Best Designer Watches for Men 2021

Introduction

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.

Functions

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

4.4

Pro’s

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

Con’s

? 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

4.7

Pro’s

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

Con’s

? 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.

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

Customer Reviews

4.9

Pro’s

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

Con’s

? 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

4.0

Pro’s

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

Con’s

? 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

Customer Reviews

4.7

Pro’s

? Rose-Gold Tones
? Scratch-Resistant
? Rubber Band

Con’s

? Date window very small

Made by the same company as the above watch, this Bulova men’s marine features rose-gold plated tones which sets it apart from many other time pieces. The shiny rose-gold works well against the dominant black face and buttons. Can you see yourself cooking up a storm in your BBQ apron showing off this watch to your mates? Yeah, me too.

The watch band is also black and is made of rubber, making it ideal for water sports. It’s water-resistant to 100m (330 feet) and has a Chronograph dials so I’d recommend use for sailing or similar activities. But it also wears nicely for casual occasions due to the class and style.

Here’s some other aspects of this watch that I really like:

  • The face of the watch with large rose-gold roman numerals works extremely well against the black background.
  • The glass case is made from mineral crystal making is scratch-resistant. This is a necessity when used in activity sports.
  • The luminous hands are nice and bright when used in darker surrounds.
  • The rubber band is nice and thick making it just as durable as other bands, if not more so.

The Bulova name is synonymous with quality watches but without the Rolex price tag. You can be sure you’re getting a nice durable and individual watch that will last a long time.

The only knock I can find with this watch, is the date window gets a little lost amongst the Chronograph dials. Other then that, it’s a beauty in this price range.

Designer Watches for Men - $250-$1000

#6 - Seiko Men's Japanese Leather Casual Watch

Customer Reviews

4.6

Pro’s

? Diashock system for protection
? Sapphire Crystal Scratch-Resistant
? Automatic Movement
? Rotating Compass Ring

Con’s

? Average Watch Band

Now where getting into some watches that you’d expect to receive after working for a company for over 10 years! These watches are worth over $250 and what better way to start than with a Japanese classic from Seiko.

I love the contrasting look of this watch which shows a green background against the stainless-steel casing and brown leather strap. Indiana Jones could wear this watch and be right at home. It has an oldy-worldy vibe about it which has such great appeal.

Here’s some of the benefits and nice features I like:

  • The watch features automatic movement, which means it will keep correct time without the need for a replacement battery or manual winding. Also has a 50-hour power reserve.
  • The added depth of the water resistance to 200m (660 feet) is nice but I’d suspect it wouldn’t be necessary. For me, this is more your casual everyday watch, rather than a water sports watch.
  • The scratch-resistant Sapphire crystal glass protects a Rotating Compass Ring which is turned by the crown button at 4:00 on the dial.
  • The unique design has gold-tone dial hands which illuminates in darker environments.
  • You’ll notice the face of the watch says ‘Diashock 23 Jewels’. This is a system designed by Seiko that protects the watch (gaining /losing time) from impact shocks such as bumps or drops.

The date window also sits perfectly at 3:00 on the dial as is clearly visible.

Something that a few customers noted, is they replaced the watch band as it is not as nice as it looks in the image. This is not a huge issue as bands are relatively cheap to replace, but Seiko should sell these with a nicer and higher quality band.

With over 270 customers rating this 4.6 stars, it’s certainly deserves consideration.

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#7 - Brera Orologi Supersportivo

Customer Reviews

5.0

Pro’s

? Extra Thick Sapphire Crystal Scratch-Resistant Case
? Chronograph 3D impression with Rose-Gold tones
? Sporty Rubber Wrist Band

Con’s

? Yet to find any cons!

Imported elegance is how we’d describe this Italian beauty. The finished quality is so precise and the style so unique. This dial takes elements form several styles and displays it all in an unusual, yet classy way.

Just like the Italian influence in car racing, you’ll love the sporty style of this Black and Rose-Gold time-piece which will make you stand out from the crowd. The Italians know how to craft beautifully, and they sure have given this watch an X-factor that looks great on any man’s wrist.

Here’s a few of the elements we love about this watch:

  • The scratch-resistant cover is made from anti-reflective extra thick Sapphire Crystal which makes this extremely strong and dependable.
  • The Chronograph dials on the watch face are layered, giving a 3D impression. The remaining black watch face is given depth and intrigue with a pronounced pattern. This just gives this watch so much character.
  • I really like the Rose-Gold tones against the black background which offers the user so much class.
  • The display date is so different to other watches as it shows a strip of other dates, with the actual date highlighted in a square rose-colored box.
  • The rubber band fits the watch nicely and offers that sporty look.

Without doubt one of the greater watches in this price range. The manifold-style case is slightly oversized, which allows for larger chronograph sub-dials.

Customers are loving this watch with all 14 customers giving a perfect 5-star review. Top buy.

#8 - Hamilton Men's Jazzmaster Chronograph Watch

Customer Reviews

5.0

Pro’s

? Quartz Movement
? Brown Leather Croco-Embosed Band
? Water-Resistant to 100m

Con’s

? Will required battery change as Quartz movement

If you love a traditional classically designed watch made by a dependable American brand, then it’s hard to go past the Hamilton Jazzmaster Chrono Quartz. Made in the USA, this watch has timeless appeal with it’s simple refined style surrounded by stainless-steel.

If you haven’t heard of Hamilton, then you soon will. They’ve recently become the official timekeeper of the Red Bull Air Race World Championships for 2018. They support many major events and movies including the recent documentary movie ‘Living in the Age of Airplanes’, very appropriate due to their range of aviator watches.

Just some of the nice specs include:

  • The stainless-steel case and background is encased in a sapphire mineral crystal protective making it scratch-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about mishaps.
  • The brown leather watch band that is croco-embossed works really well against the silver dial and stainless-steel bezel.
  • I love the luminous gold-tone hands which float above the chronograph dials and quarter figures. I particularly like the figure 6 that laps over the chronograph dial, just superb. A date windows is also visible but quite small.
  • You’ll get 100m (330 feet) of water-resistance depth which allows for showering and water sports.
  • You can count on Quartz movement which powers this watch.

For those that are into their watches, you will only be impressed with this gem. As one customer noted, the photo’s do not do it justice. It’s an extremely handsome watch and comes in a Hamilton gift box.

With a 5-star rating from 13 customers, it gets full marks.

#9 - Seiko Men's Stainless Steel Casual Watch

Customer Reviews

4.6

Pro’s

? Automatic Movement
? 100m Water-Resistant
? Hardlex Sapphire-Crystal

Con’s

? No bells & whistles (maybe this is a Pro!)

What! Plain looking watch you may ask. Well maybe, but not everyone requires chronograph dials, large numbers or an alarm. In-fact most people who purchase these types of busy watches very rarely use the functions available to them. Often it all about vanity, looking the part and having a watch that makes you feel good about yourself.

And this is one watch that can do just that, but I’d say it’s more designed towards unpretentious types. There’s no razzle-dazzle involved here, just a pure quality men’s watch that won’t let you down. You’ll benefit from everyday functions along with durability, the perfect watch for man that appreciates traditional style.

The functions that you’ll appreciate with this watch are:

  • As with other watches, it has a Sapphire Hardlex crystal cover making the watch scratch-resistant.
  • You’ll still benefit from 100m of water-resistance depth.
  • I love the stainless-steel bracelet band and polished finish of the case which has been fine brushed. The silver-tone hour markers are enhancing the off-white sports dial which models luminous hands.
  • You’ll never change a battery again as the watch is energized by automatic movement. This means your watch regenerates power every time your arm is in motion. Read our buying guide for more info on this.

You can find more specifications, reviews and Q & A’s when you click on the accompanying button. With a great rating of 4.6-stars from over 140 reviews, its one very nice watch.

Designer Watches for Men - Over $1000

#10 - TAG Heuer Men's Formula 1 Stainless Steel

Customer Reviews

5.0

Pro’s

? Formula 1 Stainless-Steel Case & Band
? Uni-direction bezel
? TAG Heuer symbol on dial

Con’s

? None

You may find this watch in the previous category when it comes on sale, as the normal cost is just over 1K. The watch is made by TAG Heuer who need no introduction. As you’ll probably know, they’ve been revolutionizing the watch making industry since 1860. We haven’t included any watches from this company yet, basically because they don’t do many watches in the lower price brackets.

From a functioning perspective, this watch features many of the same actions that others here have shown such as sapphire crystal scratch-resistant covering, Water resistant to 200m (660 feet) and date window at the 3:00 mark.

What set’s this watch apart and moves it into the more expensive category are listed below:

  • The Formula 1 stainless-steel case and bracelet which features double safety clasp and “racing suit” extension, which is basically a fancy name for an extendable link piece.
  • Exceptional black face dial with stainless-steel bezel that rotates both directions. You’ll love the TAG Heuer symbol and Formula 1 lettering belying the luminous polished minute and hour hands.
  • You’ll find 2 luminescent numerals being 6 & 12 amongst the 5-minute markers.

What you’re really getting with this watch is the quality that comes with all TAG Heuer watches and you know its original, Amazon don’t allow fakes. You also get the comfort of 31 great reviews which give this watch a 5-star rating.

Sporting a watch like this in your polarized sunglasses will make you feel like the coolest dude around. You’ll just require a sports car to top it off!

#11 - President Champagne Diamond Dial Wristwatch

Customer Reviews

5.0

Pro’s

? Certificate of Authenticity
? Swiss Movement
? 18k Gold

Con’s

? Pre-owned

This is where we go from one extreme to the next. We wouldn’t expect anyone to buy this watch as the price is through the roof. But, you get what you pay for and this is an exquisite 18kt Gold piece of refined jewellery that you may just make an exeption for. It’s nice to add a watch like this into the mix as it surely in one of the best designer watches for men that you will ever find.

We all know the brand Rolex, they’re the ones that sponsor major world sporting events like yachting, tennis and the Formula 1 Grand Prix. Well, if you’re the pretentious type, here’s your chance to grab a watch full of bling containing genuine gold & diamonds. You could almost guarantee that nobody else will have the same watch!

This unique Rolex watch is 15Ct, which is the weight of the precious stones. The purity of the Gold itself is 18kt which makes it a totally remarkable collector piece of jewellery.

Want to know a little more, here’s what you get:

  • $54,000 replacement insurance. It would be hard to lose when attached to your wrist, but you wouldn’t want to get mugged! You’ll receive a certificate of authenticity as proof of your purchase.
  • The watch is Swiss movement which means it has been assembled and inspected in Switzerland by Rolex. Without taking into account the cost of assembly, 50% of the components value must be Swiss manufactured for it to be recognised at Swiss Movement. Bet you didn’t know that!
  • The Champagne diamond dial features a sweep center second hand and bold Arabic numeral hour markers. Along with the date window there is also a day window, displaying the day of the week.
  • Featuring an integrated 18k Rolex President band, there’s a cleverly designed insignia folding clasp with rapid deployment band.

If you’d like more information or specifications for this watch, simply click on the ‘Check it Out’ button. Rolex is one of the world’s great brands, as displayed by it’s show of support for numerous world class events. Yes, it’s unique, but also a little pricy!

#12 - Mens Rolex Monte Carlo Tudor Oysterdate Watch

Customer Reviews

5.0

Pro’s

? Certificate of Authenticity
? Swiss Movement
? 18k Gold

Con’s

? Pre-owned

So, you want uniqueness, you want authenticity and you want a watch that is a showstopper. This Rolex watch is certainly going to turn heads as it looks so different than any other watch here without losing anything in style or quality.

If anything, it gains charisma with the formation of the chronograph dials that are strategically placed at either side of the dial. Unusually, the date window is located at the 6:00 position as opposed to the 3:00 which is more common. This can be achieved because of the chronograph positioning.

This is a rare collectors item that was made in the 1970’s. There’s a good chance you may never find a similar watch to this one. ‘This Art Gallery’ has this up for sale currently and you could be the lucky buyer.

It is a unique Rolex MONTE CARLO Tudor Oysterdate. Legitimacy is assured as you’ll receive a Certificate of Authenticity which comes with all Rolex watches. There’s also a Tudor presentation boxe, papers and hang tag.

Let’s find some other uniqueness’s:

  • You’ll find that there’s some special parts to this watch that are not common to the average watch, such as the steel bezel which displays measurements to 500 units per hour.
  • The mechanics involve a straight-line lever escapement with shock absorber, which produces the monometallic balance.
  • Also comes with a screwed-down engraved case back and polished & brushed crown and buttons.

We all know that Rolex are the most high-profile watch brand worldwide. Some models are no longer made which is the case with this watch. It’s a collector’s item and can be found over at Etsy.

Click the image to be taken straight there.

Conclusion

So, in concluding this best designer watches for men review, we leave it in your hands to find the style, functionality and budget that is right for you. Nobody can advise you what to buy, only you can surmise your own situation and what excites you in a purchase.

Fortunately, there are many choice’s in the field of time pieces and the options are many. If you’re unsure, here’s a link to all the men’s watches at Amazon for you to browse. Best of luck.

If you’d like to share your favorite with us, please feel free to add to the discussion below.

Disclosure: Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. Please help support 'I Know The Barman' by using the links provided.

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