Watch Buying Guides

Our experts recommendations on the best watches and watch accessories, all in one place.

Recommended Watches at Every Budget

Under $500

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The Best Watches Under $100

It’s perfectly possible to snag a respectable watch for less than a Benjamin — in fact, you can even go automatic.

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These Are the Best Watches Under $200

Bargain watches get a bad rap, but there are plenty of dirt-cheap options with excellent design and solid build quality.

best watches under 500
The Best Watches You Can Buy Under $500
You don't have to drop a ton of money in order to get a great watch. These brands make affordable watches that often can last a lifetim…
a dive watch on a table with diving gear
The Best Dive Watches Under $500

Both microbrands and established companies offer great divers for five Benjamins and under.

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Under $1,000

best affordable watches
The 30 Best Affordable Watches Under $1,000

From $30 to $1,000, these are the best watches to get when you don’t want to spend a fortune.

The Best Watches Under $1,000

You can get an incredible amount of watch for under a grand.

best dive watches
16 Incredible Dive Watches Under $1,000

There’s a myriad of great divers you can buy for a few hundred bucks.

dress watches
The Best Dress Watches Under $1,000

A great dress watch doesn't have to cost as much as a car.

Under $2,500

The Best Men's Watches Under $2,000

From divers to dress watches to pilot's watches and more, these are the best in class at the $2k mark.

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The Best Dive Watches Under $2,000

From resurrected heritage brands like Doxa to blue chip companies like Longines, these are the best in sub-$2k divers.

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The Best Chronograph Watches Under $2,000

You probably didn't know you could get serious chronos for this kind of money — even mechanical ones.

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The Best Field Watches Under $2,500

Timepieces so tough that you can easily pass them down to the next generation, battle scars and all.

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Under $10,000

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The 10 Best Watches Under $5,000

There are incredible values to be had at the sub-$5k mark from a wide array of brands.

The Best Dive Watches Under $5,000

Oh, so you want a fancy dive watch, eh? We got you.

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Best Chronograph Watches Under $5,000

There's strong value to be had for less than half the price of a Daytona.

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The 12 Best Watches Under $10,000

Approaching five figures means in-house movements, exotic complications, and some of horology’s heaviest hitters.

Any Price

best chronograph watches
The Best Chronograph Watches

This comprehensive guide to chronographs covers history, important terms to know, and the best models available at nearly any price.

best dive watches
The Best Dive Watches at Every Budget

The best dive watches combine old-school style and genuine underwater usability.

collage of mens dress watches
The Best Dress Watches for Men

From well under $1,000 to $20,000 and everything in between.

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Entry-Level Watches From 10 Great Brands

Buying a timepiece from a luxury brand doesn’t mean you have to sell your car.

Watch Type & Style Buying Guides

Sport Watches

best chronograph watches
The Best Chronograph Watches

This comprehensive guide to chronographs covers history, important terms to know, and the best models available at nearly any price.

best dive watches
The Best Dive Watches at Every Budget

The best dive watches combine old-school style and genuine underwater usability.

pilot watch original friedrichshafen erbstÜck
What Are Flieger Watches, and Which Should I Buy?
What started as a batch of 1,200 watches made in 1941 for the German Luftwaffe has since become one of the most iconic watch designs in…
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The Best Pilot’s Watches Available Right Now

Whether a classic flieger or an automatic GMT, there's a pilot's watch out there for the fighter jock in everyone.

Travel & Calendar Watches

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The Best GMT Watches

Get ready to travel — or at least track multiple time zones right from your wrist.

world timer watches
Seven Incredible World Time Watches

They allow you to see the current time in any place in the world with just a quick glance at your wrist.

iwc perpetual calendar watch held in hand
How Calendar Watches Work

Forget the Apple Watch. Complete, annual and perpetual calendar watches are the original smartwatches.

omega speedmaster coax moonphase
The Best Moonphase Watches & Why They're Special

This watch feature is simultaneously useless and profound.

Other Watch Complications

What the Hell Is a Minute Repeater Watch?

Repeater watches occupy a special place in the hearts of watch enthusiasts.

modern mechanical watches
5 Modern Mechanical Alarm Watches

Because sometimes you want a notification that's spring-powered.

best hi beat
A Guide to Accurate, Mesmerizing High-Beat Watches

Watches that tick more than ten times a second aren’t just accurate — they’re a sight to behold.

rolex milgauss
What Is an Anti-Magnetic Watch?

The anti-magnetic watch has roots in aviation and engineering, but it makes sense in modern everyday life more than ever.

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Gold-Colored & Precious Material Watches

rolex oyster day date watch
The Best Gold Watches for Men

The gold watch has always been and remains special.

precious metal watches
The Best Precious Metal Watches

We break down some of the best watches available in various types of gold (yellow, white, red, pink and rose) and platinum.

best two tone watches steel gold
The Best Two-Tone Watches

Steel and gold "two-tone" watches provoke strong feelings, but they're making a comeback.

best diamond watches
The Best Diamond Watches for Men

How about a little bling?

Light & Durable Watches

collage of three titanium watches
The 10 Best Titanium Watches You Can Buy Right Now

Lighter, tougher and hypoallergenic, titanium offers tons of benefits over stainless steel.

ceramic watches
These Are Some of Today’s Best Ceramic Watches

Ceramic is an increasingly popular watchmaking material for a range of desirable properties.

carbon watches
Carbon Fiber Watches Aren't a Gimmick

Carbon-based wirst forms.

ulysse nardin ocean plastics watch
11 Sustainable Watches Made from Ocean Plastic

Believe it or not, upcycled plastic recovered from the sea is the latest trend in watchmaking materials.

Rugged & Tactical Watches

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These Are the Best Tactical Watches You Can Buy

We explore what makes a watch “tactical” and pick out some of our favorites you can own now.

best field watches
The 15 Best Field Watches

Field watches should be reliable, legible and simple.

outdoor watches
The 25 Best Outdoor Watches for Any Adventure

We break down the perfect watches available for your next outdoors adventure.

hamilton khaki pilot pioneer mechanical watch
The Best Vintage Field Watches Reissued for Today

Military field watches are some of the most compelling examples in today's reissue-crazed market.

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Quartz Watches

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Read This Before Buying a Quartz Watch

Why are quartz watches affordable? How do they work? Why are they controversial? Find out here.

quartz watches
12 Watches Prove Quartz Is Better Than You Think

Quartz watches are in many ways superior to their mechanical counterparts and deserve some respect.

a person wearing a watch with gloves in the snow
The Best Meca-Quartz Watches

The meca-quartz chronograph marries battery-based watchmaking with a "mechanical feel."

quartz watches gear patrol magazine
5 Affordable Watches Even "Watch Guys" Want
Long disdained by collectors with preferences for mechanical technology, sensibly priced quartz watches are finally in the crosshairs o…

Digital & Smartwatches

best digital watches
Best Digital Watches That Aren't the Apple Watch

Digital watches are fun, affordable and they're back with a vengeance.

best smart watches 2020
The Best Smartwatches of 2021

Before buying a smartwatch, there are few vital things to know as well. We've also rounded up the best smartwatches to buy.

great solar powered watches
10 Great Solar-Powered Watches for Summer Sun

Never wind them, don't worry about battery changes — simply strap on one of these great solar-powered watches and enjoy.

lux watches
Luxury Smartwatches vs. the Premium Apple Watch

And is traditional watchmaking compatible with wearable tech?

Style-Forward Watches

best black watches
The Best All-Black Watches

With dark cases and black dials, these stealthy tool watches fly under the radar.

oris watch
The Best Bronze Watches to Buy

Bronze has been used by man for over 4,000 years. Maybe it's time you used it, too.

The Best Skeletonized Watches for Your Money

Skeletonized watches feature dials through which you can view an often-hollowed out movement.

4 fashion brand watches
Fashion Brands Can Make Great Watches, Too

Just because a company started off making clothes or jewelry doesn't mean it can't also make a great timepiece.

Distinctive Dials

american classic intra matic chronograph h watch
These 7 Chronographs Sport Our Favorite Colorway

The classic black-on-white “panda dial” from the 1960s is making a comeback.

The Best Blue Dial Watches for Summer

Blue-dial watches that remind us of the sea and the sky just seem to work best during the summer.

panerai pam999
Your Next Watch Should Have a Dark Green Dial

Gorgeous watches from Panerai, Oris, Seiko and more.

These Are the Best Watches with Enamel Dials

Difficult to craft and incredibly beautiful, enamel-dialed watches can cost a pretty penny — with one or two exceptions.

Unique Sizes & Unisex Watches

The Best Small Watches for Men

A watch should be framed by your wrist, not envelope it.

Are Unisex Models the New Big Trend in Watchmaking?
With the downward trend in watch case sizes, more companies are producing watches that are distinctly (though perhaps unintentionally) …
thin watch
The Best Ultra-Thin Watches You Can Buy in 2022

Ten mechanical watches that clock in under 9mm.

a lange sohne watch
These Are the Best Big Mens Watches

Some people just prefer a bigger watch, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

The Best New Watches of 2021

The year in watches is turning out strong with exciting new releases from brands big and small. Here are our faves thus far.

Vintage Watch Buying Advice

Vintage Watch Basics

How to Buy a Vintage Watch

Old watches represent great value, the chance to wear a piece of history and, if you’re lucky, a good investment.

The Downside of Cheap Vintage Watches

Low prices are tempting, but the cost of service and repair can exceed that of the acquisition.

watch serial number
How to Find Your Watch's Serial Number

Serial numbers can be used to find historical and pricing information on your watch, but where are they located?

forgotten watch brands
Forgotten Watchmakers You Should Know

Buying watches from forgotten brands is a great way to get a lot with a little.

Affordable Vintage Watches

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Affordable Vintage Watches That Experts Love

We got some of the foremost experts in the watch world to weigh in on vintage watches that aren’t prohibitively expensive…yet.

Watch Experts Discuss Their First Vintage Watches

Collecting insight from James Lamdin, Hamilton Powell and Eric Wind.

affordable vintage rolex
A Brief Guide to Affordable Vintage Rolex Watches

From Air Kings to Oyster Perpetuals, these are the Rollies you can buy without taking out a HELOC.

vintage omega
A Brief Guide to Vintage Omega Watches

From Speedies to Seamies (I made that up) to Railmasters and more, we have Omega watches galore.

Vintage Military Watches

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The 21 Most Iconic Military Watches in History

From the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms to Rolex MilSub, here are history's most iconic and hardwearing military watches.

angelus chronograph
Cool Vintage Military Watches to Collect Under $5k

From inexpensive, Gulf War-era quartz to lauded 1950s, gilded chronographs, these are the best deals in military timepieces.

panerai wwii
The 10 Most Important Watches of WWII

From the A-11 to the Panerai Radiomir, these horological gems are worth a second look.

You Should Be Collecting Vintage Soviet Watches

Watches produced in Russia during the 20th century are fascinating. They're also cheap.

Watch Straps, Storage and Accessories

Watch Winders, Boxes & Pouches

Superb Watch Winders for the Budding Collector

If your mechanical watch collection is growing, you may want to keep your automatics ticking when they aren’t on your wrist.

watch in watch box
The Best Watch Boxes for Your Watch Collection

Don't keep your most worn watches in your sock drawer — invest in a quality watch box instead.

hodinkee oval leather travel case
The Best Ways to Travel With Your Watches

Keep your beloved timepieces safe and orderly.

Why You Don’t Actually Need a Watch Winder
While some are willing to pay for the convenience, the idea of a watch winder as an essential tool of watch ownership is largely unfoun…

Watch Tools & Maintenance

The Watch Owner’s Essential Toolset

Owning a timepiece demands some hands-on TLC, and you need the right tools to make that happen.

watch tools
The Tools You Need For Your Watch

There are just a few tools that watch wearers truly require...and a few more that maybe you want.

guide to life clean watch
How to Clean A Watch Without Damaging It
If you regularly wear a watch or purchase one secondhand, it'll need cleaning. In this video, Zen Love explains how to clean a watch th…

Watch Straps

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The Best Leather Watch Bands You Can Buy

Not all leather watch bands are created equal, and more and more options seem to crop up every day.

maratac mil nato watch straps
Who Makes the Best NATO Strap?

We tried different NATOs from fan-favorite strap makers to see how different they can really be.

These Are the Best Rubber Watch Straps

A rubber watch strap is perfect for the water, sports or just summer, but quality and price vary widely.

suede straps
The Best Suede Watch Straps

The fresh side of the hide is perfect for your wrist.

Watch Brand & Model Buying Guides (Listed Alphabetically)

Blancpain - Panerai
The Complete Guide to the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms

Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms was one of the world’ first modern dive watches, and there are more versions of it now than ever.

breitling navitimer watch
The Complete Buying Guide to Breitling Watches

From the Navitimer to the Chronomat and beyond.

cartier watches
The Complete Buying Guide to Cartier Watches

From the round Ronde to the square Santos — and, of course, the Tank.

casio g shock watches
The Complete Buying Guide to Casio G-Shock Watches

Casio makes a rugged G-Shock in just about every color and for every type of person.

fossil watches
The Complete Buying Guide to Fossil Watches

They're affordable, and you can buy them at the mall — like, any mall. What's not to love?

hamilton watches
The Incomplete Buying Guide to Hamilton Watches

Here are the most important Hamilton collections and models, including solid, entry-level luxury watches for any purpose.

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A Complete Guide to IWC Watches

The International Watch Company may make the world’s most iconic pilot’s watches, but their offerings don’t stop there.

longines watch collection
The Complete Buying Guide to Longines Watches

From the Legend Diver to the Spirit and beyond.

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The Complete Buying Guide to Omega Watches

We break down the catalog of the one of the world’s foremost watchmakers, from the Seamaster to the Speedmaster and more.

omega speedmaster watches
How to Buy an Omega Speedmaster Watch

We take you through the different iterations one of the world’s most famous watches, from Moonwatch to X-33 and more.

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The Complete Buying Guide to Oris Watches

Want incredible value in a mechanical wristwatch without spending a fortune? Look at this independent Swiss brand.

The Complete Buying Guide to Panerai Watches

A guide to and brief history of one of the most notable dive watch manufacturers in the world and its timepieces.

Patek Philippe - Tudor
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The Complete Buying Guide to Patek Philippe

We break down the catalog of one of the finest watch manufacturers in the world.

Patek Philippe's Best Perpetual Calendar Watches
Patek Philippe’s complicated watchmaking is famous the world over, and their mechanical perpetual calendars are the stars of their cata…
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The Best Rolex Watches for Men in 2023

Everything you need to know about Rolex's current catalog of watches, including prices, history and more.

rolex datejust watch
How to Buy a Rolex Datejust

The Rolex Datejust, in continuous production since 1945, is one of the most popular watches in the world.

rolex watches
A Complete Guide to the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

From languishing on shelves to becoming the hottest watch in the world, Rolex’s Cosmograph Daytona has had a wild ride, indeed.

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5 Cheaper Alternatives to the Rolex Submariner

It's tough to beat the original, but these dive watches might scratch the itch.

seiko watches collage lead image
The Best Seiko Watches You Can Buy

Seiko offers some of the best value in watches. We break down each of its modern product lines to help you understand what's available.

seiko dive watch held in hand
There's a Great Seiko Dive Watch for Every Budget

Whether you're well-heeled or cash-strapped, Seiko has a great diver for you.

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How to Buy a TAG Heuer Watch

Over 150 years of history makes for an extensive catalog of awesome timepieces.

timex watches
How to Buy a Timex Watch
Timex has been cranking out millions of affordable watches since 1854. Use this handy guide to figure out which of their timepieces is …
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The Complete Buying Guide to Tudor Watches

Once subordinate to big brother Rolex, Tudor has fully come into its own.

25 boutique watch brands
25 Boutique Watch Brands You Should Know
“Indies,” “microbrands” — whatever you call them, these smaller companies are at the forefront of value and creativity in the watch ind…

Popular Watch Alternatives

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5 Cheaper Alternatives to the Rolex Submariner

It's tough to beat the original, but these dive watches might scratch the itch.

Five Cheaper Alternatives to the Omega Speedmaster

Watches from Swatch, Bulova and others offer the versatile appeal and technical feel of the Speedy for far less scratch.

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Four Worthy Cartier Tank Alternatives
These dress watches offer attractive alternatives to the Cartier Tank experience, with classic looks that stand out among so many round…
want this get this audemar piguet maurice lacroix
5 Affordable Alternatives to the A.P. Royal Oak

These watches offer strong value and a taste of the iconic Audemars Piguet Royal Oak's versatile appeal.