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Although automatic watches often seem to be expensive, with a budget of under $ 500 you can get yourself or a loved one a piece with an intricate design complete with marvelous workmanship, to sum up, that perfect look. 

Automatic watches feature a spring that is wound automatically by a rotor which turns itself while the wearer moves his or her wrist. Unlike quartz watches, automatic watches don’t need to be recharged.

That being said, there are some brand names that are agreed to be a cut above the rest. In this article, we will review some of the best automatic watches under $500 available in the market today and give you a detailed buying guide to help you in getting a piece that suits your needs and preferences.

In a Hurry? Below are some of the best automatic watches under $500:

Sale
Orient Automatic Watch
  • Domed Mineral Crystal
  • Open Heart Dial
  • Japanese-automatic Movement

Bulova Automatic Watch
  • 41mm Case diameter
  • 2 Year International Warranty. When the crown is in the “OUT” position, the motor and hands stop. Only the quartzcrystal continues to vibrate, using very little power. If the watch is to be stored for a length oftime, it is recommended that the crown be left in the “OUT” position to prolong battery life
  • Water Resistant To 330 Feet

Sale
Seiko Turtle Diver Watch
  • Screwdown crown and caseback, 41-hour power reserve, one-way rotating elapsed timing bezel, LumiBrite hands and markers, Date calendar

Factors to consider when buying the best automatic watches under $500

  • Watch movement

Watch movement is described as the heart of any wristwatch. That is why this should be the first thing that you should consider when finding the best automatic watch. Look at the watch’s beats per hour [BPH]. The higher the BPH a watch has, the more accurate and reliable it is. Most good automatic watches have a BPH of  21 600, 28 800, or 36 000.

  • Size of your wrist

Another important consideration you should take is knowing the size of your wrist. Choose a watch that fits your wrist properly. The watch should neither be too tight nor too loose of fitting so that you achieve that comfortable wear. Big watches are on the trend right now. As big as 45mm excluding crown. Regardless of how big of a watch you buy, getting one that fits your wrist is essential. Here’s a great guide on choosing the right watch size.

  • Power reserve

Check the power indicator displayed on the watch. This will show you how long the watch will function when not worn. For a standard automatic watch, the ideal average number of power reserve should be 42 hours. An amazing thing about an automatic watch is its longevity. Unlike a manual watch, with the right craftsmanship, an automatic watch has a longer lifespan, pausing only when you cease to wind or move the internal mechanisms of the timepiece.

  • Material

Consider the material of the watch. Stainless steel is commonly used for wristwatches because it adds a solid look to the timepiece at an affordable price. A good material will add to the durability of your watch. It protects your watch from damages that may ordinarily be caused by accidents such as you hitting your wristwatch on furniture while walking around the house or office.

  • Additional features

You need to ask yourself what features you want first. This will lead you to buying a timepiece that truly fits your needs and preferences. Automatic watches can hold many features with many different styles. It can include features such as power reserve indicator, stopwatches, and moon-phase display. Based on your needs, be sure to decide on your prioritized features.

  • The band

Automatic watches come in different types of bands. Depending on your taste, you have the options of strap or bracelet. Leather straps are common and a perfect choice for your casual wear and everyday use. With colors varying from blue to red to black, most being subtle. Automatic watches with bracelet straps are used mostly for fashion purposes due to their more formal look making them ideal for business events or formal parties.

Review of Best Automatic Watches Under  $500

1.Orient ‘Bambino Open Heart’ Japanese Automatic Watch

Sale
Orient Automatic Watch
  • Domed Mineral Crystal
  • Open Heart Dial
  • Japanese-automatic Movement

The Japanese automatic watch is dubbed the Bambino Open Heart for its distinguishing open heart dial design. Unlike other watches, it doesn’t display the date which is another distinguishing feature. Other eye-catching design features include the thin, sophisticated hour markers and hands and a signed onion-styled crown. 

Like other watches in the Bambino collection, it has a domed dial and crystal. The case diameter of the water measures 40.5mm wide and has a thickness of 12mm. The bezel is made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel while the straps are made of leather. The display and analog dial are covered by a sturdy domed mineral crystal window.

Another highlight of this watch is that it is powered by the caliber F6T22 movement. This is a highly polished movement that is specifically designed for open heart models. It has a 40-hour power reserve. Also, it is water-resistant up to a depth of 30m or 100 ft. Therefore, it can withstand a brief immersion in water but you should not use it when going for a long swim. 

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • 40 – hour power reserve
  • Straps can be changed
  • Value for money
  • Flawless design

Cons

  • Poor quality bands
  • Bands are relatively narrow 

2.Bulova Men’s 96A135 BVA-SERIES 120 Automatic Watch 

Bulova Automatic Watch
  • 41mm Case diameter
  • 2 Year International Warranty. When the crown is in the “OUT” position, the motor and hands stop. Only the quartzcrystal continues to vibrate, using very little power. If the watch is to be stored for a length oftime, it is recommended that the crown be left in the “OUT” position to prolong battery life
  • Water Resistant To 330 Feet

The beauty of this watch is that it will afford you a serious look at a very reasonable price.  In terms of elegance, this one ranks up there with the best. It has a 21 jewel automatic movement that is protected in a stainless steel case. The case is 40mm wide and 13.5 mm thick.

Another outstanding feature is the black finish of the dial with a transparent sub-dial. The dials are covered by a mineral crystal window. The black dial contrast sharply with the clean slick numerals giving it a striking look. 

In case you are not using the watch and want to store it, it is recommended that you leave the crown in the ‘out’ position to prolong the battery life. When it is in that position, its motor and hands do not move. Only the quartz-crystal continues to vibrate. This uses minimal power. It has a water resistance of 330 feet meaning you do not have to take it off when you go swimming. It does not have a date display.

Pros 

  • Water-resistant up to 330 feet
  • Elegant design
  • Lightweight build
  • Versatile and can be used for formal and casual wear

Cons

  • No day and date display
  • Small face dial

3. Seiko PROSPEX Turtle Diver Automatic Men’s Watch 

Sale
Seiko Turtle Diver Watch
  • Screwdown crown and caseback, 41-hour power reserve, one-way rotating elapsed timing bezel, LumiBrite hands and markers, Date calendar

Seiko gets a spot on this list with this amazing automatic watch that features the classic divers’ style. It has a clean and stylish dial with large hour markers. It also has thick hands and a date display. 

The markers and the hands of the watch are luminous making it easier to read the watch even in the dark. It also adds to its elegance. All these are protected by a mineral crystal window. 

Another cool feature is the corrugated unidirectional bezel. For the straps, you can choose between a black rubber strap with a regular connect-style buckle clasp or a silver stainless steel bracelet. There is a striking contrast between the red and blue bezel and the blue dial which makes the watch even more eye-catching. 

The case is water-resistant up to a depth of 660 feet which is equivalent to 200m. The movement is powered by caliber 4R36. This is a 24 jewel automatic hand winding movement with hackable second hand. It has an added day and date display set at 3 o’clock. 

Pros

  • Easy to read luminous hands and markers
  • Stylish design
  • Value for money
  • Water resistance of 660ft

Cons

  • Manual winding issues

4. Orient Men’s ‘Mako II’ Japanese Automatic Diving Watch

Orient Diving Watch
  • Mineral crystal
  • Crown:Screwed-down.120-Click unidirectional bezel
  • Japanese-automatic Movement

This is one of the most affordable pieces on our list. Like other Orient watches, it is another feature-rich masterpiece ideal for divers. It has a water resistance of 200m and is perfect for professional marine activity and you can even use it for water sports. There is an added screw-down crown and case-back to support water resistance. 

It has a robust 120-click unidirectional bezel protected by a mineral crystal. The case is made of stainless steel and has a diameter of 41.5mm and a width of 22 millimeters. The band has a fold-over safety function. It also has a day and date function displayed at 3 o’clock. 

It is powered by Orient caliber F6922 which a hand winding automatic movement with 22 jewels. It has a power reserve of 40 hours. If you wind the crown 30 times, the spring will wind fully and gain its full power reserve. Do not set the date on your watch between 8:00 pm and 4:00 am or it will lose its accuracy.  

Pros

  • 200m water resistance
  • 40 hours of power reserve
  • Day and date display function
  • Accuracy
  • Lightweight design

Cons

  • Difficult to engage the crown to screw up or down

5. Seiko Men’s Stainless Steel Japanese-Automatic Watch

Seiko Automatic Watch
  • Automatic Movement with 50-hour power reserve
  • Sapphire Crystal and Inner Rotating Compass Ring
  • Japanese-automatic Movement

This watch comes with a 39.5mm stainless steel fitted with scratch-resistant sapphire glass and a screw-down crown. The strap is made of crocodile-patterned brown leather and you can use it as a fashion accessory or dress piece.

Another eye-catching feature is the green dial that has beautifully designed gold-toned hands and numerals. There is also an inner rotating compass ring and a date calendar. These two features make this watch a very handy and practical timepiece. The hands and markers are luminous which makes them highly visible and beautiful to look at. It also has a see-through case back. 

It is powered by a 23-jewel automatic movement that has automatic winding capabilities but can also be wound manually. It has a 50-hour power reserve and moves at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour. 

With a water resistance of 200m, it is ideal for marine activity and surface water sports. However, it may not work well when diving. 

Pros

  • 200m water resistance
  • Eye-catching design
  • Luminous hands and markers
  • High accuracy

Cons

  • Relatively smaller size
  • The leather strap is not ideal for water sports

Best Automatic Watches Under $500 Conclusion

Watches can be a fashion statement. An automatic watch can be as functional as it is stylish. Rather than having to go through the hassle of continuously replacing the battery in your timepiece, automatic watches can save you the trouble of dealing with a watch that doesn’t work. As long as you wear it, an automatic watch is powered by the movement of your wrist.

This is made possible through an oscillating system that is inside the watch’s caliber, automatically winding the spring through motion. If you go for a long time without wearing it and the reserve power happens to run out, simply put it back on and fix the time. The fact that they do not use batteries makes them more sustainable and environmentally friendly. We hope you enjoyed this review of the best automatic watches under $500 and best of luck with your decision!

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