We see a lot of information on the internet these days about mechanical watches and how they are all the rage. That’s great because in the 1980s during the “quartz crisis” people feared the art of mechanical watchmaking could die out. Top brands, though, who had centuries of history in the time-honored craft were not about to let that happen. Neither were die-hard watch collectors. Somehow there is just a certain allure to watch with a mechanical heart beating inside, versus a quartz chip and a circuit board. Additionally, because a mechanical watch can last forever, it is almost considered sustainable – another important factor to today’s watch-collecting generation.
Often, though, when you think about buying a watch with a mechanical movement inside, especially one that is an automatic (self-winding thanks to the movement of the rotor that winds the watch while it is on the wrist), you see dollar signs adding up in your mind. But not every automatic mechanical watch is expensive. Sure, there are complex automatic watches with lots of bells and whistles, but you can get a perfectly good multi-function, multi-purpose watch with an automatic movement for some more affordable prices. Here we look at 10 men’s automatic watches that sell for less than $1,000.
Doxa Sub 200 Sharkhunter
This DOXA Sub 200 Sharkhunter watch is slightly under the $1,000 price. Powered by an automatic ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, the 42mm watch is equipped with 42 hours of power reserve so you can put it down for a day or so and it will still be running within 42 hours. The stainless steel watch offers a black unidirectional bezel for diving and is fitted with a black rubber strap that dries quickly after exiting the water, where it can go to depths of 200 meters.
Price: USD 950
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze
A perfect example of design and adventure, the new Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze watch offers a great story-telling angle and a lot of character. The military-inspired watch is created in the spirit of the many military pieces the once-American brand made for armed forces in the United States, England, and others since the 1940s. This new bronze version has great retro appeal with its brown dial, luminescent hands and markers, and thick, hand-stitched leather strap. The 38mm three-hand watch with 24-hour indication is an exception to the automatic calibers seen in this article. This one is powered by a manual hand-wind movement, so it offers a great value proposition.
Price: USD 825
This bold blue Pioneer watch from Delma just tips the scale a tiny bit over the $1,000 mark but it may be worth it. The bright blue dial offers hours, minutes, seconds, and date indication at 3:00. It is powered by the automatic ETA 2824-2 movement with a gold-plated rotor and Delma logo engraved on it. The rotor can be viewed via a transparent sapphire case back. Crafted in stainless steel, the 45mm watch offers 38 hours of power reserve.
Price: USD 1,070
Code41 Anomaly-02 Steel
For a stealth, almost mysterious look that has people wondering what’s on your wrist, check out this CODE41 Anomaly-02 Steel watch with a black patterned dial and date indication. The 42mm watch is powered by a Swiss ETA automatic movement and offers hours, minutes, and central seconds. It is water-resistant to 50 meters.
Price: USD 787
We cheat just slightly on this great watch by Titoni because the Airmaster in two-tone colors with alluring retro-styled green dial retails for $5 over the $1,000 rate. It’s worth it. just recently added to the brand’s collection, the 40mm watch is powered by the automatic Sellita SW200-1 movement with 38 hours of power reserve. In addition to hours, minutes, and central seconds, it offers a date indication and is water-resistant to 50 meters.
Price: USD 1,005
Lytt Labs Inception V1.0
A relative newcomer in the watch world, Lytt Labs offers a distinctive look. This Lytt Labs INCEPTION V1.0 watch measures 45mm in diameter and the TV-shaped case is crafted in blackened stainless steel. The dial colors are a complimentary gunmetal gray and green. Powered by an automatic Seiko caliber with 42 hours of power reserve, the intriguing piece features a dial that indicates hours, minutes, and seconds.
Price USD 799
Aptly named the Urban, this single-handed MeisterSinger watch is city chic with its bright green luminescent markers and numerals. The single-handed German-made 40mm watch is powered by an automatic Japanese Miyota movement that offers 42 hours of power reserve when fully wound. The watch displays the hours on the larger green numerals and markers, and the minutes past the hour are read off of the smaller outer minute track on the dial.
Price: USD 970
Sporting an icy blue decorated sunray dial, this Seiko Presage watch is crafted in steel with a steel five-row link bracelet. The markers are both stick and arrow shapes and the watch displays hours, minutes, and central seconds. It also offers the date and a stop-seconds hand function. Powered by an automatic movement, it will track time for 41 hours of power reserve when fully wound.
Price: USD 450
Certina DS Action Diver
This very cool-looking, blue-dialed Certina DS Action Diver watch houses an unusual automatic Powermatic 80.111 movement that boasts 80 hours of power reserve. Crafted in stainless steel with a steel bracelet and folding clasp, the 43mm watch is water-resistant to 300 meters. The matching blue bezel is equipped with a triangular luminescent marker at 12:00 for underwater orientation and the hands and markers on the dial are also luminescent. The watch is fitted with a screw-down crown and bright red seconds’ hand.
Price: USD 895
Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900 Series
This Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1900 Series watch has an urban chic appeal thanks to the two-tone dial with bright orange accents and khaki green textile strap. The watch offers luminous hands and markers. the markers are created using luminous Night Vision tubes that ensure legibility for 25 years. The 44mm watch is powered by the automatic Sellita SW 220-1 movement that displays hours, minutes, date, and day of the week.
Price: USD 965
If you didn’t find what you are looking for, there are 855 more automatic watches under $1,000 in our watchfinder!
About the Author
Roberta Naas is a veteran watch and jewelry journalist who began her career in the early 1980’s, and was the first female watch journalist in the United States. She is the editor and founder of the authoritative watch blog, ATimelyPerspective, has written six books on watches, writes for numerous consumer publications (including Forbes and Elite Traveler) – and always brings forth in her work the essence of what makes watches tick. She tirelessly travels the world in search of watch news and stories that she turns into compelling and enlightening articles.