9 Best Affordable Swiss Watches For 2020 | Plus Cheap Swiss Watch Brands

Finding the best affordable Swiss watches can be a pain as most watches with this label are expensive. Most Swiss watch watchmakers like Omega, Breitling, Rolex produce expensive watches with amazing designs. However, you can still pick up cheap Swiss watches if you know which brands to look in to.

We’ve taken time to narrow down the brands for you. At the end of this article, we have outlined some of the best affordable Swiss watches you can buy on your next trip to Switzerland.

 

The best cheap Swiss watches we discuss in this article

 

What exactly is Swiss made?

best affordable Swiss watch with the swiss made label

The FH (Swiss Watch Federation) permits watch brands to label watches Swiss Made after they comply legally to a set of criteria. Swiss made doesn’t mean every bit of the work was done in Switzerland. For a watchmaker to label a watch Swiss Made, they must meet the following.

  • The movement of the watch has to be Swiss: There are criteria watchmakers must meet so they can label their movements Swiss Movement. You can read it here.
  • The movement must be cased in Switzerland.
  • Finally, an inspection of the entire timepiece must take place in Switzerland.
  • A watchmaker must generate at least 60% of the manufacturing costs in Switzerland.
  • The research and development of the watch must take place in Switzerland: This change will come into force in a year or two.

The FH is continually updating the requirements for the Swiss Made label. We will monitor that and update this post when necessary.

 

Top 7 Most Affordable Swiss Watch Brands

Tissot

Tissot is the default choice for fancier Swiss watches among watch collectors. This watch brand was founded in 1853 in Le Locle, Switzerland, where it is headquartered today. This Swiss brand is part of the Swiss Swatch Group – the largest watch producer and distributor in the world.

Tissot markets its watches in 160 countries across the world including the United States and Russia. They produce cheap swiss watches that look attractive. You can check out some Best Tissot Men’s and Best Women’s Tissot watches.

 

Swatch

Swatch as you may have noticed is a subsidiary flagship of the Swiss Swatch Group. This watch brand was founded in 1983 by Nicolas Hayek. You can find this brand’s headquarters in Biel, Switzerland.

We know this Swiss watchmaker for its cheap Swiss watches that cover a wide range of the watch market. A majority of Swatch watches come with quartz movement and plastic or silicone bands. This is because the brand concentrates on producing casual watches with creative designs.

Before we move on to the next brand, you can check out the best creative Swatch designs for men and women.

 

Certina

The Certina brand is well known in the European region for making excellent quality watches. They build cheap, reliable, and robust timepieces. Today, Certina is the modern concept of sportiness.

As part of the Swiss Swatch Group, this fine watchmaker launched the brand name Certina in 1939 in Grenchen, Switzerland.

In 1959, Certina introduced the DS (Double Security) concept. DS, from Certina’s point of view, means shock resistance that has never been seen before and high water resistance.

From 1959, they constructed watches under the DS concept in-house with the sole aim of making them the most resistant watches in the world.

Today, Certina still produces the DS model like the one reviewed below. Here are some cheap Swiss watches from Certina worth considering.

 

Victorinox

With the support of his mother Victoria, Karl Elsener opened a cutlery workshop in 1884 at Schwyz, Switzerland.

This workshop eventually grew into a cutlery association with the primary goal of supplying the Swiss army with a fully functional knife – The Victorinox Swiss Army Knife.

When stainless steel was introduced, they later renamed the brand Victorinox. As years went by, Victorinox expanded to manufacturing other types of products including watches, travel gears, fragrances, and household and professional knives.

Victorinox watches are functional, reliable, and long-lasting. The reason why watch enthusiasts love their watches.

 

Mondaine

Mondaine has a very rich history in watchmaking. In 1944, Hans Hilfiker came up with a matchless design for the clock at the Swiss railway company also known as SBB.

Years after, in 1986, because of a collaboration with the SBB company, Mondaine started producing wristwatches with the same railway clock design.

We can describe Mondaine’s wristwatches in three simple words: Simple, Timeless, and Swiss. Mondaine’s watch dials are unique and set them apart from other watch dials.

Their dials are SBB official dials. The design of the dial makes it very easy to read the time.

Mondaine’s red second hand is unique. It has at its tip a red paddle. This design stems from history as managers used red paddles at the train station to show to the train conductor or to the passengers that the train was about to depart.

mondaine watch design

Mondaine’s stop2go watch is a unique timepiece we can’t ignore while we talk about the brand. Unlike other watch designs, the second hand of this timepiece ticks 58 times in a minute instead of 60 times, stops at the 12 numeral for 2 seconds. Then, the minute hand advances one step and the second-hand starts a new cycle.

You can view other watch models made by this brand.

 

Hamilton

The Hamilton watch company was founded in 1892 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They began making pocket watches and from the very beginning, Hamilton’s focus was on both accuracy and quality. This is the recipe that has made Hamilton the success that it is today.

Hamilton completed a shift from pocket watches to wristwatches in 1917. They designed their first wristwatch to appeal to the men entering World War One. It was a 17 jewel powered by a 983 movement.

Along with its transition as a company, Hamilton became a subsidiary of the famous Swiss Swatch Group. This same Swiss Swatch Group houses Swiss brands like Omega, Breguet, Longines, Glashutte Original, Tissot, etc.

Today, Hamilton is now officially a Swiss brand with its headquarter in Bienne, Switzerland. Most Hamilton watches on the market are powered by Swiss ETA movements. They produce cheap Swiss watches admired by the American market.

 

Glycine

Based in Bienne Switzerland, Glycine specializes in producing special watches that have a worldwide following. Glycine has a respected tradition in watchmaking.

It combines the classic art of watchmaking with modern design which stands out through its large-diameter cases.

Though Glycine started off producing smaller ladies’ watches from 1914, this changed in the early 1980s. Glycine watches today come with large cases including its most important series – the Airman series.

The Airman 7 for instant comes with a gigantic 53mm case. It keeps time in 4 different time zones, and it’s equipped with 3 self-winding movements.

Also, the Glycine Lagunare chronograph is a typical representative of the Glycine philosophy with its 15mm thick case.

Glycine is a small Swiss watchmaker making large watches for the entire world. You can check out other Glycine models.

 

 

Some Best Affordable Swiss Automatic Watches

Tissot Visodate

SALE
Tissot Specialities (Model: T0194301603101)
  • Classic stainless steel watch featuring white dial with simple baton indices and day/date window at three o'clock
  • 40 mm stainless steel case with anti-reflective sapphire dial window
  • Swiss automatic movement with analog display
  • Leather calfskin band with leather-deployment-buckle closure
  • Water resistant to 30 m (99 ft): In general, withstands splashes or brief immersion in water, but not suitable for swimming

Last update on 2020-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Visodate is a beautiful watch with similar specs to the Japanese Seiko SARB033. This elegant dress watch comes with a case diameter of 40mm,  case thickness of 11.6mm, and a lug-to-lug distance of 47mm.

The Visodate is a very versatile watch. It’s a dress watch, but you can use it for both business and casual settings. It looks great with a suit and tie but also with jeans and a tee-shirt.

The watch has an exhibition case back that shows Tissot’s automatic movement. Breathtaking when you watch the timepiece ticking from the back.

This timepiece is powered by an ETA-28362 movement. This movement is accurate, losing only 7 seconds a day or 1 minute in 8 days. This movement has 20 jewels that operate at 8 beats per second and comes with a 36-hour power reserve.

What makes this timepiece stand out is its beautiful and simplistic frosted white dial. The hour and minute hand on this watch give you an authentic vintage look that speaks much about its heritage. You also get a day/date complication at the 3 o’clock mark on this timepiece.

This Tissot timepiece comes with a doom sapphire crystal that looks awesome. This gives the watch a lot of distortion making it easy to read the dial at all angles. The crystal itself is scratch-resistant.

The Visodate comes with a dark brown leather strap that looks great with the white dial. If you don’t like the white dial, this timepiece also comes with a black dial that looks attractive too.

 

 

 

Mondaine  Classic Automatic Day-Date Watch (Model: A667.30314.11SBB)

SALE
Mondaine Men's A667.30314.11SBB Classic Gents Day-Date Leather Band Watch
  • Swiss quartz movement
  • Durable mineral crystal
  • Case diameter: 36mm
  • Stainless steel case
  • Water resistant to 100 feet (30 M): withstands rain and splashes of water, but not showering or submersion

Last update on 2020-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Just like the Hamilton Khaki Field Watch reviewed below, this dress watch has a minimalist design. This Mondaine watch comes with a 36mm case diameter and it’s 8mm thick. For an automatic timepiece, this Swiss watch is very slim.

What stands out on this watch is its simplistic dress design that comes with a very legible dial. The black markers and hands over a white dial make it very easy to read. There at the 3 o’clock position is its day/date window. One thing to note though is that this is not a luminous watch.

This Swiss quartz watch is powered by a Selita SW 220 Swiss movement that has 26 jewels and a 38 power reserve hacking.

This watch comes with a brushed case so it doesn’t pick up scratches easily. A mineral crystal protects its dial, and it is water-resistant up to 30 meters.

The black genuine leather strap on this timepiece comes with a red inner lining. If you have small wrists, this watch is for you.

 

 

 

Hamilton Khaki Field Watch

SALE
Hamilton Men's H70555533 Khaki Field Stainless Steel Automatic Watch with Brown Leather Band
  • Round watch featuring black dial with GMT scale on inner ring, luminous hands/markers, and date window at 3 o'clock42 mm stainless-steel case with antireflective-sapphire dial window
  • Automatic self-wind movement with analog display
  • Leather band with contrast stitching and buckle closure
  • Water resistant to 100 m (330 ft): In general, suitable for swimming and snorkeling, but not scuba diving.

Last update on 2020-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Hamilton Khaki automatic watch offers a timeless design based on military watches used in world war two.  This design makes the watch legible and easy to read. Pick up this watch if you don’t have a slim automatic watch in your collection.

This timepiece offers a 42mm case diameter, a 53mm lug-to-lug distance, and a case thickness of 10.55mm. With this thickness, the watch is very slim and attractive.

This field watch features an exhibition case back with an H-10 caliber movement powering it. The H-10 caliber is Hamilton’s version of the Powermatic 80 movement on Tissot watches.

The case of this Swiss watch is very simple with the lugs curving downwards. This makes the watch very comfortable on the wrist. The case is well brushed with a very noticeable crown at the 3 o’clock position.

A curved sapphire crystal protects the watch dial, though it lacks an anti-reflective coating. The dial is a typical field watch featuring a 24-hour military time and a date window at the 3 o’clock position.

It comes with a comfortable strap, though its durability is questionable. The brown leather strap has the Hamilton engraving on it.

If you don’t like the brown leather strap, you can go for the bracelet version.  Also, you can use nato straps on this watch, which kind of makes sense since it’s a military design watch.

 

 

 

Certina DS Action Diver Watch (Model: C0324071104100)

Last update on 2020-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for a Swiss dive watch, try this Certina Action Diver. This dive watch wears perfectly on people with a larger wrist. It is a luminous watch and comes with an attractive smooth turtle case back.

This Swiss automatic watch comes in with a 43mm case size, a 13mm case thickness, and a lug width of 21mm. Its case lug-to-lug width is 51mm though the first set of bracelet links are fixed taking it to 56mm. So this watch won’t fit people with smaller wrists.

A Swiss Powermatic 80.111 Automatic movement powers this timepiece. It contains 23 Jewels and has a power reserve of approximately 80 hours.

On the feature side, this is a sapphire watch. It has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a silver-tone stainless steel case.

Its markers are marked by a luminous chemical that glows in the dark, though its hour and minute hands have a brighter glow. It also features a date window at 3 o’clock.

Being a dive watch, this timepiece comes with a uni-directional bezel which you can use to time your duration underwater. Also, it is water-resistant to 300 meters. It comes in a variety of dial colors including blue dial, green dial, etc.

This timepiece comes with a stainless steel bracelet or resin straps. The stainless steel bracelet tapers down to 18.5mm with an extensible section. You can also check out this Certina Action Diver watch with resin straps.

 

 

 

Mido Ocean Star (Model: M0264301105100)

Last update on 2020-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Swiss automatic dive watch from Mido wears large on the wrist with a beautiful black matte dial. It comes with a case diameter of 42.5mm, a lug width of 22mm, a lug-to-lug distance of 49mm, and it is 11.75mm thick. Particularly for a diver watch, this is a thin watch.

The Mido Ocean Star comes with a flat sapphire crystal which has a double anti-reflective coating. This makes the dial super legible under bright light and scratch-resistant. This is also a luminous watch with its markers and hands coated with blue lume.

The case is well brushed except for the top lugs. This makes it less likely to pick up scratches. Around its case is a 60 click bezel which is uni-directional. It comes with minute graduations for the first 15 minutes, typical of dive watches.

For a dive watch, this timepiece has a screw-in case back with 5 screws. The case back has a nice decoration with a Mido ocean star engraved on it. For your diving requirements, this is a 200-meter water-resistant watch. its crown is a screw-down crown.

It features a Mido Caliber 80 Swiss Movement with a power reserve of 80 hours. It runs at a bit rate of 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 vibrations per second. This movement is similar to Tissot’s Powermatic 80 or Hamilton’s H10 movement.

Other features include a day/date complication at 3 o’clock and a rubber strap with an adjustable fold-over clasp. You can wear it to the office or at work.

One down-side though is the crown. It’s very small and lacks good texturing. It’s also a little difficult to manipulate. Besides this fallback, this is a good Swiss Made watch coming from a brand little known around the world.

 

 

 

Swatch Sistem51 Irony (Model: YIS402)

Last update on 2020-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Irony is the most attractive of the Sistem51 watches. It’s a 42mm case diameter watch, and it is 13.8mm thick,

This timepiece is powered by an in-house movement completely made by machine. This movement has a 90-hour power reserve.

The case of this Swiss timepiece is brushed with an acrylic crystal protecting its dial. It also features an exhibition case back which is protected by an acrylic crystal too. You can easily find a date window at the 3 o’clock position.

The crown is not a screw-down, it’s a push-in/pull-out crown. It is water-resistant to 30 meters, so it is not suitable for swimming or diving.

One thing that puts me off of this watch is its lug design. It is proprietary, meaning you can’t add an aftermarket strap to it.

 

 

 

Glycine Combat 6 Vintage (Model: GL0123)

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The design of this watch reflects Glycine’s old inventory watch for the army. It is a thin watch with a 10.9mm thickness, 43mm wide, 49mm lug-to-lug, and a 22mm lug width.

The dial is very simple with a 24-hour military time format. The timepiece is legible with white Arabic numerals and hands over a black dial.

The Combat 6 dial is protected by a dome-shaped sapphire crystal which is scratch-resistant. The case is polished, and you have an exhibition case back to go with it.

This Swiss automatic watch is powered by Glycine’s GL224 movement. This movement has 26 jewels and 38 hours of power reserve.

Other features of this watch include a 50-meter water resistance rating, a push-in/pull-out crown, and a date window at the 3 o’clock position.

This Glycine watch will suit any formal dressing and it’s comfortable on the wrist. It’s a good buy.

 

 

 

 

Best Affordable Swiss Watches With Quartz Movement

Tissot Men’s T-Race Touch Watch (T0814209705703)

Tissot Men's T0814209705703 T-Race Touch Aluminum Watch with Black Band
  • Round aluminum watch with orange and black case featuring black dial with digital perpetual calendar and luminescent hands and markers
  • 45 mm aluminum case with anti-reflective sapphire dial window
  • Swiss quartz movement with analog display
  • Rubber band with buckle closure
  • Water resistant to 100 m (330 ft): In general, suitable for swimming and snorkeling, but not scuba diving

Last update on 2020-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Tissot Swiss watch is suitable for those with medium size wrist. It’s a preferred choice for backpacking and other outdoor use.

For the case dimensions, this is a 42mm case watch with a 51mm lug-to-lug distance and 14mm case thickness.  You’d also get a lug width of 23mm from this timepiece.

This sleek Swiss quartz watch offers lots of comfort and functionality. The orange and black case is made from aluminum with black rubber straps. This outdoor watch comes with a touch screen sapphire dial that is activated using the middle button on the side.

Its dial features an analog and a digital display. There is a digital compass and a second timezone that you can activate by touching the sapphire screen.

This Tissot T-Race Touch is powered by a chronograph quartz movement operated by an ETA E49.301 Caliber.  One cool feature on this Swiss watch is the tide function which you can use set to high tides.

Other features of this sporty watch include an alarm function and a 100-meter water resistance.

 

 

 

Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X Watch

Victorinox Men's I.N.O.X. Stainless Steel Swiss-Quartz Watch with Nylon Strap, red, 21 (Model: 241744.1)
  • TOUGH TEXTILE. A braided textile strap softly contours around your wrist, ideal for everyday wear. Designed to handle dives as well as daily activities, the strong woven material maintains a sleek look and offers comfortable wear on your wrist.
  • SWISS MADE. This Swiss Made watch is made to withstand 130 extreme endurance homologation tests. Case is crafted from high-grade hypoallergenic stainless steel.
  • DIVE DEEPER. Take on the day fearlessly, on hikes, in the pool or diving in the ocean. The I.N.O.X. is equip to go down to depths of 200 meters, making this diving watch the ultimate explorer. Water resistance: 20 ATM/200 m./660 ft.
  • WATCH DETAILS. 43mm. Date, analog quartz movement. Removable translucent protection bumper.
  • TRUSTED QUALITY. Watches purchased from authorized retailers eligible for a 3-year limited warranty. Excludes battery life, normal wear and tear, improper handling, damage resulting from abuse, misuse, accidents or unauthorized repair.

Last update on 2020-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you need an entirely durable sports watch, go for this Victorinox stainless steel Swiss watch. This Swiss Army watch comes with a 43mm case diameter and a 13.5mm thickness. It is neither too thick nor thin on the wrist.

This timepiece has a well polished and brushed stainless steel case that looks attractive. The case is extra thick to protect the Swiss Ronda quartz movement that powers the watch on the inside.

On the protective side, this Swiss quartz watch comes with a “triple anti-reflective coated” sapphire crystal. This coated crystal offers a clean view to its matte black dial.

To increase its legibility, the matte black dial is overlaid with well-polished hands and markers. There’s also a date window beside the 5 o’clock position.

With 200 meters of water resistance, you can use this Swiss watch for swimming and diving, but I’d say this isn’t a professional diver watch.

With its straps, there are various options to choose from. This dive watch comes with the following strap types: paracord strap, rubber strap, or stainless steel bracelet. Also, it comes with a plastic case guard that attaches over the bezel and matches the color of the dial and strap.

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

We’ve just reviewed the best affordable Swiss watches you can find on the market. Considering their design, the finishing, and the movements, you’d agree that these watches are fairly priced. Switzerland has a long history in watchmaking and it reflects in their watch companies marketing hard to push watches on consumers.

To balance our view on Swiss Made watches, the Swiss Made mark is not the most important thing written on the watch. There are Japanese watches that outperform some Swiss Made watches. That’s just our opinion on the subject.

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