Top 25 Best Affordable Dress Watches For Men

The misconception that only the expensive watches are nice and worth the buck is usually the reason behind many men’s hesitation and doubt when shopping for dress watch.

However, it is totally possible to find durable and stylish dress watch that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. In spite of that, we do acknowledge that the quest to find a good and affordable dress watch is a lot easier said than done.

Especially when there are thousands of models available on the market, you obviously don’t have the time and effort to browse through every single one to find a hidden gem.

In order to spare you the trouble, we have put together a list of the “Best affordable dress watches for men” at three different price points: under $300, under $500 and under $1000.

The list was developed based on our personal experience and customer reviews taken from popular shopping sites and prestigious online communities.

Best dress watches under $300

Orient Bambino Gen 2 

PROS:

  • Eye-catching domed mineral crystal
  • Intricate yet neat-looking dial
  • Great price for such a timeless piece
  • Vintage-inspired design with onion crown, domed crystal, thin hands and Roman numeral markers
  • Orient automatic in-house movement with hand-winding and hacking
  • Works well with both casual and formal attire

CONS:

  • Glossy and stiff leather bands

Orient Bambino II Specifications

Case Size40.5 milliliters
Case Thickness11.8 millimeters
DialMineral
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width21 millimeters
Movement24-jewel Orient automatic, caliber F6724
Water Resistance30 meters
Special Feature40-hour power reserve
The Model Year2017

Orient Bambino Gen 2 Ver. 2 Review

If you are looking for a high-quality dress watch with a classic vintage feel, this watch proved itself as a strong contender.

Orient Bambino Gen 2 Ver. 2 has stunning design that pays tribute to the watches from the past with elegant details such as onion crown, domed mineral crystal, Roman numeral markers, thin hands and a train track chapter ring. The watch has an average case size of 40.5 millimeters and a case thickness of 11.8 millimeters.

Thanks to Orient’s exquisite craftsmanship and smart arrangement, the dial remains sleek and polished despite carrying a great number of details. This model is powered by an excellent 24-jewel Orient automatic movement, caliber F6724 with an accuracy of +/-10s to +/-15s a day and a 40-hour power reserve.

This watch has been one of the top fan’s favorites from the Bambino line for a while and judging on the design, quality and functionality; it’s definitely here to stay. However, many are not fans of the glossy and stiff leather bands so feel free to replace them if you think it’s necessary!

Timex Marlin

PROS:

  • Vintage design
  • Arabic markers
  • Domed glass lens

CONS:

  • The watch is smaller due to 60s design

Specifications

Case Size34 millimeters
Case Thickness10 millimeters
CrystalAcrylic
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width18 millimeters
MovementMechanical Hand-wind
Water Resistance30 meters

Review

Timex Marlin is a reissue of the famous 60s. The original 60s watches had the pin and plate movements. However, reissues use the Seagull ST6 movement.

This was a bold move for Timex. In terms of watch brands, Timex is an ancient company from 1854. They have an amazing horological history like no other. There is even a Timex Museum in the United States. The hype was incredible when it was released a few years back and they sold out immediately. You don’t usually see such hype for 38 millimeters watches.

It has a classic champagne sunburst dial, very sixties markers at twelve, two, four, six, eight, and ten. The design of the watch is very simple, no dates, acrylic crystal, 30 meters water-resistant, and only 10.5 millimeters thin. It is great to see that Timex is making mechanical watches again. It was long overdue. The modern Marlin is almost indistinguishable at first glance to its ancestors, and the vibe it gives is so evocative of that entire era. Timex did fantastically well at this reissue.

Bulova 96B104 Men’s Dress Watch

PROS:

  • Thin dial
  • Comfortable leather strap
  • Bang for the buck

CONS:

  • Sits small on the wrist

Specifications

Case Size37 millimeters
Case Thickness5.9 millimeters
CrystalMineral
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width20 millimeters
MovementJapanese quartz
Water Resistance30 meters

Review

The Bulova 96B104 is a fantastic minimalist dress watch for men. Bulova has a great watchmaking history. This American watch company first started its journey in 1875. They have an excellent reputation for creating watches with high accuracy, beautiful designs, and durability. The Bulova 96B104 has a clean dial with the date window at 3 o’clock. It looks incredibly elegant and more expensive than its actual price. It is 37 millimeters in diameter. The watch comes with a stainless steel case, mineral dial window, and Japanese quartz movement inside. The croc-textured calfskin band is very comfortable to wear. If you are looking for a simple and affordable dress watch, then you will like this watch.

Seiko Men’s SUP880 Japanese Quartz Dress Watch

PROS:

  • Classic design
  • Inspired by Cartier Tank
  • Solar powered
  • 12 months of power reserve on full charge

CONS:

  • Sits large on the wrist

Specifications

Case Size28.5 millimeters
Case Thickness6.1 millimeters
CrystalHardlex crystal
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width22 millimeters
MovementJapanese quartz
Water Resistance30 meters

Review

Seiko SUP880 is a perfect homage to Cartier Tank. Seiko nailed the look with roman numerals and a gemstone on the crown. SUP88 has a distinctively classic look, and you would be surprised how thin and light this watch is. The watchband is very soft and comfortable to wear. It is solar-powered, so you will never have to worry about changing batteries. If you are looking for an affordable, stylish square-shaped dress watch, then Seiko SUP880 is the perfect watch for you.

Bulova 96B269 Classic Men’s Dress Watch

PROS:

  • Classy and Elegant design
  • Rectangular case
  • Roman numeral markers
  • Polished hands

CONS:

  • Too big for a tank style watch

Specifications

Case Size47 millimeters
Case Thickness8.5 millimeters
CrystalSynthetic sapphire crystal
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width20 millimeters
MovementAnalog-quartz Movement
Water Resistance30 meters

Review

If you are a big fan of Cartier Tank, then you will love Bulova 96B269. It is definitely one of the great alternatives to the Cartier Tank with its unique design. This watch is from Bulova’s classic collection range and features rectangular Stainless Steel Case, Roman numeral markers, and polished hands. The original black embossed crocodile-grain leather strap complements its black dial beautifully. The date window sits above the 6 o’clock marker and Water Resistance up to 30 Meters.

Stührling 3997Z Quartz

PROS:

  • Minimalist design
  • Thin case
  • Lightweight
  • Multiple color options

CONS:

  • Low quality leather strap

Specifications

Case Size40 millimeters
Case Thickness7 millimeters
CrystalKrysterna Crystal
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width20 millimeters
MovementJapanese quartz
Water Resistance50 meters

Review

Less is more with the Stührling 3997Z Quartz, the minimalist watch that accentuates without over complicating. This lightweight, low profile watch has the perfect balance of sleek and striking, without weighing down your wrist or emptying your wallet. The alligator embossed genuine leather strap hugs the slim casing, and brings a touch of sophistication to an already beautiful design. Add to that a push/pull onion style crown and quick set date window, and you have a watch that jumps off the wrist and makes a statement without relying on a bulky case or complicated dial like most other dress watches.

Reef Tiger Classic Heritor Luxury Dress Watch

PROS:

  • Solid stainless steel plated with rose gold
  • Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
  • Screw down crown
  • Attractive exhibition case back

CONS:

  • Pricey compare to Orient/Seiko mechanical watches

Specifications

Case Size40 millimeters
Case Thickness12 millimeters
CrystalAnti-reflective sapphire crystal
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width22 millimeters
MovementReef Tiger RT7800 Automatic Movement
Water Resistance50 meters

Review

The history of Reef Tiger can date back to hundreds of years ago. In 1898 talented designer Stephane Reef from Geneva and his lifetime friend, the British nobility Leandro Tiger, established this company to popularize wristwatches to the ordinary people on the base of their passion and obsession to watchmaking. With Stephane Reef’s excellent watchmaking skills and financial support from Leandro Tiger, the brand Reef Tiger was officially born. But as the world war 2 broke out, Reef Tiger suffered downfall for years. In 1995, the descendants of these two families decided to revive this century-old watch brand. In 2011, Reef Tiger successfully stepped into the Chinese market to produce its new range of watches.

The Reef Tiger Classic Heritor RGA8238 is a very sophisticated dress watch. It is a 40mm watch without any fancy and complicated functions. The bezel of the watch is double-arched but still thin enough to look perfect on the slender wrists. Rose gold bezel, white dial, stick markers, and rose gold hands give it an aesthetic look. It uses a Reef Tiger RT7800 Automatic movement and comes with a genuine leather strap with a deployment buckle.

Citizen Eco-Drive Corso

PROS:

  • Clean design
  • Powered by light
  • Perfect for all wrist sizes

CONS:

  • Uncomfortable strap

Specifications

Case Size40 millimeters
Case Thickness9 millimeters
CrystalMineral
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width21 millimeters
MovementJapanese Quarts, CALIBER J810
Water Resistance30 meters

Review

This watch is super light, pretty thin, simple, and to the point. It looks amazing while still being simple. It is neither too big nor too heavy so that you can wear it all day without any discomfort. The watchband is very comfortable also. Eco-Drive is a great feature! Eco-Drive harnesses the power of light from any natural or artificial light source and converts it into energy. You will never need to change batteries for the lifetime of this watch. The simplicity of this watch gives it a very fine and upscale look. It is one of those versatile dress watches that you can wear it with any outfit.

Orient Esteem Open Heart

PROS:

  • Unique and intriguing dial design that resembles an open heart
  • Practical yet classy design
  • High level of wearing comfort
  • Orient automatic in-house movement

CONS:

  • Glossy and stiff leather bands
  • The automatic wind can make some mild noise

Orient Esteem Open Heart Specifications

Case Size41 millimeters
Case Thickness12 millimeters
DialMineral
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width22 millimeters
Movement21-jewel Orient, caliber 46A40
Water Resistance50 meters
The Model Year2015

Orient Esteem Open Heart Review

The Orient Esteem Open Heart is a watch for those who love to dress casual but also want to stand out. The watch has a simple and practical design that is enriched by a dial featuring a unique open heart view into its mechanical system.

The slightly domed crystal magnifies the beauty of the dial and protects the watch from scratches. The case is 41 millimeters in size, which is pretty normal and 12 millimeters in thickness.

The Orient Esteem Open Heart features a 21-jewel Orient automatic movement, caliber 46A40 and has a 40-hour continuous operation time along with an accuracy of +/- 20s a day. The automatic wind can cause some mild noise but don’t worry because most of the time, you can barely hear it.

The watch is versatile enough for you to pair it with a formal suit or just jeans and a plain T-shirt. Orient actually paid a lot of attention into the design to create an easy-to-wear watch that doesn’t have many details yet still has something really interesting to force people to look at.

Stuhrling Original Men’s Legacy Anatol 371

PROS:

  • Bold skeleton style
  • Luxurious design
  • Comfortable and high-quality leather bands

CONS:

  • The size may be too big for certain customers

Sturhling Original Men’s Legacy Anatol 371 Specifications

Case Size47 millimeters
Case Thickness15 millimeters
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width24 millimeters
MovementAutomatic, caliber ST-91011
Special featuresDual-time display
Water Resistance50 meters
The Model Year2014

Stuhrling Original Men’s Legacy Anatol 371 Review

Thanks to the bold & intricate skeleton dial that gives you a peak into the watch’s inner workings along with dauphine-style hands, transparent back and fancy color combination; the Stuhrling Anatol 371 is for individuals with a larger-than-life personal style who wish to make a statement with their fashion choices.

This watch features an automatic self-winding movement, caliber ST-91011; which means it uses the natural motion of your arm to wind itself without relying on any other power source. This element will for sure appeal to customers who are into eco-friendly, self-sufficient products. You can also manually wind the watch if you want to.

The only thing you have to keep in mind before purchasing is that the watch may be too big for some customers because of its case size of 47 millimeters and case thickness of 15 millimeters.

Graf Zeppelin Hindenburg Moon Phase Watch

PROS:

  • Classic design
  • Moon phase
  • Great functionalities
  • German precision

CONS:

  • Mineral crystal
  • Setting up the moon phase can be a bit tricky

Specifications

Case Size40 millimeters
Case Thickness10 millimeters
CrystalMineral
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width20 millimeters
MovementSwiss Quartz, Ronda 706B
Water Resistance30 meters

Review

Graf Zeppelin Hindenburg is a swiss-made dress watch. I did a review of this watch in another article for the top 10 best moon phase watches. This is a stainless-steel watch, but it also comes in a gold-tone with a silver and blue dial. It has a very classic 1920s numerals v-shaped layouts to the subdials. This retro-style moon phase is very exquisite and demonstrates something that all the watches we have on this top 25 list. They all look more expensive than they are. Graf Zeppelin Hindenburg is a classic and very tastefully done. Zeppelin is owned by Point TEC and also a sister brand of a watch brand called Junkers.

It is 30 meters water-resistant, moon phase at six o’clock. With hesalite domed crystal, this is a 40-millimeter watch and only ten millimeters thin, which is perfect for sliding under the cuff. It is a complications heavy watch and a great conversation piece. It has a pusher at the four o’clock for setting some of the features. Although the watch is made in Germany, it uses a swiss Ronda movement, and you will be impressed by the quality of it. It comes with a wonderfully paired leather strap that is hand made as well.

Graf Zeppelin Hindenburg moon phase watch is Handsome, elegant, classy, classic everything you want in a dress watch. Not to mention all the extra date-to-day complications and even an extra hand to indicate the day of the week is not something that you see in a watch at this price range.

Orient 2nd Gen Bambino Version 3

PROS:

  • Versatile
  • Minimalist style
  • Automatic movement
  • Great value

CONS:

  • Cheap strap
  • Mineral glass

Specifications

Case Size40.5 millimeters
Case Thickness12 millimeters
CrystalDomed mineral
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width21 millimeters
MovementORIENT Cal. F6724 Automatic, Hand-winding, Hacking Movement
Water Resistance30 meters

Review

Bambino Version 3 is very popular among watch enthusiasts worldwide. There are some good reasons for their popularity. Orient Bambino has a selection of different generations and versions, and currently, they are in their fifth generation now. Second generation Version 3 has a new movement F6724, which is an in-house automatic caliber, hacking, and manual wind.

The first generation had a very basic movement without hacking and manual wind. Orient then moved into more Bauhaus style with the third generation, but you will see a great influence of 60s design with the second generation Bambinos.

These watches are 40 millimeters in diameters, which is a little too big and about 12 millimeters thick. So they are not super slender because of the rotor inside and the dom crystal. Orient watches are fantastic, and they’ve been going since the 50s. Now they are owned by the Seiko group. It’s hard to beat these watches when it comes to the price.

Best dress watches under $500

Junghans Max Bill Quartz Dress Watch

PROS:

  • Bauhaus design
  • Domed dial
  • Case is very thin
  • Luminous hands

CONS:

  • Does not have many complications

Specifications

Case Size38 millimeters
Case Thickness8 millimeters
CrystalConfex hard plexiglass
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width20 millimeters
MovementQuartz movement J645.33
Water Resistance30 meters

Review

Junghans Max Bill is probably the most iconic watch on this list of dress watches. Junghans was founded in 1861 and one of Germany’s largest watchmakers. The watch was designed by the legendary Swiss artist Max Bill.

You won’t be able to get the manual wind or the automatic, but you can get the quartz version of this watch. It is 38 millimeters in diameter and 30 meters water-resistant. I like the black dial with the beige strap, but you can get them for different strap combinations. There are luminous markers on this watch. Junghans Max Bill isn’t necessarily famous for the watchmaking involved inside, but it has one of my favorite ETAs 955112. People don’t buy this watch for the movement. They buy it because it is a design icon.

Bauhaus design, in particular, lends itself perfectly to dress watches. Because of that understated look, it just adds an element of class and epitomizes everything a dress watch should encompass. Despite the Dom and the acrylic glass, it is only eight millimeters tall, which is perfect for dressing up. Being Bauhaus with that ultra-modern minimalism, it’s a strap monster. It is incredibly versatile dressing it up or dressing it down. The watch looks great with everything.

Junkers Bauhaus Automatic Dress Watch

PROS:

  • 24 hours sub dial
  • 40 hours of power reserve
  • Power reserve indicator
  • Fluorescent hands
  • German precision

CONS:

  • Hesalite glass can get scratched easily

Specifications

Case Size40 millimeters
Case Thickness13 millimeters
CrystalHesalite Glass
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width20 millimeters
Movement26 jewels Automatic, Citizen/Miyota  9132
Water Resistance30 meters

Review

I have mentioned Graf Zeppelin earlier in this article, this is Zeppelin’s sister brand. The brand was named after the iconic and hugely influential German aircraft maker Hugo Junkers. Junkers Bauhaus Automatic watch features a power reserve at 12 o’clock and a 24-hour sub-dial at 6 o’clock. You can get this in the black or cream dial. It has very simple baton hands with luminescence on the them. Inside, it has 26 jewels, Citizen Miyota 9132 movement that operates at 28,800 vibrations and gives you a very smooth 40 hours power reserve.

The watch is 40 millimeters in diameter and only 11 millimeters thick, which is still relatively slender for a dress watch. It is water-resistant up to 30 meters. Great value for your money, especially considering the quality and practicality of the added complications. You do get a display back-case, although the Miyota isn’t much to look at. But if you’re getting into automatic watches, then you will surely enjoy the little bit of that magic.

Hamilton Valiant H39515754 Automatic Dress Watch

PROS:

  • 80 hours of power reserve
  • Roman numerals indexes
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Reliable movement

CONS:

  • Leather strap might feel stiff when brand new

Specifications

Case Size40 millimeters
Case Thickness10 millimeters
CrystalSapphire
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width20 millimeters
MovementAutomatic, H-10 Caliber
Water Resistance50 meters

Review

Hamilton valiant is one of those overlooked watches. It has those trademark style cues that is just so quintessentially Hamilton. The curvy lugs, lance style hands, beautiful sunburst silver dial, Romans, very classic and minimalist design make it a perfect dress watch. It is 50 meters water-resistant, with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The watch has the caliber H-10 movement inside, which is an updated ETA 2824. Hamilton modified the ETA movement to slow down the frequency at a 2600 vibrations an hour to boost the power reserve. The watch is 40 millimeters in diameter and a little bit thicker at 12 millimeters. It doesn’t have the display back but you get a nod to the old classic watches of the mid-century by Hamilton with a beautiful engraved coat of arms that Hamilton doesn’t do that very often.

The restrained and conservative aesthetic makes it an absolute strap monster.

Tissot Le Locle Powermatic 80 Automatic Dress Watch

PROS:

  • 80 hours of power reserve
  • See-through case-back
  • Elegant guilloché decoration on the dial

CONS:

  • Watch band looks cheap

Specifications

Case Size39 millimeters
Case Thickness9 millimeters
CrystalScratch-resistant sapphire
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width19 millimeters
MovementSwiss automatic,
Water Resistance30 meters

Review

Tissot Le Locle is a classic Tissot uses a Powermatic 80 movement, which has been called the silent revolution in affordable watchmaking. Tissot used an old ETA, and they gave it a new spring barrel to boost its power up to 80 hours. They also put in a hi-tech escapement using the laser at their factory that requires no regulation. They also used a new anti-magnetic alloy to make sure it’s performance and longevity.

Tissot is a legendary Swiss watch brand founded back in 1853. They were the pioneer in the world to mass-produce affordable Swiss-made pocket watches. Tissot Le Locle is done very tastefully. This classic watch is 39 millimeters in diameter and an astonishing 9.75 millimeters tall. Perfect for sliding under the cuff again. The beautiful and very stylish leaf hands give it that timeless look. You’ll also get the display case-back to enjoy that movement.

Seiko Cocktail Time SARB065 Dress Watch for Men

PROS:

  • Great price for a minimalistic & gorgeous watch
  • Magnificent sunburst dial
  • Domed Hardlex crystal
  • Exhibition back for you to see the movement inside
  • Lower beat rate for longer service interval and longer power reserve (up to 50-hour)
  • Can be used for both formal and casual settings

CONS:

  • Shiny leather bands
  • The lack of color contrast on the dial may make it hard to tell time

Seiko Cocktail Time SARB065 Specifications

Case Size40 millimeters
Case Thickness13 millimeters
CrystalDomed Hardlex
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width20 millimeters
MovementSeiko 23-jewel automatic movement, caliber 6R15
Special featuresDate display & 50-hour power reserve
Water Resistance50 meters
The Model Year2010

Seiko Cocktail Time SARB065 Review

A collaboration between Seiko and Shinobu Ishigaki – a top bartender of Japan, the Seiko Cocktail Time SARB065 is simply a perfect mix of style, engineering and functionality.

The case size is 40 millimeters and the case thickness is 13 millimeters. The watch has minimalistic and classy design with the stunning sunburst dial as the focal point.

The dial is filled with extremely fine silver lines starting from the center to the edge of the watch, making it highly light-reflective. However, according to some customers, the lack of color contrast on the dial can make it a little bit difficult to tell time.

The Seiko Cocktail Time SARB065 is equipped with a 23-jewel automatic self-winding movement, caliber 6R15. Hand-winding and hacking are also available. The caliber 6R15 has 6 beats per second, allowing the watch to achieve an incredible 50-hour power reserve.

The accuracy is advertised as +25/-15s a day. According to general reviews, customers are very satisfied with the automatic movement, durability and accuracy of the watch.

Overall, the Seiko Cocktail Time SARB065 is universally praised for its beautiful design, high quality and reasonable price tag. The great amount of attention paid to every single detail of the watch along with Seiko’s exquisite craftsmanship for under $500 is definitely a bargain no one can say no to.

Tissot Heritage Visodate Automatic Dress Watch

PROS:

  • Sleek design
  • See-through case back
  • Sapphire crystal
  • 38 hours or power reserve
  • Day and date functionality

CONS:

  • Lack of complications

Specification

Case Size40 millimeters
Case Thickness11.6 millimeters
CrystalDomed sapphire crystal
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width20 millimeters
MovementSwiss automatic, ETA 2836-2
Water Resistance30 meters

Review

Tissot is a great entry-level Swiss brand. You can never go wrong with a Tissot. What makes Tissot incredible is their lineage in watchmaking. They were the first company to introduced pocket watches as well as one of the first companies to add two time zones in a pocket watch. Despite their prestigious history, Tissot is still a very underrated Swiss watch brand. The quality watches they produce for the money is phenomenal.

Tissot Visodate comes in a variety of colors. The black dial can be very reflecting as it doesn’t have anti-reflecting coating on the crystal. This watch has a retro nostalgic look. Tissot used their old logo and retro font for the date and days.

This is a 40mm dress watch with day and date complications. If you are new in the watch game, then this is an excellent entry-level timepiece to add to your collection.

Seiko SARB033

PROS:

  • Affordable price for such luxurious design
  • Silver tone on a black dial surface, a classic combo for the gentlemen
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Exhibition back for you to see the movement inside
  • Remarkable automatic movement, caliber 6R15

CONS:

  • Limited stock since the model has been discontinued
  • Lack of micro-adjustment on the metal straps

Seiko SARB033 Specifications

Case Size38 millimeters
Case Thickness11.2 millimeters
CrystalSapphire
Band MaterialMetal
Band Width20 millimeters
MovementSeiko 23-jewel automatic self-winding movement, caliber 6R15
Special features50-hour power reserve
Water Resistance10 meters

Seiko SARB033 Review

At first glance, the Seiko SARB033 seems very simple and traditional in design. However, this is the kind of watch that slowly captivates you when you take the time to look at it and appreciate its beauty.

The case finishing is extremely well-made while the indices, hands & the window cut-out are highly polished. The silver tone on the black dial surface acts as a cherry on top, helping the watch exude a solid and luxurious feel that makes you think this must cost way more than $500.

Some may find the watch a little bit small since the case size is only 38 millimeters and the case thickness is 11.2 millimeters.

The Seiko SARB033 is equipped with a 23-jewel automatic self-winding movement, caliber 6R15 with an accuracy of +25/-15s a day and a remarkable 50-hour power reserve. Hand-winding and hacking are also available.

In general, the Seiko SARB033 is a classic watch that will survive the test of time thanks to its sleek and polished design. On top of that, the watch can definitely compare to other high-end, expensive options in terms of quality and durability.

Sadly, the model has been discontinued by Seiko in early 2018 so it can be pretty difficult to get your hands on this amazing watch. So take your chance now if it’s available!

Orient Polaris GMT

PROS:

  • GMT capability, ideal for travelling
  • Classy and sharp design with polished surface and smooth edges
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Orient automatic movement with hand-winding and hacking
  • Power reserve indicator

CONS:

  • Bands are stiff and too long for many customers

Orient Polaris GMT Specifications

Case Size42 millimeters without crown
Case Thickness11.98 millimeters
CrystalSapphire
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width22 millimeters
MovementOrient automatic movement, caliber 40P51 with hand-winding and hacking
Special features40-hour power reserve & GMT capability
Water Resistance50 meters

Orient Polaris GMT Review

The Orient Polaris GMT has the design of a luxurious and classic timepiece from the past. The center of the dial is filled with elegant diamond patterns while the power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock is decorated with a wave pattern, creating a stunning contrast.

The beautiful dial is protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Every single detail were planned and polished carefully to deliver an overall opulent feel that makes the watch seem much more expensive than it really is. The watch size is 42 millimeters without the crown and the case thickness is 11.98 millimeters.

Many customers chose to replace the straps because they found the leather straps too stiff and too long for their liking.

The Orient Polaris GMT is powered by Orient’s in-house automatic movement, caliber 40P51 with a 40-hour power reserve. The watch can be hand-wound as well. It also allows hacking for better time setting. The fourth GMT hand is a great feature for those who travel a lot.

This model is a fine example of what Orient does best: creating a seemingly simple & modest watch that is filled with exquisite features and intricate details. You have to take a closer look at the Orient Polaris GMT to fully appreciate its beauty.

Best dress watches under $1000

Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto

PROS:

  • 50 hours of power reserve
  • American classic design
  • Display case-back
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to wear

CONS:

  • No second hand

Specifications

Case Size38 millimeters
Case Thickness10 millimeters
CrystalSapphire crystal
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width20 millimeters
MovementSwiss automatic, ETA 2892-2
Water Resistance50 meters

Review

Hamilton started its journey in 1892 and became part of the Swatch group in 1984. They were predominantly American for most of their existence. The list of their achievements not only the large number of iconic watches they’ve produced but also they’ve been in over 400 films. When it comes to quality affordable watches, it is hard to beat Hamilton.

Hamilton unveiled Intra-Matic at the 2012 Baselworld. It gained instant popularity for its spot-on vintage look. It is a re-creation of a watch they made in the 60s. Intra-Matic comes in 38 and 42 millimeters cases and 10 millimeters thick. It is a nice size watch and well proportioned. The dial of Intra-Matic is very clean and simple, but also quite interesting to look at. It features a beautiful sunburst silver dial. Clean indexes and the date window at six o’clock keeps the symmetry of the dial together. It is also a nice casual, comfortable watch to wear every day.

Frederique Constant Classic Index Automatic Watch

PROS:

  • Elegant design
  • 38 hours of power reserve
  • Sapphire crystal
  • E-strap included

CONS:

  • None

Specifications

Case Size40 millimeters
Case Thickness10 millimeters
CrystalSapphire crystal
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width20 millimeters
Movement26 jewels, FC-303 Automatic movement
Water Resistance50 meters

Review

Frederique Constant is a relatively new Swiss brand founded in Geneva. In recent years they were bought by the citizen. The list of their achievements in this relatively short time is astounding and very impressive. With this model, You won’t get any of their in-house calibers, but you will get the caliber FC-303, which is basically an ETA 2824.

I think at this price, it is an excellent deal and highly overlooked—extremely conservative aesthetic, very reminiscent of the Patek’s Calatrava. The watch is 40 millimeters in diameter and only 10 millimeters thick, which is perfect for dressing up. The dial is sapphire crystal and 50 meters water-resistant. The date window is at 3 o’clock. It also includes a e-strap that coordinates with your phone just like a Fitbit.

My favorite aspect of these watches is they do remind me of the mid-century classicism and style. Again they look far more expensive than they are. Put a lovely crocodile strap on it, and you will feel like a million dollars.

Seiko Alpinist SARB017

PROS:

  • Stunning & timeless design with luxurious color scheme (green & gold)
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and inner rotating compass ring
  • Beautiful crocodile-grained leather straps to emphasize the classic vibe
  • Seiko automatic in-house movement with hand-winding and hacking
  • Up to 50-hour power reserve
  • Can be paired with both formal and casual look
  • Water resistance up to 200m
  • Diashock absorber for more protection

CONS:

  • The size maybe too small for certain customers
  • Simple buckle instead of the anticipated deployment clasp

Seiko SARB017 Specifications

Case Size39.5 millimeters
Case Thickness12 millimeters
CrystalSapphire
Band MaterialLeather
Band Width20 millimeters
MovementSeiko 23-jewel automatic self-winding movement, caliber 6R15
Special features50-hour power reserve & inner rotating compass ring
Water Resistance200 meters
The model year2006

Seiko Alpinist SARB017 Review

The Seiko SARB017 was created to honor the Yamaotoko – the Japanese mountain explorers who devoted their time and effort to conquering the famous Japanese Alps.

It was designed with the sole purpose of timekeeping and manually locating points of the compass. The stunning combination of a sunburst green dial and golden details delivers a unique classical and luxurious feel. The hour hand’s design is similar to the Mercedes logo while the minute hand is shaped like a sword.

Keep in mind that the watch may be a little bit small for some customers since the case size is only 39.5 millimeters.

Powered by the premium 23-jewel automatic self-winding movement caliber 6R15, the Seiko SARB017 has a generous 50-hour power reserve and an accuracy of +25/-15s a day which will get a lot better when worn regularly. The watch also allows manual winding.

As a watch created for mountain climbers, this model also includes Diashock absorber to further protect the watch from damage caused by drops, falls or impacts if used in rough environments.

Overall, the Seiko SARB017 is a durable and beautiful watch that feels very luxurious and timeless but not overwhelming and unnecessarily flashy.

If you enjoy outdoor activities and hardcore sports, this watch is definitely a fine choice considering it was created to survive the harsh environment in the mountains.

Citizen Signature Grand Classic NB3010-52A

PROS:

  • Eye-catching color scheme with silver textured dial and blue hands
  • Sharp design with metallic accents
  • Exhibition case back to see the movement inside
  • Scratch-resistant and anti-reflective sapphire crystal
  • Citizen automatic movement, caliber 9184

CONS:

  • The lume can be too overwhelming for certain customers

Citizen Signature Grand Classic NB3010-52A Specifications

Case Size43 millimeters
Case Thickness13 millimeters
CrystalSapphire
Band MaterialStainless steel
Band Width20 millimeters
Movement26-jewel automatic movement, caliber 9184
Special features40-hour power reserve, date display, power reserve indicator, 12/24-hour time display
Water Resistance100 meters

Citizen Signature Grand Classic NB3010-52A Review

The Citizen Grand Classic NB3010-52A has a sleek and polished design with a stunning off-white/silver textured dial, enhanced by the luminous markers and hands. The blue hands create a nice contrast to the silver tone, making the watch look more stylish and luxurious.

It also has a power reserve indicator, date and 12/24-hour time display; improving the functional aspect of the watch. The case size is 43 millimeters and the case thickness is 13 millimeters.

The Citizen Grand Classic NB3010-52A is powered by the 26-jewel automatic movement, caliber 9184. This model has a 40-hour power reserve. The watch is highly praised for its accuracy and durability.

Many have dubbed the Citizen Grand Classic NB3010-52A as one of the best dress watches under $1000. The only drawback according to some customers is that the luminosity of the hands can be a bit overwhelming, lowering the overall value of the watch.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a formal watch?

A watch can tell a lot about its wearer. That’s why we need to select watches to wear on different social occasions carefully. On formal events and social encounters, it is better to go for a dressy watch.

Traditionally, men didn’t wear a watch with a formal suit because it was considered rude to keep checking the time. However, we have lived in a new era where wearing watches are accepted and sometimes regarded as a must-do. The thing is not every watch can go well with a tuxedo or formal clothing.

This is when a formal watch or a dress watch become necessary.

The only function of a formal watch is to elevate its wearer’s elegance and class. The watch will complement your formal wear and act as an added element to the whole.

As you can see, formal watches focus on simplicity. Most of them come with simple features and shapes so that they don’t steal the highlight away.

When it comes to formal watch, people do not concern much about accuracy. That’s why many formal watches don’t bother to have second hands.

Most importantly, a formal watch should be in proportion with the wearer’s wrist, so that it can slip in and out quickly. Usually, you need to pay attention to the rules of matching between shoes, belt and watch as well.

How big should a dress watch be?

A dress watch shouldn’t be an oversized model. The last thing you want is to draw people’s attention to your watch rather than your elegance as a whole. So, your dress watch shouldn’t be too big.

There are several elements to determine the right size of a dress watch.

Case size

The case size is the most significant element you should look for when it comes to a dress watch. The typical case size ranges from 38mm to 46mm for men. Anything under 38mm is generally used for women’s watches.

However, you can always find vintage watches with a case size of 34 or 36mm. I would not recommend choosing a watch with a case size of over 46mm as a dress watch since it is not appropriate for formal wear.

The thickness

The typical thickness of a watch largely depends on its case size. A watch with small case size will likely adopt 7mm thickness, and watch with larger case size will have 9mm in diameter. You can find lots of ultra-thin watches as well.

Watch bandwidth  

Last but not least, the watch bandwidth is essential too. Typically it will be half the case diameter.

All in all, a formal watch should have case sizes ranging from 38 to 42mm, so that it stays proportional with your wrist and match harmoniously with your outfit.

Does a black watch match everything?

The answer is no. A black watch seems to be a comfortable choice for many people due to the popular belief that black goes well with everything.

It is true that black color can be complimented in most cases. However, there is a better choice of colors to match with different outfits. For example, if you wear a black or navy suit, you should go with gold or silver watch.

The only exception here is the black strap. It certainly matches with most watch colors and outfits.

Can you wear a dress watch with cuff-links?

With formal wear, cufflinks are often an essential part. With suitable dress watch, you can nail your outfit. The key is to look for a thin and simple dress watch, so it doesn’t outshine our formal outfit.

Also, it is the standard rule not to bring a watch after 18:00, because it is a sign that you want to keep track of time and leave early. If you wear a dinner jacket or white tie, some people advise you shouldn’t wear a watch.

How loose should a watch fit?

I assumed that this question is too easy; however, it seems everything needs to be answered well when it comes to dress watches. Of course, regardless of dress watches or casual ones, you need to wear it most comfortable for you.

Technically, you shouldn’t let the watch too loose; it can easily slide down your wrist. A watch should be tight enough so that it doesn’t leave any imprint afterward.

If you wear steel bracelets, you can easily adjust the fit via pins in the clasp. Otherwise, a striped strap would allow you to choose the suitable size whenever you wear it.

Verdict

Above is our full list of the best affordable dress watches for men based on our research and personal experience. We included watches from different price points to make sure you find the one that best fits your budget.

We mentioned watches that have different styles and different target customers to make sure you find the one for you no matter who you are and what you like. However, keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect watch. What works for you may not work for others.

The watches recommended by us may have some flaws but at the end of the day, they are still some of the finest options you can find with a tight budget.

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