6 Best Watches for Men Under $200 in 2022: Affordable Quality by Category

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by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated: 

You don’t have to drop a fortune to acquire a quality watch. Still, the sub-$200 category is tricky, since there are as many overpriced junkers as there are gems.

To save you from combing through this vast price point, we’ve done the legwork and rounded up the best watches under $200.

Most Versatile
  • Scandinavian-style is classic yet distinct, giving incomparable versatility
  • Comes in four sizes, with a maximum height of 7.09mm, making this watch comfortable on any wrist
  • Nordgreen’s Giving Back initiative donates a portion of each purchase to a sustainability cause of your choice
Best Tool Watch
  • Distinguished style resulting from the combination of modern and vintage aviator aesthetics
  • Citizen watches come with a generous five-year warranty
  • Proprietary Eco-Drive technology ensures this watch never needs a battery
Best Sport Watch
  • High-quality finish and build, as well as its automatic movement, offers a compelling value proposition
  • Exhibition caseback allows you to observe Seiko’s 7S26 heritage caliber
  • Seiko’s vast and supportive fan community throughout the internet serves as a useful resource
Best Dress Watch
  • The dial is a mix of elegance and modernity, thanks to its subtle seconds subdial and flawless finishing
  • Different colorways offer a level of customization to suit different personal styles
  • Easy to operate because of the automatic movement’s hacking
Most Durable
  • Equipped with military functions and sensors, including a world timer, a stopwatch, a compass, moon data, and much more
  • Durable resin-construction boasts mud, water, and shock resistance 
  • Runs on solar power and has an eight-month battery life with normal use and no light exposure
Best Swiss Made
  • Highly-accurate Swiss quartz movement
  • With its classy and sporty dial, this watch is legible, useful, and effortlessly stylish
  • Partners excellently with any strap, from stainless steel to rubber to canvas.

When it comes to watches, don’t sleep on the $200-and-under category.

Trust me, there are more than just fashion watches in there. 

In fact, you‘d be surprised to see a lot of stylish, high-quality timepieces in this price range that match models several times their cost. We’re talking budget automatics, highly-accurate everyday watches, and elegant dress watches.

Having chosen a timepiece for six distinct categories, we’ve got the best watches under $200 right here. 

How Did We Come Up With Our List?

model wearing los angeles apparel tee checking watch

Using our in-depth experience having worn hundreds of watch models, and consulting with experts on every genre, we came down to our six selects based on quality, style, and price-point.

We also considered every lifestyle, which is why the Nordgreen Native, a sustainable watch that pairs easily with any outfit, is our top pick.

The 6 Best Watches Under $200 

Most Versatile: Nordgreen Native

Nordgreen Native white dial against blue packaging

Few watches offer the kind of versatility that the Nordgreen Native does. The clean Scandinavian design comes courtesy of industry vet and award collector, Jakob Wagner. With this timepiece, he serves up an aesthetic that’s refreshingly balanced and strikingly simple.

From the hands’ subtlety rounded edges and flawlessly applied hour markers, to the almost-flush crown, the labored-over details are uncomplicated yet distinct. And despite how short that crown is (which also makes this watch exceedingly comfortable to wear), the threads make it easy to operate.

best bauhaus watches

In addition to the Native’s ability to partner with literally any outfit, you can choose from a 28mm, 32mm, 36mm, or 40mm dial and several straps. 

There’s a five-link Jubilee-style stainless steel and a mesh steel bracelet, both of which catch the light stunningly from every angle. There’s even a two-tone variation of the five-link bracelet. 

Nordgreen native white dial and blue dial opposed

Meanwhile, the leather and canvas straps come in a few colorways that really transform the watch’s look. The green canvas gives a military feel, while the gray leather complements the Scandinavian calmness of the dial.

It’s also worth noting that as a brand, Nordgreen is built on sustainability. When you buy a Native, or any of their watches, Nordgreen’s Giving Back program allows you to donate to one of three eco-driven causes at no additional cost.

What I Like

  • The Scandinavian-style dial is sleek and simple enough for casual or formal occasions, while the wide range of strap styles fully cinch this watch’s impressive versatility.

  • A portion of each Nordreen watch purchased is donated to a sustainability cause of your choice.

  • It comes in four sizes, a maximum height of 7.09mm, and a short crown, providing an extremely comfortable wear on any size wrist.

What I Don’t Like

  • While the 30 meters of water resistance is good enough for daily use, even in light rain, I wouldn’t take this watch in the shower or bath. 

What Other Reviewers Say

I’ve never seen a watch model’s customer demographic range so widely. Men, women, and people of all ages and lifestyles, find this watch stylish and wearable, which is a testament to its versatility.

On the function side, many mention that its quartz movement is reliably accurate, and that the dial is legible from most angles.

The Verdict

The design of the Nordgreen Native is calm but not boring, and universal but not inexact. Basically, it’s a prime example of successful minimalism. 

It can go with any outfit, whether it’s super casual or extra formal depending on your strap choice. This, along with its easily-operated crown and legible face, also make the Native an extra convenient and practical timepiece.

Top that off with finely-constructed details, comfort, and the brand’s focus on giving back, and you’ve got a uniquely-built watch by a brand with a unique business approach.

Most Versatile
Nordgreen Native

The Nordgreen Native is a beautiful minimalist watch. Even with 10+ watches in my collection, I find myself reaching for this timepiece many times a week. It’s subtle and slim but its stunning clean white dial looks rich and elegant.

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Best Tool Watch: Citizen Promaster Nighthawk Perpetual World Time

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As a good tool watch does, the Citizen Promaster Nighthawk Perpetual World Time effectively takes its main functions, and implements them on the dial with both style and quick readability in mind. 

The overall design is based on vintage pilot watches, showcased by the matte dial and classic mixed indices. It’s also infused with modern style upgrades, like the multi-section design that adds complexity, for a familiar yet new look.

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This watch is also function-heavy, with 200 meters of water resistance and a screwdown case that’s useful for humid and dusty conditions. 

The star of the show though, is the world timer, which has 26 time zones. It’s fun to operate, and watching the hand just glide along the dial is absolutely mesmerizing.

It runs on Citizen’s shock-resistant Eco-Drive movement, which is famous for its ability to be powered by any light, natural or synthetic, and for ensuring this watch never needs a battery.

What I Like

  • The aviator style dial uniquely combines modern and classic pilot watch aesthetics resulting in a distinguished and uncommon tool watch.

  • Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology is powered by all types of light, creating zero need for a battery.

  • Citizen watches come with a generous five-year warranty.

What I Don’t Like

  • The case’s 44mm diameter, almost 13mm height, and 50mm lug-to-lug size is a brawny wear, great if you have big wrists, but too much for us slender-wristed gents. With such a bold dial, I don’t see why it has to be this big or why Citizen couldn’t make it in two sizes.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers love how this Promaster combines form and function, without compromising on either. Of its several operations, the world timer and the brilliant lume get a lot of love.

Some complain that the grooves around the case are misleading since it’s a static bezel, but I like the aesthetic of it.

There are also many complaints about how Citizen, as a brand, can be confusing to shop because of how they name their watches. I 100% agree with this. Often, many watches that have nothing in common can share a name (just look up “Citizen Chandler” and you’ll see what I mean). The best solution to this is to focus purely on the watch’s reference number. In this case, it’s BX1010-02E.

The Verdict

An aviator timepiece with dive-level lume and water resistance, the Citizen Promaster Nighthawk Perpetual World Time is a jack-of-all-trades tool watch. It’s robust and stylish, with a durable build, and is jam packed with capabilities. If you’re looking for strength and function, this guy is one of the best sub-200 options on the market.


Best Sport Watch: Seiko 5 SNK795

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Though technically a sport watch, the Seiko 5 SNK795’s refined build and details give it an elegant look that places it in the “sport watch” category—at least when it comes to aesthetics. The gem-like indices are well-polished and add some glisten to the understated dial face.

Well-finished with simple lines, the case boasts a clean and classy bezel, with a subtle step close to the dial face that gives it an extra surface for more shine. 

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This watch runs on Seiko’s 7S26 movement that you can see through the caseback. It’s not the best-finished automatic, but the lack of complexity makes it easy to see what’s what.

Moreover, it’s famously durable, a true workhorse that will tick on anywhere from five years to 25 years.

What I Like

  • The high quality in finishing and build, as well as its automatic movement, offers a compelling value proposition.

  • The exhibition caseback allows you to observe the easy-to-watch 7S26 movement.

  • A popular brand for collectors of all levels, there’s a huge and supportive Seiko throughout internet watch forums that can serve as a useful resource.

What I Don’t Like

  • The already minimal 30 meters of water resistance isn’t a reliable description. In my experience with this watch, you probably shouldn’t even wear it in moderate rain.

  • Similarly, the reported lume is virtually non-existent. 

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers love the look and finishing of this watch, but also seem to be underwhelmed by the functions. Many confirm my account regarding its weak lume and water resistance. 

There are also mixed reviews regarding how well it tells time. For the price of this watch, I don’t find this particularly offensive, considering how robust the movement is.

Regardless, most reviewers agree that it’s a stylish, versatile watch that can easily satisfy the horologically curious.

The Verdict

Thanks to its mix of sporty and sophisticated features, the Seiko 5 SNK795 is arguably one of the best entry-level automatic watches. The movement isn’t perfect, but the fact you can observe it and operate it, makes this timepiece effectively interactive.

Best Sport Watch
Seiko 5 SNK795

Thanks to its mix of sporty and sophisticated features, the Seiko 5 SNK795 is arguably one of the best entry-level automatic watches. The movement isn’t perfect, but the fact you can observe it and operate it, makes this timepiece effectively interactive.

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Best Dress Watch: Orient Bambino Small Seconds

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While there are many iterations of the Orient Bambino, this Small Seconds version perfectly balances the classic dress watch look with distinguishing modern features. Compare this to open heart versions that are beautiful, but definite statement pieces, or the perfectly on-template traditional renditions.

The Arabic numbers and small seconds subdial add personality without taking away from the understated style.

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You can also choose from different case and dial tones. Go for the gold-toned case with the white dial for a slightly flashier look, or a champagne dial for something simple, but a little more exciting than white.

This timepiece features the F6222 caliber, an automatic movement with a 40-hour power reserve and hacking. 

What I Like

  • With its subtly-lined seconds subdial and immaculate finishing, this timepiece is the best of both worlds when it comes to traditional dress watches and bolder new ones.

  • The different colorways offer a level of customization to suit different personal styles.

  • The automatic movement conveniently features hacking, making this watch easy to set and operate.

What I Don’t Like

  • At almost $200, I think this watch should be equipped with a sapphire crystal, especially considering this premium quality is found in watches at lower price points.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers love the classy look of this simple dress watch, many even mentioning how they wear it as their everyday timepiece. There’s also a lot of love for the onion crown, for its regal look and grip.

A lot of reviewers report modding this watch, and replacing the mineral crystal with a sapphire one. 

The Verdict

The Orient Bambino Small Seconds is a stately dress watch that’s refined but not stuffy. It also comes with a hacking automatic movement, making this a well-built timepiece inside and out.

Best Dress Watch
Orient Bambino Small Seconds

The Orient Bambino Small Seconds is a stately dress watch that's refined but not stuffy. It also comes with a hacking automatic movement, making this a well-built timepiece inside and out.

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Most Durable: Casio G-Shock Mudman G9300-1

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The Mudman G9300-1 from Casio G-Shock is truly a tank of a watch. Not only is it extremely shock-resistant, mud-resistant, and water-resistant up to 200 meters, but it has the most functions out of any watch on this list—and most lists.

This makes the Mudman an excellent choice for the outdoorsy set, as well as for you folks who love grown-up toys.

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A few, of many, features include world time for 31 time zones, a stopwatch, moon data (for you sailors and fishermen), and several sensor features, such as a digital compass and a thermometer. 

Add solar power with an eight-month battery life, even with regular use and zero sunlight, and you’ve got a watch built to help you keep your bearings, on and off the grid.

What I Like

  • Offers a ton of military functions and sensors, making this an effective watch for outdoor professionals and hobbyists.

  • The resin-construction is exceedingly durable and is resistant to mud, water, and high-level shock. 

  • Runs on solar power with an eight-month battery life with normal use and no exposure to any light, and a 23-month life when stored in complete darkness.

What I Don’t Like

  • While definitely cool-looking, this watch isn’t especially versatile. It’s not appropriate at formal, professional, and arguably even certain smart casual situations.

What Other Reviewers Say

Many reviewers mention how much abuse their Mudman gets, from elevated drops to getting banged against rocks, with zero damage to show for it. 

Reviewers praise the Mudman for its electroluminescent backlight, which reportedly allows you to see the watch even in complete darkness.

The Verdict

The Casio G-Shock Mudman G9300-1 is a true survivalist watch. If your job or hobbies put you in high-impact weather-exposed situations, or if you like tinkering with a lot of different functions, this watch is for you.

Most Durable
Casio G-Shock Mudman G9300-1

A favorite among serious watch collectors, the G-Shock Mudman is as tough as it looks. It features a Twin Sensor, which includes highly effective direction and thermo sensors, making it ideal for sports and outdoor activities. As the older model, it has fewer features than the Rangeman.

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Best Swiss Made: Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance

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Since Victorinox brought us the iconic Swiss Army Knife, it’s no surprise that their Alliance watch is likewise powerful and practical. As Victorinox describes it, this timepiece is the “strong, silent type,” flaunting no bells and whistles.

The Alliance runs on a durable and accurate Swiss quartz, protected by a sturdily-built stainless steel body and scratch-resistant sapphire. Its 100 meters of water resistance is enough for everyday use.

The watch’s dial boasts a sectioned-off design with different textures on each section, providing legibility and a sophisticated look. There’s brushing on the outermost section and a racetrack for the middle ring. This dimensional background helps the high-polish dagger indices and feuille hands really pop.

What I Like

  • The Swiss quartz movement is highly accurate.

  • With its classy and sporty dial, this watch is both useful and effortlessly stylish, pairing well with most outfits.

  • The dial also partners excellently with any strap, from stainless steel to rubber to canvas.

What I Don’t Like

  • The leather band looks really cool, but will rub black dye on anything it touches when it’s wet.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers love how the Alliance can be worn with a suit and tie, as well as a t-shirt and jeans. Naturally, the Swiss Made appellate gets a lot of admiration too.

Many agree that this watch is a reliable timekeeper, durable, with an impressive lume that glows competently on the multi-sectioned dial.

The Verdict

A Swiss-made watch doesn’t have to mean thousands of dollars. In the case of the Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance, it means military-level construction, strength, and timekeeping accuracy. It’s also stylish and versatile, checking both the function and fashion boxes.

Best Swiss Made
Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance

A Swiss-made watch doesn’t have to mean thousands of dollars. In the case of the Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance, it means military-level construction, strength, and timekeeping accuracy. It’s also stylish and versatile, checking both the function and fashion boxes.

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Key Things to Consider When Buying a Watch Under $200

deep navy native dial nordgreen

Here are a few things to consider when going for that under-200 watch.

  • Budget: Is $200 the most you can spend on a watch? If so, you’ll want to choose a versatile timepiece with maximum wearability.
  • Lifestyle: What do you usually wear to your job? If it’s a suit, opt for a sleek and simple watch. Are you often outdoors, doing high-impact activity? Then durability is your main priority.
  • Case size: Something to think about at every price point, this consideration is a mix of practicality and your personal style. A lot of tool watches are meant to wear large on your wrists, but you also don’t want your timepiece towering over your shirt sleeve if you’re at a formal event. Depending on your style preferences, you might go for different watches for different occasions or you might go for one extra adaptable timepiece.

The Best of the Sub-$200 Club

If you’re looking for a premium watch that you can literally wear anywhere, then Nodgreen’s Native is the model for you.

Most Versatile
Nordgreen Native

The Nordgreen Native is a beautiful minimalist watch. Even with 10+ watches in my collection, I find myself reaching for this timepiece many times a week. It’s subtle and slim but its stunning clean white dial looks rich and elegant.

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Meanwhile, the Citizen Promaster and the G-Shock Mudman are sporty tools that can survive everything from weather to high drops.

On the other end of the spectrum, Orient’s Bambino Small Seconds is a modern update to the traditional dress watch. If you want an extra cheap, but well-built automatic, the Seiko 5 SNK795 has you covered.

There are a lot of watches for men under $200. Not all of them are great, but each pick here offers a unique strength for every lifestyle.

FAQs

What is a good inexpensive watch brand?

A few include Seiko, Tissot, and our most versatile pick, Nordgreen. If you’re looking for Swiss made automatics at affordable prices, Tissot is a good brand to turn to (though you likely won’t find automatics under $200). Meanwhile, Seiko has become synonymous with budget mechanicals. Nordgreen’s eco-driven range includes high-quality quartz pieces for under $200 like the Native, and they’ve even forayed into the automatic market with the Guardian.

What are the cheapest luxury watch brands?

Brands like Tag Heuer and Breitling are Swiss luxury brands that have watches at far lower price points than Rolex and Patek. Seiko Presage and Glycine offer luxury watches in the $500 range.