Five Great Grab-and-Go Quartz Watches Under $1,000

Whether you’re a seasoned high horology watch enthusiast, or a dedicated sports watch collector, everyone needs at least 1 or 2 easy to wear quartz watches. There are times when you don’t want something attention grabbing on your wrist, times when you’re in a rush out the door, and also some situations where you don’t want to risk damaging or getting a valuable watch unnecessarily dirty if you can avoid it. This is where the lovely quartz watch segment saves us. 

Not all Quartz watches fall into this ideology though, after all there are Quartz powered Royal Oaks and various other ultra high-end quartz watches that would serve no replacement as a beater watch. The watches we’re going to discuss today generally veer more towards affordability without compromise. These are watches that can be just as interesting as their mechanical counterparts – but they also serve as a “simple decision” watch, or perhaps just as a change of pace away from the mechanical theme within your personal collection.

G-SHOCK GWM5610-1 ($150)

Does G-SHOCK really need an introduction? Not really. This is a brand that’s become just as venerable as some of the most prestigious watch houses in the industry. They’ve built a name for themselves as being indestructible digital sports watches with resin cases that make excellent everyday wear watches. While the brand has a huge repertoire of models, some of them such as the GWM5610-1, truly stand out for their aesthetics as well as their robustness.



This model we have here is hands-down my favorite grab and go quartz watch. This is a watch that gets a surprising amount of wrist time within my personal collection, and when I initially purchased it I really didn’t expect much. While the majority of my watches on regular rotation are tucked away neatly in storage, my GWM5610-1 can be found in all corners of the house. Whether it’s on the banister near the stairs, on my night table, or occasionally found indiscriminately on the floor – it always seems easy to find and ready to go. 

The rest of my collection requires me to sit down for a few minutes to decide which watch is going to be the watch of the day. The G-SHOCK simply requires no thought if I’m planning on going for a bike ride, or doing some work in the backyard. 

The GWM5610-1 is sized perfectly for my 6.5 inch wrist, and compared to other G-Shock models with similar cases it has a slightly slimmer case. This specific model is also equipped with solar atomic timekeeping, making it even more of a hands-off experience. You’ll never have to worry about the batteries, and the time has been synced automatically with atomic precision. The watch is packed with pretty much all the features you’d expect in a modern digital watch, from dive rated water resistance to alarm and timing functions. 

Citizen Attesa Super Titanium ($695)

Citizen is well known for their Eco-Drive line of watches. It’s one of the most efficient methods of converting sunlight into usable power and storage within the watch battery. The Citizen Attesa seen here uses this tech, and it also happens to be constructed out of titanium, with a very attractive vintage inspired chronograph design. 

The Attesa is nearing the higher end of our budget coming in at a $695 retail price. Although at this price you’re getting an excellent grab and go quartz watch that is not only easy to wear but also adds some sophistication in terms of its functions. The Attesa is equipped with a 1/5 second chronograph that measures up to 60 minutes, as well as 12/24 hour time keeping. 

The benefits of a titanium watch are undeniable, which we’ve discussed in a previous guide. The weightlessness of this watch, combined with the tapering integrated bracelet make it a very comfortable wear as a daily. The dial also provides some visual interest, veering away from the traditional three sub-dial layout, the Attesa has gone rogue with a dual sub-dial layout, and a date window near the 3 o’clock position.

Seiko SUR309 ($250)

No grab and go quartz guide is complete without a Seiko option. While Seiko is highly regarded for their attainable automatic watches, no one should sleep on their quartz offerings. One such watch is the SUR309, a classy subdued looking time and date offering. The SUR309 is slightly reminiscent of their Presage line of watches, with its clean lines, simple and easy to read dial and dagger shaped hands. 

This watch is quite bare bones in its styling, which is what we want in a spur of the moment watch wearing decision. The advantage to this is its easy pairing regardless of what you’re wearing at that very moment. This is a classic style that can really blend in well with casual, smart-casual, and even formal wear if needed. The downside is that the watch can indeed be a little bland if you’re looking to spruce up your look, but then again if you had the time you could just choose another option within your collection.

The SUR309 is sporting quartz precision, a sapphire crystal, and Lumibrite filled hands and indexes. The standout feature is its excellent proportions, retaining that Seiko DNA with a near perfect 40.2mm case size, lug to lug of 47mm, and a case thickness of only 8.4mm. If you’re one to occasionally swap the bracelet for a strap the lug width of 20mm makes compatibility a non-issue with many aftermarket options. 

About Vintage 1954 World Traveler ($399)

Microbrands these days have undeniably transformed the watch industry. One such brand that has tuned into the enthusiast community is About Vintage, and they happen to also make a really neat Quartz offering that’s filling the GMT Diver gap on our list. Not only does a GMT Dive watch offer two of the most essential functions on a watch, but this particular one is also winning some style points with its purposeful retro flair.

I had the chance to review and spend some time with the 1954 World Traveller in the past, and I was very impressed with the overall fit and finish of the watch. I was equally impressed with the attention to detail within its design components, such as the easy to grip knurled bezel and patterned dial. While many so-called watch startups these days choose “cookie cutter” design elements, About Vintage has gone above and beyond to add their own individual flair to their watches. 

The 1954 is also equipped with a 5-link Jubilee-style bracelet, on theme with its vintage appearance, and also lending it a very comfortable contouring fit on wrist. The Quartz movement chosen for the 1954 is the Ronda 515-24H GMT, which of course allows you to track a second time-zone. The sword shaped hands are nice and wide with great contrast against the dial, and the GMT hand is siren orange allowing for quick distinction when reading the second time-zone. 

Mondaine Classic ($295)

If you want to add some traditional style, heritage, and brand prowess to your grab and go quartz watch, it’s going to have to be something from Mondaine – and for this specific purpose I’d recommend non-other than the Classic. If you’ve been to Switzerland before, or if you’ve simply seen images of Swiss train stations, you most certainly have seen the iconic Swiss train clock. Mondaine offers the ability to wear this Swiss clock on your wrist with pretty much any of their offerings.

This is a brand that offers a distilled version of a Swiss watch, and the Classic version here is incredibly simple to wear no matter what activity you’re doing, or time of day it is. The black hands against the sterile white dial offer great legibility, and the red seconds hand with its iconic oversized lollipop shape provides that fun nostalgia and Swiss branding that makes time telling interesting on each glance. 

This watch is offered in a multitude of different sizes, from the more conservative 36mm to 40mm that will provide more wrist presence. The Classic variant is also offered in women’s sizes as well, with all sizes offered on a wide choice of bracelet and strap options. If the white dial is a touch too ordinary for you, other colors such as blue and slate grey are available as well. The Classic is using a Ronda 513 RL movement, keeping in line with its authentic Swiss heritage. 

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Matt is a watch journalist and accessories designer based out of Montreal, Canada. He's always had an appreciation for watches, but his passion really took off while living in the UK and traveling much of Europe in his 20s. Rolex has always been a focal point for him ever since his purchase of an Air-King 114200 that was staring him down through a display window in Milan. Matt founded the in 2015, where he shares his watch knowledge accrued throughout his decade long journey in the watch industry.