However, this couldn't be farther from the reality. Despite the fact that we are 50 years removed from the beginning of the quartz crisis and smack dab in the middle of the current Apple Watch takeover, there are still plenty of great automatic watches available for under $900 if you know where to look. And that's where we come into the picture. Here are the 10 best automatic watches under $900 that we've compiled from our favorite microbrands, entry-level luxury Swiss watchmakers, and a dependable standby from Japan.
In order to create this guide, we only had two requirements: All of the watches had to be powered by an automatic movement and cost no more than $900. With those parameters in mind, we set out to find the best that the industry had to offer, and we came up with more than a dozen hidden gems in the process. From divers' and pilot's watches to trendy integrated bracelet sports watches and classic everyday timepieces, from vintage-inspired to ultra-modern, we didn't leave any stone unturned in our pursuit of the best affordable automobiles on the market today.
You could add any one of these timepieces to your collection, and they're all reasonably priced, so you could even pick up a couple without feeling guilty about your purchases. Check out the list below to see our selection of the best automatic watches available for less than $900.
The Fairwind represents a shift in Halios' approach to design, adding additional components to what had previously been a very minimalist aesthetic. The Seaforth was a masterclass in simplicity, and although the Fairwind adds additional elements to the dial, the overall feeling of balance and readability has been maintained throughout the design. This watch, in contrast to the Seaforth, is more playful in its design, which may not be to everyone's taste. However, it stretches the design language that they've established into new terrain without depending too heavily on the same dive watch cliches that we've seen time and time again in the past.
TISSOT PRX POWERMATIC 80
If you’re looking for a slim, smooth watch with an authentic ‘70s feel, look no further than the PRX Powermatic 80. Created for those with an eye for design and packed with twenty-first century features in a Tissot case shape from 1978, the PRX is a must-have on every watch fan’s wish list. The self-winding Powermatic 80 movement delivers reliability and precision thanks to the innovative Nivachron hairspring. With 80 hours of power reserve, it’s a modern movement designed to keep pace with busy lifestyles.
This year's Only Watch charity event will feature a watch from Paris-based Baltic, which has swiftly become one of the most acclaimed and well-known microbrands in the world. A large part of Baltic's success may be attributed to the Aquascaphe. One of their most popular models, the diver, has a sapphire bezel inlay, a vintage-style sandwich dial, and a tropical rubber strap (or beads of rice bracelet).
VICTORINOX I.N.O.X. MECHANICAL
The quartz Victorinox I.N.O.X. watch, manufactured by the same company that produces the iconic Swiss Army Knife, is one of the most durable timepieces on the market. A little reduction in functionality is exchanged for an increased feeling of luxury in this edition, elevating the overall look and feel. The exhibition caseback allows you to see the Sellita SW200-1 movement, which is made in Switzerland. The chunky stainless steel case has some excellent contrasting finishing, and the guilloche patterned dial is meant to evoke the handle of a Swiss Army Knife. The watch is also available with a unique wooden strap, which is a first for the brand.
CERTINA DS PH200M
Certina is a Swiss historical brand that made its way back to the United States this year after a lengthy absence. And, boy, are we glad to have them back. Certina, another underappreciated Swatch Group member, provides a slew of excellent timepieces at rock-bottom costs, but none are more impressive than this exceptional diver. In addition to an 80-hour Powermatic movement that can be seen via a sapphire caseback, this reissue of one of the brand's divers from the 1960s has been upgraded with a distinctive domed and engraved ceramic bezel that you won't find anywhere else, as well as a sapphire caseback.