Top 14 Best Affordable Swiss Automatic Watches

Top 14 Best Affordable Swiss Automatic Watches

Top 14 Best Affordable Swiss Automatic Watches

Why a Swiss watch?

Swiss watchmaking is synonymous with quality and craftsmanship. Switzerland is considered the capital of watchmaking, and this is not by random. In fact, most of the world’s most prestigious watchbands in the world have their factories and headquarters there. In addition, most of the world’s most well-known luxury watch brands were founded in Switzerland.

This includes brands such as:

  • Vacheron Constantin
  • Omega
  • Audemars Piguet
  • Blancpain

And of course many more…

Most Swiss watches have the text ”Swiss Made” at the very bottom of the dial, which makes it possible to identify them.

The fact is that there are several criteria (According to a law set in 1971) that watches need to meet in order for them to be able to call themselves ”Swiss made”. These are:

  • The movement needs to be from Switzerland
  • The final inspection needs to be done in Switzerland
  • The movement needs to be put into the case in Switzerland.
  • At least 60% of the manufacturing costs took place in Switzerland

With that said, the label ”Swiss made” is not only a stamp that tells a watch was made in Switzerland, but more so, it is also proof of quality. So not only does the Swiss Made label resonate well in a watch in the sense that many of the world’s top watches are made there, but it is also a reassuring label that you are getting a quality watch.

What is an automatic watch?

An automatic watch is simply a watch that is powered by an automatic movement. This is a mechanical movement that features a rotor that rotates when the watch moves, for example when it is on the wrist. When the rotor rotates, it winds the mainspring and thus generates energy for the movement. This means that you won’t have to replace batteries, nor consistently have to wind the watch. This is both practical but also an appealing mechanical piece of technology.

What is affordable?

The term subjective is not clear-cut because it obviously depends on who asks, but for this article, we have listed watches that cost less than 1000 USD (with 1 exception). Of course, there is no fixed rule as to what an ”affordable” watch really is, but in this post, we have focused not only on the price, but also the manufacturer and the reputation they have.

Therefore, without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the top best affordable Swiss automatic watches that are manufactured by reputable and well-known Swiss watch brands that are known for quality and long-lasting timepieces.

Top 14 Best Affordable Swiss Automatic Watches


Swatch SUTB402 Originals

Swatch SUTB402 Originals

Swatch is one of the most famous Swiss watch brands in the world. It is mostly known for making affordable watches priced at around a few hundred dollars, and the Swatch Group is actually one of the biggest watch groups in Switzerland, owning numerous famous Swiss watch brands such as Omega, Hamilton, Blancpain, and many more. Swatch was founded in 1983 and definitely has the know-how of Swiss watchmaking.

The Swatch SUTB402 is made with a black plastic case and is presented on a silicone strap. It measures 42mm in diameter and has a thickness of 14mm. This case design has become synonymous with Swatch over the years. Whilst a plastic case is not for everyone, it is actually rather durable and maybe most importantly, makes it very affordable.

The watch has a sleek and elegant dial with a white background, Arabic numerals, a date function, and rectangular hands. Of course, this watch is powered by an automatic movement.

On top of the case, it has a scratch-resistant mineral crystal and a see-through case back allowing you to see the movement inside. The water resistance is 99 feet.

Specifications

  • Water-resistance: 99 feet
  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Thickness: 14mm
  • Crystal: sapphire

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Stylish and timeless design
  • Manufactured by a well-respected brand
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Well-performing automatic movement

Cons

  • Some may find the plastic case a bit cheap

Victorinox 241720

Victorinox is a Swiss brand that is most known for its Swiss army knives, but the brand’s watches are also appreciated for their tough and solid build quality. In addition, it is a great brand since it is synonymous with Swiss craftsmanship.

This watch features a 42mm black PVD case and has a triple-anti-reflective coating. The watch is water-resistant up to 100m/330 feet. It has etched military time on the underside of the crystal. The watch has a very sporty appearance that makes it look very masculine and sporty. The watch is powered by the sturdy and reliable Swiss-made automatic-movement ETA 2824-2, which can also be seen through the case back.

Victorinox designed the Airboss in honor of aviation, and therefore, it has an aviation-inspired design that puts the utmost importance on functionality and legibility.

Specifications

  • Diameter 42 mm
  • Case back: Screw-down
  • Water-resistance: up to 100m/330ft/10ATM
  • Crystal: Scratch-resistant, triple-coated anti-reflective

Pros

  • See-through case back allowing you to admire the movement
  • Durable sapphire crystal
  • Reliable and sturdy automatic ETA caliber
  • Great legibility

Cons

  • A bit too sporty for some

Alpina Alpiner AL-525NS5AQ6

Alpina is another great Swiss watch brand that, according to us, does not get the recognition it deserves. The Alpiner AL-525NS5AQ6 is a watch that combines sportiness with elegance, making it perfect for everyday wear.

It is presented with a stainless steel case with a diameter of 44.5mm. It has a unidirectional rotating bezel for measuring elapsed time and it is powered by an automatic self-winding movement with anti-shock and anti-magnetic properties. The watch has a water resistance of 100m/330 feet.

The highlight of this watch is certainly the striking and mesmerizing blue dial with a beautiful sunburst finish. For practicality, it has a date window positioned at 3 o’clock. The watch offers great legibility and has a perfect balance between functionality, sportiness, and elegance. This is a perfect everyday wear for a man with medium to large wrists.

Specifications

  • Water-resistance: 100m/330 feet
  • Movement: Self-Winding automatic, anti-magnetic and anti-shock
  • Diameter: 44.5mm

Pros

  • Durable automatic movement
  • Versatile design suitable for many different occasions
  • A striking blue sunburst dial that will catch anyone’s attention

Cons

  • A bit too big for some
  • Not everyone likes leather straps

Hamilton H70605731 Khaki Field Murph Auto

Hamilton is a well-known and well-respected watch brand that was originally founded in the US. Hamilton was later acquired by the Swatch group and therefore relocated to Switzerland.

Hamilton is mostly known for its functional tool-watches, often inspired by military watches due to the brand’s history of making military watches.

The Hamilton H70605731 Khaki Field Murph is such a timepiece that has clear military-inspired design features that looks just as sporty as it is. The watch is presented with a 42mm stainless steel case and has, very much a military-inspired design with vintage-inspired design elements. The thickness measures 11mm.

The watch is slightly too sporty to be considered a dress watch, and this makes it a perfect everyday watch for those who want something a bit more sporty, which can also be worn on more demanding occasions, for that matter.

It has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and is powered by an automatic movement. The watch has a water resistance of 100m/330 feet. It is presented on a black leather strap which helps make it more casual and versatile. It is also very comfortable to wear. As a military-inspired watch should, it offers great legibility.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Thickness: 11mm
  • Movement: Swiss automatic
  • Water resistance: 100m/330 feet
  • Crystal: sapphire

Pros

  • High-quality and exceptional finish for the price
  • Appealing sporty vintage-and military-inspired design
  • Great legibility

Cons

  • A bit too sporty for formal occasions

Hamilton Khaki Navy Automatic H82335131

This is a slightly sportier watch from Hamilton with a diving-inspired design.

It features a 40mm stainless steel case and is presented on a sporty three-link bracelet. As a dive watch should, it of course has a unidirectional rotating bezel with a 60-minute graduation scale.

The watch is powered by an automatic movement and is water-resistant to 100 meters / 330 feet. On top of the case sits a Scratch Resistant Sapphire crystal.

If you are a fan of dive watches, this watch certainly offers great value for money. It uses high-quality materials that you find in much more expensive timepieces, and it has an impressive finish such as brushed lugs, contrasted by polished sides.

Pros

  • Timeless and sporty dive watch design
  • High quality materials and superb finish

Cons

  • A bit too sporty for some
  • Not a ceramic bezel
  • Not a ceramic bezel, meaning the aluminum insert may acquire scratches over time

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 5 WAY211A.BA0928

Tag Heuer is one of the most well-known Swiss watch brands in the world. TAG Heuer makes watches in a wide spectrum of price ranges, but this Aquaracer is one of the most affordable of the bunch.

If you are looking for a dive watch, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer is the first watch a lot of people come to think about. It has all of the elements you may want in a dive watch including a unidirectional rotating bezel with a ceramic bezel, a sturdy automatic movement, and a sapphire crystal.

The Aquaracer has acquired an almost iconic status and is a perfect timeless choice for a dive watch. In fact, this is considered one of the best dive watches in relation to its price, and this is also why it is so immensely popular.

The watch is presented on a stainless steel three-link bracelet which both looks good and adds to its sporty nature. It goes very well with the design of the watch.

It features a beautiful black dial with a striped/embossed finish which reflects the light beautifully and provides depth to the watch. Being a dive watch, it puts the utmost importance on legibility, and this is made possible thanks to large hands and applied hour markers.

It is water-resistant to an impressive 300 meters / 1000 feet.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 41mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water-resistance: 300m/100 feet
  • Movement: Swiss Automatic

Pros

  • Classic, loved, and iconic design
  • High-quality materials such as ceramic bezel and a sapphire crystal
  • Great legibility

Cons

  • The bezel has a slightly ”hollow” sound when rotating it and the clicks do not give a reassuring sound of quality compared to certain other dive watches.

Tag Heuer Formula 1 Automatic Mens Watch WAZ2011.BA0842

TAG Heuer’s Formula 1 collection is another popular line of watches that offers great value for money. It consists mostly of quartz watches, but this is an automatic timepiece and therefore finds its way onto our list of the best affordable Swiss automatic watches.

This is a sporty timepiece that appears masculine and has a diver-inspired design. It has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 43mm and a thickness of 12mm. Being a diving-inspired watch, it has a water resistance of 200m/660 feet and a screw-down crown. On top of the case, it has a sapphire crystal.

It is presented on a stainless steel three-link bracelet with a fold Over with a Safety Release clasp.

The dial is made in striking grey anthracite with a beautiful sunburst finish which reflects the light beautifully. As a dive watch should, it also has a unidirectional rotating bezel with a 60-minute graduation scale.

If you’re looking for an affordable Swiss dive watch, you really cannot go wrong with this timeless watch.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 43mm
  • Thickness: 12mm
  • Crystal: sapphire

Pros

  • Original and appealing design
  • High quality materials
  • Sturdy movement

Cons

  • A bit too big for some

Tag Heuer Aquaracer Automatic WAY2012.BA0927

This is another highly popular Aquaracer from TAG Heuer. The core difference from the Aquaracer listed above is that it has a stainless steel bezel which gives it a slightly sportier appearance.

The watch has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 43mm. It has a thickness of 12mm. On top of the case, it has a sapphire crystal. For water resistance, it has a screw-down crown. And being a dive watch, it offers an impressive 300m/1000 feet.

The Aquaracer design is iconic and one that you simply cannot go wrong with, similar to the Rolex Submariner.

It has a beautiful ”striped” blue dial that provides depth and is stunning to look at. It of course also has a unidirectional rotating bezel with a 60-minute  graduation scale. It is presented on a stainless steel bracelet which goes very well together with the all-steel look.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 43mm
  • Thickness: 12mm
  • Water resistance: 300m/1000 feet

Pros

  • Sporty and robust
  • Timeless and iconic design
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • A bit too big for some
  • The bracelet is not 100% robust
  • The design can feel a bit outdated compared to the newest Aquaracer model (also featured on this list).

Oris 73375944034MB Classic Swiss Automatic Black Watch

Oris is another great and well-respected Swiss watch brand that makes high-quality timepieces at affordable prices. 

This watch has a simple, clean, and elegant design with a touch of sportiness which makes it perfect for everyday wear.

It has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 42mm and offers a water resistance of 50 meters/165 feet. It is of course powered by a Swiss automatic movement. For practicality, it has a date window positioned at 6 o’clock, which can come in handy.

The watch is very simple in design and does not stand out from the ordinary. This can be both good and bad, but if you’re looking for a discreet yet elegant timepiece to complement your look whilst also performing year after year, this can be a great choice.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire

Pros

  • Clean, simple, and elegant design
  • High quality and finish from a well-respected manufacture

Cons

  • Some may find the design too boring and plain

Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day Date 01 752 7698 4063-07 5 22 05FC

Another, slightly more sporty watch from Oris is the ProPilot Day Date 01 752 7698 4063-07 5 22 05FC. As the name suggests, this is a pilot’s watch, and with that said, expect a big case and focus on legibility. And this is exactly what this watch delivers.

The watch has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 45mm. Because of the thin bezel design, it brings all focus to the dial, which is beautifully executed. The watch has a lovely sunburst dial with a slightly brown/grey hue which reflects the light beautifully and is stunning to look at.

Of course, it has large Arabic numerals and long hands ensuring great legibility at all times. It is powered by the automatic Oris caliber 752 which operates at 28,800. On top of the case, it has a sapphire crystal as well as a see-through case back allowing you to see the movement inside.

Specifications

  • Water-resistance: 100m/330 feet
  • Diameter: 45mm
  • Crystal: sapphire
  • Case back: see-through
  • Movement: Oris Caliber 752 

Pros

  • Stylish, sporty, and classic pilot watch design
  • High quality materials and superb finish
  • Solid and robust automatic movement

Cons

  • Too big for some people

Tissot Swiss Automatic Dress Watch T1274071105100

Tissot is one of the most well-known affordable Swiss watch brands in the world. When buying a Swiss watch, you can be sure that you are getting a timepiece that offers exceptional value for money.

This is one of Tissot’s latest creations which is all about the movement. This is because this watch is powered by the Powermatic 80 caliber Silicum movement. 

It has a power reserve of an impressive 80 hours!

The watch features a 40mm stainless steel case with a clean, simple, and sleek design. This watch is the perfect everyday watch with its classy and simple design, but also beautiful attention to detail. It features a lovely black dial with a sunburst finish and a date window positioned at 3 o’clock.

This is Swiss craftsmanship in its most beautiful form, available at a very attractive price. Fact is, there is not much to complain about. It’s just simple, clean, and offers a level of finishing that you usually find in much more expensive timepieces. It just radiates pure class.

Specifications

  • Power reserve: 80 hours
  • Weight: 146 grams
  • Crystal: Domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with antireflective coating
  • Case back: see-through
  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Thickness: 11.5mm

Pros

  • Exceptional power reserve
  • Great new movement with impressive technology
  • Amazing attention to detail and finish.

Cons

  • Too simple and classic for some

Tissot PR 100 Powermatic 80 T101.407.16.051.00

This is another great watch from Tissot that offers everything you can expect from a classy Swiss automatic watch.

The watch features a 39mm stainless steel case with a sleek design with polished and brushed elements. It has a thickness of 10.39mm and offers a water resistance of 100m/330 feet.

The design of the watch makes it perfect for everyday wear or as a formal watch on dressed-top occasions.

This is simplicity in its most beautiful form. It has no nonsense but is just a simple watch that proves it doesn’t need any other details or functions to the beautiful.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 39mm
  • Thickness: 10.39mm
  • Water resistance: 100m/330 feet

Pros

  • Classic and traditional design
  • Great size which works for any occasions

Cons

  • A bit boring and too simple according to some

Longines Hydroconquest Ceramic L37814566

The Longines Hydroconquest is another iconic and widely appreciated dive watch. It has been around for a long time and therefore established an iconic status.

This watch offers everything you may want in a timepiece including a distinct and iconic design, great legibility, great water resistance, and the use of high-quality materials such as a ceramic bezel.

It’s difficult to explain why some designs become iconic, but the Longines has many of the prerequisites for it, such as a timeless design and a simple and clean look that appeals to a lot of people.

It has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 41mm. The dial is a sunburst dial that reflects the light beautifully, whilst at the same time providing great legibility. 

Being a dive watch, it of course has great water resistance, and this watch offers a water resistance of 300m/1000 feet. It has a unidirectional rotating bezel with a black ceramic insert, and on top of the case, it has a scratch-resistance sapphire crystal.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 41mm
  • Water resistance: 300m/1000 feet
  • Crystal: sapphire
  • Bezel: ceramic

Pros

  • Iconic and appreciated design
  • High quality design and great quality

Cons

  • The crown and crown guards protrude from the case a lot which can affect the comfort of wearing the watch

Longines Conquest Blue Dial L37764996

This is another popular watch from Longines that has taken inspiration from the popular Hydroconquest, but because it has no unidirectional rotating bezel, it is not a dive watch, but rather an elegant and classy timepiece with a sporty touch.

The watch has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 39mm. Instead of the dive bezel, it has a polished and sleek bezel. It offers a water resistance of 300m/1000 feet.

The highlight of this watches is its striking blue dial which reflects the light beautifully and looks both classy and sporty. On top of the case, it uses sapphire crystal.

Specifications

  • Water resistance: 300m/1000 feet
  • Diameter: 39mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire

Pros

  • Suitable size for a slightly less sporty, more versatile timepiece
  • High quality and nice finishing
  • Striking blue dial

Cons

  • The combination between dive watch elements without all elements can be confusing

Buyer’s guide – Affordable Swiss Automatic Watches

First of all, as discussed earlier, the term “affordable is” subjective is not clear-cut because it obviously depends on who asks. Some people consider no more than 500 dollars as affordable, others would consider a 1000 dollar swiss watch affordable. In addition, I would say that because Swiss watches are known for being more luxurious and more expensive in general, Swiss watches have a higher level of what is considered affordable. For example, many people perceive a Swiss watch at 2000 dollars affordable, simply because they compare with other luxury Swiss watch brands such as Rolex or even Patek Philippe which cost considerably more.

In comparison, when it comes to, for example, Japanese watches, most people would say that a 1000 dollar Japanese watch isn’t affordable, as they are comparing that with watches for a few hundred (at most) from the likes of Casio or Seiko.

So with this said, it is something you should take into consideration when looking for a Swiss automatic watch. What do you consider affordable? And more importantly, what is your budget?

When buying your Swiss automatic watch, there are, just like when buying any other watch, some things you want to take into consideration. The most important questions you need to ask yourself are:

  • What size do I want? The size on the watch you choose depends, to a large extent, on your wrist size, but also the occasion on which you wear it on and the type of watch you buy. For example, if you buy a dress watch, it makes sense to choose a smaller size. But if you want a robust dive watch, buying a larger size that goes well with its purpose may make more sense.
  • What movement do I want? Since you are here, you have already decided on buying an automatic watch, but there are also quartz or hand-wound as well
  • What water-resistance do I need? Depending on how you will wear your watch, water-resistance may or may not be important. The water-resistance you need will also likely reflect in the type of watch that you opt for.
  • Do I want a dress or sports watch?
  • For what occasions will I wear my watch? Depending on the occasion you plan to wear your watch, you should choose your watch accordingly. If you want a veratile and sporty timepiece, you’ll lean towards this type of watch. But if you plan to use it in the office with a suit, it will probably make more sense to buy a more elegant dress watch.
  • What is my budget? Defining your budget will make it easier for you to narrow down your alternatives and make a decision. As you  have seen, Swiss watches are available in all kinds of different price ranges. From a few hundred to tens of thousands.

Is a Swiss watch worth the money?

Yes, Swiss watches are considered to be worth the money. Swiss watches haven’t gotten the reputation they have for no reason. They are known to be qualitative, robust, reliable, and pay close attention to the materials and details. With stand said, you can, in general, expect that you are getting a high-quality, well-mae timepiece when you buy a Swiss watch. You could say that the Swiss-made marking is a seal of quality, craftsmanship, and heritage.

In general, due to the reputation and prestige that comes with Swiss-made watches, you are paying a slight premium, but this is also backed up by the fact that you are getting a qualitative product. Swiss-made watches are made for those who enjoy find watchmaking, craftsmanship, and for those who apprceciate great quality.

The legal definition requires that at least 60% of the watch’s component cost, besides the manufacturing, asembly, encasing, and inspecting, have arose in Switzerland. In addition, the movements or components used to manufacture it have to be assembled and verified in Switzerland. Furthermore, the watch’s movement needs to have been cased-up in Switzerland. The manufacturer also needs to conduct the final inspection in switzerland.

In general, there are a number of things that set Swiss watches apart from other timepieces. Apart from the cost aspect and the criteria above (and the fact that the Swiss have a long reputation of high quality and great expertise in watchmaking), there are no other criteria in regards to the manufacturing. But some things that are common for Swiss watches (but not mandatory) that make them so great are:

  • They often use sapphire crystals
  • They are often made by hand
  • They normally use high-quality solid 316L steel
  • They normally use metal gears for the mechanical movements

All of the above things, most importantly the use of high quality materials and careful inspections result in timepieces that can last for a long time, sometimes even for generations.

Which are the best affordable Swiss watch brands?

We have already looked at some of the most popular and well-known affordable Swiss watch brands in the list above. But to give you an even greater selection, the most popular affordable Swiss watch brands (in no particular order) are:

  • Tissot
  • Longines
  • Hamilton
  • Oris
  • TAG Heuer
  • Alpina
  • Victorinox
  • Mondaine
  • Raymond Weil
  • Bulova
  • Movado
  • Certina
  • Eterna
  • Mido
  • Maurice Lacroix
  • Rado
  • Baume & Mercier

 

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