Watch expert Clare-Flagg guides us through his pick of the best affordable men’s watches available right now.
Orient Mako II automatic diving watch
“Orient are a Japanese brand that make their movement in-house, which, at this price point, is pretty incredible,” says Clare-Flagg. It’s one of the best diver’s watches you can get for under £200. Though it’s water resistant to 200m, like most diving watches this means that while you can use it when out at sea at surface level, or for a spot of swimming and snorkling, you shouldn’t dive to 200m too much.
Despite its under-water credentials, the sleek design and sturdy stainless steel bracelet make it suitable for smart occasions too. “The deep blue dial of the blue Orient Mako is visually striking,” says Clare-Flagg. Indeed, it looks almost oceanic, befitting of a diver’s watch. Its lume (luminescence, to check the time at night), is brighter than average, but dies down fairly quickly.
Despite the well-built case and bracelet that give the watch a feel beyond its cost, the price tag is brought down by the mineral crystal, which can get a little dirty or greasy quicker than a sapphire crystal would. The movement that Clare-Flagg speaks highly of is automatic, “extremely sturdy and reliable, and it is exceptionally accurate too.”