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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.

collage of three watches
Courtesy

Finding a decent watch under $100 isn’t as tough as you might think. In fact, finding a pretty damn great watch for $100 is possible, so long as you know which brands make these types of watches, which features to look out for, and you've got reasonable expectations. There are a few things to keep in mind.

What to Look for (and Look Out for) When Buying a $100 Watch

You can find mechanical watches for under $100

They’re not going to feature the most finely decorated movements, and they’re probably not going to feature any complications, but they should work just fine.

The fit and finish of a watch under $100 isn’t going to be like that of a luxury watch

However, you can certainly get a perfectly utilitarian timepiece for this kind of money.

Quartz will present the most options

This is, of course, because quartz movements are themselves much less expensive than their mechanical counterparts.

You don’t have to rely on cheap knockoffs of luxury watches at this price range

There are plenty of original designs that look good and perform well for under $100.

You also don’t have to rely on "fashion watches"

See above.

Prices will sometimes fluctuate

Many of these watches are imported, and exchange rates, supply and other factors will occasionally push prices slightly over $100. Chances are, they’ll dip back down again. Just don’t freak out at us.

So, without further ado, check out our list of some of the best watches under a hundo. Whether you’re looking to snag your first mechanical watch, or you just want an inexpensive piece to travel with that you won’t have to worry about losing, there’s something here for everyone.

Casio Vintage A158WA

Casio Vintage A158WA
amazon.com
$22.95

This isn't an actual vintage watch, of course: Vintage is, rather, the collection name. An evolution of the legendary F-91W watch, the A158WA is like a steel version of that plasitc digital icon. If you're not already familiar with this humble little watch, you'll be surprised at just how much value it packs in for the money: the functionality, accuracy and durability are unmatched for the price.

  • Diameter: 33.2mm
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Water Resistance: 30m
  • Manufacturer Info: casio.com

    Casio World Time

    Casio World Time
    amazon.com
    $25.00
    • Diameter: 39.5mm
    • Movement: Quartz
    • Water Resistance: 100m
    • Manufacturer Info: casio.com

      One of the best watches under (or around) $30, full stop. Actually, probably one of the best objects under (or around) $30, period. This digital world timer, which features 31 stored time zones and 100m of water resistance, is perfect for the frugal traveler. And if it ever breaks (which is doubtful), replacing it won’t break your heart or your wallet.

      • Diameter: 39.5mm
      • Movement: Quartz
      • Water Resistance: 100m
      • Manufacturer Info: casio.com

        Timex Easy Reader

        Timex Easy Reader
        amazon.com
        $47.00
        $32.90 (30% off)

        A simple, small and exceedingly legible watch, the Easy Reader will do its job well and quietly — until, one day, you realize you've grown to love it for all of those reasons. It's especially appropriate for those that want a smaller, less obtrusive watch but one with a lot of stylistic versatility.

        • Diameter: 35mm
        • Movement: Quartz
        • Water Resistance: 30m
        • Manufacturer Info: timex.com

          Caravelle Retro

          Caravelle Retro
          bulova.com
          $75.00

          You don’t have to drop a ton of money to help round out a retr0-sporty look — at 40mm, this watch from Bulova's sub-brand has the perfect dimensions to sit under a cuff and remain unobtrusive, yet eye-catching. It makes for a timeless but interesting look, and, of course, the price is right.

          • Diameter: 40mm
          • Movement: Japanese quartz
          • Water Resistance: 50m
          • Manufacturer Info: bulova.com

            Timex Expedition Scout

            Timex Expedition Scout
            Timex amazon.com
            $45.95

            Available in numerous dial and strap colors and combinations, the Expedition Scout 40 features a 40mm steel case, Arabic numerals, Indiglo illumination, a quick-set date, luminescent hands, a 24-hour scale on the dial and a fabric or leather strap.

            • Diameter: 40mm
            • Movement: Quartz
            • Water Resistance: 50m
            • Manufacturer Info: timex.com

              Braun BN0021

              Braun BN0021
              amazon.com
              $66.82

              Another minimalist timepiece with clear Bauhaus influences, this simple Braun quartz watch flies well under the radar with its stark black dial and matching leather strap. It’s everything you need in an everyday watch, and nothing you don’t.

              • Diameter: 38mm
              • Movement: Japanese quartz
              • Water Resistance: 30m
              • Manufacturer Info: braun-clocks.com

                Swatch Twice Again

                Swatch Twice Again
                walmart.com
                $48.79

                This minimalist watch with integrated silicon strap is subtle and simple, but you still get a quartz-powered day-date movement, 30m of water resistance and a clean dial that should prove highly legible in just about any situation.

                • Diameter: 41mm
                • Movement: Quartz
                • Water Resistance: 30m
                • Manufacturer Info: swatch.com

                  Casio G-Shock DW9052

                  Casio G-Shock DW9052-1V
                  amazon.com
                  $69.95
                  $48.99 (30% off)

                  A prototypical G-Shock, the DW9052 features all the goods you’d expect from one of the world’s toughest watches: 200m of water resistance, backlight with Afterglow, a daily alarm, hourly time signal, auto calendar, a 2-year battery life, and more.

                  • Diameter: 46.4mm
                  • Movement: Quartz
                  • Water Resistance: 200m
                  • Manufacturer Info: gshock.com

                    Citizen Quartz BI1043

                    Citizen Quartz BI1043
                    amazon.com
                    $83.99

                    A comfortable 42mm stainless steel case with day-date display, dive-style bezel and a steel bracelet make this Citizen another good choice for the outdoors or a night out. A water resistance of 100m ain't bad for the price either.

                    • Diameter: 42mm
                    • Movement: Citizen Quartz
                    • Water Resistance: 100m
                    • Manufacturer Info: citizenwatch.com

                      Orient Tristar

                      Orient Tristar
                      amazon.com
                      $90.00

                      Orient consistently offers some of the best values in inexpensive mechanical watches, and the Tristar is no exception. It has an automatic Japanese movement, a date display, 30m of water resistance and a matching 20mm stainless steel bracelet.

                      • Diameter: 40mm
                      • Movement: Automatic caliber F4902
                      • Water Resistance: 30m
                      • Manufacturer Info: orientwatchusa.com

                        Seiko 5 SNK Field Watch

                        Seiko 5 SNK Field Watch
                        amazon.com
                        $195.00
                        $148.40 (24% off)

                        The Seiko 5 is a legend in the affordable watch community and the SNK series of field watches in particular. This model features an automatic Seiko day-date movement, 30m of water resistance, a two-piece fabric strap, and a green dial with luminous hands and indices. A perfect field watch or watch to take with you while traveling.

                        • Diameter: 37mm
                        • Movement: Seiko 7S26B automatic
                        • Water Resistance: 30m
                        • Manufacturer Info: seikowatches.com

                          MVMT Classic Minimalist

                          MVMT Classic Minimalist
                          amazon.com
                          $94.50

                          Available in several different dial and strap options, this simple quartz watch from MVMT features a large 45mm stainless steel case, date window, mineral crystal and a leather strap. If all you need from your watch is the time and date and the ability to wear it just about anywhere (save maybe underwater), this may be the timepiece for you.

                          • Diameter: 45mm
                          • Movement: Miyota quartz
                          • Water Resistance: 30m
                          • Manufacturer Info: mvmt.com
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