When thinking about purchasing a good, reliable watch, the first brands that pop to mind are usually expensive, overhyped luxury watch brands. Like with cars, though, the quality and features offered by a watch brand stop increasing with the purchase price and at some point, you are just feeding the hype.
If you want to start a watch collection, before burning your budget on one or two luxury automatic watches, under $500 might be the budgetary sweet spot.
Finding the Right Automatic Watch Under $500
Nowadays, you can find good reliable watches for under $500 and even under $100 that offer features that, 30 years ago, you could only find among luxury watches, like a water resistance of 10 to 30 bar, scratch-resistant sapphire glass, titanium or bronze cases, Swiss or Japanese automatic movements, tritium or luminova illumination, and, of course, a high-quality appearance and design.
Sure, a luxury watch from a well-known Swiss brand can also be an investment. However, if you are just looking for a beautiful everyday timepiece to start a watch collection, there are plenty of brands out there to choose from.
Here is a curated selection of 10 best under 500 watches from watch microbrands or less popular watch brands, by categories, in descending order by price: