As its name suggests, a day-date watch is one that displays the day of the week along with the date. Not only is it one of the most practical types of calendar watches you can own but it’s also simple to use and set. While the day-date is mostly associated with the exceedingly expensive and ultra-prestigious Rolex President Day-Date watch, there are in fact plenty of budget-friendly versions available in the market. If you’re looking to add one of these to your collection, here are 7 affordable day-date watches under $1,000 to consider.
Swatch Dark Glow
Priced at $85
Cheap and cheerful has been Swatch’s mantra since the company’s debut in the 1980s. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that this beloved Swiss watch brand has a few affordable day-date watches in its catalog. One that caught our eye is the Swatch Dark Glow, which is a new model for 2023.
Part of the New Gent collection, the Swatch Dark Glow is a black watch with bright multicolored accents on the dial and vibrant light blue stitching on the outer edge of the solid matte black silicone strap. The day and date windows are easy to read at the 3 o’clock position while the thin and light case (made from bio-sourced material) adds almost no weight or bulk to the wrist. Powered by quartz and priced at less than $100, this Swatch is one of the most affordable Swiss-made day-date you can get your hands on.
Islander Mitchel DAY-T
Price starts at $199
Founded in 2019, Islander is the in-house watch brand of Long Island Watch, which is an online retailer of affordable and reliable watches. Islander has gained quite the following in recent years thanks to its range of inexpensive quality timepieces that are assembled in the USA. Case in point is the Islander Mitchel Day-T collection.
The Islander Mitchel Day-T is a classic field watch, complete with 12- and 24-hour markings for military time, a water-resistant rating of 100 meters, and a woven nylon strap with leather backing. The steel case measures 39mm in diameter, 12mm thick, and houses an automatic movement. The day and date display are unconventionally placed at the 6 o’clock position, which is surprisingly balanced with all the other elements on the dial.
There are a few dial and strap color options to choose from, yet the classic white dial and beige strap configuration is the one we gravitate towards. Coming in at less than $200, the Islander Mitchel Day-T is an affordable day-date watch that punches well above its weight.
Timex Marlin Automatic 40
Price starts at $259
For a vintage-inspired day-date timepiece that won’t break the bank, you can’t go wrong with the Timex Marlin Automatic 40. The subdued black dial includes simple stick hour markers, a trio of hands at the center, and an understated pair of day and date apertures at 3 o’clock that blend into the background. The dial is encased within a 40mm stainless steel case that clocks in at 13mm thick.
The watch also features a transparent caseback for a view of the automatic movement inside the case. Plus, there’s also the quick-release leather strap that sits between the lugs that are 20mm wide, which makes it a breeze to switch out the watch band when the mood strikes. With a retail price well below $300, the inexpensive Timex Marlin Automatic 40 with a day-date display looks a lot pricier than it actually is.
Bulova Surveyor Classic
Price starts at $350
With its steel case and steel bracelet, blue dial, and domed crystal, the Bulova Surveyor Classic checks off a lot of boxes for a “go anywhere, do anything” (a.k.a. GADA) modern watch. The 39mm steel case is ideal for a range of wrist sizes whilst the quartz movement is ultra-low maintenance.
The day and date windows at 12 and 3 o’clock, respectively, are similar to the display that Rolex made famous—right down to the arched day window at the top of the dial. Speaking of the dial, the rich blue color is the perfect backdrop for the silver-toned hands and baton hour markers and if you zoom in on the periphery, you’ll notice the snailed detailing on the minute track. With a sticker price of $350, this affordable day-date watch is one worth checking out.
Seiko Prospex SRPE93
Price starts at $495
A list of reasonably priced yet solid quality watches wouldn’t be complete with a Seiko. Enter the Seiko Prospex SRPE93 “Turtle”, which is a highly capable diving watch that happens to also have a day/date indicator on the dial.
As a diver, it has everything you need: a unidirectional timing bezel, a 45mm steel case water-resistant to 300 meters, and more than enough lume to go around. Its colorway is classic with a black dial, black bezel, and black silicone strap. Moreover, that signature crown placement at 4 o’clock means that you don’t have to deal with it digging into the back of your hand. Oh, and did we mention that this is an automatic ISO-standard diving day-date watch with a price tag of less than $500?
Tissot Heritage Visodate Powermatic 80
Price starts at $675
What the Tissot Heritage Visodate Powermatic 80 brings to the table is a little bit of that midcentury magic. Part vintage-inspired, part dress watch, and entirely suitable for the modern watch enthusiast, this Tissot is one of the best value propositions among Swiss-made day-date watches.
The watch features a prominent 42mm steel case (12.1mm thick) that’s topped with a domed sapphire crystal. On the black dial, we see the framed set of day and date indicators, along with faceted hands and hour markers. If you flip the watch around you’ll see the automatic movement that supplies the watch with an impressive 80 hours of power reserve via the display caseback. Finally, this elegant dressy watch is paired with a black leather strap furnished with a push button-activated butterfly clasp.
Hamilton Jazzmaster Day Date Auto
Price starts at $845
At the top of the price range for affordable day-date watches is the Hamilton Jazzmaster Day Date Auto, priced at less than $900. With its clean design, crisp white dial, and brown calf leather strap attached to its 40mm steel case, this Hamilton is an exercise in casual elegance. Fun fact: Sandra Bullock wore this exact watch model in the film ‘Ocean’s Eight’ (2018) when she played Debbie Ocean.
Powering the Hamilton Jazzmaster Day Date Auto is the automatic H-40 movement with 80 hours of power reserve, which is visible through the transparent caseback.
There you have it: seven fantastic day-date watches under $1000 that run the gamut from sporty to casual to dressy. Do you own a watch with day and date indicators? If not, would you ever consider adding one to your collection? Let us know in the comments below.