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    The Dumb Watch Ain’t Dead Yet: Celebrate Simplicity with 10 Modern Watches Under $500
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The Dumb Watch Ain’t Dead Yet: Celebrate Simplicity with 10 Modern Watches Under $500

10 Modern Watches Under $500

In a few months, there will be millions of unique snowflakes all wearing the same smart watch. The Apple Watch is a great piece of technology, but it’s also the first Apple product that blurs the lines between tech and fashion. And if you, your Mom and your cousin are all wearing that same timepiece, the fashionable factor goes right out the window. To respond to what could likely be a growing resistance to an increasingly unfashionable smart watch, we’ve outlined 10 stylish watches that are available for less than the price of an Apple Watch.

Say you don’t like the idea of wearing the same watch as millions of your peers. Say you don’t like the idea of notification harassment on your wrist. Say you value the freedom of simple timekeeping and distinctive styling. This list is for you. We love and admire the Apple Watch, but when it comes to fashion, we value being different above all else. Do you “Think Different”? These 10 modern watches under $500 are our favorite Apple Watch alternatives on the market.

Minimal Modern Watch: The AARK Classic Amber Watch

Modern Watches Under $500: AARK Classic Amber Watch 1

In contrast to the over-complicated smart watches arriving in abundance, the AARK Classic Amber Watch is simple, elegant and sexy. It is composed of just a few elements, including gold stainless steel, Italian leather and a trio of hands that display the hour, minute and second. It is traditional in function, but it is light years away from traditional in design. It’s a statement to be worn on your wrist, a watch that will stand out amongst its smart watch counterparts.

AARK Classic Amber Watch | Gallery

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Futuristic Modern Watch: The Nooka Zizm Watch

Nooka Zizm Watch

This strange, prismatic watch has always been the polished gem of the Nooka Watch collection. Its faceted crystal display plays with light in a special way, giving it an appearance that feels futuristic and almost fractured from reality. The dials beneath show the time in a way only Nooka lovers will understand, but after a glance or two, you’ll be a part of that club in no time. [$375 at Nooka]

Traditional Modern Watch: Braun Classic Watch BN0035 Timepiece

Modern Watches Under $500: Braun Classic Watch BN0035 Timepiece 1

When it comes to industrial design, there are few names as venerable or influential as Braun. They’re the people who spent decades making coffee makers, radios and other household goods into desirable, beautiful products. Braun hasn’t stopped. Today, they produce a line of modern watches with the same visual elegance of their original design breakthroughs. For the design-minded, there’s little cooler than an official Braun wrist watch. [$300 at Braun]

Braun Classic Watch BN0035 Timepiece | Gallery

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Wooden Modern Watch: The Grovemade Wood Watch

Grovemade Wood Watch 1

While new watchmakers like Apple and Samsung are reaching for glass, steel and silicon to build their watches, others are reaching back to organic influences to innovate. The Grovemade Wood Watch is a perfect example, a wooden watch that tells the time in an unique way while looking like the timepiece of the future. The Grovemade Wood Watch sports a circular walnut case (also available in maple) with 12 circular holes that display the time. A pair of spinning hands pass through these holes on the minute and the hour, displaying time in a simpl, stylistic way to the wearer. It’s progressive in design, but it’s timekeeping at its core functionality. [$239 at Grovemade]

Grovemade Wood Watch | Gallery

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Modern Concrete Watch: The 4th Dimension Concrete Wrist Watch

22 Design Studio 4th Dimension Concrete Wrist Watch 4

If you can build a watch with wood, why not try concrete? The unusual dial of the 4th Dimension Concrete Watch is a thin concrete wafer that is molded in a stair-step fashion. The hour and minute hand spin over this cascading concrete dial that is marked with a “step” for each hour. It’s one of the most unusual dials we’ve seen in a modern watch, and it succeeds in standing out in the world of watchmaking. [$399 at Gessato]

22 Design Studio 4th Dimension Concrete Wrist Watch | Gallery

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Minimal Modern Timepiece: Void V02 Jump Hour Watch


The Void V02 Jump Hour Watch is a juxtaposition in timekeeping. It’s simple and stylish — but complicated in display. The genuine leather band and the brushed aluminum case are minimal by design. The display is complicated by contrast, showing the time using a half-face jump hour layout with two analog arms to show the time. The long hand points to the minute, the short hand to the hour, and the color indicates which set of numbers each hand is pointing at. [$205 at VoidWatches]

Classic Modern Watch: The Nixon Private SS Watch

Modern Watches Under $500:Nixon-Private-SS-Watch-1

The Nixon Private SS Watch is a little bit hip hop, a little bit rock and roll. It’s like Run DMC and Aerosmith teamed up on a watch design. The Nixon Private SS sports a gold-colored stainless steel band with gold hands, markers and logo on the black case. Sure, it’s a little flashy, but that’s the point of a watch in the first place. It’s one of the few parts of a man’s wardrobe where he’s allowed to step outside the lines a bit. [$200 at Nixon]

Nixon Private SS Watch | Gallery

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Pure Modern Minimalism: Hygge 3012 Watch


It’s a challenge to get much more minimal than this. The Hygge 3012 Watch sports a circular case, made from poly material that continues into the band, and a pair of dials that spin in a simply marked display. There’s nothing else to it, and that’s precisely how it should be. It tells the time and makes a statement about your character — and it won’t annoy you with notifications or other bells and whistles you don’t need nor want. [$255 at Watchismo]

Hygge 3012 Watch | Gallery

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Modern Material Watch: The Skagen Ancher Felt Watch


Skagen might just be the Danish word for “Simple”. The Skagen Ancher Felt Watch is one of our own personal favorites thanks to its simple appearance but the rare material it uses in its band. It sports a fine wool felt band that contrasts with the cool metal case. The display itself is simple, presenting nothing more than the most basic timekeeping information. That’s precisely the point, and why we adore the Skagen brand so much. [$145 from Skagen]

Minimal Modern Sport Watch: The Ziiiro Gravity Watch

Modern Watches Under $500:Ziiiro Gravity Watch 3

Modern minimalism often includes sharp angles and hard lines, but not in the case of hte Ziiiro Gravity Watch. This is one of the most exotic-looking watches available today, despite showing the time in a traditional manner. It has two “hands”, one for the hour and the other for the minute, that rotate in a liquid form to tell the time. The bands are replaceable, and can be exchanged for different colors, and we’re partial to the black and blue or that lovely green above. It’s a wild watch, one certain to impress the smart watch wearers near you. [$169 at Ziiiro]

Ziiiro Gravity Watch | Gallery

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If you suffer from watchlust as much as we do, you’ll want to check out the full collection of watches we’re following out on Pinterest. Beyond this $500 price cap, there’s a ton of modern watches out there that are sure to inspire you. Peep our pin board on modern watches below: