If you thought you had to spend north of $1K to get yourself a really good men’s watch, then you’d be surprised by the options available that won’t cost you half that. The selection of affordable, high-quality watches is impressive, and it’s all to the benefit of keeping with the time and your personal style.
What’s more, at a price point that’s sub-$300, you might just be able to expand your watch collection beyond a single piece. What’s the advantage? Since the range of styles spans dress watches to military-inspired, being able to pick and choose the best model day-to-day is a huge fashion step-up. If it’s a timepiece for work that you want, it’s hard to go wrong with a great stainless steel number than can go with a suit or more casual fare. If you want a dedicated sports watch, go with something that’s multifunctional. If it’s all about style, opt for something with a dressy leather strap and a thin case for suits and blazers. Whatever you choose, that $300 bar will easily allow you to get there.
Nixon Sentry Chronograph
Nixon has figured out how to make a classic chrono look modern with the Sentry. The black dial with gold accented marker and triple subdials nails it beautifully and is backed up by reliable Miyota quartz movement, a perfectly sized 42mm steel case and functioning chronograph pushers in matching gold. The offset date at the 4 o’clock marker adds the right touch of unconventional character.
Swatch Irony Chronograph
This isn’t the Swatch from your childhood. It’s shorn in all stainless steel with a super-sophisticated mesh bracelet for optimal comfort. The triple subdial silver face delivers a sporty look, and the mineral crystal means it’s more than just eye candy.
TomTom Spark Smartwatch
It’s one of the lesser known activity-based smartwatches out there, and it makes working out with your phone obsolete. Not only do you get GPS, time/distance/speed/pace/calorie tracking, built-in heart rate monitoring without a cumbersome chest strap and full swimming capability, it holds 500 songs and can transmit them to your Bluetooth headset. Apple Watch who?
Daniel Wellington Sheffield
DW timepieces are anything but overstyled. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a watch at this price point with cleaner lines. The clean white dial is an exercise in stunning Spartanism, but the touch of gold on the markers and case bump up the style ante. It’ll look more than at home with your finest suit, thanks to both the design quotient, as well as the superbly thin 6mm profile. Moreover, the simple DW logo doesn’t scream at you, nor does the price.
Braun Classic Quartz Brown
When earthy brown and formal black come together, great things can happen. And that proper melding is the case with Braun’s Classic Quartz Brown. The dark face and the contrasting 18mm leather strap work beautifully together. As for the sophisticated dial, the minimalist dramatics are stepped up with the presence of a single seconds subdial at the six o’clock position with a popping yellow hand. Nothin here is under or over done, which is why we love it so.
Seiko SNZG15 Automatic
Seiko 5’s have a cult following, and there’s good reason why. They’re not only accurate and durable, they exude great style for a fraction of what they’re worth. This military-inspired timepiece isn’t just those things, it’s also fully automatic and will never need a battery. The self-winding 23 jewel Seiko movement is charged by your natural movements, even if they’re not militarily motivated. The clean black dial has great lume like most Seiko watches, and the 42mm case is a great size for just about any occasion. From personal experience we can say that Seikos are the Methuselah of watches — they just last. This is one timepiece you’ll want in your collection of best men watches under $300. It’s that good.