Best Affordable Automatic Watches Reviews

Updated June 21, 2020

Automatic watches are seen as a prime version of mechanical watches, and many people believe they are a symbol of class and elegance. 

And many watchmakers uphold this idea by creating timeless designs that inspire simplicity and style. The attention to detail and beauty of the materials is more often than not a conversation starter, but they also communicate a specific social status.  

In addition, an automatic watch doesn’t show its price tag. They always give the idea of sophistication that goes well in a business meeting or at the office. 

So, we took it upon ourselves to find the best affordable automatic watch that looks stylish enough to tell people you’re a unique person, with amazing taste and a wonderful mind.

Best Men's Affordable Automatic Watches

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1 Orient Bambino Version 3 Men's Automatic Watch
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2 Seiko - Men's SNK795 Seiko Men's SNK795 Automatic Watch
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3 Orient Mako II Men's Automatic Watch
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4 Tissot Visodate Men's Automatic Watch
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1. Orient Bambino Version 3 Men's Automatic Watch

Highlights

As a brand, Orient is known on the market for classic watch designs, which is why the Bambino series is such a breath of fresh air! Just like its predecessors, Bambino Version 3 is an elegant timepiece with a minimalist design with clean, vertical lines.

The sunburst dial, rectangular hands, and date complication are complemented by the stainless steel case and leather strap, creating a beautiful and elegant design. In addition, it’s easy to notice the elements that make the Bambino series so special – the signature domed crystal and domed dial.

Of course, we can’t ignore the Japanese automatic movement that features hand-winding and hacking or the beautiful stainless steel case back decorated with the Orient logo. Overall, the Bambino Version III is an elegant watch with lots of personality and style.

Specifications

Material:
Mineral Lens, Stainless Steel, Leather
Size:
41 mm
Weight:
8.82 ounces

Pros

  • Minimalist design that’s visually appealing
  • Automatic movement with hand-winding and hacking
  • Solid built with high-quality materials
  • The dial and lens are impressive
  • Clean-looking dial

Cons

  • The date window is rather small
  • The case is big and doesn’t fit slim wrists

Why We Chose This

Bambino Version III is a beautiful watch that has incredible value for the cost. Its minimalist design makes it ideal for both casual and elegant outfits, and the clean-looking dial looks great under the domed lens. In addition, the movement is solid and reliable making this one of the top watches under $200.

2. Seiko Men's SNK795 Automatic Watch

Highlights

A classic timepiece, with a beautiful stainless-steel design and a simple analog dial. This Seiko watch is perfect for anyone who wants class at an affordable price. 

The stainless steel bracelet is solid and the fold-over clasp offers a secure fit around the wrist. Still, it’s not recommended that you wear the watch while jogging or working out as it has minimum water resistance. 

The stainless steel case is a bit small for large wrists but it looks nice if your wrists are around the average. It’s also durable and has an exhibition back that lets you see parts of the mechanism. 

At the heart of the SNK795 lies a 21 jewels automatic self-wind movement with three hands (the second hand is red) powered by the movement of your wrist. Still, the power reserve is around 8 hours, so you may have to use the crown (located at the four o’clock position) to reset the time in the morning. 

The analog display features a matte black dial with a day/date window in the three o’clock position and silver batons for hour markers. Overall, the face is simple and elegant, easy to read in most lighting conditions but there are no luminous hands or, or an artificial light source.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel Bracelet, Hardlex Crystal Lens
Size:
32mm
Weight:
10.23 oz

Pros

  • Elegant design with solid build
  • The face is simple and easy to read
  • Automatic, self-wind movement
  • A secure clasp that keeps the watch only our wrist
  • Exhibition back case

Cons

  • Minimum water resistance
  • The power reserve is quite low

Why We Chose This

The SNK795 is a budget automatic watch that looks more expensive than it is. The simple stainless steel design is elegant without being pretentious and it’s easy to put on or take off. Also, the black dial with silver markers and hands is easy to read under the protection of the Hardlex crystal lens.

3. Orient Mako II Men's Automatic Watch

Highlights

The Orient watch company has been manufacturing mechanical watches for over 65 years, and all the movements, in other words the timing device, are made in Japan.

This fashionable, all stainless steel watch combines the company’s mechanical quality with stylish design. It features a mineral crystal and a power reserve of about 40 hours. It does require hand winding. 

The watch specifications state that it’s water resistant to 200 meters or 660 feet, and also states that it’s suitable for professional marine activity and surface water sports. 

It has a three-hand analog display with day and date at the 3 o’clock position.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel Case, Stainless Steel Band
Size:
4.7 x 4.7 x 4.7 inches
Weight:
13.1 ounces

Pros

  • Stylish design with stainless steel band.
  • Easy-to-read display and day-date display.
  • Power reserve of about 40 hours.

Cons

  • Suitable as an all-around watch but may not be the best choice for professional divers.

Why We Chose This

This watch is desirable to us for its good looks and quality craftsmanship. The design and stainless steel case and band look great. It’s easy to read and has a good day-date display that’s also convenient.

4. Tissot Visodate Men's Automatic Watch

Highlights

Simple, elegant, efficient – these are the features that describe this eye-catching design from Tissot. The simplistic dial showcases a white background with silver-toned stainless steel markers and hands, which resembles the design of a classic watch. 

In fact, the Visodate is styled to resemble one of the most popular Tissot models, their original 1957 watch. As such, the logo and domed sapphire crystal lens (no anti-reflective coating) were added in memory of this legendary timepiece. The dial also features a day and date complication at the 3 o’clock position. 

The design of the watch is complemented by the high-polished stainless steel case, the alligator embossed leather strap and the exhibition case back which allows users to see the mechanism at work. Speaking of which, the Visodate is powered by a 25 jewel automatic movement with hand-winding and hacking, and a 38h power reserve. 

Overall, the Visodate is a beautiful model that can easily be used as an accessory to an elegant outfit.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel, Sapphire Crystal Lens, Leather
Size:
40mm
Weight:
2.64 Oz (75 grams)

Pros

  • Great accuracy
  • A classic design that’s impressive through its simplicity
  • The dial visibility is good
  • The movement supports hand-winding and hacking
  • Good power reserve

Cons

  • No anti-reflection coating on the lens
  • The crown is a bit under-sized

Why We Chose This

Tissot is well-known on the market of swiss watches as a brand with a long history and impressive products. As such, the fact that the Visodate model resembles one of their most popular watches is also a guarantee of quality, reliability, and accuracy.

Best Women's Affordable Automatic Watches

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1 Swatch - Unisex SUTS402
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Swatch Unisex SUTS402 Women's Automatic Watch
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2 Orient - Women's Charlene Orient Women's Charlene Automatic Watch
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3 Gosasa - Women's 'Phoenix Collection Gosasa Women's 'Phoenix’ Collection Automatic Watch
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1. Swatch Unisex SUTS402 Women's Automatic Watch

Highlights
Best Overall
Swatch - Unisex SUTS402

The Swatch brand is known for producing affordable timepieces without hindering their quality. And the SUTS402 is exactly as described. 

The first thing that catches your eye is the blue and black design and the overall slim and attractive design. The case is made from a durable plastic that’s translucent and lets you see parts of the mechanism on the back (in a very artistic manner). 

The fixed bezel is also plastic, but black, to support the dial and the silicone strap (black with blue seams). The dial is protected by a scratch-resistant mineral crystal lens and features a three hands self-winding automatic movement painted in black and white (they’re also luminous). The Arabic numeral hour markers are also white and there is a date window at the three o’clock position. 

Overall the Swatch SUTS402 is a beautiful analog watch that will attract lots of praises and admirative looks. It’s also comfortable to wear and very lightweight for its size.

Specifications

Material:
Plastic Case, Mineral Crystal Lens, Silicone Band
Size:
42mm
Weight:
2.08 oz

Pros

  • Beautiful and fresh design
  • Comfortable to wear & durable
  • The face is large and easy to read
  • Self-winding automatic movement
  • Very lightweight for the size

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a big power reserve
  • It can’t be wound manually
  • The luminous paint on the hands is not very powerful

Why We Chose This

The Swatch SUTS402 is one of the best value automatic watches for women on the market. It is lightweight, easy to wear, durable, and looks amazing on your wrist. The dial is large enough to be easy to read and the black background and white hour markers improve visibility as well. Overall, it’s a wonderful watch for anyone who wants an analog design with an automatic, self-winding movement.

2. Orient Women's Charlene Automatic Watch

Highlights

Charlene is a beautiful and elegant timepiece, fit to be part of a lady’s set of accessories. The stainless steel link bracelet completed by a secure foldover clasp looks well on a woman’s wrist and gives the watch a bit of weight (both figuratively and literally). 

The stainless steel case is simple and sturdy with a full back (also stainless steel) and a domed mineral crystal lens. Under the lens, the mother-of-pearl dial is beautifully highlighted by CZ stones (in place of hour markers) and three silver hands. There’s also a date window in the three o’clock position. 

The Japanese-automatic movement is self-winding (powered by the movement of the wrist) and quite reliable. However, the power reserve is not too big, so you may have to use the crown to set the time in the morning. 

Overall, Charlene looks and feels like an entry-level high-end watch and makes for a beautiful gift.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel, Mineral Crystal Lens
Size:
31mm

Pros

  • Elegant stainless-steel design
  • Beautiful domed lens
  • An accurate self-winding Japanese movement
  • Fits smaller wrists quite nicely
  • CZ stones instead of hour markers

Cons

  • The power reserve is small
  • There are no luminous hands

Why We Chose This

This is a beautiful timepiece that will highlight any casual or formal outfit. It’s also reliable, easy to read, and has a self-winding movement so you never have to worry about battery or winding. So, if you’re looking for a nice gift, for yourself or a loved one, Orient’s Charlene is a wonderful option!

3. Gosasa Women's 'Phoenix’ Collection Automatic Watch

Highlights

Gosasa is a brand known for its beautiful, yet affordable timepieces. Their designs are perfect as a gift, due to the fancy packaging, and are reliable and easy to wear. 

This extremely eye-catching model is part of their special Phoenix collection, which is why it has a golden Phoenix wrapped around the dial. The design on the dial is very intricate and the attention to detail (considering the price) is astonishing. Furthermore, if you look closely, through the long feathers in the tail, you can see parts of the mechanism!

To add to the exquisiteness of the watch, the black fixed dial is adorned with twelve diamond stones, as hour markers. The time is indicated by a self-winding automatic three-hands movement in the same tone as the background. However, the intricacy of the dial and the golden tone of the hands make it a bit difficult to tell the time from the first glance. The eye is immediately attracted by the design of the Phoenix and the hands sort of fade into the background. 

The entire ensemble is completed by the 316 stainless steel gold-plated case and gold-plated two-tone stainless steel bracelet band. 

As such, we consider this amazing design as more of a jewelry timepiece. It looks amazing on your wrist and attracts all the eyes on you. However, it’s such a strong piece that it may not work well with a more casual outfit and other accessories.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel, Synthetic Sapphire Crystal
Size:
30mm

Pros

  • Astonishing design with powerful visuals
  • Gold-plated stainless steel case & bracelet
  • An automatic movement
  • Polished finish
  • Fixed bezel with diamonds as hour markers

Cons

  • The background design is distracting
  • No luminous hands

Why We Chose This

If you’re looking for an impressive gift, this Gosasa model may be just the right one. It’s affordable and it can be a bit flashy, but it definitely attracts attention. And, even though the power reserve is a bit small, it’s easy to use the crown and set the time. Overall, this is a wonderful jewelry timepiece that will brighten your day!

Affordable Automatic Watch Buying Guide

Design & Style

The best cheap automatic watch doesn’t have to look cheap at all. In fact, all the timepieces we reviewed look and feel more expensive. They all use reliable automatic movements with self-winding capabilities and they all feature quality materials and elegant design. 

So why are they so affordable? The answer is simple: automatic watches have a strong competitor in their quartz counterparts so they had to make the production process more efficient and less costly. That’s how brands like Seiko, Orient, and Gosasa made their name in the market. 

You will notice that affordable and stylish automatic watches don’t have any bells and whistles. There’s the movement, the beautiful dial, and a beautiful case and strap. Some may have a date window, but that’s all. This is the reason why the price is lower than with high-end designs – there are no extra complications. 

In short, the design and style of the best value automatic watch is simplicity laced with elegance.

Best Automatic Watch Brands

Many see automatic watches as the pinnacle of mechanical watch technology. And, because they don’t rely on an internal power source (like a battery) automated watches are usually seen as a better option.

This allowed luxury watches brands like Rolex to create an exclusive niche, that only caters to the rich and famous of the world. Luckily, there are other brands like Seiko and Gosasa, whose main drive is to create quality but affordable automatic watches, for the common folks. 

And these are the brands we’ll list here:

Seiko

A Japanese brand that creates some of the finest non-Swiss timepieces on the market. 

Orient

The brand started in Japan and created some of the most important automatic watches of the industry.

Citizen

A brand that’s over 100 years old, Citizen is a pioneer in watchmaking innovation and design. 

Invicta

Considered by many an “affordable luxury” brand, these watchmakers amazing designs at a budget price. 

Swatch

This watchmaker took a different approach to budget timepieces by creating everyday models with a unique, well-designed, and durable design.

These are the brands that have a long history in the watchmaking industry and uphold their promise to deliver affordable watches without taking anything from build quality and reliability.

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