Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Best Men's Watches for Under 200 Dollars in 2017

I once thought that the idea of spending 200 dollars on a watch was utterly ridiculous.  And I, of course, assumed that 99.9% of the worlds' population would agree with me.  And then I started learning about watches, and I started learning about the history and all the intricacies and time involved with making some of these timepieces, and I realized that 200 really is not a lot for a good watch from a good, reputable company.  In fact, its chump change.

In my first list, the 5 best men's watches for under 200 dollars, I hit the usual suspects.  Seiko, Citizen, Orient, Timex, and Bulova.  And all these are good brands, and they all offer great choices at this price point.  But I think this time around I want to change it up just a little and see what we can find that may be unusual, or from companies that you may not heard of before, but deserve to be mentioned, but are just often overlooked because the staple brands do have so much to offer.

The Best Men's Watches for Under 200 Dollars

Smith and Bradley
Case: 44 mm, PVD coated
Band Width: 20mm, Nylon
Movement: Ronda quartz
Functions: HH, MM, SS, Date
Battery: N/A
Water resistance: 100 M/333 FT

Smith and Bradley are cool looking watches, especially if you dig the military look.  This is a company that is putting together a nice library of watches.

The Springfield is what I would call their entry level watch, and I would personally love to get my hands on one.  It is a nice looking, very durable watch.

The Springfield I am particular to is the black PVD coated one, but it is also available in bare stainless.  both are nice looking, but the black on black on black is a tried and true color scheme.  The case is 44mm, it has a crown that is located at the 3 o'clock position, it has a smooth bezel and is also equipped with a sapphire lens.  The dial face of the watch is black and the hours are marked with Arabic numerals, in white with C3 superluminova for night time veiwing.  The hands are also black with a imbued line of C3 superluminova as well.  And on top of all that, it also has a date window located at the 3 o'clock position.  There are a few options for the bands, you can get the nylon band in either Black, Green or Tan, and there is also a Black Nato band available.

I like this watch a lot, I think it is a great watch to kick off with on this new Best Men's Watches for Under 200 dollar list.  And it just barely makes it, at $199.

Lancaster Bomber
Model: AV-4050-03
Case: 44 mm, Stainless Steel
Band Width: 22mm, Leather
Movement: Japanese Quartz
Functions: HH, MM, SS, Date
Battery: N/A
Water resistance: 50 M/165 FT

AVI-8 is another up and comer, they are a British company, and I am really liking the looks of their product as well.  They have really made a good showing so far.  I can't seem to track down when the business started, but they are doing wonderful work.  And just so we are on the same page, when I say a new company, I mean some time within the last 10 years, would be my guess.  But at this point they have at least two online stores.  One for the UK and one for the US.  They have several other online distributors.  You can find them on Amazon.  They are in Nordtroms as well.

The Lancaster Bomber is an Pilot styled multi-sub dialed watch.  It has a 44mm stainless steel case, with the crown located at the 1:30 position.  The bezel is smooth and fairly thin, really accentuating the size of the dial.  The face of the watch is black and multi-layered.  It has Arabic numerals at the 3, 9 and 12 o'clock positions and tick marks denoting the remaining hours.  The band of the watch is 22mm leather, and it has a buckle style clasp.

I like the looks of the AVI-8 watches, this Lancaster Bomber is a good place to start with them if you are looking for a watch for under 200 dollars.  The Bomber is for sale on their website for 195 dollars.  It looks like a good buy to me.  Very similar in quality and materials as the Smith and Bradley.

Prospex Solar
Model: SNE423
Case: 46 mm, Stainless Steel
Band Width: 22mm, Silocon
Movement: Japanese Quartz Solar Powered
Functions: HH, MM, SS, Date
Water resistance: 100 M/333 FT

I am not ashamed of myself!  I freely admit that every single time I make a watch list, I check out my friends over at Seiko. I cant help myself.  And almost every single time I find a nice little tidbit that I can't help but add to one of my lists.  I think this Solar Prospex is no exception to this.  I think this watch is pretty cool.

The watch is pretty big, especially for a Seiko.  The case is a 46mm stainless steel number, with a large crown located at the 3 o'clock position.  The bezel is black and rotates bidirectionally, and is in a compass styll.  The face of the watch is black and has large white index markers for the hours and smaller, grayish ones marking the minutes between the hours.  The hands of the watch are large and tipped with a luminous coating, and there is a date window located at the 3 o'clock position.  The band for the watch is 22mm and is made of silicon, it has a buckle style clasp.  It's not actually a dive watch, but has a lot of the looks you would expect from a dive watch, as well as being water resistant down to 100m.

I am really happy with the price of this watch.  You can find it for around 165 dollars at several online stores, it seems to me to be a really good buy at that price.

Starfish Classic
Model: FEM7J00AW9
Case: 42 mm, Stainless Steel
Band Width: 22mm, Leather
Movement: Orient Automatic Calibre 46943
Functions: HH, MM, SS, Date, Day
Water resistance: 50 M/165 FT

I am a bit of an Orient watch fan as well as a Seiko fan.  I guess I like the Japanese products.  The Orient Watch company is really what I like about their product the most.  They make their own in-house manual/automatic movements.  It isn't something done as often by companies that sell watches for under 200 dollars.  Seiko is one of the exceptions to this rule, but generally, a lot of companies outsource the movements of their watches, to ETA, or Miyota (owned by Citizen) or Ronda.

The Starfish is what I would call a common Orient style watch, it is classic looking watch.  42mm stinless steel case with a crown located at the 3 o'clock position, with a guard built into the case.  It also has a small button at the 2 o'clock position.  The bezel is smooth, with a brushed finish that matches the rest of the case.  The dial face is white with Arabic numerals at the 12 and 6 o'clock positions.  Tick marks are utilized to indicated the remaining hours.  There is also a day window located at the 9 o'clock position, and a date window located at the 3 o'clock position.

The band of the starfish is black leather and measures 22mm wide.  It has a buckle style, stainless steel band and has matching black stitching on the band.

I really like the Orient brand.  They are not Seiko for me though.  I believe they offer a lot of value for the watch you get, and I do believe you will not be dissapointed with a Orient watch.  And at 165 dollars, I think this watch looks like a steal to me.  (shh, Orient is actually owned by Seiko)

Snow Lansen
Model: LAST122-CL010213
Case: 38mm, Stainless steel
Band Width: 20mm, Leather
Movement: Miyota 2035 Quartz
Functions: HH, MM, SS
Water resistance: 50 M/165 FT

Triwa is another new company.  They were established in 2007, by 4 friends.  They are located in Stockholm, Sweden.  They are not a huge company, but are already in about 1200 retailers.  And the watches they are producing fall nicely in the style I tend to prefer.

The Triwa Snow Lansen is a classic looking watch. It has a sort of mid century modern look to it, to me.  With the glossy stainless steel case, and a flat, tapered bezel, and a gold heavy knurled crown, the the watch definitely has the looks.  The dial face is white and there are Arabic numerals marking the 3, 6 & 9 o'clock hours. The remaining hours are marked with small dots.  There are also small black tick marks marking the minutes.  There are some gold accents with the watch hands and crown, and the band of the watch is brown leather, with a buckle style clasp.

This is a cool looking watch, and it is from a company that seems to take pride in its product. It can be purchased from the Triwa website for 199 USD.  You may also be able to find it other places as well.  I think if you are looking for something a little off the beaten path, I would take a look a the Triwa line up.

Wrap up

The best 5 men's watches for under 200 dollars in 2017 is a bit different than it was when I wrote the original Best Men's watches for under 200 dollars.  But that doesn't make either list better than the other.  Originally, I wanted to find quality watches from established companies for under 200 dollars.  This time, I wanted to show you some of the watches you may have never heard of under normal circumstanes.  I really enjoyed this list.  I love the look of the Smith and Bradley.  I hope to own one at some point.  And the Triwa is also something I find very good looking.  The Orient gives you a automatic.  I believe the AVI-8's offer a very unique look, and Seiko is Seiko, nuf said!

Thank you for reading The Best Men's Watches blog


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