The best women’s watches under £500: time is not very much money, when it comes to ladies' watches

A beautiful watch doesn’t have to cost a fortune; check out our list of stylish, feminine watches that won’t break the bank.

TODO alt text

Whether you like sleek and sophisticated leather straps or bejeweled faces, there’s a whole range of women’s watches under £500 that are both stylish and affordable. 

When shopping for a watch, there are many different styles and brands to consider before picking one that’s right for you, and that's where we come in, with our advice, like a best friend who's also a horologist.

How to buy the best women's watch

The type of lifestyle you lead will largely influence the type of watch you want to go for. If it’s an everyday watch you’re after, then something plain and simple with an easy-to-read face is both practical and elegant for both work and leisure. 

If you’re more active, a smart watch is well worth considering.  Whether you fancy yourself a bit of a female Bond or simply want to keep track of your fitness, the various Apple Watches have cutting-edge tech, without looking overtly masculine – you can wear them during sport and during your day-to-day tasks. 

If you like a bit of bling, try the wares of Michael Kors and other designers. They routinely sprinkle their chronograph watches with diamante, adding a touch of sparkle to your everyday style. They're also perfect pieces to hold back for special occasions. 

We’ve picked out some of the best women’s watches under £500 to suit all styles and cater to all budgets. Whether you’re looking for a gift for a special lady in your life, or you are a special lady, and want to treat yourself to a brand new watch, you'll find inspiration here.

The best watches for women under £500, in order

1. Apple Watch Series 3

Best smartwatch for women

Specifications
Strap: Multiple options
OS: WatchOS
Colour: Various, including pink
Water resistant: Up to 50m
Reasons to buy
+Handy notifications+Great for fitness +Customisable face
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly more complex than your average timepiece

The Apple Watch is the world's most popular timepiece, so Apple says, and part of the reason for that is its genuinely unisex appeal. 

Allying great design, a huge range of sizes, finishes (including rose gold, if you must) and straps (including pink ones, if you must) to a wide range of techy features, it's basically a smartphone that you can strap to your wrist. 

It tells you not just the time, but also alerts you to calls, messages and calendar appointments, and it's very handy for fitness too – as well as step counting, it's got built-in GPS, heart-rate monitoring and a barometer (for measuring slopes that you run up). 

It's ideal for women who want a watch that will take them from the gym, to work and then out for drinks in the evening. 

2. ROSEFIELD WEGR-W75 The West Village leather and gold-plated watch

A classic, casual watch to match any outfit

Specifications
Strap: Leather
Movement: Japanese Quartz
Colour: Grey
Water resistant: Up to 30m
Reasons to buy
+Easy-to-read face+Soft leather, interchangeable strap

Offering sleek sophistication, for under £100, this dainty Rosefield watch in Elephant grey is a great watch to wear day-to-day, with an easy-to-read face and gold-plated detailing which really makes it special. 

If you want a watch that isn’t too garish and can be worn from day to night, then this sophisticated leather strapped watch will sit comfortably on your wrist and match almost any colour scheme. 

If grey is too plain for you, or you want to change your look, the strap is easily swappable with other Rosefield watch straps. 

3. Guess Ladies' Connect Android Wear Bluetooth Alarm Chronograph Watch

Stand out from the crowd with a blinged-up smartwatch

Specifications
Strap: Metal links
OS: Android Wear
Colour: Gold
Water resistant: Up to 30m
Reasons to buy
+Digital face+Diamante detailing
Reasons to avoid
-Quite chunky 

There are many more varieties of Android Wear watches than there are Apple ones, and that includes models targeted specifically at les femmes.  

This one from Guess combines a rose gold-coloured face and bracelet with Google's wearable OS, allowing you to easily customise the face, making the watch as technical and/or girly as you like. 

The diamante adds a luxury touch for special occasions, or simply to add some sparkle to your daytime outfit. As with Apple Watch Series 3 there are numerous notification options, although with no heart-rate tracker or GPS, fitness functionality is a bit more limited.

4. Daniel Wellington Classic Blk Cornwall 40 Rose Gold Watch

A smart, unisex watch with minimalist face

Specifications
Strap: Fabric
Movement: Quartz
Colour: Black & Rose gold
Water resistant: Up to 30m
Reasons to buy
+Striking face+Soft strap
Reasons to avoid
-A bit masculine 

This Daniel Wellington watch offers something slightly different to women who don’t want a watch that’s too blingy or girly. This unisex watch is striking in all black with rose gold detailing, and has a large flat face which make it easy to read. 

The strap is made from soft fabric which makes it breathable on your wrist, and it is easily adjustable. The black looks very smart and professional, so if you need a new watch for work, this is a strong contender for both men and women.

5. Olivia Burton OB16EX94

A pretty design to add to your jewellery collection

Specifications
Strap: Mesh bracelet
Movement: Quartz
Colour: Black and Gold
Water resistant: Up to 30m
Reasons to buy
+Floral face design+Buckle fastening
Reasons to avoid
-Can be tricky to read 

This Olivia Burton watch is beautifully feminine with a floral patterned face and dainty bracelet strap. If you are on the hunt for a ladies' evening watch that's free of too much bling, this could be just what are after. 

With the deep purple face contrasting a classic gold strap, there's a bit of showy detail without going overboard. The watch is not as bold as some in this list, but if subtle, ladylike chic is your style, this might just be your ideal evening watch.

6. Michael Kors Ladies' Parker Chronograph Watch

On-trend design from well-loved designer Michael Kors

Specifications
Strap: Metal link
Movement: Japanese Quartz
Colour: Rose Gold
Water resistant: up to 100m
Reasons to buy
+Chronograph style+Diamante detailing
Reasons to avoid
-Busy dial  

If you liked the look of the Guess watch but don’t like or need Android Wear, then this Michael Kors watch has all the bling you need, with a classic analogue dial. 

The rose gold bracelet strap makes this watch really on trend for women’s watches 2018. The diamante crystals aren’t too overbearing and add a nice touch of bling that can be worn both day and night, but it does have a busy face, so if you’re eyesight isn’t up to scratch; you may find reading this dial a little tricky. 

7. Olivia Burton Ladies' Big Dial Watch

Elegant, feminine quartz watch in rose gold

Specifications
Strap: Leather
Movement: Quartz
Colour: Rose Gold
Water resistant: Up to 30m
Reasons to buy
+Subtle design+Leather strap
Reasons to avoid
-Strap might wear quickly 

Lovers of rose gold will be well pleased with this watch, with its beautiful nude leather strap and rose gold plated case which gives it an air of sophistication. 

This watch is subtle so if you’re looking for something that isn’t too chunky on your wrist, this slim design, typical of Olivia Burton, is perfect for more petite frames. 

The strap is pale in colour, meaning it may get dirty quite quickly, but this is a lovely design that would make the perfect gift for any woman who isn't allergic to rose gold.

8. Cluse La Roche

Marble-effect, fashionable watch for style conscious ladies

Specifications
Strap: Leather
Movement: Quartz
Colour: Grey/white
Water resistant: Up to 30m
Reasons to buy
+Small and elegant+Marble effect
Reasons to avoid
-No numbers/numerals  

This Cluse watch is totally in fashion for 2018, thanks to a marble effect face and grey leather strap – expect to see cool filtered pics of it on Instagram in no time.

This watch boasts a slightly thinner strap and smaller face than the Michael Kors Parker, making it perfect for ladies on the hunt for something contemporary and on trend, but not too chunky. The La Roche is a simple timepiece with an easy buckle fastening, it won't rock your world with functionality, but if you’re looking for style, this is a great buy for the money.  

Read more:

Get packing for a weekend away with our round up of the best women's weekend bags