CrunchGear Pre-Valentine's Day Gift Guide: Picking A Cool, Cheap Watch

Rather than talk up another $500,000 watch, here’s a quick and dirty guide for picking up a nice watch for you or your loved one this Valentine’s Day. These watches max out at about $400 and we’ve chosen a few for men (or boys) who fit certain archetypes.

The Club-Goer – There are a number choices for the regular club-goer including a nouveau-ironic G-Shock line or something like the Nooka. Basically you’re looking for something that will turn heads. This includes monsters like the black-on-black Tsovets that are unusable except as fashion statements.

The Outdoorsman – If you’re you enjoy outdoor living, cutting down trees, and pressing wild flowers, your best bet is picking up a tri-compax watch like the Casio Pathfinder PAW5000-1. These largish watches feature a barometer, thermometer, built-in compass, altimeter, and this model is powered by the sun so the more you hike the better it works. These watches are highly durable and usually supremely waterproof but the Pathfinder definitely doesn’t go with a suit and tie.

The J-Fan – Seriously. Just go to Tokyoflash. Any one of those watches will make you feel like Akira.

The Gentleman – Nothing plastic will do.  Get yourself a nice metal watch with an easy to read, sober looking dial. Better yet, it should have a mechanical movement. Try one of these Swiss Army Ambassador watches for one that isn’t boring either. It’s priced at about $700 but you should be able to find it for less online.

The Gamer – If it feels like something right out of a video game, you probably already want it. The high-end world if full good options, but you’ll need to sell your house to afford one. Closer to Earth are options like this Timex WS4 multi-sensor watch that looks like an golden age 1980’s sci-fi movie prop.

The Total Nerd – Head over to ThinkGeek and pick up a Richard Tracy iPod Nano Watchband. John wore one for a week and it made him feel like Nigel from the IT Crowd.