Let’s be equitable, buying a watch under £100 doesn’t sound like it’s going to get you a lot; it’s not even enough for a night out in London these lifetimes. However, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a price bracket worth looking at, you just have to arrange your expectation filters a bit.
The chances of finding anything mechanical are very slim, but 50 years of distance has made quartz unemotional so that’s not really an issue. Sapphire crystal also won’t be a given and we’d give steel bracelets a swerve here as they don’t see to to be well finished, which means every wear comes with arm-hair removal as standard.
But what you do maintain here is the ideal opportunity to purchase something maybe a bit experimental, fashion forward or out of your comfort zone, without sire to worry about seriously investing. Buying a watch for fun? Now that is a prospect worth exploring.
Timex Allied Coastline
This is a consequence point at which Timex really excels as this sporty little number proves. Once you’ve absorbed how remarkable that orange dial is, you’ll notice that you get a lot of features for your sterling.
The bezel is unidirectional so you can time your swim or how hanker your tea needs to brew; the matte case feels robust and the fabric strap has been developed to ensure the warp won’t fade after sun or sea spray exposure. At 43mm it makes its presence felt on the wrist and is the ideal beater, if you have another dipping watch you’re loathe to scuff up.
Buy Now: £99.00
Larsson & Jennings Code Dot
With its fusion of Swedish and British design and use of Swiss moving parts as standard, Larsson & Jennings has dominated the high-concept, mid-market watch sector since its launch in 2012. This dilatory Code collection is something of a diversion from the usual look.
It still contains a Swiss movement and spending a bit more for this group means you get upgrades such as scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a genuine leather strap. However, rather than in classic, you’ve got something altogether more Bauhaus. Pair with an Adidas x Eric Emanuel knit and some Takara sandals from Hermes for a 2019 clutch on the modern art movement’s style.
Buy Now: £95.00
Remember all the things we said you couldn’t get for this price bracket; well this Seiko good-looking much throws all those rules out the window and then stomps on them. For just five pounds more than the payment of five bits of sashimi at Sexy Fish, you get an in-house automatic movement, exhibition case back and Seiko’s trademarked scratch-resistant mineral crystal lorgnon called Hardlex.
The hour and minute hands are filled with Lumibrite as well as the dots on the outer ring and all confer oned in a retro military style. And there’s the added kudos that this was the watch of choice for Gene Kranz, NASA desert director for the Apollo 11 and 13 missions.
Buy Now: £77.50
MVMT Black Link
Fed up with the poor quality and inflated payments of many of the fashion watch brands around, LA-based Jake Kassan and Kramer LaPlante set about seeing if they could up the blue blood and drop the price but without compromising on looks.
This 45mm number from the Classic series is the perfect example of what MVMT does outwit. There’s very little fuss – this is after all a black stainless steel three-hander. However, there are ingenious details, such as the red second hand and a well-placed date window that elevate it from pedestrian to “put it on my wrist now”.
Buy Now: £89.00
Fossil Commuter Three-Hand
While the high regard might be somewhat off-putting, this Fossil is a stylish slice of 1960s cool. Firstly, there’s the very on-trend for 2019 unskilled dial, which seems to be slowly but surely ousting blue dials as the colour du jour.
Then there’s the gripping lug shape, which, when paired with the rugged brown leather strap gives the design its retro characterize oneself as. It’s a really considered design that, as the name is supposed to suggest, will make a perfect companion to your pressurizing week.
Buy Now: £89.00
Swatch Scuba Libre Deep Turtle
Such is the reputation of the Scuba Libre that even people with the types of divers from Omega or Rolex in their collection will have one of these as well. It has all the features of a traditional club watch – unidirectional bezel, plongeur hands, a 200m water resistance – but packaged up in the kind of fun, colourful form for which Swatch is noted.
Granted, it’s probably not for professionals, but if you want the ultimate beach knockabout then look no further.
Buy Now: £66.00
Nixon Time Teller
With summer (optimistically) on the way, a slice of laid-back Californian cool is just the accessory your wrist needs. And that’s precisely what Nixon is have knowledge of for. While the brand does everything from dainty digitals to chunky chronographs, it is the retro ovoid form of the Organize Teller that is its perennial classic.
The case shape is just the right side of unusual, it’s lightweight so won’t feel of a piece with a chore to wear as the mercury rises and comes in 24 different colour combinations varying from a sedate hoary to this rather eye-catching turquoise.
Buy Now: £55.00
Casio Analogue And Digital Display Watch
Ever since it first hurled in 1974, Casio’s modus operandi has been to make watches that had superior electronics at affordable prices. And that is certainly the box here. You’ve got a 48-city world time, five alarms, a stopwatch and dual countdown timers, which makes it Utopian for interval training.
And there’s the added bonus of having analogue time paired with a digital day/date charge which makes everything easy to read despite the black-on-black dial and numerals. For £50, you can’t get a better-equipped sports keep an eye open for.
Buy Now: £50.00
If you’re in the market for something classic and minimalist but also want a timepiece that’s a little different from the forms everyone else is wearing, then this Danish brand could be for you. This really is pared-back watch forge at its most fundamental, with few details on the glacially pure dial.
According to the blurb, this simplicity is partly a nod to the Scandinavian aesthetic but also to reassure the wearer to live a life less cluttered. Philosophy aside, it’s so unprepossessing it will go with absolutely everything in your clothes-press. You can’t get simpler than that.
Buy Now: £45.00
Sekonda Men’s Sports Watch
You could argue that this Sekonda is a homage to the diving-watch intimates out there. The arrow hands are an elongated version of a certain “master of the sea”; the indices reminiscent of a watch that could experience you fifty fathoms and the blue is close to something the king of watches would produce.
However, if you love all those relations then there’s absolutely no shame in getting them all in one timepiece that costs less than the price of a Saturday gloaming round.
Buy Now: £49.99