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Guy Smarts The 5 best watches under $500

Instantly upgrade your wrist—without totally breaking the bank.

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watches under $500 play

watches under $500

(Photograph by Men's Health)

Every guy—from high school grads to aspiring CEOs—should own a watch.

And it's never too late to buy your first. Luckily, you won't have to drop a whole paycheck to find one worthy of your wrist.

Most beginners go for an understated quartz (battery-powered) model, while more die-hard collectors go right for the automatic (self-winding) kind. The key is to find cool models from brands that aren't the obvious pick.

No matter what your needs or budget, you can find a great watch for $500 or less. See the video above and you'll see these crucial elements that are sure to set your look apart:

Nato Strap: A woven nylon strap adds instant cool and a pop of color. Plus, it looks just as great on a dress watch as it does on a casual one.

Blackout Watch: Watches with a black strap, case, and dial create a sleek style that'll make your look more badass than before.

Metal Bracelet: Sportier than leather, these bracelets are a great, sweat-proof option for summer. The metal will go great with any look.

Leather Strap: A must-have for any man's closet, leather is so versatile it can skew dressy or casual, depending on the details.

Automatic Movement: This is where most watches get pricey, but as you'll see in this video some newer brands are producing automatic movements for much less than their Swiss predecessors.

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