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.
Bauhaus-inspired design, a minimalist aesthetic and high quality materials are the key markers of Tapferkeit, a London-born watch brand with a form-follows-function ethos that translates to covetable, premium timepieces. Movements are high quality, too, belying the competitive pricing that's also a Tapferkeit hallmark. In the case of Tapferkeit's Freiheit watch, it's the Miyota 8215 automatic movement that powers it, for top-notch accuracy and reliability. Vintage-inspired Bauhaus style means a clean dial, slim frame and elegant mesh strap that will complement any smart-casual ensemble.
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.
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.
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.
Barcelona-based label Meller draws on its home city's exuberant, colourful street fashions while paying homage to classic silhouettes and timepiece design. Its Makonnen model in all black is contemporary yet timeless, with a pared-back dial that complements a sleek stainless steel 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.
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.
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.
Building your watch collection? Check out our pick of the best minimalist watch brands for men.
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