Watches are like shoes. You can never have too many, but you can make do with two or three options on a regular basis. Be clear though, this isn’t a primer on big, obnoxious timepieces or fancy luxury items, it’s for dudes who want a “fadproof” piece that will last years, regardless of price. We focused on three primary factors: affordability, quality, and design. Assuming you can work with half a rack or less, here are our top choices.
Timex Expedition Scout - $40 - $60
Shoutout to the bigger, more rugged version of the Weekender. Think casual weekend vibes. It only details the time and day of month, and the accompanying nylon strap makes it perfect for a no-nonsense outdoors inspired outfit. The Expedition exchanges features for masculinity, and the case size is suitable for most guys. The Indiglo feature is worth noting too. Rather than use glow in the dark hands to indicate time in low light conditions, just tap the crown and the entire dial lights up to give you the time.
MVMT 40 Series - $120
MVMT, a game-changing direct to consumer watch brand proves that inexpensive doesn’t have to sacrifice quality. All of their sub-$200 watches exhibit timeless, modern designs and are built to withstand everything you’ve got coming your way. They have a variety of versatile styles but the 40 series is a stand out. It’s mid size works for all wrists and it’s clean, classic design is available in multiple color variations that work with all of your wardrobe options, from dressy to casual.
Luminox “Navy Seal” 3051 - $209
Tough enough for Navy Seals and definitely tough enough for you, the all-black everything version is both subtle and eye catching, and the design is tough as shit, making it worthy of its namesake. One of the larger and more masculine watches available at the sub-$500 price point, the watch will outlast more outdoor expeditions and jetskiing excursions to last a lifetime. Rocking one might add a few more man points to your running total too, making it slightly less likely that you’ll shed tears up the next time you go through a breakup. No promises though.
Braun BN0035 - $275
Braun might be known for electric razors, but don’t sleep on their watch game. The mid-century modern watch looks like it could have been something the smoothest, suit-wearing mofos in the world put on after shaving with a real razor. The 0035 is clean as hell, that’s all there is to it, really. The added hour, minute, and second indicator break up the simplistic dial, and the smooth leather band free of any pebbling finishes off the minimalist design on a damn nice timepiece.
Orient Mako II - $325
The only true, classic diving watch on this list, the Mako II is the best value for quality in its class, despite it's higher price tag. By nature, dive watches have to be built sturdier than an Instagram fitness models to deal with salt water and abuse, and the Mako hits all marks in those departments. Orient has long been a cult classic manufacturer among watch enthusiasts, and now the secret is out. The case thickness and overall heft of the watch give the Mako the best “feel” among others on this list, and the dial color options add some diversity outside of the typical black or blue. Borderline offensive name aside, you’ll be hard pressed to find watch fanboys not putting respect on the Orient brand, and for good reason.