The 20 Best Automatic Watches for Men Under $500 | WornSimple.com
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The 20 Best Automatic Watches for Men Under $500

By September 17, 2020 No Comments
The 20 Best Automatic Watches for Men Under $500

Automatic watches are mechanical timepieces that use the wearer’s natural motion to provide the energy required to wind the mainspring, thus making manual winding and a battery unnecessary. As compared to manual watches, which also don’t need a battery, but require manual winding, automatic watches can be stored in automatic winding boxes to keep them going when you’re not wearing them for extended periods. Thankfully most automatic watches will last around 40 to 60 hours when fully wound, so if you’re a daily wearer, you may not even need a winding box. 

For years cheap automatic watches were relatively sub-par. But in the last twenty years, manufacturers from the likes of timepiece giants such as Hamilton, Fossil, Tissot, Citizen, Timex, and many others have flooded the market with affordable automatic watches. This new breed of automatic watches for men are not only of superior quality but can often be found for under $500. This has been no small feat, but the result is that you can now own a serious dress watch with an automatic movement for a fraction of the cost of what you had to pay not too long ago. 

We’ve gotten to the point where there are thousands of automatic watches for men that fall into this affordable price category. So now the question that remains, gentlemen, is, how do you choose? Which brand should you pick? Out of the thousands of options, which automatic watch is right for you? Don’t worry; I’ve owned over a dozen automatics, so I have some experience. Here are the ones I think you should consider when shopping for an affordable automatic watch.

1. Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Black Dial Automatic Men's Watch

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Black Dial Automatic Men's Watch

This beautiful automatic watch from Hamilton tends to fluctuate in price at most retailers right around the $500 mark. Sometimes its a bit under, and sometimes its a bit over. But regardless of which side of the line it falls on any particular day, the Hamilton brand is worth paying for. Available in other colour options, including a Silver and Navy combination as well as a Black and Silver combination, this watch is an eye-catching timepiece. The three-hand movement is encased in a 100-meter water-resistant case with a beautifully crafted coin-edge. Every small detail of this watch is finely refined, and having seen one in person on a few occasions, I can say definitively that no photo I’ve seen does it justice.  

 

Key Features

  • Stainless steel case
  • Automatic movement lasts for up to 80 hours
  • Three-hand movement with date function

Specifications

  • Case size: 40 mm
  • Water Resistance: 10 ATM
  • Movement: Automatic

2. Orient 2'nd Gen Bambino Version III Japanese Automatic Watch

Orient 2'nd Gen Bambino Version III Japanese Automatic Watch

Coming in at under $100, this is one of the most affordable high-quality automatic watches for men that I’ve seen. Don’t be fooled, though; Orient is a great brand of watches that has been operating for over seventy years. The minimalist look is punctuated by the large hour and minute markers but without any numbers to clutter the dial. Some call it a Sunburst dial. You can choose the colour to match your style in four dial colours, including black, white, blue, and grey.

Key Features

  • ORIENT Cal. F6724 Automatic movement
  • Power reserve lasts about 40 hours
  • Domed mineral crystal
  • Leather band

Specifications

  • Case size: 40.5 mm
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Case thickness: 11.8 mm

3. MVMT - Obsidian Ore

MVMT - Obsidian Ore

This modern classic automatic watch from MVMT is what you get when you combine stealthy aesthetics and the art of automatic watchmaking. Made with over three times the parts that a traditional quartz watch is made of, the Obsidian Ore is a stunning black watch with a black Milanese strap on the back. The rear of the case is see-through, allowing you to see the Japanese Miyota movement’s dynamic intricacies. The fine red tip accompanies the exquisite silver hands and markers on the seconds hand, which is a perfect accent to the entire dial.

Key Features

  • Brushed black stainless steel case
  • Interchangeable strap
  • Date window 
  • Hardened K1 Mineral Crystal glass

Specifications

  • Case size: 41 mm
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Movement: Miyota 821A Automatic
  • Case thickness: 13.25 mm

4. The 5th Blue Auto Watch

The 5th Blue Auto Watch

With a forty-eight-hour power reserve, this beautiful watch from The 5th features a polished steel bezel and features 26 jewels within its automatic mechanism. With exquisite features such as the turn brushed lugs and sapphire crystal and dark super Luminova hands and indices, the Blue Auto is a standout watch amongst this collection of automatics under $500. Not the least of which, because it’s Swiss made.

This is the type of watch that you will hand down to a son, a daughter, or a friend, and hope that they are as careful of a custodian as you are when it comes to taking care of this beautiful timepiece.

Key Features

  • Polished steel belly case
  • Turn brushed lugs
  • Buckle fasten with a navy coloured Italian leather strap that can be changed. 
  • See-through case back
  • Limited edition engraving
  • 5-sided crown

Specifications

  • Case size: 41 mm
  • Water Resistance: 10 ATM
  • Movement: 26 Jewel Swiss Made automatic movement
  • Case thickness: 9.85 mm

5. Bulova - Classic Wilton Automatic Silver Dial Men's Watch

Bulova - Classic Wilton Automatic Silver Dial Men's Watch

Cast from a stainless steel case and surrounded by a black leather strap, this Bulova watch uses gorgeous and unobnoxious Roman numerals as the hour markers. Three inner dials display 24-hour, day of the week, and power reserve. I want to point out that it’s rare to find any sort of readout for power reserve on automatic watches, so this is a nice touch by Bulova’s. This automatic watch’s classic look is something you’ll be more than happy with when you slip it on your wrist each morning or for a night out on the town with your partner. This watch hits all the right marks with a transparent case back to show off its beautiful internals.

Key Features

  • Fixed stainless steel bezel
  • Stainless steel case
  • Luminous silver-tone hands
  • Power reserve indicator along with 24-hour and day of the week info
  • 40-hour power reserve
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Transparent case back

Specifications

  • Case size: 43 mm
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Movement: Automatic

6. Fossil Men's Townsman Automatic Stainless Steel Mechanical Watch

Fossil Men's Townsman Automatic Stainless Steel Mechanical Watch

There are plenty of ways to screw up roman numerals on a watch dial. Trust, me, I’ve seen plenty of ill-conceived designs. This is an increasingly more difficult task when it comes to designing hour markers on a white dial watch. But I’m glad to see that Fossil got this aspect of horological device design right. This round-faced automatic watch features a small but tasteful window into this watch’s innards, thus creating a partial skeleton dial. Available in a host of beautiful colour and band options, this is one of the best looking automatic watches you’ll find for well under five hundred dollars.

Key Features

  • Roman numeral indices
  • Automatic self-winding movement
  • Black calfskin band with buckle closure

Specifications

  • Case size: 44 mm
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Movement: Automatic

7. Jack Mason - Pursuit Automatic - 42mm

Jack Mason - Pursuit Automatic - 42mm

There’s something simply so charming and iconic about the look of a classic pilot’s watch. The Pursuit, from a brand I’m growing more and more fond of, Jack Mason, is such a watch. Inspired by designs of classic pilot’s watches, this watch’s black dial, along with contrasting, spear-tipped hour markers, give this automatic watch its classic look. The matching tan Italian leather strap with black buckle is the perfect matching strap, and the see-through exhibition case-back makes for a truly gorgeous timepiece.

Key Features

  • 316L stainless steel case
  • Swiss Super-Luminova markings and indices for improved night-time visibility
  • Interchangeable strap with quick release pins
  • Sapphire glass

Specifications

  • Case size: 42 mm
  • Water Resistance: 10 ATM
  • Movement: Japanese Miyota 821A Automatic

8. Stuhrling Original - Regatta 792 Automatic 42mm Diver

Stuhrling Original - Regatta 792 Automatic 42mm Diver

Here’s another watch whose classic styling is a nod to diver’s watches of old. With gorgeous luminous hands, indexes, and a rotating coin-edge bezel, the Regatta’s automatic movement is just the cherry on top. This men’s automatic watch is remarkable from every single angle. It’s no wonder that it’s often sold out, even on the official Stuhrling website. This nearly twenty-year-old brand started by creating tourbillons. These little fly-wheels are now usually included on far more expensive watches. But it was a sign of Sturhling’s ambition and the brand’s ability to show off its watchmaking chops right out of the gate. 

Complemented by a stainless steel link bracelet, this automatic watch isn’t just all pretty looks. It’s filled with many features you wouldn’t normally find in a mechanical watch found at this price point. 

Key Features

  • 316L Stainless Steel case
  • Screw-down fluted crown with Stuhrling S logo
  • Screw-down Krysterna case back
  • Coin-edge unidirectional rotating bezel
  • Luminous Rolex style hands
  • Day of month-magnifier
  • Exhibition case back
  • Deployant clasp on the strap

Specifications

  • Case size: 42 mm
  • Water Resistance: 20 ATM
  • Movement: Japanese Miyota 8215 Automatic

9. Bulova Sutton Men's 43mm Classic Automatic Watch

Bulova Sutton Men's 43mm Classic Automatic Watch

This stainless steel cased silver and blue watch sports what the industry calls a “skeleton” dial. That means that the front dial shows some percentage of the watch’s interior and incorporates those internals into the overall dial design. I’m not normally a fan of skeleton watches because I often find that the internals of a timepiece, while beautiful in their own right, can overcomplicate the front-facing dial. The inner gears and small parts’ intricacies can also overpower any hand indices or hour and minute markers. But in this automatic Bulova watch, the designers thought of these problems in a consistently excellent way. The contrast between the white and silver components and the deep blue roman numeral hour markers make for a very attractive dial.

Featuring a self-winding movement and a matching stainless steel bracelet, the flat mineral glass is a nice finishing touch on this beautiful automatic watch.

Key Features

  • Automatic mechanical movement
  • Flat mineral glass
  • Skeleton dial
  • Exhibition caseback
  • Stainless steel link bracelet

Specifications

  • Case size: 43 mm
  • Water Resistance: 10 ATM
  • Movement: Automatic

10. Tissot Seastar 1000 Automatic Black Dial Men's Watch

Tissot Seastar 1000 Automatic Black Dial Men's Watch

Yes, this may be the ultimate diving watch for under $500 that you never have to wind. It’s also available in a huge variety of colour and band options, ensuring you can pick one of them that matches your style. This is an automatic watch with a healthy mix of fashion and performance. It can be safely taken down to a maximum depth of 300m. Which let’s be honest, most of us will never do. Powered by an automatic Swiss movement, one of this watch’s top features is an 80-hour power reserve. That means you can safely go a long-weekend without wearing one without the need to wind it. But then again, with its gorgeous styling, why would you want to?

Key Features

  • Unidirectional rotating stainless steel bezel with a black ceramic ring
  • Luminous silver-tone hands and dot hour markers
  • Date display at the 6 o’clock position
  • 80-hour power reserve
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Screw-down crown
  • Transparent case-back

Specifications

  • Case size: 43 mm
  • Water Resistance: 30 ATM
  • Movement: Automatic Powermatic 80.111

11. Orient Diver Watch SAA0200BD9 Automatic Watch

Orient Diver Watch SAA0200BD9 Automatic Watch

I’m going to quickly gloss over the fact that someone over at Orient needs to re-examine their product naming policy, in favour of talking about the merits of this attractive automatic diving watch. First, this is not a hardcore watch; rather, it’s a good casual introduction at a reasonable price for anyone who wants to purchase their first automatic timepiece. It’s an excellent addition to your watch collection because its imbued with all the features you would expect and more! You can read about those below, but I wanted to point out is that this watch has one truly unique feature. In addition to featuring an automatic movement, the designers of this watch decided to add something different. It can also be wound by hand.

Key Features

  • Stainless steel link band
  • Stainless steel case
  • Sapphire crystal glass
  • Fold-over with double push-button safety clasp
  • Rotating bezel

Specifications

  • Case size: 41.5 mm
  • Movement: Orient Cal. F6922 Automatic, with hand-winding optional

12. Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic Black Dial Men's Watch

Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic Black Dial Men's Watch

Highly rated and beloved by customers, This silver-toned Hamilton watch features a stainless steel case with a brown leather strap. Its black dial is supplemented by luminous silver-tone hands and oversized hour numerals. The standout design feature being the “12” and “6” hour markers are about 50% larger than the other integers, creating a nice effect. A clean and sharp day of the month window presents a nice contrast to the black dial, and the small minute markers around the outer rim are an excellent and intricate aesthetic touch. This model is available in eight colour and strap combinations, so if you like it, you have plenty of choices available.

Key Features

  • Stainless steel link band
  • Stainless steel case
  • Sapphire crystal glass
  • Fold-over with double push-button safety clasp
  • Rotating bezel

Specifications

  • Case size: 41.5 mm
  • Movement: Orient Cal. F6922 Automatic, with hand-winding optional

13. Fossil Men's Grant Sport Automatic Stainless Steel Mechanical Watch

Fossil Men's Grant Sport Automatic Stainless Steel Mechanical Watch

I see that sellers are still doing all manner of keyword stuffing in their product descriptions on the world’s biggest marketplace. In any case, this Fossil automatic watch is one of the more affordable pieces you’ll find on this list. That’s probably because it’s a Fossil. Not that there’s anything wrong with Fossils. Still, in the horology world, the brand is essentially known for being accessible to nearly everyone due to their mass manufacturing and lowered price points. Available in two colours, this automatic watch features a skeleton dial and a see-through case back. It’s also available in a black and gold colour version with a matching black leather strap.

Key Features

  • Interchangeable with 22mm straps
  • Mineral crystal glass
  • Automatic self-winding movement

Specifications

  • Case size: 44 mm
  • Water resistance: 5 ATM
  • Movement: Automatic

14. Orient Men's Sun and Moon Version 3 Watch

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m kind of a sucker for oversized dials and roman numerals on a dial, especially if they’re set on a creamy coloured dial and accompanied by other complications. Given that criteria, this automatic watch from Orient, hits all my watch loving spots. Also available in three different colour combinations, there’s plenty to love about this timepiece, starting with the sun and moon indicator. Further to that are the beautiful day of month and day of the week indicators, all surrounded by gorgeous roman numerals and matching colour hour, minute, and second hands.

Key Features

  • Brown leather strap with matching colour metal clasp
  • Sun and moon indicator
  • Sapphire crystal glass
  • See-through case back

Specifications

  • Case size: 42.5 mm
  • Water resistance: 5 ATM
  • Movement: Japanese Automatic

15. Jack Mason - Seamount Automatic

Jack Mason - Seamount Automatic Watch

Although this watch doesn’t include a see-through case back, the folks that made this watch made up for it by having a gorgeous rear etching of an old school diver’s helmet. This artwork ensures your watch will look remarkable from every angle. This watch features a high gloss black dial with Super Luminova markings making it an excellent men’s automatic watch even in the depths of darkness during your night swims or surfs. The ceramic bezel is the crowning achievement on this watch and can be turned uni-directionally. And if you’re not a huge fan of the stainless steel buckle strap, you can swap it for any other 22m Jack Mason strap, of which there are many available options.

Key Features

  • 316L stainless steel case
  • Screw-down crown
  • Super-Luminova markings
  • Ceramic bezel
  • Interchangeable strap
  • Sapphire crystal glass

Specifications

  • Case size: 42 mm
  • Water resistance: 3 ATM
  • Movement: Japanese Automatic

16. Bulova - Classic Wilton Automatic Blue Dial Men's Watch

Bulova - Classic Wilton Automatic Blue Dial Men's Watch

With a stainless steel case and a gorgeous white dial that features a smaller, textured inner dial, this Bulova automatic watch is a work of daring and beauty. Adding to its allure is a partially windowed skeleton view on the bottom left-hand side of the dial that offers a glimpse into the self-winding 21 jewel movement. The beating heart of the watch as they say. Roman numerals and markers mark the outside of the dial while a blue leather strap completes the look. Classy, affordable, and with a massive 60 hours of reserve power, you won’t stray far from high-end style if you decide to pick up this watch.

Key Features

  • Stainless steel construction
  • Skeleton window
  • See-through case back
  • 60-hour power reserve
  • Leather band with push-button clasp
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire glass
  • Luminescent hands

Specifications

  • Case size: 42 mm
  • Water resistance: 10 ATM
  • Movement: Automatic

17. Hamilton Scuba Automatic Blue Dial Men's Watch

Hamilton Scuba Automatic Blue Dial Men's Watch

Yup, this is another high-quality men’s automatic diver watch, and it’s blue tones have cast their spell upon my heart. Everything, from the silver-toned bezel to the blue rubber strap and white markers and hands screams buy me, buy me now. But of course, that’s just my personal indulgence in watches of this particular colour and strap combination. This automatic men’s watch features 24-hour markers and minute markers around the outer rim, and a nicely sized date display complication between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions. This is a beautiful watch for any man that wants to wear something classy but sporty on their wrist.

Key Features

  • Uni-directional rotating stainless steel bezel
  • Luminescent hands and markers
  • 25 jewel automatic movement
  • Screw-down crown
  • Solid case back

Specifications

  • Case size: 40 mm
  • Water resistance: 10 ATM
  • Movement: Hamilton Calibre H-10 Automatic

18. Tissot Men's Automatic III Swiss

Tissot Men's Automatic III Swiss

The telling of time is not the point with this watch from Tissot. It’s simplicity and classic looks are the key to the kingdom of style. On display to see through the nicely crafted case back, the automatic movement is Swiss made and lasts about 40 hours without movement. Available in five different colour combinations and strap options, including this gorgeous silver and brown alligator leather strap combination that you see above, this Tissot is all about keeping things simple, polished, and affordable. In the end, if you do choose to use this watch for more than its style and decorative nature upon your manly wrist, I suspect you’ll also like looking at the time and date.

Key Features

  • Uni-directional rotating stainless steel bezel
  • Luminescent hands and markers
  • 25 jewel automatic movement
  • Screw-down crown
  • Solid case back

Specifications

  • Case size: 40 mm
  • Water resistance: 10 ATM
  • Movement: Hamilton Calibre H-10 Automatic

19. Heritor Edmond Silver Dial Automatic Men's Watch

Heritor Edmond Silver Dial Automatic Men's Watch

I will admit with a measurable portion of humility, that despite writing about men’s watches and watch brands for some time now, I had not heard of the Heritor brand until recently. For shame, I know. This brand’s origins, founding date, and other details, despite some Google sleuthing, currently elude me. Nevertheless, from what I’ve seen and been hearing in the Horological grapevine, the Heritor brand is legit. It’s sold in many places worldwide, and the quality of timepieces is right-up there with some of the best brands at this price point.

This silver-tone stainless steel watch features a surprising number of distinct details. That includes a finely made silver dial with Arabic numeral hour markers surrounded by smaller minute markers on an outer ring. The automatic movement powers this 44m sized men’s watch while the month and day sub-dials provide more information at a glance.

Key Features

  • 316L Stainless steel case
  • 17 jewel automatic movement
  • 42-hour power reserve
  • Sapphire coated mineral crystal glass
  • Semi-skeleton dial
  • Observation case back
  • Leather crocodile-embossed strap 
  • Luminous hands

Specifications

  • Case size: 44 mm
  • Water resistance: 5 ATM
  • Movement: Automatic

20. Bulova Futuro Automatic Watch

Bulova Futuro Automatic Watch

While available in a different colour scheme, this iteration of the Bulova Futuro is a dream of a men’s watch for fans of that unbeatable combination of black and gold. Featuring an automatic and self-winding movement, this watch can go 40 hours without missing a beat. Everything about this watch screams quality. Everything about this watch is impressive, from the metalized domed mineral crystal glass to the link bracelet’s quality, whose colour matches the dial and surrounding bezel.

Key Features

  • Stainless steel case
  • 40-hour power reserve
  • Mostly skeletonized dial
  • See-through case back
  • Double press deployant closure buckle

Specifications

  • Case size: 42 mm
  • Water resistance: 3 ATM
  • Movement: Automatic
Sebastian Arciszewski

Sebastian Arciszewski

An enthusiast of all things minimalist. I love the simple design and always look for an aesthetic that complements how an item works. Because after all, a design is how a thing works. You can find me on twitter: @sebastian_a