Best Dress Watches Under $200 That Look Gorgeous With Any Formal Wear

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Written by Ryan Miller

Nothing says ‘class’ better than an impressive dress watch.

While dress watches are usually equated with expensive brands that are well outside the average man’s reach, that doesn’t mean you can’t impress with less.

Below is our list of the top dress watches under $200 that are sure to make you feel like a sir or a true lady.

Best Overall

Seiko 5 SNK793

Seiko 5 SNK793

Minimalistic

Citizen Eco-Drive AU1040-08E

Citizen Eco-Drive AU1040-08E

Best Vintage

Timex Q Reissue Falcon Eye

Timex Q Reissue Falcon Eye

Seiko 5 SNK793

Best Overall

Seiko 5 SNK793

The Japanese watchmaker has brought yet another classic with the Seiko 5 SNK793.

Without question, the midnight blue dial makes this watch pop. The date display at the 3 o’clock position fits nicely with the sunburst finish of the dial, making the watch look even more expensive.

Like with all Seiko watches, the highlight is the watch movement. The Caliber 7S26C is an automatic 21-jewel movement that’s equipped with a rotor.

The watch also has a power reserve of 40 hours and an accuracy of -15 to +25 seconds per day. A real workhorse, the movement proves to be sturdy and hard-wearing after years of wear.

While the Seiko 5 SNK793 is nothing fancy, it delivers a quiet impact that is the perfect power-up to any outfit.

Coupled with just the right price point, it is exactly the kind of dress watch that men would love to have.

Pros

  • Quality make
  • Scratch-resistant crystal
  • Accurate and long-wearing movement
  • Power reserve of 40 hours

Specifications

  • Stainless Steel Case Size: 37mm
  • Case Thickness: 11mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Seiko 7S26C Automatic Movement
  • Strap: Stainless steel
  • Water Resistant Until: 30m (98 ft.)

Citizen Eco-Drive AU1040-08E

Best Minimalistic Design

Citizen Eco-Drive AU1040-08E

Citizen has made a name for themselves producing sophisticated dress watches at a modest price point. The Citizen Eco-Drive AU1040-08E is no exception.

At first glance, wearers will notice the absence of the seconds-hand. This actually keeps this timepiece looking all the more modern especially when set against the black polished dial.

The sword-shaped minute and hour hands provide sufficient luminosity, an added bonus along with the date display at the 3 o’clock position.

That said, what makes this Citizen watch stand out isn’t its style but its Eco-Drive technology: A solar-powered technology that has garnered worldwide acclaim.

Coupled with its Japanese quartz movement, the watch is reliable in its precision. For an affordable watch that doesn’t need much upkeep, the Citizen Eco-Drive is the best bang for your buck!

Pros

  • Suitable for casual or more formal wear
  • Easy to match with any outfit
  • Provides sufficient luminosity
  • Solar-powered, reliable movement

Specifications

  • Stainless Steel Case Size: 40mm
  • Case Thickness: 8mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Japanese Quartz Movement
  • Strap: Leather
  • Water Resistant Until: 10m (33 ft.)

Timex Q Reissue Falcon Eye

Best Vintage

Timex Q Reissue Falcon Eye

The Timex Q Reissue Falcon Eye is one of the best-looking reissue models from the brand. Sitting squarely within the $200 range, this slick-looking dress watch looks like a million bucks.

The royal-blue watch face is undeniably the scene-stealer here, accented by white hands with gold trimmings. The gold bezel date window at the 3 o’clock position also gives it some added retro style.

However, this Timex watch does have some downsides.

Unlike most stainless steel dress watches under $200, the Timex Q Reissue Falcon Eye uses acrylic instead of hardened mineral crystal, which makes it prone to accumulating scratches quickly.

The brand doesn’t seem to use Japanese quartz on their timepieces, which makes the movement a little off track with the second-hand jumping between the hour markers instead of hitting them.

That said, the Timex Q Reissue Falcon Eye is an eye-catching dress watch for anyone looking for a flashier and more extravagant accessory for evening or day wear.

Pros

  • Luxe design at an affordable price
  • Adjustable bracelet
  • Decent luminosity
  • Great gift idea

Specifications

  • Case Size: 38mm
  • Case Thickness: 13mm
  • Crystal: Acrylic
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Strap: Stainless steel
  • Water Resistant Until: 50m (164 ft.)

Orient Bambino Version IV

Best Value for Money

Orient Bambino Version IV

The Orient Bambino V4 is just one of the timepieces from the bestselling Bambino line that’s known for showcasing affordable watches of exceptional quality and style.

The 41mm case size and leather strap make the watch a versatile size to wear for both formal or casual wear, and the leveled bezel allows the gradient sapphire dial to take center stage.

The watch’s domed crystal diamond markings keeps the face clean and sleek, and the date display at the 3 o’clock position is always a nice feature to have for extra functionality.

The automatic movement is powered by the FG724 caliber- a brand original that is both durable and fairly accurate. The watch also has a lengthy power reserve of 40 hours to boot.

If you’re looking for a quality timepiece that looks great too, the Bambino V4 is one of the best timepieces under $200 that you definitely can’t go wrong with.

Pros

  • Classic design
  • Long-lasting and reliable movement
  • 40-hour power reserve
  • Date window is a plus

Specifications

  • Stainless Steel Case Size: 41mm
  • Case Thickness: 11mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Orient F6724 caliber (Automatic Movement)
  • Strap: Leather band
  • Water Resistant Until: 30m (98 ft.)

Seiko Women’s SUT222

Best Overall for Women

Seiko Women's SUT222

Slim and dainty with a case size of 25mm, the Seiko SUT222 delivers tasteful grace with a fixed gold bezel and silver dial.

Encased by Seiko’s Hardlex crystal, the watch is relatively scratch resistant but not as imperturbable as sapphire crystal.

Seiko’s Caliber 187 solar movement keeps precise timekeeping and eliminates the need for battery changes. You don’t need to step out into the sun, either; regular light will keep this charged.

Since the Japanese brand is world-renowned for its movement, you can be assured of high-quality technology that will last you years.

The SUT222 also has an impressive water resistance of up to 100m, which means you can swim with this beauty. The date window at the 3 o’clock position rounds out the watch features nicely.

Pros

  • Luxury design
  • Dainty size is easy to pair with any outfit
  • Suitable for casual or formal wear
  • Scratch-resistant crystal

Specifications

  • Stainless Steel Case Size: 25mm
  • Case Thickness: 8mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Seiko Caliber V187
  • Strap: Stainless steel
  • Water Resistant Until: 100m (328 ft.)

Michael Kors Mini Bradshaw

Best Everyday for Women

Michael Kors Mini Bradshaw

Whether you’re attending a suit-and-tie event or just grabbing groceries, this impressive timepiece is just the right amount of dressy that looks great for any occasion.

The chronograph aspect gives this watch added functionality while elevating its luxury feel, while the oversized Roman numeral hour markers against the textured silver dial keep this watch feeling fun.

With a handy date window and water resistance of up to 100m, the Michael Kors Mini Bradshaw is not just a pretty piece to wear on your wrist. Take a shower or swim without needing to worry!

Pros

  • Statement piece
  • Chronograph functionality
  • Beautiful in all colors (available in gold and rose-gold)
  • Impressive gift idea

Specifications

  • Stainless Steel Case Size: 34mm
  • Case Thickness: 11mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Japanese Quartz Movement
  • Strap: Stainless steel
  • Water Resistant Until: 100m (328 ft.)

Fossil Scarlette Mini ES4317

Best Budget for Women

Fossil Scarlette Mini ES4317

Fossil is known for making reliable timepieces of impeccable quality despite relatively inexpensive prices. For just around $100, you could have this stunner sitting on your wrist.

The Scarlette Mini masterfully balances using just the right amount of sparkle without going overboard to the point of looking kitschy. This model is also available in gold and rose-gold.

The sunray analog dial coupled with the Roman numerals keep this watch elegant and neat, and the handy date window at the 3 o’clock position provides an extra feature wearers will love to have.

Bonus since the hands are luminescent in the dark, too; although we’re sure the crystals embossed onto the bezel will provide plenty of light!

Pros

  • Design value for money
  • Good luminescence
  • Scratch-resistant crystal
  • Versatile design is easy to match

Specifications

  • Stainless Steel Case Size: 32mm
  • Case Thickness: 10mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Quartz Movement
  • Strap: Stainless steel
  • Water Resistant Until: 50m (164 ft.)

How to Choose The Perfect Dress Watch

$200 dollars is a substantial amount of money to spend heedlessly.

Whether you’re buying a sports watch or a dress watch, you want to make sure you’re completely satisfied with your watch no matter where, when, and how you wear it.

If you’re looking at dress watches for the first time, check out these top 5 tips to help you secure only the best quality watches for your needs.

If you’re looking for something else under $200, check out our Best Watches under $200 article!

#1 Consider Your Wrist Size

While some wearers like to push for more flamboyant, oversized watches, orthodox wearers will insist that dress watches should be simple, elegant, and understated.

That said, your wrist size is a HUGE factor to consider when picking out dress watches as case size per watch differs.

If you’re a man with a larger wrist diameter, a dress watch with a 40-42mm size will look suitable for you. Conversely, you might look a little silly if you’re wearing a 34mm dress watch.

Whether worn casually or with a suit, a dress watch should be able to enhance your outfit- not overshadow it.

#2 Watch Case Thickness Matters

Since you’re already considering wrist size, don’t forget to check the case size of your watch, too!

If you buy a dress watch that has a very tall height, you won’t be able to slide it under your cuff if you’re wearing a suit. Sticking with watches that are around 10mm is a safe bet for dress watches.

However, it’s important to note that most watches of this size will have quartz movements that will keep the dress watch from being ultra-thin in case that’s a look you want to go for.

As for the material, a brass case might have appeal, but when you compare a brass case to a stainless steel case, you can’t go wrong with steel.

#3 Your Watch Should Match Your Shoes and Belt

You might think this is a little snobby, but it’s true! The same rules that are used when matching your shoes to your belt apply to your dress watch as well, particularly the case and bracelet material.

Thankfully, the rules with dress watches are easy: Leather complements leather, while metal complements metal.

Try to match the bracelet color with the color of your shoes and belt as well.

#4 Think Of The Formality Of The Occasion

Whether you’re going to a black-tie event or attending a meeting, it’s best to approximate the level of formality of the occasion with your chosen dress watch style.

Analog dress watches are more formal than digital watches. Roman numeral or plain hour markers are also more sophisticated to look at than Arabic ones.

Since dress watches are supposed to be as simple as possible, steer clear of style elements that will make the watch face seem busy and cluttered. Save chunky crowns and tachymeters for a sports watch.

#5 Contemplate Your Budget

At the end of the day, it’s all about how much you’re willing to spend on dress watches in general. If you want to have several timepieces with differently hued dials and a variety of straps, go for it.

But if you’re looking for something to wear everyday, a watch with a stainless steel case and strap are the easiest to pair with any outfit. Ditto for a watch face with a clean black or white dial.

Got some extra money laying around? Find the Best Dress Watch Under $500 or the Best Dress Watches Under $1000!

Recommendation:

Seiko 5 SNK793

★★★★★

Seiko 5 SNK793

Final thoughts

Just like any watch, a dress watch is a reflection of the wearer. Whether you’re into an edgier style or a more classic one, it all comes down to how you carry your watch on your wrist.

That said, a dress watch certainly does not have to be exorbitantly priced to impress; especially with so many watchmakers making quality timepieces that look good and feel good on your wallet.