6 Best Affordable Automatic Watches under $500 When On A Budget

An automatic watch is the type of watch that doesn’t require any manual winding on your part. Technology in earlier years required that people wind their watches to ensure the proper time. Depending on the type of watch, it would require winding every 10 to 24 hours.

Automatic or self-winding watches came to replace the manually winding watches. Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Perrelet invented the automatic watch in 1770. This innovation shaped modern watchmaking and revolutionized the way people across the globe keep track of time.

Today, automatic watches are virtually ubiquitous, and many sophisticated automatic watches are highly sought-after collector items. Watch aficionados around the world covet them.

These watches are ideal for everyday use. All you need to do is wear it on your wrist. They’re also environmentally friendly since they don’t need batteries. Contrary to the common belief that automatic watches are expensive, you don’t need to break a bank to own one. There are literary hundreds of options when it comes to cheap automatic watches for both men and women.

Let’s explore some of the best affordable automatic watches to buy in 2020.

1. Orient “Defender” Multi-Eye Function Field

Crow Watches Rating:
5/5

If you are looking for an affordable military-style watch, you can’t go wrong with the Orient Defender. This military hand watch has a sporty, robust design but still looks elegant. It is
available in four striking colors – black, gray, blue, and crème.

The watch features a symmetrical dial. The lume placed on top of the markers make the timepiece look fantastic in both bright and dark environments. The 22mm wide leather strap gives the watch an elegant look.

Thanks to its stylish look, the Orient Defender is ideal for formal events. It uses Orient’s in-house movement. The Japanese style self-winding system is accurate and affordable.

The major shortcoming of this timepiece is that it can be challenging to set. You need to turn the time around and around to get the correct day. That’s because you can’t set the time and date separately.

The Defender watch is a military-style watch. You can't go wrong with it. The 22mm wide leather strap makes it look exclusive.
Carl Eliason
Editor, Crow Watches
Orient “Defender” Multi-Eye Function Field Watch
Orient “Defender” Multi-Eye Function Field
  • Stainless Steel with Leather Strap
  • 42mm Case
  • Japenese Automatic Display
  • Water Resistant to 330 ft. (100m)
  • Available in 3 colors
  • Brand: ORIENT

2. Seiko 5 SNZG15 Automatic Stainless Steel

Crow Watches Rating:
4.5/5

If you’re looking for a simple and affordable yet robust field watch, consider investing in Seiko SNZG15. This timepiece features a military-style dial alongside a black matte face and large
white mineral markers.

The lime on hands and markers makes the watch look gorgeous in a dark environment. The exhibition case back gives the SNZG15 a classic and luxurious look. The watch features a nice 22mm width nylon strap.

If you don’t like the nylon strap, you can easily replace it with a leather strap. The self-winding system uses your arm movement to wind the watch. Another remarkable feature of the watch is 100m (330 feet) water resistance rating.

That makes it ideal for snorkeling and swimming. While the date display at 3 o’clock makes the watch somewhat unappealing, it adds to its functionality.

The Seiko 5 is a classic among automatic watches. Available at amazon starting at $160. Can still be purchased from new.
Carl Eliason
Editor, Crow Watches
s-l400
Seiko 5 SNZG15
  • Day/Date at 3 o'clock
  • Automatic with analog display
  • Nylon Band
  • Water Resistant to 330 ft. (100m)
  • 42mm Stainless Steel Case
  • Brand: SEIKO

3. Orient Bambino Ver.2 Automatic

Crow Watches Rating:
4.5/5

If you are looking for a budget-friendly vintage dress watch, the Orient Bambino Ver.2 is a great choice. This vintage style watch is small, simple, and elegant. It’s dome-shaped glass, neutral color, and the thin faux croc strap give it a simple look.

The style makes it ideal for all kinds of watch wearers and formal dresses. The watch uses a Japanese automatic movement. The movement ensures it works efficiently without any issues associated with manual winding.

The only notable setback of this timepiece is that it has no lume for dark environments. It also doesn’t show day and 24-hour time. Nonetheless, it is one of the best vintage dress watches under $300.

This Orient Bambino Ver.2 Automatic is a real vintage luxury watch at an affordable price. Available in 5 colors and sizes.
Carl Eliason
Editor, Crow Watches
Orient
Orient Bambino Ver.2 Automatic​
  • Domed Miniral Crystal
  • 40.5mm Case
  • Japenese Automatic Movement
  • Water Resistant to 300ft (100m)
  • Available in 5 colors
  • Brand: ORIENT

4. Tissot Everytime Swissmatic

Crow Watches Rating:
4.5/5

If you are looking for a watch that fits a classic outfit for formal events, you might want to choose the Tissot Everytime Swissmatic automatic watch. This watch features a timeless design and a sleek minimalistic look.

It comes with basic features such as stainless steel case, scratch-proof sapphire crystal glass, and black leather strap, which make it ideal for any occasion. The clean black dial with small markers gives the timepiece a cool and modern look.

The watch uses a Swiss automatic movement and boasts a 30m (100 feet) water resistance rating. It can be an excellent investment for any stylish man on a budget. 

The Tissot Everytime Swissmatic is the perfect automatic budget watch for wearing at the office or with a suit/dress.
Carl Eliason
Editor, Crow Watches
tissot-everytime-swissmatic-automatic-mens-watch-t1094071605100
Tissot Everytime Swissmatic​
  • Black Dial
  • Date at 3'oclock
  • Swissmatic
  • Water Resistant to 330ft (100m)
  • Scratch Resistant Sapphire
  • Brand: Tissot

5. Seiko SKX007K Automatic Watch

Crow Watches Rating:
4.5/5

The Seiko SKX007K is one of the finest automatic dive watches under $500. The stainless steel finish and black synthetic band give the watch a simple look. It is ideal for any casual event, thanks to the minimalistic design.

The dial of the watch features a small window for displaying the date. The markers have intensely bright light, thanks to Seiko’s LumiBrite technology. The markers make it easy for you to read the time, even in dark environments.

What’s more, the SKX007K has a tough Hardlex crystal that protects the entire dial. It also boasts up to 200-meter water resistance, making it ideal for swimming and diving activities.

The Seiko Men's SKX007K2 is the perfect budget diver watch for the person with luxury in mind. Great watch at under $500.
Carl Eliason
Editor, Crow Watches
seiko-divers-automatic-men_s-watch-skx007k2
Seiko SKX007K
  • Stainless-steel case
  • 42mm Case
  • Japanese Automatic Movement
  • Water Resistant to 300ft (100m)
  • Hardlex Crystal
  • Brand: Seiko

6. Hamilton Khaki King Automatic Watch

Crow Watches Rating:
5/5

Hamilton has a reputation for producing some of the finest automatic watches over the $500 price point. However, you can find the Khaki King Automatic Watch for just under 500 dollars.

The most remarkable feature of the watch is the day/date window at 12 o’clock, which contrasts well with the black dial. The thick stainless steel casing adds a modern touch to the watch’s timeless design.

The watch shows both 12-hour and 24-hour time. Another remarkable feature is the neat crown guard. What’s more, the watch features a sapphire crystal and a well-stitched leather strap. This timepiece uses Hamilton’s in-house H-40 automatic movement, with 80 hours of power reserve.

Choosing the best automatic watch while on a budget can be a daunting task. We hope this review for the best affordable automatic watches helps you find a timepiece that suits your needs and budget.

Hamilton Khaki is an awesome watch that features both the day and the day of the week. It's 100% automatic and waterproof to 165 ft.
Carl Eliason
Editor, Crow Watches
hamilton-khaki-king-series-automatic-mens-watch-h64455533
Hamilton Khaki H64455533
  • Leather band
  • 40mm stainless steel case
  • Japenese Automatic Display
  • Water Resistant to 165 ft. (50m)
  • Top rated on amazon
  • Brand: Hamilton