Make a Statement Without Breaking the Bank

Best Watches Under $500

Make a Statement Without Breaking the Bank

The AskMen editorial team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life. AskMen may get paid if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service.

Product photos from retailer sites.

With additions by Brian Scott Lipton

Accessory or necessity? For over 100 years, there was little debate about men owning a wristwatch — or two or 10 (guilty as charged). Now, of course, one can live without one, but should one? Not really, according to Durand Guion, vice president of Macy’s Fashion Office.

“A watch is the ultimate accessory for guys. Even in the age of digital time-telling, it adds a finishing touch to the well-dressed man,” he says.

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For a lot of guys, watches are like wine: the perceived learning curve intimidates many who assume you can’t get anything good for a reasonable price. That’s not the case, however, timepiece-wise; in fact when just starting out in the horological universe it’s a good idea to begin with something relatively modest and acquaint yourself with the way it wears, works, looks and feels, as a prelude to acquiring a piece you’ll wear for the rest of your life.

With that philosophy in mind, you’re probably persuaded that the time has come to buy your first (or second) watch. However, you may still need to know what to look for — an especially daunting task in an increasingly crowded market. Functionality or fun? Substance or style? Classic or contemporary?

At this price you can and should go for real watch brands as opposed to fashion brands who are merely branding cheap timepieces usually made in China. Watchmakers such as Bulova, Tissot, and Hamilton, all founded in the 1800s, have passed the hundred-year mark and withstood the test of time, so to speak, and are well worth investing in. Look for deals on discontinued models on Amazon, where sale prices can be 40 percent off or more, and you can end up scoring a real deal.

The man who overspends before he knows the worth of what he’s buying does nobody any favors, least of all himself. And not wearing a watch because you’re waiting to afford something expensive is a foolish economy, leaving you bereft and bare-wristed. Buy wisely and you won’t be wasting money on a starter model; take good care of it and there will even be some residual resale value to put towards your next purchase.

Another reason not to pay more than $500 for a watch is the amount of punishment you plan to dole out. If you work with your hands or just don’t want to worry too much about damaging an expensive timepiece, it’s better to buy something that won’t break the bank if it ends up needing to be replaced sooner rather than later. That said it’s better just to take the watch off if there’s any danger of it getting damaged.

Best Watches Under $500

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