[no_toc] Of all the accessories you can use to complement your fashion sense, a watch is the most timeless choice. Right out the door, a major problem women face today is how elitist watches are perceived to be. For the longest time, they were only available to those who belonged to the upper class – the Al Capones and the Rothschilds of the society. It seems that thinking made quite a mark, because that perception stuck.

But who says you need to cash out thousands of dollars to get a watch worth wearing? $500 or less is more than enough to hook your next watch. Times have changed and continue to change. From Tag Heuer to Seiko, the biggest and best known brands today cater for all classes of people. They may not be as flashy as their more expensive counterparts, but are still incredibly stylish. For the sake of diversity, though, some watches in the higher echelons are included, too.

Citizen Eco Drive

Watch movements are of keen interest wherever watches are involved. Many a times, the movement of the watch defines its finesse.  When it comes to watches, or watch movements, more specifically, the mechanical movement gets all the love. This is something I very much understand, and appreciate. Quartz movements do have something to offer as well, whether you are looking for absolute accuracy, affordability, or lighter weight. When we get into quartz, there are more options that open up for some cool technology. Take, for instance, how we power the movement. With a mechanical, we can wind it up. For a quartz, well, you’re just swapping batteries, unless you pick up something like a Citizen Eco-Drive.

This exquisitely attractive timepiece has a place in literally every woman’s wardrobe because of the sheer amount of class it emanates. From the two-tone stainless steel bracelet to the white dial with a date window at the three o’clock mark, this watch is a force to be reckoned with.

Michael Kors Women’s Parker Black Watch MK5885

The Michael Kors brand is known for the sophistication they exude, all without the pressure of parting with insane amounts of money. The MK5885 does an excellent job of representing what the company stands for in this regard.

This watch is built almost exclusively from the most elegant features you can find. Staring at the watch dial, all these features come together the kind of aesthetic sophistication we’ve come to expect from Michael Kors. The luminous hands and crystal-accented bezels make for a great match up for all your formal occasions; while the stainless steel band makes for a stylish entrance while hanging out with friends. The luminous gold-colored hands and crystal index markers at the hour make it a very easy read.

It also boasts of a quartz movement and scratch-resistant mineral crystal. It’s sturdy enough to withstand quite a bit of abuse, even underwater. It’s water resistant for up to 100 meters, making it an okay watch for a swim but definitely not one you want to go diving with.

The greatest attributes of the Michael Kors MK5885 watch are the fact that it’s very easy to incorporate with your daily casual wear and can just as easily be suited for formal occasions.

Bulova Women’s 98R153 Precisionist Brightwater Watch

The Bulova Precisionist Brightwater, specifically selected from the Highbridge Collection, goes out to the diamond-lovers. It’s a stainless steel piece, with white ceramic surrounded with 8 diamonds around it, each individually set by by hand. Needless to say, it’s quite something to marvel at.

On the extras side, this watch comes with a nacre dial, second hand and calendar at the 3 O’clock position. For the swimmers, it also has a water resistance of up to 30 meters. All these elements serve to surround the mother-of-pearl dial, which is in turn preserved by tough mineral crystal. The Japanese Quartz movement is also a nice add-on feature.

At 30 mm, the diameter of the watch is also adequately large to cater for the greater part of women. If you have large wrists, though, this might not be the best choice for you. The bracelet is constructed from stainless steel, so it’s not the most comfortable thing you’ll come across, but that’s easily replaceable. It might not be the flashiest piece you’ll come across, but the design is definitely timeless.

Michael Kors Women’s Darci

Once again from the Michael Kors collection comes the Darci. This timepiece has a mature yet playful feel to it, unlike the previous pick that’s much better suited for formal occasions. It’s one of those accessories that can be paired with literally everything thanks to its rose-gold watch face and bezels.

The design is reminiscent of his earlier works, featuring the classic dial design on a sparkling pave case. And the steel bracelet is the final part that completes the whole watch look. It’s a piece that’s both comfortable to the touch and easy to accessorise. Just like the Bulova, it’s a perfect balance of orthodox and natural.

Samsung Gear S2 Smartwatch

To mix things up a bit, here is arguably the most popular watch on this list by one of the most renown tech giants on the planet. Even more so, this is the first and only digital entry on the list, and boy does it enter with a bang.

The Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch comes bundled with Android 4.4 Kitkat, a little ancient but definitely gets the job done. Even better, the operating system on the watch allows it to work together with a wide ecosystem of devices. As long as it has bluetooth, it will likely work. Best of all, it’s even compatible with iPhones starting iOS 9.0, albeit not all features are available. Starting at 1.5GB RAM, it’s powerful enough to receive calls from, browse and even send texts from.

Tech specifications aside, the Samsung Gear S2 comes in six different colors, with the rose gold being the flashiest and easiest one to match. Altogether, the genuine leather, precious metal linings and beautiful finishes converge to create a wearable that’s more sophisticated and elegant than any other techy watch will offer.

Perhaps best of all is that this watch is almost completely intuitive. Once you get started, you just dive into it and you feel like you’ve had it your whole life. With time, the interface does tend to seem a bit drab but there’s never a shortage of ways to customise it to fit your needs. If you’re into technology, then look no further.

TAG Heuer Women’s “Aquaracer”

Tag Heuer has for a long time been the butt of many criticisms when it comes to men’s watches. Some are deserved while a great part of it is just the usual bandwagoning, but all that aside, their Aquaracer series is something worth sitting down and considering for a moment.

Perhaps the first barrier of entry is the price, since not everyone is able to afford a watch that runs into the thousands. If you are however, this watch is quite possibly the pinnacle of dive watches (at least from Tag Heuer). The design is very exquisite, and right the moment you you get your hands on this beauty, you feel the class dripping through your fingers.

It all starts with the steel case – 28.3mm in diameter, polished and feminine brushed. The magic continues with the unidirectional Arabic markers at an interval of ten minutes. All these elements go around the sleek silver dial at the center of the watch face with silver-accented hour markers. Two Arabic numerals – one at the twelve hour mark and another at the six hour mark – help maintain the watch’s moderate feel.

The hands are also silver toned and boast the famed Swiss quartz movement, the elements all sheathed from damage by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. Finally, the watch has the most impressive water resistance capabilities of any watch on this list so far. Being a diver watch, you’d expect that, bit 980 feet is quite the feat. If you’re a collector or just want something to perhaps pass on as a heirloom, this classic timepiece is a great place to start.

Bulova 96B104 96B100 (gold PVD)

Dropping down to a watch that’s in the more affordable range of $80 – $100, Bulova show up again, this time with a minimalist timepiece. However, this is one of those watches, despite being adequately impressive by itself, shouldn’t be expected too much of.

If you’re familiar with the American company, Bulova, then you likely aware of their most famous design principles with regards to watch faces. The Bulova has the same pace as a traditional watch face – simple and clean. Tag Heuer are particularly guilty of cluttering their watch faces with lots of junk, an area Bulova succeed more than most.

The watch dial consists of a white circle that displays silver-coated hour indices. These are coated with lumen to make them easy to read even in the dark. A sub-dial at the three o’clock mark serves to display the date.

The watch bezel and case are made of stainless steel while a black leather band ties the whole piece together with a rather wide 37mm case diameter. The latter of these is textured leather that makes the watch both comfortable and functional (it does a great job at securing even small wrists). And if you’re a fan of Japanese quartz movement, you’re definitely in for a treat with this watch.

The final feature, that came as a bit of a surprise was the great water resistance. It’s both water and moisture resistant up to a depth of 99 feet. Considering its pricing point, if you’re a surfer or swimmer, this will be a great addition to your collection.

Nixon Time Teller A045897-00

Not a company renown for making luxury watches, Nixon definitely outdid themselves with this watch. It’s not the brightest, flashiest or even the most feature-packed phone you’re going to come across, but it’s the perfect pick for an entry-level watch.

The Nixon Time Teller is a 37mm 3-hand movement watch designed to, above all, appeal to the human senses. Nixon adopted a minimalist philosophy in the making of this watch, so the dial, with it’s custom-molded hands and stainless steel bracelet are both comfortable and aesthetic to look at. It has the original Nixon design that so many people have become used to so far – the appearance is versatile enough to be reused without tiring.

It may not be the best money can buy it’s affordable enough to be added to one or two wishlists, at the very least. This watch has very strong and clear cut features to clean up the muddy area between telling time and keeping to date with the latest fashion. It’s been built so brilliantly there is no doubt it will be able to stand the test of time.

Victorinox Women’s 24022 Alliance Steel Watch

Despite being one of the best watches on here, it has a rather ‘aggressive’ look. Other than that, this watch gets full marks. The Swiss have been long known for their attention to detail when it comes to their watches. The Victorinox Alliance is the perfect example of what watchmaking should aspire to to be.

Depending on your budget, you can pick one of seven models. Each is unique in its own way, too. However, to break everything into small digestible chunks, they all have textured leather straps with an adjustable buckle closure, and a round watch face with an average of 37mm. This is just wide enough to fit a great deal of features on the inside. This is not to mention the anti-reflection sapphire crystal that coats it. The same coating gives it an impressive 100-meter water resistance, which is a great deal plenty for the average user.

The first of these is the center dial, which is beautifully designed with mother-of-pearl, which gives it a feel of completion when paired with the round diamond at the six o’clock mark. The watch itself boasts of quartz movement on its three hands. Each of these, together with the hour markers, are toned with silver and diamond respectively and help the watch pair nicely with every other part it possesses. Overall, if you’re looking for something flexible and elegant at the same time, then look no further.

Seiko Women’s Two-Tone Solar Bracelet Watch

The Seiko Two-Tone is a special pick because its design underlies something that’s not all that common in the modern watch industry. This watch is slim and sleek, meant to be added to any woman’s accessory list. Right off the bat, though, we’ll admit it’s not the most beautiful watch you’ll ever come across, but in other respects, it’s actually quite respectable.

The first thing you’re likely to notice is the fact that the watch face is rectangular. This immediately makes it almost solely usable in formal contexts. You could use it otherwise, if you wish, but the overall aura it gives off is one of strict decorum. It’s also solar powered, which makes it unique from every other entrant on the list, but comes with (but doesn’t require) batteries in order to function.

The watch face is made from hardlex crystal, which means it can take a punch, and also features quartz movement. Perhaps the biggest downside to it is its (lack of) water resistance. The company claims it can withstand as much as 99 feet worth of water, but is known to stop functioning even after a simple bath. It can survive rain and occasional splashes of water, but won’t withstand submersion for medium to extended periods of time.