Explore The 5 Best Affordable Dress Watches for Men

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Watches come in many different shapes, sizes, and styles. These are all things to consider when you are picking out your next (or first) watch. While other fashion trends and fads come and go, some watch styles have stood the test of time. Dive watches, field watches, and dress watches, for example, are all historic styles of watches that are still with us today. Today, we will be talking about the dress watch. Dress watches are sleek and elegant timepieces that are designed to be worn for fancy occasions with fancy outfits. You can really wear one whenever you want, though.

In this article, we will go over some of the best dress watches that are priced affordably, so you can experience that fashion and luxury on a budget. Fashion and quality do not have to be expensive; it can be accessible for all.

Why a Dress Watch?

First, let’s talk about why you should get a dress watch in the first place. A dress watch is a key part of any watch enthusiast’s collection. Even if you’re not a collector, it’s good to have a nice dress watch for those fancy events like weddings, dinners, and formal meetings. A good dress watch will complete your whole outfit and impress those who pay attention. It helps you achieve that classy and sophisticated look. A dress watch is should not be overly flashy or blingy. Also, a dress watch has that old-school, classical design. This is a nice contrast to the more modern, bolder designs found in popular sports or dive watches.

For this reason, many dress watches go best with leather straps. A stainless steel strap works too, but leather is still the king in this category. Overall, a dress watch serves an important purpose. It is the watch you whip out on special, memorable occasions. Such occasions are not all about appearances, but looking the part does add to the experience and memory. Even if you don’t want to be there, a dress watch allows you to sneak quick peeks at the time to see how much longer you have.

Best Affordable Dress Watches

Top Pick: Orient Bambino

Our top pick in this segment is the famous Orient Bambino. Orient is a Japanese brand that makes tons of affordable mechanical watches. This Bambino dress watch features a reliable in-house automatic movement. It is has a 40.5mm case width, making it a great fit for the majority of wrists. There are many different styles of the Bambino. Some are more modern and minimalist, like the one shown, and others are more old school. All of them make for beautiful dress watches.

One of the best parts about this watch is the domed crystal. The bubbly shape adds a flair of classic luxury and uniqueness to the watch. With a stainless steel case and Orient reliability, this is a strong and durable watch. We have this as our top pick because of its great price, simplicity and the fact that it has very few flaws. This watch is the safe option, and that is not a bad thing by any means.

Seiko Presage

The Seiko Presage series is another legendary option for dress watches. These are powered by Seiko’s in-house automatic movements which are reliable workhorses. These watches, like many Seiko models, have transparent case backs so you can admire the movement. Also like the Orient, the Presage has a 40.5mm case width.

The key feature of the Presage series is the magnificent dials. There are so many Presages out there, but they will all come with an impressive dial design. The dials are deep, detailed, and intricate works of art that make it a joy to glance at the time. At the same time, they are not at all over the top or outlandish. The price point is a tad higher than the Orient, but it is still great value for your money.

Citizen Corso Eco-Drive

The Citizen Corso features a simple and timeless design. The dials are beautifully detailed. Maybe not to the level of the Presage, but still very nice. With a 40mm wide case and 21mm wide leather strap, this watch is well proportioned and comfortable to wear.

We chose this piece because it comes with Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology. This means that this watch is powered by light, both from the sun and artificial sources. This makes for a true, hassle-free ownership experience. You can enjoy the premium accuracy of a quartz movement without needing to worry about changing the batteries or getting it serviced.

Timex Marlin

Stepping away from Japanese brands for a bit, we will now discuss the Timex Marlin. The first Marlin we will discuss is the 1960’s version, an important piece from Timex’s storied history. This watch stays true to its roots. It harkens back to a time where things were simpler, and watches were smaller. With a modest 34mm width, this watch is definitely considered small by our modern standards. However, it will still give that classy and understated luxury look even today. It’ll work best on small wrists.

This version of the Marlin has a hand wound mechanical movement, adding to its classic feel. It also features a domed acrylic crystal and a very readable dial. We understand that Timex wanted to keep things the same as they were, but it would have been nice to see at least a mineral crystal. Acrylic is prone to scratching and overall weaker than mineral. With most watches at this price point coming with mineral, and some even with sapphire, the acrylic crystal is a small downside to this watch.

The other Marlin version is perhaps more suited for our times. It has a larger 40mm stainless steel case and automatic movement instead of hand wound. The movement has a decent 40 hours of power reserve. It keeps that same domed crystal, but with a larger size and more popping dial.

Bulova Classic 96B104

Last but not least, we have a modest dress watch from Bulova. This watch is definitely the most minimalist on this list. It has a simple dial with basic number markers and long, thin hands. We like that they still decided to add a date display, as it adds functionality. At 37mm wide, this watch is very nicely sized for its purpose. It is also very thin at just 5.9mm. Like we said, dress watches should not be overly flashy, and this watch understands that well. The humble dimensions and plain design make it a perfect pairing for suits and fancy outfits. With a stainless steel build and reliable quartz movement, this is just a great overall watch.


That concludes our list of the 5 best affordable dress watches. Dress watches have slightly waned in popularity as sportier designs gained traction among buyers. They still have their place in the watch industry and serve an important purpose. Sometimes, it is important to dress up a little bit, and a dress watch helps you achieve that far better than any other type.


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