Watch Buying Guides

Our experts recommendations on the best watches and watch accessories, all in one place.

Recommended Watches at Every Budget

Under $500

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The Best Watches Under $100

It’s perfectly possible to snag a respectable watch for less than a Benjamin — in fact, you can even go automatic.

watches
These Are the Best Watches Under $200

Bargain watches get a bad rap, but there are plenty of dirt-cheap options with excellent design and solid build quality.

best watches over 500
The Best Watches You Can Buy Under $500

You don't have to drop a ton of money in order to get a great watch. These brands make affordable watches that can last a lifetime.

best dive watches under 500
The Best Dive Watches Under $500

Both microbrands and blue chip companies offer great divers for five Benjamins and under.

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Under $1,000

best affordable watches
The 30 Best Affordable Watches Under $1,000

From $80 to a grand, these are the best watches to get when you don’t want to spend a fortune.

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The Best Watches Under $1,000

You can get an incredible amount of watch for under a grand.

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15 Incredible Dive Watches Under $1,000

There’s a myriad of great divers you can buy for a few hundred bucks.

dress watches
The Best Dress Watches Under $1,000

A great dress watch doesn't have to cost as much as a car.

Under $2,500

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The Best Men's Watches Under $2,000

From divers to dress watches to pilot's watches and more, these are the best in class at the $2k mark.

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The Best Dive Watches Under $2,000

From resurrected heritage brands like Alsta to blue chip companies like Longines, these are the best in sub-$2k divers.

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The Best Chronograph Watches Under $2,000

You probably didn't know you could get serious chronos for this kind of money — even mechanical ones.

benrus type 1 limited edition watch
The Best Field Watches Under $2,500

Timepieces so tough that you can easily pass them down to the next generation, battle scars and all.

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Under $10,000

best watches under 5k
The 10 Best Watches Under $5,000

There are incredible values to be had at the sub-$5k mark from a wide array of brands.

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The Best Dive Watches Under $5,000

Oh, so you want a fancy dive watch, eh? We got you.

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Best Chronograph Watches Under $5,000

There's strong value to be had for less than half the price of a Daytona.

best watches under 10000
The 10 Best Watches Under $10,000

Approaching five figures means in-house movements, exotic complications, and some of horology’s heaviest hitters.

Any Price

best chronograph watches
The 25 Best Chronograph Watches

This comprehensive guide to chronographs covers history, important terms to know, and the best models available at any price.

best dive watches
The Best Dive Watches at Every Budget

The best dive watches combine old-school style and genuine underwater usability.

best dress watches
The Best Dress Watches for Men

From $1,000 to $20,000 and everything in between.

best entry level watches
The Entry-Level Watches From 10 Great Brands

Buying a timepiece from a luxury brand doesn’t mean you have to sell your car.

Watch Type & Style Buying Guides

Sport Watches

best chronograph watches
The 25 Best Chronograph Watches

This comprehensive guide to chronographs covers history, important terms to know, and the best models available at any price.

best dive watches
The Best Dive Watches at Every Budget

The best dive watches combine old-school style and genuine underwater usability.

damasko da 46
What Are Flieger Watches, and Which Should I Buy?
What started as a batch of 1,200 watches made in 1941 for the German Luftwaffe has since become one of the most iconic watch designs in…
best pilots watches
The Best Pilot’s Watches Available Right Now

Whether a classic flieger or an automatic GMT, there's a pilot's watch out there for the fighter jock in everyone.

Travel & Calendar Watches

best gmt watches
The Best GMT Watches

Get ready to travel — or to track someone else's travels.

world timer watches
Seven Incredible World Time Watches

They allow you to see the current time in any place in the world with just a quick glance at your wrist.

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This Is How Calendar Watches Work

Forget the Apple Watch. Complete, annual and perpetual calendar watches are the original smart watches.

omega speedmaster coax moonphase
Why Are Moon Phase Watches Special?
A moon phase watch reminds us that we’re all just spinning through space on this pale blue dot, orbited by a glowing rock, mere cogs in…

Other Watch Complications

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What the Hell Is a Minute Repeater Watch?

Repeater watches occupy a special place in the hearts of watch enthusiasts.

modern mechanical watches
5 Modern Mechanical Alarm Watches

Because sometimes you want a notification that's spring-powered.

best hi beat
A Guide to Accurate, Mesmerizing High-Beat Watches

Watches that tick more than ten times a second aren’t just accurate — they’re a sight to behold.

rolex milgauss
What Is an Anti-Magnetic Watch?

Despite its roots in aviation and engineering, the antimagnetic watch still makes sense in everyday life.

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Gold-Colored & Precious Material Watches

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The Best Gold Watches for Men

The gold watch has always been and remains special.

precious metal watches
The Best Precious Metal Watches

We break down some of the best watches available in various types of gold (yellow, white, red, pink and rose) and platinum.

best two tone watches steel gold
The Best Two-Tone Watches

Steel and gold "two-tone" watches provoke strong feelings, but they're making a comeback.

watches with diamonds
The Best Diamond Watches for Men

How about a little bling?

Light & Durable Watches

best titanium watches
The 10 Best Titanium Watches You Can Buy Right Now

Lighter, tougher and hypoallergenic, titanium offers tons of benefits over stainless steel.

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These Are Some of Today’s Best Lightweight, Scratch-Proof Ceramic Watches

Ceramic is an increasingly popular watchmaking material for a range of desirable properties.

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Carbon Fiber Watches Aren’t a Gimmick. They’re Lightweight, Tough and Cool-Looking
Carbon composites have a range of properties that are desirable for watchmaking. It doesn’t hurt that they also look pretty darn badass…
ulysse nardin ocean plastic watch
10 Sustainable Watches Made from Ocean Plastic

Believe it or not, upcycled plastic recovered from the sea is the latest hot watchmaking material.

Rugged & Tactical Watches

best tactical watches
These Are 10 of the Best Tactical Watches

We explore what makes a watch “tactical” and pick out some of our favorites for actual use in the field.

best field watches
The 10 Best Field Watches

Field watches should be reliable, legible and simple.

outdoor watches
The 25 Best Outdoor Watches

We break down the perfect watches available for your next outdoors adventure.

hamilton khaki pilot pioneer mechanical watch
The Best Vintage Field Watches Reissued for Today

Military field watches are some of the most compelling examples in today's reissue-crazed market.

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Quartz Watches

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Read This Before Buying a Quartz Watch

How quartz works, and the best watches you can buy that use the technology.

best quartz watches
10 Watches Prove Quartz Is Better Than You Think

Quartz watches are often looked down upon, but they’re more reliable and accurate than their mechanical counterparts.

mecaquartz watches
The Best Meca-Quartz Watches

The "meca-quartz" hybrid chronograph marries battery-based and mechanical watchmaking.

quartz watches gear patrol magazine
5 Affordable Watches Even "Watch Guys" Want
Long disdained by collectors with preferences for mechanical technology, sensibly priced quartz watches are finally in the crosshairs o…

Digital & Smartwatches

best digital watches
Best Digital Watches That Aren't the Apple Watch

Digital watches are fun, affordable and they're back with a vengeance.

best smart watches 2020
The Best Smartwatches of 2021

Before buying a smartwatch, there are few vital things to know as well. We've also rounded up the best smartwatches to buy.

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10 Great Solar-Powered Watches for Summer Sun

Never wind them, rarely change the batteries — simply strap on one of these great solar-powered watches and enjoy.

lux watches
Luxury Smartwatches vs. the Premium Apple Watch

Is traditional watchmaking compatible with wearable tech?

Style-Forward Watches

best black watches
The 10 Best All-Black Watches

With dark cases and black dials, these stealthy tool watches fly under the radar.

oris watch
The Best Bronze Watches to Buy

Bronze has been used by man for over 4,000 years. Maybe it's time you used it, too.

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The Best Skeletonized Watches for Your Money

Skeletonized watches feature dials through which you can view an often-hollowed out movement.

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Fashion Brands Can Make Great Watches, Too

Just because a company started off making clothes or jewelry doesn't mean it can't also make a great timepiece.

Distinctive Dials

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These 7 Chronographs Sport Our Favorite Colorway

The classic black-on-white “panda dial” from the 1960s is making a comeback.

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The Best Blue Dial Watches for Summer

Blue-dial watches that remind us of the sea and the sky just seem to work best during the summer.

panerai pam999
Your Next Watch Should Have a Dark Green Dial

Gorgeous watches from Panerai, Oris, Seiko and more.

Best-Watches-with-Enamel-Dials-gear-patrol-lead-feature
These Are the Best Watches with Enamel Dials

Difficult to craft and incredibly beautiful, enamel-dialed watches can cost a pretty penny — with one or two exceptions.

Unique Sizes & Unisex Watches

best small watches
The Best Small Watches for Men Under 40mm

A watch should be framed by your wrist, not enveloped by it.

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Are Unisex Models the New Big Trend in Watchmaking?
With the downward trend in watch case sizes, more companies are producing watches that are distinctly (though perhaps unintentionally) …
best ultra thin watches
The Best Ultra-Thin Watches You Can Buy in 2021

Ten mechanical watches that clock in under 9mm.

a lange sohne watch
These Are the Best Big Mens Watches

Some people just prefer a bigger watch, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

watches
The Best New Watches of 2021

The year in watches is turning out strong with exciting new releases from brands big and small. Here are our faves thus far.

Vintage Watch Buying Advice

Vintage Watch Basics

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How to Buy a Vintage Watch

Old watches represent great value, the chance to wear a piece of history and, if you’re lucky, a good investment.

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The Downside of Cheap Vintage Watches

Low prices are tempting, but the cost of service and repair can exceed that of the acquisition.

watch serial number
How to Find Your Watch's Serial Number

Serial numbers can be used to find historical and pricing information on your watch, but where are they located?

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Forgotten Watchmakers You Should Know

Buying watches from forgotten brands is a great way to get a lot with a little.

Affordable Vintage Watches

vintage skin diver watch
Affordable Vintage Watches That Experts Love

We got some of the foremost experts in the watch world to weigh in on vintage watches that aren’t prohibitively expensive…yet.

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Watch Experts Discuss Their First Vintage Watches

Collecting insight from James Lamdin, Hamilton Powell and Eric Wind.

affordable vintage rolex
A Brief Guide to Affordable Vintage Rolex Watches

From Air Kings to Oyster Perpetuals, these are the Rollies you can buy without taking out a HELOC.

vintage omega
A Brief Guide to Vintage Omega Watches

From Speedies to Seamies (I made that up) to Railmasters and more, we have Omega watches galore.

Vintage Military Watches

rolex mil sub watch
The Best Military Watches and Their Histories

We examine some of world’s most famous military watches and delve into their origins, from the Fifty Fathoms to the Milsub and more.

angelus chronograph
Cool Vintage Military Watches to Collect Under $5k

From inexpensive, Gulf War-era quartz to lauded 1950s, gilded chronographs, these are the best deals in military timepieces.

panerai wwii
10 Important Military Watches of WWII

From the A-11 to the Panerai Radiomir to the little-known A.T.P, we explore the Second World War's horological gems.

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You Should Be Collecting Vintage Soviet Watches

Watches produced in Russia during the 20th century are fascinating. They're also cheap.

Watch Straps, Storage and Accessories

Watch Winders, Boxes & Pouches

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Superb Watch Winders for the Budding Collector

If your mechanical watch collection is growing, you may want to keep them ticking when they aren’t on your wrist.

analogshift x wolf watch box
The Best Watch Boxes for Your Watch Collection

Don't keep your most worn watches in your sock drawer — invest in a quality watch box instead.

hodinkee oval leather travel case
The Best Ways to Travel With Your Watches

Keep your beloved timepieces safe and orderly.

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Why You Don’t Actually Need a Watch Winder
While some are willing to pay for the convenience, the idea of a watch winder as an essential tool of watch ownership is largely unfoun…

Watch Tools & Maintenance

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The Watch Owner’s Essential Toolset

Owning a timepiece demands some hands-on TLC, and you need the right tools to make that happen.

watch tools
The Tools You Need For Your Watch

There are just a few tools that watch wearers truly require...and a few more that maybe you want.

guide to life clean watch
How to Clean A Watch Without Damaging It
If you regularly wear a watch or purchase one secondhand, it'll need cleaning. In this video, Zen Love explains how to clean a watch th…

Watch Straps

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The Best Leather Watch Bands You Can Buy

Not all leather watch bands are created equal, and more and more options seem to crop up every day.

maratac mil nato watch straps
Who Makes the Best NATO Strap?

We tried different NATOs from fan-favortie strap makers to see how different they can really be.

straps
These Are the Best Rubber Watch Straps

A rubber watch strap is perfect for the water or for sports, but quality and price vary widely.

suede straps
The Best Suede Watch Straps

The fresh side of the hide is perfect for your wrist.

Watch Brand & Model Buying Guides (Listed Alphabetically)

Blancpain - Panerai
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The Complete Guide to the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms was one of the world’ first modern dive watches, and there are more versions of it now than ever.

breitling navitimer watch
The Complete Buying Guide to Breitling Watches

From the Navitimer to the Chronomat and beyond.

cartier watches
The Complete Buying Guide to Cartier Watches

From the Cintrée to the Santos....and of course, the Tank.

casio g shock watches
The Complete Buying Guide to Casio G-Shock Watches

Casio makes a rugged G-Shock in just about every color and for every type of person.

fossil watches
The Complete Buying Guide to Fossil Watches

They're affordable, and you can buy them at the mall — like, any mall. What's not to love?

hamilton watches
The Complete Buying Guide to Hamilton Watches

Hamilton makes a solid, entry-level luxury watch for every kind of person or occasion.

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A Complete Guide to IWC Watches

The International Watch Company may make the world’s most iconic pilot’s watches, but their offerings don’t stop there.

longines watch collection
The Complete Buying Guide to Longines Watches

From the Legend Diver to the Spirit and beyond.

omega watches
The Complete Buying Guide to Omega Watches

We break down the catalog of the one of the world’s foremost watchmakers, from the Seamaster to the Speedmaster and more.

omega speedmaster watches
How to Buy an Omega Speedmaster Watch

We take you through the different iterations one of the world’s most famous watches, from Moonwatch to X-33 and more.

oris big crown pointer date
The Complete Buying Guide to Oris Watches

Want incredible value in a mechanical wristwatch without spending a fortune? Look at this independent Swiss brand.

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The Complete Buying Guide to Panerai Watches

A guide to and brief history of one of the most notable dive watch manufacturers in the world and its timepieces.

Patek Philippe - Tudor
patek philippe watches
The Complete Buying Guide to Patek Philippe

We break down the catalog of one of the finest watch manufacturers in the world.

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These Perpetual Calendars Are Some of the Best Watches from Patek Philippe
Patek Philippe’s complicated watchmaking is famous the world over, and their mechanical perpetual calendars are the stars of their cata…
rolex
The 16 Best Rolex Watches for Men in 2021

Everything you need to know about Rolex's current catalog of watches, including prices, history and more.

rolex datejust watch
How to Buy a Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Datejust, in continuous production since 1945, is one of the most popular watches in the world.

rolex watches
A Complete Guide to the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

From languishing on shelves to becoming the hottest watch in the world, Rolex’s Cosmograph Daytona has had a wild ride, indeed.

want this get this rolex sub gear patrol feature
Three Cheaper Alternatives to the Rolex Submariner

These three handsome dive watches offer high quality, versatile appeal and strong value.

seiko watches
The Complete Buying Guide to Seiko Watches

Seiko offers some of the best value in watches.

seiko dive watches
There's a Great Seiko Dive Watch for Every Budget

Whether you're well-heeled or strapped for cash, Seiko has a cool diver for your price range.

tag heuer watches
How to Buy a TAG Heuer Watch

Over 150 years of history makes for an extensive catalog of awesome timepieces.

timex watches
How to Buy a Timex Watch
Timex has been cranking out millions of affordable watches since 1854. Use this handy guide to figure out which of their timepieces is …
tudor watches
The Complete Buying Guide to Tudor Watches

Once subordinate to big brother Rolex, Tudor has come into its own in recent years.

25 best watch brands
25 Boutique Watch Brands You Should Know About

“Indies,” “microbrands” — whatever you call them, these smaller, independent watch companies are making waves in the market right now.

Popular Watch Alternatives

want this get this rolex sub gear patrol feature
Three Cheaper Alternatives to the Rolex Submariner

These three handsome dive watches offer high quality, versatile appeal and strong value.

omega
3 Cheaper Alternatives to the Omega Speedmaster

Watches from Bulova, Farer and Bell & Ross offer the high quality, versatile appeal and strong value of the Speedy for far less money.

Want-This-Get-This-Cartier-Tank-gear-patrol-lead-feature
Want a Cartier Tank? Here Are Three Worthy Alternatives for Less
These three dress watches offer attractive alternatives to the Cartier Tank experience, with classic looks that stand out among so many…
want this get this audemar piguet maurice lacroix
3 Affordable Alternatives to the A.P. Royal Oak
Watches from Tutima, Maurice Lacroix and Dietrich offer high quality and strong value with the versatile appeal of the iconic Audemars …