As much as we’ve learned about celebrity watches from awards season red carpet fits, Drake tracks, and Justin Bieber’s Instagram, the kind of six-figure grails preferred by the likes of Biebs and Drizzy are only one side of the A-list ticker universe. While they may not get as much hype as the Richard Milles and Audemars Piguets of the world, there are affordable watches celebrities love, from cult classic Timexes to G-Shocks built to survive the apocalypse. You won’t find tourbillons or diamond-set bezels here, but you will find a ton of style on a budget, and a timely reminder that a cool watch doesn’t have to cost thousands.
5 Affordable Mainstays of the Celebrity Watches World
Pete Davidson’s Casio Classic W735H-1AV Watch
Whether he’s stepping out in puffy DC skate shoes or custom-made Uggs, Pete Davidson’s accessory game is all about embracing the unexpected. His department store Casio—complete with G-Shock-inspired looks and a vibrating alarm—follows this playbook to a T.
Tyler, the Creator’s Casio MQ24-9B Watch
As has been noted on many occasions Tyler, the Creator has an excellent eye for watches. When he’s not flexing vintage Cartier and Louis Vuitton, the erstwhile Odd Future frontman proves this $16 Casio looks just as good as these grails (with or without a big fur hat.)
John Mayer’s Casio G-Shock Ref. DW-6900-PT1 Watch
In addition to his covetable array of rare Pateks, Rolexes, and Audemars Piguets, John Mayer has a soft spot for the G-Shock. After designing several versions of the DW6900 inspired by his favorite Casio keyboards, he recently collaborated on a trilogy of limited editions with Ed Sheeran, Online Ceramics, and most recently Hodinkee founder Ben Clymer. If you don’t fancy shelling out for one of these on the gray market, pick up Mayer’s other favorite G-Shock, the Mudmaster, which is one of the beefiest (and most indestructible) G-Shocks around.
Bill Murray’s Timex Easy Reader Watch
The Easy Reader is a simple three-hand watch with big, modern numerals designed for maximum legibility (even at the movies, thanks to Timex’s famous Indiglo night light). It’s as far from a typical grail watch as you can get, but (as Bill Murray proved in his infamous Cannes fit) it’ll look good pretty much anywhere you wear it.
Steph Curry’s Movado Museum Classic Watch
Priced a hair under $600 (and often a couple of hundred bucks less than that if you’re lucky), the Movado Museum Classic isn’t the most affordable watch on this list, but it’s definitely the most historic. Designed in 1947 by American architect Nathan George Horwitt (and now residing in MoMA’s permanent collection) the Museum was one of the most avant-garde watch designs of the midcentury era. Almost 80 years later, it’s still one of the best-looking watches for under a grand.
Mark Wahlberg’s Timex IronMan Classic Watch
Much like Mark Wahlberg himself, Timex’s IronMan rose to fame in the ’90s and hasn’t stopped working since. As the official timepiece of its namesake Triathlon, it’s as good for splashing around in the pool with the kids as it is for timing laps at the gym.
Ed Sheeran’s Casio G-Shock Ref. 6900 Watch
When he’s not flexing the latest MoonSwatch drop or a rare Swiss grail, Ed Sheeran (like his pal John Mayer) is an avowed G-Shock devotee. That’s why Mayer tapped him to collaborate on his trilogy of DW6900 limited editions, all of which have been eagerly snapped up by collectors and flippers. Sheeran’s paint-spattered yellow G is currently the most accessible of the three on the gray market, but you can easily opt for the original DW6900, which is even more affordable.
Kristen Stewart’s Casio LA11WB-1 Watch
Vying with Tyler the Creator’s Casio for the most affordable celebrity watch ever is Kristen Stewart’s Casio LA11WB-1. It’s got a digital display, a waterproof case and some serious ‘80s vibes, which is a whole lot of value for under $20. It’s also among the most affordable ways to incorporate a women’s watch into the rotation, a la Chalamet.
Will Ferrell’s Timex Camper x Abu Garcia Watch
The reigning king of deadpan comedy has truly omnivorous tastes when it comes to watches, with everything from a 007 Edition Omega Seamaster to a “Barbie Pink” Oris ProPilot X 400 to a 1970s-inspired Zenith Defy to a Rolex Explorer in his collection. At this year’s Critic’s Choice Awards, however, Ferrell outed himself as a member of the affordable watch fam by sporting a limited-edition Japan-only collaboration between Timex and Abu Garcia, a Swedish fishing supply company. In addition to being possibly the first guy ever to rock fishing gear on the red carpet, Ferrell deserves credit for proving that you can absolutely wear a Timex with a velvet tux.
Denzel Washington’s G-Shock GGB100-1B Watch
As far as courtside accessories go, Denzel Washington’s humble G-Shock Mudmaster doesn’t rank alongside the grails flexed by Tom Brady or Steve Harvey in terms of its collectibility or dollar value. It does, however, prove that you don’t need a six-figure Patek to earn a shoutout for your wrist game. And, unlike an ultra-rare Patek, the Mudmaster fears neither stray rebounds nor spilled drinks.
Ronny Chieng’s Rowing Blazers x Seiko 5 Watch
We spend a lot of time talking about watches that are either extremely rare, extremely valuable, or both. What we don’t talk about nearly enough are the watches that are priceless for more personal reasons. Ronny Chieng understands this better than most, which is why (in addition to the Rolex and Omega watches in his drawer) he’s still partial to the Mickey Mouse watch his mom bought him when he was a kid. He also regularly reaches for his Rowing Blazers x Seiko 5, a prep-ified limited-edition version of the biggest cheat code in watches.
Idris Elba’s Brew Metric Watch
You may know him as Luther or you may know him as Stringer Bell, but chances are you didn’t know Idris Elba has an eye for watches on par with his taste in iconic screen roles. While we’ve lately seen him sporting high-end models from Gucci’s latest luxury watch collection (for which he’s the official face) the Hijack star showed love for the Brew Metric, one of the best affordable watches of 2023, during a recent appearance on The Chunkz and Filly Show on Youtube. With its retro-style case, meca-quartz movement, colorful dial and $450 price, the Metric is a go-to for indie watch aficionados and a perfect off-duty alternative to a diamond-studded tourbillon.