Automatic watches became prevalent from the 1970s and have been in demand since then. Most watches sold today feature automatic movement. Also known as self-winding watches, they need regular wear to keep running. In a layman’s language, an automatic watch winds “automatically” by taking energy from the movement of the wearer. Manual watches, on the contrary, wound by twisting the crown.
There are a plethora of choices for automatic watches in the market for both men and women. Watch companies have been producing timepieces that are pleasing to the eye, and save the wearer from the effort of winding the watch regularly. An automatic watch combines aesthetics with the self-winding mechanism, simplifying the way a watch functions.
The self-winding mechanism first came into existence in the 18th century, though, it gained popularity in the 20th century. Since then, thousands of styles have been introduced in the market, catering to a vast customer base across the world. From different strap materials, to dial shapes, hands finishing to the clasp used for closure, each watch is distinct from the other in several ways.
A conventional timepiece was good enough for informing time; however, the contemporary watches feature several functions. Most mechanical watches get a calendar, alarm, backlight and much more. These are usually expensive; however, there are some affordable options available out there that don’t burn a hole in your pocket. We have picked 15 affordable automatic watches under $500 that you can consider for your next timepiece.
1. Orient Japanese Automatic
The Bambino Version IV from Orient comes in different combinations. Featuring a round brown dial and a black leather strap, it has a 41 mm stainless steel case. Also, the leather strap is combined to a tang buckle clasp for closure. It has a Japanese Automatic movement and a mineral dial window. Since it belongs to the fourth iteration of the Bambino collection, it carries the Bambino IV nomenclature. It is slightly larger than the previous models with a width of 40.5 mm, instead, it measures at 42mm. Also, the hands are thinner, the seconds hands carry red accents for a sporty appearance. It also gets the quintessential domed crystal, though the diamond-shaped, rounded hour markers are a new addition to the new collection.
2. TSS Automatic Tourbillon Moonspace
The cutting-edge timepiece features a classic analog display. It is simple, yet stylish, something that could please everyone with its charm. The large dial is finished in silver and features a 41 mm stainless steel silver case while the synthetic sapphire pure, and the clear window complete the look. It is a 21-jewel automatic movement timepiece with high visual appeal and endearing design. The silver hands and hour markings look perfect on the black dial. It also has a tourbillon, moon phase and exhibition case back. Functions, such as day & date, calendar, etc. comes standard with this timepiece. It is resistant to water up to 50 meters of depth, which makes it perfect for short periods of recreational water sport, though avoid wearing it to diving, snorkelling or swimming.
3. Ferrari Men’s Primato
A simple timepiece with minimal bling, this watch combines durability with elegance. The Primato 70th anniversary 44 mm stainless steel case is paired to a brown leather strap and the blue dial looks vibrant. Equipped with the durable mineral crystal, it protects the watch from scratches, and help maintain a clear view. Powered by the Ferrari DNA, it captures the brand’s essence, the prancing horse logo on the blue dial. It is resistant to water, suitable for short periods of recreational swimming, though snorkelling and diving should be avoided. The multi-functional watch features silver hour markers, silver and black dual-tone hour and minutes’ hands. Silver sub-dials match perfectly with the silver case and bezel.
4. Fossil Townsman Automatic
Fossil’s Townsman watch features a transparent dial revealing the workings of the timepiece. The silver-tone skeleton watch is paired to a black leather strap with tang buckle clasp closure. Standing apart among thousands of modish designs, the silver-tone skeleton watch is unique in its own sense. Finished in silver, the 44 mm stainless steel case compliments bezel, lugs and the crown, which are also colored in silver. Also, the roman numerals are visible clearly on the analog display. Just like above timepieces, it is also good for short periods of recreational swimming, however not suitable for diving and snorkelling. It has a power reserve of 40 hours when wound fully.
5. Tissot Silver Watch
Another classic silver timepiece you can wear anywhere. Match it with your casual or formal outfits, it compliments well with everything and never fails to impress. The 40 mm stainless steel case is paired to a white dial with silver numeral markings. It has a three-hand arrangement for hours, minutes and seconds. A built-in calendar shows day and date, while the shimmery stainless steel expandable band fits comfortably around the wrist. The bezel and lugs are also finished in silver, matching the case and band. Featuring a scratch-resistant sapphire, this Swiss-made automatic timepiece keeps scratches at bay, allowing a clear view. Besides, it is safe for a moist environment, with a water resistance of up to 100 meters.
6. Swatch Swiss Black Watch
Showcasing Swiss craftsmanship, this affordable automatic black watch is a sporty timepiece suitable for men and young boys. The black dial features dual-tone black and white hands for hours and minutes, while the second hand is finished in white. Even the hour markings, as well as numerals, are colored in white, which looks cool on a black dial featuring a splash of red. The plastic bezel is finished in black too and goes well with the vibrant blue shade of 42 mm case. Featuring a traditional round shape, it comes with a black silicone strap featuring contrast blue stitching. The strap is combined to buckle claps for closure. This sporty timepiece goes well with casuals and is a perfect choice with your gym gear.
7. Invicta Diver Collection
The classic gold-tone stainless steel timepiece combines a traditional appearance with a chic design. Equipped with the Japanese automatic movement, it has a self-powering feature, which means it can function without a battery. A perfect fit for middle-aged people, the 44 mm stainless steel gold piece is combined to gold dial featuring three golden hands. Bringing durability to the watch is the sturdy mineral crystal that prevents scratches on the surface. It also allows easy reading and a clear view of the dial. Unlike the above watches, this timepiece has a water resistance of up to 200 meters and is suitable for recreational scuba diving. Finished in gold, the shimmery stainless steel expandable band fits comfortably around the wrist.
8. Swatch Originals Black
Black never fails to leave an impression, and when it comes to selecting a suitable watch, black is the ultimate option you just can’t refuse. This chic Swatch is a sporty timepiece that could be worn to the office, or a party, a coffee shop and even a gym. The black dial on this automatic Swiss timepiece compliments the all-black body, while the dual-tone hour and minute hands reiterate the sporty element. Also, the 42 mm black case resonates with the black bezel featuring white dots, and the black leather band paired to buckle clasp for closure. It has resistance to water up to 30 meters, suitable for water splash or working in a moist environment, but not meant for swimming or snorkelling.
9. Seiko 5 Automatic 21 Jewel
When it comes to selecting an automatic timepiece, the choices are wide. It could be confusing to pick the most option that meets your expectation both aesthetically and monetarily. While you go through hundreds of options before making the final call, there are some timepieces that you get stuck to as soon as you lay eyes on them. Powered by the DNA of Seiko, this silver-tone timepiece with a contrast black dial is a subtle yet impressive watch that cannot go unnoticed. It features all-white hour and minute hands, though the seconds hand carries white and is slightly accented in red. The silver bezel and case match with stainless steel expandable bracelet finished in the same color.
10. Swatch BAU Automatic
A subtle white sporty watch is all you desire. It could be your gym partner or a casual accessory you could wear anywhere. A three-bar resistance to water is suitable for working in a moist environment, though you need to leave it in the locker with other belongings while swimming. Paired to a multi-coloured dial with a black backdrop, splashes of red, blue and yellow look sporty. Hour markings in white come out well on the black background, while the white plastic case resonates with the all-white silicone band combined to a buckle clasp for closure. Also, the second hand does not create noise while ticking, and you can even sleep with it at night without getting disturbed.
11. Seiko 5 Men's SNK809
The Seiko 5 is a chic timepiece, bringing the best of both worlds, comfort and aesthetics. Featuring silver-tone stainless steel case and lugs, it comes with a black dial and a black nylon band, paired to buckle clasp closure. Three hands, equipped for measuring hour, minute and seconds feature silver-tone with slight red accent on the latter. Date and day display can be seen at the 3’0 clock position. Also, the analog display allows a clear view of the Arabic numerals. Seiko is known for its sassy designs, and this automatic mechanical watch is no exception. The black canvas band fits comfortably throughout the day and the hardlex crystal ensures scratch-free surface.
12. Kenneth Cole New York
Creating timeless timepieces is an art, and Kenneth Cole New York seems to be a pro in it. Their designs are simple, yet classic. It combines subtle elements to craft elegance timepieces that could be worn anywhere. Keeping aesthetics at fore, and serving great value to the customers is not as easy as it seems. The silver-tone automatic watch is your go-to option for a model that fits the budget, without compromising on the visual appeal. Featuring stainless steel silver case, it comes paired to a blue dial with three silver hands for hour, minute and seconds. Even the numerals and hour markings match with the silver-tone. The shimmery expandable bracelet educes elegance and feels light on the wrist.
13. Seiko Prospex Diving Watch
Seiko’s ability to come up with winning designs makes it one of the most desirable brands in the world of watches. Combining cutting-edge technology to keep abreast with competing models at an affordable price is sheer brilliance. Appealing to the eye, this stainless steel prospex watch is a perfect timepiece for adventure enthusiasts. It could match with any outfit effortlessly, and yet look classy. The green silicone strap looks pretty cool with the silver stainless steel case and black bezel with minutes’ markings. Matching with the strap, the green dial features silver-toned hour and minute hands, while the second hand is finished in gold with a tinge of silver.
14. Jiusko Mens 24 Jeweled
Commonly referred to as “affordable luxury”, the watch collection by Jiusko is impeccably impressive. The stainless steel silver case resonates with silver-tone bezel, lugs and shimmery bracelet expandable band. Lending a vibrant contrast, the black dial features Arabic numerals only at 12, 3, 6 and 9 positions, while rest get studded diamonds. The three-hands-hours, minutes and seconds are finished in silver. It is a classic timepiece for men with a taste for luxury. Also, the bracelet can be adjusted to fit around the wrist comfortably. If you like to be the centre of attraction, look no further, it is your go-to option to charm everyone around. It is luxury personified at an affordable price.
15. Binkada Automatic Mechanical Casual
White is a classic choice when it comes to watches. Combining it with shimmery gold and silver enhance the aesthetic appeal. Timepieces with dual-tones are on the top of the priority list, and if you love the ethereal combination of white with gold & silver, this is the ultimate piece you shouldn’t miss. The moon phase display enables easy readability of time, and the synthetic sapphire crystal makes sure to keep surface scratch-free. Colored in white, the large dial features a gold minute and hour hands, while the numerals have been replaced with shimmery diamonds that add slight bling to it. The dual-tone stainless steel expandable bracelet is lightweight and combines a buckle clasp for closure.