best everyday watch under 500

Top 12 Best Everyday Watch Under $500 for Every Occasion

⌚ Last updated August 31, 2019

Like any other watch enthusiast, I love a cool sports watch or chronograph. But there’s no denying you can’t beat the simplicity and versatility of an everyday watch.

The best everyday watches are not too dressy or too sporty: you want something you can wear every day, in every circumstance. Don’t get a fashion brand – instead, make sure you’ll enjoy your watch for years to come by getting a quality piece from a reputable brand.

The problem is: there are SO MANY watches that fit that description, so where do you start?

Look no further – here are some great options for the best everyday watch under $500:

  1. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph
  2. Seiko SNKL45
  3. Casio G-Shock GW-M5610
  4. Orient Bambino
  5. Swatch Sistem Red
  6. Seiko SKX007
  7. Citizen Promaster Nighthawk
  8. Victorinox Maverick
  9. Graf Zeppelin Dual Time Big Date
  10. Frederique Constant Classics
  11. Tissot Visodate
  12. Hamilton Khaki Fiel

1. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph

timex expedition chrono
Size43 mm
WR100 m
Price Range$

View on Amazon

The Timex Expedition Field can be had for as low as $40, in a wide range of style and color. But you always keep that very simple, field, toolish appearance.

On a budget, which is always a bonus.

This one is no exception – and you get a very cool-looking chronograph for the price of a dozen of lattes. And a great watch company, too It doesn’t get any better than this.

It has a water resistance of 100 m, it is powered by a quartz movement, and it has a mineral crystal.

And as per almost every Timex model out there, you have that super useful Indiglo feature that allows you to check the time even in pitch black environments.

Push the crown, and let the light shine!

Read the customer reviews on Amazon

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Excellent value for money
  • Great field design

Cons

  • Black case scratches more easily than stainless steel
  • Mineral crystal

2. Seiko SNKL45

seiko snkl45
Size37 mm
WR30 m
Price Range$$

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The Seiko 5 line is filled with hundreds of models. So when you want to pick just one to feature, you’re in for a headache. They all are fantastic pieces for the price. (check out my favorite Seiko 5 watches)

I would go with this lovely Seiko SNKL45. It comes in a very manageable 37 mm case that will suit pretty much every wrist.

It has a water resistance of 30m, just enough for washing your hands and everyday use. It’s powered by the Seiko7S26 movement, with a power reserve of 40 hours.

A Hardlex crystal tops off this cracking offering.

The style of the watch is tasteful and timeless. You simply can’t go wrong with this one.

Read the customer reviews on Amazon

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Excellent case design
  • Hardlex crystal

Cons

  • Bracelet links not easy to size
  • Movement doesn’t hack or hand-wind

3. Casio G-Shock GW-M5610

casio gw m5610 1aer
Size43 mm
WR200 m
Price Range$$

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For the price, you’re getting a hell of a watch! This one is a direct throwback to the original G-Shock of 1983, the iconic DW-5000C.

It’s powered by the Casio 3159 module. Meaning: this one is solar powered (no need to change the battery ever again) and radio controlled.

Yes, it will *always* be on time if you’re close enough from a radio tower that emits the signal (there are 6 around the world)!

The case is actually pretty small, measuring 33 mm in height: perfect for wrists of all sizes.

200 m of water resistance and a case that withstand shocks like no other means you can have this watch with you at all times, and not wonder if it will fail you. It won’t.

Add the cool factor of this square look, and you’re set for years.

Read the customer reviews on Amazon

Pros

  • Tough, great beater watch
  • Radio controlled
  • Solar powered

Cons

  • Long band sticks out when worn on a small wrist
  • Small buttons sometimes hard to operate

4. Orient Bambino

orient bambino gen2 v1 rose gold
Size43 mm
WR100 m
Price Range$$

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The Orient Bambino is available in many different styles and colorway; this one is the Generation 2 (hacking and hand-winding movement), Version 1 in rose gold.

This is the perfect alternative to any Daniel Wellington watch, from a reputable Japanese watch company (it’s part of the Seiko Epson Corporation).

This great dressier everyday watch has 30 m of water resistance, it’s powered by the in-house Orient F6724 automatic movement with a power reserve of 50 hours and has a mineral crystal.

Everything you need, and nothing you don’t: this is exactly what this stylish, timeless piece is all about.

If you’re down for a touch of rose gold and dressiness, look no further.

Read the customer reviews on Amazon

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Timeless design

Cons

  • Mineral crystal
  • Borderline big for small wrists

5. Swatch Sistem Red

swatch sistem red
Size42 mm
WR30 m
Price Range$$

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I might not look like it, but this watch from the Sistem51 line is an achievement in the watch making world.

This is the first in-house automatic movement to need only 51 parts (hence the name) and just 1 screw, while providing 90 hours of power reserve. And a date complication… Pretty crazy.

Yes, you only get 30 m of water resistance and a plexiglass crystal. But you can’t deny the cool factor of the first automatic Swatch watch – the largest watch group in the world.

Iconic, fun, innovative and affordable. What more do you need?

Read the customer reviews on Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable Swiss Made automatic
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Non serviceable
  • Made in plastic
  • Only 30 m water resistant

6. Seiko SKX007

seiko skx 007
Size42 mm
WR200 m
Price Range$$

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In the world of watches, the Seiko SKX007 needs no introduction. This iconic dive watch has been around for more than 2 decades, for a reason.

This is the most functional, reliable and good-looking dive watch that is ISO certified. And you can have it for 1/30 of the price of the Rolex Submariner.

Check more affordable Rolex Submariner alternatives.

So yes, you can actually dive with this one up to 200 m no problem – a depth you will probably never reach (me neither, don’t feel bad).

It’s powered by the oldish but strong in-house Seiko 7S26 automatic movement, with a power reserve of 40 hours. It has a Hardlex crystal that is more resistant than your typical mineral crystal.

Great value for money here – this one will last you a lifetime!

Read the customer reviews on Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable ISO rated diver
  • Works for small and big wrists
  • Comfortable bracelet

Cons

  • Hard to source (discontinued)
  • Movement doesn’t hack or hand-wind
  • Rattling bracelet

7. Citizen Promaster Nighthawk

Size4é mm
WR200 m
Price Range$$

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This pilot watch is absolutely gorgeous. Citizen was able to pull off such a busy and functional dial without clutter – a performance in and of itself!

This piece is no joke: it’s 200 m water resistant, it’s power by a quartz Eco-Drive movement recharged by the light.

And you also get a GMT hand or second time zone, for those who travel a lot or like to stay connected to family members abroad.

The full reference of the US model is BJ7000-52E. In Europe and Asia you get some subtle cosmetic differences, but it’s pretty much the same watch. Either way, it’s an excellent and great looking watch!

Read the customer reviews on Amazon

Pros

  • Solar powered
  • Dual time zone
  • Slide rule

Cons

  • A bit heavy
  • Large clasp

8. Victorinox Maverick

victorinox maverick
Size43 mm
WR100 m
Price Range$$

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Being able to get a Swiss made dive watch for around 1/30 of a Rolex Submariner (depending on the colorway) is something almost never heard of.

Not only does the Victorinox Maverick look good and refined. But it’s not all looks: it has a water resistance of 100 m and is powered by a Swiss quartz movement.

Add a sapphire crystal, a functional bezel, a timeless and tasteful design, and you’re in for an everyday treat on your wrist. Just bear in mind that 43 mm might look a bit big on smaller wrists.

Other than that, it’s all good. Sometimes, you can have your cake and eat it, too!

Read the customer reviews on Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable Swiss Made watch
  • Unique diver design
  • Beautiful dial

Cons

  • 3 and 9 markers not always legible
  • Only 100 m water resistant (most dive watches offer 200 m)

9. Graf Zeppelin Dual Time Big Date

zeppelin dual time big date
Size42 mm
WR50 m
Price Range$$

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If he’s more into vintage-looking watches, this would probably be my go-to piece! Graf Zeppelin’s designs are inspired from the 1920s, and are quite unique and beautiful.

The 100 Years series from the brand has some very nice looking watches, but I picked this one because of the Big Date complication that you don’t get to see all that often.

Here, you’re getting 50 m of water resistance, a Swiss quartz movement and a mineral crystal.

Did I mention you also have a dual time, nicely sitting in a subdial at 6 o’clock?

This watch will certainly make the look of whoever wears it that much sharper.

Read the customer reviews on Amazon

Pros

  • Unique design
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Crystal can scratch
  • Biggish on small wrists

10. Frederique Constant Classics

frederique constant classics fc 259wr5b6
Size40 mm
WR50 m
Price Range$$

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This Frederique Constant Classics watch (exact reference FC-259WR5B6) is perfect if you like everyday watches with roman numeral.

The retro feel of this watch is strong, but this is certainly no vintage watch. You get a Swiss made watch with 50 m of water resistance and a sapphire crystal to withstand scratches that could cost you 20x as much in some other famous brands.

Not to mention a day and a day complication, both sitting in subtle but tasteful subdials.

Boasting a quartz movement means you’ll have an accurate watch in a thin case, which is always good if you want it to slide under a cuff.

And I guess this is going to be one of the use cases of this watch, since its style begs to be dressed up!

Read the customer reviews on Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable Swiss Made watch
  • Day complication

Cons

  • Sometimes a bit dressy for casual wear
  • Borderline big for small wrists

11. Tissot Visodate

tissot visodate
Size40 mm
WR30 m
Price Range$$$

View on Amazon

Yet another Swiss made everyday watch. But this time, from one of the most brands: Tissot.

The Visodate is well known among watch enthusiasts to be a well-rounded, good-looking, great value for money watch. It’s not the cheapest watch, but it’s a good deal if you consider you get a reliable ETA 2836-2 automatic movement with a power reserve of 40 hours.

Sure, it only has 30 m of water resistance, but it’s equipped with a sapphire crystal. Both will allow you to wear this watch day in day out, for many years.

But the beauty of this watch lies in its simplicity. It doesn’t get any more tasteful and timeless than this.

Pick this one and never look back: with the day / date complication and cream dial, you’ll always be in style!

Read the customer reviews on Amazon

Pros

  • Timeless and versatile design
  • ETA movement

Cons

  • Borderline big for small wrists

12. Hamilton Khaki Field

Size38 mm
WR100 m
Price Range$$$

View on Amazon

Size38 mm
Water Resistance100 m
Price Range$$$ – Check it on Amazon

The Khaki Field is a very iconic field watch for everyday use and abuse, from an (originally) American brand.

You will get you a Swiss made watch with a Hamilton H-10 movement, which has a very useful 80 hours of power reserve. But that’s not all: 100 m of water resistance and a sapphire crystal are part of this exceptional package.

The typical reference you see everywhere is the H70455533 – the one featured in the thumbnail. It features a very cool, dark, reddish brown leather strap, and it certainly is a great looking proposition.

But if you’re willing to put a bit more than $500, you can get it on a steel bracelet – reference H70455133. I think this is the most enjoyable design of the line.

If dark dials are not your thing, it’s also available on a beautiful light silver dial.

Your pick: whichever colorway you go for, you’re sure to enjoy this piece for years to come, and get a nod from the watch geeks out there, too.

Read the customer reviews on Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable Swiss Made watch
  • Excellent value for money

Cons

  • Long lugs can wear big on a small wrist

How to Find That ONE Watch for All Occasions

What is an everyday watch anyway?

It’s a watch that you can wear every single day, whether you’re going to work, to a more formal event or you’re unwinding for the weekend. It’s literally one watch for all occasions – something you can wear every day, all day. A watch that you can wear all the time.

If you want to wear one and only one watch all the time – whatever you’re doing – you should make sure it ticks some boxes.

Here they are.

An Everyday Watch is Not Too Dressy and Not Too Sporty

Wearing a sports watch may sometimes feel a bit off for work.

Of course, it depends on your style – I certainly don’t mind wearing a sports watch in a business environment. But your company or job may require you to have a more traditional piece.

On the other side, when you’re off for the weekend, you probably don’t want to rock a delicate watch – both from a design and build standpoint. Here, a more rugged watch is the perfect choice.

So how do you go about and choose a watch that is both:

  • simple and elegant, for work and formal events
  • rugged, everyday and weekend activities?

That’s the very definition of an everyday watch. A watch that you can dress up for work, and dress down to become your perfect weekend watch.

Not all watches are created equal in that department – super busy designs and rugged pieces typically don’t work well.

This is why you want to get a watch that has a more streamlined design:

  • not too busy – a day and a date complication are perfectly fine. You also can get a watch with a chronograph or slide rule.
  • simple bezel – getting a watch with a plain, simple, slim bezel is a good idea. Some racing or diving bezel might work too.
  • not too big – because they just don’t work most of the time.

As usual with most things in life: just don’t go overboard with your choices.

An Everyday Watch is Not Too Big

Most people nowadays don’t like (super) small watches – the trend is to get bigger watches. Watch snobs don’t like that trend, but to each is own.

Now, here is the thing about bigger watches:

  • they might look out of a place in a business environment – this might not be the place to show off. Instead, get something that flies a bit more under the radar.
  • they’re less comfortable – for everyday activities, you really want a piece that “gets out of the way”. Bulky and big watches just can’t compete with smaller watches here.
A big watch on a small wrist. It doesn’t look too good.

Plus: a big chunk of metal (or plastic) on your wrist will inevitably hinder your moves. Rocking a super big piece might be fun at the beginning, but it gets real boring real fast.

Now, “big” is a very subjective thing.

A 43 mm watch will probably be HUGE if you have a small 6-inch wrist. In that case, I would rather consider getting a watch that is 40 mm or less – bonus points if you go only with pieces that are 38 mm or less.

A 43 mm watch will probably be just right if you happen to have an 8-inch wrist. In that case, a 40 mm watch might look completely okay for formal events, but probably not so much for everyday use and abuse.

This is why I featured a little bit of everything in this blog post, when it comes to watch sizes.

Now, here are a few links to help you out:

These blog posts are full of information to help you chose the everyday watch that best suits you and your wrist size. Make sure to read them!

Why Most Dress Watches Don’t Work as an Everyday Watch

Most dress watches – the kind of watch that you would wear to a formal event like a ceremony or a wedding – don’t work too well as everyday watches.

Unless, of course, you like simpler, smaller designs.

Because most dress watches:

  • feature a smaller case
  • have a very clean, elegant design, rarely featuring a functional bezel
  • feature only 3 hands, 4 at the most
  • have simpler and more refined complications like a day, a date, or a moonphase
  • are made of precious metal, sometimes

Now don’t let anyone (including me) tell you can’t wear a dress watch every day. If that’s your style and you love them, just go for it!

I just know from experience and talking with hundreds of watch enthusiasts that most people prefer watches that are not so delicate for everyday wear.

Now, I also think an everyday watch should be a watch that:

  • gets you excited when you put in on in the morning
  • you look every now and then during the day, just to enjoy the design
  • you can wear 95%+ of the time

And most people don’t attend formal events on a regular basis – quite the opposite actually.

And this is why you can find pilot watches and chronographs in this list. It’s all about finding a watch that you can enjoy (almost) every day of the year.

Hope you liked this list and found your perfect everyday watch!