Table of Contents

7 Best Automatic Watches Under $500 (2022 Reviews)

Watch on man's wrist
Updated on

An automatic watch can do more than just tell time. It can offer the style and longevity that traditional watches just don’t have. Although they’re a bit on the pricey side, they can be a good investment if you choose the right one. Automatic watches are built to last and can run forever with the proper care and maintenance.

Choosing an automatic watch can be very frustrating, especially if you’re looking for quality at an affordable price. There are so many options, features, and price points. That’s why I’ve created this list of the 7 best automatic watches at a price that won’t break the bank.

Best Automatic Watches Under $500

  • 1. Seiko Men’s Analogue Automatic Watch with Stainless Steel Bracelet

    (Best value)

    Why it’s great: The dial on this watch is a beautiful blue that seems to change color in different lighting. It’s also very minimalistic and simple, which gives a classic, elegant look. It’s not too flashy for everyday wear but is dressy enough for special events. Plus, it is very accurate and the advance is less than 10 seconds a week, which is great for an automatic watch. It’s also a great size and doesn’t look too big and bulky, even on smaller wrists. The stainless steel bracelet is comfortable and has a butterfly closure. This watch is also water-resistant up to 100 meters. Overall, it’s a great quality automatic at an affordable price.

    Keep in mind: You may need to visit a jeweler to help get the band sizing adjusted.

    Good for: Men that want a great quality automatic watch at a reasonable price.

  • 2. Bulova Men’s Dress Watch

    (Most comfortable)

    Why it’s great: This automatic watch has a sleek and classic look. The dial is simple but easy to read. It also has the day and date feature. The face is made of flat mineral glass, which is durable and won’t crack easily. The back has an open face, so you can see the inner workings, which is a fun feature to have. The band is black leather and is croco-embossed for a different look. It’s also very comfortable and it has a buckle closure, so you’ll easily be able to adjust to your size. It is pretty accurate and only loses about a minute or so every few days. Plus, this one is water-resistant up to 30 meters.

    Keep in mind: Although this one is water-resistant, it isn’t meant to be worn while swimming or showering. It can really only stand up to brief dunks under water.

    Good for: Men that want a comfortable automatic watch.

  • 3. Timex Men’s Waterbury Automatic

    (Most markings)

    Why it’s great: This watch has more of a classic watch look, with all the numbers and markings for the seconds present. It also has an open-heart dial, so you can see the inner workings of the watch. It has a 40 hour power reserve and is water resistant up to 50 meters. You can even take a short dip while wearing this watch, just don’t keep it in the water for an excessive period of time. The strap is genuine leather and very comfortable. It also has the croco-patterned design and the buckle closure for the best fit. Also, if you don’t like the white face, it comes in a more classy, black version.

    Keep in mind: While you can swim in this one, you won’t want to take it diving or keep it underwater longer than a normal, recreational swim.

    Good for: Men that want an automatic watch with full markers.

  • 4. Tissot Unisex-adult Everytime Desire Auto Swiss Tissot automatic Stainless Steel Dress Watch

    (Best quality)

    Why it’s great: This automatic watch uses the Swiss movement, which places its emphasis on craftsmanship. That means that you’ll get top-quality parts that are built to last. The stainless steel contrasts nicely with the black watch face and black leather watchband. It’s unisex and the perfect size for both men and women, making it a great choice for anyone. The face is made of sapphire crystal, which is one of the best materials for scratch resistance and durability. It also has a 72-hour power reserve, giving you more time and flexibility with how often you need to wear it. And it’s one of the most accurate options.

    Keep in mind: This one is water-resistant to 30 meters and can be worn in the shower or for short swims. It is not meant for diving or snorkeling or excessive water immersion.

    Good for: Anyone that wants the best quality automatic watch.

  • 5. Orient “Charlene” Classic Automatic Pearl Dial Swarovski Crystal Steel Watch

    (Most reliable)

    Why it’s great: Not only does this watch look amazing, it’s also extremely accurate and reliable. The watch face is pearlescent and it is decorated with Swarovski crystals at each five-minute mark. The face is made of mineral crystal and won’t break or crack easily. Plus, it features the date on the right and is water resistant to 50 meters. The band is stainless steel and has a foldover clasp for a secure fit. This watch is built to last and is dainty enough for any women’s wrist.

    Keep in mind: The band is not the easiest to adjust for size, so you may need to see a jeweler to remove links if necessary.

    Good for: Women that want the most reliable automatic watch.

  • 6. Seiko Women’s Stainless Steel Watch

    (Best for small wrists)

    Why it’s great: This watch has a great classic look and is a great option for any woman that wants a slender option. It has a blue dial that looks bright and gorgeous in the sunlight. The silver, stainless steel band contrasts nicely with the face and the butterfly closure gives your watch a secure fit. This automatic watch features the day and date and can be set to English or Spanish. It also features Japanese movement, which focuses on functionality and it shows in this watch because it’s very accurate and reliable.

    Keep in mind: The face is pretty small, so it is a little harder to read, however the contrasting colors help make it more visible.

    Good for: Women who want a watch that’ll look great on their smaller wrists.

  • 7. Bulova Women’s Automatic-self-Wind Watch with Stainless-Steel Strap

    (Most elegant)

    Why it’s great: This watch is absolutely gorgeous. It has a white, mother of pearl dial and five diamonds around the face, which all make it shimmer and shine during the day. Plus, it has an open heart and exhibition back case, so you can see the inner workings of the watch. The stainless steel band is comfortable and the clasp opens easily with a push of a button. It works perfectly and is extremely accurate for an automatic watch, off less than 5 seconds per day. It is a unique and elegant piece of craftsmanship and the quality is top-notch.

    Keep in mind: This one is water resistant up to 100 meters, but still shouldn’t be worn while swimming.

    Good for: Women that want the most elegant automatic watch.

Best Overall

The Seiko Men’s Analogue Automatic Watch with Stainless Steel Bracelet is our overall top recommendation. It's the highest quality product we have found with the most affordable price making it the best value on our list..

FAQs about automatic watches

  • 1. What is an automatic watch?

    An automatic watch is basically a mechanical watch that winds itself. You don’t have to manually wind it because the energy to wind it comes from your own natural movements, namely swinging your arm.

  • 2. How long will my automatic watch last without wearing it?

    If you have a full power reserve, your watch can run for 30-50 hours depending on the watch. If you’re wearing your watch daily, 8-10 hours a day, that’s plenty of time to keep it running. However, if you like to leave it off for an entire weekend, you may have to manually wind it to build the power reserve back up. Or you could invest in a watch winder, to do that for you. In any case, you may want to wind your watch once a week or so, to keep the power reserves full.

  • 3. What happens if I let my automatic watch stop?

    Nothing bad will happen if you let your automatic watch run out of power. Basically, it will just stop running. This means that you’ll need to manually wind it before you want to wear it again. If you have a watch that has the date, you will have to reset that, which can be a bit of a hassle. However, it won’t do any harm to your automatic watch for it to stop.

  • 4. Can you overwind an automatic watch?

    You can’t really overwind an automatic watch because it has a spring that will release some of the tension if there’s too much. You should be able to wear your automatic watch as much as you want without worrying about overwinding. However, if you’re manually winding your automatic watch, you should still be careful not to overdo it. If you feel any resistance, you need to stop. You should only manually wind your watch once a week at the most.

  • 5. Do automatic watches need maintenance?

    Automatic watches are mechanical and have a lot of parts. Because of that, it’s wise to get it serviced every 3-5 years to make sure everything is in good working order. Since these watches are more expensive than other kinds, you want to take the best care of them that you can. And that means occasionally having a professional check them out for you.

Conclusion

An automatic watch can add a lot of pleasure and style to your life. And decrease the hassle of having to wind a manual watch. An automatic watch can have many different features, but the most important ones to look for will depend on your lifestyle.

You definitely want to choose one that has at least 30 meters of water resistance, so you’re safe with everyday tasks, such as washing your hands. But, many options will allow you to shower or swim with your watch on if that’s something you want. So take some time and really think about all the different features these watches have and which make the most sense to you. Then, you should easily be able to make the choice that’s most suited to your wants and needs.