Have you ever found yourself dreaming about owning one of the luxury watches from Rolex, Omega, or Hublot but can’t find the reasoning for spending a fortune for it or simply don’t have the finances? Money sets limits to a lot of things in our lives but not necessarily to everything. For which may seem a surprise for many is that there are plenty of men’s watches around $100 that, besides looking very appealing, possess a high quality to last for long years to come. The question is, though, how to find such inexpensive watches?
Going through several dedicated watch blogs listing affordable timepieces, such as this one, is one way of finding a hundred-dollar beauty. However, if your taste is different and you would like to pick the right one out yourself, you’re going to need some healthy tips.
The following buying guide consists of essential factors that should be taken into account if an inexpensive yet reliable watch is your goal.
1. Consider the Types of Watches
The first thing you should make up your mind before going forward is to determine the most appropriate type of watch suiting your lifestyle.
If you spend a considerable amount of time in an office behind a desk, a minimalist watch or a simpler chronograph piece is the most suitable. However, people with a more active lifestyle should go for a sports-oriented timepiece, for instance, a digital sports watch or a military-inspired rugged outdoor piece. Why is that important?
Well, imagine yourself wearing a smart dress watch to a hike to the mountains; or a timepiece with low water resistance for swimming. Not only may it look out of place, but it could also ruin your ticker for good.
Luckily, the vast majority of different styles are available for very attractive prices. Even the ones with technological advancements, such as solar power and atomic timekeeping equipped wristwear, won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
2. Don’t Decide Entirely By The Looks
One serious mistake that people often make when buying inexpensive watches is letting their emotional part of the brain do the job. More than often, this results in an eye-catching wristwatch with little to no quality whatsoever.
True, the vast majority of choices in our lives are emotion-based and should not be cast aside entirely. However, it should come in symbiosis with practical and factual reasonings if the durability of a wristwatch is the target. Therefore, if you had a hundred to two hundred dollars to spend on a watch, you should avoid overly
flashy timepieces as their primary focus is set on the looks rather than the quality.
One of such examples is gold-plated watches that look very attractive and may even run on decent movements but will eventually lose the golden layer in a matter of years. What’s even worse is that once the plating is gone, it cannot be restored in any way. Watches from reputable brands starting from $500+ is what you should be looking at if a quality gold-plated timepiece is under consideration.
3. Go For An Acknowledged Brand
After you’ve come to a conclusion about the type of watch that fits you the most and decided to cast aside the over-the-top design timepieces, it’s time to check out the brands.
The number of watch manufacturers offering their timepieces is vast, ranging from known brands to entirely unknown ones. Although some of the models from unfamiliar producers may actually be of decent quality, the truth is that acknowledged watch brands manufacture the best quality inexpensive timepieces.
Therefore, if you want a reliable ticker to stay on your wrist for up to ten years and more, choose one from a watchmaker that has constantly shown credibility throughout its existence.
The following five brands are the most appropriate if you want a $100 watch with nice aesthetics and durable construction.
The most affordable watches out of the five come from Casio and Timex that sell numerous models for around $50 and less. However, the best value-for-money timepieces in terms of functionality and appearance are available in Seiko and Citizen line-ups.
4. Pick Quartz Over Automatic
In broad terms, there are two different types of watch movements – quartz and automatic. While automatic watches are highly appreciated for their sophistication and battery-less construction, the quartz-driven timepieces excel in accuracy and convenience.
However, for around a hundred bucks, the safest option is a quartz watch. Why? Because a $100 automatic piece has a greater possibility to break down than its quartz equivalent.
A successful manufacturing process of reliable automatic mechanical calibers depends on numerous factors, starting with the materials used in them and finishing with the assembly locations. Since it’s not an easy movement to construct (it consists of around a hundred miniature parts), it can lag considerably if not produced by highly qualified personnel and equipment.
There is one manufacturer, though, who has shown high credibility in producing affordable and long-lasting automatic sweepers for around $100. This respected brand is Seiko. Thus, if a self-winding movement is what makes you drool, go for one of the Seiko 5 models. Other than that, a quartz ticker is a way to go.
5. Avoid Leather Bands
One of the factors you should also consider is the material of the watch’s band. The four widespread types of bands are stainless steel, nylon, fabric, and leather. All of them have their pros and cons and suit different occasions, but consider avoiding watches with leather bands because, for the money, the probability of low-quality leather that wears out quicker than you would’ve thought is much higher than with other materials.
Also, a leather band withstands rain and daily exposure to water the least, in that considerably shortening its lifetime.
6. Buy From An Authentic Dealer
Lastly, it’s important that you avoid any shady websites and physical dealers for the purchase. The best place to buy reliable and unused watches with a warranty is from the brands’ homepages. Also, the acknowledged Internet stores, such as Amazon and Jomashop, offer plenty of selection for authentic and durable watches.
So, how to end up with a nice-looking and reliable wristwatch that costs a hundred or so dollars? The formula is simple: buy a quartz watch from a reputable brand, such as Seiko, Citizen, and Timex, that employs stainless steel, fabric, or nylon band and comes with a warranty card.
What you should definitely avoid are the overly flashy timepieces with automatic calibers from unfamiliar brands – their primary focus is set on the appeal rather than quality standards.
We hope this guide to inexpensive watches has been of great help to you in finding yourself a long-lasting and beautiful wristwatch.