Best Designer Watches for Men 2018

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So, where do you start when choosing the best designer watches for men. I suppose you really need to define what a designer watch is. This may mean different styles to different folks, but we’ll give you our opinion of what a designer watch is.

Firstly, and most importantly is the timeless style of the watch, which in nearly all cases is classic and fashionable, without being overly trendy. Watches of the moment go out of style such as a Fitbit style of watch which is made for a particular purpose in mind. Yes, fitness watches will always be popular but not the Fitbit style.

Add to this the durable materials the watch is built with, such as top-grade plastics, titanium, platinum and of course gemstones or precious stones. Many of these materials such as titanium, help with keeping the watch lightweight. Platinum on the other hand is much heavier, increasing the weight which many big men prefer.

We still consider various genres as designer watches because they can still be worn in a casual manner. This includes some sports, aviator or marine watches.

We’ve arranged a brief buying guide with a few things to consider before buying your next designer watch. We’ve arranged our list into price category as not everyone can afford the absolute best designer watches for men. The cheaper category is based more on style than quality.

Designer Watches for Men – Buying Guide

Watch Movement

There’s a few different types of internal workings that make your watch serviceable and keep time as accurately as possible. Known as watch movement, there’s the ever-popular Quartz, automatic or mechanical movement.

Quartz is the most common time-piece movement, especially in lower and mid-range watches. They are created via electronics, so a battery is used to power them. It’s known as Quartz because there is Quartz crystal inside the watch which is used to synchronize an electronic oscillator. This is how the watch generates its power.

So obviously you’ll be required to change battery, but only every few years.

Mechanical and automated watches are both made with moving parts inside that require winding up. The difference being that the Automatic watch is wound up automatically by the users’ general day to day movement. Without knowing it, the wearer’s arm motion generates power for the internal gears to wind the mainspring.

Mechanical on the other hand requires you to manually turn the mainspring on the side of the watch. This is an older and more traditional way to power your watch that is quite addictive. Many people enjoy this older method of energizing their watch.

Watch Case

When we talk about a watch case, we’re including the shell that holds all the internal mechanics or intricate pieces together. When it comes to choosing a stylish designer watch case, its suggested that you don’t go for something too busy, instead choose a case that is more of a classic style. You will still have a multitude of options with the classic style with various shapes and materials to choose from.
Thin round case faces are a timeless classic along with square and rectangular frames.

You’ll also want to consider the material that your watch case will be made from. Some materials such as titanium are a softer metal, so you may find that it is not scratch resistant.

Gold is a soft metal, but scratches can be easily polished out. There’s various colors of gold that you can choose from such as traditional yellow, pink, red or rose gold.

Watch Glass

There’s not too many types of glass cover, as mineral glass is the most common and if you’re looking for a higher end watch, you’ll probably find that sapphire is the glass that will be used.

Watch Strap

It goes without saying that a leather watch strap is a nice luxury, but you’re not just restricted to leather. In-fact there’s different types of leather from cheaper faux versions to the top-end genuine leather.

Other options include rubber or genuine alligator or crocodile straps. Then there’s the steel metal, or even precious metals such as gold. A nice strap will make it feel as if you don’t even have a watch on your wrist. The last thing you want is a rash from the wrong material for your skin.

Clasps and buckles are another thing you may want to pay attention to. You can always add or remove buckles or clasps later, but if you can buy a watch with a clasp that you like, it saves you the bother of changing it.

Some metal watch bands have deployment clasps which may be your preference.


There’s the typical type of functions that are more practical such as date/time, stopwatch, alarm etc, and then there’s the intricate specialities where the watchmaker shows off his or her craft such as the movements of the lunar orbit or chiming quarter hours.

And don’t forget the specifics that are meant to serve a purpose like oxygen indication on diving watches or celestial observations on an aviator watch.

Do you really need a watch where you will not use the majority of the functions? Probably not but often the decision to purchase a watch comes down to design and fashion. The functions can make a big difference to the cost so if you’re on a budget, limit your preferred desires.

Now you’ve learnt a little about due diligence, have a browse of our best designer watches for men for this year.

Designer Watches for Men - $100 - $250

#1 - Seiko Men's Diver's Analog Stainless Steel Watch

Customer Reviews



? Scratch resistant casing
? Water resistand to 600 feet (200m)
? Rotating bezel for measuring elapsed time


? Known to have mis-aligned chapter rings (check reviews)

Watches are a very personal item and each of us visualise perfection differently. To start our selection of watches under $250 we’ve chosen a designer watch with divers in mind that speaks volumes in terms of durability.

This watch can be worn at so many occasions and fit in with the style of the moment. It’s a mechanical watch that does not require winding of the mainspring. This automatic time piece is for those that enjoy a round face with a solid base of basic functions.

Here’s just some of the great advantages of this diver’s watch:

  • The case is made from 42mm polished stainless-steel and the glass casing is crafted from Hardlex crystal making it scratch resistant.
  • It’s water resistant down to 600 feet (200 meters) below water level, perfect for those that love the ocean.
  • The classic design features a deep blue and red unidirectional bezel and shows the day and date in the window at 3:00 on the dial face.
  • Rugged and stylish design that you can wear just about anywhere.
  • The bezel rotates so you can alignit to markers, to measure time that has elapsed. Ideal for those that have been in water for long periods.
  • As the watch has automatic movement, any time you swing your arm during the day (which is basically all day!) the watch gets powered by this motion. Therefore, no batteries are required.

Even though this is advertised as a diver watch to 200m, we’d suggest that you only use it for general swimming and showering. Scepticism comes to mind when they suggest water resistant rather than water proof.

It’s a great watch for the price and well over 300 customers have given this a 4.4-star review with many nice comments.

#2 - Seiko Men's Solar Chronograph

Customer Reviews



? Strong Hardlex scratch resistant casing
? Chronograph with 2 sub-dials
? 100m Water Resistant
? Stainless-steel band with double push-button safety closure


? No seal down crown

Well for me, this watch looks worth more than it costs. It’s a Seiko, so you know the name and associate it with quality watches. What I really like about this high quality looking watch is that its solar powered, but the sun is not your only option to power it.

These solar powered types of watch have a small solar panel behind the dial that can be powered by natural or artificial light. This is great as it means you can be reading a book under a lamp, and the watch will continue to generate power. Solar watches use a rechargeable battery but, as its rechargeable, no replacements are required.

You may think that solar watches won’t store energy for very long. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It all depends on the model of your watch, but some solar watches have been known to store enough energy to power the watch for 6 months, even if left dormant in a cupboard.

Some great advantages and benefits of this watch are:

  • The face of the watch features 2 sub-dials for alarm and chronograph, stopwatch and a date window.
  • The markers and hands are luminous, so they’ll glow nicely when in the dark.
  • The Hardlex dial window is strong and scratch resistant
  • You’ll love the stainless-steel link bracelet band which encompasses a fold-over clasp with double push-button safety closure. This is a very stylish looking watch that contrasts the black background so well with the stainless accents.
  • It’s also water resistant to 330 feet (100m) which means you can go swimming or wear it in the shower with no concerns whatsoever.

Chronograph watches have been extremely popular over the last 20 years or so, and this one will turn heads with the lovely stainless-steel design. With over 400 customers giving it a 4.7-star rating out of 5, you’ll be very impressed.

One only thing we’ve noticed is this watch doesn’t have a seal down crown, which is used for sealing the case to the watch to ensure water-resistance. It’s not advertised as a diver watch so this is not a big issue, but just be careful if you decide to swim with the watch on.

#3 - Michael Kors Men's Lexington Gold-Tone Watch

Customer Reviews



? Japanese Quartz Movement
? Gold-tone and Stainless Bling
? Chronograph Features


? Does not ship to all countries

If you’re after a little more bling in a watch without the price-tag of full scale bling, this may be your next perfect time piece. It looks like you should be prancing around on a luxury yacht, but you can get this watch for under $250.

Michael Kors have a category known as the Lexington collection which is for the aspirational man. This watch is part of the Lexington collection with its sleek, streamlined look. It’s not hard to notice the gold features, including the gold tone stainless-steel bezel.

The watch has some great feature including the following:

  • Quartz movement which is reliable and the most common type of watch movement. The Japanese do it well!
  • You’ll be able to swim, shower and snorkel in this watch as it’s water resistant to 330 feet (100m).
  • 2 Year warranty which will hopefully not be required.
  • Plenty of bling if that’s your thing. Gold/stainless steel.
  • Chronograph features on the dial for stopwatch precision. The face also features a date window and roman numeral on the figure 12.

Although there’s too much bling for me, many folks would love the look of this stylish time piece. In-fact over 30 customers have rated it 4.9-stars, obviously it’s a quality product.

One of the things I really like here is the 2-year warranty (which most companies offer). It’s peace of mind just in case something goes wrong.

#4 - Bulova Men's Crystal Watch

Customer Reviews



? Reliable Quartz Movement
? Mineral Crystal Scratch-Resistant
? 30m Water-Resistant


? Customers have noted damaged packaging

Believe it or not, there’s still a place is society for watches without all the bells and whistles that are provided by some watch companies. Designer watches can still be elegant and stylish with just the basics of functionality.

As a prime example of this, Bulova have created this stylish men’s crystal watch that has an amount of bling that is welcomed but not overpowering. With Swarovski crystals placed throughout the stainless-steel band, and delicately positioned as hour markers, it makes a bold statement.

Here’s some of the great features of this Bulova watch:

  • Crafted by unique designer Bulova (Joseph Bulova established in 1875).
  • Reliable Quartz movement like the watch above.
  • The watch glass case is made from mineral crystal, also making it scratch resistant.
  • The watch dial is pure black making it contrast amazingly well with the crystals. The face features time and date with little other features making it an uncluttered design.
  • Another watch where you can benefit from using it in water, as it’s resistant to a depth of 30m (100 feet).

If you like a watch from a company with a bit of history, you’ll love this one. Joseph Bulova migrated from Czechoslovakia to the US in 1875 and set up shop in New York City. After training as a jeweller, he positioned himself in the watch market. This bold move allowed the company to prosper and soon everyone was saying “America runs on Bulova time.”

The recommendations for this watch are extremely good with a 4.8-star rating from over 40 customers.

#5 - Bulova Men's Marine Star Silicone Strap Watch