11 Best German Automatic Watches Under 500 Bucks


Germans make good stuff – BMW, Bosch, Hugo Boss, MG42 …

What about watches? Germany does produce some of the world’s best watches. A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte, Junghans are some examples. 

Are there any German watches that are more affordable? In specific, automatic German watches?

Of course. We scoured the net, asked many watch fans, and made this list for you – the 11 best German automatic watches under 500 bucks.

The Caveat

Here’s a thing. Like their cars, German watches aren’t as affordable as your Japanese ones. 

Searches online discovered many German watchmakers. However, you will need more than $500 to purchase most German in-house watches.

Those under $500 tend to be quartz or running on Japanese automatic movements – Miyota/Citizen and Seiko mostly. 

As a result, the list below excluded some fine German watchmakers, who we believe you should check out too – Junckers, Junghans, Hanhart, or Stowa especially. 

They have quartz watches under $500, or automatic watches over $500 that are absolutely stunning.

Another matter is that Amazon also does not sell all of the watches listed here.

We think this could be an issue as we have always recommended that you shop at Amazon due to its great policy of disallowing fake/imitation watches, and you get to read customer reviews.

This means you might have to order the watch directly from Germany. If this is the route you plan to go, we advise ordering direct from their online store to be safe.

Ok. done with the notes. So let’s bring out the list:

11 Best German Automatic Watches Under 500 Bucks

Laco Aachen Type B 861690

Laco was founded in 1925 at Pfzorheim, Germany. They are very well known for their Flieger (pilot) watches. The Laco Aachen is one fine example of their Fliegers.

The watch is 42mm in diameter, with a stainless steel case. The dial features full lume – all the hands, markers, and numbers are filled with Superluminova C3 lume. Similar to traditional Flieger watches, there is no day and date window.

The watch runs a Miyota/Citizen 821A automatic movement, branded as a ‘Laco 21’ movement. The movement allows hacking and hand winding. The watch is water-resistant up to 50M (165ft).

Zeppelin Graf Zeppelin 76565

Zeppelin watches are part of the group of brands under the manufacturer PointTec. PointTec was founded in 1987, and they launched Zeppelin watches in 2002. Zeppelin was created to celebrate the Zeppelin airship.

The Graf Zeppelin 76565 model features a beige dial with black numerals and indices. The hands and markers are luminous. It also comes with a K1 safety mineral crystal with a stainless steel case. 

The watch also runs a Miyota/Citizen 821A automatic movement, similar To Laco. The movement allows hacking and hand winding.

The watch comes with a black leather band and is water-resistant to 50M (165ft). The watch is made through in-house production in Ruhla, Germany.

Zeppelin Graf Zeppelin 76664

This model made this list as it features additional complications in its movement, compared to the Graf Zeppelin 76565. 

The Graf Zeppelin 76565 is powered by a Miyota/Citizen 82S5 movement with 21 jewels, hacking and manual winding. 

The dial is dark brown with white numerals and markers. All numerals, indices, and hands are luminated.

The watch comes with a black leather band and is water-resistant to 50M (165ft). The watch is made through in-house production in Ruhla, Germany.

Steinhart Ocean One 

Steinhart was a more recent watch company founded in 2001 by Gunther Steinhart. The company is based in Stadtbergen, Germany. Steinhart’s watches tend to use Swiss movements, making it a more premium offering than Laco or Zeppelin. 

They, however, do not seem to be sold on Amazon, so the second-best choice is to buy direct from their online store and have it shipped to you from Germany. 

The Ocean One has been recognized as a great lookalike/homage to the Rolex Submariner. To us, this is the best German automatic watches under 500 bucks that you can get.

The watch is 39mm, with stainless steel case and bracelet. The unidirectional rotation watch bezel is black ceramic.

The dial is black and features layouts and hands similar to the Submariner. Hands and markers are filled with Superluminova BGW9 lume.

The watch runs a 21-jewel Swiss Sellita SW200 automatic movement, based on the ETA2824, with day and date complications, hacking and manual winding. The watch is water-resistant up to 300M (990ft).

Laco Augsburg 861688

Laco Augsburg carries a cleaner appearance compared to Laco Aachen. The dial is much more simple and minimal – designed for a quick and easy read. 

The watch is 42mm in diameter, with a stainless steel case. The dial features full lume – all the hands, markers, and numbers are filled with Superluminova C3 lume. The watch also comes with brown calf leather with rivets for a firmer fit.

The watch runs a Miyota/Citizen 821A automatic movement, branded as a ‘Laco 21’ movement. The movement allows hacking and hand winding. The watch is water-resistant up to 50M (165ft).

GPW Military Titanium

GPW watches are one of the watch brands under the company Arctos Präzisionuhren. Arctos Präzisionuhren is a German watchmaking company that can trace its history to 1923.

GPW watches are designed based on the official issue watches for the German KRK (Crisis Reaction Force). It is rugged and reliable, with a titanium case and rubber strap. 

The watch runs a Miyota/Citizen 9015 automatic movement with 24 jewels. The 28800 BPH rate ensures a smooth sweeping second. The hands and markers are lumed. 

The watch is also given a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. It has a screw-in crown with 200M (660ft) water resistance.

Zeppelin Atlantic 84665

This Zeppelin timepiece carries a classic look, with a beige dial and stainless steel case. The numerals, indices, and hands are silver. In reversal than usual, the watch dial is lumed instead of the hands and markers. 

The watch runs a Citizen/Miyota 8205 movement with 21 jewels, with manual winding and hacking. The watch is protected by a K1 safety mineral crystal.

A black leather strap completes the package. The watch is water-resistant up to 50M (165ft) and is made in Ruhla, Germany.

Tauchmeister T0313

Tauchmeister means ‘dive master’ in German and should tell you what sort of watches this company makes. Their dive watches are very functional and place design behind the form. 

If you want a dive watch with massive dials, markers, hands, and 1000M (3280ft) water resistance on the cheap, go with Tauchmeister. 

The T0313 is a massive 52mm diameter watch with a stainless steel case with a rubber strap. The dial is bright green, with luminous markers and hands. 

T0313 runs a 21-Jewel Chinese Seagull TY-2846 automatic movement, with hacking and manual winding. It also features a unidirectional rotating bezel with a helium release valve.

Laco Valencia 861651

Laco Valencia made this list as it carries a different look than the Aachen and the Augsburg. It is essentially a classic navy watch, with a 42mm diameter case with a beige dial. The numerals and hands are black.

The watch runs a Miyota/Citizen 821A automatic movement, branded as a ‘Laco 21’ movement. The movement allows hacking and hand winding. A date window is present at the 6 o’clock position.

The watch also comes with a light brown leather strap and is water-resistant up to 50M (165ft).

Steinhart Nav B-Uhr 44 

If you wish for a more premium Flieger watch than what Laco and Zeppelin are offering, consider Steinhart’s. The Nav B-Uhr 44 is a 44mm watch with a stainless steel case with a riveted leather strap.

The watch hands and markers are blued with Superluminova BGW3 lume. A sapphire crystal comes with the watch, and double anti-reflective coatings are added on the inside of the crystal.

The watch runs a 25-jewel Swiss Sellita SW200 automatic movement, based on the ETA2824, with hacking and manual winding. It is water-resistant up to 30M (100ft).

Tauchmeister T0079

Another serious offering from Tauchmeister, with all functions worthy of a deep dive watch. 

Features a massive 46mm stainless steel casing, helium release valve at the 10 o’clock position, a screw-in crown, luminous hands in orange color, and a unidirectional rotating bezel. 

The watch is powered by Miyota 8215 automatic movement with manual winding and hacking. The watch comes with a rubber strap for maximum grip underwater and is water-resistant up to 1000M (3280ft)

Wrapping Up: 11 Best German Automatic Watches Under 500 Bucks

There you go, our take on the best German automatic watches under 500 bucks. 

To be honest, not all watches here are 100% German. We mean 100% designed, manufactured, and assembled in mighty Deutschland.

But honestly, how many companies these days do that? Not many Swiss watchmakers dare to guarantee that they design, manufacture, and assemble their watches in Switzerland anyway.

Aside from German watches, we also reviewed some affordable watches that look like Rolex Submariner and the Rolex Datejust. Feel free to check them out. Thanks for reading!

Nigel Ignatius

Nigel is the principal creator of WatchPursuits.com, a website dedicated to watches. Inspired by the dedication and effort of watchmakers now and old, Nigel has a passion for watches and looks forward to share his passion with the world.

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