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Best Cheap Men's Watches Under $150 for the Money 2017

Updated on February 10, 2017
This inexpensive watch from Citizen not only has eco-drive so it never needs a battery, but also has an eyecatching design as well. It's one of my personal favorites.
This inexpensive watch from Citizen not only has eco-drive so it never needs a battery, but also has an eyecatching design as well. It's one of my personal favorites.

Now that everyone carries around a smartphone, fewer and fewer people rely on watches in order to tell the time. However, beyond simply telling telling the time, a watch can also be a stylish and elegant accessory that can really set you off from the crowd. Even better, finding a good watch does not mean you need to break the bank. There are a lot of good options under $150 with a lot of functionality and a lot of style. This article will first walk you through all the questions you need to answer and information you need to gather before you start watch shopping and then will provide reviews of some of my all-time favorite watches under $150.

Best Cheap Men's Watches: What to Know Before You Start Shopping

G Shock GA-108B
G Shock GA-108B

1. Making a Budget

Why spending a little more is worth it.

Sure, you can easily find a $50 watch at any of your local stores. As with anything, though, you get what you pay for.

A lot of these super-cheap watches are not scratch resistant, and the bands can often start wearing through much more quickly. I have had plenty of cheap watches break within less than six months.

Spending a little more also offers a wider variety of style, so be sure to keep your personality in mind while you are shopping. Pick something that both fits well and suits you.

2. Find the Right Size

I always recommend measuring the width of your wrist before shopping and then taking note of how big the face of each watch is that you are considering.

If you buy a watch that is too big for your arm it can look very odd. Likewise, buying a watch that is too small can also look strange.

3. Choosing the Right Band for your Watch

I don't know about you, but I have issues sometimes with watches that grab my arm hair. I prefer to wear rubber, leather, or cloth bands.

The bracelet type of band is typically made with stainless steel links that are great for adding or removing to get a better fit. Higher ended watches often offer gold plated or titanium bands.

Strap bands come with a solid piece of material. I personally like wearing leather bands because they are classy enough for the office, but still look nice for casual wear.

4. Quartz vs. Mechanical vs. Automatic Watches?

These days, watches keep time through quartz, mechanical, or automatic movement, all of which have their advantages and drawbacks.

How Quartz Movement Works:

Most modern watches rely on quartz movement. These watches work by having a quartz crystal inside the watch reverberate at high frequencies, which cause the motor and hands to move. An electric current passes through the crystal that maintains power to your watch.

On the plus side, a quartz powered watch is actually the most accurate you can find. Though you do have to replace the watch batteries, they usually last quite a while and don't need to be changed except every one-and-a-half to two years.

How Mechanical Movement Works:

Mechanical watches consist of moving gears and springs that need to be wound by hand. Even though this is an old fashioned way of making watches, it is still very popular today.

These are not quite as accurate as quartz watches but if you keep up on winding your watch, you should have no problem in keeping the time.

On the downside, about every 30 days or so, your watch will have a tendency to gain or lose a few minutes.

How Automatic Movement Works:

Automatic moving watches are actually mechanical moving watches except they don't need to be wound.

Wearing them on your wrist keeps it powered and moving by itself. However, If you go for long periods of time without wearing your watch, you will probably need to wind it.

5. Other Watch Features to Look For

Most watches come with hour and minute hands, while others have a second hand as well. It's also fairly common to find a date display on the face of the watch. While there are any number of additional features one could get, here are a couple of the ones I really like:

Continual Calendars May be More Useful than You Know:

Some watches take their features to another level by showing a continual calendar, or the phases of the moon.

You might not be interested in the moon phases but many people have health issues that are inflamed during different moon cycles, so this can be a handy feature for them.

Water Resistance or Water Proofing?

Most watches come with some level of water resistance. Keep in mind, though, that water resistant is not the same as waterproof.

Sports watches are typically the only watches that are designed to go diving with. However, water resistance will keep your watch protected if you get caught in the rain, wash your hands, or accidentally wear it in the pool.

Watches are typically water resistant up to about 90 feet or so, though you can find many that give you more water resistant protection.

For the sporty person, there are watches that include GPS tracking, diving meters, and heart rate monitors.

Best Men's Watches Under $150

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As you can see this is a gorgeous timepiece. For around $150 to around $200 you won't find a better automatic mechanical watch for the money.
As you can see this is a gorgeous timepiece. For around $150 to around $200 you won't find a better automatic mechanical watch for the money.
As you can see this is a gorgeous timepiece. For around $150 to around $200 you won't find a better automatic mechanical watch for the money.

An Automatic Men's Mechanical Dress Watch Under $150

Ranging from $150 to $200, Bulova's 96A108 mechanical leather watch is one of my personal favorites. It's not as pricey or prestigious as a Rolex, but it looks nearly as good and keeps perfect time. I get compliments nearly every time I wear it.

The automatic mechanical movement is Japanese rather than Swiss. While this may deter some I find the watch to be as accurate as any of the Swiss mechanical watches I've previously owned. I do have to adjust the time every so often, but I love the feeling of never having to rely on or change the battery.

A Rugged Men's Watch For Under $100

Casio G-Shock

If you're a sports enthusiasts, then I highly recommend a watch from G-Shock. One of my particular favorite models is their white GA-100B Limited edition.

The watch looks great and has been with me through everything from diving to mountain climbing. Though pretty sporty-looking, it's still dressy enough to be worn at the office. It’s also resistant to shock, to depths of up to 200 meters, and to magnets. The only downside is that I have to clean the white band every so often as it gets dirty

I personally really like large watch faces, but if you'd prefer something smaller then this 51mm diameter watch may not be for you. If you're looking for a large watch face, then a Nixon or G-Shock watch is a good overall value purchase.

Six Best Men's Watches Under $150 - The Specs

Watch
Movement
Case Diameter
Water Resistance Depth
Bulova Men's 96A108
Automatic/Mechanical
41mm
99 feet
G-Shock Limited Edition
Japanese Quartz
50mm
200 feet
Nava Time Ora Lattea Unisex Watch
Swiss Quartz
36mm
100 feet
Citizen Men's AT0810-55X
Japanese Quartz
43mm
330 feet
Fossil ME1120
Analog Quartz
45mm
500 meters
Danish Design IV13Q1022
Japanese Quartz
43mm
30 meters

A Unique Men's Watch Around $150

Nava Time Ora Lattea

Eccentric personalities will love this Nava Time Watch Ora Lattea.
Eccentric personalities will love this Nava Time Watch Ora Lattea.

Nava Time Ora Lattea

If you like to stand out in a crowd, then I highly recommend this Ora Lattea watch from Nava. The face of this watch will be a conversation starter as few will ever have seen its like before. Instead of hands, it has dots, which mark the hour and minutes. It's a Swiss watch with a genuine leather strap and one of the more interesting options I have to wear.

Final Thoughts:

This clearly isn't a watch you buy for functionality. That being said it's design and look seems well worth the price.

If you like to stand out in a crowd, then I highly recommend this Ora Lattea watch from Nava. A Swiss-made watch with a genuine leather strap, it's one of the more interesting and unusual wristwatch options I have to wear. Though clearly not a watch you buy for its functionality, its design and look are well worth the price.

A Good Stainless Steel Men's Sport Watch Under $150

Another favorite of mine is the Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Sport watch which averages from $150 to $200. The watch movement is Japanese quartz and is powered by light. This is a very solid watch that not only looks great, but also has nice features like water resistance, a stainless steel band, durable crystal window, and a five year warranty.


Overall, you can't go wrong with this watch, and it's one you'll be able to use for a long time. The Eco-Drive functions perfectly and really makes this watch a good care-free option for your collection.

Another really cool watch in my collection, the Diesel Viewfinder.
Another really cool watch in my collection, the Diesel Viewfinder.

One of my favorites is the Danish Design. This watch is not that well known but is becoming more popular each day. There are no typical “hands” to this watch, instead there are LED lights that light up the hour and minute hands.

Do you think that $150 watches are worth buying?

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Fossil Machine Twist Stainless Steel Watch
Fossil Machine Twist Stainless Steel Watch

Where Technology is going with Men's Watches

If you have a bit of an unusual style, many companies are coming out with watches that are very unique.

You can find watches with very non typical faces for timekeeping such as bars and graphs.

There are those that offer cameras or voice recording, as well as watches that will speak to you.

5 stars for Bulova Men's AUtomatic Mechanical Watch

© 2013 JC Heppler

Open Watch Discussion and Commentary for Readers

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    • TOPTENKIDS profile image

      Lexi Belliston 3 years ago from USA

      I personally like spending a little more because I think that the quality of a watch really goes up by spending $50 to $100 more.

    • profile image

      Jake Balser 3 years ago

      Watches seem to be one of my fetishes. I need a watch that looks cool and will go with anything. You have given me some great options. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Jorge 3 years ago

      Not only do I think spending 150 dollars on a timepiece is reasonable but easily 5000 for a timepiece with the history, the style, the substance, etc.

      When I shake hands and see a Zenith on a man's wrist or even a Seiko Premier, I know he has the taste and the knowledge behind him.

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