Purchasing a watch these days can seem a prohibitively pricey feat, but don't be disheartened. With an increasing number of watchmakers proving that a lower price point doesn't mean skimping on quality or style, there are plenty of premium men's watches for under £500 that are begging to be added to your collection.
To help you on your quest for the ultimate wallet-friendly timepiece, we've picked out nine of our favourites. We've got all tastes and occasions covered — from sophisticated dress watches for those more formal events, to sturdy waterproof dive watches that you'll want to reach for when adventure calls. Scroll on for our edit of the best men's watches under £500.
Best men's watches under £500
IOTA The New York GMT
Born in Greenwich, the home of international timekeeping, IOTA creates carefully considered watches that are built to last, showcasing the best of British design and Swiss craftsmanship. As its name suggests, the New York GMT draws its design influence from the streets of the Big Apple. The light brownstone used across the city serves as inspiration for the pairing of a tan leather strap with a golden stainless steel case, which contrast against a crisp matt white dial that hosts a display of light golden lines.
Nezumi Studios Voiture chronograph ref. VQ3.601
Stockholm-based watch company Nezumi Studios creates vintage-inspired watches that are characterised by sleek and sporty style. The label's Voiture chronograph is its signature style, first released with Nezumi's launch in 2015. Inspired by the 1960’s – 70’s racing era, the German-assembled timepiece boasts a retro dial design with lumed indices, hour, minute and chronograph hand and a fixed bezel with a satin aluminium bezel insert. A luxurious vegetable tanned leather strap completes the look.
Nixon Porter Leather
Nixon's ultra-sleek Porter watch offers the sophistication of a classy dress watch, at a fraction of the price you'd expect to pay. The minimalist design features a slim stainless steel case, hardened mineral crystal, tapered custom leather strap, and stainless steel screw-down caseback for protection against everyday wear and tear. Powered by a Miyota Japanese quartz 3 hand movement, it's built for ultimate accuracy.
Solios White Solar Watch | Silver Mesh
Canadian watch label Solios is all about challenging the status quo of an industry anchored in overconsumption. Its watches incorporate a solar cell that can hold a power reserve of 6 months after sitting under the sun - or artificial light - for 2 hours. They charge as you go, so you never have to worry about charging or replacing batteries. This particular timepiece combines a certified recycled stainless steel case with a silver mesh strap for an elegant look that will subtly enhance any ensemble.
Monofore M01 Gold Watch 41mm
Drawing aesthetic inspiration from art deco-style square and rectangular watches, London-based watchmaking label Monofore developed a modernised version underscored by a minimalist design philosophy. Its signature design is characterised by a curved dial and subtly-domed glass that eliminates shadows and creates space, with an invisible crown and stitch-free leather strap (choose from a variety of versatile hues). Free of any extraneous aesthetic details or fussy look-at-me gimmicks, this is an accessory that doesn't need to shout to be heard.
VOID Watches V02MKII-SI/MR Watch
Adhering to Scandinavian design principles of functionality and minimalist style, VOID watches is responsible for producing some of the most innovative contemporary men's watches for under £500 today. This super sleek wristwatch is proof of the label's clever design approach. Unlike most other watches, it features three compass needle hands that act in a similar way to traditional minute, hour and second hands. Telling the time requires matching the colour of the hands with the digit of the same colour on the dial. Minimalist yet statement-making, it's a surefire conversation-starter.
BALTIC Watches Bicompax 002 Watch
It’s been a relatively short, albeit extremely successful, journey so far for French watch label BALTIC Watches, but one that has earned it glowing reviews for its neo-vintage watches. Each one of BALTIC’s designs can be considered a masterpiece of intricate design, drawing on the finest 1940s aesthetics and well-proportioned cases. The sleek and understated Bicompax 002 is driven by a ST19 column wheel movement and defined by its elegantly slim profile and art deco dial design. The elegant vintage look makes it an ideal dress watch, perfect for pairing with smart tailoring.
Meller Nairobi All Black
Barcelona-based label Meller draws on its home city's exuberant, colourful street fashions while paying homage to classic silhouettes and timepiece design. Its Nairobi model in all black is contemporary yet timeless, with a pared-back dial that complements a sleek strap. Powered by a Miyota Quartz Chronograph mechanism and featuring sapphire coated crystal glass as well as water resistance up to 100 metres, it's built to stand the test of time. Priced at under £200, it's certainly one of the best value men's watches we've come across.
Timex Q Timex Reissue 38mm Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch
Iconic American watchmakers Timex have been crafting premium timepieces since the 1800s, and they continue to go from strength to strength. Their designs are simple, sturdy and – best of all – affordable. Case in point: this reissued Q Timex, a fresh interpretation of a much-loved '70s icon. Water resistant up to 50 metres with a hard-wearing woven stainless steel bracelet and Quartz Analog movement, it's designed to complement an active modern lifestyle. Choose from a range of easy-to-wear colours to best suit your personal style.
Braun BN0211 Classic Slim Watch
German label Braun never fails to impress with its slick and stylish watches and clocks. Its aptly-named Classic Slim watch is exactly that – classic in style and featuring Braun’s slimmest case yet. Boasting a Bauhaus-inspired look with a streamlined profile, it's perfectly pared back, made for telling the time simply and cleanly. For a fuss-free timepiece that you'll wear for years to come, you simply can't go wrong.