Sure your phone can tell you the time but there's something far more stylish & sophisticated about a watch. Whether you have a beard, you shave, have a fade or go chrome dome, it doesn't matter. A good time piece is a fundamental accessory for guys who like to impress. Of course, it also serves a functional purpose in addition to allowing you to express yourself.
You see, watches get noticed. There is a suaveness that surrounds a classic watch that we men unknowingly admire. James Bond is the epitome of watch gods sporting the best of the best with Rolex and Omega featuring nicely in the early Bonds and TAG Heuer and Seiko appearing later on. Let’s face it, JB is a walking advertisement for the who’s who of watches. There is a definitely watch envy going on.
But, unlike Bond, most of us don’t have a Q at our beckon call. So, we have to fund our own watch collections. Thankfully there are some pretty tidy ones that will rival any Q collection and certainly not be out of place when you ask for your Martini shaken not stirred. Too far??
All cliches aside, we’ve found the best watches for under $200 that will complement any look or style.
- Seiko SKX007
This Seiko is an absolute classic icon that's been featured in many movies and is highly respected in the watch collecting community. For it's price, the SKX is arguably the best value watch out there. It has rock solid construction, a great Japanese automatic movement, is waterproof and it can easily be dressed up or down to suit your preferences.
If you do your homework on this watch you'll find there are two variations. One with a model number ending in a "J" ,which is the Japanese made version, and one finishing in a "K" which is made in Malaysia. Typically the Japanese version costs a little more, but the differences between them are fairly minimal. The Malaysian version (pictured) understandably doesn't have "made in Japan" written on the face. Japan rightly has a very strong name in the technical world for quality product. The other differences are the colour tone which is a little different and the polishing job which appears a little less refined than the Japanese version. On the plus side though, some say the crown on the Malaysian version winds a little easier.
What's even better is it's versatility. This one of the most modded watches out there. Everything from the face, dial, bezel, hands, strap & even the movement itself can be switched out to completely change the look of the watch.
- Casio G-shock G9000-1V
There are a few G-Shock watches on the market, we’re talking in excess of 200 models! So, it’s fair to say these are a popular model and will continue to be as long as Casio keep the drive alive. Our pick of the bunch to keep in with our ‘best watches for under $200’ theme is the G9000 Mudman which is, as the name suggests, mud proof!
This watch is for the tuff-mudder in all of us. It’s the watch that will survive the toughest of fights and live to tell the tale. Water resistant, mud resistant, shock resistant and jam packed full of sporting features such as stop watch, timer, alarm and incremental count down feature, it is a sporting mans best friend as far as watches go. For the jetsetter, it has world time with 29 time zones and a calendar that’s good through to 2099, just in case someone finds the fountain of youth between now and then.
- the Orient Bambino
Oh how I love this watch. It’s the suit up and show them who’s boss watch. Perfect for the office to wow the clients or a day at the races where sophistication and style means competition. The Orient Bambino couldn’t be more classic in design if it tried which is why we love it so much.
The watch face features stylish markers so no clunky numbers here. The hands are also sleek in their design and thoughtfully match the steel exterior finish. Of course it is built with quality at the forefront and is also an impressive 30m water resistant. Although we’re not sure why you would go diving with such a beautiful watch.
Interesting fact: If you want to know the difference between the 1st generation and 2nd generation watches, look at the winding dial. The 1st Gen watch has “water resist” engraved on it and the 2nd Gen has the full words “water resistant” engraved.
- SISTEM 51
If simplistically black styling is your go then the SISTEM51 Black is the watch for you. Made by Swatch, it is swiss designed and comes with the Swiss made label which is a big selling point. As we know, the swiss are known as the time-keepers of the watch world with accuracy and reliability at the forefront.
Classic in every sense of the word, this watch features a leather strap band, clear face with date feature and is waterproof and shockproof. This watch is perfectly suited to any occasion making it a great multi-purpose purchase.
- Seiko 5 Automatic SNK807K2 Military
If you’re looking for a more casual approach then the Seiko 5 Military ticks all the boxes. Firstly, it’s a Seiko so you know it’s going to be quality and a well built machine. The practical side of this watch features a nylon band, clear face with day and date visibility and a classic brushed stainless steel face.
The technical aspects that give it the tick from us is the crystal hardlex glass for superior scratch resistance, Lumibrite markers and hands and it’s 30m water resistant which is pretty impressive.
So there you have it, the best watches for under $200 that will meet all your casual wear, dress wear or sporting needs. Do you have a favourite watch or have you seen one we should add to our list? Drop us a line and we’ll check it out.
Written by Ben De Campo & Belinda Owen