The Best Affordable Watch Brand for Men

1. Tissot

This Swatch Group alumnus is pretty much the benchmark when it comes to both choice and bang for your buck. You could assemble your entire watch wardrobe from its sub-RM 800 collections and, since the brand has been innovating since 1853, you can be confidant that you’re buying into genuine horological heritage.

Want a dress watch? Try its Tradition range. In the market for an oversized chronograph? Look no further than the Chrono XL line. You can even get an automatic powered by Swatch Group’s entirely machine-made movement, the Swissmatic. Everything is of such a quality you don’t feel like you’re making compromises.

2. Seiko

Given that this Japanese brand grows its own quartz for its battery-powered timepieces and prides itself on making everything in-house, that you can get any of its timepieces for under RM 800 seems like a bonus. However, Seiko excels at this price point. Thanks to Japanese movements being more reasonably priced than their Swiss counterparts, you can secure stylish steel automatics for under RM 800, while its groundbreaking kinetic technology means owning a quartz watch that never needs a battery change. Each watch is also robustly made with an aesthetic sense way beyond its price tag.

3. Casio

You may know Casio for its gold-plated digital bracelet watch that, for a period in the noughties, was the ironic wrist adornment of every fixie-bike riding, flat-white drinking Hackney dweller worth their E9 credentials. But to reduce it to that one signature is to seriously underestimate what this brand has to offer.

The retro nostalgia is still there – in its aptly named Retro collection – but you can also get your hands on world timers, Bluetooth hybrids and styles suitable for scuba diving. Think of the brand as a one-stop-shop for all your watch needs, from digital to dress.

4. Timex

Timex is considered the Everyman of the watch world. Historically it became renowned for a particular kind of all-American dependability – George Bush Jr wore one, presumably to distract US voters from his upper-class background – but recently it has acquired a certain retro cool.

In 2017, it collaborated with Mr Porter on a limited run of three special editions inspired by its Vietnam-Era military styles, while models such as its Easy Reader and Weekender are seen on the wrist of interestingly attired men from London to Tokyo.

From its impressively complex-looking chronos to its elegant Milanese bracelet Fairfield, Timex’s nostalgia-tinged design language shines through, which is precisely why people continue to wear it.

5. Swatch

It was created to be the cheapest watch on the market and has a name that is a portmanteau of ‘Swiss’ and ‘watch’ – not the best credentials for long-lasting success. But hey, it’s amazing how much mileage Swatch has got out of some injection-moulded plastic.

Swatch’s stock in trade seems to be ‘if you can imagine it, we can do it’. It has collaborated with artists and fashion designers, been at the forefront of youth culture – it sponsored the first Breakdance World Championships – and even had the chutzpah to go automatic with a movement assembled by robots in a watch that will get you change from RM 300, the SISTEM51.

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