$500 is a lot of money. In the scheme of watch collecting, it isn't. I certainly owe my passion towards the desire to own a bunch of watches to my father. All of us dream of owning that special Rolex and Patek but very few can. Someday, we all shall own one or few more.
Nowadays, moderately affordable watches under $500 could be equally intricate, elegant and worth-collecting for the longer run. Let's dive in and list the best men's watches in the price point.
#1 ON MY WISHLIST & YOURS
Seiko SRP777 'Turtle'
Introductory public Announcement: Never underestimate SEIKO. Seiko SRP777 is a worthy dive watch of the future with its simplicity & design being triggered by Seiko's of yesteryear. Even the nickname 'Turtle' sounds perfect. This watch is made to take bumps, explore deep entrenches and still keep running like Chrissie Wellington. The 4R36 is a worthy movement at the price point. The watch is a big boy at 44-mm but every time you look at it, you would want to pack your bag and just explore. That counts for something, right?
ONE FOR THE AGES
SEIKO SSA343 Presage
Seiko is a legendary brand in the watch hemisphere. If you look at the watch above, you won't ask why? This automatic movement brilliance was inspired by a cocktail bar (I call it the drunk Seiko). The specific icy blue color is an homage to a drink called Skydiving. The date hand and power reserve display adds the special touch of intricacy at an amazing price point. The great part, the watch will age gloriously. Plus, you can wear it with your suit and your shorts.
THE STARTER DIVE
Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive AT4010-50E
The watch is a titanium overload in the best way possible. Eco-Drive E650 Atomic Timekeeping Radio controlled is a great watch engine. The watch stays in sync with NASA's atomic clock through radio signals. It is water resistant to 200-m with perpetual calendar, chronograph, power reserve display and day-date for under $500! If you want one watch with every feature under the sun, look no further.
ALL THE FEELS
Timex + Todd Snyder Marlin Blackout
Todd Snyder and Timex collab is nothing short of glorious. The black on black 60's vintage look with a mechanical hand wound movement in a 34-mm case is simply an ageless design perfection. You can pair it with a tux or the white tee & leather jacket look. This watch is made to pass timeless sophistication down your family tree as a vintage cabochon.
DUDE, I'VE BEEN TO THE MOON
Bulova Special Edition Lunar Pilot Chronograph Black Dial 96A225
Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph is one of the few very watches to make a trip to the Moon and back. On top of that, it is also the only privately-owned watch to make space history. Fun Fact: Astronaut Dave Scott's Bulova, worn to the moon during NASA's Apollo 15 mission in 1971 sold at an auction for a mammoth $1.3 Million. The watch has a quartz movement but that shouldn't stop anyone from owning a part of history. Above all, the watch is strong as a rock and will look even cooler in 2055.
Sugess Sea-Gull Chronograph Moonphase Calendar 1963 Pilot
I truly believe that Patek Philippe 5970 is the greatest watch of all time. It is the ultimate watch lord but $500 is not the price point for a Patek. That being said, Tianjin Seagull is the world's largest manufacturer of mechanical watch movement. The watch has a compact 41-mm size with intricate working of a chronograph, calendar and a moonphase packed within. The old-school Pilot crown adds to the classic multiverse homage look. You own it with pride.
The watch brewed (pun intended) inspiration from the classic Heuer Monaco. The rectangular design is hip yet fascinated by the 60's design. The watch has a special subdial to time an espresso shot. How 2020 Brooklyn is that? The panda dial adds to the charm along with it's perfect 38-mm case size. It's the modern watch of the past with lots of luminous phosphorescent.