Budget Watches – Affordable Yet Quality Timepieces


It’s a rich world of watches out there. And why wouldn’t it be? Few accessories have withstood the test of time (no pun intended) as much as watches have. Once a symbol of status and wealth, only available to the rich elite, now times have changed for the better. Ever since late 19th century and World War 1, wrist watches gradually dethroned the pocket ones. Previously worn only by women (dubbed as bracelets by manufacturers), they became common for men as well. Which later opened up a mass market in the post-war era.

How much should I spend on a quality timepiece?

You can nowadays find watches ranging from 2$ to 2 000 000$ and more. There’s nothing wrong in striving to buy a nice, expensive piece, like an Omega. Time-tellers of that calibre are very likely to serve your grandchildren as well. But you don’t need to spend a fortune, plus a kidney in order to buy a quality timepiece. There are many world-renowned brands out there, who offer great budget watches, which will serve you just as well. As long as you don’t go for cheap replicas. Never embarrass yourself with clumsy copy-cats, who will leave you wondering what’s the time in a day or two.

If you can’t afford or just don’t want to spends so much on a timepiece, then you are in the right place. Below you will find our top picks of low, to mid-randge budget watches (bellow 300$) of different brands and models, which I’m sure you and your wallet will adore!

1. Timex

Worn by George W. Bush Jr and with a slogan like ”Takes a Licking and Keeps On Ticking!”, Timex are one of the iconic American-made watches. The company is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Dutch conglomerate Timex Group B.V.. But it began as far back as 1854, by the name Waterbury Clock Company.

Timex is called the ”Everyman” of the watch world and enjoys a well deserved fame. Here are the most popular choices of Timex budget watches:


Visit the full TIMEX collection

2. Swatch

Swatch is one of the rare occasions, where ”Swiss” , ”Watch” and ”Cheap” can be found in one sentence. Originally made in 1983, by Nicolas Hayek it was designated to counter the large influx of cheap asian-made quartz watches, beginning to flood the global markets and compete with the European watch companies. Swatch is a subsidiary of The Swatch Group.

With their simple, practical design, low price, yet good quality, Swatch paved the way to a lot of modern day watches on the market. They are truly one of the most popular choices of budget watches out there. Like models such as these:


Visit the full SWATCH collection

3. Rotary

Or also called ,,Britain’s favourite watch made in Switzerland”. Rotary was founded by Moise Dreyfuss in 1895 in the Swiss town of La Chaux de Fonds. This award-winning worldwide brand specialises in designing affordably stylish Swiss timepieces, blending the ‘old with the new’ and the ‘classic with the contemporary’ to achieve a distinctive range of watches. With each collection inspired by an authentic Swiss town, Rotary represents a successful history Swiss watchmaking.

In 1940, Rotary was the official supplier to the British Army. As World War 2 began, the Swiss brand managed to put a Rotary watch in almost every British household. Rotary celebrates its heritage and latest retro-trends by displaying a selection of Rotary watches that date back to the early 1900’s. Each timepiece is surrounded by history and the entire collection demonstrates the evolution of watch manufacturing throughout the past century.

A bit more expensive than Swatch and Timex, but it meets its price with the beautiful style and magnificence it offers. This is one of the best aesthetics-to-price ratios on the market.


Visit the full ROTARY collection

4. Seiko

Seiko are one of the best performing and wide-spread watches made in the East. And also one of the most common choices of budget watches. With a quality, that doesn’t give away to that of the Swiss, but at a price rarely exceeding 300£.

The japanese managed to create the first ever quartz mechanism in the 60s, called  the Seiko Quartz ASTRON. Although creating the parts that enabled quartz watches, Seiko did not monopolize the patent rights for the unique pieces, but decided to open them. They are also pioneers in many other technologies in the watch-making industry. Such as the world’s first LCD quartz watch with six-digit digital display and the world’s first multi-function digital watch, the 0634. But one of their greatest pride is the The 9F Quartz Movement, which is used in their Grand Seiko quartz watches series.

Below, we have selected for you several fan-favourites of Seiko’s collection:


Visit the full SEIKO collection

5. Citizen

Citizen was found in 1930, both by Japanese and Swiss investors.  it is the parent of American watch company Bulova, and is also known for manufacturing small electronics such as calculators. The brand Citizen itself, was first registered in Switzerland by the Swiss watchmaker Rodolphe Schmid in 1918.

The brand is one of the Asian watchmakers, who contributed to the quartz crises we mentioned in the intro, which flooded the rest of the world and began competing with the European. Citizen offers one of the most accurate watches in existence, but for a small crumb of the price of traditional, high end Swiss and other luxury watch brands.

Citizen prides itself with its pioneering and unmatched ,,atomic timekeeping” technology, first developed in 1993. They combined it with their Eco-Drive technology, so if you own an AT watch, you will get the precise time powered by any light source. With a margin of error of just one second in 100,000 years, Citizen Atomic Timekeeping watches receive radio signals from an atomic clock to set the time correctly.

Below are our top picks of reasonably priced Citizen watches:


Visit the full CITIZEN collection

6. Triwa

Triwa was founded in 2007 by four friends, which wanted to make an impact and change the world view on the watch industry. The name itself stands for: ”Transforming the Industry of Watches”. They wanted to transform the watch into a modern symbol, by combining the classic silhouettes and contemporary Scandinavian simplicity.

While today, they are far more than just 4 friends (more like 30), they have extended their production to other accessories as well. Such as bracelets and sunglasses. All the design and production is made in their studio in Stockholm, but their motto remains unchanged. And that is: “We only design what we want to wear ourselves”.

You will not mistake in giving this unique and ambitios company, your attention:


Visit the full TRIWA collection

7. G-Shock

G-Shock or Gravitational Shock, like it’s its full name, is a branch of the Casio watchmaking company. It could easily be said, that that is the big, heavy duty, tough brother of Casio. Casio released the G-Shock in April 1983, to fill the demand for durable watches. The popularity of G-Shocks increased throughout the 1990s. By 1998 Casio released over 200 G-Shock models. By then Casio had sold 19 million G-Shocks worldwide.

They are designed primarily for sports, military and outdoors-oriented activities; nearly all G-shocks are digital or a combination of analog and digital and have a stopwatch feature, countdown timer, electroluminescent backlight and water resistance. The first G-Shock, the DW-5000C had a 10-year battery life, water resistance to 10 bar and was able to survive a 10 meter fall onto a hard surface (they tested 200 prototypes by dropping them from rooftops or third story windows).

The line of watches now includes atomic clock synchronization and solar battery. The Cockpit Series G-Shock is the official timekeeper of Nismo Racing. Many newer G-Shocks feature metal (steel or titanium) banding and analog timekeeping.

Here are our top pics of G-Shock tough guys:


Visit the full Casio G-Shock collection

8. Tissot

Tissot is another member of The Swatch Group, the largest watch producer and distributer in the world. Founded in 1853, in Le Locle, Switzerland, by Charles-Félicien Tissot and his son, Charles-Émile Tissot. Tissot watches are currently classified by Swatch Group as “mid-range market” products.

Tissot pride themselves in offering a broad arrange of watch types, suitable for plenty of occasions. Most of them are machine made, but that is far from a down side. The quality stays supreme, just like most Swiss brands out there. You can buy a quality watch, that will serve you for a very long time, if not for a lifetime, just around 250-300$. In fact, you can upgrade your entire wardrobe for just half the price of a single Omega or Zenith watch.


Visit the full TISSOT collection

Those were our best choices for budget watches from you to choose from.
Which other quality brands, who deserve attention did we miss?
Do you already own some of the ones we wrote about?
Your opinion is valuable to us!

Until next time,
have a nice… time (pun intended) from OwlKnow!


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