15 of the best budget Swiss watches under $200 | 2023
Jean Arevalo2 September 2023 | 14 min read
The Swiss watchmaking industry, without a doubt, remains the hub of cutting-edge luxury timepieces worldwide. With highly-coveted brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Omega based in Switzerland, this country is indeed the biggest manufacturer of the finest watches. However, the general public usually tends to think that all Swiss watches are exorbitantly expensive. While this is true, there are still Swiss watchmakers out there that offer a premium watch at an affordable tag.
If you’re on the horology market hunting for a luxury watch but don’t have a big budget to splurge, try to consider these Swiss watch brands with a catalogue of top-quality watches at reasonable prices. This article will delve deeper into the top 15 best budget Swiss watches you can buy today.
15 Best Budget Swiss Watches
Ever since its inception in 1983, Swatch has immediately captured the attention of the general public. Founded by Nicolas Hayek, this Swiss watch brand offers a plethora of casual aesthetic watches at a budget-friendly price.
In particular, the Swatch Sistem51 YIS429G is one of the best budget Swiss watches you can find in the Swatch catalogue. Part of the Swatch Sistem51 collection that was unveiled in 2013, this timepiece oozes a luxury feel despite being retailed at only $270.
Presented in 42mm, the Swatch Sistem51 YIS429G is a perfect timepiece for those with average-size wrists. The case is made of sleek stainless steel paired with a captivating champagne sunburst dial. It is finished with two-tone hands and indices that match the dial’s tone well. The bezel is also made from solid stainless steel with a gold-hued PVD layer coating.
For ease of use, the Swatch Sistem51 YIS429G is equipped with a small crown located at 3 o’clock. It also comes with a small date function found at 6 o’clock. If you’re fond of two-tone watches, the YIS429G is definitely the best option for you with its gorgeous gold and silver bracelet that fits well on your wrist. Additionally, it is driven by an automatic movement, with a useful 30-meter water resistance rating to ensure it survives accidental splashes.
Particularly well-known for its catalogue of sturdy dive watches, Doxa is another go-to brand for many divers and watch enthusiasts that we have covered in some of our previous blogs. They began their horological journey as early as 1889 when Georges Ducommun established it in the small town of Le Locle, Switzerland.
Unveiled in 2019, the Doxa SUB 200 is a top-tier collection from the brand that offers extensive lists of affordable Swiss diver watches. This line-up is always associated with Omega Seamaster and Speedmaster because of its noticeable resemblance with these watches.
The Doxa SUB 200 SHARKHUNTER, in particular, is a time-telling tool presented in a 42mm 316L stainless steel case with a shiny polished finish. It is adorned with a black dial with luminous hands and indices for easy reading time. On top of the dial is a sapphire crystal that protects it from scratches. What completes the whole vintage-style appearance of the watch is the stainless steel bracelet with a folding clasp to fit on your wrist securely. The bracelet is equipped with a wetsuit extension and a Doxa fish logo.
Ticking inside the SUB 200 SHARKHUNTER is an impressive Swiss mechanical automatic, self-winding movement that was specially crafted by Doxa. It offers an extensive 38-hour power reserve. Meant as a diver watch, it is integrated with a whopping 200-meter watch resistance. What’s more impressive is that you can get this best-budget Swiss diver watch for only $900.
Despite being branded as a mid-range Swiss watch brand, Tissot remains at the forefront of crafting high-calibre watches with timeless designs. Established in 1853 by father-son duo Charles-Félicien Tissot and Charles-Émile Tissot, the Swiss watchmaker is distinguished for its wide-array collection of classic, stylish watches with premium features.
Watch connoisseurs searching for multi-purpose, best-budget Swiss watches should check the Tissot T-Classic line-up. It has spectacular classic timepieces perfect for casual, everyday use. Specifically, the Tissot T-Classic T127.407.11.041.00 is a timeless, versatile watch that deserves to be on your radar. It is made of a sturdy stainless steel case and is available in a 40mm size with a fixed bezel and curved lugs. Flipping the watch, you’ll be welcome with a transparent case back that allows anyone to adore the beauty of the mechanism that powers it inside.
The handsome blue dial is equipped with luminous silver-hue hands and indices. It has a sunray finish that adds to the allure of the watch. The sleek stainless steel bracelet comes with a twin trigger clasp to securely fit on your wrist.
Running inside the T-classic watch is a high-grade, in-house Powermatic 80, which was crafted based on the ETA 2842-2. Being held together by 23 jewels, this movement offers a compelling 80-hour power reserve and beats at 21,600 vph. With its budget-friendly tag of just $669, the Tissot T-classic watch is definitely one of the best budget Swiss watches in this rundown.
Another watchmaker that is home to some of the finest and best budget Swiss watches in the entire horology industry is Tudor. The Swiss brand Tudor, which was officially launched in 1946, offers an extensive collection of luxury watches at affordable prices. From being branded as “poor man’s Rolex,” Tudor rose to fame and made a reputable name for itself with its long list of refined and cutting-edge watches.
If there’s one best offering coming from Tudor, it would be the brand’s 1926 collection. For under $2000, you can already have a classic, elegant timepiece packed with top-grade features. If you’re into black tone, the Tudor 1926 M91350-0002 is our best recommendation. This watch is presented in a 28mm stainless steel case and bracelet— a perfect time-telling tool for those small wrists. It is paired with a captivating black-hue dial with a sapphire crystal.
One notable thing about Tudor is that the brand always opted to use a premium mechanism to power all of its watches. That said, you can be assured the Tudor 1926 M91350-0002 offers up to 38 hours of power reserve, thanks to the self-winding Caliber T201 movement inside.
Zodiac is one of the highly respected Swiss brands with a horological history on its plate since 1882. Thanks to its founder, Ariste Calame, Zodiac is well known for its lineup of best value-for-money watches with a price range of $500 to $2000.
The Swiss watchmaker has focused on creating high-end diver watches over the years. Its first model was unveiled in 1953 under the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf collection, which we covered in our previous article. This was the same time when the famous Rolex Submariner and Blancpain Fifty Fathoms were released in the market.
The Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin Automatic is one of the best budget Swiss watches you can find in the Zodiac catalogue. This timepiece is made of a 39mm stainless steel case and bracelet with a sleek, well-polished finish. The captivating black dial adds to the overall rugged appeal of the watch. Not to mention, the hands and indices are coated with the C3 Super-LumiNova lume to easily read time, even if the watch is exposed in dark areas.
For this model, Zodiac utilises the cutting-edge, high-quality STP1-11 Swiss automatic movement. Held together by 26 jewels, this Swiss-made mechanism offers a comprehensive 44-hour power reserve with +/- 20 seconds/day accuracy. As a diver watch, the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 Skin Automatic has an enormous 200-meter water resistance capacity.
Founded in 1884, Victorinox is one of the oldest Swiss watchmakers with much to offer. The reputable name of the brand all started when its founder, Karl Elsener, decided to open a cutlery workshop in Ibach-Schwyz, Switzerland. Seven years later, they crafted soldier’s knives and introduced them to the Swiss Army. This became a way to the establishment of the Original Swiss Army knives, which later on became the highly-coveted Swiss products.
In 2014, Victorinox introduced its newest I.N.O.X. collection as part of the brand’s 130th anniversary celebration in the watch business industry. The newest lineup was specially crafted for someone with an adventurous life. Each timepiece offers a stylish design perfect for everyday wearing and packed with practical features to withstand any drastic temperature changes. Simply put, the Victorinox I.N.O.X. watches are suitable to wear for all types of occasions.
The Victorinox I.N.O.X. Quartz Red 241719.1 is a robust timepiece from the collection with a retail price of just under $1000. It has a round 43mm case, a stunning red dial, and a red rubber strap. What’s easily notable about its face is the date aperture placed between 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock. The watch is adorned with scratch-resistant and triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal to protect it from scratches and damage.
If you’re really into a rugged timepiece, the I.N.O.X. Quartz Red 241719 truly deserves to be on your radar. This I.N.O.X. watch model is claimed to be the one and only Swiss-made watch to withstand 130 maximal endurance homologation tests. Plus, it is powered by a high-calibre quartz movement and a water-resistant 200-meter depth rating.
Luminox is one of the best Swiss watch brands that is based in California, United States. Despite being a freshly minted brand founded in 1989 by Barry Cohen, Luminox is praised for its robust and tactical watches with first-rate illumination technology. Not to mention, Luminox watches are one of the best budget Swiss watches in the market, which makes them consistently appealing to the masses.
In the year 1992, Luminox developed a rugged watch for the U.S. Navy SEALs, unveiling the Luminox Navy SEAL collection two years later. For a price point of $445, you can already have a hand with the Luminox Original Navy SEAL 3001. F. It features a 43mm case made of CARBONOX™ with a unidirectional rotating bezel. The black dial is furnished with a hardened mineral crystal that protects it against any external damage. In addition, the black rubber strap compliments the entire rugged look of the watch.
Sticking true to its core, Luminox integrated its self-powered illumination system into this timepiece, ensuring that the hands and indices glow 100 times brighter compared to other luminous watches. It also claimed to provide continuous illumination for up to 25 years. Flipping the watch, you will find a solid stainless steel back case that safeguards the mechanism inside. It is powered by a RONDA 515 HH6, a quartz movement that offers up to 395/50 months of battery life. Lastly, the Swiss watch is packed with a 200-meter water resistance.
8. Maurice Lacroix
Maurice Lacroix is a top luxury Swiss watch brand that was officially founded in 1975. Ever since the brand has been popular for manufacturing complex watch movements and crafting unique watches. With almost five decades of watchmaking experience, Maurice Lacroix gained a top-notch position in the horology industry.
Some watch collectors branded Maurice Lacroix as an affordable alternative to the famous Royal Oak and other sports luxury watches. And if you’re searching for a classic style timepiece with almost similar faces to Royal Oak, the Maurice Lacroix’s Aikon Automatic AI6007-SS001-430-1, whose price is under $2,200, is definitely a go-to model. It is presented in a 39mm stainless steel case with a polished finish. The handsome blue dial is fitted with silver-hue hands and indices with a date function at the usual 3 o’clock spot. The shiny blue calf leather strap completes the whole sophisticated look of the watch.
Additionally, Maurice Lacroix’s Aikon Automatic AI6007-SS001-430-1 is run by a top-grade Swiss-made ML115 automatic movement. It offers a 38-hour power reserve with a useful 200-meter water resistance rating.
As early as 1917, Rado Watch Company began its horological journey when three brothers (Fritz, Ernst, and Werner Schlup) founded the company as the Schlup & Co. watchmaking factory. The brand’s primary focus was to craft top-grade watch movements for other watchmakers.
During its 40th anniversary celebration, the founders felt like they needed to do more and expand more. This dream and conviction led to the release of the Golden Horse in 1957. The brand then rebranded its name and identity to Rado Watches Co. Ltd.
One of Rado’s best budget watches is its DiaStar Original timepiece, with a price tag of under $1550. Specifically, the Rado DiaStar R12160103 is a sturdy, timeless timepiece produced in 38mm case size. It has a well-polished stainless steel case and bracelet that goes well with its striking grey dial. As Rado is known as the greatest manufacturer of robust watch movements, you could expect that its own collection is equipped with a premium mechanism. As such, the Rado Diastar watch is driven by a self-winding in-house R764 automatic movement that delivers a compelling 80-hour power reserve.
The Ball Watch Company may not be as well known as other big Swiss watchmakers like Tag Heuer, Audemars Piguet, or Rolex, but this Swiss watchmaker began its horological journey as early as 1891. Founded by Webster C. Ball, the Ball Watch Company originated in the United States. Presently, they are based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, where they continuously craft high-quality Swiss-made watches with iconic designs.
In recent years, Ball has become acquainted with top-grade diver watches. One of the brand’s best offerings that is under $1300 is the Ball Engineer Master II Diver Automatic. This timepiece offers a round 42mm stainless steel case, a black dial with luminous hands and indices, and a supple black rubber strap. It has a classic look and is integrated with lots of useful features, such as a date display between 4 and 5 o’clock, GMT, and second-time zone functions.
Made as a diver watch, the Ball Engineer Master II has a whopping 300-meter water resistance capacity. The in-house calibre RR1201 automatic Swiss movement offers a 42-hour power reserve. If you’re looking for an excellent-quality watch with great value for money, you should browse the Ball watch collections.
11. Raymond Weil
Raymond Weil is one of the newly-minted Swiss watch brands that immediately created a buzz in the horology world. Its founders, Raymond Weil and Simone Bédat, are two famous Swiss watchmakers with decades of experience in watchmaking. Officially established in 1976, Raymond Weil has released many aesthetically pleasing luxury mechanical watches sold at lower prices.
If you ever want to own a luxury Swiss watch but are tight on budget, you should try checking out the Raymond Weil collections. They’re definitely one of the manufacturers of the best budget Swiss watches jam-packed with top-notch features.
We recommend checking out the Raymond Weil Toccata 5485 -STC-00300, a minimalist dress watch perfect for any casual or everyday use. It is crafted in a 39mm stainless steel case with a lustrous finish. Much like a typical dress watch, the Toccata 5485 -STC-00300 has a white dial furnished with silver-tone hands and black-hue Roman Numeral indices. A usual date aperture is found at the 3 o’clock position.
Completing the whole classy look of the Raymond Toccata watch is a black leather strap secured with a stainless steel folding clasp. It is powered by a quartz movement, integrated with a useful 50-meter water-resistant rating for the watch to survive accidental splashes and showers. And for its price, this classic watch is available for just $880.
In 1918, Mido was established by a well-experienced Swiss watchmaker, Georges Schaeren. This Swiss brand is popular for its high-end luxury timepieces with striking art deco-style designs. To this day, Mido is a member of the highly esteemed Swatch Group.
Mido watches both cater to men and women. For as low as under $300, you can already purchase a classic dress watch from the Swiss brand’s catalogue. Despite this budget-friendly tag, the watch is packed with top-grade features.
For instance, the Mido Belluna II Automatic Silver is a lady’s dress watch with a 33mm stainless steel case and bracelet. It has a well-polished finish that looks great on women’s wrists. What’s impressive about this particular timepiece is the state-of-the-art in-house Powermatic 80 (ETA C07.611) movement that ticks inside. It delivers a superior 80-hour power reserve and has a 50-meter water resistance, more than enough to survive water splashes.
Speaking of its face, the Mido Belluna II Automatic Silver, from the name itself, is presented on a silver-hue dial with black Roman Numeral indices, silver hands, and black minute markers around the watch’s outer rim. In addition, it comes with a date function at 3 o’clock. You only have to shell out around $280 to have a piece of it.
Alpina has been at the forefront of its watchmaking game dating back as early as 1883. Gottlieb Hauser, an independent watchmaker, had come up with the idea of creating an association of independent watch manufacturers and retailers. Later on, the company was labelled Alpina Swiss Watchmakers Corporation. Members of this association even labelled themselves as the “Alpinists.”
A few years later, the corporation began crafting in-house chronometers and calibres. To have their own identity for producing these high-grade movements, they decided to name the brand Alpina, which was officially registered in 1901. The founder also decided to design a logo for the brand, which was the Red Triangle logo.
Alpina is one of the most affordable Swiss watch brands, which makes it so prominent in the general public. You only need to spend under $600 for a chronograph timepiece to purchase this Alpina Alpiner Chronograph Quartz. It has a chunky 42mm stainless steel case paired with a silver-hue dial and a black rubber strap. The striking dial comes with three function sub-dials, serving as 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour chronographs. Not to mention, the dial’s hands are coated with luminous material for optimal visibility.
When it comes to the mechanism, the Alpina Alpiner Chronograph Quartz is driven by a Swiss-made quartz movement. It is integrated with 100-meter water resistance. As such, if you’re after a robust and tactical watch at an affordable price, you should consider the extensive collection of Alpina.
Established in 1888, Certina is one of the reputable Swiss watchmakers praised for their rugged sports watches. Initially, Certina was a brand for producing watchmaking movements that was founded by Swiss brothers Alfred and Adolf Kurth. After almost two decades, Certina finally released its first-ever timepiece in 1906 under the name Grana.
To this day, Certina remains at the vanguard of crafting well-refined tactical sports and diving watches. One of the best sports timepieces from its collection is the Certina DS Podium C034.417.11.097.00. Made of high-quality materials; this timepiece is presented in a 41mm stainless steel case and bracelet. It has a sleek, well-polished finish that looks great on the wrist. The classic green dial stands out with its silver-tone hands and analogue indices at 3, 9, and 12 o’clock. Spotted at 4 o’clock is its functional date aperture, telling you what date today is.
Additionally, the Certina DS Podium is packed with utilitarian features such as the three sub-dials functioning as 60-second, 30-minute, 1/10th of a second, and a tachymeter. Powering this timepiece is a high-quality PrecidriveTM quartz movement that ensures unrivalled accuracy in timekeeping. For under $500, you can already wear this robust sports watch with lots of impressive features.
Mondaine began its watchmaking journey in 1951, when Erwin Bernheim founded the Swiss brand in Solothurn, Switzerland. They are extremely popular for crafting high-quality watches with classic and unique styles, particularly with their watch’s red second-hand that is easily recognisable. Not to mention, Mondaine watches are offered at a budget-friendly price. That said, those searching for the best budget Swiss watches should not skip browsing the Mondaine collection.
Despite being younger than other Swiss watch brands and being first known as a manufacturer of clocks for train stations, Mondaine was actually super innovative, being among the first watchmakers to develop timepieces equipped with LCD screens. In fact, this Swiss watchmaker rose to fame internationally because of their cutting-edge digital watches.
Splurging for just $195, you can already own this high-end Mondaine Essence Black Men’s Watch MS1.41110.RB. It has a 41mm black resin case and strap, matching well with the white dial. It has a clean and minimalist look that is perfect for casual and everyday wear. Running inside a top-grade RONDA 513 RL quartz movement that offers up to 24 months of battery life. Lastly, the watch has 30-meter water resistance, a rating just enough for it to survive accidental water splashes.
Over the years, the Swiss watchmaking industry has continued to grow, expand, and dominate the horology market. With so many high-end Swiss watch brands, we know that it can occasionally be difficult to choose the perfect timepiece that fits your preferences, style, and, of course, budget. Having a luxury watch from one of the well-known and famous brands, such as Rolex or Longines, costs a certain amount of money that many people cannot afford. This is why some people choose to invest in Swiss timepieces with excellent quality at reasonable prices. You can browse our list of the top 15 best budget Swiss watches and find your next top-notch timekeeper.