Before even beginning to list the best possibilities that will allow you to purchase a mechanical watch without having to give up a small fortune this season, you must be aware of the fact that between a quartz watch and a mechanical watch lies a world of differences. Some are meticulous, some are exceptional and others are pure brilliant, hence the complex mechanism that keeps the mechanical watches on ticking.

Each one is a miniature world unto itself, a tiny functioning mechanism, a congeries of minute and mysterious moving parts. Moving parts! And consequently these watches are, in a sense, alive. They have heartbeats.” And no one could have captured the essence of a mechanical watch better than William Gibson. So, if you happen to be one of the guys who love to peek beyond the surface, if you value history and you know about jewels, gears and double chronographs, a mechanical watch might just be the perfect fashion accessory for you: intricate, valuable, collectible.

Read on to find out 5 picks for the best mechanical watches under $500, after the break.

Men's mechanical watches

Kent Wang – Bauhaus Watch

Inspired by the 1930s architecture movement, thus appearing clean and sophisticated, the Kent Wang Bauhaus watch is the epitome of minimal design. But beneath his apparent simplicity the dress watch hides a meticulously crafted mechanical movement. Wear it with a sleek button down shirt, a classic trench coat and a pair of complementary leather brogues.

Kent Wang Bauhaus Watch

Seiko SNX 113 120

Another classy take on the mechanical movement, the Seiko SNX 113 120 dress watch is perfected by the stainless steel link bracelet and the timeless black dial color. Elegant, yet bold, the Seiko SNX 113 120 can be styled with a crisp round collar white shirt, a fine gray colored wool-suit and a pair of black leather brogues.

Seiko SNX 113 120

Hamilton – Mechanical Officer

If your aesthetic is better represented by the pilot/military inspired takes on the mechanical watch then you will love the versatile, dependable yet polished look of the Hamilton Mechanical Officer. Standing for simplicity, the khaki field and the canvas straps help build a basic, yet timeless design. For an effortless look, wear the watch with a slim cotton t-shirt, a black leather messenger bag and a pair of suede driving shoes.

Hamilton Mechanical Officer

Emporio Armani – Meccanico Automatic Round Watch

Flaunting a busy design but doing it so with a purpose, the Emporio Armani Meccanicco automatic timepiece is loved particularly for the revealing of the inner workings of a mechanical watch. Featuring a full skeleton dial, an exhibition caseback and a croc-embossed leather strap, the diver watch can be styled with a wool rollneck sweater, a pair of slim-fit jeans and a complementary double-breasted blazer.

Emporio Armani Meccanico Automatic Round Watch

Breil – Orchestra’ Round Automatic Watch

Highlighting the complex appeal of an edgy glass-and-steel case, Breil’s Orchestra automatic watch looks grown-up, modern and quite unique. The mesh bracelet ensures a comfortable fit, while the stainless steel begs for a casual-chic styling. Team the watch with a long-sleeved polo shirt, a pair of slim-fit chinos and a pair of light-colored sneakers.

Breil Orchestra’ Round Automatic Watch

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