Whether you’re looking to spend $200 or considerably less on your next watch, there’s no shortage of great options. Here are eight to consider—from field watches or sportier timepieces.
There are cheap watches and then there are really cheap watches. While many may not be worth even the couple of bucks they cost, there is something to be said for a genuinely good cheap watch like the Casio W800H, as we've previously explained. It’s water-resistant to 100 meters, has a battery that promises ten years of use -- and, at just $10, it won’t be the end of the world if you leave it behind at the beach or campsite.
Timex’s Weekender is a longtime favorite among those looking for a cheap but dependable watch that also looks good, and the company’s Weekender Chrono is also worth a look if you want to step things up just a bit further. It’s by Men’s Health as offering some of the most value for your money among inexpensive watches and, like all Weekenders, it’s available in a wide range of watch face and band options (the latter of which are easily interchangeable).
Field watches are a great option if you’re looking for something that’s not too dressy but not too sporty, and there’s plenty of great ones to consider under the $200 mark. Citizen’s BM8180-03E Eco-Drive is one that’s particularly well-reviewed among Amazon customers (and elsewhere), and should please anyone looking to keep things basic and classic. It’s anything but bulky at just 37mm, and Citizen’s Eco-Drive means you won’t have to worry about changing batteries.
If you still aren’t looking for a full-fledged multi-sports watch but need a few more features than a basic Ironman, Casio’s SGW300HB could be just what you’re after. It’s a for best Altimeter Watch, but it’s also a great all-purpose option for those who aren’t regularly climbing or hiking in the mountains.
In addition to the altimeter feature, you’ll also get a barometer and a thermometer, along with all the water-resistance and durability you’d expect from a sports watch.
Sports watches have evolved considerably since the early days of Timex’s Ironman series, but a workhorse like the Ironman Classic 30 is still a great option if you don’t need more modern features like GPS or heart rate monitoring. Its Indiglo backlighting means the watch is easy to see at all times, and its water resistance (to 100 metres) will get you through just about every activity short of diving.
When it comes to the best value in a watch under $100, it’s hard to beat the venerable Seiko 5. Starting around $65 (and topping $100 in some variations), the watch is to be a dependable watch that can hold its own against many pricier watches. You can get one with a canvas strap to maintain the classic field watch style, or opt for a to dress things up a bit.
Nixon makes a number of solid watches that fall well under the $200 mark, but the company’s recently-released Regulus is a standout if durability is your top concern. It’s big and bulky, and as tough as it looks, with a stainless steel bezel and reinforced polycarbonate construction (among other ruggedized features).
The backlit LCD also provides easy visibility for the watch’s various features, including dual time, dual chronographs and a countdown timer
It may not have the long history of something like the Seiko 5, but the Momentum Atlas is another option worth considering if you’re looking for a relatively affordable field watch. It comes recommended by Kevin Kelly’s site, and is available in a wide range of models for men and women, including different sizes, bands and watch faces (almost all of which com in well under $200).
All of those iterations are also lightweight thanks to their use of a titanium case, and come with a five-year battery, while the watch itself is backed by a two-year warranty.