Across the past few weeks, I’ve gotten questions from some of y’all out there (thanks for reaching out, by the way!) on stylish budget picks for all manner of things, from weekender bags to blazers. That area also includes watches — and watch shopping can be a bit tricky. If you’re like me and really into watches but don’t want to drop, oh, nearly $20,000 on one watch, there’s actually quite a lot you can do. The picks below encompass watch styles that would work with lots of different outfits, although they skew towards varieties that don’t require matching the leather of your watch strap to your belt and shoes, conversely. There’s also not necessarily preference given to automatic versus quartz watches – leave that to the watch snobs. Check out them out below and let me know your thoughts!
#1. Invicta 8926 Pro Diver — $85.27
That’s an up-close look above at an outstanding watch for the price. The Invicta 8926 Pro Diver has more than shades of a Rolex Submariner, yes, but for a vast amount less. Some people aren’t into watches that pay homage to more famous and iconic styles, but there’s no denying that the strong black face and crisp silver numerals around the bezel are a great look. This watch is dressy yet durable, fit for casual wear (think a white henley and jeans) and at the same time sharp.
#2. Orient Black Ray Automatic Dive Watch — $135
This second watch keeps things in the stainless steel-silver links-black dial category yet there’s something just a bit different about it. Maybe it’s the shape of the numerals on the bezel or the pointed red arrow on the seconds hand, but it feels a little faster and sleeker. The price jumps up a bit in comparison to Invicta’s diver, but plenty have praised Orient for the quality-to-price ratio. This watch is again, durable-looking but plenty fine for wearing with a suit on one end, and with shorts and a T-shirt on the other.
#3. Stuhrling Original Classic Ascot Stainless Steel Watch — $70
While the first two options bring a nice dressy-casual combo, the Stuhrling watch pictured here leans a touch more dressy thanks to the absence of numerals on the dial. Stuhrling’s watches are a nice price for the quality, although I don’t have personal experience with any of their dive watches. The diameter is a shade larger than the Orient Black Ray, but at 42 mm, this should still work with everything on up from a chambray shirt to a suit.
#4. Breda Stephen Watch — $39.50
This pick could be one of the more controversial on here — it’s not a stainless steel diver, so that requires going with brown dress shoes when the time calls for it, it’s not from a tremendously well-known brand, and it’s not incredibly dressy either. But let’s say you’re on a budget and don’t have the need or desire to wear a stainless steel diver — well, here you go. It’s more of a business-casual option thanks to the large numbers at 12, 3, 6 and 9, but it could also pair with a blazer-khaki chinos combo in a pinch (Note that the Timex Easy Reader would also be a good pick here).
#5. Timex Weekender with Slip-Thru Strap — $36
Again, this is another option that won’t necessarily fit for everybody — it’s a great casual watch and could see lots of duty on the weekends but isn’t nearly as versatile during the week. However, if that’s what your lifestyle calls for and you’d like a watch that’s simple but not sloppy, this is the one. The Timex Weekender can be customized with all different types of strap options, including floral paisley patterns if you’re feeling bold. And some lovely leather strap options are also available from Form-Function-Form if you need a slightly more polished look.
When putting together a list like this, there are simply too many to go through to include everything — some honorable mention picks include Skagen’s exceptionally clean and modern Steel Mesh Watch, the Classic Ascot Agent from Stuhrling, the Timex Easy Reader mentioned above, and the Men’s 5 Automatic Watch from Seiko (needed some variety in there, ya dig?). You can also Shop New Arrivals Up to 84% off + Free Delivery via The Watchery here!
What are your thoughts on this list? What’s one versatile watch every guy should have?