Wristreview Author Looks At The Best Budget Watches Starting Under $300

Best Budget Watches

By the time you are thinking about budget and moving towards a buying decision, you will have thought about what style of watch you are looking for based on where you will be wearing it and what you will be doing and if you have not been through this process read ‘Where will I wear it?‘ and ‘What style is right for me?’.

What’s My Budget?

The prices of watches can vary from the extremes from $20 to $5m but our job is to set a budget based on our needs and our resources. If you’ve got your heart set on a Swiss Made watch you will have to be realistic and accept that your budget will need to start from $500 and upwards if you’re looking for a high-end Japanese piece then $500 is probably an acceptable budget.


Something to bear in mind when looking through hundreds of potential options is when you find two dissimilar watches with similar price points always investigate which movements are fitted. Mechanical movements will in most cases make a watch more expensive, meaning in the final analysis, we get more functions at a lower price on a quartz watch.

With this in mind let’s run through some price points and see what we can expect to find within those ranges.

Under $300

If you’ve $300 burning a hole in your pocket this is a nice budget for a Fashion branded watch such as Emporio Armani, Michael Kors, or Vivienne Westwood for example, who have sizable ranges of stylish well-made watches to complete your seasonal look.

Around $500

At the $500 mark, this is where we need to start making decisions because this is where the entry level begins for Swiss Made luxury watches, and at the same place this is where the high-end Japanese market sits. So, the decision is do you take the Swiss road and look for an entry level Tissot or top of the line Citizen or Seiko?

Around $1,000

The good news is that if you are in possession of four-figure or $1000 budget you can really start to shop around for some top end brands. Between $500 to $1000 can afford you traditional Swiss luxury watch brands such as Alpina, Edox, and Frederique Constant.

$5000 +

If your budget can stretch past the £1000 mark and passed the $3000 into the $5000 area, this is where things really start looking good for classic Swiss luxury with brands like Rolex, TAG Heuer, Omega, Longines which are all very popular. For example, the Omega Seamaster 300m comes in at around $3000 from discount stores and $5000 direct from the Omega website.

These brands will always be on the expensive side due to years of watchmaking experience, the hand-crafted mechanical movements, and in many cases made using top quality precious materials, that are designed to last for generations.

Brand Notes

Just to get the ball rolling here are a few notes to get your blood pumping and your adrenaline surging through your veins.

Breitlings‘ strapline is ‘Instruments For Professionals’ their products and publicity are firmly placed in the Aviation space specializing in watches for pilots as well as divers. Breitling is one of the few SWiss manufacturers to make mechanical chronograph movements in-house.

Omegas‘ Speedmaster was the first watch on the moon, now known as the ‘Moon watch’, they are one of the most famous and iconic brands on the planet worn by the famous and infamous from James Bond to Prince William. Today, Omegas’ Master Co-Axial calibers are the most technically advanced in the industry

TAG Heuer
The TAG Heuer Carrera and Monaco are the best known of their collection worn by the likes of Steve McQueen, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Cameron Diaz. They are also responsible for a number chronograph advances through their association with motorsport.

One of the biggest and most important brands and possibly the best value to come out of Switzerland, Tissot make Quartz and Mechanical watches including the multifunction T-Touch. Look out for their automatics featuring the Powermatic 80 caliber.

Rolex is probably the most famous of watchmakers and the Submariner the most famous of their collection. They are well recognized and respected globally for their quality, accuracy, and design.

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For more information about where to look for your favorite watch brand why not read my watch store reviews to get a better idea where to look?

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carl scutt
carl scutt
Carl's the founder and editor of discountwatchstores.com. His background's in Technology and Internet Marketing. He currently lives in southern Spain. Learn more about him here, and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.