A good watch (or two) is almost a wardrobe must-have. Okay, okay, maybe not a must-have, but a decent timepiece is often the key to a style statement whether you're a suited a booted city slicker or dressed down country bumpkin. However, if you don’t want to spend a fortune, or you want your budget to stretch to more than one watch, then there are plenty of stylish watches out there that won’t break the bank, with some of the best watches for men under £500 coming from brands you might not expect.
If you’re aiming for a high-end mechanical watch, you may have thought these were out of the question with a £500 budget, but with brands such as Tissot getting in on the upper-end high street game, you might be surprised what you can bag for your budget.
However, if you’re looking for a watch that is a little cheaper than this but still looks good, then the most affordable watches you can get are quartz watches, which are battery powered rather than mechanical. There are also a range of other benefits to investing in a quartz watch that can make them better value for money. Quartz watches tend to be much more accurate than mechanical watches and far less maintenance as you can expect to only need to change the battery every now and then, plus, no need for a watch winder with these low-maintenance timepieces - something you will need to consider if you opt for an automatic watch.
When it comes to watch straps, of course there are the classic leather straps and link style bracelet options as you would expect. But, if you’re more active or sporty, then a rubber or fabric band will provide flexibility and wear well with everyday use and are becoming increasingly popular, even with high-end brands.
The style of dial you choose is totally down to personal preference, bigger dials and roman numerals keep things minimal, whereas chronograph dials are great for those who are active and want to use functions such as timers and keep track of the date, too.
We’ve picked out some of the best men’s watches under £500 that are both stylish and functional. From classic leather designs to funky chronograph dials, there’s something to suit every man.
1. HUGO BOSS Men's Signature Automatic Leather Strap Watch
A distinctly modern design for a quirky addition to your wrist
Best for: Distinct design | Movement: Self-winding | Material: Steel/leather | Water resistant: 30m
If designer is your thing, then you can still get this stunning Hugo Boss watch for just under £500. This is an automatic, self-winding chronograph watch that has a modern twist to it. The rose gold coloured casing and brown leather strap give it a softer touch to the more typical silver and black designs you might find from designers, which makes it a popular choice amongst men who want a watch for every day and occasion wear. It is at the higher end of the price range, but if you’re looking for a luxury gift for the man in your life, this distinct designer watch could be just the thing.
2. JUNGHANS MAX BILL - 041/4462.00
Minimalist and elegant; this watch is perfect for the professional
Best for: Slim design | Movement: Quartz | Material: Stainless steel, leather | Water resistant: Splash proof
Some watches can be very chunky on the wrist, but if you want something a little more subtle and elegant for wearing to work, then this slim black watch is both comfy and stylish. The sunray watch face gives this watch a contemporary design and the all-black dial and strap make it a popular choice for a smart day-to-day watch. The soft black leather strap makes for a comfortable addition to your wrist.
3. Tissot Visodate
A classic brown croc strap with a striking silver face
Best for: classic look | Movement: Automatic | Material: Stainless steel/leather | Water resistant: 30 m
This men’s watch is a great purchase at under £500, and offers a classic leather strap with a contrasting silver face. This watch isn’t chronograph, but it does have the date function on the dial and men like the bold Tissot logo on the front. The silver numerals against a white background may be tricky to read for some, but ultimately it provides a sporty contrast to the crocodile leather strap for those who want to wear this watch from the office and out to dinner.
4. Elliot Brown Canford
A sporty style watch for the active gentleman
Best for: Active lifestyles | Movement: Quartz | Material: Ion plated steel/fabric | Water resistant: 200m
If you’re always on the go, then this slim watch with fabric band could be the perfect timepiece for you. The watch itself is water resistant up to 200 metres, and those who work in marine environments found this watch to be very practical for them while remaining stylish. It’s not a dress watch for wearing with a suit, but its black face keeps it looking smart for daytime wear. The fabric khaki wristband is also said to wear well when worn every day.
5. Tissot Men's Tradition Chronograph Date Leather Strap Watch
A classic wrist watch with an elegant twist
Best for: Elegance | Movement: Quartz | Material: Stainless steel/leather | Water resistant: 30 m
This is another entry from Tissot which offers a classic leather strap combined with a chronograph dial. This time, the face features rose gold accents which add a touch of warmth to this wrist watch. If you’re looking for an elegant dress watch with a twist, then this one is definitely on trend right now. Some don’t like the colour, but if you prefer browns and tweeds as opposed to black and white, then this could complement your wardrobe in all the right ways.
6. Links Of London Brompton Black
A classic chain link wrist band to add a touch of bling
Best for: Flashy watch | Movement: Quartz | Material: Stainless steel | Water resistant: 50m
It’s not all about leather straps these days, the good old chain link is still popular amongst men and this one would certainly catch anyone’s eye on the wrist. This Links of London watch has an easy-to-read face with chronograph dials, with a bracelet that is easy to adjust and less likely to wear than leather. Men love the sophisticated look of this watch, although the link bracelet is a bit too flashy for some. If you want to make a statement, then this is a great professional-looking watch.