With many budding collectors and enthusiasts looking for a decent bang-for-your-buck watch without having to dig too deep into their pockets, we've decided to put together a list of the best watches you can buy for under $250. Our focus was on finding mechanical watches under the $250, with one exception. From Seiko to Swatch and Orient, find the best watches you can buy right now for less than $250.
A revelation in affordable watchmaking and the first mechanical watch with a fully automated construction. Featuring only 51 parts, a single central screw all encased in super funky plastic packaging. The Sistem51 is available in a variety of fun colours and styles to choose from, with something for everything throughout the collection.
The Seiko 5 is the undisputed champion of the affordable mechanical watch category. For a watch costing as little as the affectionate 5 does, it sure does have a lot going for it. A beautiful smooth sweeping seconds hand, a day-date function and an exposed movement. Originally available on a NATO strap, we've got a few options below to divvy up the beloved Seiko 5. But, in its truest and purest form, the Seiko 5 is the best affordable mechanical watch you could ever buy, hands on.
Seiko 5 on a Steel Bracelet
The wonderful thing about the Seiko 5 is that it looks like a completely different watch when matched with a steel bracelet. It still looks as direct and simple as the original Seiko 5, but the steel bracelet elevates the watch to a whole new level. Easy enough to wear casually, the steel bracelet gives the 5 a dressier look, with enough refinement to be paired with a smart-casual outfit. If you reached a tiny bit further into your pocket, you'll be able to grab this steel bracelet version.
Seiko 5 Black
The final Seiko on this list, is the black on black version of the 5. This beefed up version has a black 44mm wide case (as opposed to the 37mm wide version on the original), along with a matching black dial and black steel bracelet. This dark, menacing figure looks like a 5 that has been pumped with steroids. And I love it. The Seiko 5 Black still has a day-date function and still runs an automatic movement, all the while looking wild, aggressive and brash. However, this is as far as I would want the Seiko 5 to be pushed.
Orient Bambino Small Seconds
Taking a trip back to the side of tradition is the conservative Bambino Small Seconds from Orient. Classically designed, subtle details and an almost inconspicuous nature, the Bambino Small Seconds comes just under our pricing threshold, but it's a piece that I felt compelled to add. Featuring a 40.50mm wide, 12mm thick steel case and a beautiful creamy dial, the Bambino Small Seconds carries with it all the traits of a typical Swiss dress watch minus the price tag.
Casio G-Shock Solar G5600E-1
Casio's G-Shock Solar G5600E-1 is the exception to the list which predominantly features affordable mechanical watches. But it is, perhaps, the best all-rounder. The G-Shock Solar G5600E-1 has everything you would ever need in a watch, and more. Admittedly it would be difficult to dress up, but stranger things have happened. Wear it at work or at play and rest assured that the trusty G-Shock Solar G5600E-1 will handle whatever is thrown at it.