When it comes to buying a watch, price is a great way to narrow down your search. In that case, we’re looking at the best brands to consider when your budget is in the £200 range.
That might not seem like a lot when you can easily add a zero or two (or three or four) to that price when shopping for a luxury watch. But luckily, it’s a price point where many famous brands have nice watches, and plenty of smaller companies offer watches for anyone looking for something more alternative.
Watches in this price range are usually powered by a battery and quartz movement, as self-winding mechanical watches tend to be more expensive. It’s not a hard and fast rule, however, and we’ve seen automatic Rotary watches in this price range before.
Picking just six brands is tough, but we hope this selection gives you plenty of inspiration for your next watch purchase of around £200.
Swatch can be credited with saving the Swiss watch industry, after battling cut-price Japanese watches in the 1970s and ending the quartz crisis. What Swatch did was embrace the simplicity, precision and low price of quartz movement, and offered a wide range of stylish timepieces at an affordable price.
Today, Swatch watches start below £50 and reach around £140. Although you can pay a lot more for limited edition models, such as the Q-branch special sold to promote the upcoming James Bond film No Time To Die.
The breadth of choice is what secures Swatch a place in this article. Because, while all are identifiable from Swatch, each model is strikingly different, from the simple black and white New Core to the more traditional Classic in Sir Blue, to the camouflage-colored Swatch Essentials in Camouforest and the eye-catching Pastry Chefs in one. playful finale called Caramellissima. Many of today’s Swatch models come with a day and date complication, which adds a practical touch to their fun design.
Mondaine manufactures watches that share their design with the clocks found throughout the Swiss rail network. Although £200 doesn’t stretch the whole range, it will get you the Mondaine Classic, with its beautifully simple white dial, black markings and signature red sweep seconds hand.
Made in Switzerland, with a stainless steel case, crystal glass and leather strap, it’s an effortlessly stylish quartz watch with a story to tell. It’s also very easy to read at a glance and can look particularly good when the standard black strap is replaced with Mondaine’s red option.
The £189 Mondaine Classic has a case diameter of 36mm, making it suitable for wrists of all sizes, while the £175 Mondaine Essence Black has a black case and vegam strap, and a larger diameter of 41mm.
Find yourself a sale and there’s a wide range of Citizen watches that fall below the £200 mark. We particularly like the Vintage Sport men’s watch, which tends to hover between £180-220, and features a 43mm stainless steel case with blue dial and bezel, date at three o’clock, a strap and the Eco system -Drive from Citizen which means it never needs a new battery.
Also from Citizen, we recommend the Eco-Drive World Time, a men’s watch featuring a 41mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, leather strap and blue dial that will give you helps to keep track of time anywhere in the world.
The ‘tough’ watch brand should also be one of the go-to watch brands if you’re looking for a watch under £200. Prices range from £109 to around £600, but there are plenty of models available for under £200. The Japanese watch brand has also diversified a lot with different styles recently. You’ll mostly be looking at plastic watches in this price range, but you might find the metal bezel odd.
We’re big fans of the classic GW-B5600MG-1ER and the GA-2100HC-4AER, affectionately nicknamed the Casioak due to its resemblance to an AP Royal Oak. We also really like the sporty GA-2000HC-7AER, which is perfect if you want to work out but don’t want a smartwatch.
Is there a more iconic affordable watch brand than Timex? Maybe not. With £200 net in the bank you have access to almost the entire range of the brand. We love Timex’s recent reissues, which include the hugely popular Timex Q and the sleek, vintage-inspired Timex Marlin.
Rotary watches start comfortably at under £100, and even under £70. All models feature classic designs and stainless steel cases in different sizes to fit every wrist circumference. Many Rotary watches come with stainless steel straps, but leather options are also available and most can be fitted with any strap thanks to industry standard lug bars.
We’re fans of the Rotary Canterbury (£119) and Windsor (£125) as a pair of classic design men’s watches. Rotary also offers a ladies’ Canterbury for £99 and the rose gold Expander for £105. Those looking for a chronograph should check out the £165 Rotary Oxford Chronograph – available with a black or white dial – and the equally priced multifunction Windsor even has a moon phase complication.