Best Cheap Watches
With so many electronic devices on hand that display time, watches have become less of a functional tool and more of a design accessory for many consumers. Indeed, there are plenty of cheap watches that can add flair to your look and keep you on schedule when you don't have a cell phone right at hand. There are literally dozens upon dozens of watch makers selling models with a dizzying array of designs and features across a wide spectrum of prices. You can buy a watch for as little as $10 or as much as $50,000, perhaps more. Well-known manufacturers include Timex, Casio, Seiko, Omega, Hamilton, Armitron, Anne Klein, Bulova, Fossil, Cartier, Citizen, and, of course, Rolex. All the good cheap watches we found go for less than $35; Timex and Casio in particular offer quite a few watches below that price threshold.
Our Top Pick
Timex Women's 1440 T5J151 Review
Timex makes several varieties of inexpensive watches for women, and the cheap Timex 1440 T5J151 is an athletic watch that attracts lots of cheering fans. Many users who posted Timex 1440 T5J151 reviews at Walmart assert this digital model is an excellent value given its comfort, styling, and time-keeping accuracy. The practical features, including an alarm, chronograph, and calendar, only enhance its appeal. In reviews at Amazon, wearers say the watch exceeds expectations. Consumers write of using the watch during strenuous workouts, swim sessions, and while jogging and backpacking; one diabetic relies on the timer and the alarm functions to remind her when to eat, check her blood sugar, and take her shots. Watch reviews note that the watch survives sweating and showering without fogging up. Users also like its light weight and looks, saying the watch doesn't overpower small wrists and the gray and pink color is appropriately feminine. A few reviews grumble that the crystal scratches fairly easily.
The Timex 1440 T5J151 (starting at $12) comes with a polyurethane band and features a stainless steel and molded resin case and mineral crystal. Among its digital features are a stopwatch, alarm, 24-hour countdown timer, two time zone settings, and Timex's proprietary Indiglo feature, which lights up the watch so you can read it in the dark. The 1440 T5J151 also has a month, day, and date display, and uses a quartz movement. It's water resistant to 50 meters, or 165 feet.
Women on the go will appreciate the versatility of the features and aesthetic of the Timex 1440 T5J151. The price is a strong selling point and Timex 1440 T5J151 reviews indicate it passes the durability test. This women's timepiece is hard to beat.
Timex Men's Easy Reader T20041 Review
Timex's Easy Reader line of watches is popular among both men and women. The Easy Reader T20041 for men was well-liked by nearly all wearers who posted Timex Easy Reader T20041 reviews, although a few offered some caveats. For example, most reviews at Overstock rave about this watch, but a few report that the leather band is too stiff and seems chintzy and some say the day/date function can be tricky to set. Still, the vast majority of watch reviews on sites such as Amazon laud the large white face and dark numerals, which older wearers declare makes the watch easy to read, even without glasses. This analog timepiece also earns kudos in reviews for precise time keeping, reliability, longevity, and durability; users report that the battery lasts a good two years and the watch can take the hard knocks of yard work or behind-the-desk work. According to reviews, users also appreciate the understated but dressy styling.
The Timex Easy Reader T20041 (starting at $32) is a basic analog watch with a quartz movement and mineral crystal. It features a brown leather strap and metallic case, second hand, and date and day displays. The Indiglo technology lights up the face with the push of a button to enable time checks in dim light -- another feature that users appreciate.
The Timex T20041 is a low-cost watch that keeps reliable time and lives up to its easy-to-read moniker. These are its greatest strengths and enough to keep many frugal shoppers happy and coming back for more: Timex Easy Reader T20041 reviews indicate that many wearers are repeat customers. Just allow for some break-in time for the band (one reviewer suggests applying baseball glove conditioner) and some patience when setting the date, and you'll have yourself a first-rate but low-cost watch.
Casio Men's WS210HD-1AVCF Review
Casio is best known for its seemingly endless selection of digital sport watches. This model, the WS210HD-1AV, is well-liked by boaters, fishermen, and surfers, according to Casio WS210HD-1AV reviews, because of one particular feature: it displays data about the tides and the moon. At Walmart, users who posted reviews report that the watch keeps excellent time; one, however, notes the need to reset the tides function every few days to keep it accurate, and a few seem a tad confused about how to set and use this and the moon feature. Users' watch reviews indicate they appreciate the solar-powered technology, which eliminates concerns about a battery running dry, stainless steel styling, value price, and overall practicality of this timepiece. A few minor complaints surface in reviews: susceptibility to scratching on the crystal and adjustments to the band for sizing mean a trip to the jewelry counter to remove links. One reviewer at Kohl's, says the watch face, which also displays day and date, is a bit crowded and thus somewhat hard to read.
The Casio WS210HD-1AV (starting at $33) is a digital watch with a solar-powered quartz movement (forget about having to change the battery). It has a stainless steel band and a mineral crystal and is loaded with features; in addition to tracking tides and moon phases, it offers a variety of alarms, a stopwatch, countdown timer, calendar, world time with map, and backlight and afterglow. The watch is also water resistant to 100 meters, or 330 feet.
Men who like to spend time on or near the water will take to the Casio WS210HD-1AV. But this watch isn't just for boaters, fisherman, and surfers. It's a good-looking, versatile watch with enough features to satisfy any gadget-minded user.
Casio Women's LTP1237D-7A Review
Women shopping for a cheap watch that still gives off an upscale air might consider the Casio LTP1237D-7A, a stainless steel analog watch with a square face. A Casio LTP1237D-7A review at Target summed up its appeal by describing it as practical, classy, and an excellent value. Users who posted reviews on sites such as Amazon and Walmart agree, citing the attractive finish, a design that shows off slim wrists to good effect, dependable time keeping, and a weight that's light enough for all-day wearing. Build quality is high, according to most reviews, as is overall durability, especially given the price. A few users, however, report that the silver dial can be hard to read against the shell-colored background and others note that removing links on the band for a tighter fit may necessitate a trip to the jewelry counter.
The Casio LTP1237D-7A (starting at $21) is a simple analog watch with a mineral crystal, quartz movement, digits and dots denoting the hours, and stainless steel band and case. The watch itself is water resistant to 30 meters, or 99 feet. Like many low-cost analog watches, this model boasts no extra features save for a second hand. Don't look for a date function, alarm or stopwatch, extras that typically show up on digital watches.
The elegant styling of the Casio LTP1237D-7A fits right in at home, at the office, or out on the town. This is an affordable and attractive watch that exceeds users' expectations.
Geneva Women's SW-6886 Review
According to Geneva SW-6886 reviews, the claim to fame of this women's watch is its amazingly low price and serious but not tacky bling. Users rave about the stylish design of this analog watch, which reviews at Amazon say looks so upmarket that many people are startled at its downmarket roots. The lightweight rubber band resembles the fashionable ceramic bands of far pricier watches, assert reviews, and the cubic zirconia stones around the face give it sparkle. Posts at Overstock indicate that many users own several Geneva SW-6886 timepieces, mixing and matching to go with their outfits, including nurses' scrubs. And yet, the performance of this budget watch clearly disappoints. Geneva SW-6886 reviews report problems with build quality, such as a crystal that fell off after three weeks of use, inaccurate time after a few months, a case and band that broke, stones that were missing from the get go, and a watch that just never worked. But as reviews at Shop NBC note, the watch is so cheap that it's no big deal to buy another and another and so on every time one breaks.
The Geneva SW-6886 (starting at $11) is available in several colors, including brown, navy, and white. The strap is made of silicone and the time is controlled by a quartz movement. There face is ringed by cubic zirconia stones set into a stainless steel case. This model lacks extra features, like a date display and night light, but it does have a second hand.
The Geneva SW-6886 is pretty but cheap, and its price may be low enough to overlook its dispiriting performance. In fact, some websites sell this watch in packs of three, reinforcing the notion that it's a disposable piece of eye candy for the wrist. In our book, not a good buy given all the other models out there.
Men's Armitron 408177 Review
Armitron's 408177 digital sport watch for men includes plenty of features given its budget price, but Armitron 408177 reviews complain about a variety of irritating issues. At both Walmart and Amazon, reviews gripe about a beeping sound whenever a little button is pressed to activate a function, settings that revert to factory defaults when the light button is hit, date and time functions that reset themselves when you're trying to set the alarm, a dim display that's hard to read in daylight, inaccurate time keeping after a few weeks of use, and the loss of water resistance after a few years. A few watch reviews also report the crystal scratches easily and the colored coating over the band and case flake off. On the other hand, some users seem quite satisfied with this model. These reviews talk up the simple but attractive design (which includes a square face), the light weight, the comfortable resin strap (even in sweaty conditions), the easy set up, and, of course, the low price.
The Armitron 408177 (starting at $21) is a digital watch with a quartz movement and a mineral crystal. It's available in several colors, including black with red accents, navy with light blue accents, and white; the resin band is perforated. This watch boasts several useful features, including an alarm, chronograph, calendar, countdown timer, lap counter, day and date display, night vision display, and a military time display. The Armitron 408177 is water resistant to 100 meters, or 330 feet.
This watch from Armitron is cheap enough and loaded with enough features that some people will be satisfied despite its questionable performance. However, the volume of critical Armitron 408177 reviews and the number of good cheap watches out there convinced us that this model is a non-starter.
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