It used to be a case of “you get what you pay for” when it came to affordable watch brands, both in terms of quality and kudos. Dropping a few thousand not only meant you’d get decent mechanics but also boardroom brownie points for sporting a reputable name on your wrist.
Blame the Japanese for flooding the market with timepieces that were cheap and battery-powered during the Quartz Crisis of the 1970s and early 1980s, but anything in the sub-$1000 bracket used to be treated with derision or even contempt. Thankfully, for your bank balance at least, this doesn’t hold true anymore.
Whether it’s because quartz got cool or watch brands for men realized that not everyone with an interest in horology had the readies to fund their burgeoning obsession, some interesting things have started to happen in the lower price brackets.
As with any search for a bargain, you have to know where to look and which affordable watches for men to zero in on, but if you do you could be in with a chance of kitting out your entire watch wardrobe for half the price of an Omega Speedmaster.
And we’re not just talking quartz watches from fashion houses – though there are some seriously cool styles to be found there. We’re talking timepieces from names with real design cachet to genuine automatics, even Swiss ones.
You won’t have to go trawling the internet equivalent of the bargain basement to find these hidden gems, either. Just read our handy guide to the best watch brands for men that are making the affordable end of the market worth taking a second look at.