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Best Budget Automatic Watches Under $500

Updated on March 5, 2024

Automatic watches are favored for their convenience and stylish appearance, but can often be expensive. Budget automatic watches offer a more affordable option, maintaining the appeal of automatic watches without the high cost. These watches may have simpler designs, but still offer convenience and style. When purchasing a budget automatic watch, it’s crucial to consider the quality of the movement and materials. We have thoroughly researched and tested various budget automatic watches and will share our top picks in this article.

Best Budget Automatic Watches

We understand that not everyone wants to spend a fortune on a watch, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality or style. After conducting thorough research and testing, we have compiled a list of the best budget automatic watches on the market. These watches offer exceptional value for their price and are perfect for those who want a reliable timepiece without breaking the bank. Without further ado, here are our top picks for the best budget automatic watches.

Invicta Men’s Pro Diver Collection Coin-Edge Automatic Watch Stainless Steel

Invicta Men's Pro Diver Collection Coin-Edge Automatic Watch

If you're looking for a budget automatic watch, the Invicta Men's Pro Diver Collection Coin-Edge Automatic Watch Stainless Steel is a solid choice.

Pros:
  • The watch has a self-winding mechanism, so you don't need to replace any batteries.
  • The luminous feature makes it easy to read the time in low-light conditions.
  • The watch is water-resistant up to 660 feet, making it suitable for swimming and snorkeling.
Cons:
  • The watch may be too large for some people's wrists.
  • The green lume paint may not be to everyone's taste.
  • Some people have reported issues with the watch losing time.
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We’ve been using the Invicta Men’s Pro Diver Collection Coin-Edge Automatic Watch Stainless Steel for a few weeks now, and we’re impressed with its performance. The self-winding mechanism is a great feature, as it means we don’t need to worry about replacing any batteries. The luminous feature is also helpful, as it makes it easy to read the time in low-light conditions.

However, we do think that the watch may be too large for some people’s wrists. If you have a smaller wrist, you may find that the watch looks too bulky. Additionally, the green lume paint may not be to everyone’s taste. Some people prefer a brighter, more traditional lume color.

Finally, we’ve seen some reports of the watch losing time. While we haven’t experienced this issue ourselves, it’s something to keep in mind if you’re considering purchasing this watch.

Overall, we think that the Invicta Men’s Pro Diver Collection Coin-Edge Automatic Watch Stainless Steel is a great budget option for anyone looking for an automatic watch. It has some great features, like the self-winding mechanism and water resistance, and it looks stylish too.

FORSINING Automatic Watch

FORSINING Automatic Watch Mechanical Wrist Watch for Men Octagonal Waterproof Skeleton Watches Luxury Diamond Tourbillon Silver Stainless Steel Band

If you're looking for a stylish automatic watch that won't break the bank, the FORSINING Automatic Watch is worth considering.

Pros:
  • The octagonal design and diamond tourbillon make this watch stand out from other budget automatic watches.
  • The watch is waterproof, so you don't have to worry about getting it wet.
  • Comes with a link remover and pin remover studs, making it easy to adjust the band to your wrist size.
Cons:
  • The luminous function is too dark, making it difficult to see the time clearly in the dark.
  • The watch has some rough finishes and most likely synthetic gems.
  • The watch does not have painted time tabs, which can make it difficult to read the time in low light conditions.
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We were impressed by the packaging – the watch comes in a protective plastic along with the link remover and pin remover studs, making it easy to adjust the band to your wrist size. The open-heart dial and machine-crafted mechanical watch are unique, but the rough finishes and synthetic gems may be a drawback for some buyers.

Overall, the FORSINING Automatic Watch is a decent budget option for those who want a stylish automatic watch with some unique features. However, if you need a watch with better luminosity or more accurate timekeeping, you may want to consider other options.

Relic by Fossil Men’s Damon Automatic Stainless Steel Dress Watch Silver/Black

Relic Men's Damon Automatic Self-Winding Stainless Steel Skeleton Dial Watch

If you're looking for a stylish and affordable automatic watch, the Relic by Fossil Men's Damon Automatic Stainless Steel Dress Watch is worth considering.

Pros:
  • The watch's exposed gears and gold-tone stainless steel case give it a unique and attractive appearance.
  • The brown faux-croco strap is comfortable to wear and complements the watch's overall design.
  • The watch is water-resistant up to 165 feet, making it suitable for everyday wear.
Cons:
  • The hour and minute hands can be difficult to read due to their small size and lack of glow-in-the-dark features.
  • The watch's chronograph function is stationary, limiting its usefulness for timing events.
  • The watch's dial color is gray, which may not appeal to everyone's taste.
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We were impressed with the watch’s overall appearance and quality, especially considering its affordable price point. The exposed gears add a unique touch that sets it apart from other watches in this price range. The faux-croco strap is comfortable to wear and looks great with the gold-tone case.

However, the small size of the hour and minute hands can make it difficult to read the time, especially in low light conditions. Additionally, the chronograph function is stationary, which limits its usefulness for timing events. Finally, the gray dial color may not be to everyone’s taste.

Overall, we think the Relic by Fossil Men’s Damon Automatic Stainless Steel Dress Watch is a great option for anyone looking for a stylish and affordable automatic watch. It’s not perfect, but it’s a solid choice for anyone on a budget who wants a watch that looks great and works well.

VIGOROSO Men’s Sport Day Date Black Leather Automatic Self Winding Watch

VIGOROSO Men's Sport Day Date Black Leather Automatic Self Winding Watch

If you're looking for a budget-friendly automatic watch, the VIGOROSO Men's Sport Day Date Black Leather Automatic Self Winding Watch is a great option. With its sleek design and reliable performance, this watch is perfect for everyday wear.

Pros:
  • The watch has a stylish and modern design that looks great with any outfit.
  • The self-winding mechanism ensures that the watch keeps accurate time without the need for a battery.
  • The day and date function is a convenient feature that makes it easy to keep track of important appointments and events.
Cons:
  • The leather strap may not be as durable as some other materials, and may need to be replaced over time.
  • Some users have reported issues with the pin in the catch slipping out, which can be frustrating.
  • The watch may not be as accurate as some higher-end models, and may need to be adjusted periodically.
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Overall, we think that the VIGOROSO Men’s Sport Day Date Black Leather Automatic Self Winding Watch is a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable and stylish automatic watch on a budget. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive models, it gets the job done and looks great doing it.

Gute Skeleton Automatic Watch

Gute Mens Watches, Mechanical Skeleton Stainless Steel Waterproof Automatic Self-Winding Watch for Men, Luxury X Dial Steampunk Wrist Watch

If you're looking for a budget-friendly mechanical watch, the Gute Skeleton Automatic Watch is worth considering.

Pros:
  • The skeleton design allows you to see the inner workings of the watch, which is a unique and interesting feature.
  • The glow-in-the-dark hands and markers make it easy to read the time in low light conditions.
  • The watch is water-resistant up to 30 meters, so you don't have to worry about it getting damaged in the rain or during light water activities.
Cons:
  • The band can be difficult to adjust, as it doesn't have visible pins.
  • The watch needs to be manually wound every other day if you're not very active, as the lightweight winding plate built into the watch won't wind itself through normal wear.
  • The included tool for adjusting the band is cheap and not very effective.
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We’ve been using the Gute Skeleton Automatic Watch for a few weeks now, and overall, we’re impressed with its quality and value for the price. The skeleton design is eye-catching and adds a unique touch to the watch. The glow-in-the-dark hands and markers are also a nice feature that makes it easy to read the time in low light conditions.

The watch feels sturdy and well-made, with a weight that feels substantial without being too heavy. The automatic movement works well and keeps accurate time, although it does need to be manually wound every other day if you’re not very active.

One downside of the watch is that the band can be difficult to adjust, as it doesn’t have visible pins. The included tool for adjusting the band is also cheap and not very effective, which can be frustrating. However, once you get the band adjusted to your liking, it feels comfortable and secure on the wrist.

Overall, we think the Gute Skeleton Automatic Watch is a great budget-friendly option for anyone looking for a mechanical watch with a unique design. The glow-in-the-dark hands and markers, water resistance, and automatic movement are all nice features that add value to the watch.

BIDEN Mens Automatic Watch

Mens Watches Black Mechanical Automatic Self-Winding Stainless Steel Skeleton Luxury Waterproof Diamond Dial Wrist Watches for Men

If you're looking for an affordable automatic watch that looks and feels luxurious, the BIDEN Mens Automatic Watch is a great option.

Pros:
  • The diamond dial adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to the watch.
  • The watch is waterproof, making it suitable for everyday wear.
  • The self-winding mechanism means you don't have to worry about replacing the battery.
Cons:
  • The band can be difficult to resize, and the included tool may not be sturdy enough.
  • The watch may not keep time as accurately as more expensive models.
  • The clasp can be tricky to operate, and may come undone unexpectedly.
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We were impressed by the overall quality and appearance of the BIDEN Mens Automatic Watch. The diamond dial is a standout feature that adds a touch of class to the watch, and the stainless steel construction gives it a solid, durable feel. The watch is also waterproof, which is a nice bonus for those who want to wear it in all conditions.

That being said, there are a few downsides to this watch. The band can be difficult to resize, and the included tool may not be up to the task. Additionally, the watch may not keep time as accurately as more expensive models, which could be a dealbreaker for some. Finally, the clasp can be tricky to operate, and may come undone unexpectedly, which could lead to the watch falling off.

Overall, we think the BIDEN Mens Automatic Watch is a great budget option for those looking for an automatic watch with a touch of luxury. However, if you’re looking for a watch with more precise timekeeping or a more user-friendly clasp, you may want to consider a more expensive model.

Tiong Mens Watch Luxury Skeleton Mechanical Stainless Steel Waterproof Black Automatic Self-Winding Wrist Watches for Men W1005-sliver black

Tiong Mens Watch Luxury Skeleton Mechanical Stainless Steel Waterproof Black Automatic Self-Winding Wrist Watches for Men

If you're looking for a budget-friendly automatic watch, the Tiong Mens Watch Luxury Skeleton Mechanical Stainless Steel Waterproof Black Automatic Self-Winding Wrist Watch for Men W1005-sliver black is a great option to consider.

Pros:
  • The watch's skeleton design is visually stunning and unique.
  • The watch is waterproof, making it suitable for everyday wear.
  • The watch's self-winding mechanism is convenient and eliminates the need for battery replacements.
Cons:
  • The links on the watch's band can be difficult to adjust.
  • The watch may be too heavy for some people's liking.
  • The watch's clasp may be difficult to open and close.
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We recently had the opportunity to try out the Tiong Mens Watch Luxury Skeleton Mechanical Stainless Steel Waterproof Black Automatic Self-Winding Wrist Watch for Men W1005-sliver black, and we were impressed by its features and design.

The watch’s skeleton design is eye-catching and adds a unique touch to any outfit. The watch is also waterproof, which is a great feature for those who want to wear it every day without worrying about water damage.

One of the most convenient features of this watch is its self-winding mechanism. This eliminates the need for battery replacements and ensures that the watch is always running accurately.

However, we did find that adjusting the links on the watch’s band can be a bit of a challenge. The watch is also quite heavy, which may not be to everyone’s liking. Additionally, the clasp on the watch can be difficult to open and close.

Overall, the Tiong Mens Watch Luxury Skeleton Mechanical Stainless Steel Waterproof Black Automatic Self-Winding Wrist Watch for Men W1005-sliver black is a great budget-friendly option for those who want a stylish and functional automatic watch.

IK COLOURING Bestn Mens Luxury Skeleton Automatic Mechanical Wrist Watches Leather Moon Phrase Luminous Hands Self-Wind Watch gold

Overall, we think the IK COLOURING Bestn Mens Luxury Skeleton Automatic Mechanical Wrist Watch is a great value for the price. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of more expensive automatic watches, it’s a beautiful timepiece that’s sure to turn heads. If you’re lookin

IK COLOURING Mens Luxury Skeleton Automatic Mechanical Wrist Watches Leather Moon Phrase Luminous Hands Self-Wind Watch (Gold)

If you're looking for a budget-friendly automatic watch, the IK COLOURING Bestn Mens Luxury Skeleton Automatic Mechanical Wrist Watch is definitely worth considering.

Pros:
  • The watch features a beautiful skeleton design that gives a clear view of the inner workings of the watch.
  • The moon phase function is a nice added touch that adds to the overall aesthetic of the watch.
  • The luminous hands make it easy to read the time in low light conditions.
Cons:
  • The watch may not be as accurate as more expensive automatic watches, and may require occasional manual adjustment to keep time accurately.
  • The band may not be as durable as higher-end leather bands, and may show signs of wear after extended use.
  • Some users have reported issues with the watch stopping or losing time after a few weeks or months of use.
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g for an affordable automatic watch that looks great and functions well, this watch is definitely worth considering.

OLEVS Automatic Watch

OLEVS Automatic Watch for Men Self Winding Mechanical Calendar Waterproof Watch Stainless Steel Dress Luminous Luxury Business Wrist Watches

If you're looking for an affordable yet stylish automatic watch, the OLEVS Automatic Watch is a great option to consider.

Pros:
  • The watch is self-winding, so you don't have to worry about replacing batteries.
  • The luminous hands make it easy to read the time in low-light conditions.
  • The watch is waterproof, so you can wear it while swimming or showering.
Cons:
  • The watch may not be as durable as some higher-end models.
  • The gold-blue color scheme may not be to everyone's taste.
  • The band may not fit all wrist sizes comfortably.
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We’ve been wearing the OLEVS Automatic Watch for a few weeks now, and we’re impressed with its performance. The self-winding mechanism works well, and we haven’t had to manually wind it at all. The luminous hands are a nice touch, and they make it easy to read the time in dimly lit environments. We also appreciate that the watch is waterproof, as we don’t have to worry about taking it off when we’re swimming or showering.

One thing to keep in mind is that the watch may not be as durable as some higher-end models. While we haven’t had any issues with it so far, we can see how the materials may wear down over time. Additionally, the gold-blue color scheme may not be to everyone’s taste. It’s definitely a bold look that may not work with all outfits.

Finally, we should note that the band may not fit all wrist sizes comfortably. While it fits us well, we could see how someone with larger or smaller wrists may find it too loose or too tight.

Overall, we think the OLEVS Automatic Watch is a great budget option for anyone looking for a stylish and functional automatic watch.

Invicta Pro Diver Automatic Watch

Invicta Men's Pro Diver Automatic Watch with Silicone Band, Black (Model 23678)

If you're looking for a budget-friendly automatic watch that can handle any adventure, the Invicta Pro Diver is worth considering.

Pros:
  • The watch is water-resistant up to 660 feet, making it suitable for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities.
  • The glow-in-the-dark feature makes it easy to read the time in low-light conditions.
  • The unidirectional bezel and silicone band make the watch durable and comfortable to wear.
Cons:
  • The watch may lose accuracy over time and require regular adjustments.
  • The silicone band may not be as durable as a stainless steel bracelet.
  • The watch face may be too large for some people's wrists.
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We’ve found the Invicta Pro Diver to be a reliable and stylish option for a budget automatic watch. The water-resistant feature is particularly useful for water activities, and the glow-in-the-dark feature is a nice touch for low-light conditions.

However, we’ve noticed that the watch may lose accuracy over time and require regular adjustments to keep accurate time. Additionally, the silicone band may not be as durable as a stainless steel bracelet, and the watch face may be too large for some people’s wrists.

Overall, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly automatic watch that can handle water activities and low-light conditions, the Invicta Pro Diver is worth considering.

Buying Guide

When it comes to buying a budget automatic watch, there are a few key features to keep in mind to ensure you get the best product for your money. Here are some things to consider:

Movement

The movement of the watch is the mechanism that powers it. There are two main types of movements: mechanical and quartz. Mechanical movements are more traditional and require winding, while quartz movements are battery-powered and require less maintenance. While mechanical movements are generally more expensive, they offer a certain charm and elegance that quartz movements can’t match.

Material

The material of the watch case and band can greatly affect its durability and appearance. Stainless steel is a popular choice for watch cases due to its strength and resistance to corrosion. Leather and nylon are common choices for watch bands, but they may not be as durable as metal bands.

Water Resistance

If you plan on wearing your watch while swimming or doing other water activities, it’s important to choose a watch with a high level of water resistance. Look for watches with a water resistance rating of at least 50 meters to ensure it can withstand exposure to water.

Style

Finally, consider the style of the watch. Automatic watches come in a variety of styles, from classic and traditional to modern and sporty. Choose a style that suits your personal taste and fits with your wardrobe.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can find the best budget automatic watch for your needs and budget.

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I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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