After 11 hours of research evaluating 650 products, we picked G-SHOCK The GA 100 Military Series as our top choice.
How important are watches? VERY important!
The best cheap watches are functional, convenient, simple, stylish, and professional. A good watch helps you stay on top of your day and makes you look sharp at the same time.
But there's a problem:
We've got the solution:
We did the research to find all the best cheap watches on the market. We capped the price at $100 and searched through every well-priced watch to find only the most versatile, reliable, and best-looking options for you.
We think you'll be VERY pleased with the options we found.
• The perfect watch for long-distance, marathon, and Ironman runners
• Lightweight, comfortable, and won't get in the way
• Good battery life; durability isn't an issue with this watch
Sleek and slim, low-profile watch face, simple features, low price, highly durable, and water resistant.
Interface isn't the easiest to use and you can't press buttons (timer/stopwatch) underwater.
Performance: The sleek, lightweight design of this watch makes it ideal for comfort on long distance runs. There's no rubbing, grinding, or chafing, and the natural curve of the wristband makes it sit comfortably on your wrist. The resin band has a special notch that stops the loop from sliding around.
Want something that will last? This watch lives up to its name. The watch face is made of a highly durable material that will survive a lot of regular use. The battery life is also well above par, with a 4-year lifespan.
Features: The watch is designed with Ironman and long-distance runners in mind, so it comes with all the features you could ask for: a 100-lap counter with 30-lap memory, 100-hour chronometer, 3 alarms, timer, accurate stopwatch, and an Indiglo LED light to illuminate the watch face after dark.
It's easy to move through the features with the press of a button (or two). It's definitely a handy watch to have when you run!
Price: At $35, this is one of the best-priced watchers on our list, yet it doesn't sacrifice quality for price. It's a durable, well-designed timepiece that will be a marathon/Ironman-runner's dream.
• Expensive look, low price
• Highly accurate, with beautiful analog display
• Excellent chronograph feature; easy to use
Durable, 1/20 second chronograph, feels solid, 100-meter water resistance, secure clasp closure, beautiful, good range of features, and includes analog feature.
Looks a tad "busy" with a lot of features and functions.
Performance: If you're looking for a chronograph watch, you'll definitely want to consider this one. With its stainless steel band, secure clasp, and mineral dial window, it's a timepiece that can handle a lot of wear and tear. It's also fully water-resistant up to 100 meters, making it a great watch to take diving, snorkeling, and swimming.
The watch has a large face, which means it will draw attention. It looks expensive and feels durable and solid on your wrist. The accuracy is excellent, thanks to the quartz analog timekeeping. It's better than any digital watch, and has a far more elegant appearance!
Features: The main selling point of this watch is the chronograph, or stop-watch, built into it. The bottom dial is used as the second hand, and it can be turned on/off or reset easily. Calibration of the clock hands is a breeze thanks to the A/B buttons built into the watch. The screw-down crown ensures the watch is water resistant, making it an awesome diver's watch.
The watch face shows the date, time, day of the week, and more. It's a tad "busy", but it looks absolutely beautiful.
Price: At $92, this is a great deal! The watch is durable enough to handle years of hardcore use, but thanks to the stainless steel and mineral dial, it will always look good.
• Durable, long-lasting, and simple—the perfect watch for outdoor use
• Simple, bold design
• Delivers quality at a decent price
Japanese quartz movement, simple yet elegant, durable, water-resistant, user-friendly features, lightweight, solid craftsmanship, and precise.
Band is poorly designed; chafes and may be uncomfortable for some users.
Performance: If you want a simple, no-frills watch to keep up with you on your hiking and camping trips, this is the perfect choice. The watch has very few features, but delivers the durable, long-lasting quality you need to survive an active lifestyle. The mineral dial and stainless steel case can take a beating and keep running for years.
The Eco-Drive watch is light-powered, meaning you'll never need to replace the battery. As long as you spend plenty of time outdoors, the watch will stay fully charged and keep precise time. Some users have complained that the canvas band is uncomfortable and chafes, but once you break it in you should have no problem with it. (Or, simply replace the band with another one, such as a paracord or resin band.)
Features: The watch comes with only the most basic features, including day of the week and month and a bold black dial face with luminous numbers that light up in the dark. The Japanese quartz crystal keeps the watch accurate and precise. Thanks to the Eco-Drive light-powered design, you won't have to worry about running out of battery life.
The watch is also resistant to water up to 330 feet (100 meters), but it's recommended to use only for swimming and snorkeling, not scuba diving.
Price: At just under $100, this is a bit pricey considering how simple it is. However, the fact that you'll never need to buy a watch battery again is definitely a "pro" that makes the watch worth buying.
• Compatible with a wide range of casual outfits
• Great for use at the beach or while traveling
• Wide range of strap styles to choose from
Cheap, comfortable, simple, stylish, light-up dial, water-resistant, versatile,and features a clean and classy design.
Prone to breakage after a year or two, unfortunately.
Performance: If you need a watch to take with you on holiday, you'll love this one. It's simple enough that it won't draw the attention of thieves, yet offers an effortlessly stylish addition to your casual outfits. The canvas strap and large circular dial makes for a simple appeal that will blend with any change of clothing. Whether you're lounging on the beach or strolling the streets of the city, this is the casual watch to have.
Like all Timex pieces, it offers a reasonable amount of durability at a very good price. It's definitely not a "forever" watch, but one to have handy if you're going someplace where you don't want to call attention to yourself. The wide assortment of watch strap colors and styles give you plenty of options for your clothing. Best of all, the watch strap is comfortable even in hot climates.
Features: This watch is simple, featuring a canvas strap with typical belt-style closure, a circular stainless steel case with Indiglo watch dials that light up at night, and Arabic numerals with 24-Hour military time. The watch is water resistant up to 30 meters, but it's recommended to NOT use it for more than brief immersion. If you're going to swim, it's better to take off the watch.
Price: At $30, this is one of the best cheap watches for men who need something to take on their travels. You can leave your fancier timepieces at home yet bring this one to help you always know the time.
• A gorgeous stainless steel watch built to last
• Highly stylish and precise
• Great for outdoor/athletic use; hardcore build quality
Durable stainless steel case and band, beautiful, water resistant, multi-functional, excellent precision, uber-masculine, break-resistant dial window, and rugged.
Watch is much larger than expected, and some reviewers report quality control issues.
Performance: If you're the kind of man who ONLY wears stainless steel watches, this is the one you want. It's rugged enough to survive the sort of beating you give it on your travels, outdoor adventures, or athletic activities. The stainless steel case and band will keep up with your active lifestyle. The dial window is both break-resistant and flame-resistant, making it a durable choice indeed.
The appearance is stylish, with the coin-bezel edge and clear black numbers engraved into the polished stainless steel. It's a "guy's watch" for men who want something that will last for years to come.
Features: The watch comes with a built-in tachymeter, day of the week/month dial, second hand, and large numbers that light up after dark. It's water-resistant up to 100 meter (330 feet), making it a great watch for using while swimming, surfing, and snorkeling.
On the downside, some users have complained that the watch case is just too big, suitable only for men with large forearms/wrists.
Price:At $75, this is one VERY well-priced watch. You'll find it's durable and rugged enough to keep up with anything you can throw at it and look good all the while. If you're a stainless steel watch guy, this is one of the best watches under 100.
• Designed to survive just about anything you can throw at it
• A feature-rich watch; highly functional for sports and outdoor use
• One of the best sport watches for women and men athletes
Digital features included, highly durable, excellent range of functions, good battery life, rugged appearance, good fit, comfortable, and lightweight.
You have to manually adjust both digital and analog time separately.
Performance: This is a watch that's built to survive any sport or training program. It's lightweight and sits comfortably on your wrist, but you can feel just how solid it is every time you move your arm. The durable material can survive a beating, and you won't have to worry about the watch as you run, train, swim, row, cycle, hike, or lift weights.
Like all G-Shock watches, this timepiece is shock-resistant, can handle up to 200 meters of water, and is resistant to magnetism. You get about 3 years of battery life, and you'll find that it's a very accurate watch. It's a good-looking watch as well, as the red contrasts beautifully with the black watch case and band with its white accents. All in all, worth it!
Features: The watch comes with a digital screen that will do more than just display the time—it can also show date, speed, stopwatch, timer, and more features. You can cycle through the display modes easily, and you'll love how it includes the functionality of a digital watch into a classic analog timepiece.
The EL backlight allows you to check the digital time after dark, though a few users have complained that the light isn't bright enough. You get an accurate stopwatch, a calendar, dual time feature, a daily alarm, and the ability to switch between 12 and 24-hour formats. A great timepiece with all the features you need for your runs or workouts.
Price: $42 is a very reasonable price to pay for this durable watch. You'll find that it can keep up with your active lifestyle. No matter what you do--practice Yoga, go paddleboarding, lift weights, or run marathons/Ironman races—this sports watch will handle itself!
• Gorgeous and rugged mix of analog and digital watch
• Designed to handle any sport, activity, or outdoor use
• Packed with a lot of sport-specific features
Highly precise stopwatch, packed with useful features, built from durable resin, hard-wearing and good-looking design, affordable, G-Shock quality, large buttons for easy operation, and designed for years of daily sport use.
Orange display light is faint and useless in the dark.
Performance: One of the best things about this watch is the fact that it's so rugged and durable. Made in the U.S. from high-quality resin, it's built with the classic durability that has made the name of G-Shock so well-known in the sport accessory world.
This watch can take one heck of a beating! It's shock-resistant, waterproof up to 200M, resistant to magnetism, and comes with a battery that lasts 2 years. Yet despite its durable design, it's also a beautiful watch. The extra-large face looks stylish and hardcore, and the matte black finish pairs nicely with any casual or formal outfits. Given its dual analog/digital function, it's a truly gorgeous piece of hardware!
Features: The fact that it's a mix of analog and digital makes this watch highly functional. The white hour/minute hands will glow in the dark to tell the time, but there's also an orange backlight for the digital display. (Be warned: a lot of users complain the backlight is useless.)
The watch is magnetic-resistant, waterproof, and built to last. You get World Time, a fully automated calendar up to 2099, auto LED light, a stopwatch accurate to 1/1000th of a second, and a speed indicator. Definitely a sports watch you can use for everything!
Price: At just over $70, this is one of the best -priced watches around. You get an incredibly durable design, excellent functionality, and a beautiful appearance. Low price, but HIGH value!
If you are a stylish man, you probably can’t live without a watch. And this is for a good reason.
You may feel inspired by Georges Clooney’s timeless Aqua Terra by Omega, by Leonardo DiCaprio’s impressive Jaeger LeCoultre watch, or Daniel Craig’s unmissable Rolex. A man who masters the time is a man who masters his life, in every situation.
Wearing a beautiful watch is a sign of elegance and reveals the power, drive, and ambition every man aspires at — and ultimately showcases success.
Let’s face it: a true gentleman can’t live without a watch — a great watch. In every man’s wardrobe, there’s a watch of any kind. But how do you purchase a nice watch without spending a fortune?
Luxury watches display influence and money — but not everyone can afford to buy a Rolex or an Omega watch. Here, we found the best watches under $100 that will just do the job — between business meetings, an intense training at the gym, or on your way to the airport.
A chronograph watch is a stopwatch combined with a display watch. French horologist Louis Moinet invented the chronograph in 1816 to monitor astronomical objects. It was first popular with aviators, looking for precise timing. Chronographs watches also grew popular among astronauts in the 20th century.
Not to be confused with “chronometer”, chronograph, in fact, means “time writer”, from the Greek words chronos meaning “time” and graph meaning “writer”.
The Timex Ironmatch is a digital watch produced first in 1986 and developed with the Ironman triathlon. As an exemplary sporting event, an Ironman triathlon consists of a swim, followed by a bicycle ride and a marathon.
The Ironman watch recalls prowess and performance. Symbol of power, an Ironman can’t deceive. Bill Clinton was famous for wearing an Ironman watch until he gave it up for a Rolex.
Unlike a chronograph or a diving watch, the parameters and functionalities of what makes a dress watch are less obvious. A dress watch is of medium size, features leather straps, and is mechanical.
If you are into the “less is more” concept, then wearing a dress watch is for you. Perfect for both a casual style or work attire, a dress watch can’t take you in the wrong direction. Simple, you will appear great looking for every occasion.
Water-resistant, a sports watch is a rugged wristwatch that features an alarm, a compass, a stopwatch, a tachometer that indicates speed, and a tide indicator (for divers). Casio is famous for having developed a large range of sports watches.
For those of you who train or go to the gym regularly, a sports watch is a must. To be able to track your activities, you can wear a sports watch and monitor your progress.
Born in the US in the 70s, quartz watches are today a forever classic. To keep track of the time accurately, quartz watches use crystal quartz. Originally with LCD Display, quartz watches have evolved to LED. Oscillating masses into the quartz enable you to monitor the time precisely.
Quartz crystals have been around for a while as a perfect tracker of radio transmitters and computers, and are the most accurate time trackers today.
Introduced in 1972 by Hamilton, digital watches were initially pricey — the world’s first digital watch was released at $2,100 — until they entered the mainstream market.
Practical, a digital watch displays numbers directly on your wrist. Unlike traditional watches, digital watches enable you to see the time in any circumstance, for example in the night. Convenient, these watches are perfect for the modern man.
Specifically designed for underwater purposes, a diving watch enables you to go deep into the sea or the ocean. Boosting water-resistant features, dive watches let you reach up to 100 meters. For any divers or instructors, diving watches offer a perfect mastering of time, comfortably, in the water.
A plethora of diving watches has entered the market, at affordable prices, such as Casio or Citizen Men.
Most analog watches feature quartz crystal that allows you to perfectly track the time. The display isn’t digital but analog features a traditional clock. These watches don’t have a screen.
Ergonomic, timeless, and sophisticated, analog watches fit anyone, going to the opera, the movie theatre, or a romantic dinner. The personality of someone wearing an analog watch is determined, grounded, and displays confidence.
You may wonder what makes a watch tick? Well, it’s inside the mechanism — or movement — that is the heart of the watch. Three types of movement can be found:
Quartz: Introduced in 1969 in Japan, the quartz movement challenges your views of time and is the most accurate tracker. Quartz is powered by a battery that triggers an electronic signal. The quartz vibrates 32768 times per second, measuring the vibrations as the hand moves.
Pros: Easy-to-use, quartz watches don’t require human power to fix any issue as they are powered by a battery. They are also more durable than mechanical watches.
Mechanical: Similar to gravitating alongside the earth, mechanical movements capture the energy from the mainspring and don’t rely on a battery. Precise, mechanical movements are impressive as they feature outstanding captures of the energy.
Pros: Mechanical watches have greater longevity since the built-in mechanical watches are made to last a lifetime. They also boast outstanding aesthetics, with great oscillations and rotations that are timeless.
Automatic: A metal weight — the rotor — is added to the mechanical part. The natural movement of your hands provides energy to run the watch. Automatic is simply an alternative term to “self-winding”.
Pros: Compared to a battery-powered watch, an automatic watch has easy maintenance. The craftsmanship necessary to build automatic watches requires precision and knowledge — making it an excellent watch.
Online: You can find decent, affordable watches under $100 for a bargain while browsing some sites. eBay, Craiglist or Amazon are pretty safe and enable you to select a variety of watches.
Pros: Give you plenty of opportunities to compare prices and models between various sites. You have a large choice and don’t take any risk as you are not looking for an expensive watch.
Cons: You can’t try the watches on.
Pawn and vintage shops: An excellent choice for those of you who need to find a timeless, unique watche at a bargain price. You can even find expensive watches sold for almost nothing. You can easily find a one-of-a-kind watch for a decent price.
Pros: You can try the watches on and decide on the go.
Cons: You are unlikely to have a great selection. Only a few watches will be available.
Watch and clock fairs: Browse your local watch and clock fairs in your region, and you can find incredible watches. For example, the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show is a not-to-be-missed event for those of you after some exclusive watch bargains. The Watch & Wonders fair in Miami is also a stunning event for watch lovers.
Pros: You need to travel and pay the entry to the fair, which is a super fun experience. You’ll have a large range of opportunities and excellent bargains for luxury and cheap watches.
Cons: If you live in a remote place in the US, you will need to travel to the nearby fair. The cost of attending the show may be the cost of a new cheap watch online.
Buying a watch requires good judgment and taste. If you can’t find what you are after, simply wait. In specific, here are some recommendations when buying a watch under $100:
Try the watch on and test how it works. Decide what will be the main purpose when you wear your watch and what type of watch you need.
Focus on authentic watches. Pay attention to counterfeit models. Always ask for proof of warranty even in the bargain shop.
If you buy a watch under $100, you need to lower your expectations and consider buying a non-leather strap. Preferably rubber, nylon, or plastic.
Do buy a quartz movement to obtain perfect accuracy, style, and performance all at once. Quartz movement watches come at all prices.
If one day you fancy buying a luxury watch, save some money and get a Rolex.
Keep your warranty, even for a collection watch, as you may need it for any maintenance needed.
Take care of your watch. Remember to look after the watch and to monitor performance and perform general maintenance on it from time to time.
Don’t sleep with your watch.
Don’t buy a faux gold or plated gold watch as the material will wear off with time, leaving you with a bad looking watch.
Don’t put your watch into your pants pockets. It’s an easy way to lose it or drop it without even realizing it.
Don’t buy a fake Rolex or Omega. At first, it will look good, but you will realize in the long-term that the quality isn’t there. Always ask for proof of authenticity.
Don’t buy a watch without understanding how it works, especially for a mechanical watch.
Don’t buy a watch from an unknown website. Be serious regarding the places you look for a watch and avoid scammers.
Consider buying two watches: one that will fit your sportswear and one that will fit your professional daywear.
Get inspired by the newest technology. For example, the Casio G-Shock has become one of the most powerful fitness watches and can monitor your health.