The best automatic watches quality/price ratio in the UK 2023

Automatic watches may seem like an anachronism in today's digital world, but there are situations where you can't always rely on your phone right now. Here's our buying guide on automatic watches with criteria to consider as well as a selection of the best models out there.

Fossil ME3110 1

The best choice of the editors

Fossil ME3110

The best automatic watch value in 2021

The Fossil ME3110 has an automatic timepiece. The clock face is blue and covered with mineral glass. Note the leather strap. This beautiful timepiece is a must have choice if you have less than 200 euros.

132 £ on Amazon

Fossil may not come to mind when talking about self-winding watches due to the brand's tendency to focus on trendy quartz chronographs rather than quality self-winding pieces. Regardless of that, this particular model has the wherewithal to prove the doubters wrong. This Fossil Townsman Classic - Citadine runs on a Japanese automatic movement with 21 jewel bearings, keeps correct time with luminescent hands, Roman numerals, hour markers, track and has a power reserve of up to 36 hours.

That's more than enough when you consider the extravagant looks. The dial has a circular cut to highlight the intrinsic colorful mechanism. If you flip the watch over, you can also get a look at the inner workings of the case. The overall design doesn't let down either, the color combination works perfectly, giving this timepiece the lavish look with its Mineral Glass that a true fashionista expects from the brand.

Casio G-SHOCK Men's Digital Quartz 2

The best cheap

Casio G-SHOCK Men's Digital Quartz

The best automatic watch value in 2021

Everyone needs a G-Shock, whether you work outside and wear it every day, or need a durable watch to wear. This Casio G-Shock features a stainless steel case with black dial and is closed with a resin strap.

82,59 £ on Amazon

The Casio G-Shock Men's Digital Quartz here is a combined analog/digital Sport/Adventure model with a Japanese mechanism. The multi-dimensional hour and minute hands look like they were carved from a piece of metal for a powerful and bold design. The new shape of these resin watches with its mineral glass not only improves readability, but also projects a robust feel. A front button at 6 o'clock adds to the dynamic, cutting-edge style.

All the convenience of the analog-digital format, high-brightness LED lighting, a manual shift function and more add up to the best in timekeeping convenience. A 3D face combined with a particularly robust design gives this automatic watch a dynamic and robust appearance.

Seiko SNZF17K1 3

The best high end

Seiko SNZF17K1

The best automatic watch value in 2021

If there's one watchmaker capable of producing top-notch automatic watches in every imaginable style and movement type, it's Seiko. The Seiko SNZF17K1 is probably one of the brand's most successful series. Just look at the way it looks!

343 £ on Amazon

The Seiko SNZF17K1 runs on a 23-jewel movement Japanese mechanism with a standard power reserve of 40 hours. As with all Seiko calibers, the accuracy is up to par and rarely disappoints. On the outside, the watch reflects the appeal of a dive watch with a unidirectional bezel and trendy luminous hands and hour markers. Water resistance is guaranteed to 100 meters (330 feet), which is sufficient for surface water activities, but not for scuba diving.

Overall, the design works for young and old alike, whether you're a lawyer or a gym instructor. The bright black dial works well with the silver bracelet. Features include a stainless steel case and bracelet with a push-button folding clasp and security lock function, day/date display,luminous markers, luminous hands, hour markers and track markers, luminous hour markers and a Hardlex crystal for durability and a unidirectional bezel.

Tissot Matics III Daydate 4

The best excellent choice

Tissot Matics III Daydate

The best automatic watch value in 2021

Time holds no secrets with the Tissot Matics III Daydate, as the automatic movement always remains visible through a transparent caseback. Tissot Mmatics III timepieces make an elegant statement, punctuated by a clever attention to detail, including a neat day and date display.

319 £ on Amazon
Buying guide • November 2023

Best automatic watch quality/price ratio

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The best automatic watch value in 2021

The best automatic watch value in 2021

The best automatic watch value in 2021

The best automatic watch value in 2021

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best automatic watches quality/price ratio

Editor's Choice Inexpensive Top of the line Excellent selection
Fossil ME3110 5
Casio G-SHOCK Men's Digital Quartz 6
Seiko SNZF17K1 7
Tissot Matics III Daydate 8
Fossil ME3110
Casio G-SHOCK Men's Digital Quartz
Seiko SNZF17K1
Tissot Matics III Daydate
The Fossil ME3110 has an automatic timepiece. The clock face is blue and covered with mineral glass. Note the leather strap. This beautiful timepiece is a must have choice if you have less than 200 euros.
Everyone needs a G-Shock, whether you work outside and wear it every day, or need a durable watch to wear. This Casio G-Shock features a stainless steel case with black dial and is closed with a resin strap.
If there's one watchmaker capable of producing top-notch automatic watches in every imaginable style and movement type, it's Seiko. The Seiko SNZF17K1 is probably one of the brand's most successful series. Just look at the way it looks!
Time holds no secrets with the Tissot Matics III Daydate, as the automatic movement always remains visible through a transparent caseback. Tissot Mmatics III timepieces make an elegant statement, punctuated by a clever attention to detail, including a neat day and date display.
Classic - Urban
Classic - Urban
Case material
Stainless steel, black PVD
Stainless steel
Steel 316L
Glass quality
Mineral glass
Mineral glass
Crystal Hardlex
Sapphire glass
Display specificity
Luminescent hands, Roman numerals, Index and track
Index and track, high-brightness LED lighting
Luminescent hands, Index and track, luminescent indexes
Index and railroad
Japanese automatic movement
Analog/digital combo with Japanese Mechanism
Japanese mechanism with safety lock function
Swiss design

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Buying guide - automatic watch quality/price ratio

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How to choose your automatic watch quality/price ratio

Fashion is a broad term. Yet, it is commonly associated with clothing, shoes and accessories. Whether you are looking for the best outfit to include in your wardrobe or you are looking for automatic wristwatches as part of your accessories to complement your everyday outfits, there are always a few criteria you should consider to ensure that there will be no regrets in the end.

#1 - The style

Watches come in all shapes and sizes. In general, you can categorize watches into one of the following styles: sport, luxury, casual, vintage. The style you should look for depends on when you plan to wear your watch the most. If you just want a traditional watch, for example, that fits well in a variety of personal and professional settings, a casual or vintage watch should suffice. Finally, if you're an outdoor enthusiast or athlete, a sports watch is likely to have the features and strength you're looking for.

#2 - The material

Canvas and plastic watches seem less expensive, but are generally more durable and useful outdoors. On the other hand, metal materials all look incredible, but gold and silver watches get expensive fast. As for the strap, leather is less durable, but lightweight and adds a traditional look to the watch.

#3 - Water resistance

Most watches have some water resistance so you don't have to worry about water splashing on them when you wash your hands. However, many (mostly sports) watches are either splash-proof or suitable for swimming and diving.

#4 - The weight

Some watches barely feel like they're on your wrist, while others feel like a brick. Find something that makes you feel comfortable. If you like a watch but want a lighter version, see if you can find a similar model with a leather strap instead of a metal band.

#5 - Luminosity

Another less common feature is a bright face. If you plan to use your watch a lot at night, a luminous face helps a lot. Plus, it's just fun to play with from time to time.

The size

A watch size is a major factor that you must carefully consider. The reason is simple. A perfect watch size means you can use it more comfortably than having one that is too big or too small for your wrist. To clarify, watch size simply means the size of the watch face, commonly known as the dial. Currently, different automatic watch manufacturers offer three watch sizes in 44mm, 40mm and 36mm.

Most men's automatic watches have 44mm dials while women's automatic watches are available in 36mm. The 40mm is more often considered the "unisex" size.

The different types of automatic watches quality/price ratio

Most watch purchases are based solely on the exterior, a detail-oriented man will appreciate the mechanism inside a watch. Here are a few types of automatic watches to know to make your purchase easier.

Analog automatic watch

An analog automatic watch usually consists of a mechanism that creates the "ticket" movement and simultaneously moves the second, hour and minute hands.

The hour hand is shorter than the minute hand and the second hand is the thinnest and longest hand on the dial. The dial is often called the "face of the watch". It has fixed numerical or hour markers in the correct order, to which the hands point to indicate the time. These numbers can be in many forms. They can be Arabic numerals or Roman numerals.

Also, to simplify things and sometimes to add creativity, some dials do not have all the indexes. Some have only marked the 12, 3, 6 and 9 digits. Between these hour markers are the minute markers. They are comparatively much smaller and usually come in the form of indexes.

Digital automatic watch

Elegant, sporty and always ready to use, digital watches are the multifunctional and technological versions of their analog counterparts. Ideal for active watch wearers, digital watches have the features to fit active and dynamic lifestyles.

As one of the most durable watches, digital watches can handle almost anything. You can focus on your performance, without worrying about whether or not your watch will be damaged when you run to the finish line or climb a mountain.

Automatic mechanical watch

A mechanical watch is powered only by a mainspring. Assembled from hundreds of parts, the movement of a watch is sometimes called the "heart" of the watch.

In a hand-wound mechanical watch, the heart beats as the mainspring is wound by hand at the crown, giving it a unique, human quality. This is different from a self-winding mechanical watch, where the mainspring is wound by the movement of the wearer's arm.

For those with automatic winding, the watch will automatically recharge itself when you wear it thanks to the energy you will create with your wrist. However, these watches have a power reserve of between 40 and 48 hours when not worn. When they are stopped, it is possible to wind them by means of the crown.

Automatic watch or manual watch

Automatic watch

An automatic watch is a mechanical wristwatch with a self-winding mechanism. In other words, it is not necessary to wind the crown periodically to keep the watch running.

A hand-wound or manual watch must be wound by hand, using the crown, usually daily, to keep it running. Many people buy automatic watches so they can simply put the watch on and not have to worry about winding the watch beforehand. Because of the above, the overall watch market offers a much wider selection of automatic watches than hand-wound watches.

With a few exceptions, these automatic watches seem to be more expensive. And because it is a weighted rotor, your watch will be heavier and thicker.

Manual watch

As mentioned earlier, a hand-wound or manual watch must be wound by hand, using the crown, usually every day, to keep it running.

Most hand-wound watches have simpler calendars, although they may include other complications such as chronographs. For those who are fascinated by the micro-mechanics of a mechanical watch, a hand-wound watch with a transparent back is a huge plus as it allows you to see more of the movement.

On the other hand, constantly turning the crown to wind the mainspring can lead to premature wear of the crown seal.


If one were to own only one watch and wear it every day, an automatic would be a good choice, as the watch will be worn regularly enough to stay wound, the owner would never need to manually wind the watch, and it is only necessary to set the time to compensate for drift and when switching to and from daylight saving time.

However, if you have more than one watch that is worn regularly, the advantage of automatic winding is diminished. The automatic can stop if it is not worn often enough. With some calendar mechanisms and other complications, this can add an inconvenience factor to resetting the watch.

Why buy an automatic watch ?

Easy maintenance

Maintaining an automatic watch is a breeze. Companies have made watch winders that are part jewelry box and part programmable rotator. This will help you to maintain all your watches in a simple and neat way. With a good watch winder, you can further increase the longevity of your precious and luxurious watches of better value.

Symbol of status and style

In addition to becoming the best tool for keeping time, best value automatic watches have also become a key fashion accessory for many people around the world. A stylish watch completes a person's look while adding a more captivating uniqueness to the overall personality. Without a doubt, automatic watches have become the most luxurious and trendy status symbol for many around the world. Moreover, while acting as a style piece, watches also offer a high degree of convenience.


Watches have been working well in the industry for quite a long time and they will certainly last forever. A few years ago, we only used watches to tell the time. These were considered the best and most attractive gadget to keep an accurate order and time measurement. And still after so many years, with the innovation of automatic watches, this timeless invention is considered as a striking piece of technology. Moreover, automatic watches are best known for their quality craftsmanship that makes them last like new for many years.

Valuable legacy

Investing in a beautiful watch will be considered as a valuable legacy by many generations. Thus, your family tree will remember you for many years for many centuries. Automatic watches literally last forever in the endless waves of time.


When done correctly, an automatic watch is a self-contained, almost living thing. The interior or what many call the "heart" of the watch beats through the movement of your wrist through the winding of the dial. The rotor, a small piece inside the watch, moves back and forth to start and store energy to wind the gears in the heart. Essentially, your movement moves the watch forward, creating a true connection between you and your timepiece.

The best brands of automatic watches quality/price ratio

In our opinion, the best brands of automatic watches quality/price ratio in 2022 are :


Since 1881, the Japanese watch brand Seiko has been making handmade watches and is ideal for those who appreciate perfection. Today, after more than 130 years of innovation, Kintaro Hattori's company is still dedicated to the perfection that the founder always strived for. The rich history of Seiko watches as well as the success is what makes Seiko one of the most prominent brands in the watch world.

Chs Tissot & Fils was founded in Le Locle, Jura, Switzerland in 1853 by the locally born and bred father and son duo of Charles-Félicien Tissot and Charles-Émile Tissot. As with most Swiss watch companies founded at that time, Tissot began life as a counter, an assembler of parts purchased from individual manufacturers in the region. With the growing T-Touch family, innovative classic pieces like the T-Complication Squelette, and classic, understated dress watches like the Le Locle Automatic, Tissot's future looks to be at least as long and rich as its past 161 years.

Fossil was founded in 1984 by Tom and Kosta Kartsotis, brothers, currently chairman and CEO respectively, focusing on fashion and value at a time when no company really did. The image communicated by the company was vintage Americana, which turned out to be a huge home run. In particular, the Fossil watch has a feel and look that sets it apart.

Casio Computer Company, Limited is a Japanese electronics manufacturer. This multinational giant has its headquarters in the Shibuya area of Tokyo. Started as a calculator developer, Casio markets mobile phones, musical instruments, cameras, watches, clocks, desktop computers, printers, electronic stationery and, of course, calculators. Casio has released wristwatches that have surprised many European and American brands, and the first G-shock watches have arrived at this point in Casio's history.

Founded in 1901 by Shogoro Yoshida, Orient watch is a Japanese watch brand that has established itself as a renowned manufacture and has held a place in the marketing of watches. Orient watches are built with its own in-house automatic movements.

What is the price for an automatic watch quality/price ratio

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

80 £ to 150 £
150 £ to 300 £
more than 300 £
Price range diagram


Setting the date and time

When setting the time, rotate the time forward rather than backward (clockwise, like a normal clock turns). This will help prevent damage to the date mechanism.

Winding the watch

Mechanical watches come with either a manual wind or automatic wind movement, sometimes it comes with both. There are a few steps to follow when winding your watch by hand. Get in the habit of winding your watch every day before attaching it. If it's an automatic, just strap it on.

Wearing the watch

There are only 2 or 3 watches that you wear regularly for example, and there are other watches that don't see the time on the wrist for weeks, which is not ideal for an automatic watch. The main problem is that the lubricants in the watch will remain unused for a long time and may clot when the watch is not used. This will reduce its accuracy or might even prevent the watch from working properly.

Keeping it clean and tidy

Often, the watch can get dirty due to normal use, sweat is one of the main contributing factors and it is important to keep it clean so that it can be kept for a long time. Fortunately, most automatic watches are made of stainless steel, so cleaning them is a breeze. A piece of cloth or tissue will suffice to wipe off any dirt or sweat that comes in contact with the watch. In terms of complete maintenance, most sources recommend between 2 and 7 years for regular maintenance of automatic watches. Some parts of your watch: case, gasket, crystal, hands, crown, etc. require a small overhaul to maintain its performance. This should be done by a professional.

Keep the unused watch in a suitable box

It is only logical that we should store our automatic watches in an appropriate box to protect them from dust and any damage that might happen to them. For example, it is not recommended to keep the watch in a drawer that you also used to keep your keys and other items, as these items can scratch the watch. Keeping it inside a box will also prevent accidental magnetization of the watch from being near electronic items.


How often should an automatic watch be maintained?

Like any car, automatic watches need cleaning and regular oil changes to keep them running efficiently. Maintenance ensures that your watch keeps time accurately and will continue to function for decades. For your watch, we recommend that you service it at least once every 3 to 5 years.

Should I wear an automatic watch every day?

Ideally, you should wear your automatic watch every day to keep it powered up and on time. However, most power reserves last about 48 hours. If you do not wear your watch for longer than that and it runs out of power, you can simply wind it manually with the crown to return the kinetic energy to the mainspring.

How do automatic watches work?

Automatic watches use the natural movement of the body to power the rotor. Each time the wearer moves his or her arm, the rotor rotates, which transfers energy to wind the mainspring, where the energy is stored. Many styles have a power reserve, which can keep the watch running for about a day without wear.

How long do automatic watches last?

Most automatic watches have a power reserve of about 48 hours. In terms of watch life, with regular and well-maintained care, an excellent automatic watch will serve you well for years.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Fossil ME3110 9
Fossil ME3110
Casio G-SHOCK Men's Digital Quartz 10
Casio G-SHOCK Men's Digital Quartz
Seiko SNZF17K1 11
Seiko SNZF17K1
Tissot Matics III Daydate 12
Tissot Matics III Daydate


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