Stainless Steel Case and Band; Mineral Crystal
  • 40-Hours of Power Reserve
  • Water Resistant up to 200 meters

Vostok Amphibia

Best Budget Pick

Amphibia Vostok

If there’s one automatic watch out there that’s sure to fit anyone’s budget, it’s the Vostok Amphibia. Retailing at $100 or less, this watch is the one to beat when it comes to price.

Vostok has been around for many years now, though not many people seem to know about them just yet. Unknown to many, the Vostok Amphibia stands as one of the best automatic dive watch for its price.

Since its inception, the Amphibia was meant to be a watch that’s reliable both on land and water. Now, we love the Amphibia for its incredible features that can easily compete with higher selling watches.

It is water-resistant for up to 200 meters and is sure to withstand any pressure or temperature underwater.

It is also an automatic self-winding watch that sports luminous hour markers for effortless timekeeping. Plus, it has a power reserve of up to 31 hours, which is relatively decent.

The face of the Amphibia looks unique. One might even say that it’s quirky and fun! It sports a scuba diver, which you can find at the 12 o’ clock and 2 o’clock mark, and a date window at the 3 o’ clock mark.

Overall, the Vostok Amphibia comes highly recommended to anyone with a budget. It’s a simple dive watch that comes with the necessary features you’d want for a watch.


  • One of the most affordable dive watch today
  • Simple and refined design
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Perfect for land and water use


  • Automatic Hand Winding Movement
  • Case Diameter: 40 mm
  • Features: Date Function on the 3 o’ clock mark; Scuba Diver on the 12 o’ clock and 2 o ‘clock mark Luminous Markers
  • Materials: Stainless Steel Case; Mineral glass dial; Stainless Steel Bracelet or NATO Strap
  • 31-Hours of Power Reserve
  • Water Resistant up to 200 meters

Bulova Automatic Dress Watch

Bulova Dress Watch

Unknown to many, Bulova also sells dress watches that are less than $500. Although finding them might be a challenge, there’s an option for the watch enthusiast out there.

The Bulova dress watch comes highly recommended for anyone, regardless of their style. One of the reasons why we love this Bulova automatic watch is its modern and clean look.

It sports an all stainless steel finish: the case, band, and bezels. The silver dial color and luminous markers add to the overall clean appearance, making this automatic watch the perfect fashion statement.

Now, the features of this automatic watch are as simple as it looks. It has your usual day/date function at the 3 o’ clock mark and is water-resistant for up to 30 meters.

If you’re looking for the best automatic quartz watches, then this simple Bulova dress watch should be for you.


  • Modern and minimal design
  • Stunning dial design and color
  • An affordable timepiece from the brand
  • Great quartz watch for everyday use


  • Model: 96C135
  • Analog Quartz Movement
  • Case Diameter: 42 mm
  • Features: Day/Date Function on the 3 o’clock mark; Luminous Markers
  • Materials: Stainless Steel Case and bracelet; Mineral Crystal dial cover
  • 40-Hour Power Reserve
  • Water Resistant up to 30 meters

Hamilton Khaki King

Hamilton Khaki King

If you’re someone who loves traditional-looking watches, then we’re sure you’ll have no trouble falling in love with the Hamilton Khaki King.

It sports a nice rugged appearance for you to feast your eyes on, made with only the best quality materials. The Khaki King looks elegant and has a vintage appeal to it.

Nevertheless, it’s sure to look great on any wrist.

The stainless steel case and brown leather strap complete the entire look of the Khaki King. And if you flip the Khaki King on its back, you can find a nice skeleton case to watch this timepiece’s internal mechanism.

Besides its impressive looks, the Khaki King also comes with pretty impressive features. It is powered by ETA Caliber 2834-2 automatic movement, which’s sure to keep your watch accurate and operational for a long time.

The watch further sports up to 38-hours of power reserve, perfect for timekeeping even on rainy days. On its dial, you’ll find a unique looking day/date display, located on the 12 o’ clock mark.

And all this is protected by a durable and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal window.

Do note that the Khaki King is only water-resistant for up to 40 meters. It’s a great everyday watch but not recommended for water activities.


  • Traditional and vintage-inspired design
  • Beautiful brown leather straps and black dial
  • Durable and scratch-resistant dial window
  • 25-jewel movement for better accuracy and timekeeping


  • Model: H64455533
  • AutomaticMovement
  • Case Diameter: 40 mm
  • Features: Day/Date Function on the 12 o’ clock mark; Luminous Markers
  • Materials: Stainless Steel Case; Sapphire Crystal Dial Window; Brown Leather Strap
  • 38-hours of power reserve
  • Water Resistant up to 50 meters

Hamilton Khaki Field

Hamilton Khaki Field

Another excellent automatic watch from Hamilton is the Khaki Field. It’s one of the watch icons today enjoyed by many, so we’re sure you’ll love this too.

The Hamilton Khaki Field sports the same stainless steel case and brown leather strap. It has an excellent silver dial and hour markers, with black colored Arabic numerals and markers.

The Khaki Field isn’t as traditional or vintage-looking as the Khaki King, though it still gives off that vintage vibe.

With its beautiful silver tones and classic looking strap, it’s a watch that looks straight out of an old movie.

And if you flip this watch on its back, you’ll be delighted to find a transparent case back for you to see the internal mechanism of your watch.

The Khaki Field runs on Hamilton’s Calibre ETA 3824-2 automatic movement. It offers an impressive 80-hour power reserve, which’s sure to win against other watches in this list.

The features of the Khaki Field are simple. It has a date display at the 3 o’ clock mark and is water-resistant for up to 100 meters.

Safe to say, the Khaki Field is a durable watch with its stainless steel case and sapphire crystal dial window. And for only less than $500, the Khaki Field is a great buy.


  • Impressive 80-hour power reserve
  • Ideal case size, perfect for any wrist
  • Crafted with durable and high-quality materials
  • Perfect everyday watch, even for water activities


  • Model: H70455553
  • Calibre H-10 Automatic Movement
  • Case Size: 48 mm
  • Features: Date Function on the 3 o’ clock position; Luminous Markers
  • Materials: Stainless Steel Case; Sapphire Crystal Dial Window; Brown Leather Strap
  • 80-Hour Power Reserve
  • Water Resistant up to 100 meters

Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80

Tissot T-Classic Automatic Silver Dial Men's Watch T006.407.22.033.00

Tissot is a Swiss watch brand that’s been around for many years. They’ve built a pretty solid reputation with their high-quality and durable timepieces.

If you’re looking for a great timepiece to start your watch collection, the Tissot Le Locle Powermatic should be first on your list. It’s highly affordable, comes from a great watch brand, and so much more.

The Tissot Le Locle is a classic and elegant looking dress watch.

It’s perfect for anyone, regardless of style. The case is made of stainless steel material, sporting a 39 mm case size. Safe to say, the size is perfect for most wrists.

The stainless steel case gives this Tissot watch a further appeal. Thanks to its polished appearance. With its curved lugs that connect straight to the straps, this watch looks sleek and seamless.

The Le Locle sports the basic features.

It has a date display at the 3 o’ clock mark and is water-resistant for up to 30 meters. It can handle splashes, but not for anything more. And all this is protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal dial.

But the most impressive feature of this Tissot watch is the signature Tissot Calibre Powermatic 80 movement. It sports an impressive 80-hours of power reserve that can power you through the week.


  • Good starting automatic watch
  • Comes from a reliable watch brand
  • Durable and high-quality materials
  • Impressive power reserve


  • Model: T0064072203300
  • Powermatic Calibre 80 Movement
  • Case Size: 39 mm
  • Features: Date Function on the 3 o’ clock position
  • Materials: Stainless Steel Case; Sapphire Crystal Dial Window; Stainless Steel Strap
  • 80-Hour Power Reserve
  • Water Resistant up to 30 meters

Orient Bambino

Orient 2nd gen bambino version III

The Orient Bambino series has some of the best looking automatic watches. You’ll never run of choice from this line, and it’s always a great go-to choice each time.

We love the Orient Bambino because of how affordable it is, considering it is an automatic dress watch. It has a traditional and simple appearance, with its black markers and silver dial.

The black leather strap completes the whole look, making it seamless and stylish on any wrist. Overall, it looks very traditional and modern at the same time, and minimal.

Now, the Bambino series sports a Japanese automatic movement. Safe to say, it’s reliable enough for accurate timekeeping. Its automatic hand-wind and hacking feature make sure you always stay on time.

Finally, the features on the bambino are pretty simple. It has the primary date display at the 3 o’clock mark and 50 meters water resistance.


  • Reliable watch brand
  • The movement is made directly in Japan
  • High quality and durable materials
  • Modern and minimal design


  • Model: FAC0000EW0
  • Japanese Automatic Movement
  • Case Diameter: 40.5 mm
  • Features: Date Function on the 3 o’ clock position
  • Materials: Stainless Steel Case; Black leather strap
  • 40-Hours Power Reserve
  • Water Resistant up to 30 meters

Seiko 5 SNK809

Seiko SNK809 Seiko 5

The Seiko 5 SNK809 is making a lot of noise these days, and we figured why not check it out? And sure enough, we were in for a pleasant surprise from Seiko.

First off, the Seiko SNK809 automatic watch looks very simple. It looks classic and combines a military design because of its nylon strap. Nevertheless, the SNK809 is highly durable and reliable.

It uses a stainless steel case and hardlex crystal to protect the black dial. The white hour markers and luminous hands look great against the black dial. It looks effortless to read, regardless of light condition.

We were also very impressed with the backside of the Seiko SNK809.

It features a skeleton case so that we could see the internal gears of this Seiko watch. It’s a great surprise that we never expected from the face of this timepiece.

However, water resistance isn’t that great for this Seiko watch. It only measures 30 meters, which is relatively low for a Seiko watch. With that said, we don’t recommend it for any water activities.

But at least the SNK809 has a decent power reserve of up to 40 hours.


  • Perfect everyday watch
  • Beautiful skeleton case back
  • 21 Jewels automatic movement for accurate timekeeping
  • Simple military design


  • Model: SNK809K2
  • Japanese Automatic Movement
  • Case Size: 37 mm
  • Features: Day, Date, Hour, Minute, and Second Function
  • Materials: Stainless Steel Case; Black Canvas Strap; Hardlex Mineral Crystal Dial and Casing
  • 40-Hour Power Reserve
  • Water Resistant up to 30 meters


Today, we’ve listed some of the best automatic watches under $500 to get your hands on. And for sure, you won’t have a hard time choosing any of them.

The next time you’re looking for an automatic movement watch, don’t forget all the things we’ve mentioned in this list.

Well, time is up for this review, and we hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to leave a comment below on which automatic watches under $500 you ended up buying.

Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family. You might just help them find the next automatic watch for them.


Seiko Pepsi Driver SKX009


Seiko SKX009

Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Buy $500 Automatic Watches?

In general, you’ll find most $500 or below automatic watches to be entirely sufficient when it comes to specs. Compared to more expensive automatic watches, they aren’t that bad at all. It sports the usual features like:

  • Quality and durable materials such as stainless steel case and mineral or sapphire crystal dial window;
  • Reliable power reserve;
  • Decent water resistance; and
  • Luminous hands and hour markers

If you’re just starting with your automatic watch collection, you don’t have to buy the most expensive watch out there.

You can start with watches under $500 because the features and looks are relatively decent.

Seiko, Tissot, and Orient are among the brands which come highly recommended for automatic movement watches.

On this list, we provided various automatic watches made of quality durable materials like sapphire crystal! So you don’t have to spend a fortune just for a sapphire crystal dial watch.

And once you’ve got more money saved up, you can move on to more expensive automatic watches!

Remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune just to have an automatic movement watch. As long as you know what to look for and where to look, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Where Can I Buy Automatic Movement Watches?

You can buy automatic movement watches just about anywhere. Brands like Seiko, Tissot, and Orient sell on their websites, which is always a convenient option for many people.

But if you want to check out the watch before buying it, you can head straight to your trusted watch dealer.

They’re sure to be well-informed about the watch you’re eyeing, so they’ll be able to answer your questions.

How Do I Wind Automatic Watches?

Don’t be intimidated when you hear that it’s time to wind your mechanical watch. The process is so simple and easy. You can do it with your eyes closed!

All types of watches have a crown. Whether you have automatic or mechanical watches, expect to find a crown on the body.

Now, you’d want to pull out the crown to wind it clockwise or counter-clockwise, depending on how you want to move the hands. If you’re done adjusting hour markers, you can push back the crown.

The beauty of using an automatic watch is that it relies on movement. Automatic movement watches are powered by kinetic energy and rely on wrist movement to start it.

For as long as you keep using your automatic watch, it will always stay powered up!

What Features Should I Look For?

Regardless of the watch type you plan to buy, features are always an essential factor. Ask yourself, “What do I want from my watch?”

Today watches come with many impressive features, whether it’s a mechanical watch, an automatic movement one, or even a smartwatch.

In general, we recommend choosing a watch that comes with decent water resistance. You want to be able to wear your watch anywhere, without worrying about a simple water splash.

You also want to make sure your timepiece sports the essential day/date function, which adds a ton of convenience for you in the long run.

Are Automatic Movement Watches Accurate?

If you invest in a Quality automatic watch, accuracy should be the least of your problems.

Do note that automatic movement watches tend to lose about 25 seconds per day. So the delay isn’t usually that noticeable, unless, of course, if you put all those seconds together.

However, if you start noticing that the delay is already more than a minute, it’s high time that you visit a watch repairman to see what’s going on inside.

Often, it could be an indication that there’s something wrong with the movement.

About Paul Morrison

For years I’ve been buying and selling watches as a hobby, which led me to the decision of starting Watch for Tomorrow. I write a lot of the content, and I enjoy doing it. The most important aspect for me is the guidance of buying watches as well as avoiding bad ones. There are many bad watches out there, that are just too expensive. Hopefully, I can help you find your dream watch!