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Cheap Watches Buying Guide
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 add flair to your look.
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.
High on our list of best cheap watches are two analog models -- the Timex Men's Easy Reader T20041 (starting at $29) and the Casio Women's LTP1237D-7A (starting at $21) -- and two digital models -- the Timex Women's 1440 T5J151 (starting at $12) and the Casio Men's WS210HD-1AVCF (starting at $33). Aside from a few gripes about minor matters, such as easily scratched crystals or vague set-up instructions, these cheap watches score with consumers for style, wearability, and functionality. Two cheap watches that don't rate due to questionable durability or performance are the analog Geneva SW-6886 (starting at $11) for women and the digital Armitron 408177 (starting at $23) for men.
There are several features to note when shopping for a watch. The watch crystal is especially important. Cheap watches have either an acrylic or mineral crystal, mineral being more scratch resistant. The watch's movement -- the mechanism that powers the watch -- is another item to consider. All the watches on our list use a battery-powered quartz movement, which is the most popular movement in the cheap watches segment. (More expensive watches may use an automatic or mechanical movement that relies on a spring mechanism and several intricate pieces to keep track of time.) Some cheap watches can be lit for easy night-time reading, and here Timex watches stand out with the company's proprietary Indiglo technology. Cheap watch cases tend to be made of plastic or stainless steel and popular materials for cheap watch bands include stainless steel, plastic or resin, and leather. Cheap watches are generally water resistant, not waterproof, which means they can survive a shower and a dunk in the pool but probably not deep-water scuba-diving.
Whether you choose a cheap analog watch or a cheap digital watch is largely a matter of preference. But before making your choice, be clear about the purpose you want the watch to serve. If you're looking for a simple accessory to dress up your look or telegraph the time through a visual representation, an analog watch with a leather or metal band is probably the best choice. If you like bells and whistles or want a more casual timepiece, digital is the way to go.
Best Cheap Watches
Timex Women's 1440 T5J151
Women like the Timex 1440 T5J151 because it's stylish and comfortable watch and the digital technology includes useful functions that appeal to the sports-minded.Read more »
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Timex Men's Easy Reader T20041
The Timex Easy Reader T20041 boasts large easy-to-read numbers on its face and the company's popular Indiglo feature, which lights the watch face in the dark. The only minor gripe about this dress watch is a slightly stiff leather strap.Read more »
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Good Cheap Watches
Casio Men's WS210HD-1AVCF
The Casio WS210HD-1AVCF is a digital watch with several cool features, including one that tracks the tides and moon phases. This solar-powered watch keeps good time and is easy to use, but some wearers say the tide feature must be reset occasionally and the metal band is tricky to adjust for fit.Read more »
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Men's Invicta 9938 Pro Diver Review
Men's Timex 30-Lap Ironman T53151 Review
Geneva Women's SW-6886 Review
Men's Armitron 408177 Review
Casio Men's WS210HD-1AVCF Review
Casio Women's LTP1237D-7A Review
Timex Women's 1440 T5J151 Review
Timex Men's Easy Reader T20041 Review
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