A Breitling or a Rolex is the ultimate status symbol – heavy, stylish and almost impossibly expensive - which is probably why you tend to see them only on the wrists of billionaires and trustafarians, who don’t need to re-mortgage the house every time they want a new statement accessory.
Luckily, there are plenty of stylish men’s watches out there for under £300. Here are 10 of our favourite stylishly affordable men’s watch brands.
1. IngersollThis New York-based brand is best known for its skeleton watches, where part of the watch face is exposed to show the mechanisms inside. The leather strap and simple design mean that Ingersoll watches are particularly versatile.
2. Reclaimed VintageThe sort of watch your grandad would have worn. Asos brand Reclaimed Vintage sources classic designs and either replicates or restores them, creating an affordable range of accessories with an authentic vintage charm.
3. Michael KorsOne of the most popular mid-range watch brands, Michael Kors has a massive range of timepieces to choose from. Keep it sporty and simple with the rubber-strapped 'Dylan' chronograph, or splurge on a reassuringly weighty gunmetal version.
4. SkagenThe last word in Scandi-chic – these watches are beautifully minimalist. Available in an array of greys and silvers, each style of watch has one unique feature which makes it stand out from the pack.
5. MondaineIf you have your heart set on a Swiss watch, Mondaine may be the brand for you. It has just as much history as its more expensive counterparts and has produced some iconic timepieces over the years. The Mondaine SBB watch face is a design classic, and you can still pick one up for under £200.
6. KomonoThis is the watch for men who like to do things their own way. Chic, modern and customisable, the Komono range is a great place to start when you're looking for your first *nice* watch.
7. Daniel WellingtonThere's a lot to be said for Daniel Wellington’s timeless designs. Legend has it that Swedish entrepreneur Filip Tysander was inspired to create the watch line after meeting a suave Englishman called - yes - Daniel Wellington. Channel that old-school James Bond style with a leather-strapped 'Reading' watch, or mix it up with the brand’s famous NATO fabric straps.
8. Hugo BossThe Hugo Boss watch collection is incredibly varied, with styles ranging from the gentlemanly ‘Ambassador’, to the vintage ‘Pilot’ and the uber-sporty ‘Yachting’ bracelet watch. A safe investment.
9. Simon CarterThe London-based jeweller and watchmaker Simon Carter has a knack for taking a traditional watch design and updating it. Check out the Viridian Green Watch, which is beautifully made with raised Roman numerals and a bottle-green background, or the brand’s signature Chronograph models, with their plain white watch faces and clustered dials.
10. Paul SmithHe has made his name by designing sharp suits and shoes, but Paul Smith’s watches are destined to become just as popular. Future classics include the ‘MA Men’s Watch’, with its multi-coloured Roman numerals, and the truly original ‘Steering’ watch, which features an etching of a steering wheel on the back.