As you peruse various websites trying to decipher which watch is calling your name, all of this barrage of information will become overwhelming. Trying to decide which automatic watch is the one for you can be quite daunting. Or is it? As long as you have a specific list of things you want, it’s not that overwhelming. At least, we don’t think it is.

Here’s a quick questionnaire of things you should ask yourself:

  • Do I want something that’s sporty or sleek and dressy?
  • Do I like a thin bezel or a chunky, pronounced watch?
  • Do I want a leather strap or a steel bracelet?
  • What features matter to me? Chronograph? Date? Sun/Moon Phase?
  • What is the highest amount that I can afford?

Once you have these nailed, then let us at Gracious Watch help you point down some selections for you. Ready for an adventure? Click on!

Under $500

Invicta 
Pro Diver


Price

$115

Where:

Amazon

Size

49mm

Water Resistance

300m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

Stellar 300m water resistance for $115? You can’t beat that.

We start the game off right with a delightful offering from Invicta. For an affordable price, they are able to produce a stellar diver’s watch that can keep up with the competition. The styling definitely mimics the Rolex Submariner, but there’s nothing wrong with looking up to the best to become a great one.

At 47mm, it’s definitely a big watch to wear and requires wrist space to support the diameter. With 300m water resistance, a rotating bezel to measure diving time, and a beautiful green bezel to provide some pizazz, the Invicta 3047 would be a great automatic companion for the sporty kind of man that’s looking for a diving watch or something that keep up with the extreme adventures that they want to do.

Hamilton
Khaki King


Price

$499

Where:

Amazon

Size

40mm

Water Resistance

50m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

The classic automatic field watch.

As we write this article in April 2018, it looks like we found a steal of a deal in the Hamilton Khaki series. This is usually a rare find, but here’s a dependable automatic timepiece from Hamilton Watches, a great brand that has American roots, for an awesome price. Typically, Hamilton timepieces are at least $500, so to find one for less than $500 is a steal.

In the Khaki series, this is their collection of watches that are meant for rugged, outdoor adventures. They feature a stainless steel case, a rare full day window and date indicator at 12 o’clock, a 24-hour sub-marker, all in a great 40mm diameter package. It’s a classic motif with silver casing, black face, and contrasting white markers/hands. With a 50m water resistance, it’s not a diving watch but enough to withstand a swim or the unexpected drizzle during a hike.

Fossil
Townsman


Price

$110

Where:

Amazon

Size

44mm

Water Resistance

50m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A stylish example from Fossil with gold accents that would look great with a suit.

For something that’s a bit dressier in nature, in comes the Fossil Townsman. An offering from one of the biggest watch manufacturers in the world, Fossil has provided customers with great looking timepieces for very affordable prices. Usually, they used to offer quartz timepieces that had so-so designs. That’s no longer the case! They have stepped their game up even further, offering automatic movements for a great price, and the Townsman is a great example of that.

At 44m, it’s a bit bigger than your usual selection of timepieces, and the steel case with a relatively thin bezel outline makes the contrast blue face more prominent to the wear. It has bronze contrast markers and hands, with a nice touch of Roman numerals for a dash of classic design. Featuring seconds and 24-hour sub-dials alongside a skeleton window, the Townsman is a great dress watch companion for a steal of a price.

Swatch
Sistem Solaire


Price

$155

Where:

Amazon

Size

40mm

Water Resistance

50m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A skeleton example from Swatch that has a rare exposed calendar wheel and movement.

From Swiss giant, Swatch, comes their Sistem collection. The Sistem51 movement is a world-first from Swatch, providing the first-ever automatic movement consisting of 51 mechanical parts, with one central screw, providing 90 hours of power reserve. To provide an automatic movement with this little parts inventory is nothing short of remarkable. The Sistem51 is a technological marvel and is built in a very compact package.

The Solaire is a 42mm example of the Sistem51 in action, featuring a steel case and an exposed, skeleton motif. The theme of bare necessities continues, providing an exposed calendar wheel with an indicator at 3 o’clock. With a gray inner ring surrounded by a black outer ring with contrast markers, the Solaire is a bold example from Swatch that gives any wearer a fun automatic timepiece for casual encounters.

Victorinox
Infantry


Price

$300

Where:

Amazon

Size

44mm

Water Resistance

50m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A skeleton example from Swatch that has a rare exposed calendar wheel and movement.

Another Swiss offering is from Victorinox. Creators of the famed Swiss Army Knife, Victorinox has ventured into wristwatches, creating timepieces for customers who trust and rely on Victorinox multi-purpose tools. The same people who expect quality and dependability from Victorinox are getting the same whenever they purchase their watches. The Infantry line is a great example of Swiss reliability for a great price. You know you’re getting something great when it bears the Swiss shield crest in their products.

Featuring a rare full day window at 12 o’clock, it also has a date window at 3 o’clock, massive hour markers contrasted by the black watch face and steel, luminous hands. With a 24-hour sub-marker as well, this watch is definitely ready for an adventure. At 44mm, it’s a big watch but suitable enough for everyday wear as it also has 100m water resistance and an all-steel case/bracelet.

$500 to $1,000

Citizen
Grand Touring Signature


Price

$995

Where:

Amazon

Size

44mm

Water Resistance

200m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A chunky example from Citizen with a modern look and 200m water resistance.

As we elevate our game up further, we start stepping into the realm of great timepieces featuring dependable, intricate automatic movements from various manufacturers. This one is from Japanese giant, Citizen. Famously known for their light-powered Eco-Drive movements, Citizen also creates automatic timepieces as well. Building everything in-house, Citizen provides customers with great timepieces that are aesthetically beautiful and reliable as well.

The ‘Grand Touring Signature’ is an example of putting the best materials together to make something great. With a stainless steel case with crown shoulders to protect it from harm, this watch features a carbon fiber black dial as part of the racing motif they’re going for. A 44mm piece, the Citizen is a big watch and with a 200m water resistance, it’s definitely up for dives. We personally wouldn’t due to the leather strap, but it could do the job if you change it to a steel bracelet. The somewhat square case makes it different from usual offerings and makes it a great contender.

Seiko
Prospex SRPB11


Price

$990

Where:

Amazon

Size

45mm

Water Resistance

200m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A multi-shade motif that shows the great hues of the ocean by Seiko.

Another Japanese giant comes into the competition, with Seiko offering something great from their ‘Prospex’ line. Known for their dive watches, Seiko is at the forefront of Japanese-made watches, living up to the reputation that they helped build: reliability at a great price. With various automatic watches to choose from, Seiko has something to offer to any customer.

Our selection is dubbed the ‘Blue Lagoon Turtle’ edition watch, with a 41-hour automatic movement the 4R36 caliber. Enclosed in a curved square case, it has the distinct Seiko diving bezel in an all-blue motif. The various shades of blue coming from the bezel and the watch face blend really well with the silver case and white contrast hour markers/hands, and the overall design when laid sideways, resembles a turtle, hence the name. With a 200m water resistance to protect the movement from the elements, this Seiko would be ready for any dive.

Oris
Rectangular Date


Price

$875

Where:

Amazon

Size

43mm

Water Resistance

50m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A modern bracelet design that will be an uncommon sight from niche-brand Oris.

A niche watch brand, Oris is one of the few Swiss-based companies that are still privately owned. With a storied history since 1904, they have been creating mechanical timepieces for the masses ever since. They have a strong partnership in the auto racing field, partnering with the Williams Formula One as the official supplier of watches for that team. With a racing pedigree, accuracy is key for success and Oris definitely delivers the goods.

In their ‘Rectangular Date’ series, this 43x30mm timepiece is an all-steel construction featuring a gorgeous link bracelet that adds class. A dressy watch at heart, it features classical features such as Roman numeral hour markers and curved hands. With a sapphire crystal showcasing an ETA-sourced movement, the Oris has a 38-hour power reserve. This watch would look good with a navy suit or a charcoal suit, or a dress shirt for a business-casual style.

Fortis
Spacematic Classic


Price

$825

Where:

Amazon

Size

40mm

Water Resistance

100m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

An eye-popping, sleek design from Fortis that pays tribute to their storied past.

Another private Swiss manufacturer, Fortis has been producing watches since 1912. It has been creating timepieces that can survive extreme conditions such as the Spacematic automatic and has been chosen as the supplier of timepieces for the Russian Federal Space Agency. With extensive experience in creating tough automatic movements, Fortis is a great watch company to consider for something different from the usual Swiss offerings.

The Spacemastic Classic is an homage to the original Spacematic that solidified their part in Swiss watchmaking industry. Featuring an automatic movement, this 40mm is a unique display of timepiece with exposed day-date wheels, creating an interesting design to the wearer. With a 100m water resistance, this watch will be a great conversation starter, leaving people intrigued to know more.

Alpina
Alpiner 4


Price

$900

Where:

Amazon

Size

44mm

Water Resistance

100m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

It’s a rugged, multi-functional watch from Alpina, who’s known for being used by thrill seekers around the world.

As we continue providing you with something different, here’s a great offering from Geneve watchmaker, Alpina. Since 1883, Alpina has been providing great timepieces which helped create the Swiss Watchmakers Corporation. Known for supporting the aeronautics and sportsmen in general, Alpina watches are tough and rugged, meant to keep up with the adrenaline rush activities these watches are exposed to. As part of the Citizen brand, Alpina has created a brand that’s aligned with excitement and a desire to be a part of the action.

The Alpiner 4 is a signature offering from Alpina, and was created to satisfy four distinct requirements:

  • Must be antimagnetic
  • Must be antishock
  • Must be water resistant
  • Must have a stainless steel construction

Featuring an automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve, this 44mm Alpiner 4 is a sporty addition to any man’s watch collection with a rotating bezel, 100m water resistance, and a clean, sleek design.

$1,000 to $1,500

Luminox
Mariner


Price

$1,200

Where:

Amazon

Size

45mm

Water Resistance

200m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A watch brand that’s supported by the bravest people in America and tested by the people who support our freedom every day.

An American company at heart, Luminox produces Swiss-made timepieces that are supported by various military groups such as the:

  • US Coast Guard
  • US Air Force
  • US Navy SEALs

Taking inspiration from fighter-jets and the military, these watches are durable, sturdy, and chunky in their offering. One notable feature that Luminox watches have are tritium inserts, which provide long-term glow in their markers, and doesn’t need a light source to charge it. According to Luminox,

“All Luminox branded watches are equipped with the Luminox Lighting Technology (LLT) and require a special import license issued by a U.S. Government Agency to ensure safety requirements. […] Luminox watches glow up to 25 years in any light condition, they are Always Visible.”

With the Mariner, this stealthy design features an all-black motif with various shades of gray to act as a contrast. Featuring a 200m water resistance and a chunky rotating bezel, this 45mm automatic example will be a companion that goes incognito.

Rado 
True


Price

$1,100

Where:

Amazon

Size

49mm

Water Resistance

300m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

Stellar 300m water resistance for $115? You can’t beat that.

Rado has been part of the luxury watch game for many years. Known for innovative case designs, Rado loves to experiment with timepieces, featuring ceramic materials as part of their signature offerings. As part of the big Swiss conglomerate The Swatch Group, Rado has a hold in the luxury market providing customers with great examples of horological innovation with stylish outcomes.

As per the model, this Rado is true to the ideology of the company, which is to innovate and provide consumers with a modern iteration of a wristwatch. Featuring an all-ceramic construction, this 40mm automatic timepiece is scratch-resistant and will be a great dress watch with minimalistic features. Featuring a black watch face, it has jeweled hour markers and a date window to provide some depth.

Oris 
Artelier


Price

$1,250

Where:

Amazon

Size

44mm

Water Resistance

50m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

Stellar 300m water resistance for $115? You can’t beat that.

We start the game off right with a delightful offering from Invicta. For an affordable price, they are able to produce a stellar diver’s watch that can keep up with the competition. The styling definitely mimics the Rolex Submariner, but there’s nothing wrong with looking up to the best to become a great one.

At 47mm, it’s definitely a big watch to wear and requires wrist space to support the diameter. With 300m water resistance, a rotating bezel to measure diving time, and a beautiful green bezel to provide some pizazz, the Invicta 3047 would be a great automatic companion for the sporty kind of man that’s looking for a diving watch or something that keep up with the extreme adventures that they want to do.

Longines
HydroConquest


Price

$1,250

Where:

Amazon

Size

41mm

Water Resistance

300m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A great example of style and function living in harmony.

Longines has been a legendary brand in the watchmaking space, being a part of history such as Charles Lindbergh’s cross across the Atlantic. Since then, Longines has been a reliable brand within the luxury watch realm, providing timepieces that are exquisite in design and brandishing the aviation history they made a reputation on.

As part of their Sports collection, their HydroConquest is Longine’s answer to a diver’s watch, providing a necessary tool in an exquisite package. At 41mm, it’s a great size for an automatic watch, that features 300m water resistance, a unidirectional rotating bezel, a sapphire crystal, contrast white markers, and a date window. The HydroConquest is good to go for any water activity, as it’s housed in an all-steel case and bracelet.

Zodiac
Super Sea Wolf


Price

$1,500

Where:

Amazon

Size

50mm

Water Resistance

1000m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A remarkable 1,000m water resistance with a classic, retro design from Zodiac.

Relatively unknown to the casual horology crowd, Zodiac watches have been dedicating their efforts to providing accurate timepieces since 1882. An adventurous brand, their timepieces are constructed in Switzerland, giving any wearer quality that they expect in Swiss-made watches in a more affordable package in comparison to the competition,

The Super Sea Wolf 68 is based on a vintage model released in 1968, that is meant to be a sports watch, meant to conquer any activity you put it up against. It has a stainless steel case, a rubber strap for comfort, and a unidirectional mineral bezel. It has 1000m water resistance, which is more than enough to keep up with any adventures you had in mind. At 50mm, the Super Sea Wolf 68 is a large timepiece and should be worn by the boldest of people.

$1,500 to $2,000

Oris
Aquis


Price

$1,600

Where:

Amazon

Size

43mm

Water Resistance

300m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A more serious diver’s watch from Oris with a vintage motif and 300m water resistance.

The Aquis collection is Oris’ contribution to the watchmaking world when it comes to diver’s watches. Their interpretation of a diver’s watch is different than the rest, which is quite a refreshing sight to see. In contrast to other watchmakers, Oris didn’t imitate a recognizable diver’s watch but wanted their own unique spot in the diver’s watch space. And it worked. Based on the orange luminous markers and a slim case profile, Oris went with the old-school design when it came to the Aquis and it produced a great example of a sports watch for the deep seas.

A 43mm automatic timepiece, the Aquis is going to be very legible underwater as it’s a slightly big example to have. It has a unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel that’s scratch-resistant, a sapphire crystal, and 300m water resistance. With a rubber strap, it’s a lighter example as well, which could make a difference to someone who’s looking for a watch that’s not heavy around the wrist.

Rado
D-Star


Price

$1,750

Where:

Amazon

Size

43mm

Water Resistance

200m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A sportier, stylish contribution from Rado, with 200m water resistance, chronograph, and date window.

The D-Star is a sport watch that’s created by Rado, which means it has a knack for uniqueness and innovation. This particular example features a stainless steel and black ceramic hybrid construction, with a retro design that is reminiscent of chronographs of the 1970’s. It’s quite a unique timepiece that should be given everyone’s attention.

The D-Star is a thick timepiece that houses a great automatic chronograph movement, and at 43mm, the D-Star is a big timepiece to own. The retro design is very prominent with the rotating bezel, with a slim, streamlined black design with retro markers throughout. With a 200m water resistance and a date window at 6 o’clock, it’s a great example of retro design with modern reliability.

Victorinox 
Airboss


Price

$1,500

Where:

Amazon

Size

45mm

Water Resistance

100m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

More function than form, with larger markers, and a luminous approach to legibility.

For Victorinox, the Airboss collection is their signature timepieces meant to capture the hearts of their most devoted fans. Creators of the multi-purpose tool that the Swiss Army still uses to this very day, Victorinox creates timepieces that can be utilized as much as the tools they create. Offering nothing but the best that Switzerland has to offer, the Airboss is an accurate representation of Victorinox dependability and top quality.

This Airboss features 100m water resistance and a great bold, legible design for readability. With a rotating bezel at the touch of a crown, it’s a unique take on a watch with tool-like qualities. We’d personally replace the strap with a steel bracelet for a better, all-rounder timepiece. Enclosed in a 45mm steel case, it’s a modern take on a great watch that is multi-purpose just like the Swiss Army Knife that Victorinox is known for.

TAG Heuer 
Formula 1


Price

$1,600

Where:

Amazon

Size

41mm

Water Resistance

200m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A worldly example of a GMT watch from TAG Heuer with a legendary Calibre 7 powering the piece.

Swiss watch heavyweight TAG Heuer has been creating luxury timepieces in various styles and designs for many decades. It is one of the most well-known watch brands in the world and easily recognizable by both casual and hardcore watch fans. Known for providing many timepieces that suits all tastes imaginable, Tag Heuer can produce little wrong for the market.

In the Formula 1 line, these watches are known to be sporty, almost casual timepieces with great internals. Here is a GMT version, which suits a world traveler that needs multiple time zones within easy access. With a turn of a bezel, the wearer can immediately know the time in multiple cities. The automatic movement powering the GMT has 42-hour power reserve enclosed in a steel case and sapphire crystal. At 41mm, it’s a great size for a watch and at 200m water resistance, it can do anything you put it up against.

Bulova 
Kirkwood


Price

$1,999

Where:

Amazon

Size

40mm

Water Resistance

100m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

An all-skeleton example from Bulova, to showcase the heart that’s powering this timepiece.

With American values at heart, Bulova is a luxury brand that started their beginnings in New York City. For many years, they have produced historical timepieces such as the Accutron, which is an electric wristwatch that was unheard of at the time. Now part of the Citizen Watch Company, it plans to elevate the cache of Citizen by providing luxury timepieces that have the history that luxury timepiece fans look for in a watch.

The Kirkwood is a skeleton design of an automatic watch, which shows all the inner workings of the watch. In order for a skeleton watch to have great design, it must have visual value, while providing mechanical dependability that wearers paid for and expect. The 40mm Bulova is silver throughout with blue and gold accents to make it stand out. An overall dressy watch, the Bulova would be perfect in any office situation or a dinner out.

$2,000+

Campanola
NZ0000-07W


Price

$115

Where:

Campanola

Size

49mm

Water Resistance

300m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A hand-made example of Swiss ingenuity marrying Japanese craftsmanship and detail. Just jaw-dropping.

If we brought you this far, life is good and here are some prizes for your achievement. Here we’ll see some special items that are rarely seen by the North American audience. One such brand that’s rarely seen in North America is Campanola. Created by Citizen to compete with ultra-luxury brands, Campanola timepieces are painstakingly handcrafted by skilled artisans, known within Citizen as ‘meisters’, who dedicate decades worth of experience in putting together stellar timepieces. Utilizing rare materials as well, the Campanola watches are unique in their own right.

Here is a 42mm example with a red lacquered finish watch face that has been created through electroforming, producing a unique, smooth surface that shows luster depending on how the light hits it. With a 42-hour power reserve, the automatic movement is sourced in Switzerland and created by Citizen-owned La Joux-Perret, who creates timepieces for luxury brands such as Arnold and Son. Although available within the Japanese market, it shouldn’t be too hard to make something happen with a phone call or two.

Learn more about Campanola/Citizen.

Rolex 
Submariner


Price

$8,500

Where:

Amazon

Size

40mm

Water Resistance

300m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A holy grail from Rolex. You should know this by now and needs no introduction.

A staple for a luxury timepiece, Rolex is known for quality, high-class, and a timepiece for the rich and famous. While Rolex has developed a reputation of being the watch for jet setters and the bourgeoisie, the Submariner has developed a cult following of its own, as the diver’s watch to have. Now, does the Rolex live up to the hype or not? Let us know in the comments section!

As for the beast itself, its the right size at 40mm with the fit and finish you expect from Rolex. Featuring an all stainless-steel case and oyster bracelet, the Submariner will be a faithful companion to any diver. The unidirectional bezel prevents the wearer from mistakenly rotating the bezel, which may affect their diving time. At 300m water resistance, it can handle more than enough what Mother Nature can offer and this features the no-date variety, which lacks the date window with the cyclops view at 3 o’clock. Cap it off with a sapphire crystal and you have a legend within your presence.

Learn more about Rolex.

Omega
Seamaster GMT “James Bond”


Price

$7,000

Where:

Amazon

Size

41mm

Water Resistance

300m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

Bond has saved the world with this watch. You probably can’t, but at least you look good trying to.

At the top of The Swatch Group food-chain comes Omega. Known as one of their ‘prestige’ brands in the lineup, Omega has been a timepiece innovator since 1848. This Swiss brand has created iconic timepieces such as the Speedmaster, which became known as the ‘Moon Watch’ when worn by the Apollo crew, and the Seamaster which became the watch of choice for a famous British spy, James Bond.

Omega has been known to supply MI-6’s most valuable asset with accurate timepieces and this particular model is similar to the one worn in ‘Casino Royale’. At 41mm, it’s small enough to be unobtrusive, while the automatic movement keeps you going thanks to your movement. With 300m water resistance and a sapphire crystal, the Seamaster can survive any mission that Bond, James Bond, may face. I just hope he doesn’t see Jaws again. Or Oddjob. Seriously, who throws a hat?

TAG Heuer
Grand Carrera Calibre 36


Price

$10,000

Where:

Amazon

Size

43mm

Water Resistance

30m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A genuine horological achievement.

A unique offering from TAG Heuer is their Grand Carrera lineup. This is where the company’s greatest minds come together and provide examples of horological greatness that are rarely imitated. Very complex movements have emerged from TAG Heuer and the Calibre 36 is no exception.

This particular model features a caliper that can be moved using a crown to accurate measure the chronograph functionality down to 1/10th of a second. That is a dedication to accuracy if I do say so myself.

At 43mm, it’s an intimidating piece of equipment and will need significant wrist space to look great. With a steel case and an etched bezel for further functionality, this watch is meant to keep track of your laps and get an accurate readout of it. With 30m water resistance, I wouldn’t take it to the beach with you but definitely deserves a spot when you go to the racetrack.

Cartier 
Tank Solo XL


Price

$4,000

Where:

Amazon

Size

31mm

Water Resistance

50m

Movement

Automatic

Why?

A legendary timepiece from French maker Cartier with a tank-like presence.

Famous for creating the best jewelry money can buy, French maker Cartier is also providing stellar timepieces for the elite and the few.

One particular collection was inspired by the army tanks that were present during the wear, with their tracks forming a uniform line, creating the Tank collection that we know here today.

Featuring a Swiss-made automatic movement, the Cartier Tank Solo XL is pure dressy watch oozing of nostalgia. With an art deco-inspired layout with italic roman numeral hour markers, blue contrast hands on a white face, the Cartier is a classic formal watch suitable for black-tie affairs. At 31mm, it’s not imposing but enough to get someone’s attention.