Best Pilot Watches Under $500

Best Pilot Watch Under $500

Pilot watches are in style, and you can often get away with wearing an excellent watch even if you aren’t dressed to match. But if you’re in the market for a good pilot watch, you might also be looking for one under $500 so you can afford it without emptying your wallet.

If that’s the case, we recommend the Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph Watch as the best pilot watch under 500. It’s a quality timepiece that can bring you a lot of value for many years to come. We’ll also show you some alternative picks for watches that are still excellent and beneath $500.

Top Pick: Bulova Men’s Lunar Pilot Chronograph Watch

 

Overall, our favorite pick is the Bulova Men’s Lunar Pilot Chronograph Watch.

This watch is constructed with sapphire glass and Precisionist-class chronograph movement. This makes the watch’s timekeeping abilities three times more accurate than watches with standard quartz chronograph mechanisms. It includes a signature floating secondhand and resists gravitational error. It’s so precise that it’s accurate within 1/1000 of a second.

The watch exudes class and elegance. It’s made with the stainless-steel case and bracelet and the dial is set against the blue and silver dials with multiple layers of black carbon fiber. This keeps the watch face luminous and easy to read while being sophisticated enough for virtually any occasion.

Why We Like It

The watch’s simplicity and style both combine to make this one of the best watches we’ve ever seen. In addition to its excellent aesthetic, it’s extremely functional both in its timekeeping abilities and precision. A tachymeter has been implemented along the outer border of the watch face.

In addition to these excellent qualities, the watch is also water resistant down to 300 meters. Its sapphire glass face is strong enough to resist some punishment without attaining any blemishes; this is a great thing in our eyes since it’s a little pricey even though it’s still beneath $500.

Speaking of water resistance, if you’re looking for outdoor watches, check out our handy guide here.

What Could be Better

There are a couple of downsides. Watch is a little large, as it 45mm in diameter, so those with thinner wrists will likely look a little silly in comparison. In addition, the bracelet doesn’t taper very well so can be uncomfortable if you have sensitive skin beneath your wrist.

Other Picks

We’ve got some runners-up that for best pilot watches that are almost as good as the Bulova.

Citizen Watches Men’s AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Chronograph Canvas Watch

 

The Citizen Watches Men’s AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Chronograph Canvas Watch is a much more affordable option that has a military-inspired aesthetic. The watch border is stainless steel with a red contrasting secondhand, but the bracelet is made from rugged green canvas. Both of these styles combine to create a watch aesthetic that is both classy and practical at the same time.

It’s also an accurate timepiece; it uses Japanese quartz movement technology to remain precise throughout the year. Even better, it can recharge the natural sunlight or indoor light, so this extends the amount of time you have to enjoy the watch before you need to replace its battery.

Why We Like It

We really enjoy the overall durability and practicality of this watch, making it a shoe-in for a choice of one of the best pilot watches. Its ability to recharge its battery via sunlight or indoor light is an excellent design choice that can save you money in the long run in addition to its convenience. The hands are particularly luminous and easy to see even in low light conditions.

When it comes to durability, there are a few watches that compare. Its water resistance up to 330 feet or 100 meters, making it suitable for swimming if not diving. The window is made from mineral crystal so it can withstand some punishment before it takes any visible damage.

What Could be Better

The biggest downside is that the red hand, which you might think is for timekeeping, is actually only used for the watch’s stopwatch capability. This is a little misleading. In addition, the date window near the 4 o’clock position is very small and can be hard to see if you use glasses or try to see the date from far away.

If you’re interested in more Citizen-brand watches, check out our guide.

Aviator F-Series Men’s Vintage World War II Pilot Design Watch

 

This watch evokes an old-fashioned style and appears as it came right out of the 1940s and 50s. It uses a contrasting white dial background with black lettering and three subdials marked for 60 seconds, 60 minutes, and 1/10th of a second respectively. Each subdial has different border coloring for easy recognition.

The hands are made to be luminous and easy to see in the dark. They are protected in a waterproof stainless steel case that can easily withstand rain or water down to 100 meters. It uses Japanese Quartz movement to maintain accurate timekeeping.

Why We Like It

We really enjoy the aesthetic on display here. The brown strap evokes a simpler timer but the dial casing is still made with scratch-resistant mineral crystal glass. It combines vintage design with modern safety and efficiency.

We also really like that the subdials are colored slightly differently. It helps to tell them apart, and it makes the entire dial case look a little less crowded since all the icons aren’t the same colors. There’s a lot of information on display with this watch but it never seems to be too much.

What Could be Better

The band isn’t made of genuine leather, which does hurt it somewhat. It keeps the watch affordable, but you can definitely tell the difference when you’re wearing the timepiece. In addition, the minute and hour hands of the clock would be better off black instead of white with black borders, as they are currently.

Still, these nitpicks are minor when considering the overall charm of the watch as a whole.

Seiko Men’s SNN241 Stainless Steel Watch with Brown Leather Band

 

Black isn’t the right color for everybody. If brown is more your style, try the Seiko Men’s SNN241 Stainless Steel Watch with Brown Leather Band. It’s affordable and made with a stainless-steel case that protects two subdials and a date window at the 6 o’clock position. The leather band is comfortable and can be secured with a buckle.

It’s also fairly water resistant down to 100 meters and it uses Japanese quartz movement, so you know you’re getting accurate time consistently, even well into the watch’s lifespan. You can also use the inbuilt chronograph to measure up to 60 minutes of activity.

Why We Like It

This is an extremely attractive watch for its aesthetic alone. The white hands are luminous and easy to pick out as they contrast with the brown dial. We also really like that the strap is made from genuine leather, which makes its affordable price all the more outstanding. It’s hard to come by decent timepieces if you’re on a budget, so we’re glad this option exists.

Because of the leather band, this watch is incredibly comfortable to wear even though it’s a little larger and heavier than some folks might be used to.

What Could be Better

The Crystal dial window is protected by Hardlex material, which isn’t as durable as it sounds. Scratching the face of this watch is a little easier when compared to other contemporary watch faces. This isn’t a huge deal given the low asking price, but it’s still something to consider.

Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s Stainless Steel Leather Avion Watch

 

The Citizen Eco-Drive Men’s Stainless Steel Leather Avion Watch also combines a black dial, white hands, and a brown wristband for an old-fashioned look. The wristband here is made from calfskin leather, meaning it’s soft and comfortable for a long time before it starts to wear out. The silver watch border is made from stainless steel and combines with a mineral dial window.

This watch also uses Japanese quartz movement. It only loses a couple of seconds of time per day at maximum, so you won’t have to reset your watch very frequently. It can also resist water down to about 100 meters of depth.

Why We Like It

We really enjoy the overall feel and size of this watch. It’s comfortable to wear and the white hands set against the black dial keep all of the necessary time information easy to parse no matter what the light level is.

You also get a chronograph that measures up to 60 minutes, a date window, and a 12/24 hour time dial set on the right-hand side of the center circle. It fits a lot of information onto its dial without being too cluttered or confusing, with the exception of the date window which is easily hidden amongst the other aspects.

What Could be Better

Indeed, the date is easy to lose and that’s a clear con in our eyes. In addition, the watch face can feel pretty heavy due to its overall thickness. While this does help to protect the watch from damage, it can feel a little clunky or awkward, especially since it appears to the modern style with pilot watches that are larger rather than smaller.

Conclusion

Overall, these are the choices of best pilot watches under 500 if you’re looking for a good timepiece that can last you for a while without breaking the bank. Nevertheless, there are high-end options in the market for pilots, which may satisfy the most exquisite tastes;  to have a 30,000-foot overview of some of them, you can read our Best Pilot Watch article.

Best Hiking Watch Under $100: Budget Timepieces for Outdoor Junkies

Best Hiking Watch Under $100

Are you in the market for the best hiking watch under $100 to fit your rugged, outdoor lifestyle?

The right hiking watch must be tough enough for the harsh outdoor conditions. Of course, it also needs to have features such as an altimeter, barometer, compass, GPS, and many others – features that will improve your hiking experience as a whole.

You are probably thinking, “aren’t hiking watches, expensive?”

Sure, there are many high-end outdoor watches like the Suunto Traverse Alpha that can cost several hundred dollars. However, there is no shortage of budget-friendly watches for hikers of all skill levels.

Today, we have a list of the best hiking watch under $100.

Best Hiking Watches Under $100

Key Features

Our Rating

Casio SGW-1000-1ACR Triple Sensor Altimeter, Barometer, Digital Compass, 100m water resistance, LED Backlit, 5 Daily Alarms and 1 Snooze Alarm, Quartz movement, World Time ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Timex T49612 Expedition Shock Shock Resistant to I.S.O. Standards, Digital Compass, Durable Resin Case, Indiglo Light-Up Watch Dial, Water resistant to 200m ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Casio SGW100-1V Twin Sensor Easy-to-read digital display, Digital compass, Protective mineral crystal, Precise quartz movement, Water resistance up to 660 ft, Alarm and stopwatch functions, Thermometer ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Sunroad Outdoor Sports Watch ABC features, Sunrise and Sunset Times, Thermometer, Log Record, Clock, Stopwatch, World Time, 160 Ft/50 M water resistance ★ ★ ★ ★
Timex Expedition Grid Shock Shock resistant to I.S.O. standards, Stainless steel top plate, Stopwatch, Countdown timer, Vibration alarm, Hydration alerts, Water resistant to 100m ★ ★ ★ ★
Lad Weather Outdoor Watch Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, Track Mode, Power Saving Mode, Thermometer, EL Backlight, Stopwatch, Alarm ★ ★ ★ ★

Best Hiking Watches Under $100

1. Casio SGW-1000-1ACR Triple Sensor

 

When it comes to tough as nails outdoor watches, there’s plenty of options from Casio. If you want a durable ABC watch that won’t break the bank, the Casio SGW-1000-1ACR Triple Sensor is an easy recommendation.

A No-Fuss ABC Watch

The Casio SGW-1000-1ACR is an outdoor watch that just works. It’s a triple sensor model so it features an altimeter, barometer, and a digital compass. For the most part, I am happy to report that these main features work well.

The compass is accurate and can go several days without any recalibration. The watch also displays the temperature and barometric pressure with fair accuracy. However, the altimeter could use a bit of work. There’s a bit of a learning curve for operating the ABC features but once you get the hang of it, it becomes rather painless.

This watch boasts the signature Casio ruggedness and dependability. It is waterproof to 100 meters, so you don’t have to worry about the rain when you’re outdoors. The watch face is very easy to read regardless of the lighting conditions. When it’s dark, you can simply toggle the illumination and you’re good to go.

For the price point, this watch offers incredible value.

2. Timex T49612 Expedition Shock

 

I love a good rough and tumble digital watch that can take a beating. The Timex T49612 Expedition Shock is a popular outdoor watch and good reason.

Well, mainly because it’s the best hiking watch under $100 with loads of features.

Take a Licking and Keep on Ticking

Does anyone remember the old Timex advertising slogan? The Timex Expedition Shock embodies that tagline and then some.

The watch is shock resistant to I.S.O. standards and is designed to withstand any outdoor test. Whether you are hiking, camping, or backpacking, this is the type of watch that you would want on your wrist. However, it’s tough and stylish enough that anyone won’t have any problem wearing this as an EDC watch. The durable resin case does a great job of protecting the face.

Just to be clear, this is not an ABC watch but it does come with a digital compass. The compass works well but it does require a good deal of calibration. However, I suggest that you only utilize the compass for direction and orientation. The compass is not accurate enough to be used for navigation.

The face is fairly large with a negative display. There are many complaints about the legibility of the face but for me personally, it’s just right. The only downside that I can think of is that the nylon strap is very prone to breaking off.

Whether you’re looking for a hiking timepiece or simply a tough EDC watch, the Timex Expedition Shock comes highly recommended.

3. Casio SGW100-1V Twin Sensor

 

Casio is truly a contender when it comes to high-utility watches that don’t cost an arm and leg. The Casio SGW100-1V Twin Sensor is a tough hiking watch that cost less than $50. It doesn’t have that many advanced features but it’s a watch that will serve you well during your hiking trips.

Great Looking Watch in a Durable Package

For starters, the Casio SGW100-1V looks great with a standard sports watch design. Thus, many of you will have no problem wearing it on a daily basis. The digital display is big and very easy to read, and shows the day, date, and month.

What makes the Casio SGW100-1V great for hiking is certainly the compass. The compass is very accurate provided that you will spend a bit of time with the calibration. Use the watch in conjunction with a map and you already got your navigation needs covered.

It also comes with a thermometer but I found myself not using it at all. The watch utilizes the back plate for temperature readings which makes it inaccurate if you’re wearing it. If you want accurate temperature readings, you’ll have to strap the watch to your belt loop or backpack.

Despite some glaring drawbacks, the Casio SGW100-1V is a high-performance outdoor watch in a durable package.

4. Sunroad Outdoor Sports Watch

 

The Sunroad Outdoor Sports Watch is the perfect cheapish ABC watch if you don’t have the budget for Suunto Cores. While you certainly can’t expect high-end features and quality from this model, it’s the best hiking watch under $100 that’s worth the look.

Multi-function Timepiece for Hikers

At first glance, you’ll see that the design of the Sunroad Outdoor Sports Watch looks to be lifted from the Suunto Core, especially with the case and the band.

However, the similarities end there.

One of the biggest differences is that the Sunroad watch features separate buttons for accessing the ABC features. I’d say it’s quite similar to the Casio ProTrek series. To switch between the altimeter, barometer, and compass features, you need to press the Mode button.

After calibration, the Compass mode of the Sunroad works quite well. Unlike the Suunto Core, the compass still appears to be working while the backlight is enabled. For the Barometer mode, the watch shows the barometric, graph, and ambient pressure. Much like the compass, the barometer manages to impress. When toggling Altimeter mode, the altitude will be displayed in the middle while the time is displayed on top of the face.

For a budget ABC watch, the build quality of the Sunroad is surprisingly decent. Definitely worth the price if you’re looking for a cheap Suunto Core alternative.

5. Timex Expedition Grid Shock

 

For another best hiking watch under $100, we have another model from Timex. The Timex Expedition Grid Shock is a solid timepiece for those who often well, go off the grid. It’s another Timex model so you can expect legendary reliability from this watch.

Best for Beginner Hikers

The Timex Expedition Grid Shock is a solid option for beginners since it focuses less on navigation and more on the smaller features. Like with the previous Timex watch, the Expedition Grid Shock features a shock resistance that’s in compliant to the I.S.O. standards.

Yes, it’s a watch that can once again take a beating.

Once you get the watch, you’ll be surprised that it’s a little larger than you thought it would. That’s certainly the case with me. If you have smaller hands, the size of the watch might be an issue. I highly recommend that you check the specs and decide if this watch’s size is right for you.

The digital display looks crisp, clear and very readable. The Indiglo backlight provides just the right amount of brightness without blurring the display.

One of the main reasons that I bought this watch is the vibration feature. Once set, the vibrations coming the from the watch is very noticeable. The vibration function works well with the watch’s hydration feature.

Overall, the Expedition Grid Shock is a very basic watch but it’s a reliable, comfortable, and best of all, affordable timepiece.

6. Lad Weather Outdoor Watch

 

The Lad Weather Outdoor Watch is an ABC watch from a rather obscure brand. However, don’t let that scare you because this watch offers incredible value and is an amazing compass watch.

A Budget-Friendly Full-Featured Activity Watch

The Lad Weather Outdoor Watch stands out because it’s more than an outdoor watch since it’s also an activity tracker. Fitbits and Garmins can be expensive, so this watch is a good alternative.

The watch features a negative display which is just the way I like it. The watch is easily readable even under bright lights. For darker lighting conditions, it features a backlight that works great.

As I’ve mentioned, the watch comes with an excellent compass. Once calibrated, I was surprised by its accuracy and it’s easily comparable with a magnetic field compass. The graphic display for the compass is one of the best I’ve seen in an ABC watch. The compass even works at night. Unlike most ABC watches, the compass continues to work even when the light is on.

It’s certainly one of the best budget ABC watches that you can get.

Hike With Confidence

That concludes our list of the best hiking watch under $100. Regardless of your needs, the watches we’ve highlighted boast a good balance of quality and cost-efficiency. With these budget hiking watches, you can now hike with confidence.

In case you are looking for a higher end watches for hiking, you may read our review of the best Garmin watch for hiking.