Affordable Sapphire Watches
(Stylish & Scratch Resistant)
Sapphire watches are often far more expensive than most watches, and for good reason. The glass used on the face of the watch is made from scratch resistant sapphire material that is a lot more costly to produce.
That is why finding yourself a cheap sapphire watch can sometimes be a bit of a challenge!
Most watches that come with sapphire crystal are made by the higher end Swiss manufacturers, or, the more affordable producers in their higher-end models. That is why, I decided to search for some of the cheapest and most affordable sapphire watches available right now. Watches that are still super-stylish and within the reach of most people in the market for a new watch.
So, if that is what you are looking for, then you are in the right place. Now, let’s start with some of the most popular models around…
1. Seiko Automatic Dress Watch (SARB033)
This version of Seiko’s ever-popular SARB range of watches ticks almost all the boxes when it comes to a simple and elegant dress watch. The face is a clean black with highly contrasting and easy to read sliver hour markers and hands. This of course matches the simple oyster style stainless steel band and case.
Where it really shines though, is for the price, you get not only a Japanese automatic movement with 50 hours power reserve, but also a synthetic sapphire crystal, which brings the watch up a notch.
It’s also quite small at 38.5mm diameter, which you would expect from a dress watch. And it comes with 100m water resistance, so you could certainly get it wet without worry.
And, it also comes in white with the SARB035, just in case you prefer a little lighter colored watch.
2. Seiko Alpinist (SARB017)
One of the most popular field watches from Seiko that has been through many re-incarnations over the years. But, the classic is always the SARB017 with a green face and a brown leather strap.
If you are interested in a more detailed review of this watch, I have covered it before here. However, needless to say you get a huge bang for your buck with this watch. A Japanese automatic movement with 50hr reserve, a sapphire crystal, 200m water resistance and a stunning green dial with gold hour markers and a fine minute marker train around the bezel.
It is certainly a field style watch, but is far more stylish than most and will suit anyone who needs it for work and weekends as well.
3. Invicta Pro Diver (18026SYB)
Invicta produce very affordable watches and often with surprising features for the price. And that is certainly the case with the popular Pro Diver series. They come with a sapphire crystal, which watches at this level never do.
This is also a diver style watch, so comes with easily to read lumed hour markers and a uni-directional bezel for marking remaining time. The rest of the watch is fairly standard in terms of features with a large 52mm steel case, a Japanese Quartz movement and rubber strap.
It might be be a Rolex Submariner, but with prices often under $100 how can you complain?
Not a fan of this model? I have included lots of more Pro Divers below…
4. Orient Triton Dive Watch
The most popular models from Orient are their Mako and Ray dive watches and their Bambino dress watches, but those don’t have a sapphire crystal. That is why I have included this Triton dive model instead.
It is a little pricier than most in this review, but well worth checking out if only for a few unique features. First, it has a protected screw-down crown at 4 o’clock, something the Seiko 5s are known for, but not many other brands have taken the plunge. It is also a 200m water resistant (JIS compliant) dive watch, so one you can seriously take under water.
The movement is a Japanese automatic with 40 hours of reserve, which is indicited on the power meter on the watch.
5. Orient Presidential (Ref: EV0J003B)
Without The Presidential from Orient is certainly a take on the infamous Rolex Presidential, which yes, many a President has been known to wear. Even the current one.
Without breaking the bank, for a sapphire watch at least, this model certainly looks the part. With the crystal hour markers, the cyclops date window (something Rolex is famous for) and the fluted bezel that gives the watch a certain class.
Orient are certainly not the first to make a homage to the Rolex DayDate, but this is one of the best for sure.
And no, this is not a Model T Ford, so if you don’t like black, there are other colors available – which I show below.
6. Citizen Corso Eco Drive (BM7100-59E)
Citizen are renowned for their Eco-drive, solar powered watches, and how can you not love them. They charge while you were them, but without movement. So, almost never require any maintenance.
This particular model is a dress style watch with a black textured dial and clearly lumed hands and indicies. There is also a fine minute train around the edge. They have also included a date window, to help you know when you have an upcoming event.
The jubilee style bracelet adds the final touch of elegance, matching the brushed well.
And given that this is a sapphire crystal watch at under $200, it is hard to match from such a well known Japanese manufacturer.
7. Citizen Perpetual Chronograph (AT4008-51E)
Another worthy contender for most affordable sapphire watch is this chronograph from Citizen. Yes, it comes with a sapphire crystal, which is also anti-reflective for easier reading in bright light.
Of course, being Citizen, it has solar powered Eco-drive, but there are so many other features to mention as well. It comes with a 3 sub-dial chronograph for timing almost anything, along with a tachymeter on the bezel to help do those fun calculations.
But, that is not all. It also keeps track of the day and date, and separate time zones also using an atomic clock via radio to help keep things super-accurate. So, this is a great watch for travelers.
And last but not least, it is 200m water resistant, which means swimming is also an option with this on!
8. Victorinox Swiss Army Maverick (Ref: 241602)
Victorinox are famous for the Swiss Army Knives, but of late they have also been diving into the world of quality Swiss watches. Their I.N.O.X. range is famous for the crazy amount and levels of testing they have been through, but Victorinox have many other noteworthy watches. One such model is the Maverick, which is a combination of a field and dive watch in terms of style.
It has a clean, blue dial with easy to read hour markers and an inner circle of 24 hour markers. There is also the classic field watch outer ring of minutes marked around the bezel. Speaking of which, the bezel is a dive style uni-directional bezel with 5 minute markers on it, and the crown follows suit with it’s large protection.
This watch is a combination of practical and elegant and would suit a variety of situations and styles.
Note: There are again a huge range of styles with this model, so I have included more options below.
9. Casio Edifice Solar Quartz Chronograph (AT4008-51E)
Casio is perhaps a little more synonymous with their retro style digital watches from the 80s, or even their G-Shocks, but they also make some stylish higher-end watches too. Just without the expensive price tag.
This Edifice model comes with quite a few notable features for such a low price: first, it’s solar powered, also, it comes with a 3 sub-dial chronograph and date window.
The overall feel of the watch is also one of style with the clean black dial and sub-dials, matched by a smooth black resin strap.
And that this watch comes with a sapphire crystal is very surprising indeed!
9. Hamilton Field Khaki King (H64455533)
I certainly can’t review affordable sapphire watches without mentioning one of the best – Hamilton. They are certainly not the cheapest watch producer on this list, but they are renowned for their quality watches that are often produced in the USA. Something that is very rare these days.
The Hamilton Field Khaki King is a match I have looked at before, and is well known amongst Hamilton fans. And for good reason. It’s a stylish field watch with a unique day/date indicator at 12 o’clock and a thick, dominating stainless steel case. It’s topped off by a modern, stitched brown leather strap which helps keep with the field style theme of this watch.
Of course, Hamilton have take the Field brand even further with other models, some of which I have shown below.