Be it a hobby or daily wear, vintage watches hold a place of their own. Keeping value intact for the best vintage watches under 500 along with aesthetically pleasing appearance, yet affordable choice, you need to consider essential factors over just the outlook. 

EDITOR'S PICK

NAME

Fossil Grant Stainless Steel


Display Type: Analogue
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Band Material: Leather

Table of Contents

What Is A Vintage Watch?

The definition of what is considered vintage differs widely. Generally speaking, anything over 25 years old to 50 years old is vintage. A watch which tops 100 years is called antique.

The older the watch, the higher the value. However, age alone doesn’t contribute to the value of a vintage watch; there are several other characteristics such as being timeless, classic, functional, and most importantly, of high-quality workmanship and build – that add value to vintage pocket watch for men and women. 

Major Considerations | The Best Vintage Watches Under 500

As much as finding the best functioning vintage watch under 500 seems hard, there are few things to consider that creates the whole difference. 

The Dials; Original or Reprinted Vintage Watches Under 500

The most important factor to consider while making a purchase for the best vintage watch is THE DIAL. 

The dial is mostly made up of the materials like metal or porcelain. There are a lot of enameled dials seen when it comes to vintage watches. The technique and coverings that are used on a dial vary amongst watches as per their design, price, and model. 

A few of the dials could not keep up with time and were discarded at times no matter the originality, but because of the scratches or broken structure that cannot be amended or cleaned in any way. 

Well, there are were two options left to deal with worn off original dials;

Reprinted Dial

There are dealers who sell good-quality reprinted dials without disrespecting the originality and value of the watch. These dials are cheaper in comparison to original dials. 

Original Dial

For collectors, getting an original dial is the way to go. There are a few resources that offer original dials in place of refurbished ones. 

A few vintage watches under 500 are original when it comes to the dial, whereas, you can find every kind of reprinted dial under 500 for the vintage watches.

The Case; Material and Plating 

What you will find: speaking of vintage watches, most of them were made of Silver or Zinc alloys because of their transition from pocket watches to wristwatches. 

What Disregarded Silver or Zinc Cases?

Silver and Zinc had their own toll when it comes to wearability. Silver is known to be causing staining when in contact with the skin for a longer period of time. Whereas, zinc is reported to be causing irritation on the skin. 

Vintage Watches; Chrome or Gold Plating 

Speaking of skin-friendly vintage watch cases, watch cases transitioned from silver and zinc alloys to chrome or gold plating, which prevents rashes on the skin. The major reason for disregarding alloy casing is the unfavorable electroplating techniques used back in the day.

The Best Choice

Looking for a stainless steel vintage watches is the best option to go for. If you are looking for or into gold plated watches, make sure to get it re-plated if the edges are worn out and the base metal see-through. Vintage watches under 500 also come in gold plating or stainless steel case and band, which prevent allergy to the skin.

Movements and Serial numbers 

Database of serial numbers of the watch tells the age and manufacturing of the watch. Some of the watches are non-linear, which makes it easier to know when the watch was made, whereas, some mark only the prominent or the flagship pieces; while other pieces are left unmarked. 

Some of the brands manufacture their movements, which offers more reliable sourcing and adds value to the watch, whereas, others just place movement in the dial made by various movement manufacturers. 

Resorting to another source, movements manufactured by various companies are marked with serial numbers that determine the originality of the watch or the movement. 

Water and Its Consequences 

Unfortunately, water and metals do not get along well. Make sure the vintage watch you are going to get is not rusted from the outside and specifically from the inside. Even if it looks fine from the outside, do not forget to check from the inside. Rust is the last thing you would be needing in the delicate gear of the watch. The stem is the most logical part of the watch water can get into. 

The Best Approach

Before making a purchase for the best vintage watch under 500, make sure to examine the gears and elements that are connected to it. It may require extracting the movement from the case and the dial must be removed to better examine or clean the rust. 

What to look for in Best Vintage Watches Under 500?

Retaining your time piece’s value, you must know what you are getting and what creates the whole difference in making any piece stand out amongst all. 

Here are some of the important factors you need to consider before making a purchase of an online watch.

  • Look out for a good brand & movement: To get one of the best vintage watches under 500, if the movements are also made by the manufacturer, better it will be. 
  • Smaller dials are trendy. They add to the convenience and also the outlook (30 – 34 mm) that are easier to get at a reasonable price. 
  • The wearability of the watch matters the most while making a purchase for the best vintage watches under 500 as price determines the quality of the band along with comfortable wearing. Huge blingy and cocktail watches for women are completely out of trend. 
  • Watch cases are the most important while making a purchase for a vintage watch and stainless steel cases rules. They are more durable and do not cause any rash or allergy to the skin. 
  • Nothing can beat chronographs and automatic vintage watches under 500 as they offer ultimate functionality and convenience over other alternatives with their stopwatch feature and multiple dials for seconds, minutes, hours, and separate dial even for the tenth of a second. 

BEST VINTAGE WATCHES UNDER 500

ImageNamePrice on Amazon
Fossil Grant Stainless Steel

Display Type: Analogue
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Band Material: Leather
Price on Amazon
Casio G-Shock Quartz

Display Type: Digital
Case Material: Resin
Band Material: Plastic
Price on Amazon
Casio Vintage CA53W-1 Watch

Display Type: Digital
Case Material: Resin
Band Material: Plastic
Price on Amazon
Casio Retro Digital B640WC-5AEF Watch

Display Type: Digital
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Band Material: Stainless Steel
Price on Amazon
Casio Retro A158WA-1DF Watch

Display Type: Digital
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Band Material: Leather
Price on Amazon
Casio Vintage LA670WGA-1DF Watch

Display Type: Digital
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Band Material: Stainless Steel
Price on Amazon
Casio Vintage Chronograph A168WG-9 Watch

☞ Part Number: CasioA168WG-9WDF
☞ Model Year: 2015
☞ Item Shape: Octagon
Price on Amazon
Timex Unisex Weekender

☞ Part Number: T2N6519J
☞ Model Year: 2017
☞ Item Shape: Round
Price on Amazon

1. Fossil Grant FS4735 Watch – Best Vintage Watches Under 500

Fossil Grant Chronograph Watch under 500 (FS4735)

Features

  • Display Type: Analogue
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather

Specification 

  • Clasp: Buckle
  • Case diameter: 44 millimeters
  • Case Thickness: 12 millimeters
  • Band Material: Leather
  • Band length: Men’s Standard
  • Bandwidth: 22 millimeters

Pros

  • Suitable for short periods of recreational swimming and showering (but not diving or snorkeling)
  • Adjustable straps
  • Scratch resistant
  • 3 separate dials to track hours, minutes and seconds

Cons

  • No cons reported as of yet

Price on Amazon

If you are looking for the best vintage watches under 500 that call for affordability, this particular model by Fossil uses mineral crystal glass. So, in terms of scratches and damage, this watch has good resistance. It is powered by a Japanese quartz movement; on top of this, it comes with 3 three separate dials to track hours, minutes, and seconds – so as far as accuracy is concerned this watch is a 10/10.

The case diameter and thickness are 44 millimeters and 12 millimeters respectively. The bandwidth is 22 millimeters and its material is leather; this gives the watch a classic and high-end look. The strap is also adjustable, making this watch suitable for people with tiny wrists (tiny wrist people, I promise you would not have to use this watch for hula hooping on your arms lol).

The watch is analog in the display, featured with a 12-hour format; which is represented by roman numerals. The Roman numerals sure do give this timeless style an artistic touch.

Additionally, this watch is suitable for BRIEF immersions in water ONLY, please don’t go scuba diving wearing this!

This vintage style watch is available in a variety of different colors and sizes.

2. Casio DW5600E-1V G-Shock Watch – Best Vintage Looking Watches 

Casio G-Shock Quartz Watch under 500 (DW5600E-1V)

Features

  • Display Type: Digital
  • Case Material: Resin
  • Band Material: Plastic

Specifications 

  • Case diameter: 45 millimeters
  • Case Thickness: 15 millimeters
  • Band length: 9 Inches
  • Bandwidth: 26 millimeters
  • Band Color: Black
  • Dial Colour: Digital-Gray
  • Bezel Material: Resin
  • Bezel Function: Stationary
  • Calendar: Day-Date-Month
  • Item weight: 1.87 Ounces
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Water-resistance Depth: 660 Feet

Pros

  • Unisex
  • High water resistance
  • Shock resistant
  • Backlight
  • Adjustable straps
  • Both 24 hour & 12 hour format available
  • 1-100 second stop watch feature
  • Countdown timer available
  • Loud alarm

Cons

  • No cons reported as of yet

Price on Amazon

G-Shock! The ironman of the world of watches! A strong and tough watch for strong and tough people!

What makes this watch unique from the rest is its immensely intense resistance to damage. Throw it from a 10 story building, give it to an angry toddler to bash around, or wrap it around the wrist of a street fighter for a fistfight, it simply would not damage that easily. I mean it is literally certified by NASA for use in space! This outstanding feature is what distinguishes G-Shock from others.

More additional features include a backlight for easy viewing of time in the dark. Timer, stopwatch, alarm, and calendar are also among the leading prominent features. What’s impressive is that this heavy-duty hardware is light in weight!

The rectangular display is covered by mineral crystal glass. The resin straps are adjustable. The rectangular display is digital. Moreover, this watch is powered by the quartz movement.

We think this watch is worth adding to your collection but it is a big no-no for formal occasions and regular wear etc. However, you can be the trendsetter by wearing it to school! Another great idea is to gift it to someone you know who is in the military, police, fire department, or the construction department and earn brownie points!

3. Casio CA53W-1 Vintage Watch – Best Vintage Looking Watches

Casio Vintage Watch under 500 (CA53W-1)

Features

  • Display Type: Digital
  • Case Material: Resin
  • Band Material: Plastic

Specifications 

  • Clasp: Buckle
  • Case diameter: 35 millimeters
  • Case Thickness: 8 millimeters
  • Bandwidth: 20 millimeters
  • Band Colour: Black
  • Dial Color: Black
  • Bezel Material: Resin
  • Bezel Function: Stationary
  • Calendar: Perpetual Calendar
  • 12/24-hour format
  • Button operation tone on/off
  • Water-resistance Depth: 165 Feet

Pros

  • Unisex watch
  • Suitable for short periods of recreational swimming and showering (but not diving or snorkeling)
  • 1-100 second stopwatch
  • Auto calendar pre-programmed until the year 2079
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Holes on the strap might be a little tight

Price on Amazon

The specialty of this watch is proclaimed in its name, the calculate watch! It is an 8 digit calculator watch. So, if your calculations are under 99999999, you are good to go. You definitely cannot calculate your taxes with this but this for sure will come in handy for everyday basic calculations (like how much money your sister stole from you!).

1-100 seconds stopwatch function and measuring modes (split time, elapsed times, and 1st– 2nd place times) are additional features installed in this watch. It also comes with a preprogrammed calendar up until 2079! Despite an array of features this watch is extremely easy to use for all ages. On top of all this, you can take a quick shower or go for a brief swimming session while wearing this watch!

Comparing this with our first 3 contestants, this watch weighs the heaviest; weighing a total of 3.2 pounds. This isn’t too much, but enough to feel a slight weight on your wrist.

This is a great vintage watch, not only in terms of fashion and collection but also to help develop your child’s interest in math.

4. Casio Retro B640WC-5AEF – Best Womens Vintage WatchesCasio Retro Digital Rose GoldWatch under 500 (B640WC-5AEF)

Features

  • Display Type: Digital
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Stainless Steel

Specifications 

  • Clasp: Deployment Clasp
  • Case diameter:  35 millimeters
  • Case Thickness: 10 millimeters
  • Band Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band length: Women’s Standard
  • Bandwidth: 18 millimeters
  • Band Colour: Metallic
  • Dial Colour: Bronze
  • Bezel Material: Stainless Steel
  • Calendar: Day-Date
  • Item weight: 1.73 Ounces

Pros

  • Countdown timer feature

Cons

  • Heavy as compared to other watches

Price on Amazon

Ah, the feels that this watch gives! ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR! This vintage dress watch, with its breathtaking rose gold color, makes every teen girl think of their life as that one indie song that reminds them of their crush – or maybe it’s just me. Jokes apart, this is probably one of the best affordable vintage watches, which all vintage watch enthusiasts and aspiring vintage watch collectors must buy. The reason lies in its admirable vintage aesthetic and top-notch quality.

Made with a mineral crystal glass, powered with quartz movement, clasped with a stainless steel bracelet, and holding 50-meter resistance to water; this timeless piece includes all the top qualities that valuable vintage watches have.

Additionally, this also has an alarm feature as well as an illuminated display to assist in darkness. Overall, this is very practical which can be used for both casual and formal wear.

Comparing this to all our first 5 candidates, this watch is the heaviest of all, weighing 6.05 ounces (180 grams) – you might take this into consideration if you are more inclined towards lighter pieces.

5. Casio Retro A158WA-1DF Watch – Affordable Vintage Inspired Watches

Casio Retro Watch under 500 (A158WA-1DF)

Features 

  • Display Type: Digital
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather

Specification 

  • Clasp: Deployment Clasp
  • Case Material: Plastic
  • Case diameter: 33 millimeters
  • Case Thickness: 8 millimeters
  • Band length: Men’s
  • Bandwidth: 18 millimeters
  • Band Colour: Silver
  • Dial Color: Black
  • Bezel Function: Stationary
  • Calendar: Day-Date
  • Alarm-feature: Yes
  • Luminous: Yes
  • Item weight 2.05 Ounces

Pros

  • Unisex watch
  • Water resistant
  • Alarm & stop watch functions
  • Scratch resistant
  • Light weight

Cons

  • The 33 mm casing diameter may be too tight for some people
  • Not suitable for swimming and bathing

Price on Amazon

This iconic watch screams “the 90’s!” It is simple in design and can be styled with both formal and informal outfits. If you are looking for a simple yet impressive timepiece for everyday use then this is exactly for you.

It has a 33-millimeter case diameter with the case thickness mounting 8 millimeters – falling in the category of a standard-sized watch. The 18 millimeters (0.7 inches) bandwidth makes the strap of the watch not too small and not too broad; simply perfect. It has stainless steel expanding straps. Such straps have always been loved by people because of how easy and quick they make snapping the watch on and off! This is also very lightweight so wearing it would not be a nuisance.

The covering of the rectangular dial is made up of mineral crystal glass. This crystal is composed of several elements that are heat-treated to create an unusual hardness that helps resist scratches. So, you don’t have to worry about your using your watch with extreme care, as it will most likely not get scratches and scruffs too quick. Moreover, it is shatterproof to a good extent.

The Japanese quartz movement is what powers this watch. Firstly, this will give you the benefit of the accuracy of time. Secondly, unlike mechanical watches, the watch would function even when you are not wearing it.

As if these features were not enough, this watch also comes with additional features like alarm and stopwatch functions. Therefore, it will prove to be valuable if you keep it handy. It is also water-resistant, but sadly not suitable for swimming or prolonged water-related activities.

6. Casio LA670WGA-1DF Vintage Watch – Best Vintage Watches To Invest In

Casio Vintage Watch under 500 (LA670WGA-1DF)

Features

  • Display Type: Digital
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Stainless Steel

Specification 

  • Clasp: Deployment Clasp
  • Case diameter: 25 millimeters
  • Case Thickness: 8 millimeters
  • Band length: 8.25 inches
  • Bandwidth: 14 millimeters
  • Band Color: Gold
  • Dial Color: Black
  • Bezel Material: Stainless Steel
  • Bezel Function: Stationary
  • Calendar: Perpetual Calendar
  • Second hand: Yes
  • Item weight: 28 Grams
  • Movement: Quartz

Pros

  • Features alarm
  • Features perpetual calendar
  • Stop watch functions
  • Very light weight
  • Water resistant

Cons

  • Might be smaller than expected

Price on Amazon

This gold-tone watch is definitely a statement piece and is among the best vintage watches to collect. This will complement simplistic as well as extra outfits.

This model’s dial is also built with mineral crystal glass. It is powered by quartz technology. It features a round, cushion-shaped style digital display. The stainless steel bracelet and butterfly clasp further add to its aesthetic.

Additional features include a loud alarm, hourly time signal, stopwatch and a perpetual calendar.

While some people claim that this watch is too lightweight and feels cheap, others argue that the lightness makes it feel like a second skin.

7. Casio A168WG-9 Vintage Chronograph Watch – Best Vintage Gold Watches

Casio Vintage Chronograph vintage Watch (A168WG-9)

Features 

  • Display Type: Digital 
  • Case Material: Plastic
  • Band Material: Stainless steel 

Specifications 

  • Clasp: Tang type
  • Case diameter: 35 mm
  • Case Thickness: 8 mm
  • Bandwidth: 17 mm
  • Band Color: Gold
  • Item weight: 1.76 Ounces
  • Movement: Japanese Quartz

Pros

  • Water resistant
  • Unisex watch
  • Daily alarm
  • Features an array of measuring modes
  • 1 – 100 second stop watch
  • Auto calendar

Cons

  • No notable cons reported as of yet

Price on Amazon

This vintage timepiece gives us major Cleopatra vibes, because of its retro gold color. Casio is among the best vintage watch brands and this watch is no disappointment.

This watch is a true gem and must be purchased and collected especially by all 80’s lovers (as it is inspired by that time period). Featuring an alarm, stopwatch, measuring modes (including net time, split time, 1st & 2nd place times, and hourly time signal) this watch is high up on the list of best vintage watches.

8. Timex T2N651 Unisex Weekender – Best Vintage Style Watches Under 500

Timex Unisex Weekender (T2N651) vintage watch

Features 

  • Display Type: Analogue
  • Case Material: Brass
  • Band Material: Leather

Specifications 

  • Clasp: Buckle
  • Case diameter: 38 mm
  • Case Thickness: 9 mm
  • Band length: Unisex
  • Bandwidth: 20 mm
  • Band Color: Brown
  • Dial Colour: Black
  • Bezel Material: Brass
  • Bezel Function: Stationary
  • Item weight: 1.6 Ounces
  • Movement: Quartz
  • Water-resistance Depth: 30 Meters

Pros

  • Unisex
  • Water resistant
  • Adjustable straps
  • Scratch resistant
  • Easy to view time in the dark
  • 10 year battery life
  • Light weight

Cons

  • Loud ticking sound
  • Not suitable for swimming or bathing

Price on Amazon

This classic vintage style watch is probably one the best vintage watches under 500, owned by every watch lover in the world. It is an OG in the world of watches despite its simplistic style.

With an analog display, this watch shows time in both 12 hours as well as military-style format. The second and hour hands of the watch are in black color, making it very easy to look at the time against the cream-colored dial. In addition to this, there is a third hand in red color that sweeps in one-second increments.

Speaking of the dial, it is Indiglo in nature; meaning it glows in low light conditions to make it easy to see the time. This makes the watch very practical. To use this effect simply press the crown of the watch inward, and the entire dial lights up as long as you hold it down.

Another cool feature is the water-resistance rate that is 30 meters. This again adds to the practicality of the watch, in the sense that you would not need to take it off while washing hands, cleaning surfaces with water tubes, etc. – as it can withstand water encounters at low levels.

The case diameter is 38 millimeters while the case thickness is 9 millimeters, making it slightly bigger than regular dials. The bandwidth is 20 millimeters, providing an array of choices for adjusting the strap of the watch.

The strap material is fabric. It is soft and light against the skin. Be rest assured, it would not give you a rough and itchy feeling like cheap fabric.  This model is available in a variety of different styles and colors, but we are featuring the olive-colored straps and cream dial one here – as this particular design is a best seller.

Moreover, like the first candidate, this model also has its case surfaced off with a mineral crystal glass, making it great for casual use. Again, this too is powered by the Japanese quartz movement, so that you are never a second late!

Another important thing to take note of is that this watch uses brass for the case and bezel material. Although, some people may think of brass as cheap or lowly when it comes to Timex; it is one of their hallmarks. QUICK HISTORY LESSON: Timex originated in 1854 in Waterbury, Connecticut. This was at a time when the city boomed with brass! And well, the creators got a bit creative! LESSON OVER HEHE!

The only notable downside of this watch is its irritatingly loud ticking. So, for someone who absolutely cannot stand the tick of the clock while they are studying; enjoying a novel in silence; or trying to sleep, then this might not be the right purchase for you.

CONCLUSION | VINTAGE WATCHES UNDER 500

We hope if not all then at least some of these pieces clicked your fancy. Finding cheap vintage watches can be a very difficult task but we’ve made it easy for you. So, which watch should you get? Since all of these vintage watches are super budget-friendly get whichever one that pleases your aesthetic and personal preference. Vintage watches under 500 are of good quality and offer ultimate performance because of their demand in the market. While choosing one of the best vintage watches under 500, do not forget to look for what creates the whole difference, features, and manufacturer.

You may ask?

Why should I collect a vintage watch?

Vintage watches hold a lot of value. They are valuable in both monetary and historical terms. These watches are very rare and highly sought after. Their demand exceeds their supply. It is true that very few vintage watches are in circulation these days and their supply is almost scorched out. So, if you invest in a vintage watch its monetary value will only appreciate in the following years and it will prove to be a rewarding asset to you!
Perhaps, what makes these watches really worth collecting is the fact that they are iconic remnants of the past. They hold a vital history that deserves to be preserved, treasured, and showcased!

Why vintage watches are deemed collectable?

Some watches are deemed as collectible because a legendary personality had provenance of ownership of it. Some are admired for their purpose; watches were often made for the military, for astronauts, underwater explorers, pilots, doctors, racecar drivers, boaters, etc. While some are cherished for their development and impact on the industry. All such histories add value to their collection.

How do I know if the watch is authentic?

In order to be assured of cheap classic watches’ authenticity, look for the company’s logos on the case, dial, and crown. Secondly, use the serial number to check the watch’s age, and make sure that the movement number corresponds. More importantly, purchase only from reputable sources, whether they are selling at auctions or privately.

How do I know the watch is of good quality?

When talking about vintage items get your hands on something that is in its original quality and has no serviced or replaced components. This aspect of originality is called “patina.” The actual definition of patina is; a green or brown film on the surface of bronze or similar metals, produced by oxidation over a long period. In the vintage world, patina refers to the character of an object. So, the stronger the character, the greater the quality.
If you are inexperienced in detecting the originality of an object, either consult a horologist or simply go to a reliable seller.

Is it okay to buy vintage watches under 500?

Absolutely yes! The whole purpose of getting a vintage watch should be your satisfaction and your number one priority should be your budget. I mean who would want to flex an expensive watch but go home to an empty bank account? No one in my opinion.
So, get whatever watch that strikes your fancy and pleases your aesthetic as long as it fits the bill for YOU. You sure are lucky to land on this article which is solely for those vintage enthusiasts who are collecting watches on a budget!
Now that you are equipped with all the necessary knowledge required for vintage watch retailing, it’s time to have a look at the astounding old-fashioned watches we have in store for you!

FAQs | Vintage Watches Under 500

Can you wear a vintage watch every day?

Of course, you can wear a vintage watch daily. If you are a collector and own some highly expensive and original pieces that are not in a very good state but offer luxury, save them for special occasions.

What is the best vintage watch to collect?

Rolex GMT-Master 1675 is a piece of art when it comes to appearance and also movement and wearability.

How much does it cost to service a vintage watch?

If it is a valuable timepiece and needs a thorough service from the inside out, typically starting from $200 to as high as $1000.

How long will a Rolex last?

Taking proper care of the watch and timely serviced Rolex watch last a lifetime.

What is the number one watch brand?

Patek Philippe is one of the top luxury brands in the market. It produces the best, most coveted, high-end, and timeless pieces in the world.

How do you store vintage watches?

You store them in dry, humid-free, temperature-controlled environments to keep a watch’s biggest enemy, moisture, away. adding color-indicating silica desiccant packets in the box, which needs to be airtight.

Do automatic watches stop working if not worn?

They might, if not worn for 24 to 48 hours. Simply wind the watch again and you are all sorted.

How do you wind a vintage watch?

Place your thumb and forefinger on the crown and in a long stroke, turn the crown in a clockwise direction.

Author

Andrew is an avid technology enthusiast, Who loves to try out new technology, gadgets, smartphones, laptop computers and other electronic items. He also reviews daily life products, which he experiences. He wants to help people out there looking to buy different products by sharing his experiences and opinions.

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