10 Best Automatic Watches for the Modern Man

NanaDC watch reviews

Whether you're buying your first watch, or adding to a growing collection, investing in a quality timepiece is a huge milestone.

Nowadays, many prefer automatic watches because they combine the convenience of battery-powered watches and the prestige of manual ones [R].

The variety of brands and designs produced also means there's sure to be one that fits your needs, preferences, and personal style.

Ready to take the plunge? Read on to find out the best watch for men.

Rolex GMT-Master II Watch: Best Overall

The epitome of luxury, style, and function, the Rolex GMT-Master II watch is the way to go—if you have the budget for it.

GMT-Master automatic watches have been around since 1955, originally made for professionals who needed something accurate for both timekeeping and navigation.

Rolex GMT-Master II Batman Jubilee Men's Watch 126710BLNR
  • Black Dial with Dot Hour Markers and Cyclops Lens Over Date
  • Two-colour Black and Blue Cerachrom Insert Ceramic Bezel
  • Oystersteel (Stainless Steel) Case and Jubilee Bracelet, Case Diameter: 40 mm

Since then, its appearance has evolved to suit modern, cosmopolitan travelers while still retaining the classic look expected of any Rolex watch. With a case diameter of 40mm, it's a great size for most men.

The timepiece itself utilizes only the finest technology: It comes in an Oystersteel [R] stainless steel case, has a Cerachrom bidirectional rotatable bezel [R], and houses a quality Calibre 3285 movement with a power reserve of 70 hours.

The watch can also accurately display two time zones at once, making it a truly practical and versatile one.

What we appreciate most about the Rolex GMT-Master II is the careful detailing and work that go into it—from its complex inner mechanisms to its extremely polished design.

Sure, it comes with a hefty price tag, but if you plan to invest in the best automatic watch, we think this might as well be it.

PROS
CONS
  • Durable
  • Quality Calibre 3285 movement with a power reserve of 70 hours
  • Water resistance of 100 meters
  • Increases in value over time
  • Highly functional
  • Most accurate with a Superlative Chronometer designation
  • Very expensive

Seiko Prospex Automatic Watch: Best Value

While collectors usually prefer Swiss brands, this popular Japanese brand is an exception.

The Seiko Prospex Automatic is a typical dive watch that boasts a ton of great features—hence, the name "Prospex" or "professional specification."

With a 200-meter water resistance, Lumibrite [R] markers for easy readability in the dark, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal dial, and a unidirectional bezel for divers' safety, it's evidently suited for the outdoors.

However, its accurate automatic movement and clean, simple design also make it a perfect statement watch for everyday use.

Pick this up if you want something reliable, durable, and high-end but not too exorbitantly-priced.

PROS
CONS
  • Durable
  • Quality Seiko movement
  • Water resistance of 200 meters
  • Very functional
  • Some users notice bezel alignment issues on the dial

Orient Ray II Dive Watch: Best Budget Pick

Made by another Japanese brand with exceptional craftsmanship, the Orient Ray II Dive watch is a functional, hand-winding, automatic watch with an entry-level price.

This automatic watch has a deep blue dial with bold index markers, a day and date window at three o'clock, and a polished stainless steel case for a classic and crisp look.

ORIENT Men's Japanese Automatic / Hand-Winding Stainless Steel 200 Meter Diving Watch
2,964 Customer Reviews
ORIENT Men's Japanese Automatic / Hand-Winding Stainless Steel 200 Meter Diving Watch
  • Orient Cal. F6922 Automatic, Hand-winding, Hacking Movement
  • Case Diameter: 41.5mm without crown.Case Thickness:13mm. Power Reserve: Approximately 40 hours
  • To change the date, rotate the crown counter clockwise.

It's water-resistant up to 100 meters, and it also comes with the unidirectional bezel and luminescent markers that are great for underwater use.

What's unique about the Orient Ray II Dive is it has hacking and hand-winding capabilities [R], so you can ensure timekeeping accuracy. The watch's 40-hour power reserve is also quite impressive considering its low price.

PROS
CONS
  • Affordable
  • Quality Calibre F6922 movement with a power reserve of 40 hours
  • Water resistance of 200 meters
  • Hand-winding for added accuracy
  • High functionality
  • Its mineral crystal dial isn't the greatest quality
  • The crown and bezel are hard to handle

IWC Portugieser Chronograph Watch

For us, the IWC Portugieser Chronograph is one of the most visually pleasing automatic watches on this list.

With a silver-plated dial, beautiful blue appliqués, and a see-through sapphire crystal case back, this watch is pure elegance at its finest. We also like that it features a thin bezel—this gives the illusion of a larger face despite its 41mm case diameter.

IWC Men's IW371446 Portugieser Chronograph Automatic Blue alligator leather strap Watch
1 Customer Reviews

In terms of its functions, the IWC Portugieser Chronograph has a 44-hour power reserve, chronograph features, and an accurate automatic movement.

A drawback is that it's water-resistant, only up to 30 meters, but we don't think you'll be using this often outdoors anyway.

PROS
CONS
  • Durable
  • You can see the beautiful automatic mechanisms inside
  • Quality IWC movement with a power reserve of 44 hours
  • Sleek, dressy watch
  • Chronograph functions
  • Expensive
  • Water resistance of only 30 meters

Hamilton Khaki Murph Field Watch

If you've watched the movie "Interstellar," you'll recognize this exact watch on the main character, "Murph."

However, the Hamilton Khaki Murph Field automatic watch is more than just a tribute to this popular movie; it also has useful functions too.

Some standout features include water resistance up to 100 meters, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass, and a whopping 80-hour power reserve.

Overall, it's sturdy, reliable, and stylish—perfect if you want a simple, vintage-inspired timepiece with contemporary influences.

PROS
CONS
  • Durable
  • Quality Swiss movement with a power reserve of 80 hours
  • Water resistance of 100 meters
  • Basic functions
  • Simple dial with no extra features

Tissot Seastar 1000 Watch

The Tissot Seastar 1000 combines the expected functionality of watersport watches and the classier aesthetics of dress watches in a single, reasonably priced package.

Its practical features include 300-meter water resistance, a unidirectional bezel for safe timekeeping purposes, and Super-LumiNova markers for low-light readability.

On Sale
Tissot mens Seastar 660/1000 Stainless Steel Casual Watch Grey T1204171104100
112 Customer Reviews
Tissot mens Seastar 660/1000 Stainless Steel Casual Watch Grey T1204171104100
  • Case Size: 45.50 millimeters, Bandwidth: 22 millimeters, Case Thickness: 12.82 millimeters
  • Swiss quartz movement, 316L stainless steel case, Without dial type, Date
  • Stainless steel bracelet, folding clasp with safety and diver extension closure

It also houses a quality, automatic, Powermatic 80 movement that can run for up to 80 hours without any user movement.

Design-wise, the dial features a subtle sunburst design, applied index markers [R] for a raised finish, and a round date window at 6 o'clock that flow seamlessly with the rest of the face's elements. It also comes in a stainless steel case and strap for dressier occasions.

With a case diameter of 45.5mm, though, the watch may feel a bit large for some men.

PROS
CONS
  • Quality Swiss movement with a power reserve of 80 hours
  • Water resistance of 300 meters
  • Functional
  • The 45.5mm case diameter can feel a bit large and heavy for some users

Omega Seamaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer Watch

The Omega Seamaster is one of the more popular dive watches in the industry, especially with its numerous endorsements in "James Bond" movies. With its elegant look and feel, we can totally see why.

Besides having a stainless steel case and bracelet, this model also features a polished blue dial with laser-engraved waves and a subtle date window at six o'clock.

With a 42mm case diameter, the back is quite large and see-through, too, so you can view the Omega Master Chronometer Calibre 8800 mechanism move around very clearly.

Its specifications are pretty great, too, as it's water-resistant up to 300 meters, can hold a charge up to 55 hours, and is a certified chronometer [R].

Overall, it's an elegant piece to have, especially if the design fits your personal style. However, you may find other options with better specifications at similar (or slightly higher) prices.

PROS
CONS
  • Durable
  • Certified chronometer
  • Water resistance of 300 meters
  • It can feel a bit heavy and chunky for some users

Rolex Day-Date Watch

Marketed as the ultimate watch of prestige, the Rolex Day-Date was the first waterproof, self-winding chronometer to display the day along with the date on the dial.

Rolex Day-Date Mechanical (Automatic) Champagne Dial Mens Watch 18238 (Certified Pre-Owned)
  • Rolex Day-Date (18238) self-winding automatic watch features a 36mm 18k yellow gold case surrounding...
  • This watch is Certified Pre-Owned in New or Like New condition. Watch may show subtle scratches. The...
  • Comes with No Box/Papers

While it shares the high-quality movements and mechanisms of other Rolexes, what really makes it stand out is its luxurious design: The Rolex Day-Date comes exclusively in 18-carat gold or 950 platinum, and it has a distinctly fluted bezel for a unique yet timeless design.

PROS
CONS
  • Quality Calibre 3255 movement with a power reserve of 70 hours
  • Water resistance of 100 meters
  • Increases in value over time
  • Very functional
  • Most accurate with a Superlative Chronometer designation
  • Expensive
  • Basic functions

Luminox Atacama Field Automatic 1907.NF Watch

If you're looking for a more color centric and rugged-looking option, check out the Luminox Atacama Field Automatic watch.

Design-wise, this watch features the stainless steel case and anti-reflective sapphire glass present in more higher-end Luminox models.

It has index markers and smaller numerals displayed on the dial as well as an orange second hand for a pop of color. Meanwhile, the bracelet comes in moss green nylon, but it can easily be customized to a leather strap if you prefer.

PROS
CONS
  • Fun, sporty look
  • Durable
  • Water resistance of 200 meters
  • Some users experience problems with the watch's self-winding functions if it isn't worn for a day or more

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Automatic Watch

Named after the highest class of automobile racing in the world, the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Automatic watch is youthful, sporty, and easy to read in almost all environments.

TAG Heuer Men's WAZ211A.BA0875 Formula 1 Analog Display Swiss Automatic Silver Watch
27 Customer Reviews
TAG Heuer Men's WAZ211A.BA0875 Formula 1 Analog Display Swiss Automatic Silver Watch
  • Stainless steel case with a stainless steel bracelet. Fixed stainless steel bezel with blue and...
  • Date display at the 6 o'clock position. Automatic movement with a 42 hour power reserve. Scratch...
  • Swiss-automatic Movement

This particular model features a black dial with luminescent, silver-toned hands and index markers, as well as a date window placed at three o'clock.

The bezel has a blue and black ring with GMT markers [R], so you can quickly tell the time in two time zones too. Meanwhile, the 41mm case diameter is just the perfect fit for most men's wrists.

PROS
CONS
  • Quality Calibre 5 movement with a power reserve of 38 hours
  • Water resistance of 200 meters
  • Functional
  • Some users feel the index markers aren't bright enough in darker conditions

About Automatic Watches

There are three main types of movements: Manual, automatic, and quartz. Manual watches have to be manually winded every day to function, while quartz watches use a battery and a quartz crystal to function.

However, automatic watches have a self-winder that functions as you move around. This combines the classic, luxurious feel of a manual watch with the convenience of a quartz watch.

Some companies have released kinetic [R] or solar-powered watches, but automatic pieces are usually still more consistent in terms of quality. If you'd like to try out watches with those types of technology, we'd suggest looking for a brand that specializes in those.

Accuracy

Depending on the mechanisms used, automatic timepieces are generally quite precise.

Look for ones with a COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse Des Chronomètres) rating, which means they only average between -4 and +6 seconds daily.

Rolex even has a Superlative Chronometer designation, which requires an average rate between +2 and -2 seconds per day, making it the most accurate brand in the market.

About the Brands

Rolex

Rolex is world-renowned for its iconic and precision-engineered watches.

rolex-watch

Each piece is produced in Geneva, Switzerland, with only the finest materials and technology available. In fact, it takes almost a year to make a Rolex because the company ensures the quality is always up to par.

It's only natural, then, that its legendary timepieces have stayed in the limelight for over a century now. They also continue to be favored by people worldwide for their durability,\ functionality, and style.

Seiko

Seiko is a Japanese brand that first introduced quartz technology to wristwatches. Currently, they also produce accurate, high-quality automatic timepieces alongside quartz-powered watches.

Seiko

This company is most known for its reliable engineering, cutting-edge technology, and simple (but beautiful) Japanese design.

Orient

Although Seiko now owns Orient, these brands are independent of each other and have their own distinct styles.

orient

While Orient shares the quality Japanese craftsmanship that Seiko is known for, its offerings are usually more entry-level.

In fact, their products are some of the finest options in the market for timepieces that are reliable and practical yet affordable.

IWC

IWC Schaffhausen is another highly-recognized Swiss luxury brand.

iwc schaffhausen

This company specializes in refined statement pieces that showcase the mechanical movements inside its watches.

It's also known for making watches with high complications [R], such as ones with perpetual calendars, chronographs, moonphases, and minute repeaters.

Hamilton

Hamilton is a watch company that was originally founded in America. Since then, it has moved its headquarters to Switzerland, but it has never lost its American heart.

hamilton watch

Today, it is most known for offering distinct, military-inspired field watches at moderately affordable prices. These are often seen gracing the wrists of actors and aviation industry professionals.

Tissot

With over 150 years worth of experience in the industry, Tissot continues to prove its excellence and commitment to making only the best Swiss watches.

tissot watch

To achieve its goal of precise timekeeping, Tissot utilizes advanced technology in its Powermatic 80 movement. It also uses Nivachron and Silicium in its watches for electronic and magnetic resistance.

Omega

Omega is a Swiss luxury watchmaker that has a long and rich history in the industry.

omega watch

This brand has not only been selected as the Olympic Games' official timekeeper; its chronographs have also been chosen by NASA astronauts for their trips to the moon.

Luminox

Luminox was established in 1989 with the goal of delivering high-performing, quality timepieces to consumers worldwide.

luminox watch

Besides the fact that all its products are Swiss-made, Luminox has also been commissioned by several elite units such as the Navy SEALs, the U.S. Coast Guard, Singapore Air Force, etc., to develop timepieces for their professional purposes.

TAG Heuer

tag heuer watch

Because of its breakthrough innovations, top-notch designs, and precision timing, Swiss company TAG Heuer has been closely associated with professional car racing for many years.

Their commitment to continuous improvement and control results in watches that are as high-performing as they are beautiful.

A Brief Summary

While all of these timepieces are great options to have, we've chosen three standout ones that are especially impressive:

For those on a budget, pick the Orient Ray II Dive Watch for the most authentic experience at an affordable price. It does not only have quality mechanisms; it also has a lot of useful functions to make your daily life all the more convenient!

On the other hand, consider the Seiko Prospex Automatic if you're willing to spend on better specifications like improved water resistance, durability, and readability. This one is a very reliable option that will last a long time too.

However, our overall favorite is the Rolex GMT-Master II for its unparalleled quality, style, and functionality. If you don't mind the price tag, you'll find that owning one is definitely a special, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Conclusion

Choosing which timepiece to invest in can be difficult, especially for someone new to the watch industry, but it definitely doesn't have to be confusing! Use our information above to help you make a better and more informed purchase.

Ultimately, though, remember that the right choice is still completely up to you!

Links, prices, and images were pulled from the Amazon API. Last updated on 2021-09-15.

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