A classic Father’s Day gift -- a silk tie, a nice watch -- may seem out of reach if you’re a son or daughter on a budget. While high-end watches bearing names like Rolex can command tens of thousands of dollars (a one-of-a-kind, diamond-encrusted creation recently sold for $5 million), reputable brands such as Timex and Casio make snazzy timepieces that sell for less than $35. Choose an analog watch with hour and minute hands for a generally dressier look, or opt for a more casual digital watch chock full of features.
Below are Cheapism’s top picks for affordable, yet Father’s Day-gift-worthy, watches -- plus a couple of choices for women as well.
- The Timex Easy Reader T20041 (starting at $29) lives up to its name, according to online reviews, with large numbers on a minimalist face and Timex’s proprietary Indiglo feature to illuminate the dial in the dark. Buyers also appreciate the upscale look of the leather band. This watch may be analog, but it does include a second hand and displays the date and day of the week. (Where to buy)
- The Casio WS210HD-1AV (starting at $33) is a digital watch with a stainless-steel band that appeals to fishermen, surfers, and other outdoorsmen with tools such as graphs that track the tides and the phases of the moon. It boasts a solar-powered battery and includes a stopwatch, calendar, timer, and five alarms. (Where to buy)
- The Timex 1440 T5J151 (starting at $12) is a digital watch for women that features the brand’s Indiglo technology and incorporates a stopwatch, alarm, 24-hour timer, and calendar. Reviewers cite its stylish, sporty look, with pink or aqua accents, and find it comfortable and appropriate for everyday wear. (Where to buy)
- The Casio LTP1237D-7A (starting at $21) has a more elegant analog design that uses a combination of digits and dashes to represent the hours. Women posting reviews assert that the stainless-steel band suits most any outfit, and several note the brand’s quality. (Where to buy)
The faces of these watches are covered by mineral crystals, which are more scratch-resistant than cheaper acrylic. They keep time via battery-powered quartz movement, the most popular mechanism for inexpensive watches. All are water-resistant (though not waterproof) to at least 30 meters, and it’s generally safe to take the digital watches swimming or wear them in the shower.
As an Experian Simmons analyst recently told NPR’s "All Things Considered," with a cell phone in every purse and pocket, watches have started to become more about fashion than function. However, it may still interest you to know that, according to reviews, the watches listed above also accurately perform their most fundamental duty -- to tell time.
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