We've spent many hours searching far and wide, looking for the best automatic watches you can buy for a reasonable price just in time for Christmas. And in the market of mechanical watches under $500, there is a plethora of quality timepieces ripe for the picking. We've put together a list of our 7 favourite budget-friendly automatic watches that we're sure you'll love, whether it be a gift for someone else or something special for yourself!
Hamilton Khaki Field
Featuring a black military style dial, patinated hands and hour numerals and a beautiful brown distressed leather strap, at the very least from a visceral perspective, the Khaki Field is a winner. Combine its appealing visuals with a Swiss-made automatic movement along with a super wallet-friendly price tag, and what you get is one heck of a bang-for-your-buck watch.
Tissot Everytime Swissmatic
Available in a variety of dial colours, the Everytime Swissmatic is perhaps the world's greatest automatic dress watch in this sub-$500 category. A simple and clean design matched with an interesting and surprisingly well put together movement really leaves little to complain about. As a proud owner of the black-dialled variant shown above, I felt like I just had to feature it, even though it was on the less expensive side of things. A real winner in my book.
Raymond Weil Maestro Automatic
An automatic timepiece from one of the industry’s best entry-level brands, yep we found one. Featuring a beautifully patterned black dial and a conservatively sized 39mm wide stainless steel case, the Raymond Weil Maestro Automatic was a no-brainer for us when we found it, particularly given its absurd price. A genuine Swiss made automatic movement rounds off what is one of this list’s highlights.
Tissot T-One Day Date
A smidge more expensive than the Everytime Swissmatic, the T-One Day Date is perhaps the smarter choice in the sense that it holds a day/date indicator and comes on a steel bracelet. This particular example comes with a super clean white dial, but it does also come with a black dial. A budget-friendly do-it-all kind of watch. Tissot wins again with the T-One.
Glycine Combat 6
I felt as though Glycine had to feature on this list. There was a surprisingly large variety of Glycines to choose from, but this particular model caught my eye immediately. The combination of the steel case, the black dial, the lume filled hands, the bold printed hour numerals and the green NATO strap made the Combat 6 a definite choice for this list. With it utilitarian look and durable design, the Combat 6 is not only a decent daily wearer, but it's also a solid conversation piece, too. And did we mention that it won't burn a hole in your pocket?
AVI-8 'Flyboy' Aviator
Black on black with a hint of red, AVI-8's 'Flyboy' Aviator is a delightful watch that combines a sleek, steathly look with a sound Japanese-made automatic movement. AVI-8 has a penchant at producing aviation-inspired watches, and the 'Flyboy' Aviator is a prime example of that. The black case and dial are offset by the dark grey mesh strap and makes for a dramatic and intriguing look. Super cool!
Orient Ray II Day-Date
Another dark-themed watch, this time from Orient, is the Ray II Day-Date. Featuring a dark grey case and dial offset by a black unidirectional bezel and white hour markers and hands, the Ray II Day-Date has striking yet overly subtle look to it. Coupled with a day-date indicator, it makes for the perfect modern daily wearer. The touch of red on the seconds hand along with the textured dial makes the Ray II Day-Date a great choice, too.