Looking for an affordable, stylish watch? Here are some options under $50 that will have you looking good without breaking the bank.
Shopping for a watch at any price point can be a challenge. There are more low-quality, tacky, and misleading watches on the market than you can shake a stick at.
On top of that, counterfeit watches flood the market every day—some of which are quite good. When you take these challenges and add a $50 budget, watch shopping can seem downright impossible.
But don’t worry. With a little effort, you’ll find plenty of watches to choose from.
There’s also a benefit to shopping for a watch under this price cap: The fashion brands don’t live there. When it comes to the big fashion brand watches, they dominate the $75 to $200 price range.
They make their money on brand recognition rather than value and tend to sell their low-quality watches at a slightly higher price point than we’re dealing with in this article.
So what does all this mean for the watch shopper in the $50 and under price range?
You can get a decent quality watch from a well-established watch brand without sorting through a lot of the low-quality watches from jeans and handbag manufacturers.
Table of Contents
Short on time? Here are our top three picks for the best men’s watches under $50 you can buy right now:
Read on for more info and the complete list…
The Best Watches Under $50
The watches on this list are all excellent watches in their own right. However, there are no mechanical or automatic watches on this list. Also, brand diversity may seem limited, and that’s because it is.
This list may have looked a bit different a year ago, but prices have risen. Only a few quality watch brands are operating at this price point now, but those brands produce so many great watches that it’s still easy to fill a list.
Best Overall Watch: Timex Weekender 38mm
When it comes to choosing the best watch under $50, it has to be something classic, flexible, and respectable. The Timex Weekender 38mm ticks all the boxes.
While it’s only been on the market for a handful of years, the design is timeless and the quartz movement is plenty reliable.
Timex offers the Weekender in several colorways, including black and cream dials, as well as on NATO and leather straps.
There are no complications with the Weekender 38mm, and the only feature you’ll find is Timex’s Indiglo backlight. It’s just a straightforward timepiece with a classic look.
The case measures 38mm wide and 9mm thick, with a 20mm lug width and a 46mm lug-to-lug measurement.
While it’s modest in size by today’s standards, this watch is all about simplicity and toeing the minimalist line, so its smaller size still looks great on most wrists.
If you’d prefer something slightly larger, Timex also offers a Weekender 40mm, similarly priced.
Best Price: Casio A168WA-1
To be fair, every watch on this list has a great price, but the A168WA-1 from Casio is by far the best value.
This spunky little watch has a confident attitude that demands a bit of attention but still gets the respect of even luxury watch enthusiasts.
As far as dimensions go, this watch is small, with a case measuring just 32mm across. Is the case metal? No, it’s silver-toned plastic. Is the bracelet comfortable?
Not really, it’ll pull your arm hair from time to time. Does it have a retro-cool that’s fun and laid back? Definitely, making this an excellent piece for the weekend or for pairing with a t-shirt and jeans.
The A168WA-1 has lots of nice features as well. It has a stopwatch, an automatic calendar, an electroluminescent backlight, and an alarm—pretty impressive for a watch this affordable.
Best Water Resistance: Casio G-Shock DW5600
The undisputable king of reliability and durability under $50 is the 200m water-resistant Casio G-Shock DW5600.
While this watch isn’t exactly a looker, its hard-to-kill nature deserves a spot on watch shopping collections at nearly any price point.
The quartz-powered, digital DW5600 has plenty of features. It has a countdown timer, a stopwatch, an alarm, an automatic calendar, as well as a backlight and plenty of adjustment on the resin strap.
The DW5600’s resin case measures 42.8mm across, 13.4mm thick, and has a lug-to-lug measurement around 50mm. It’s not small, but it is light and very manageable, even for smaller wrists.
Best Dress-Style Watch: Timex Metropolitan
While there are a ton of great watches under $50, finding another dress watch as nice as the Metropolitan isn’t going to happen.
This Timex has an awesome textured dial, a gold plated case, gold color hands and indices, and comes on a genuine leather strap.
The Metropolitan measures 40mm across and 6.5mm thick, so it slips right under a shirt cuff but has enough wrist presence to make a statement.
The lug width is 20mm, allowing you to upgrade the strap if you’d like to pair it with black leather.
The real story on the Timex Metropolitan is its dial. The center has an interesting three-dimensional texture, while the indices lay against a sunburst backdrop.
The combination looks great but isn’t so distracting that you can’t wear it with a suit or to the office.
The Metropolitan uses a quartz movement but features no complications—not even an Indiglo backlight or lumed indices.
While it might seem lacking, Timex’s decision to go without any complications really shows their commitment to creating an affordable, attractive, and mature dress watch.
Best Chronograph: Timex Weekender Chronograph
If you like the overall style of the Weekender, but prefer the function of a stopwatch or date complication, check out the Weekender Chronograph.
It follows much of the same aesthetic and dimensions as the Weekender 40 but with a busier dial.
It features three subdials; a seconds subdial, a seconds timer, and a 30-minute timer subdial. It comes in several colorways, including green, blue, and cream dials on both leather and nylon NATOs or two-piece straps.
Like the Weekender 40, the Chronograph measures 40mm wide, so it hits the sweet spot for most guys.
It also measures 11.25mm thick with a 20mm lug width, making it a great choice for swapping through a collection of casual NATO straps.
The quartz-powered Weekender Chronograph has a 4 o’clock date window, as well as Timex’s Indiglo backlight.
Our favorite version is the blue dial on the blue NATO; however, both the green and cream on the tan leather strap are close seconds.
Best Tactical: Casio G-Shock DW9052-1CG
There’s a reason why so many first responders and military personnel wear G-Shocks like the DW9052-1CG. For the money, they’re the toughest and most capable watches on the market.
The DW9052-1CG’s black resin case, strap, and blacked-out LCD screen create a high-speed, low-drag aesthetic, great for tactical pursuits.
As with all G-Shocks, the DW9052 is a beefy watch. It measures 46mm across and is a massive 15mm thick.
The strap measures 20mm, the actual spring bars only measure 16mm, meaning strap swaps won’t be so straightforward.
The supplied resin strap is actually quite nice for a watch under $50, so the 16mm spring bars might not be an issue.
As for features, you’ll get a backlight, a stopwatch, countdown timer, calendar, 12 and 24-hour functions, as well as alarms and hourly tones. You’ll also get up to five years of battery life.
Best Dive-Style Watch: Invicta 8936 Pro Diver
By far the most controversial choice on this list. The Invicta 8936 Pro Diver is, admittedly, an interesting choice.
But, if you look past the Invicta name, the Submariner styling, and the flashy gold plating, you’ll see that it is a legitimate 200m water-resistant dive watch for under $50, which is downright astonishing.
As far as dive watch specs go, the 8936 has a unidirectional bezel and, as mentioned, a 200m water resistance. For dimensions, it has a 37.5mm case, an 18mm lug width, and a case thickness of 11mm.
With so few dive watch enthusiasts actually taking their watches to the depths of the deep blue sea, the question is, is this a wearable watch? Absolutely, and as far as Invictas go, this one is pretty good looking.
While the gold may be a bit much, the case is under 38mm wide, so it won’t make the record skip every time it pops out from under your sleeve. Pairing it with a casual outfit while minimizing other accessories will help pull it off.
Best Digital Watch: Casio AE1200WH-1A World Time
If you like the look of a G-Shock but prefer a down-sized watch, the Casio AE1200WH-1A World Time could be a great choice.
This black resin watch is super affordable and has most of the features of its more expensive Casio brethren, save for half the water resistance at 100m.
The World Time is a really cool watch. It has all the standard functionality of other quality digital watches like an automatic calendar, stopwatch, backlight, and countdown timer, but it also allows you to cycle through 31 time zones.
While it’s no Rolex GMT, it can serve the same function at less than a penny on the dollar.
The AE1200WH-1A has a 39.5mm case and a lug width of 18mm, though the supplied strap measures 24mm at the case. You can also find this watch with a stainless steel bracelet and a silver-tone resin case if that’s more your style.
Best Field-Style Watch: Timex Expedition Scout 40
If you’re looking for a rugged, reliable, no-frills field watch with classic styling, the Timex Expedition Scout is an awesome choice.
This affordable field watch has a durable nylon strap and a brass case to create a tough-as-nails aesthetic that you can take on your adventures.
When it comes to dimensions, the Expedition Scout sits right in most guys’ wheelhouses. It has a 40mm case with a thickness measuring about 11mm
It also has a 20mm lug width and a 49mm lug-to-lug, making it a versatile watch with easily-swapped straps.
As far as complications go, you’ll get an Indiglo backlight, and that’s about it.
But, it does have both 12 and 24-hour markers displayed on the face, while the hour and minute hands have quite a bit of lume to help in low-light conditions.
Best Throwback Watch: Casio Men’s Vintage CA53W-1 Calculator Watch
Yes, this is a bit of a cheat. No, it’s not exactly Marty McFly’s watch. But, it’s as close as you’ll get for under $50, and it’s still a great watch.
The CA53W-1 has an eight-digit calculator, a dual time function, a stopwatch, daily alarms, an hourly tone, and an automatic calendar.
The CA53W-1 dimensions are sort of unique. It measures a slight 33mm across but 42mm long— necessary for the built-in keypad.
But, it measures only just over 8mm thick, which is pretty impressive regardless of the function or price point.
If you’d prefer a slightly more modern take on the CA53W-1, check out the CA53-WF Databank, which is available in several colors.
Most Iconic Watch: Swatch Bricablanc SUOW710
Whether you like Swatch watches or not, it’s unfair to call them a fashion brand. Swatch is a serious Swiss watch manufacturer, and this Bricablanc SUOW710 represents the company’s iconic status.
It’s a plastic, minimalist watch, consistent in style with the brand’s popular watches from the 1980s and 1990s.
The Bricablanc SUOW710 measures 41mm across and just under 10mm thick, so it’s not a tiny watch by any stretch.
The lug width is 20mm wide, but it uses a unique fitment, so finding replacements straps or swapping to a NATO will become a project.
As far as complications, you’ll get a day-date function, and for luminescence, you’ll find lume on the hands but nowhere else, maintaining the minimalist vibe.
Best Style Watch: Casio World Time A500WGA-9DF
The Casio World Time A500WGA-9DF is a fun yet functional watch that isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself.
While the World Time’s gold plating is bright and apparent, it never pretends to be something it’s not. It’s essentially a play watch with some real horological chops.
Casio filled this quirky little watch with function. It has daily alarms, a stopwatch, a countdown timer, and it allows you to swap between four different time zones.
The World Time measures 34mm wide and 39mm long, with a thickness of just 9.6mm. Paired with a casual hoodie and jeans, it’s irony is apparent, allowing you to enjoy this watch for what it is.
Best Sports Watch Watch: Timex Harborside
If you’re looking for a sports watch with a bit of an up-scale look, the Harborside from Timex is worth looking into.
While it’s not exactly an homage, it certainly takes some design cues from some luxury dive watch favorites.
This 42mm watch does make a statement and paired with a 20mm bracelet, the dial looks even larger.
It has a date function at 3 o’clock and comes on either a stainless steel bracelet, or your choice of tan or black leather. There’s also a blue colorway with a two-tone silver and gold design.
While the Harborside may look like a real diver, it’s simply a dive-style watch. The bezel is stationary and the water resistance is only 30m. That said, it’s definitely one of the most attractive watches that you can buy at under $50.
There are plenty of excellent options out there for watch shoppers looking to stretch their $50 as far as it will go.
While the number of quality brands seems pretty limited, they all have so many options to offer that you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for.
If you need a casual watch for a last-minute getaway trip, the Weekender might be just the ticket. If you’re headed out for a business mixer or dinner, the Timex Metropolitan can make the responsible, mature statement that you’re after.
If you’re just looking for something cool and fun, the Casio A168WA-1 or World Time A500WGA-9DF are both quirky options that are sure to start a conversation.
Whatever your style or needs, it’s entirely possible to find a great watch under $50. Best of all, if you can’t decide, you can purchase every watch on this list for less than the price of a routine service on most luxury watches.