Watch collecting can be an expensive hobby, just check out the watch porn on T3's Best Watch Guide and ludicrous Best Luxury Watch Guide. There are prices in there that would make an oil baron's eyes water. But it doesn't have to be like that - we've collected some excellent affordable watches for anyone's budget - from the best watches under £500 to the top timepieces under £1000.
Best watch under £50 - Casio Calculator Databank Watch
Forget the Apple Watch - Casio’s calculator timepiece was the original smartwatch. Over the past 30 years the Japanese company has been keeping it bang up to date with features such as an address book, 13 languages, multi-alarm, stopwatch and auto-calendar (programmed until 2099). All that, and a ten-year battery life - take that Cupertino.
Best watch under £100 - Fossil Nate
This chunky 50mm weekend warrior is Americana through and through. A military-inspired design means oversized features, and the stainless steel case is waterproof to 5 ATM.
Buy the Fossil Nate from Amazon
Best watch under £150 - Swatch Sistem51
At a glance, you'd assume the Sistem51 is another peppy quartz timepiece from Swatch. Turn it over to look and you’ll find an automatic mechanical movement made from just 51 components. For that reason, the Sistem51 gains a lot of kudos. Sure, there are cheaper mechanical watches from China, but this Swatch is made in Switzerland and features an exceptional 90-hour power reserve. It is a steal at 108 quid.
Buy the Swatch Sistem51 from Swatch
Best watch under £200 - Skagen Single Hand Ancher Mono Limited Edition
Modelled on the pressure gauge of a traditional bicycle pump (the Danes do love their bikes), this features a 44mm titanium case with a slim, 7mm profile. What really makes this watch stand out is the unconventional time-telling design, which replaces the date window with and hour/half-hour complication, and uses a single yellow hand to denote the minutes and seconds.
Buy the Skagen Ancher from WatchShop.com
Best watch under £250 - Casio Edifice Time Traveller
One for jet-setting tech aficionados, this handsome chronograph packs Bluetooth 4.0, letting it sync up to your smartphone for automatic time adjustment, alarm settings, GPS World Time, phone finder, and stopwatch lap recording. No tawdry gimmicks like smartphone notifications or music control here, though…
Best under £300 watch - Paul Smith Petrol and Silver Precision Chronograph
Typical elegance from the iconic designer Paul Smith, this is inspired by the spirit of fast cars and motor racing, with a silver steel case and bracelet that contrast with the ‘petrol’ blue dial and gold markings. A quintessentially British design with a Japanese quartz movement.
Best under £350 watch- Victorinox I.N.O.X.
Resistant to water, drastic temperature changes, shocks and eight tons of pressure. Our favourite model features a genuine American paracord strap, which is hand-woven and also allegedly serves as a versatile survival tool, somehow.
Buy the Victorinox I.N.O.X from Amazon
Best under £400 watch - Christopher Ward C5 Malvern Slimline
Christopher Ward is a British company renowned for its affordable-luxury, Swiss-made watches. The C5 Malvern Slimline dress watch was created in 2014 to celebrate the brand’s 10th anniversary, features a compact hand-wound ETA movement in a case which measures just 8.7mm thick. Outstanding value.
Best under £450 watch - Nixon 51-30 SW
A must-have chrono for any Star Wars fan, this film-themed timepiece is inspired by a Storm Trooper’s body armour, yet manages to remain tasteful, so you don’t look like a Big Bang Theory cast member. A surfer's watch at heart, it's waterproof to 300 metres, while the “stun / kill” dial on the face actually denotes the tide position.
Buy the Nixon from Amazon
Best under £500 watch - Mondaine Stop2Go
Mondaine’s most fascinating watch has a red second hand that takes just 58 seconds to turn full circle. It then waits for two seconds at 12 o'clock for the minute hand to advance, before resuming its rotation. This mimics the original Swiss railway clock, which used that two-second pause to synchronise station clocks across the country. A lovable little novelty.
Buy the Mondaine Stop2Go from Amazon
Best under £550 watch - Elliot Brown Bloxworth Chronograph
We love a rugged diving watch here at T3, but if your budget can't quite reach to a Rolex Submariner levels of cash, this English designed chronograph is a worthy substitute. It's a Swiss quartz movement rather than mechanical, but hey, you can't have everything.
Best under £600 watch - Uniform Wares M42
Designed in London, made in Switzerland, and finished with Italian Nappa leather, this is like the UN on your wrist. The large face, thin bezel, and minimalist face mean this stylish chronograph really makes a statement, and you also get a 316L stainless steel case, sapphire crystal glass, and a made-to-measure strap for your dosh.
Buy the Uniform Wares M42 from Amazon
Best under £700 watch - Tissot T-Touch
Tissot has been making touchscreen watches before Jony Ive even dreamt up the term fluoroelastomer. The T-Touch is an semi-analogue timepiece which uses a touch-sensitive glass face to let you select functions such as a digital compass, altimeter and barometer. Everything's powered by the sun’s rays, and the lastest version adds Bluetooth.
Buy the Tissot T-Touch from Amazon
Best under £800 watch - Oris Williams F1 Team Day
A handsome timepiece, created to celebrate the partnership between Oris and the Williams F1 team, surprise surprise. The dark black dial with bright luminescent hands and hour markers resemble a sports car's interior, sort of, and the black rubber strap is durable and attractive.
Buy the Oris Williams F1 from Goldsmiths
Best under £1000 watch - Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch
Hidden behind the classic face and diamond cut hands of this piece is a MotionX connected movement, for tracking steps and sleep. Bluetooth allows quick and easy smartphone pairing and the battery lasts for around two years.