These days, you don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands of pounds to get a well made, good looking watch that matches your outfit.
Of course, there are some things you’ll have to sacrifice for a lower price such as quality of materials and type of movement.
But if you just want a nice looking watch that tells time accurately, there are plenty of stylish, even luxurious, watches for under 50 pounds.
We recommend the best ones you can order online below. But first, a few thing to keep in mind when shopping for a budget timepiece.
Key Considerations When Choosing a Watch Under £50
You’ll not get the same level and quality of materials in a sub £50 watch as you would in one costing hundreds of pounds. But budget watches are still well made, and can last a long time with proper care.
The first component to check is the casing. This should be metal, ideally stainless steel, to ensure it lasts long without rust and scratches.
Next, check the watch face. The cheapest watches use acrylic, a type of plastic. We recommend mineral glass instead. It looks better, and it’s hard enough to resist scratches and damage.
The next level from mineral glass is sapphire glass, but it’s found in high-end watches only.
Finally, check the band or strap material. Cheaper watches will have a rubber, nylon or faux leather strap. Slightly pricier watches (but still under £50), will have stainless steel or genuine leather straps.
If you are on a budget, rubber and nylon are two good options. They look good and are durable.
If you don’t mind spending a bit more, the choice between stainless steel and leather comes down to your preference. Both look good and are durable, though a stainless steel strap may feel a bit heavy on your wrist.
Style & Size
The style and size of the watch comes down to your tastes.
Some people love chunky watches, while others prefer slim, low profile styles. Most of the watches you’ll find have an average sized case, between 7 and 11mm thick (with most falling at 8mm).
As for the size of the watch face, diameters range from around 33mm (perfect for smaller hands), to 48mm for bigger hands.
The width of the strap is usually roughly half the case diameter give or take a few millimetres. This creates a proportionate look.
Type of Movement
If you are hoping to find a mechanical watch, either one of those you wind or automatic winding ones, you are out of luck. Those are usually pricey.
Under £50, you’ll mostly find quartz movement watches. Though cheaper, quartz movement watches are accurate and don’t require any tedious winding. Just replace the battery every now and then.
There are two things to consider when it comes to the display: the style and functionality.
For style, choose the display colour you love most. Usually, your options are limited to black or white. What varies from watch to watch is the style and colour of the second, minute, and hour hands.
Another aspect of style to consider is whether you want a traditional numbered display, or a more minimalist numberless watch face.
As for practicality, the first to decide is whether you want a digital or analog display. Unless you want a sports watch, an analog display is the best choice. It looks better and you tell time just as easily.
Also, check if the display shows the date and whether it is backlit or glows in the dark.
Water protection is not limited to expensive watches. Many watches under £50 can resist water entry to depths of up to 30m or 50m.
An unexpected rain shower won’t damage the watch, and you can even swim with it on.
Sports watches will typically have higher water resistance up to 100m or more, allowing you to do a wider range of activities with the watch on such as diving.
Best Watches Under £50: Top 5 Reviews
1. Best Chunky Watch: SEKONDA Unisex-Adult Analogue Classic Quartz Watch with Rubber Strap
The SEKONDA classic quartz watch is the best choice for people looking for a chunky watch with a large easy-to-read display. It has a unisex styling, so it should suit most people perfectly.
The SEKONDA classic quartz has a 46mm diameter case, making it one of the biggest watches among our picks. The case is a chunky 13mm thick, and the rubber strap is 22mm wide.
As for materials, the strap is rubber with a secure buckle clasp. The display is protected by scratch-resistant mineral glass, and the casing is alloy.
The display is matte black with silver and gold accents. It includes a date display.
The SEKONDA classic quartz is water resistant up to 50 meters, so you don’t have to take it off at the pool.
The only complaints from customers is that the strap could be a little longer, and a glow in the dark display would be handy for nighttime.
What we like about it:
- Looks great,if you love chunky watches.
- Large easy to read display.
- Water resistant to 50m.
2. Best With Leather Strap: Timex Men’s Easy Reader 35 mm Leather Strap Watch
If you love the look and feel of watches with leather straps, we recommend the Timex Easy Reader watch.
The 18mm wide band is made from genuine leather. It not only looks nice; it also feels comfortable against your skin.
The casing is made from brass with a mineral glass window. It’s 8mm thick and 33mm wide, making this Timex Easy Reader a good choice for those who want a less chunky watch.
The white display contrasts nicely with the black strap and watch hands. It also makes it easier to see the big numbers, especially for people with poor eyesight. Oh, and the display is backlit, so no issues telling time in the dark.
Where the Timex Easy Reader is a bit behind other watches is water protection. It is water resistant only up to 30m. You can wear it during short swimming sessions, but don’t go diving or snorkelling with it.
What we like about it:
- Stylish and comfortable leather strap.
- Easy to read backlit display.
- Great for people with smaller hands.
- Water protection to 30m.
3. Best With Stainless Steel Strap: SEKONDA Mens Analogue Classic Quartz Watch with Stainless Steel Strap
More of a stainless steel kind of guy? We recommend the SEKONDA Classic Quartz watch with a stainless steel strap.
It blends perfectly with the stainless steel case, making the watch extra-durable. It also makes it look more expensive than it is.
The metal strap does make the watch slightly heavier than others, but not too heavy that’s uncomfortable.
As for sizing, the SEKONDA classic quartz has a medium size that works well for most people. The case diameter is 33mm and it’s 10mm thick. The band is 18mm wide.
The watch face has a matte black background with contrasting white numbers and markings. It also includes a 24hr display, and it shows the day and date. It’s one of the most practical and versatile watch displays we’ve seen.
The display window is scratch-resistant mineral glass, so it should stand up well to everyday wear.
The only feature missing is backlighting.
What we like about it:
- Durable stainless steel casing and strap.
- 2-year warranty.
- Practical display.
4. Best Minimalist Numberless Watch: Sekonda Men’s Quartz Watch
Prefer the modern minimalist style of numberless watch displays? We recommend the Sekonda men’s quartz watch.
You can get it in two styles: a pricier option with a black display and gold hands, and a cheaper option with a champagne display and gold hands.
Both options feature time markings without any numbers. The only number on the watch face is the date.
The minute and second markings are large and easy to read.
However, the champagne option can be a bit hard to read in bright light because of the reduced contrast between the beige background and gold hands. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, go with the black display.
The case is made from metal alloy with a scratch-resistant mineral glass window. The strap is genuine black leather.
As for sizing, the casing is 36mm wide and 8mm thick; not too chunky and not too dainty. It should look good on most wrists. The band is 19mm wide.
The watch is water resistant up to 50m deep, so it’s good for swimming.
What we like about it:
- Beautiful modern styling.
- Date display.
- Water resistance to 50m.
- Perfect size for most people.
5. Best Digital Sports Watch: Timex Men’s Sport T5K1959J Watch
Looking for a watch to time laps or track sports activities? We recommend the Timex digital sports watch.
It has multiple buttons letting you track up to 30 laps, set a countdown timer, or set an alarm. The display is digital, allowing you to tell the time with a quick glance. It also shows the day and date. One of the buttons lets you light up the display for nighttime use.
The Timex sports watch is great for swimming, marathons, triathlons, ironman competitions, diving and other sports activities.
Talking of diving, the Timex watch is water-safe up to a depth of 200m. It is also shock resistant, with lots of rubber and plastic to protect it.
As for size, this is a sports watch so it’s big and chunky. The resin case is 42mm wide and 14.64 thick. The plastic band is 8 inches long and 18mm wide.
What we like about it:
- Shock and water resistant.
- Suitable for tracking most types of sports.
- Easy to read digital display.
- Display is backlit.