Best Watches Under $200
Brilliant & Beautiful Timepieces That Won’t Break the Bank
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With additions by Brian Lipton
When you’re ready to buy your first watch, it makes a lot of sense to start on the less expensive end. That way you can figure out what you like, need or want without sinking too much into something you might decide you really don’t care for. The best way to determine your preferences and requirements is to try it out on your wrist. At $200 or under, you’re not likely to feel too bad if it turns out you really wanted a pilot’s watch when you bought a diver, or vice versa. Be extra smart about shopping and you can even get both.
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Note that this price range doesn’t get you into the big name brands, but it will put you give you an indication of whether or not a name brand is something you feel the need to pay for. The watches on this list perform many of the same functions as more expensive pieces and have plenty of style to boast about, though they may not draw an equal number of envious glances from the label-obsessed. That shouldn’t be a consideration when purchasing your first timepiece, however.
This $200 mark is a solid threshold to cross when acquiring the first in what we hope is not a long line of watches, but a collection that grows with you. It may later become the watch that you wear to do chores or play sports, but these are also good enough pieces to wear for years to come. You will never feel that you overpaid for anything on this list. Which is not something one can often say in life.
Brands like Seiko, Bulova, and Timex have been making solid, dependable watches at affordable prices for several decades and you can feel confident strapping one to your wrist. Doing so marks you out as eminently sensible, with an appreciation for quality, but not a tendency to overspend. Some of these pieces may make a statement but it’s expressed quietly rather than shouted from the rooftops.
Yet, for guys who are just dipping their proverbial toe into this particular market, it’s a lot smarter to not just dive into the high-priced end of this pool. You have plenty of time to work up to your first Rolex or Patek Phillipe. Instead, start slowly but stylishly, relying on tried-and-true brands including Timex, Casio, and Seiko which have been making solid, dependable watches at affordable prices for several decades and you can feel confident strapping one to your wrist. Doing so marks you out as eminently sensible, with an appreciation for quality, but not a tendency to overspend.