Affordable watches that hold their value


Affordable watches that hold their value

In order to truly appreciate a luxury watch and its value we would advise you to first have a look at non-luxury watches that are punching above their weight. A timepiece that offers great features at an affordable price will be highly sought after and is more likely to keep its value.

In order to truly appreciate a luxury watch and its value we would advise you to first have a look at non-luxury watches that are punching above their weight. A timepiece that offers great features at an affordable price will be highly sought after and is more likely to keep its value.

This article offers a selection of watches that in our opinion provide exceptional value for money. You will find below affordable watches holding their value over time and that are available immediately for sale on eBay.

This article offers a selection of watches that in our opinion provide exceptional value for money. You will find below affordable watches holding their value over time and that are available immediately for sale on eBay.

Seiko 5 Automatic SNK80X Series

The legendary Seiko 5 SNK80X series provides some of the cheapest mechanical watches on the market. For less than $100 you get a great military-style field watch with one of the following dial colors:

  • Black (SNK809)
  • Blue (SNK807)
  • Khaki (SNK805)
  • Beige (SNK803)

The watch is protected by a lens made of hardlex. These timepieces are rugged, functional and very easy to read thanks to their eye-catching design. They are powered by the Seiko 7S26 automatic movement featuring a day-date complication with 41 hours of power reserve. It can be admired through the transparent case back.

  • Ref: SNK809, SNK807, SNK805, SNK803
  • Diameter: 37.00 mm
  • Thickness: 11.00 mm
  • Lug width: 18.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 7S26

The Seiko black SNK809K2. Credits : eBay listing.
The Seiko black SNK809K2. Credits : eBay listing.

The water resistance is 30m meaning it can handle splashes, we would not recommend it for diving though. The proportions of this watch are great, with a 37mm diameter and an 11mm height it is very comfortable to wear and unobtrusive. This Seiko model can therefore be seen as an affordable Hamilton Khaki Field alternative.

It looks very cool on a NATO, the 18mm lug width makes it easy to find alternative straps as well. At this price it's pretty hard to beat, we can therefore consider that the value it's losing over time is very low, so it's holding its value pretty well compared to other more expensive watches!

The military looking khaki Seiko SNK805, sold on ebay by military.inc
The military looking khaki Seiko SNK805, sold on ebay by military.inc
Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko 5 Automatic SNK80X Series:
(scroll horizontally for more )

Seagull 1963

The Seagull 1963 is a reissue of a watch that was used by the Chinese Air Force pilots. This chronograph is very much vintage looking and comes in a 38mm diameter case, making it very comfortable to wear, it is however 14.5mm thick, so it wears bigger than what the diameter suggests. The lug width is 18mm, making it easy for you to find other NATO straps.

  • Ref: Seagull 1963
  • Diameter: 38.00 mm
  • Thickness: 14.50 mm
  • Lug width: 18.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seagull ST19

The Seagull 1963 manual wind chronograph. Available now on eBay.
The Seagull 1963 manual wind chronograph. Available now on eBay.

Protected by an acrylic crystal, the dial looks very elegant and is well complemented by the blue hands, the contrast played by the markers makes it very legible. Water resistance is pretty limited, so it will only be able to handle splashes and a bit of rain. The 1963 is powered by the ST19 calibre, a manual wind column-wheel chronograph movement with 40h power reserve that is based on the Venus calibre 175. The see-through caseback lets you admire the mechanical beauty of the movement. For a price in the range of $275, it offers amazing value for money. At such a good price, you will have no issue selling it back at a value close to what you paid for it.

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seagull 1963:
(scroll horizontally for more )

Orient Bambino

Although it is less famous in Europe than Seiko or Citizen, Orient is nevertheless a very impressive watch manufacturer offering amazing watches for the money.

The Orient Bambino is an affordable dress watch that can be bought in the $150 range. Orient is one of the rare affordable watch manufacturers developing their own in-house movements.

  • Ref: FAC00009N0
  • Diameter: 40.50 mm
  • Thickness: 11.80 mm
  • Lug width: 21.00 mm
  • Caliber: Orient F6724

The Orient Bambino 2nd-Gen automatic dress watch with cream dial and blue hands FAC00009N0. Available on eBay
The Orient Bambino 2nd-Gen automatic dress watch with cream dial and blue hands FAC00009N0. Available on eBay

This Orient Bambino is elegant and understated, although is has a significant wrist presence with a diameter of 40.5mm without crown. The thickness is 11mm, making it easy to hide under a sleeve.

Our favourite is the version 2 generation 2, which is already a few years old. It has a cream dial and gorgeous blue hands. If you're willing to overcome the 21mm lug width, it's a perfect watch collection starter.

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Orient Bambino:
(scroll horizontally for more )

Seiko SARB017 Alpinist

The Seiko SARB017 aka Alpinist is a very well made watch. It has gained strong support from watch enthusiasts and is very often mentioned as a legendary watch. The SARB Series was introduced in 2006 and was discontinued in 2018, which made this watch even more desirable, contributing to a rather high price increase (ranging from 20 to 50%) in the last year or so.

The watch features a green dial with gold indices and lumed hands. It is a perfect watch for going outdoors and hiking, but looks very refined too. It even has a solar compass which can prevent you from getting lost - provided you know how to use it.

  • Ref: SARB017
  • Diameter: 38.00 mm
  • Thickness: 12.00 mm
  • Lug width: 20.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 6R15

The Seiko SARB017, and its beautiful green dial, on different straps/bracelet. eBay listings.
The Seiko SARB017, and its beautiful green dial, on different straps/bracelet. eBay listings.

The Alpinist sports a reliable 6R15 calibre, with a 50h power reserve. We love the comfortable size of the case which has a diameter of 38mm and is 12mm thick. The SARB017 Alpinist really incarnates the spirit of adventure, and can be seen as an affordable Rolex Explorer alternative.

It comes with a brown leather crocodile print strap which is not of great quality, fortunately with the 20mm lug width finding a decent replacement strap is an easy mission. The water resistance of the Alpinist is 20ATM making it a solid companion even in tough conditions. This is a watch purchase that you will definitely not regret!

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist:
(scroll horizontally for more )

Seiko SKX007 and SKX009

The SKX007/SKX009 is a very respectable diving watch that many people have in their collection. It is very affordable and easily found around $250 on eBay. It is very solid and is comfortable to wear.

The water resistance is 200m. It sports the Seiko 7S26 automatic movement which is a reliable workhorse and offers 40 hours of power reserve. Although this movement does not have handwinding and hacking capabilities, unlike the 4R36.

  • Ref: SKX007K1, SKX007K2
  • Diameter: 42.00 mm
  • Thickness: 13.25 mm
  • Lug width: 22.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 7S26

The Seiko SKX007 K1 (rubber strap) and SKX007 K2 (bracelet), having black bezel. Available now on eBay.
The Seiko SKX007 K1 (rubber strap) and SKX007 K2 (bracelet), having black bezel. Available now on eBay.

The diameter of this timepiece is 42.5mm and it is 13.25mm thick: it definitely has a healthy wrist presence, but is surprisingly comfortable to wear despite its size. The water resistance is 200m and it is ISO certified for diving activities.

The Seiko SKX007 is often mentioned as an affordable Rolex Submariner alternative, it has even found its place in collections made of much pricier timepieces. Others see it as the ultimate toolwatch that can take a beating without breaking a sweat.

  • Ref: SKX009K1, SKX009K2
  • Diameter: 42.00 mm
  • Thickness: 13.25 mm
  • Lug width: 22.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 7S26

The Seiko SKX009 K1 (rubber strap) and SKX009 K2 (bracelet), having a distinctive blue and red (Pepsi) bezel. Available now on eBay.
The Seiko SKX009 K1 (rubber strap) and SKX009 K2 (bracelet), having a distinctive blue and red (Pepsi) bezel. Available now on eBay.

Moreover, this watch can also be easily customized through modding kits that can be found on the Dagaz website. The customizations that you can do on this watch have no limit.

The design of this watch is timeless and it can easily be your daily wearer. If the SKX007 is too big for your wrist, you can have a look at its little brother, the SKX013.

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko SKX007 and SKX009:
(scroll horizontally for more )

Lorier Neptune

Lorier is a fairly recent brand that has encountered a great success with it’s Neptune diver watch. This timepiece has a great vintage diver look and is simple yet very elegant.

The watch sports a Seiko NH35A movement (4R35 unbranded), with a domed plexiglass lens protecting a dial than can be black, blue or black “gilt” depending on the model. The hands glow very bright in the dark thanks to their BG W9 Super-LumiNova lume.

  • Ref: Lorier Neptune
  • Diameter: 39.00 mm
  • Thickness: 12.00 mm
  • Lug width: 20.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko NH35

The Lorier Neptune in black gilt (golden markers), blue and black. Available now on eBay.
The Lorier Neptune in black gilt (golden markers), blue and black. Available now on eBay.

In a rather crowded diver watch market, the Neptune has managed to build its own identity. It is one of the rare modern divers that has a diameter below 40mm, at 38.5mm!

However, the length is 48mm and the thickness is 14.3mm (with the domed crystal, without it's 12mm thick), so it definitely has a healthy wrist presence. This watch retails at $399 and is frequently sold out, so it will definitely keep its resale value!

Here are 4 suggestions on eBay for the Lorier Neptune:
Lorier Neptune SIII Black/Gilt
  • $305.01
  • Watchcount62
  • Bids10
  • Time left22h 29m 22s
lorier neptune v1 gilded hands
  • £500.00 ($649.93)
  • Watchcount45
  • Score3745
Lorier Neptune V2 Dive Watch Black/Gilt SOLDOUT
  • $499.00
  • Watchcount10
  • Bids0
  • Score989
(scroll horizontally for more )

Seiko SARB033

The Seiko SARB033 ($350 On the used market), also called baby Grand Seiko due to its similarity with its big sister (SBGR001 retailing in the $2k range on the used market). Discontinued in 2018, this watch saw its value increase by up 25% in a few months. This model was only available on the Japanese domestic market (JDM) but is easy to find on eBay. It is still very desirable to this day.

The execution of the black dial is classy and the design is timeless. The watch features a date window at 3 o'clock. The automatic mechanical movement 6R15 - which can be seen through the see-through case back - is the same as the one used in the Seiko Brightz range, priced at the upper $1000 level. The 6R15 movement has a generous 50-hour power reserve. The diameter of this watch is ideal to me, 38mm makes it wearable in all conditions, whether it's while wearing a suit, or going for a walk on a sunny day. The thickness is 11.2mm.

  • Ref: SARB033
  • Diameter: 38.00 mm
  • Thickness: 11.20 mm
  • Lug width: 20.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 6R15

The Seiko SARB033 is a very polyvalent watch.
The Seiko SARB033 is a very polyvalent watch.

The glass is sapphire crystal, with no anti-reflective coating (probably to keep the cost down). The stainless steel bracelet received some criticism, but for this price, you will get a lot of watch for the money. This watch is a strap monster, I own one and it will fit a big range of straps, you will find me currently wearing it on a honey leather strap from Two-stitch straps. Watch resistance is 100 meters.

If you do not like the black dial, the Seiko SARB035 offers the same package but with an off-white dial. Buying one of those SARB models will be one of your best decisions.

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko SARB033:

Hamilton Khaki Field

As its name suggests, the Hamilton Khaki Field is a field watch. The Khaki field is a well built and rugged watch that will stand the test of time. Its simple yet effective design makes it very easy to read and use.

This watch is full of history: it was introduced in 1910, when Hamilton began to equip the American Army with military watches which were more precise. It became the official watch supplier of the US Army.

This model has seen many battles, and if someone asked us to show them what a field watch is, it would be our pick: it represents courage and honor.

  • Ref: Hamilton Khaki Field H69439411, H69439901, H69439931, H69449961
  • Diameter: 38.00 mm
  • Thickness: 9.50 mm
  • Lug width: 20.00 mm
  • Caliber: Hamilton H-50

The new Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is a faithful recreation of its original 1960s forebear and is true to Hamilton’s military heritage. Available on eBay.
The new Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is a faithful recreation of its original 1960s forebear and is true to Hamilton’s military heritage. Available on eBay.

The original model houses a reliable manual wind movement ETA 2801-2 (42h power reserve), whereas the latest edition features the Hamilton H-50 manual calibre with an impressive 80-hour power reserve.

Models housing the H-50 are available with or without a date.

The matte dial and lumed hands are protected by a sapphire crystal. It's a real classic that will never drop out of fashion. It is a highly versatile timepiece. The water resistance is 50m.

  • Ref: Hamilton Khaki Field H69439363, H69419933
  • Diameter: 38.00 mm
  • Thickness: 9.50 mm
  • Lug width: 20.00 mm
  • Caliber: Hamilton H-50

The Hamilton Khaki Field is also available with a date window. Available on eBay.
The Hamilton Khaki Field is also available with a date window. Available on eBay.

The Hamilton brand is notorious and some of their watches have been worn by TV show celebrities such as Hugh Laurie from Doctor House and Jack Ryan actors.

The Hamilton Khaki Field was also featured in the movies:

  • Zulu (2013) while being worn by Forest Whitaker playing Ali Sokhela.
  • A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014): Liam Neeson was wearing one as character Matt Scudder.

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Hamilton Khaki Field:

Seiko SARX013 & SARX015

The Seiko SARX013 and SARX015 have a pattern of vertical stripes on their dial. Those models share the same handsomeness and differ on the color of their dials: the SARX013 has a black dial, whereas the SARX15 has a white dial. They both offer a date function, visible through a framed window at 3 o'clock. Those models house the renowned Seiko 6R15 automatic movement providing hacking and hand winding with a power reserve of 50 hours. You can observe this movement though the hardlex mineral glass of the case back. We love the masculine design of the case with a diameter of 40mm and a thickness 11.2mm, it has ideal proportions for most wrists.

  • Ref: Seiko SARX013, SARX015
  • Diameter: 40.00 mm
  • Thickness: 11.20 mm
  • Lug width: 20.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 6R15

The Seiko SARX015. Available now on eBay.
The Seiko SARX015. Available now on eBay.

The vertical teak-style dial combined with the silver hands looks very luxurious and makes either of those Japanese models a great affordable alternative to the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra. This timepiece is designed to be worn at all occasions and will suit all types of outfits. The hour markers and hands are lumed, offering decent legibility in the dark. They are protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.

The Seiko SARX013. Available now on eBay.
The Seiko SARX013. Available now on eBay.

The black and white siblings have a 50m water resistance, we would not recommend them for crazy activities in the water, although they will survive splashes. From our experience, the SARX013 is harder to find than the SARX015. However, both models have been discontinued for a while but are still highly sought after so they definitely are part of the affordable watches that will retain their value. The lug width is 20mm, also a very popular dimension, the watches come with an elegant stainless steel bracelet. Those Seiko models had a retail price of $600 which means you get a lot of watch for the price, a great choice for sure!

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko SARX013 & SARX015:

Smiths Everest PRS 25

The Everest (PRS 25) from the Smiths brand by Timefactors is an interesting and affordable watch. The Oyster case design, the black dial, and Mercedes hands remind us a lot of the Rolex Explorer, this watch is very simple yet elegant.

For $350, you get a Miyota 9015 automatic movement in a comfortable 40mm wide and 14.5mm thick case. The water resistance is 100m and the glass is acrylic so it can scratch but you can easily polish it.

  • Ref: PRS 25 (1st gen)
  • Diameter: 40.00 mm
  • Thickness: 14.50 mm
  • Lug width: 22.00 mm
  • Caliber: Miyota 9015

The Smiths Everest PRS25 by Timefactors is a great, high quality and affordable Rolex Explorer alternative. Available on eBay.
The Smiths Everest PRS25 by Timefactors is a great, high quality and affordable Rolex Explorer alternative. Available on eBay.

This timepiece can definitely follow you in the mountains or in the jungle! It is therefore a great and affordable Rolex Explorer alternative.

A new 36mm version (2nd gen.) has a hi-dome sapphire crystal, the bracelet has been improved and is now fitted with an adjustable clasp which has four adjustments to ensure a perfect fit.

  • Ref: PRS 25 (2nd gen)
  • Diameter: 36.00 mm
  • Thickness: 11.30 mm
  • Lug width: 20.00 mm
  • Caliber: Miyota 9015

The dial has been slightly changed with shorter and thinner hash markers and the “Everest” is now in dark grey instead of black. Although these changes are small, it makes the dial look more balanced.

The lume on this great Rolex Explorer alternative is SuperLuminova C3. The Smiths Everest PRS 25 has quite a few fans and is often out of stock, so you will have no problem reselling it at a good price.

Here is 1 suggestion on eBay for the Smiths Everest PRS 25:
Smith’s Everest watch: PRS-25 40mm
  • $699.00
  • Watchcount33
  • Score2840


Watches that can be considered as affordable alternatives to the Rolex Explorer.

Today we are focusing on a well-known watch from a mythical Swiss manufacturer, the Rolex Explorer, for which we will offer you some affordable alternatives. Because yeah, at a ...

This article focuses on chronograph watches that have been in space and that can be considered as Omega Speedmaster alternatives.

The Omega Speedmaster is a legendary watch. It's a masterpiece that all watch enthusiasts want to have in their collection. The Speedmaster Professional was created in 1957 and ...

This article contains a list of affordable watches with Roman numerals

The Roman numerals have been used in watches since the concept of time was invented. You can guess from their name that Roman Numerals originated in ancient Rome. They give a ...


Join us!

Be part of the conversation