We now turn our attention to dress watches, and we start as usual with watch choices for under $500.

In a sign of just how competitive the watch market has become, each of the watches runs on an automatic movement, there isn’t a quartz movement in sight. Dress watches are generally defined as being no larger than 40mm, they should be analog without complications and come on a leather strap. However, rules are made to be broken and a date is always a useful complication to have on a watch, that’s why some of our choices include that. Prices are in ascending order.

 

ORIENT '2ND GEN BAMBINO VERSION III'



Elegant and simple and powered by a Japanese in-house automatic movement, this Orient dress watch has a stainless-steel case, blue dial with silver markers and hands, and a crocodile-printed brown leather band. A detailed chapter ring with seconds markers, along with a date window at 3 o’clock add to this watch’s simple sophistication. Amazon price: $141.32

 

SWATCH SISTEM DARK



Swatch Sistem Dark YIS413 is from Swatch’s Sistem 51 Irony collection, featuring a genuine Swiss automatic movement with a 90-hour power reserve. Made from stainless steel and 18ct gold while the dial color is all black. There’s a date function at 6 o’clock, the strap is rubber, whereas a true dress watch strap should be leather, but it definitely looks the part. Amazon price: $172.31

 

SEIKO MEN'S 'SOLAR RECRAFT'



The Recraft series from Seiko takes 1970s design and projects it into the future with a self-wind automatic solar movement. The new versions are square shaped with day date at 3 o’clock and a range of colors including blue, silver and green, as shown here. Amazon price: $206.25

 

HAMILTON JAZZMASTER VIEWMATIC



This Jazzmaster’s simple yet sleek look is a perfect companion to your business attire but doesn’t look pretentious when styled with a more casual look, either. When taking a close look at the case design you will quickly understand why this watch is so admired for its elegance with just the right amount of detail and styling to make it look stunning on one’s hand. It is a truly multi-purpose piece that can be worn for any occasion. Amazon price: $320.40

 

MONDAINE AUTOMATIC



Swiss railway clocks look almost exactly like the face of this watch, and you can literally set your watch by them. The design is simple, smart and effortless to read. It's a 40mm watch with a sapphire crystal and runs on a Swiss automatic movement. If you can afford it, go up a notch and opt for the version with Milanese strap with double date window as pictured here, but it’s slightly over $500. Amazon price: $365.00

 

PANZERA BREUER 42 AUTOMATIC



PANZERA is a well-regarded Australian brand that offers good looking mechanical watches at prices that are equally attractive. Breuer 42 (meaning a 42mm watch) is a collection of stylish Australian engineered timepieces with a classic minimalist appearance. With a day date function at 3 o’ clock it’s an ideal choice for a sleek, office look or relaxing on the weekend. eBay Price: $376.75

 

CCCP HERITAGE 7201


Even our most expensive watch of the selection is automatic and comes in well under the $500 price limit. From Russian watchmaker Alexander Shorokhoff, this collection is inspired by the spirit and times of a country that at one stage raced ahead of the world in the fields of Science, Politics, and the Arts. The CCCP watch collection proudly draws its design inspiration from the life and times of a significant part of the modern political era of the Soviet Union. These 44mm watches come in a variety of color dials with a date window at 3 o’ clock. Each watch comes with a 2 year warranty.  Price: $440.00