Best watches under $100 (affordable & inexpensive)

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Written by Ryan Miller

Who said nice watches need to be expensive? Sometimes we’re a little tight on money, and sometimes we’re not really looking for solid collector pieces.

That said, everyone loves a fancy-looking dress watch or sports watch to use on the go. Bonus points if it’s a quality timepiece bought under a budget.

If you’re looking for a watch just like this, look no further. We’ve rounded up a list of the best men’s watches under $100.

Best Casual Watch

Seiko 5 SNK807

Seiko 5 SNK807

Best Dress Watch

Invicta Pro Diver 8928OB

Invicta 8928OB

Best Sports Watch

Seiko SNE093

Seiko SNE093

Best Casual or Field Watches Under $100

First things first: Aside from needing your watch to tell time, you need it to last a fair amount of time, too; especially if you’re using it day-to-day as a beater watch.

From rugged to relaxed, we’ve got you covered with the best watches for men.

Seiko 5 SNK807

Best Overall

Seiko 5 SNK807

The Seiko 5 SNK809 is evidently a military-inspired field watch. Sleek, light, and easy to wear, the Seiko 5 is the kind of automatic watch you can use for any occasion or condition.

The minutes indicated on the outer dial are a handy tool for quick time checks, and the luminous numbers against the black dial make it suitable to see even in low-light conditions.

Given that it’s Seiko, you can be sure of the Seiko 5 SNK807’s reliable automatic movement that’s sturdy and long-lasting.

This Seiko 5 field watch also has a 40-hour power reserve and is water-resistant until 30m, which means you can shower or swim with it, too.

Pros

  • Light on the wrist
  • Strong luminescence
  • 40-hour power reserve
  • Comfortable and easy to adjust strap

Specifications

  • Case: 37mm, stainless steel
  • Thickness: 11mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Automatic Movement: Seiko 7S26
  • Strap: Canvas
  • Water-resistant: 30m
  • Amazon Price: $88.98

Timex Weekender Chronograph

Best Smart-Casual

Timex Weekender Chronograph

As the name suggests, the Timex Weekender Chronograph is the perfect analog display watch to wear for an easy-going weekend (or day).

The chronograph aspect gives the watch a classy if slightly rugged feel when paired with the leather band; making it the perfect timepiece to wear with jeans and a blazer.

We also love that this watch has a date window next to the second and minute sub-dials, although those elements could be too busy for someone who doesn’t need to track time to a fraction of a second.

The Timex Weekender also has a handy “Indiglo” feature that makes the watch dial luminescent in the dark to help you time-keep during dimly lit situations.

Pros

  • Suitable for both field and casual settings
  • Chronograph functionality
  • Bold numerals are easy to read at first glance
  • Luminescence is sufficient

Specifications

  • Case: 40mm, brass
  • Thickness: 9mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Quartz Movement: Quartz W92
  • Strap: Leather or fabric
  • Water-resistant: 30m
  • Amazon Price: $52.70

Timex Expedition Scout

Best Budget

Timex Expedition Scout

If you’re stepping out into the jungle or doing heavy fieldwork, the Timex Expedition Scout is one of the best watches under $100 to take with you.

The entire frame is made from polished brass which keeps the watch nice and sturdy for long-time use. The no-frills, black dial also includes normal time with an inner rim of military time markings.

The Timex Expedition Scout also has a date display window on the dial for wearers who prefer keeping track of the days.

Despite the stiff nylon strap, the Timex Expedition field watch doesn’t rub painfully on your wrist and becomes nice and pliable after a day or two of wear.

Pros

  • Hardwearing
  • Low-price
  • High water resistance
  • Comfortable strap

Specifications

  • Case: 40mm, brass
  • Thickness: 10.5mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Quartz Movement
  • Strap: Nylon or leather
  • Water resistance: 50m
  • Amazon Price: $38.99

Best Dress Watches Under $100

Dress watches aren’t just a pretty accessory worn on the wrist- they’re the power upgrade to your whole outfit.

Minimalist and sleek, fashion watches should be eye-catching pieces that don’t steal the spotlight. Rather, they should bring your outfit together.

To help you on the quest for the ultimate dress watch, check out our list below for the best men’s watches for every occasion.

Invicta Pro Diver 8928OB

Best Overall

Invicta Pro Diver 8928OB

One of the best-selling models of the Invicta Pro Diver watch collection, the Invicta Pro Diver 8928OB is primarily a dive watch- but man, does it look good as a dress watch.

The royal blue dial and gold-tone bracelet make for a striking combination perfect for more formal wear, while the overall glossy appearance of both bezel and dial gives it a unique, vintage feel.

A stainless steel case encases the Pro Diver8928OB’s Seiko NH35A movement, which is known for being a solid workhorse. We also love the bubble date display at the 3 o’clock position on the dial.

Note, though, that the Pro Diver 8928OB automatic watch has a painted stainless steel case which makes it prone to scratches.

Pros

  • Both a dive watch and dress watch
  • Luxurious design (reminiscent of Rolex Submariner)
  • Reliant Seiko movement
  • Date window functionality

Specifications

  • Case: 40mm, stainless steel
  • Thickness: 13mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Automatic Movement: Japanese Automatic Movement
  • Strap: Silver and gold-tone stainless steel
  • Water resistant: 200m
  • Amazon Price: $84.98

Citizen Eco-Drive AW1236-03A

Best Vintage Look

Citizen Eco-Drive AW1236-03A

Widely acclaimed to be one of the more affordable entry-level dress watches out there, the Citizen Eco-Drive AW1236-03A is an extremely comfortable timepiece to wear with any dress style.

The stainless steel case and leather band give the Citizen Eco-Drive a crisp, minimalist design. This analog display watch also gives us strong vintage vibes that remind us of dapper pocket watches.

The white dial with beige accents also makes the time easy to read, while the date display window at the 3 o’clock position provides extra functionality for the everyday gentleman.

Pros

  • Clean and elegant design
  • Slender thickness; easy to slide under cuff
  • Quality leather strap
  • Reliable and long-lasting movement

Specifications

  • Case: 40mm, stainless steel
  • Thickness: 9mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Japanese Quartz Movement
  • Strap: Leather
  • Water resistance: 30m
  • Amazon Price: $95.00

Tommy Hilfiger Men’s 1710294

Best Value

Tommy Hilfiger Men's 1710294

Tommy Hilfiger hits the nail on the head for affordable yet classy fashion watches under $100 with the Men’s 1710294.

This chronograph watch has a manly maritime feel that channels all the elements of a sturdy yet preppy watch. The large watch dial and thick leather strap also give a nice weightiness to the watch.

With the clean dial, silver markings, and understated date window at the 3 o’clock position, the watch doesn’t feel fussy. The added water-resistant feature is a nice added feature for functionality.

Pros

  • Fashionable but sturdy
  • Day, date, and month chronograph functionality
  • Good quality leather strap
  • Great gift idea

Specifications

  • Case: 44mm, stainless steel
  • Thickness: 10mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Quartz Movement
  • Strap: Leather
  • Water resistance: 50m
  • Amazon Price: $69.50

Best Sports Watches Under $100

Whether you’re diving the Great Barrier reef or driving through the rugged terrains of the jungle, you need a hardy, water-resistant sports watch to keep you posted.

While sports watches bring to mind girthy plastic wristwatches with rubber straps, that isn’t necessarily the case.

We’ve rounded up the best watches for men that provide both aesthetics and functionality that will allow you to pursue your lifestyle activities in style.

Seiko SNE093

Best Overall

Seiko SNE093

Despite being widely used as a dive watch, the Seiko SNE093 could easily pass as a minimalist watch with how sleek and classy its analog display looks.

However, the best part of this stainless steel watch isn’t its aesthetics but the solar-powered quartz battery which means you won’t ever have to fiddle with changing batteries.

The luminous hands and number markings also make it extra useful in deep dives, and the black watch dial makes it even easier to read in shadowy water. The day display window is always a bonus, too.

As for the watch’s movement- you just can’t go wrong with Seiko. The Japanese watchmaker has practically mastered the art of watch movement, producing hard-wearing models over the years.

Pros

  • Can also be used as a dress watch
  • Scratch resistant crystal
  • Solar-powered movement
  • More than enough water resistance for a swim

Specifications

  • Case: 40mm, stainless steel
  • Thickness: 10mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Seiko Caliber V158 (Japanese Quartz Movement)
  • Strap: Stainless steel
  • Water-resistant: 100m
  • Amazon Price: $93.72

Casio MVD106-1AV

Best Bargain

Casio MVD106-1AV

With several quality dive wristwatches out there, you’d be hard-pressed to find a watch under $100 that is as durable and affordable as the Casio MVD106-1AV. At $50-$75, this dive watch is a STEAL.

This quartz watch is designed to be as unfussy as possible for divers’ ease, while still maintaining that elegant, sporty appeal.

With a case diameter of 44mm and a 12mm height, this large watch is perfect for deep dives in the dark thanks to luminescent hands against a black dial.

The mineral crystal also protects this wristwatch from most scuffs and scratches, which makes it a great beater watch for men who like to throw their timepieces on or off as needed.

Pros

  • Best for water sports
  • Tachymeter functionality
  • Rubber strap won’t tear easily
  • Good luminescence

Specifications

  • Case: 44mm, stainless steel
  • Thickness: 12mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Quartz 2784
  • Strap: Rubber
  • Water resistance: 200m
  • Amazon Price: $48.45

Casio G-SHOCK DW-5600-1V

Best Heavy-Duty

Casio G-SHOCK DW-5600-1V

Don’t be deterred by the resin and plastic material used in this watch. Aside from significantly bringing down the cost, the Casio G-SHOCK DW-5600-1V absorbs shock so much better than any other watch.

The Casio G-SHOCK line was engineered to withstand heedless use, regardless of whatever environmental condition it finds itself in.

Aesthetics-wise, this watch leaves little to be said. The G-SHOCK is chunky on your wrist, but some wearers might prefer this tough-as-nails look.

While the G-SHOCK DW-5600-1V is a staple amongst men who work as firefighters and construction workers, it actually has a chronograph function and alarm aside from your usual time and date.

Pros

  • Extremely hardwearing
  • Stopwatch and countdown functionality
  • Electro-luminescent
  • Low price

Specifications

  • Case: 45mm, resin
  • Thickness: 15mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Quartz 2784
  • Strap: Plastic
  • Water resistance: 200m
  • Amazon Price: $41.00

Best Digital Watches Under $100

Some people don’t want to squint at their wristwatch and spend a minute trying to figure out which hand the world is currently at.

Sometimes it’s just easier to glance at your watch and see the exact time- hours, minutes, seconds, and all. Enter the digital watch.

If you want to take a break from analog display watches and pursue a more modern look, give these digital watches a try.

Casio F-91W

Best Overall

Casio F-91W

The Casio F-91W is arguably the most popular digital watch in the watch market. For a timepiece that’s been around for more than 30 years, that’s not a hard fact to accept.

Part of why this digital quartz watch is so popular is its price point just can’t be beaten. At a $20 price range, you’ve landed yourself an iconic, durable, and minimalist watch.

The Casio F-91W’s rectangular resin case weighs only 20g, but don’t confuse lightness for bad quality; the resin band and case keep the timepiece tough against bangs and scratches.

The LCD display is clear and crisp thanks to the super sharp electrodes. The only downside is that the Casio F-91W’s backlight is pretty weak since it only shines across the watch dial from one side.

Pros

  • Price point can’t be beat
  • Stopwatch and alarm functionality
  • Extremely light and easy to adjust
  • Pliable resin strap

Specifications

  • Case: 34mm, resin
  • Thickness: 8mm
  • Crystal: Acrylic
  • Quartz Movement: Casio digital 593
  • Strap: Resin
  • Water resistance: 30m
  • Amazon Price: $13.50

Nixon Base Tide A1104

Best for Water Use

Nixon Base Tide A1104

The Nixon Base Tide A1104 watch is a tide watch marketed towards surfers or water-sport-loving enthusiasts.

Aside from giving you your standard time and date display, this digital quartz watch also gives countdowns and future tide times.

The thermoplastic resin body and mineral crystal glass also make the watch inert towards water, while the silicone strap makes it extra easy to wear in water as it slides effortlessly along your wrist.

While plenty of buyers complain that the Nixon Base Tide A1104 doesn’t tell the accurate time tide, it is an extremely durable digital watch that you can put through hard saltwater abuse for years.

Pros

  • Resilient to saltwater
  • Ultra-soft silicone band
  • Minimalist LCD screen for easy reading
  • Tide times, chronograph, and countdown timer functionality

Specifications

  • Case: 38mm, thermoplastic resin
  • Thickness: 11mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Digital quartz
  • Strap: Silicone
  • Water resistance: 100m
  • Amazon Price: $99.96

Timex Ironman R300

Best Fitness

Timex Ironman R300

In a time of smartwatches, you can down in waves of data, stats, and information. The Timex Ironman R300 is a throwback to uncluttered digital watches with its straightforward and uncluttered display.

Don’t be fooled by the seemingly simple offerings, though; the Timex Ironman R300 allows you to review past workouts, control music on your phone, count calories burn, create timers, and set alarms.

The battery also has a decent life of 20 hours despite uninterrupted hours of GPS tracking (way to go Timex!).

The only downside to this wristwatch is that it doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity; meaning you have to download the Timex app and upload your information through USB.

Pros

  • Smartphone compatibility
  • Tap-screen technology
  • Accurate GPS tracking
  • Customizable coaching guide

Specifications

  • Case: 40.5mm, resin
  • Thickness: 11.5mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Digital quartz
  • Strap: Nylon
  • Water resistance: 50m
  • Amazon Price: $120.94 (best to wait for a sale!)

Best Watches for Women Under $100

Wristwatches may have been regarded as a man’s accessory in the past, but women are definitely taking centerfold when it comes to sporting classic timepieces.

Whether you’re wearing one or gifting one, check out our top picks for women that are sure to express every personality and look.

Invicta Angel Lady 23752

Best Overall

Invicta Angel Lady 23752

This chronograph watch is Invicta’s equivalent of the Rolex Oyster Perpetual series.

With the silver and gold-tone stainless steel strap, the Invicta Angel Lady 23752 is a luxury-looking find for a fragment of the price.

We love how Invicta kept the number markings clean by opting for notches for the hours and minutes and keeping the days and small seconds in sub-dials.

The Japanese quartz makes this a reliable timepiece for accurate timekeeping, while the flame-fusion crystal keeps the dial passably scratch resistant.

Unfortunately, the Invicta Angel Lady 23752 doesn’t come with luminous hands, which is a feature we feel is a must-have with most timepieces these days.

Pros

  • Luxurious design
  • Reliable and accurate movement
  • Chronograph functionality
  • Great gift idea

Specifications

  • Case: 39mm, stainless steel
  • Thickness: 10mm
  • Crystal: Flame fusion crystal
  • Movement: Japanese Quartz Movement
  • Strap: Two-tone stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 100m
  • Amazon Price: $69.95

Nixon Time Teller

Best No-Fuss Design

Nixon Time Teller

If you’re looking for a clean and easy-to-read stainless steel watch that will go with anything, the Nixon Time Teller is your best bet for understated elegance.

The silver-hued dial displays the watch’s number markings in relief, giving it a sophisticated and pure look that’s easy on the eyes.

The stainless steel case is slim but durable, paying homage to classic watch shapes. The 38mm case diameter is also just the right size to keep the watch looking feminine on the wrist.

With a three-year battery life and quality quartz accuracy, the Nixon Time Teller provides the necessary functions of a modern-day watch such as timekeeping and luminous hands for dim lighting.

Pros

  • Minimalist and elegant
  • Suitable for casual or dress use
  • Sleek thickness; easy to slide under cuff
  • Decent luminescence

Specifications

  • Case: 38mm, stainless steel
  • Thickness: 10mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Japanese Quartz Movement
  • Strap: Stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 100m
  • Amazon Price: $86.25

Fossil Carlie Mini Three-Hand ES4274

Best Casual

Fossil Carlie Mini Three-Hand ES4274

Fossil is a buyer favorite when it comes to modestly priced options that still pack a ton of aesthetics.

The Fossil Carlie Mini Three-Hand ES4274 is no exception to the brand’s classy dress watches that will fit any outfit or occasion, whether it’s jeans and a t-shirt or a smart suit.

The tan leather band is striking with the dark blue dial, pairing nicely with the copper accents of the rim and watch hands.

We also love that Fossil also chose to go with Roman numbers on this timepiece, since it further uplifts the elegance of the simple dial.

Pros

  • Light and dainty on the wrist
  • Quality and accurate movement
  • Design is easy to match with any outfit
  • Looks expensive for the price

Specifications

  • Case: 36mm, stainless steel
  • Thickness: 8mm
  • Crystal: Mineral crystal
  • Movement: Japanese Quartz Movement
  • Strap: Stainless steel
  • Water resistance: 30m
  • Amazon Price: $60.06

FAQs in Watch Buying

Whether you’re spending $1000 or $100, you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

Spending your hard-earned money on a timepiece means making sure you’re completely happy with everything about it; from the style, size, quality, and functionality.

These FAQs are useful pointers to take along when buying a watch for the first time.

What Should I Know Before Buying a Watch?

#1: Function First

Before you step into a store or log onto a watchmaker’s website, consider why you’re buying a watch in the first place.

Are you just looking for a dressy accessory, a watch to take diving or a watch that has a world timer?

It helps to consider your lifestyle and everyday needs since this watch will be living on your wrist.

#2: Be Realistic With Your Budget

If you only have $50 to spare, that’s okay! There are several models available in a wide price range, and being firm with your budget actually helps narrow down the endless number of options out there.

That said, manage your expectations when you’re buying an economical watch. Don’t expect Rolex-levels of quality if you’re purchasing a watch for less than $100 bucks.

Knowing your budget also helps you decide which features you’re willing to forego and which ones you absolutely need to have.

#3: Materials Are Important

Thanks to improved technology and automated production, most watchmakers nowadays are coming out with more good quality products at inexpensive prices.

Generally, buyers would want to know the material of the watch case and strap.

Watches under $100 usually use either stainless steel, resin, or plastic for the watch casing. Meanwhile, straps are usually stainless steel, leather, nylon, silicone, rubber, or plastic.

Again, think of your function. If you intend to buy a beater watch for heavy-duty work, you don’t want to buy one with a stainless steel case and leather strap that would scratch easily.

#4: Take Note Of The Movement

A quartz movement watch gets its power from a battery and is known to keep more accurate time. Meanwhile, an automatic movement watch uses the energy from the wearer’s wrist movement.

While you won’t have to do battery changes with an automatic watch, you will need to replace the mainspring after mechanical wear and tear.

An automatic watch is also usually slightly off by a couple of seconds in timekeeping since motion affects the watch’s movement.

What Kind Of Watch Goes With Everything?

When considering dress watches or timepieces to go with everyday outfits, going with a watch that has a plain black or white dial is ideal.

Opt for a leather strap or stainless steel watch (whether one or two-toned), since both can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion you’re attending.

Is It Safe to Buy Watches Online?

Online shopping is undoubtedly a huge convenience to shoppers nowadays.

Not only does it save the time and effort of getting to a physical store, but it allows buyers to compare several models and prices at the same time.

However, there are always risks to transacting online since you can’t see your seller face to face. Consider these 3 tips when you’re shopping online for timepieces.

#1 It’s Best to Buy From an Authorized Dealer

Buying from an authorized dealer offers a greater level of comfort, especially when it comes to securing a warranty program and making sure you’re getting the real thing.

On the other hand, authorized dealers don’t have that much leeway when it comes to dropping prices since they earn an affiliate commission. You’ll see more flexible prices with unauthorized resellers.

Note that unauthorized resellers aren’t necessarily dangerous, either. It all comes down to ensuring the seller’s authenticity and legitimacy- which brings us to tip #2.

#2 Read Product and Seller Reviews

This is probably the most important tip to remember when you’re not buying from the brand’s actual site.

Several online retailers like Amazon carry a vast array of branded timepieces at varying prices, which is why it’s important to read buyers’ experiences with the product and transacting with the seller.

Buying from reputable sellers who have a track record gives you more assurance that they’re not going to rip you off.

#3 Understand The Seller’s Return Policy

Since you can’t try the watch on in-store, it’s crucial to know how the seller’s return policy works in case you don’t end up liking what you bought.

Knowing return policies is also necessary for instances when your watch arrives damaged, or for when you need a replacement part in case it breaks down.

It’s best to purchase from sellers who offer flexible return terms (such as paying for the shipping fees) and those who offer 100% money-back guarantees.

Recommendation:

Seiko 5 SNK807

★★★★★

Seiko 5 SNK807

Last Word: Watches Speak A Thousand Words

Watches don’t just tell time- they tell the world what kind of wearer you are, what lifestyle you’re into, and whatever hobbies and interests you might have.

That said, you definitely don’t need to prove any sort of status by buying an expensive watch.

As we’ve just covered in this article, there are so many inexpensive timepieces that carry more value than what they’re worth price-wise.

It’s all just about finding the right watch for you.

If you’re looking for something a bit more expensive, you can check out our article on the Best Watches Under $200.