No one wants to be thought poor, and it’s often the way you dress and accessorize that will have people guessing your wealth at a glance. However, there are many cheap watches that look expensive on the market.
Many of us would love to have designer items or one of a kind accessories but the sheer cost is prohibitive.
There are, however, many cheap watches that look expensive, and in this article you’ll learn about the top models.
There’s a thing about expensive watches that many people get wrong – they’re not flashy.
Yes, there are those encrusted with diamonds, dipped in gold and such that are worth a fortune because of the materials.
However, a luxury watch is not intended to be a flashy status symbol, in fact, if you have wealth your watch is likely to be deceptively plain.
Avoid busy watches, and find something that goes with your entire look rather than screaming for attention.
Match it with dressing well, a good pair of smart shoes, and a look that says you’re worthy of a watch that costs more and no one will ever know.
Cheap Watches That Look Expensive for Men: Comparison Table
|Daniel Wellington Men's 0107DW||Quartz Movement||4.3/5||$$$|
|Timex TWG012800QM||Quartz Movement||4.2 /5||$$$|
|Gosasa Rotatable Bexel||Quartz Movement||3.7 /5||$$|
|Zurich Swiss White||Japanese Quartz||4.4 /5||$|
|Lucien Piccard Trevi||Chinese||4 /5||$$|
Cheap Watches That Look Expensive for Men: Reviews
Daniel Wellington Men’s 0107DW Classic Sheffield
Coming in at just under $100 might not be considered cheap, but when you take into account that luxury watches start in the thousands it’s pretty affordable. This is simple, smart, and classy looking.
It’s very plain which means it matches everything and the band is real leather which adds to the appearance.
It has a 40mm case that isn’t huge but isn’t tiny either and has useful everyday features like a mineral window and 30m water resistance.
This is the ideal understated watch because it fits into that “simply yet stylish” concept.
A smart watch that could pass for day or evening wear this is an ideal chameleon. It simply goes with everything and fits every occasion.
The leather band is what sets this off best and it’s a good idea to spend the extra money when needed and replace it with another real leather to keep up the appearance.
The rose gold toned metals are also very “in” at the moment and look more classic than the fake goldyou see on many cheap watches.
The tick tick of the quartz movement is going to be an instant giveaway for anyone who gets close. Most expensive watches have an automatic movement which is silent.
The water resistance is only good for getting splashed rather than actually getting in the shower or in the pool. It’s also incredibly plain and likely not to even be noticed at all.
Timex TWG012800QM Analog Brass Brown & Blue Weekender
While still over $50 the Weekender loos like your classic field watch and also comes with a spare NATO style strap.
It’s similar to the DW in that it’s also a quartz movement with 30m of water resistance but it also has a chronograph feature.
This might make the face seem crowded but the brushed silver finish and simple font keep this from being cluttered and give it more of a vintage feel.
The blue and brown color scheme looks classy and with a 40mm case it’s not bulky. This is perfect for someone who wants a more manly watch but still wants something simple yet stylish.
This is very much a more masculine looking watch, you wouldn’t mistake this for anything but a man’s watch. It fits the simple requirement but still has a classy looking chronograph.
Most people assume chronograph watches are expensive, or at least $300 and up which helps with the appeal. The second strap is useful, but the brown gives this a vintage feel where the blue nylon looks cheap and should be avoided.
The brass finish is nice because it also adds to the vintage feel that this could be a 1960s collector piece (if you didn’t look too close).
It’s not suitable for evening wear or meetings at all and is decidedly casual. While you could look great posing in a coffee shop with it it’s not for any functional situation where you would want a smart or expensive watch which means it’s only of limited use, and if you’re going to need more than one watch you can afford to get a single, much better one instead.
Gosasa Rotatable Bexel Green Dial Two Tone Watch
When you hear the words “dive watch” you’re automatically going to assume the watch costs more. The words alone denote a certain style, and while your watch might not actually be rated for the Mariana
Trench or able to monitor your Nitrox mix the fact that it looks like it should is what’s important.
This is a total knock-off of the Rolex version and is very close to the original. If you can snag a similar matching bracelet to match then at a glance it should be impossible to tell.
The rotating bezel and screw down crown is what singles this out as a dive watch, though it’s only water resistant to 30m.
It also has a date window, steel bracelet with a dive extender (fold over clasp to commoners), and is only 40mm so it’s not huge either.
Seriously look at this and look at the Rolex version and then figure out if you want to add at least 2 more zeroes to the price tag.
It’s beyond cheap and no one would know without reading the logo that this wasn’t the Rolex version. It’s smart, classy, and while it’s not good for evening wear it would look great on the yacht!
It’s a bit flashy and the gold does not look very real which is where it’s an iffy choice. If someone looks closely then they’re going to be able to easily tell that this isn’t a real expensive watch.
It’s also not even from a known brand and as a Chinese unknown the quality is likely to be very poor, if it even works at all.
Zurich Swiss White Dial Quartz Wrist Watch
As the cheapest on the list this is imitating a Breitling design. Breitling is the exception as their dials are always fussy and have a lot of small markings. This has chronometer dials, a tachyometer, and dive markings as well as a screw down crown.
The 47mm case might be a bit big for some but it’s still got basis water resistance and has a smart leather strap.
This is a watch for looks rather than function, despite having a Swiss name which people would automatically assume was costly.
Swiss movement watches are expensive, so instead of having to pay for Swiss engineering simply using the name Zurich Swiss gives that appearance without actually having anything to do with the country at all – it’s Chinese.
At less than $15 you really can’t go wrong with this, even though the chronograph dials don’t actually function.
With dive features, leather bands, and more shoved into one design it looks like a bit of a Frankenstein. Breitling is a tough one to mimic and get right, it’s got a good look at a glance but is definitely a casual watch rather than something classy.
The chronograph dials are also for display only and don’t actually work. The dial is also a little difficult to read (ironically just like some Breitling pieces) with so much going on.
Lucien Piccard Trevi Mechanical Watch
Exhibition cases are “in” right now and while being able to see through to the mechanics of your watch might not make reading it any easier it still looks interesting and unique.
It’s reasonably sized at 45mm but has a hand wound dial something that sets it apart from the everyday watch, people actually pay money to have a watch they have to wind so this feature makes it seem significantly more expensive instantly.
Tell someone you have a French hand wound watch and they’re going to assume it’s costly.
It looks fairly smart but above all it looks interesting and unique, it’s a conversation piece and as long as you can wax on about French style you can probably get away with it.
It’s functional as well as different and the black and gold style can probably pass for evening wear as well, though it’s not ideal and a long shot if you’re really trying to pass this off as more than entry level luxury.
The crown sticks out a mile, and this can often get uncomfortable and stab you in the wrist. The blue hands don’t fit well and would be much better in black, these look like they got shoved on from a different watch and like the fake Breiling it also seems to be a bit too flashy to be authentic.
Cheap Watches That Look Expensive for Women
Skagen Hald Leather Watch
You’ll have to catch this on sale to get it under $100 but it’s worth it. This is a simple Scandinavian design that is understated and classy. It has small crystal markers for the dial and a rose gold finish.
It has a very feminine and modern look without appearing too severe and, while it’s not an evening watch, it has 50m water resistance that makes it great for showering and swimming.
At 34mm it’s not a small watch, which may put some off
A smart watch that is nice for brunch with the girls, or reading a book in the park, it’s casual while still looking sleek. This might not pass for a Patek Phillipe but it’s smart and would look good with the right outfit.
The tan and rose gold color scheme is also very flattering for most skin tones.
It’s big for a womans watch and the simple design means that as soon as it’s not pristine it looks tatty which will show it off as being cheap.
Guess U0135L1 Petite Silvertone Crystal Accented G-Link Band
This looks like a vintage 1920s Timepiece that has been handed down and is glitzy enough to be an evening watch. It has a bit of a fussy design but could easily compare to something that was real diamonds etc in style.
The key with this watch will be keeping the crystals clean and shiny. If they’re dirty they will look like glass and nothing more. It has a small 20.5m case and splash resistance too.
A classy looking watch that could pass as an antique with the right outfit. It’s easily got the simple elegance down with the roman numeral markers but avoids looking gaudy because of it’s size.
Choose the silver over the gold as the bright tone gives it away immediately at a glance otherwise. It’s small and glitzy enough to be perfect for an evening affair, just don’t weigh yourself down with other “diamonds” so it looks overdone.
The crystals will quickly scratch and loose their shine and the stainless band will too. This is not an everyday watch if you want to keep it looking pristine enough to pass for something more.
It’s also not suited for casual wear as it’s much too dressy.
Voeons Women’s Japan Quartz KW6036S Gold Blue
Very much a style you would expect to see in a fashion magazine this is a clean and simple design that looks elegant.
It has an unusual rectangle shape with hardened glass and while the band is plastic as long as it’s not scratched up it will look like anodized steel.
The rose gold finish is feminine and the Lettering is small enough to resemble Cartier.
If you like the bright style of Cartier this is a good copy version of their style mag pieces. It’s a little ostentatious but not enough to appear overdone. It’s adjustable and has basic water resistance to make it functional.
It certainly has the same glamour as many big name brands and as long as the finish holds you would be able to pass it off at a glance.
It is plastic and plating, which means any rough treatment and this will instantly be revealed for the fake that it is. It’s an eye catching piece which also makes it a risky choice if someone wants to look closely.
Timex TW2p97800 Fairfield Tan Leather
Many designers choose to give women masculine looking watches, and while this is a bit severe it’s also a versatile design that fits with different casual styles.
Izt’s a 41mm dial which is definitely a mens size but it’s also got the Indiglow feature which is useful (but don’t use it if you’re pretending because this is unique to Timex).
It’s got basic waterproofing and a NATO style leather strap, go for the tan leather if you want to look more upmarket.
As a simple watch it’s casual and masculine enough that it has a unique style appeal. The blue and brown color scheme is fashionable and makes it noticeable without screaming for attention.
It fits the simple requirement perfectly and also works with bracelets because the design isn’t overpowering in itself. Above all it’s a classic and timeless design that won’t age.
Too casual for evening or for meetings means this watch is limited in how suited it is in your wardrobe. It’s also not cute but severe in a way which limits the appeal.
In fact, if you don’t really like the punchy appeal of mens watches and an androgynous style you’re going to hate this.
Michael Kors Runway Watch
A real designer watch for under $100?? This is a steal. It’s casual but classy and has that all important logo factor.
This won’t be mistaken for thousands of dollars worth of watch, but many people will assume from the brand name alone that you paid a decent amount.
A wrapping brand adds style appeal while the 42mm face makes a statement.
The gold and tan color scheme is also feminine and more flexible than the dark blue of the Timex if you want to wear it to a casual evening affair.
This is a great watch to lounge at brunch or hold your wine over dinner and be noticed with.
It’s cute and stylish without being ostentatious or over the top. The wrapping band adds to the unique factor and the obvious quality helps make it seem like an expensive watch.
Since you’re really getting a designer item you can’t complain about much at this price.
The wrap is uncomfortable if you have larger wrists and this is a basic and casual design. MK is known for it’s flashy designs that have now trickled down to high street brand level. No one is going to mistake this for a $10000 watch.
Did you find something you liked? Hopefully, you’ve learned more about what makes a watch stylish and seem expensive.
Remember to go for simply style rather than bling and don’t treat it rough if you want to keep up the illusion that your cheap watch really cost a fortune!
The best cheap watches that look expensive shouldn’t cost you more than $100, but with the right accessories no one will believe your watch isn’t what it appears.