Affordable Chronograph Watches Under $500

Chronograph watches integrate stopwatch and timer features to provide more precise timekeeping functions. They were introduced in the 18th century and were used to accurately measure time during race events. Today, chronograph watches still provide the same function but their contribution to the accessory’s aesthetic value seems to have more importance than their actual use.

With the added complexity in creating chronograph watches, it’s only logical to think they’ll fetch higher prices than your typical wristwatch. The fact that the most iconic chronograph watches in history – the Omega Speedmaster and the Rolex Daytona – are from luxury brands that not many can afford.

All hope is not lost, though, even if you’re on a budget as there are chronograph watches under $500 you can include in your options. We’ve listed the best of them to make it easier for you to choose the watch suited to your taste.

Best Chronograph Watches Under $500

Below is a list of affordable chronograph watches you can easily find online.

Invicta 0070 Pro Diver Chronograph

This budget diver’s watch has chronograph features similar to what you’ll see on more expensive models. Although the Pro Diver 0070 has a sporty feel to it, you can still wear it together with your business attire.

The 48mm Pro Diver 0070 has a stainless steel case, a flame-infusion dial crystal, a stainless steel bracelet, a unidirectional rotating bezel, skeleton hands, a magnified date window, luminescent hands and markers, and a Chinese quartz movement. It has chronograph subdials with 60-second, 30-minute, and 1/10th-second scales.

Pros:

  • Very affordable price for the features offered
  • Sturdy and good quality bracelet
  • Sporty look with a legible watch face
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Fairly hefty to wear
  • It’s thick and big
  • Poor lume quality

Price: $90

Invicta 1517 I Force Collection

The 46mm 1517 Force has a stainless steel case, a mineral crystal, Arabic numeral hour markers, a tachymeter outer dial, a cloth band, a date window, a 60-second subdial, a 1/10th-second subdial, luminescent hands, and a Japanese quartz movement. The crown is placed on an unorthodox position because the watch was designed for left-handed wearers.

Pros:

  • Durable and reliable cloth strap
  • Highly functional watch with a sporty look
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Oversized crown is annoying
  • Date window is drowned by the busy watch face
  • Watch face can be hard to read

Price: $90

Timex Expedition Field Chronograph

The Timex Expedition model is one of the best chronograph watches under $500 you can use outdoors for rugged activities. It’s perfect for those who are adventurous who need a beater watch they can bring anywhere they want.

The 43mm Expedition Field Chronograph has a brass case, a mineral crystal, a leather strap with buckle closure, an Inidglo night light function, a tachymeter outer dial, a date aperture, and a quartz movement. Its chronograph subdials feature a 30-minute, a 60-second, and a 1/20th-second function.

Pros:

  • Durable build that can withstand rugged use
  • Power reserve of up to 38 hours
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Cluttered look
  • Skeleton hands make it hard to read the time
  • Weak lume brightness

Price: $90

Timex Men’s Quartz T2P0439J

The 42mm T2P0439J has a brass case, a mineral crystal, a tachymeter bezel, a date window, a silicone strap, an Indiglo night light function, and a quartz movement. It has chronograph functions with 60-second, 30-minute, and 1/10th-second scales.

The T2P0439J is the watch for those who love to hike and do all sorts of outdoor activities. Its rugged construction is really built to withstand the pressure of strenuous use.

Pros:

  • Works great as a tool watch
  • Strap is soft and comfortable to wear
  • Water resistant up to 50m

Cons:

  • Very small date window
  • Hands on the subdials don’t completely reset back to zero
  • Dial looks too busy

Price: $90

Fossil Men’s Nate Watch

The 50mm Nate has a stainless steel case, a mineral crystal, a leather strap, a unidirectional rotating bezel, a date window, large Arabic numeral hour markers, a 24-hour function, a 30-minute subdial, a 60-second subdial, and a quartz chronograph movement.

For those looking for a gritty-looking timepiece who won’t mind its utilitarian look, this one is a great choice to consider.

Pros:

  • Stealth-style color and design looks fashionable
  • Sturdy build with a masculine and sporty vibe
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • It’s thick, large, and heavy to wear
  • No lume on hands
  • Thick and stiff strap
  • Hard to read the date and the chronograph readings

Price: $100

Kenneth Cole KC9331

Kenneth Cole is known for the fashionable designs they apply on products they sell. The KC9331 is no exception with its sporty look, use of contrasting colors, its gunmetal finish, and its layout of the subdial display.

The 47mm KC9331 model has a stainless steel case, a mineral crystal, a tachymeter bezel, a date window, a 30-minute subdial, a 24-hour subdial, a 60-second subdial, luminous skeleton hands, and a Japanese quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Incredibly affordable for a stylish and functional watch
  • Stunning design unexpected from an inexpensive timepiece
  • Water resistant up to 30m

Cons:

  • Cluttered watch face
  • It’s a bit heavy
  • Weak lume brightness

Price: $100

Bulova 98B200 Men’s Watch

The 44mm 98B200 has a stainless steel case, a mineral crystal, a rubber strap with a wave pattern design, a date window, luminescent hands and markers, and a Japanese quartz movement. It also features a 24-hour subdial, a 60-second subdial, and a 60-minute subdial.

The white-blue color of the watch shows a playful tone without making it look too childish. With a 100-meter water resistance rating, this chronograph watch under $500 will surely impress you underwater.

Pros:

  • It’s lightweight and easy to wear
  • Easy to read even in low-light conditions
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Band is of bad quality
  • Box package looks cheap
  • Lume doesn’t last long

Price: $120

Caravelle New York 43A115 Logan

The 43A115 Logan is your partner for dress to impress events. It’s also perfect for business wear as it will surely add finesse to your overall look.

The 44mm 43A115 Logan has a stainless steel case, bezel, and band, a mineral crystal, chronograph subdials with 24-hour, 60-minute, and 30-second scales, luminescent hands and markers, and a quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Timeless look that will stay classy even after decades have passed
  • Solid feel and build for its affordable price
  • Impeccable quality you often see in watches twice its price
  • Water resistant up to 30m

Cons:

  • It’s quite large and heavy
  • Weak lume brightness
  • Subdial readings can be hard to identify

Price: $120

Michael Kors Men’s Gage MK8362

This trendy casual watch will add flavor to your fashion statement with its deep blue dial, soft leather strap, and classic dial look.

The 45mm MK8362 has a stainless steel case, a mineral crystal, a leather calfskin strap, a date window, and a quartz movement. It has chronograph subdials with 30-minute, 24-hour, and 60-second scales.

Pros:

  • Sleek and stylish design that can be worn as a fashion statement
  • Precise timekeeping mechanism
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • No lume on hands
  • Small date window
  • Dial gets scratched easily

Price: $130

Fossil Men’s Grant – FS4885

The 44mm Grant FS4885 has a stainless steel case with gunmetal tone, a leather strap, a mineral crystal, Roman numeral hour markers, a 24-hour subdial, luminescent hands, and a quartz movement. It features chronograph subdials with 60-second and 30-minute scales.

The Grant has an 11-year warranty and comes packaged in tin cans.

Pros:

  • Unique layout of subdials give the watch a distinctive look
  • Fashionable color combination
  • Water resistant up to 50m

Cons:

  • Strap feels cheap
  • Watch doesn’t have a matte finish which is different from what’s advertised
  • No anti-reflective coating on the crystal

Price: $135

Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph FS4487

The 45mm Machine FS4487 has a stainless steel case, a knurled bezel, a mineral crystal, a black silicone strap, silver-tone hands and markers, a date window, a 24-hour subdial, a 60-minute subdial, a 60-second subdial, luminescent hands, and a quartz movement.

For the active man, this is a good watch to consider. It is one of the best chronograph watches under $500 for its durability, style, and functionality.

Pros:

  • Great value considering its price and the multiple functions offered by the watch
  • Band is comfortable to wear
  • Looks pretty and classy without becoming too loud
  • Water resistant up to 50m

Cons:

  • Moisture gets trapped in the silicone band
  • Silicone band feels cheap
  • It makes a ticking sound which can be annoying at times

Price: $150

Nautica Men’s Quartz Stainless Steel Watch

The 47mm Men’s Quartz from Nautica has a stainless steel case, a unidirectional rotating bezel with a luminous pip, a mineral crystal, a date window, a tachymeter outer dial, a silicone strap, luminescent hands and markers, and a Japanese quartz movement. It has chronograph functions with 60-minute, 60-second, and 24-hour scales.

Pros:

  • Trendy design with functional features that make it a steal for its price point
  • Solid build that’s designed for outdoor use
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Date window is tiny and almost unreadable
  • Weak lume brightness
  • It’s big and heavy

Price: $155

Casio Men’s Edifice EF527D-1AV

The 45.5mm Edifice EF527D-1AV has a stainless steel case, a mineral crystal, a rotating inner bezel, a date window, a stainless steel bracelet, a date window, and a quartz movement. The watch features three chronograph subdials with 1/20th-second, 60-minute, and 60-second measurements.

For those looking for a sophisticated chronograph watch under $500, you should include the Edifice in your list of options.

Pros:

  • Sturdy and functional
  • Accurate hand movements
  • Complex features give it a more expensive look than it really is
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Indexing on the slide rule isn’t perfectly aligned with the hand movements
  • Microscopic markings on the dial
  • Crown is hard to pull up

Price: $175

Emporio Armani AR6041 Chronograph

Armani is known as a high-end brand but they also offer budget chronograph watches under $500 to consumers. The 43mm AR6041 model has a stainless steel case, a mineral crystal, a leather strap, a date window, chronograph subdials with 30-minute, 60-second, and 12-hour scales, luminescent hands and markers, and a quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Affordable chronograph watch with a luxurious brand stamped on the dial
  • Sporty look with functional features
  • Water resistant up to 50m

Cons:

  • Color of hands make it hard to read the time
  • Heavy and bulky
  • Weak lume brightness

Price: $180

Strumento Marino Warrior Chrono SM109S

The Warrior Chrono features a bold aesthetic with its black and blue color combination and sporty look that will remind you of what you’ll see in the deepest parts of the ocean.

The 44mm Warrior Chrono has a stainless steel case, a mineral crystal, a silicone rubber strap, a tachymeter bezel, a date window, a 24-hour subdial, a 60-second subdial, a 30-minute subdial, luminescent skeleton hands and dot hour markers, and a quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Sporty look that stands out because of the color contrast
  • Fits nicely on the wrist
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Oversized crown
  • Watch face looks too busy
  • Time can be hard to read

Price: $240

Tissot Quickstarter T0954173605702

The 42mm Quickstarter has a stainless steel case with PVD finish, a tachymeter bezel, a leather strap, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a date window, recessed subdials featuring 60-second, 30-minute, and 1/10th-second measurements, luminescent hands and markers, and an ETA caliber G10.211 quartz movement.

If you want a functional, utilitarian watch that’s still trendy but not too flashy, the Quickstarter is one of the best chronograph watches under $500 that fit these criteria.

Pros:

  • Legible watch face
  • Subtle yet stylish design
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Cheap strap quality
  • Subdial hands are the same color as the dial
  • Terrible box packaging

Price: $260 to $495

Alessi Men’s AL5032 Tic15

The 38mm AL5032 Tic15 has a stainless steel case, a mineral crystal, a stainless steel strap, a date window, a 12-hour subdial, a 60-minute subdial, a 1/10th-second subdial, luminous hands, and a quartz movement.

The shape of the AL5032 Tic15 is not perfectly round. It’s a mix of circle and square which gives it an instant visual appeal.

Pros:

  • Legible watch design
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear
  • Green-colored hands make it easy to see the subdial readings
  • Water resistant up to 30m

Cons:

  • Small date window
  • Little lume on hands
  • Crystal looks fragile

Price: $270

Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s 241404 Chronograph Watch

The 41mm 241404 model from Victorinox has a stainless steel case, an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, a tachymeter bezel, a date window, a leather strap, Arabic numeral hour markers, luminescent hands and markers, and a Swiss quartz movement. Subdials feature a 60-second, a 30-minute, and a 1/10th-second scale.

Pros:

  • Highly legible watch face
  • Classy and no-nonsense design that’s good for either casual or formal occasion
  • Durable build made for rugged use
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Cheap strap quality
  • Inaccurate timekeeping feature
  • Small size for the number of features offered

Price: $275

Seagull 1963

The Seagull 1963 is one of the few chronograph watches under $500 that has a vintage look. This timepiece was originally developed for the Chinese Air Force in the 1960s. Its movement might not be Swiss-made but it’s built to provide precision timekeeping since it’s to be used by the military.

The 38mm Seagull 1963 has a polished stainless steel case, an exhibition case back, a sapphire crystal, gold-tinted hour markers, a 30-minute timer subdial, a 60-second subdial, a NATO strap with buckle closure, and a Seagull ST21 hand-winding movement.

Pros:

  • Vintage look adds flavor to the usual chronograph layout
  • Durable build with shock protection features
  • Power reserve of up to 45 hours
  • Water resistant up to 30m

Cons:

  • Cheap strap quality
  • Hands are too thin
  • A bit small for a chronograph watch

Price: $300 to $400

Seiko Men’s SSC081

This casual timepiece is a very affordable chronograph watch that has additional functions you won’t find on other watches in the same price range. In addition to that, this is solar-powered so you won’t have to worry about replacing batteries.

The 42mm SSC081 is a solar-powered timepiece that has a stainless steel case, a Hardlex crystal, a genuine leather strap, a compass dial, a date window, an alarm function, a 60-minute chronograph subdial, luminescent hands and markers, and a Japanese quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Extremely sporty look
  • Good strap quality
  • Accurate hand movements
  • Good lume brightness
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Watch face looks cluttered and too noisy that it’s hard to read the time
  • Crown loosely fits the case, allowing it to freely rotate when in motion
  • Alarm sound isn’t that loud

Price: $310

Braun BN0035 Chronograph Watch

The 40mm BN0035 from Braun has a stainless steel case, a leather strap with pin and buckle clasp, a date window, Arabic numeral hour markers, a 60-second subdial, a 24-hour subdial, a 60-min subdial, and a quartz movement. If you’re looking for a minimalist chronograph watch under $500, this is the best pick for you. It has an old-school appeal with a modern twist.

Pros:

  • Very legible watch face
  • Lightweight and has a slim profile perfect for a dress watch
  • Water resistant up to 50m

Cons:

  • Cheap strap quality
  • Small date window
  • No lume on hands

Price: $310

Montres De Luxe Estremo 1690CR Men’s Watch

Are round watches too mainstream for you? Why not try this model from Montres de Luxe which is a rectangular chronograph watch under $500. It will surely be a great addition to your collection.

The 50mm x 36mm Estremo 1690CR is a rectangular-shaped watch that has an aluminum case with PVD coating, an anti-reflective mineral crystal, a tachymeter outer dial, a date aperture, a leather strap, a 60-minute subdial, a 24-hour subdial, luminescent hour markers in Arabic numerals, luminous hands, and a Miyota quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Distinct look that will surely catch the eye of anyone who sees it
  • Good lume brightness
  • Water resistant up to 30m

Cons:

  • Date window is too small
  • Overall color contrast is too dark
  • It’s large and bulky

Price: $315

Giorgio Fedon 1919 Speed Timer IV

Coming from the famous design house Giorgio Fedon & Figli Spa, you’ll see how elegance and functionality are fitted into this chronograph watch under $500.

The 48mm Speed Timer IV has a stainless steel case, a leather strap, a sapphire-coated mineral crystal, a date window, a 60-second subdial, a 1/10th-second subdial, luminescent hands and markers, and a Japanese quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Uncluttered look makes the watch face very legible
  • Stylish, sporty look
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Oversized crown
  • Large and quite heavy to wear
  • Cheap strap quality

Price: $320

Bulova Lunar Pilot

The Omega Speedmaster, more commonly known as the Moonwatch, is hailed as the first watch to actually work on the moon. What most people don’t know is that another timepiece has also made it to the moon and back during the 1971 Apollo 15 mission – a chronograph made by Bulova.

The 45mm Lunar Pilot has a stainless steel case, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a leather strap, tachymeter markings on the outer dial, a date aperture, a 60-second subdial, a 60-minute subdial, a 1/10th-second subdial, luminescent hands and markers, and a quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Raised sapphire crystal looks great on the watch
  • Closely resembles the Speedmaster
  • Keeps time well
  • Durable beater chronograph watch under $500
  • Water resistant up to 30m

Cons:

  • It’s too big and heavy to wear
  • Spring bars are very near the case’s edge, limiting the strap options
  • Tachymeter markings aren’t precisely aligned with the watch movements

Price: $325 to $650

Casio Edifice ERA-300DB-1AVER

The eccentric color combination of red and black of the Edifice ERA-300DB-1AVER will surely catch anyone’s attention. The 47mm chronograph watch has a stainless steel case and band, a mineral crystal, and a quartz movement. It’s jam-packed with features including a neon-illuminator, a thermometer, a world time function, a digital compass, a stopwatch, an automatic calendar, a 12/24-hour timekeeping function, a 1/20th-second chronograph, and 5 daily alarms.

Pros:

  • Filled with functions rarely seen on this price range
  • Very cool design
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • It’s hard to see anything
  • Large and heavy to wear
  • Hard to set up

Price: $340

TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil

The 42mm Blue Steel Nevil has a stainless steel case, a Tärnsjö organic leather strap, a 24-hour subdial, a 60-second subdial, luminous hands, and a Japanese quartz movement. The Blue Steel Nevil is loved for its assortment of colors which are all trendy and attractive.

Pros:

  • Stylish designs with over 14 color variations to choose from
  • Clean and elegant-looking
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • No date window
  • Some color combinations make it hard to read the dial
  • Crown protrudes too much

Price: $350

TRIWA Sort of Black Chrono

Sort of Black is somewhat similar to the Nevil models from TRIWA but this time, they used as much black color as they can to create a sleek-looking watch with a fresh texture and style.

The 38mm Sort of Black features a stainless steel case, a mineral crystal, a Tärnsjö organic leather strap, a date window, chronograph subdials, and a Japanese quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Sleek and subtle design
  • It’s easy to read the time because of the good color contrast
  • Water resistant up to 50m

Cons:

  • Subdials have no label
  • No lume on hands
  • Subdial readings are hard to read because both hands and dials are colored black

Price: $350

Hamilton Pilot Pioneer Chronograph H76552955

Do you fancy vintage-style chronographs? If the answer is yes, then the Pilot Pioneer is a great choice to consider. Its design is inspired by the watch issued to the Royal Air Force in the 1970s which is why it has a masculine, militaristic look.

The 41mm Pilot Pioneer has a stainless steel case, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, Arabic numeral hour markers, a khaki canvas strap, a 30-minute subdial, a 60-second subdial, a date aperture, and a caliber G10.211 quartz movement. This chronograph watch under $500 is great for everyday use because of its durability and functionality.

Pros:

  • Durable build that can withstand rigorous usage
  • Appealing sunburst design of the dial
  • High-quality strap matches the vibe of the watch
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Crown is a little challenging to pull out
  • Small date window
  • Lume brightness doesn’t last long

Price: $360 to $600

Ferrari Scuderia 830045 Chronograph

If you’re looking for a chronograph watch under $500 that has a racing theme, you should strongly consider adding Scuderia to your list. It has a rugged feel that will surely appeal to men who want to add an accessory that proudly displays masculinity.

The 44mm Scuderia 830045 has a stainless steel case, a scratch-resistant mineral crystal, a calfskin leather strap with a tang clasp, a fixed bezel with a tachymeter scale, a date window, a 24-hour subdial, chronograph subdials with 60-second and 60-minute scales, luminescent hands and markers, and a quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Sporty look complements the Ferrari logo
  • Soft leather strap
  • Water resistant up to 50m

Cons:

  • Date window is a bit small
  • Watch face looks crowded
  • It’s quite bulky

Price: $395

Nixon Magnacon II

The 48mm Magnacon II has a stainless steel case, a mineral crystal, a genuine leather strap, a bidirectional rotating bezel, a date window, a day subdial, luminescent hands, and a Swiss quartz movement. The chronograph subdials feature a 30-minute and a 60-minute scale.

Pros:

  • Unique design with a bit of twist on the layout of the subdials
  • Fashionable look that can be worn on any occasion
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Date window is barely visible
  • Readings on chronograph subdials are hard to discern
  • Large crowns
  • Cheap leather strap

Price: $440

Seiko SSC015P1

Seiko is known for having highly-functional, affordable, and heavy-duty watches. If you’re looking for the best chronograph watch under $500, you’ll never go wrong with this Seiko model.

The 43mm SSC015P1 has a stainless steel case, a Hardlex dial crystal, a stainless steel band with push-button clasp, a unidirectional rotating bezel with a luminous pip, a crown with a red stripe, a 24-hour, 60-second, and 60-minute subdials, luminescent hands and markers, a date aperture, and a solar-powered quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Offers a lot of functions for its price
  • Sporty vibe is great for users looking for a chronograph diver’s watch
  • Extremely durable
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • Bezel easily rotates
  • Large crown pushers
  • It’s hard to adjust the band by yourself

Price: $480

Alpina Startimer AL-372N4FBS6

Alpina is known for creating their own movements which they also supply to other brands. You won’t regret buying chronograph watches they make because you’re assured of their precision and overall quality.

The 44mm Startimer has a stainless steel case covered with black PVD, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a leather strap, a date aperture, luminescent hands and markers, and a calibre AL-372 movement. It also has 60-second, 30-minute, and 1/10th-second subdials.

Pros:

  • High-grade strap is comfortable to wear
  • Great lume brightness
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Date window can be confusing to read
  • Strap can be a bit stiff during the first few uses
  • Its size is not for people with small wrists

Price: $495 to $1,295

Conclusion

Chronograph watches are for those who want to get the most out of their timepieces than just telling the time. These watches used to be expensive until the introduction of the quartz mechanism which made chronograph watches more widely available and affordable to people. The functionality and design of chronograph watches are truly distinctive, adding flair to whatever attire you partner them with. You surely won’t regret adding a chronograph watch to your collection.

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