The 18 Best Watches Under $100
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The 18 Best Watches Under $100

When it comes to watches and their price-to-value ratio, how low can you go to still acquire a watch that's reliable, functional, good-looking, and perhaps even a conversation piece? A while back, we found 15 such timepieces under $200. In this article, we lower the cost bar even further, to spotlight watches that will run you under a C-note before taxes. As you'd expect, most (but surprisingly not all) are quartz-driven, and we've divvied them up by brand (for clarity, Casio and its popular G-Shock sub-brand are separate entities), between the very few watchmakers that excel at making watches in this affordable niche. Scroll down for our compilation of the best watches under $100.


Casio F91W Digital Sport Watch

Casio F91W Digital Watch

Price: $22.95, Case Size: 38.2mm x 35.2mm, Case Height: 8.5mm, Crystal: Resin glass, Water Resistance: Water resistant, Movement: Solar Quartz Digital

Sort of a proto-G-Shock, Casio’s ubiquitous F91W speaks to legions of fans with its rectangular resin case, multifunctional digital display face, and ribbed, waterproof resin strap. The watch’s three buttons operate a 1/1000-second digital chronograph with split times, alarms and time signals, and auto calendar functions, along with an illuminating night light. Pressing the button on the right side of the lightweight case for five seconds brings up the model’s anti-counterfeit “Easter Egg:” the name “CASI0” briefly appearing on the screen in digital text.

Casio AE1200 Worldtimer

Casio AE1200 Worldtimer

Price: $29.95, Case Size: 45mm x 42.1mm, Case Height: 12.5mm, Crystal: Resin glass, Water Resistance: 100 meters, Movement: Quartz Digital

Oddly nicknamed the “Casio Royale” because it resembles a Seiko digital watch worn in a James Bond movie (actually Octopussy, not Casino Royale; go figure), this distinctively styled LCD watch has a 100-meter water resistance and 10-year battery life — not as tough as a G-Shock but still rugged. Its square case’s four function buttons, one in each corner, control the array of functions displayed on its sectored dial, including the analog clock in the upper left, a digital display of the time, day, and date in the bottom half, and the signature feature that gives the model its nickname, the digital representation of a world map that can be set to track the time in other time zones; these are in addition to the chronographs, alarms, and button-operated illumination that bathes the display in bright yellow, enhancing the wrist-computer vibe. 

Casio CA53W Black Data Bank Watch

Casio CA53W Black Data Bank Watch

Price: $29.95, Case Size: 43.2mm x 34.4mm, Case Height: 8.2mm, Crystal: Resin glass, Water Resistance: Water-Resistant, Movement: Quartz Digital

A touchstone of the digital-driven 1980s more popularly known as the Calculator Watch, the CA53W found its way back into the pop cultural conversation in recent years when it was worn by Bryan Cranston as chemistry teacher-turned-drug-kingpin Walter White in the TV series Breaking Bad. The watch remains a cult classic with retro nerd appeal, its defining feature being the eight-digit calculator function that enables addition, subtraction, multiplication and division operations right on the tiny LCD screen. Its rectangular black resin case with reticulated strap resists water pressure to 50 meters. With its black miniaturized keyboard, the watch’s front face calls to mind early cell phones and Blackberries — appropriate, as this humble Casio model, with its range of functions that include stopwatches, multiple time zones, and alarms in addition to the calculator, anticipated the rise of the smartphone and, eventually, the smartwatch.

Casio A100WE

Casio A100WE

Price: $59.95, Case Size: 40.7mm x 32.7mm, Case Height: 9.2mm, Crystal: Resin glass, Water Resistance: Water-Resistant, Movement: Quartz Digital

Another Casio with some pop culture provenance, the A100, from Casio’s historically influenced Vintage series, is based on the earlier F-100 models introduced in 1978. Sigourney Weaver wore one in her lead role in the movie Alien, which hit cinema screens one year later (the same year, ironically, that the model was discontinued). The modern version pays tribute to this predecessor, the first Casio watch with a resin case, while adding some modern elements, including metallic components replacing some of the original’s resin ones. The four-button mini-dashboard under the main LCD time display, a hallmark of the F-100, is retained in the newer model, which packs the expected array of useful displays, from stopwatch to alarms to button-operated LED light.

Casio Vintage Gold A168GW-9VT

Casio Vintage Gold

Price: $65, Reference: A168GW-9VT, Case Size: 38.6mm x 36.3mm, Case Height: 9.6mm, Crystal: Resin Glass, Water Resistance: Water-Resistant, Movement: Quartz Digital

Also hailing from the Vintage series, and perhaps the brand’s most “expensive-looking” digital option, is the gold-toned A168W-9VT model, with a rectangular resin case, a stainless steel bracelet, and an electro-luminescent backlit display screen. The watch features an array of useful functions including a 1/100-second stopwatch with elapsed times and split times, daily alarms, hourly time signals, an auto-calendar, and timekeeping options in both 12-hour and 24-hour format. The battery powers the high-accuracy quartz movement for seven years, and the gold-plated link bracelet adds an appealing hint of luxury to this retro-styled timepiece.

Casio Duro

Casio Duro dive watches

Price: $74.95, Case Size: 48.5mm x 44.2mm, Case Height: 12.1mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Movement: Quartz Analog

Before you mistakenly think Casio offers only rectangular-cased digital models, consider the Casio Duro, the Japanese maker’s series of round-cased, analog-dial dive watches. At this very pedestrian price range, it is difficult to find a diver that offers what the Duro offers: a well-finished steel case, rotating dive-scale bezel with aluminum insert, 200-meter water resistance, and sunburst dial with lume-coated hands and indexes. The screw-down caseback sports an image of a Marlin, which also happens to be the watch’s nickname. The quartz movement’s battery has a three-year life and the rubber strap is soft and flexible.


G-Shock DW9052

G-Shock DW9052

Price: $69.95, Reference: DW9052-1B, Case Size: 48.5mm x 43, Case Height: 14.7mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Movement: Quartz Digital

Since its landmark release in 1983, the Casio G-Shock has represented perhaps the watch world’s purest expression of high technology blended with trendsetting style at a price accessible to just about everyone. G-Shocks have long been go-to gear for military and law enforcement operators, and the DW9052-1B is a large reason why. It’s not only tough, multifunctional, and dirt-cheap; it has for many years been standard issue at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center in Panama City Beach, Florida, assigned to divers along with their fins, masks, and knives. Built to be virtually indestructible, the watch’s array of military-grade functionalities include a backlight, 200 meters of water resistance, a 1/100-second stopwatch, alarms, a full auto calendar, and both 12-and 24-hour timekeeping.

G-Shock DW5600BB-1CR

G-Shock DW5600BB

Price: $99, Case Size: 42.8mm, Case Height: 13.4 mm, Lug to Lug: 48.9mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Movement: Solar Quartz Digital

The DW5600 is the granddaddy of all G-Shocks. Its rectangular-cased, digital-display design has been a mainstay since 1983 and, with its black resin case, was an early forerunner of the black-on-black trend that would take a firm hold on the luxury end of the watch world years later. The classic gray field of this model’s LCD dial frames the compact readout of time, date, and running seconds. Like most all watches in G-Shock’s extensive DW5600 family, its durable resin case boasts a 200-meter water resistance and its digital functions include a 1/100-second stopwatch, countdown timer, multi-function alarm, a full calendar accurate to 2099, and an electro-luminescent backlight with afterglow.

G-Shock GA2100-4A

G-Shock Casioak Red

Price: $99, Case Size: 45.4mm, Case Height: 11.8mm, Lug to Lug: 48.5mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Movement: Solar Quartz Analog

The G-Shock GA-2100 debuted in 2019 and swiftly garnered the nickname “CasiOak” for its eight-sided bezel that was, to many, immediately evocative of the one on Audemars Piguet’s flagship timepiece, the Royal Oak, which was famously inspired by a vintage scuba diver’s helmet. The GA2110ET series, released in 2019, speaks both to the G-Shock’s own mass-market hordes of enthusiasts and to knowledgeable, traditionalist fans of luxury watches who appreciate an affordable “homage” for the wrist. Now encompassing a variety of colors, with resin (and a few stainless steel) cases built in the brand’s Carbon Core Guard structure, the GA-2100 models sport an analog-digital display that covers the whole gamut of G-Shock functions, from stopwatch to alarms to full auto calendar to double LED lighting. 


Swatch Silver Glam Analog Quartz

Swatch “Silver Glam”  Analog Display Quartz SUOZ147

Price: $90, Case Size: 41mm, Case Height: 9.85mm, Lug to Lug: 47.4mm, Crystal: Acrylic, Water Resistance: 30 meters, Movement: Quartz Analog

Swatch is the brand that basically saved Switzerland’s watch industry in the 1980s, an era in which quartz was dominant. The Japanese had a near-monopoly on making low-priced watches with quartz movements (including several of the now-famous digital models spotlighted on this list) and were leaving the Swiss in the dust. Swatch watches, with their inexpensive plastic cases, mass-produced quartz calibers, and colorful, artsy designs, became a badge of ‘80s cool, and they are still around today to offer value-priced timepieces at the entry-level to a mostly youthful audience. One of the most notable pieces under $100 is the “Silver Glam” model featured here, one of the rare watches that puts a quartz movement on display behind a clear dial. The two black hands sweep over the high-tech open dial to tell the time in analog fashion. The 41mm black plastic case fastens comfortably to the wrist with a black silicone strap.


Timex Weekender

Timex Weekender 

Price: $57, Case Size: 38mm, Case Height: 9mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 30 meters, Movement: W92 Quartz Analog Chronograph

With its under-$60 Weekender, Timex offers up perhaps the most affordable option on the market for fans of the classical “field watch” style. Its dial is distinctly military, with a 12-hour and inner 24-hour scale, and its sizing is decidedly Unisex, with a round brass case measuring 38mm in diameter. The matte-finished dial is wide and legible, with a colorful sweep-seconds hand and no date window to break up the symmetry. The long, curving lugs connect the watch to an on-theme NATO strap, and the mineral crystal is more resistant to impacts than the acrylic crystals often found at this price point, just in case you want to wear the Weekender for some legit “weekend warrior” activities. 

Timex Weekender Chrono

Timex Weekender Chronograph

Price: $80, Case Size: 40mm, Case Height: 9mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 30 meters, Movement: Quartz Analog

Just a tad more pricey than the three-hand Weekender is the Chronograph version, whose dial sports three non-overlapping subdials: elapsed chronograph hours and minutes at 2 o’clock and 10 o’clock, respectively, and running seconds at 6 o’clock. Like its less complicated sibling, the Weekender Chronograph has simple Arabic hour numerals; on this model, they are surrounded by an additional 24-hour track on the dial’s periphery. The dial, which includes an unobtrusive date window tucked near the 4:30 position, can be fully illuminated on demand thanks to its being coated with Indiglo, Timex’s proprietary luminous substance. The tan leather NATO-style strap keeps the watch sturdy on the wrist.

Timex T80

Timex T80

Price: $69, Case Size: 34mm, Case Height: 10mm, Lug Width: 18mm, Crystal: Acrylic, Water Resistance: 30 meters, Movement: Quartz Digital

Enthusiasts who appreciate Casio’s lineup of blocky digital timepieces, as well as more upscale models like the Bulova Computron and Hamilton PSR, will want to take a second look at the T80 models from Timex, which pay homage to Timex’s first digital watches from 1980 and offer their own retro-cool look with their compact beveled-rectangle case and seven-link metal bracelets. Its four small push-buttons on the case’s sides operate the expected slew of functions that can be observed on the Indiglo-enhanced LED dial: 1/1000-second chronograph, customizable alarms, and month, day, and date calendar. If you’re really feeling in an ‘80s mood, check out the T80 x Pac Man editions that pays homage to the arcade-game classic and its characters.

Timex Ironman Original

Timex Ironman

Price: $70, Case Size: 42mm, Case Height: 14.64mm, Lug Width: 18mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Movement: Quartz Digital

Despite its origins as a watch for sports and fitness, the Timex Ironman is regarded as one of the top “tech geek watches” of the 1980s and ‘90s. (It was also famously spotted on the wrist of former President Bill Clinton before Slick Willy began dabbling in higher-end timepieces.) The original Timex Triathlon watch debuted in 1984, aimed at athletes competing in the Ironman Triathlon; two years later, Timex acquired the rights to the Ironman name and released an upgraded version, which is very similar to the model still sold today and still popular with law enforcement and military officers. The Ironman is water-resistant to 200 meters (twice the rating of the 1980s watch) and features a large LED display for its various functions, including stopwatch with lap and split times, countdown timers, Indiglo night light, daily and weekend alarms, and training-friendly devices for runners, including a 99-lap counter and a 30-lap memory recall. More trivia: like the far more expensive and iconic Omega Speedmaster, the Timex Ironman is one of the few watches certified by NASA for use on space missions.

Timex Expedition Scout

Timex Expedition Scout

Price: $70, Case Size: 40mm, Case Height: 10mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 50 meters, Movement: Quartz Analog

At first glance, the Timex Expedition Scout pretty closely resembles its slightly cheaper little brother, the Weekender covered above. But upon a closer glance, you’ll note the vintage-style syringe hour and minute hands, in place of the Weekender’s long rectangles; and the subtle date window at 3 o’clock displacing the “15” on the inner 24-hour military-time scale, whose Arabic numerals are also slightly thicker. The Expedition Scout has a more contemporary case design, with a sharper, wider bezel and shorter curved lugs attaching to either a nylon NATO or leather strap. The case is brass, with a matte finish, and the dial’s Indiglo surface shines a bright blue-green in the dark.

Timex Standard Sub-Second 

Timex Standard Sub-Second 

Price: $99, Case Size: 40mm, Case Height: 11mm, Lug Width: 20mm, Crystal: Mineral, Water Resistance: 50 meters, Movement: Quartz Analog

For just shy of $100 before taxes, Timex offers an understated dress watch with a vintage vibe in the Standard Sub-Second. Its silver-toned dial is bordered by an old-school railroad minute track and displays the time by thin baton hands on a ring of ultra-legible Arabic numerals. The small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock that lends the model its name has a contrasting sunray finish. The case, made of polished, low-bead brass and sporting a stamped global motif on the back, is mounted on an easily changeable leather strap purposed from apple skins, a plus for those seeking a bit of environmental consciousness in their wardrobe.


Vostok Komandirskie Naval Aviation Mechanical

Vostok Komandirskie

Price: $74.95, Case Size: 40.9mm, Case Height: 12mm, Lug-to-Lug: 44.4mm, Lug Width: 18mm, Crystal: Acrylic, Water Resistance: 20 meters, Movement: Manual Winding Vostok Caliber 2414A

Vostok was founded during World War II, in 1942, originally as a provider of military equipment. Its production shifted to mechanical wristwatches during the 1960s, during which it also adopted the name, probably in tribute to the then–Soviet Union’s fledgling Vostok space program. As one would expect from a Russian manufacturer at the height of the Cold War, the watches it produced were distinctly and unmistakably military-focused. The Komandirskie (“Commander’s Watch”) marked Vostok’s appointment as official supplier of watches to the USSR’s Ministry of Defense in 1965. Modern Komandirskie watches still have cases made of chromed brass, like the ones issued to Soviet military pilots. The caseback is stamped with the Russian double-headed eagle emblem of Russia. The movement is the Russian-made, manually winding Vostok Caliber 2414A.

Vostok Amphibian Classic

Vostok Amphibian

Price: $99, Case Size: 39mm, Thickness: 15mm, Lug-to-Lug: 49mm, Crystal: Acrylic, Water Resistance: 200 meters, Movement: Automatic Vostok Caliber 2416

The Russian-made, bargain-priced Vostok Amphibian rose to somewhat unexpected fame among dive-watch enthusiasts after it was worn by Bill Murray as the titular character in the 2004 film The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, a sort of washed-up version of Jacques Cousteau. Russia is not renowned for horological heritage, but many of its Soviet-era dive watches, particularly the Amphibian, have acquired a cult following: enthusiasts love their bayonet-style casebacks, with threaded locking rings that push tightly into extra-large rubber gasket as the water pressure increases, and the thick acrylic crystals that flex under high pressure. In both aesthetics and engineering, the Amphibian is stark, simple, and classically Soviet, right down to the Russian-made movement.

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Justin N.

Have a Vostok Amphibian Classic and It’s truly an amazing watch. Love it!

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