The best watches under £1000

The best budget watches and watch brands for cut-price horology

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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.

If you're after EVEN MORE budget time pieces, you should check out our favourite watches under £200.

Timex Fairfield Chronograph

A perfect companion for Spring or Summer

Reasons to buy
+Attractive straps+Clear design+Lightweight+Night light

The Timex Fairfield Chrono is an attractive, lightweight piece available in a number of different strap materials and dial colours. The easy-to-read face features Timex's brilliant Indiglo night-light, and is powered by Timex's unique movement technology.

Casio Calculator Databank Watch

The original smartwatch

Reasons to buy
+Also a calculator+Also an address book+Battery life
Reasons to avoid
-It's ugly

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.

Fossil Nate

A chunky piece for the weekend worrier

Reasons to buy
+Rugged design+Waterproof+Easy to read
Reasons to avoid
  • Empty list

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.

Swatch Sistem51

An affordable Swiss-made marvel

Reasons to buy
+Swiss-made+Mechanical+51 components
Reasons to avoid
-Plastic casing

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.

Skagen Single Hand Ancher Mono Limited Edition

An super attractive limited edition piece

Reasons to buy
+Single-hand design+Slim profile+Titanium case
Reasons to avoid
-Hard to find

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.

This piece is a limited edition, so you may have trouble finding one new, but keep an eye out for second hand examples.

Casio Edifice Time Traveller

For the globe trotter on a budget

Reasons to buy
+Auto timezone+Phone finder+Bluetooth 4.0
Reasons to avoid
-Loud design

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…

Paul Smith Petrol and Silver Precision Chronograph

A quintessentially British design

Reasons to buy
+Great colour scheme+Inspired by motor racing+Japanese quartz movement
Reasons to avoid
-Steel strap

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.

Buy the Precision Chronograph from Paul Smith

Victorinox I.N.O.X.

An ultra-rugged piece from Swiss knife makers

Reasons to buy
+Durable design+Not too large+Versatile
Reasons to avoid
-Too small for some

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.

C3 Malvern Chronograph MK II

A British luxury brand which offers outstanding value

Reasons to buy
+British brand+Swiss made+Great value+Attractive design

Christopher Ward is a British company renowned for its affordable-luxury, Swiss-made watches. The C3 Malvern Chronograph Mk III is an incredibly attractive dress watch which has been influenced by the design of sports cars. It features a compact Ronda 3520.D movement in a case which measures 39mm diameter. Outstanding value.

Nixon 51-30 SW

Buy this watch, you must

Reasons to buy
+Cool brand+Not overly nerdy+Clear design
Reasons to avoid
-Tide indicator niche

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.

Mondaine Stop2Go

Mimics traditional Swiss railway clocks

Reasons to buy
+Confident design+Cool history+Swiss-made+Clear

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.

Elliot Brown Bloxworth Chronograph

A Great British chronograph

Reasons to buy
+Classic diving watch design+Rubber straps are great+British brand
Reasons to avoid
-Odd hand design

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.

Uniform Wares M42

A chronograph for fans of minimalism

Reasons to buy
+Nappa leather strap+Minimal design+Designed in London+Stainless steel case

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.

Tissot T-Touch

The original touchscreen watch

Reasons to buy
+Lots of functions+Great design+Solar powered+Really useful

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

Raymond Weil Tango

The Weil deal

Reasons to buy
+Sophsticated steel design+Timeless
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

Raymond Weil's Tango model is a smart sophisticated piece, with a real emphasis on style, making it great inside and outside work. Grey and silver always compliment each other beautifully, and will go with any outfit. The classic details are clear and not overly fussy.

Oris Williams F1 Team Day

Celebrates the partnership between Oris and Willams F1

Reasons to buy
+Subtle design+For F1 fans+Durable runner strap+Clean face

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.

Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch

This Swiss timepiece also counts your steps

Reasons to buy
+Elegant design+Fitness tracking+Long battery life+Sleep tracking

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.

Read our review of the Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch

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