With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I picked out five affordable watches under $100 that your guy and your wallet will absolutely love. My Valentine’s Day Watch Buying Guide has something for every type of guy!
When buying a watch for Valentine’s Day, here is a couple of tips for choosing the perfect watch. Think of the situations that they need wear the watch for. The more formal the attire, the more formal of a watch they will need. Watches are also a very personal item. Different watches will fit different personalities.
When organizing the guide, I tried to pick a watch that would fit different personalities and different fashion situations. All these watches would also all go great together to form the great start of a watch collection!
Valentine’s Day Watch Buying Guide: The Mariner / Secret Agent
If your special someone has a love for the water, you want a watch that can get wet. A dive watch like the Casio MDV106 would be the perfect companion for your valentine. Not only is it a handsome watch, but it boasts water resistance to 200m and a screw-down crown. If you have no clue what that means, it means that you can safely take it to the beach, swimming, kayaking, and even snorkeling or scuba-diving!
Even if your squeeze is allergic to the water, the MDV106 is a special watch if you want them to channel their inner secret agent. This watch is a homage to the Rolex Submariner made famous by none other than James Bond. It also looks great with a 22mm black and gray NATO strap worn by Daniel Craig in Spectre or the original Black/Red/Green NATO strap inspired by Sean Connery in the original Goldfinger.
James Bond might have worn a diver on a NATO strap with a tuxedo, but you are likely not buying this watch for James Bond. You are going to need a different watch strap for the MDV106 to be worn in more formal situations. A stainless steel silver bracelet is a great option to dress up the MDV106 to match its stainless steel case.
One warning is that dive watches are rather large watches. The MDV106 has a 44mm case width. If your special someone, has small wrists this is probably not the watch for them. If you do buy any third-party watch straps, make sure they are 22mm!
Valentine’s Day Watch Buying Guide: The Suit
If you are looking to buy a watch to compliment someone that suits up every day, check out the Timex Fairfield. It’s a minimalist dress watch without the markup that people should be buying over a brand like MVMT or Daniel Wellington.
Just to be clear, I have intentionally linked to the Fairfield with a weird strap. You can get a great deal on Amazon by picking up a Fairfield with that strap. You can get the Fairfield for under $40 with an odd strap vs. closer to $80 for one with a leather strap. The leather straps that Timex puts out are also not great quality, so this will help you save a good deal.
Complete the Fairfield with a 3rd party black or brown leather strap. You can pick up a third party leather strap for around $10. Just make sure that the strap is 20mm and matches the shoes and belt of whoever you are buying for.
Valentine’s Day Watch Buying Guide: History Buff / Watch Enthusiast
If your significant other loves history or watches, the Seiko SNK809 is a great option for them. The SNK809 is based on the German Flieger Type B used in WWII. For the watch lover, the Seiko 5 line has some of the most affordable automatic watches available. These watches are basically little machines don’t need a battery and are powered by the natural movements of your wrist. Check out my Automatic vs. Quartz guide if you want more information!
In my opinion, the SNK809 is a must have in anyone’s affordable watch collection. The OEM nylon strap is notoriously scratchy, so you will want to buy a replacement as well. It’s a casual watch and goes very well with an 18mm black NATO strap. You can dress it up with an 18mm light brown leather watch strap, which looks really good with the black dial. You also dress it up a little bit by buying the version that comes with a stainless steel silver bracelet.
One last warning is that the watch case width is 38mm. This is fine for most people, but if your Valentine has very large wrists, you are going to want a bigger watch.
Valentine’s Day Watch Buying Guide: The Hipster
If you to give your guy a watch that will bring you back to the late 80s/early 90s, the Casio F-91W is your choice. Casio supposedly makes and sells 3 million F-91Ws every year. It’s firmly embedded in popular culture with everyone from a young Barack Obama to Napoleon Dynamite pictured with one. With a price that always hovers around $10, you will not get a better watch for the price.
Valentine’s Day Watch Buying Guide: The Utilitarian
If your partner is the no-nonsense type, the Timex Easy Reader is a great option. It gets its name because it’s easy to read (who wouldn’t have thought?). It tells time. It’s accurate. It has a very legible dial and Arabic numerals. It has a cool day-date complication. Timex’s Indiglo lume makes it easy to see in the dark. Can be used in many different outfits and range of formality.
Timex watches like the Easy Reader and Weekender are great options for someone that isn’t really a watch person. It’s a great price and no real harm if they simply don’t like wearing a watch.
Valentine’s Day Watch Buying Guide: Watch Case
No use starting a collection with the right case for your guy’s watches. Here are a couple different cases and box for a number of different watches and storage options.
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