A brief word of warning to all the true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool watch fanatics out there: the following list of “the best watches for men” probably isn’t what you’re picturing. It isn’t brimming with all of the most gloriously complicated, exquisitely designed, exorbitantly-priced timepieces to be birthed from the immaculate workshops of age-old Swiss masters this year. We do plenty of that kind of watch coverage elsewhere on our site—particularly in Wes Lang’s monthly column and Cam Wolf’s Watches of the Week roundup. Instead, we’re here today to celebrate the other kind of watches that we love here at GQ: the attainable ones, the knockabout ones, the ones that mere mortals can actually afford.
Don’t get us wrong: there are plenty of beautiful, well-made watches in this article—some of them even are the kind of tickers that’ll get a watch snob’s heart rate up. But none of them require all that much extra effort to find and acquire, or are all that “rare” in the collector’s sense of the word. If you’re after something special like that—maybe something vintage, or custom-built, or just plain out-of-the-norm—we’ve got an excellent guide to doing just that for you here. But if you scroll down, what you’ll find are your everyday drivers: watches you can live in, work in, and add to your cart to buy online without having to haggle over the price with a snooty midtown jeweler. So, without further ado, here are the 21 best watches for men.
On a tight budget? Believe it or not, it isn’t hard to find a totally functional, truly handsome timepiece for less than an SUV’s worth of gas. In fact, we’ve got 16 more great options where these came from.
For just a couple of Benjamins, you’ll find plenty of fine watches that share similar aesthetics to the way, way pricier options you’ve been coveting.
Timepieces at the $500 level maybe aren’t up to full-on Swiss luxury standards, but they’re attractive enough to wear everyday and solid enough to last a lifetime.
Okay, fine, maybe you don’t actually have an office to go to at the moment. But strapping on a work-appropriate wristwatch might be just the thing to keep you locked in and focus from 9 to 5 while you’re WFH. We chose three tickers on the affordable end of the spectrum to include here—if you’re after more of an executive level timepiece, we’ve got plenty of suggestions for those, too.
The Best Dress Watches
A slick, suave tuxedo calls for a slick, suave watch. Here are three of the best for every budget.
Most ’80s design trends haven’t exactly stood the test of time. But unlike neon spandex, shoulder pads, and illustrated squiggly action lines, timepieces from the 1980s really hold up.
The Best Entry-Level Dive Watches
Whether you’ve had your scuba license for decades or you’re a certified landlubber who just likes the look, these dive watches will deliver serious style and practical performance without breaking the bank.