Top 15 Best Men’s Watches Under $100

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When it comes to watches, a hundred bucks is a great price point for someone looking for value. But we know that you’re hunting for more than a good deal: you want a good watch. Bam! You’ve come to the right place.

Admittedly, it’s a challenge to find a watch that’s got some style and some substance and costs less than $100. But we have good instincts! We also know who to ask! Ariel Adams is the founder of aBlogtoWatch.com. It’s an online magazine for watch geeks and, also admittedly, it caters to the watch geek with very expensive tastes. Nevertheless, Ariel is, simply, a lover of what he calls “little wearable machines.” So, I reached out to him for his opinion on how to choose a watch under $100. Three highlights, yo.

Perspective

First, don’t let the lower price point weigh on you. Just because there are watch snobs out there doesn’t mean there aren’t good watches under $100. “Solid options exist for $100 that might even satisfy a snob,” says Ariel.

Style

Second, we’re seeking out watches that are “dashing looking,” according to Ariel. Too often, he says, cheap watches for men “aren’t very original looking, well-made, full of personality or, even, cool.” This list, then, is comprised of watches that are “easy on the eyes with a good design.”

Volume

Third, it pays to pay attention to some of the well known names. Companies like Seiko or Casio are so big, they’re able to bring some of their pieces in at the lower prices. That’s good for those of us with a Benjamin budget!

Before we get to the list, take a quick look at this video of Ariel Adams chatting it up (with another high-profile watch guy from another high-end watch site called Crown & Caliber) about some of the watches in his collection. I didn’t notice any in our price range, but it’s still a fun little movie that will teach you a few watch basics.



1. Timex Weekender

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A classic, great looking watch from Timex. The Weekender is one of the company’s most popular models, and for good reason. It’s a genuine leather band and the Weekender is designed so it’s very easy to swap that band out, thereby giving you the ability to simply create lots of different looks. (When you click through to take a closer look, note the little video that shows how easy it is to switch bands.) A clean, round dial with Timex’s Indiglo light up capability. A great price, a solid piece and perfectly emblematic of what we’re getting at with this list of the Top 15 Best Men’s Watches Under $100.

Price: $35.96 (37 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Timex Weekender here.


Pros:

  • Great, simple look
  • Easy switch band
  • Reputable company
  • Price

Cons:

  • Brass case (softer than stainless steel)
  • Weak water resistance

Find more Timex Weekender information and reviews here.



2. Seiko SNXS79K Automatic

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This great looking watch is unique in the list because it’s the only automatic movement of the lot. That is, you don’t need to wind it and it doesn’t need a battery. The watch is powered by the movement of your arm. The crown on this piece is almost imperceptibly located at the four(ish) o’clock position. It’s a very simple, clean look with the silver-tone luminous hands set against the charcoal dial. Its water resistance is just 30 meters, but this isn’t exactly a sports watch. It is, though, a Seiko automatic and it’s a great price for a rock solid piece from a rock solid company.

Price: $88.15

Buy the Seiko SNXS79K Automatic here.


Pros:

  • Reputable manufacturer
  • Automatic movement
  • Stainless steel

Cons:

  • One reviewer (4 stars) cited some scratching after wearing

Find more Seiko SNXS79K Automatic information and reviews here.



3. Stuhrling Original Ascot 42

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A very beautiful, simple and super-discounted piece from Stuhrling Original. The case is the very sturdy 316L surgical stainless steel and the band is leather. In fact, this piece, which is designed with easy band interchangeability, comes with two bands, one brown (supple textured), one black (alligator embossed). The ivory dial is set off very well by either band color. Stuhrling, which is based in Brooklyn, New York, uses the very reputable Swiss quartz Ronda movement here. This great looking piece is flat out a great deal!

Price: $89.95 (83 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Stuhrling Original Ascot 42 here.


Pros:

  • Huge price reduction
  • Comes with two leather bands
  • Swiss 515 Ronda movement

Cons:

Find more Stuhrling Original Ascot 42 information and reviews here.



4. Casio CA506B

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Calling Marty McFly! Or, actually, Doc. (If you watched the video in the introduction, you’ll know what we mean.) Yes, this digital Casio reps a sort of OG appeal, given the calculator function. When you’re not balancing your checkbook (you do that?), you can make use of the stopwatch function. It’s a Casio, so it’s from a very solid manufacturer. A fun piece at a great price and it’s got a stainless steel band and that extremely reputable Japanese quartz movement.

Price: $34.85 (37 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Casio CA506B here.


Pros:

  • Functional calculator
  • Stainless steel band
  • Great throwback look

Cons:

Find more Casio CA506B information and reviews here.



5. Nixon Comp

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Nixon, from Southern California, established itself in 1998 as a maker of fashionable, sporty watches that are great for the beach, skateboarding and more. This digital number — a chronograph — certainly stakes a claim in both the unique looks and beach utility departments. We do want to note, though, that water resistance requires understanding on the part of the consumer. While you might be tempted to just jump in the pool and start your laps, make sure you have a good grasp on the issue, because some watches that probably shouldn’t be worn for extended periods of time in the water are often billed as being all-about-the-water. You can learn more about water resistance in a previous post we wrote, Top 10 Best Waterproof Watches for Men. But this is a sporty watch and, also, Nixon says this is the “thinnest (8mm), fully featured 10 ATM watch ever.” We do know that, looks-wise, it’s sui generis and you’ll probably get lots of comments on this very comfortably priced piece.

Price: $29.99

Buy the Nixon Comp here.


Pros:

  • Reputable manufacturer
  • Chronograph
  • Strong backlight
  • Thin

Cons:

  • Listing might say it’s a women’s watch, but it works for everyone

Find more Nixon Comp information and reviews here.



6. Timex Expedition Chronograph

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Another entry from Timex, because it’s just, a) too good looking; b) too well priced; c) from such a strong company — we can’t leave it off the list. This is a great example of a chronograph that doesn’t have to be super expensive. The black, brass case and the tan, leather watch look great together. You can certainly wear the Expedition wherever you venture to — indoors or out. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that…even though it’s sporty looking…don’t be too tempted to jump in the pool with your good looking watch. You don’t want to get it wet because it’s a leather band and leather bands shouldn’t hob-nob with water.

Price: $45.96 (44 percent of MSRP)

Buy the Timex Expedition Chronograph here.


Pros:

  • Chronograph
  • Reputable company
  • Leather band

Cons:

  • One reviewer cited watch thickness

Find more Timex Expedition Chronograph information and reviews here.



7. Seiko Chronograph

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And coming in just under the $100 wire, we give you this beautiful Seiko Chronograph. The discount on this piece, from such a strong company, is fantastic. The look can be described the same way. Enhancing this chrono’s water resistance is the fact that it’s got a screw-in crown, as well as the caseback. We found another Seiko chrono in this price range that looks almost exactly like this piece. Check it out if you like something with a bit more gold accent. When it comes to the best men’s watches under $100, you cannot go wrong here and this piece will look thoroughly right when worn for everyday use or special occasions. It’s so good looking, we think it could be even bigger than its 43mm case size.

Price: $99.95 (58 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Seiko Chronograph here.


Pros:

  • Screw-in crown
  • Reputable manufacturer
  • Fantastic discount

Cons:

Find more Seiko Chronograph information and reviews here.



8. Stuhrling Aquadiver

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A big, beautiful blue watch that will look good at the office and will work wonderfully in the water. The 200 ATM is super solid, and the watch’s water resistance is enhanced with the screw-in crown (makes it virtually water tight). We love the big, bold 12, 3, 6 and 9, but maybe that date could be a bit bigger. At this huge discount, though, for a watch from this terrific Brooklyn-based company, who can quibble? Another great point about this watch is the fold-over band clasp with double push button safety, meaning it’s not going to pop off while you’re doing your laps in lane five.

Price: $89.95 (85 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Stuhrling Aquadiver here.


Pros:

  • Great price
  • Great water resistance
  • Screw-in crown

Cons:

Find more Stuhrling Aquadiver information and reviews here.



9. Kenneth Cole New York Sport

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This is, possibly, the dressiest watch of the list. The Kenneth Cole New York Sport features a big blue dial with three separate subdials that really stand out and, pretty much, define the watch’s look. (Subdials are second hand, day and date.) Another fashion focus is the rose gold of the bezel, hands and indices set off against the silver stainless steel bracelet. The model comes in a few other shades and we think this grey version is particularly good looking. This is another piece on the list that comes in with a really solid discount, so buy yourself something else a little nice with all the money you’ll save (insert smiley face here).

Price: $88.61 (39 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Kenneth Cole New York Sport here.


Pros:

  • Stainless steel
  • Unique day/date
  • Discounted

Cons:

  • Weak water resistance
  • Day/date may be tough for some to initially understand

Find more Kenneth Cole New York Sport information and reviews here.



10. Casio G Shock

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If any watch in this list could be called legendary, this is it. Casio invented the G-Shock back in 1983 because one of the company’s designers dropped his graduation gift (a watch, from the folks) and it broke. So he came up with the G-Shock. Obviously a good idea, since Casio just shipped its 100 millionth G Shock. Besides the fact that you could safely play hockey with this thing (as the puck), it also has several cool features. A stopwatch…a digital world time window…five alarms. We love this model in its tough, great looking black, but you can get the piece in blue, red, white, black gold or grey. Take note, however: a couple of those alternate colors come in above our magical $100 line.

Price: $79.91 (19 percent of MSRP)

Buy the Casio G Shock here.


Pros:

  • Extremely durable
  • Good water resistance
  • Multi-function

Cons:

  • No second hand (seconds shown digitally)

Find more Casio G Shock information and reviews here.


11. Fossil Commuter

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We very much dig the clean, simple, elegant look of the Fossil Commuter. Fossil describes it as “resembling a turn-of-the-century wristwatch,” to which we say, okay…but this timepiece has a timeless look and we’d like to wear it regardless of heritage. The wire lug stainless steel case is fantastic and Fossil has produced this model to be easy for switching out the bands, so you can get other colors to match your look du jour. And Fossil knows its bracelets, which you can see here in this list of Top 10 Best Cool Men’s Bracelets. But back to the Commuter. For being such a big, easy-to-read watch, we do wonder why that date is so tiny. But we only wonder a little because we like this watch a lot.

Price: $58.16 (31 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Fossil Commuter here.


Pros:

  • Super clean look
  • Leather band
  • Reputable manufacturer

Cons:

Find more Fossil Commuter information and reviews here.



12. Armani Exchange Dress Watch

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A good looking, solid watch. Our guru Ariel Adams candidly shared that, for some people, “watches are regularly worn as a fashionable status symbol.” It’s not a judgey statement, just an experienced opinion. We’re thinking that, for those of you who are into the fashionable status thing, you might like something that raises its logo flag twice on the same dial. Doesn’t look bad at all (in fact, we like the A/X at noon), but we’re just sayin’. It’s great that the case is stainless steel, and great that this piece comes in at a heavy discount.

Price: $92.98 (42 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Armani Exchange Dress Watch here.


Pros:

  • Big discount
  • Stainless steel case

Cons:

Find more Armani Exchange Dress Watch information and reviews here.


13. Casio Edifice

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One of the reasons we’ve included this handsome piece in the list is a very fiscally pragmatic reason: we wanted to make sure and include some watches that are well below $100. You can’t beat this price, especially from the reputable and gigantic Casio. This stainless steel watch features some great detailing, not the least of which are the decorative indents on the bezel. We also like the way the light green color on the numbers and hands contrast with the blue dial. As for what’s under the hood, this piece features a 10 year battery. If you divide the price of the watch by the decade of use without changing the power source, you can’t lose.

Price: $30.63

Buy the Casio Edifice here.


Pros:

  • Battery life
  • Low price
  • Stainless steel

Cons:

  • One reviewer mentioned difficulty adjusting band

Find more Casio Edifice information and reviews here.



14. Boss Hong Kong Sport

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The Boss Hong Kong Sport is one of the larger pieces on the list, coming in at a 47mm case diameter (stainless steel case, we should add). Good thing, then, because if you’re going to go big, you gotta bring the looks, and this watch does. We especially love the orange highlights on the dial, second hand and crown (especially the crown!), particularly since the backside of the nylon band is bright orange. One more cool feature: the date, which — for those of you who like to keep track — shows not only what today is, but what yesterday was and what tomorrow’s gonna be.

Price: $97.54 (33 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Boss Hong Kong Sport here.


Pros:

  • Stainless steel case
  • Peek-a-boo date
  • Two-tone band

Cons:

Find more Boss Hong Kong Sport information and reviews here.



15. Swatch Originals Beigesounds

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Last not because it’s least, but last because we realize it’s the outlier in the bunch. This piece certainly brings a unique look that we’re confident in saying is a “fun” look. Beyond that, we love Swatch and, getting back to Ariel’s wisdom, Swatch is one of those big brands that even high-end watch geeks can trust. Another reason for the Swatch listing is personal: I’ve been wearing a Swatch for four years now. I can attest to the fact that my $70 Swatch, (which I bought in an airport while waiting for a connector) has worked beautifully the entire time. Mine isn’t as…unique…as the Beigesounds. And, believe me, there are plenty of Swatch options (Swaptions?), like this Black Reflexion. Whichever way you go, Swatch is a great, fun watch to rock.

Price: $52.08

Buy the Swatch Originals Beigesounds here.


Pros:

  • Reputable company
  • Unique color

Cons:

Find more Swatch Originals Beigesounds information and reviews here.


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