Best Affordable Mechanical Watch Reviews

Updated July 8, 2022

Mechanical Watch. Watches with a mechanical movement are desired by many watch collectors and enthusiasts.

The art of watchmaking was developed using mechanical movements and their production still requires craftsmanship and precision which is not matched by modern, mass-produced quartz movements.

This level of quality and attention to detail does come at a price, which you can fully understand given the more sophisticated internal workings.

However, although the sky’s the limit when it comes to luxury timepieces, it’s now possible to find an inexpensive mechanical watch if you have a more modest budget.

We researched budget mechanical watches and were impressed by the range and quality on offer, from lesser-known brands as well as the well-established companies such as Timex, Tissot, and Seiko.

A mechanical watch may use an automatic or manual movement, and whilst we’ve focused on automatic options for their convenience, there are also affordable manual wind watches available.

Read on for our budget mechanical watch round-up, and our choice of the best value mechanical watch.

See Our Best Cheap Mechanical Watches

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1 Timex Mens Marlin Automatic 40mm Watch
Best Overall
Timex Men's Marlin Mechanical Watch
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2
Best For Higher Budgets
2Seiko SRP777 Prospex Mechanical Watch
Seiko SRP777 Prospex Mechanical Watch
Best For Higher Budgets
Seiko SRP777 Prospex Mechanical Watch
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3 Orient Sun and Moon Version 2 Mechanical Watch
Best For Low Budgets
Orient Sun and Moon Version 2 Mechanical Watch
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4 Tissot Men's Gentleman Swissmatic - T0984073605200 Silver/Black One Size Tissot Gentleman Swissmatic Mechanic Watch
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5 Dan Henry 1970 Diver Mechanical Watch Dan Henry 1970 Diver Mechanical Watch
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1. Timex Men's Marlin Mechanical Watch

Highlights

Product Description

 

  • A sleek and sophisticated classic!
  • Stainless steel case.
  • Leather strap with adjustable buckle closure.
  • Round face.
  • Three-hand analog display with automatic movement.
  • Dial features gold-tone hands and hour markers, date display window, minute track and Timex™ detailing.
  • Water-resistant up to 100 feet.
  • Display case included.
  • Imported.
  • Measurements:
    • Case Height: 40 mm
    • Case Width: 40 mm
    • Case Depth: 13 14 mm
    • Band Width: 19 45 mm
    • Band Circumference/Length: 9 in
    • Weight: 2 oz
Best Overall
Timex Mens Marlin Automatic 40mm Watch

About this item

  • Imported
  • Adjustable black 20mm genuine leather strap fits up to 8-inch wrist circumference; quick-release spring bars
  • Black dial with full markers; date window at 3 o’clock
  • 21-jewel automatic movement with 40-hour power reserve
  • Gold-tone 40mm stainless steel case with domed acrylic crystal
  • Water resistant to 30m (100ft): in general, withstands splashes or brief immersion in water, but not suitable for swimming or bathing

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
Men's Standard
Weight:
1.92 Ounces
Movement:
Automatic
Case Diameter:
40 millimeters

2. Seiko SRP777 Prospex Mechanical Watch

Highlights

Product Description

Black dial enhanced by silver-tone hands. stainless steel case with a black silicone band. Automatic movement. 200 meters / 660 feet water resistance. Uni-directional rotating bezel. Scratch Resistant Hardlex crystal. Solid case back. Buckle clasp. Screw Down crown. Case size 45 mm. Seiko SRP777 Prospex Watch.

Best For Higher Budgets
Seiko SRP777 Prospex Mechanical Watch

Product Identifiers

  • Brand
    Seiko
  • Reference Number
    SRP777
  • UPC
    495462820198, 4954628198617
  • Model
    Seiko Prospex
  • eBay Product ID (ePID)
    28043560106

Product Key Features

  • Bezel Color
    Black
  • Number of Jewels
    24 Jewels
  • Indices
    Round Indexes, Dagger/Dauphine Indexes
  • Caseback
    Screwback
  • Department
    Men
  • Bezel Type
    Unidirectional Rotating
  • Lug Width
    22 mm
  • Case Size
    45 mm
  • Case Material
    Stainless Steel
  • Water Resistance
    200 m (20 ATM)
  • Band Color
    Black
  • Dial Color
    Black
  • Band Width
    22 mm
  • Closure
    Buckle
  • Band/Strap
    Two-Piece Strap
  • Case Color
    Silver
  • Style
    Diver
  • Features
    Screwdown Crown, Water-Resistant, Luminous Hands, Self-Winding, Day/Date, Rotating Bezel
  • Movement
    Mechanical (Automatic)
  • Type
    Wristwatch
  • Band Material
    Silicone
  • Display
    Analog

Additional Product Features

  • Hour Marker Color
    Silver, White
  • Hour Hands Color
    Silver, White
  • Manufacturer Case Color
    Silver
  • Manufacturer Dial Color
    Black
  • Manufacturer Band Color
    Black

Specifications

Material:
Case Material Stainless Steel
Size:
45 mm
Weight:
7.1 ounces (201.29 grams)
Movement:
Mechanical (Automatic)
Case Diameter:
44 millimeters

3. Orient Sun and Moon Version 2 Mechanical Watch

Highlights
  • Imported
  • Sapphire crystal
  • Sun and moon indicator
  • Japanese-automatic movement
  • Case diameter: 42.5mm
  • Water-resistant to 165 feet
Best For Low Budgets
Orient Sun and Moon Version 2 Mechanical Watch

Product details

  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ No
  • Product Dimensions ‏                         : ‎ 5.91 x 5.91 x 5.91 inches; 3.6 Ounces
  • Item model number ‏                          : ‎ FET0T001W0
  • Department                                        ‏ : ‎ Mens
  • Date First Available ‏                          : ‎ July 15, 2015
  • Manufacturer ‏                                     : ‎ Orient
  • ASIN                                                    ‏ : ‎ B00UAKJ7SQ

Specifications

Material:
Synthetic sapphire
Size:
9.5 inches
Weight:
3.6 Ounces
Movement:
Japanese Automatic
Case Diameter:
41 millimeters

4. Tissot Gentleman Swissmatic Mechanic Watch

Highlights

Product details

  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ No
  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.72 x 4.72 x 4.72 inches; 3.04 Ounces
  • Item model number ‏ : ‎ T098.407.36.052.00
  • Date First Available ‏ : ‎ January 27, 2018
  • Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ Tissot
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B075MMNLTH

Product details

Black stainless steel case with a black leather strap. Black bezel. Black dial with dark grey hands and Arabic numeral hour markers. Minute markers around the outer rim. Dial Type: Analog. Luminescent hands. Date display at the 3 o’clock position. Automatic movement. Scratch resistant sapphire crystal. Case size: 44 mm. Round case shape. Water resistant at 100 meters / 330 feet. Functions: date, hour, minute, second. Dress watch style. Watch label: Swiss Made. Tissot Gentleman Black Dial Men’s Leather Watch T0984073605200.
  • Series: Gentleman
  • Case Size: 44 mm
  • Watch Label: Swiss Made
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters / 330 feet
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Watch Style: Dress

Specifications

Weight:
3.04 Ounces
Movement:
Automatic
Case Diameter:
44.0

Pros

  • If this product is sold by Amazon, please review the manufacturer’s website for warranty information. If this product is sold by another party, please contact the seller directly for warranty information for this product. You may also be able to find warranty information on the manufacturer’s website.

5. Dan Henry 1970 Diver Mechanical Watch

Highlights

Product details

  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ No
  • Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.8 x 3.86 x 3.54 inches; 13.62 Ounces
  • Department ‏ : ‎ Mens
  • Date First Available ‏ : ‎ August 24, 2017
  • Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ Dan Henry
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B074YXXSYG

About this item

  • Limited edition vintage watch 1970 individually numbered pieces
  • Mate black dial with date, orange chapter ring, double crown and inner rotating bezel
  • 44mm stainless steel 316L case / Water resistant to 200 meters – 660 feet
  • Automatic movement with 41 hours power reserve / Sapphire coated double domed mineral glass with anti-reflective treatment
  • One leather and canvas watch roll with three slots included / Black silicone strap / One-year international warranty

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
Men's Standard
Movement:
Japanese Automatic
Case Diameter:
44 millimeters

Pros

  • If this product is sold by Amazon, please review the manufacturer’s website for warranty information. If this product is sold by another party, please contact the seller directly for warranty information for this product. You may also be able to find warranty information on the manufacturer’s website.

Cheap Mechanical Watch Buying Guide

Mechanical Watch Movement

A mechanical watch movement is a more traditional option than a quartz watch, which uses a battery.

The production of a mechanical watch requires skill and craftsmanship, meaning that they are more expensive, but sought after by watch enthusiasts.

A mechanical watch uses energy from a wound spring to power the watch.

The energy stored in the spring is transferred through a series of tiny and intricate gears and springs, keeping the supply of energy constant.

There are a few different ways that energy is created to power a mechanical movement. The oldest of these is a manual movement, where the spring is wound by hand.

This requires the user to wind the spring at regular intervals.

An alternative is an automatic movement. This option harnesses energy from the wearer, so the individual wearing the watch is providing the power for it to run.

The mechanism inside the watch is very similar to the one which needs to be wound, except that it has a rotor added. As the wearer moves around, the rotor spins and winds the spring.

Materials

As watches with mechanical movements are more expensive, the most prestigious watchmakers can often use very luxurious materials such as platinum and gold, like a gold watch.

However, we focused on the best affordable mechanical watches so the examples which came up in our research used the same types of materials which you’d expect with an affordable quartz watch.

Stainless steel is often a popular choice as it’s durable and hypoallergenic, and can be used for both sports and dress watches.

If you are looking for a sports watch for an active lifestyle, you might prefer a material such as rubber or silicone.

These can withstand knocks, are suitable to wear swimming and you don’t need to worry about scratches.

Power Reserve

As we mentioned above, a mechanical watch works by transferring energy stored in the spring to power the movement.

The majority of the pieces we reviewed had an automatic movement, which harness energy from the wearer.

Of course, if you don’t move much whilst wearing the watch, the energy you’re feeding the watch drops. It also means that if you take the watch off, the watch has effectively lost its energy source.

This is where the power reserve of a watch is important. The power reserve dictates how long a watch can keep functioning with a fully wound spring before it needs an energy top-up.

You can think of it in the same way as the gas tank for your car – once the tank is empty you’ll need to refill it to get the car running again.

The power reserve of a mechanical watch can vary significantly between different models. Generally, the longer the power reserve the better.

If the watch stops completely, you’ll need to reset the time and possibly the day and date displays if your watch has them.

It’s not a huge deal, but it’s easier if you don’t need to do it too often.

Pricing Range

Watches with a mechanical movement can come with a considerable price tag.

At the top end of the market, they can stretch to thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars. There is a level of detail in the production that prevents a mechanical watch from being as cheap as a quartz watch, but there are affordable options out there if you have your eyes set on a mechanical choice.

In our search, the lowest-priced options were around $200, though it may be possible to find the odd bargain for less.

When you move up to $300 the options widen, and you can definitely find a good model from a well-regarded watch maker for under $500.

Our Verdict

Our research revealed an encouraging variety of mechanical watches at an affordable price point, meaning that whatever your taste, you should be able to find a watch to suit you.

Our Best Entry Level choice is from a lesser-known maker; Orient. The Orient Sun and Moon Version 2 Mechanical Watch blends an attractive and unique design with a solid performance.

The layered dial with a sun and moon indicator, day subdial, and date indicator feels far more luxurious than the modest price tag.

The Best Top of the Range choice is produced by Seiko, a more recognized brand. Their Seiko SRP777 Prospex Mechanical Watch updates their design classic, the Seiko Turtle, and features well-considered details such as a unidirectional rotating bezel, Lumibrite markers, and hands and a 41-hour power reserve.

Also offering a refresh on a classic design, our Best Value choice is from the Swiss watchmaker, Timex. Their Timex Men’s Marlin Mechanical Watch has a timeless look with a leather strap and gold bezel and detailing.

The fact that this watch was first designed in the 1960s proves the enduring appeal of the design.



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