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The 13 Best Watches Under $1000 You Can Buy In 2023
Image credit: timeandtidewatches.com
— Updated on 5 July 2023

The 13 Best Watches Under $1000 You Can Buy In 2023

— Updated on 5 July 2023
Nick Kenyon
WORDS BY
Nick Kenyon

One of the biggest misconceptions about watch collecting is the only watches worth buying cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. This couldn’t be more wrong, with more and more brands offering great watches that you don’t need a bank loan to afford, from sturdy divers to accurate quartz watches the best watches under $1000 are definitely worth considering.

If your bank account doesn’t look like a mobile phone number but you’re looking to add a great watch to your collection (or even buy your first timepiece), here are 13 of our favourite watches you can buy today that look great, are comfortable on the wrist and are affordably priced.

The Best Watches Under $1000

Tissot PRX 35mm

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Diameter: 40mm
  • Case Thickness: 10.4mm
  • Case Material: Steel
  • Bezel Material: Steel
  • Bracelet/Strap Material: Steel
  • Dial Colour: Gold
  • Water Resistance: 100m
  • Movement: ETA F06.115 Swiss quartz
  • Power Reserve: 3 year battery life

The Tissot PRX collection has been incredibly popular and for a good reason. They look great, have legitimate links to the golden era of creative watch design in the 1970s and are available in a range of different colours and complications. This gold example is a personal favourite, as a watch that brings a little attention in all the right ways.

  • Strong 1970s design with integrated case and bracelet
  • Gold tone adds some bling

  • Purists might prefer the version with an automatic movement

RELATED: The 13 Best Watches Under $5000 You Can Buy In 2023


Serica 4512 Commando

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Diameter: 37.7mm
  • Case Thickness: 11.3mm
  • Case Material: Steel
  • Bezel Material: Steel
  • Bracelet/Strap Material: Steel
  • Dial Colour: Black
  • Water Resistance: 200m
  • Movement: Mechanical hand-wound STP1-11M
  • Power Reserve: 40 hours

Serica is a relatively young brand but has quickly earned a cult following thanks to its meticulously designed heritage-inspired watches that offer enthusiasts the chance to buy a great-looking watch for an even better price. The 4512 Commando is a member of Serica’s collection of field watches, with minimal branding, a strong design and even the option to order your watch with the crown on the righthand side of the case (great for left-handed folks such as myself).

  • Clean minimalist design
  • Solid water resistance and robust automatic movement

  • Unusual bracelet design might not be to some tastes

Swatch Clearly New

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Diameter: 41mm
  • Case Thickness: 9.85mm
  • Case Material: Plastic
  • Bezel Material: Plastic
  • Bracelet/Strap Material: Plastic
  • Dial Colour: Transparent
  • Water Resistance: 30m
  • Movement: Swiss quartz
  • Power Reserve: 3 year battery life

Swatch is a great brand to start any watch collection, with hundreds of different models meaning there’s something for everyone. While the Swatch x Omega MoonSwatch has been getting a lot of time in the sun lately, an OG design within the Swatch family is this transparent model that is incredibly affordable, and quirky and adds a touch of colour to an otherwise monochromatic look.

  • Classic design from Swatch you won’t see too often
  • Extremely affordable

  • Plastic construction means it won’t last a lifetime

Baltic MR01

A blue clock sitting on top of a watch

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Diameter: 36mm
  • Case Thickness: 9.9mm
  • Case Material: 316L Steel
  • Bezel Material: 316L Steel
  • Bracelet/Strap Material: Leather strap
  • Dial Colour: Salmon
  • Water Resistance: 30m
  • Movement: Automatic Hangzhou CAL5000a Micro-rotor
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours

As far as classically styled dress watches go, the Baltic MR01 is truly special when you consider how affordable it is. Featuring a detailed dial design with polished Breguet numerals and an off-centre small seconds subdial, a perfectly proportioned case and visually impressive movement, there’s much to love and is definitely one of the best watches under $1000.

  • Incredible value for money with a detail-focused classic design
  • Excellent looking movement

  • Honestly very little to fault

Seiko SRPJ53K Australian Limited Edition

A hand holding a watch

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Diameter: 45mm
  • Case Thickness: 13.2mm
  • Case Material: Steel
  • Bezel Material: Steel
  • Bracelet/Strap Material: Steel bracelet and silicone strap
  • Dial Colour: Eucalyptus green
  • Water Resistance: 200m
  • Movement: 4R36
  • Power Reserve: 41 hours

It’s unusual that Australia & NZ get their own limited edition watches from Seiko (or Grand Seiko for that matter), but that’s exactly what we’ve got here with SRPJ53K, which arrives with a eucalyptus-inspired dial colour and a classic dive watch design from the brand. Arriving in a special edition box and coming equipped with both a steel bracelet and silicone strap, it’s a great release from Seiko that won’t let you down.

  • Classic Seiko diver design
  • Australian & NZ exclusive limited edition of 1,000 pieces
  • Excellent water resistance

  • Not available out of Australia & NZ

LIP Mach 2000 Chronograph

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Diameter: 40mm
  • Case Thickness: Unspecified
  • Case Material: Steel
  • Bezel Material: Steel
  • Bracelet/Strap Material: Rubber
  • Dial Colour: Black
  • Water Resistance: 50m
  • Movement: Quartz ronda 5021-D chronograph movement
  • Power Reserve: 3 years battery life

Another quirky design is this LIP Mach 2000 Chronograph, which is a reissue by the French-founded watchmaker of the cult classic Dark Master LIP chronograph. With the crown and chronograph pushers executed in primary colours that pop against the blacked-out case and strap, it’s a real conversation starter and a deep cut in the world of watch collecting.

  • Unique design with a cult following
  • Comfortable rubber strap

  • Might be a little too quirky for an everyday watch

Casio G-Shock “CasiOak” GAB2100-1A1

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Diameter: 45.4mm
  • Case Thickness: 11.9mm
  • Case Material: Carbon
  • Bezel Material: Resin
  • Bracelet/Strap Material: Resin
  • Dial Colour: Black
  • Water Resistance: 200m
  • Movement: Tough Solar quartz movement
  • Power Reserve: Indefinite as battery can be recharged with exposure to sunlight

If you need a watch to survive with you during the apocalypse, you’d probably pick the Casio G-Shock GAB2100-1A1. With more functions than you’d have time to read, including Bluetooth connectivity for alarm setting and accuracy maintenance, world time for 38 cities, a stopwatch and both an analogue and digital time display, there isn’t much it can’t do. When you combine all that with a lightweight and bulletproof carbon/resin case, 200m of water resistance and a dial with a solar cell to charge the battery, it’s the only watch you might ever need.

  • Incredible list of specifications
  • Super robust construction

  • Despite how lightweight it is, the size might feel too large for some wrists

Timex Q Reissue

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Diameter: 38mm
  • Case Thickness: 11.5 mm
  • Case Material: Steel
  • Bezel Material: Steel
  • Bracelet/Strap Material: Steel
  • Dial Colour: Dark blue
  • Water Resistance: 50m
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Power Reserve: 3 years battery life

If you’re after the classic blue and red bezel combo without spending Rolex money, the Timex Q Reissue is a classic heritage-inspired watch that looks great from your morning coffee to your evening cocktail. It looks great, wears well on the wrist and has a practical touch with both the day and date.

  • Classic design
  • Solid build quality

  • Bracelet can pull at your arm hairs

Bulova 96B251 Special Edition Lunar Pilot

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Diameter: 45mm
  • Case Thickness: 14mm
  • Case Material: Steel
  • Bezel Material: Steel
  • Bracelet/Strap Material: Textile
  • Dial Colour: Black
  • Water Resistance: 50m
  • Movement: High Performance Quartz
  • Power Reserve: 3 years battery life

While the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch gets all the credit for travelling into outer space, there are actually a few watches that made the same journey, including the classic Bulova worn by Apollo 15’s mission commander in 1971. With a solid presence on the wrist and an ergonomic case design, it’s a piece of history you can wear for a fraction of the price of an Omega.

  • Important history in 70s space travel
  • Iconic chronograph design

  • Case size and thickness might be too large for some wrists

Citizen Promaster Marine

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Diameter: 46mm
  • Case Thickness: 14.6mm
  • Case Material: Steel
  • Bezel Material: Steel
  • Bracelet/Strap Material: Rubber
  • Dial Colour: Black
  • Water Resistance: 200m
  • Movement: E168 Eco-Drive
  • Power Reserve: Indefinite as battery can be recharged with exposure to sunlight

Nicknamed the “Orca” for its deep diving ability and distinctive black and white dial design, this beast of a watch from Citizen is one you’ll either love or hate. With a comfy rubber strap and solar charging Eco-Drive movement, it’s a fantastic watch for a reasonable price.

  • High-spec dive watch with good water resistance
  • Classic design with cult following

  • Very large

Dan Henry 1970 Automatic Diver

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Diameter: 40mm
  • Case Thickness: 14.8mm
  • Case Material: Steel
  • Bezel Material: Steel
  • Bracelet/Strap Material: Rubber
  • Dial Colour: Black
  • Water Resistance: 200m
  • Movement: Automatic Seiko Caliber NH35
  • Power Reserve: 41 hours

Dan Henry is a name that deserves to be known more widely worldwide as a brand that offers classic watch designs at a price that almost anyone can afford, with the 1970 Automatic Diver a prime example. With its distinctive 70s super-compressor style dive watch case, dual crowns and internal bezel, it’s a fantastic watch that the owner of Dan Henry and his family personally perform quality control over. When you consider its automatic movement and water resistance, you’ll struggle to find a better spec dive watch for a more affordable price, making it one of the very best watches under $1000.

  • Classic super-compressor style design
  • Automatic movement is great for its price

  • Very hard to find fault at this price

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Diameter: 38mm
  • Case Thickness: 9.75mm
  • Case Material: Steel
  • Bezel Material: Steel
  • Bracelet/Strap Material: Textile and leather
  • Dial Colour: White
  • Water Resistance: 50m
  • Movement: H-50 caliber
  • Power Reserve: 80 hours

In the world of straightforward field watches, the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is a tried and true classic thanks to its heritage-inspired sizing, clean dial design and comfortable NATO-style strap. With its impressive H-50 mechanical movement that delivers 80 hours of power reserve, it’s a watch you won’t want to take off your wrist.

  • Authentic vintage sizing
  • Impressive 80 hours of power reserve

  • Might be too small for those who prefer larger watches

Shinola Runwell 41mm

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Case Diameter: 41mm
  • Case Thickness: 10.1mm
  • Case Material: Steel
  • Bezel Material: Steel
  • Bracelet/Strap Material: Leather
  • Dial Colour: Dark green
  • Water Resistance: 50m
  • Movement: Argonite 1069
  • Power Reserve: 3 years battery life

Today, America isn’t known for its watchmaking industry but in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was a hub of accurate timekeeping with Detroit-based Shinola being established in 2011 as an ode to that legacy. The Runwell 41mm is a classic Shinola design, with bold Arabic numerals easy to read against its dark green dial and a small seconds subdial featured at 6 o’clock, offering an easy-to-wear timepiece for the everyday.

  • American assembled
  • Clean design perfect for daily wear

  • More expensive than other quartz-powered watches on this list
Nick Kenyon
WORDS by
Nick Kenyon is the Editor of Boss Hunting, joining the team after working as the Deputy Editor of luxury watch magazine Time+Tide. He has a passion for watches, with other interests across style, sports and more. Get in touch at nick (at) luxity.com.au