Best Affordable Moonphase Watch: What Are the Best Options?

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Moonphase watches are elegant and posh. The inclusion of the moonphase complication elevates the standard and appeal of any watch.

But this complication doesn’t come cheap. That’s why it’s quite hard to find a decent moonphase watch in the lower price range.  Even the number of proper moon phase watches under 1000 dollars is quite low.

But don’t get disheartened. I have compiled the list of best affordable moonphase watch with an honest review for each of them.

So, read along and finalize your next moonphase watch!

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS  rating price
Best Overall Fanmis “Reginald” Rotatable Bezel Luxury Quartz Watch Frederique Constant Men’s FC270SW4P6 Business Time Quartz Watch
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Size (Watch Diameter): 40mm
10
Best Affordable Option Fanmis “Reginald” Rotatable Bezel Luxury Quartz Watch Citizen Watches BU0057-54E Calendrier
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Size (Watch Diameter): 44mm
10
Best Premium Option Fanmis “Reginald” Rotatable Bezel Luxury Quartz Watch Longines Master Collection Men’s Watch L2.773.4.78.3
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Size (Watch Diameter): 42mm
10
 Fanmis “Reginald” Rotatable Bezel Luxury Quartz Watch Seiko Premier Kinetic Direct Drive Moon Phase Watch SRX015P1
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Size (Watch Diameter): 42.5mm
10
 Fanmis “Reginald” Rotatable Bezel Luxury Quartz Watch Citizen Watches Mickey Mouse AP1053-15W
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Size (Watch Diameter): 43mm
9.5
 Fanmis “Reginald” Rotatable Bezel Luxury Quartz Watch Akribos Mechanical Tourbillon AM/PM (Moonphase Design) Watch
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Size (Watch Diameter): 42.5mm
9.5
 Fanmis “Reginald” Rotatable Bezel Luxury Quartz Watch KARL-LEIMON Classic Pioneer Moonphase Watch
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Size (Watch Diameter): 38mm
9.5
 Fanmis “Reginald” Rotatable Bezel Luxury Quartz Watch Carnival & 1986 Automatic Moon Phase Watch
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Size (Watch Diameter): 41mm
9
 Fanmis “Reginald” Rotatable Bezel Luxury Quartz Watch Parnis Men’s Mechanical Moon Phase Watch
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Size (Watch Diameter): 42.5mm
9
 Fanmis “Reginald” Rotatable Bezel Luxury Quartz Watch Graf Zeppelin Hindenburg Swiss Quartz Moonphase Dress Watch 7038-3
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Size (Watch Diameter): 40mm
9.5

10 Best Affordable Moonphase Watches in 2021

Frederique Constant Men’s FC270SW4P6 Business Time Quartz Watch – Best Overall

Frederique Constant Men's FC270SW4P6 Business Time Quartz Watch

Let’s pop open the list with the absolute best affordable moonphase watch – Frederique Constant Men’s FC270SW4P6.

The main reason why an average joe can’t buy a moonphase watch is the price. These watches can become very expensive. Or else, they’ve to settle for a poor-quality watch.

But not with Frederique Constant Men’s FC270SW4P6.

Why?

First of all, Frederique Constant is a Swiss watch. And, just like every other Swiss brand, this brand is bound to make high-quality watches.

The most appealing feature of this watch is the simplicity. Frederique Constant has gone for the minimalism, as you can guess from the “simply white” dial. You’re getting supreme finish quality as the watch has all the premium materials.

The only negative side of this watch is the usage of quartz movement. But I think the designers have made a fine decision here. If they had included an automatic or mechanical movement, the price would have hiked too high.

So, if you’re looking for a moonphase watch under 500, please increase your budget a bit and go for this masterpiece. This is the value king in this price range.

Product Specifications – Frederique Constant Men’s FC270SW4P6

  • Movement Type: Quartz (Swiss)
  • Caliber: FC-270
  • Case Diameter: 40mm
  • Case Thickness: 10mm
  • Band Width: 20mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather (Embossed Alligator)
  • Weight: 56.13 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 6 ATM (60 meters)
  • Clasp Type: Tang & Buckle
  • Crystal: Convex Sapphire

Pros

  • Elegant look that goes perfectly well with formal attire
  • Top-notch finish and superior craftsmanship
  • Genuine moonphase watch
  • Day, date, week display
  • Great choice of materials
  • Budget-friendly Swiss watch

Cons

  • Quartz movement

Citizen Watches BU0057-54E Calendrier – Best Affordable Option

Citizen Watches BU0057-54E Calendrier

Next comes the ultimate affordable moon phase watch – Citizen Watches BU0057-54E Calendrier.

There are so many great features of this “Citizen masterpiece.” Without a doubt, the design is the most noteworthy part of this watch. The complete metal finish and brushed black color will appeal to most of the users.

To contrast the black color, Citizen uses a subtle copper color on highlighting parts of the dial.

However, the design of the moonphase dial is my favorite part. While 90% of the watches have blue moonphase disk, Citizen Watches BU0057-54E Calendrier uses a curved black disk. Also, the guilloche decoration on the dial enhances the premiumness.

Yes, this watch also comes with a quartz movement. But I can completely ignore that because of the proprietary Eco-Drive technology from Citizen. It allows the watch to use any source of light to power it up.

However, I think all the subdials at the center of dial crowd the view a bit. Sometimes I had to extra effort to read the time.

Product Specifications – Citizen Watches BU0057-54E Calendrier

  • Movement Type: Quartz (Japanese)
  • Caliber: Caliber no. 8730
  • Case Diameter: 44mm
  • Case Thickness: 14mm
  • Band Width: 20mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel (Black Ion-Plated)
  • Band Material: Stainless Steel (Black Ion-Plated)
  • Weight: 170.09 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 10 ATM (100 meters)
  • Clasp Type: Double Push Button Deployant
  • Crystal: Spherical Mineral

Pros

  • An eye-catching look, great contrast
  • Uses any source of light to power the watch with the Eco-Drive technology
  • Complex dial, guilloche dial
  • Genuine moonphase watch
  • Day, date, month display
  • Great finish quality
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Quartz movement
  • The dial is too clustered with different elements, hard to read the time

Longines Master Collection Men’s Watch L2.773.4.78.3 – Best Premium Option

Longines Master Collection Men's Watch L2.773.4.78.3

Let’s talk about a premium option now.

Don’t worry, I wouldn’t waste your time talking about a $100,000 moonphase watch!

Considering all the facts, Longines Master Collection Men’s Watch L2.773.4.78.3 might just be the best possible mid-range moonphase option in the market.

As you can guess, Longines L2.773.4.78.3 is a top-level Swiss watch with all the premium materials and flawless craftsmanship.

There are two unique features that we typically don’t see in the low-tier watch market. First of all, it has a high-precision chronograph and a separate hand for the moon calendar indication.

With all the neat design elements, this watch is on a whole different level from all the watches I am going to mention in this list.

But then again, Longines L2.773.4.78.3 is an expensive option and would be too much for a lot of us.

Product Specifications – Longines Master Collection Men’s Watch L2.773.4.78.3

  • Movement Type: Automatic (Swiss)
  • Caliber: L687
  • Case Diameter: 42mm
  • Case Thickness: 14.5mm
  • Band Width: 20mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather (Alligator)
  • Weight (Item): 449 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 3 ATM (30 meters)
  • Clasp Type: Triple-Folding Deployant
  • Crystal: Sapphire (Scratch Resistance)

Pros

  • Premium quality
  • Guilloche dial with silver “barleycorn” color
  • Great brand value, Longines is one of the most prominent names in the Swiss watch industry
  • Chronograph features
  • Separate hand for moon calendar indication
  • Highest-grade finish quality

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Poor water resistance feature

Seiko Premier Kinetic Direct Drive Moon Phase Watch SRX015P1

Seiko Premier Kinetic Direct Drive Moon Phase Watch SRX015P1

It’s really hard to complete a watch list without mentioning a Seiko watch!

In fact, a lot of you have requested me to review a Seiko moonphase automatic watch. I’ll surely do that but first, let me give you glimpse of this masterpiece – Seiko Premier Kinetic Direct SRX015P1.

This watch is technological masterpiece.

Why?

Because of the inclusion of the Kinetic Direct Drive movement.

But what is a kinetic direct drive movement?

It’s a newly invented movement from Seiko that uses a rotor or a hand-wound crown to charge the battery. Basically, Seiko took the fundamentals of the automatic movement (rotor-powered) and mechanical movement (hand-winding) and implemented in a quartz movement.

It’s like getting the best of both worlds.

As the Seiko Premier Kinetic Direct SRX015P1 falls under the “Premier” line-up, many high-end features are implemented in the watch. For instance, Seiko has shifted from the typical looks and became an elegant dress watch here!

Mirror-polished finish, guilloche dial, and of course, the moonphase feature takes the watch to a whole another level.

I tried to be nitpicky here but couldn’t find a single flaw with Seiko Premier Kinetic Direct SRX015P1! While some say that the charging mechanism seems confusing, I view it as technological advancement.

Product Specifications – Seiko Premier Kinetic Direct Drive SRX015P1

  • Movement Type: Kinetic Direct Drive
  • Caliber: 5D88
  • Case Diameter: 42.5mm
  • Case Thickness: 12.7mm
  • Band Width: 22mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 299.9 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 10 ATM (100 meters)
  • Clasp Type: Triple-Fold Clasp with Push Buttons
  • Crystal: Sapphire

Pros

  • Comes with Seiko’s proprietary electric-powered movement
  • A single charge lasts for a month.
  • Genuine moonphase watch
  • Day, date, month, and 24-hour display
  • Guilloche dial
  • Superior accuracy

Cons

  • Some users view charging the watch as a hassle

Citizen Watches Mickey Mouse AP1053-15W

Citizen Watches Mickey Mouse AP1053-15W

While most of us view the moonphase watches as strictly formal watches, Citizen Watch Co. Ltd. certainly doesn’t! And, we can’t argue much against the world’s biggest watch company, can we?

In the world of moon phase dress watch, Citizen Watches Mickey Mouse AP1053-15W is a breath of fresh air!

Citizen AP1053-15W has a funky Micky Mouse avatar sitting right on the 6’clock position. The design has a 3D vibe, and it feels as if Micky is looking at the moonphase dial.

Apart from the presence of Micky, Citizen AP1053-15W has all the traits of a formal moonphase watch. It even has a separate hand to show the lunar calendar.

Citizen even ditched the cheaper mineral crystal with the highest-grade sapphire crystal. Also, the inclusion of the push button clasp instead of a typical buckle elevates the watch’s quality.

Overall, it’s a funky watch that helps you express your soul and lets your inner child come out!

Product Specifications – Citizen Watches Mickey Mouse AP1053-15W

  • Movement Type: Quartz (Japanese)
  • Caliber: Caliber no. 8651
  • Case Diameter: 43mm
  • Case Thickness: 11.5mm
  • Band Width: 22mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel (Rose-Gold Tone)
  • Band Material: Leather (Embossed Alligator)
  • Weight: 90.7 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM (50 meters)
  • Clasp Type: Push-Button Deployant 
  • Crystal: Sapphire

Pros

  • Funky Disney-themed watch
  • Uses any source of light to power the watch with the Eco-Drive technology
  • Genuine moonphase watch
  • Separate hand to indicate the lunar calendar
  • Separate day, week, and month display
  • 5-Year limited warranty with an additional 1 Year warranty if the users register the watch with Citizen
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • The design principle seems confusing, some users don’t like the combination of Micky Mouse and moon phase in a single watch

Akribos Mechanical Tourbillon AM/PM (Moonphase Design) Watch AK493

Akribos Mechanical Tourbillon AM/PM (Moonphase Design) Watch AK493

I feel almost guilty putting this watch in this list of moonphase watches. Why? Because Akribos AK493 is not a true moonphase watch!

It has an AM/PM indicator instead.

Still, Akribos AK 493 is a mesmerizing watch because it’s one of the affordable mechanical skeleton watches with tourbillon feature.

If you are familiar with the watch industry, you should know that tourbillon watches are some of the most expensive watches in the market. Similarly, the skeleton window is a very sought-after feature as you can see the complicated mechanics through the transparent dial window.

The watch boasts of a soothing rose-gold color tone all over the body. To complement this elegant design philosophy, Akribos has added the guilloche dial.

Overall, the Akribos AK493 has so many intriguing features that I can ignore the fact that it’s not a true moon phase watch. Still, it’s a big issue and you need to think thoroughly before making the purchase decision.   

Product Specifications – Akribos Mechanical Tourbillon AK493

  • Movement Type: Mechanical Tourbillon (Chinese)
  • Caliber: PTS Resources/Hangzhou 3962
  • Case Diameter: 42.5mm
  • Case Thickness: 14mm
  • Band Width: 22mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel (Rose-Gold Tone)
  • Band Material: Leather (Embossed Alligator)
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM (50 meters)
  • Clasp Type: Double Push-Button Deployant 
  • Crystal: Anti-Reflective Sapphire

Pros

  • Genuine tourbillon skeleton watch
  • Authentic mechanical movement with 28,800 BPH
  • High accuracy, ±15 seconds/day
  • The elegant design philosophy with guilloche dial
  • 2-year international warranty from the date of purchase

Cons

  • It’s NOT a genuine moon phase watch but a simple AM/PM indicator watch

KARL-LEIMON Classic Pioneer Moonphase Watch

KARL-LEIMON Classic Pioneer Moonphase Watch

KARL-LEIMON is one of the newer names in the watch industry but it looks like that the brand will soon become big player! After all, it’s a crowdfunded brand with capital over $383,000!  

The company is led by two international students who want to revive the classic design philosophies of watchmaking.

KARL-LEIMON Classic Pioneer Moonphase Watch is the most popular model in their line-up. It’s a fully functional moonphase watch with classic hinds of minimalism.

The key elements of success for KARL-LEIMON are the craftsmanship and great material choice. While they’ve used premium materials that we typically see in the Swiss watches, they used Miyota movement to cut down the price.

Although the KARL-LEIMON brand is quite unknown, I think it would become a global player in no time.

Product Specifications – KARL-LEIMON Classic Pioneer Moonphase Watch

  • Movement Type: Quartz (Japanese)
  • Caliber: Miyota: 6P24
  • Case Diameter: 38mm
  • Case Thickness: 10mm
  • Band Width: 21mm
  • Case Material: Anti-Allergic 316L Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather (Embossed Alligator)
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM (50 meters)
  • Clasp Type: Double Push-Button Deployant 
  • Crystal: Anti-Reflective Sapphire

Pros

  • Classic minimal design
  • Impressive finish quality
  • Genuine moonphase watch
  • Separate day, week, and month display
  • Unisex size
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Poor brand appeal, KARL-LEIMON is a new Japanese brand found in 2017

Carnival & 1986 Automatic Moon Phase Watch

Carnival & 1986 Automatic Moon Phase Watch

Now, let’s take a look at some of the cheapest moonphase watches. The first name that pops up is the Carnival & 1986 Automatic Moon Phase Watch.

As you already know Carnival is a cheap watch brands originated in China. In the local Chinese market, it goes by the name Jianianhua. Carnival relies on third-party suppliers for a lot of parts. For example, they use Seiko’s hardlex crystal.

Still, considering the price tag, Carnival & 1986 Automatic Moon Phase Watch is great watch. I couldn’t find much information about the movement’s actual model, but users didn’t complain much about its quality.

Apparently, independent reviewers have reported the watch to gain about 20 seconds per day. I think pretty great!

However, I was really disappointed with Carnival as they practice false advertisement! Despite the marketing claim, this watch is NOT a genuine moon phase watch. Instead, it has an AM/PM indicator with a disk that imitates a moonphase disk’s look.

Very disappointing!

Product Specifications – Carnival & 1986 Automatic Moon Phase Watch

  • Movement Type: Automatic (Chinese)
  • Caliber: Jianianhua (Unknown Caliber Model)
  • Case Diameter: 41mm
  • Case Thickness: 12.5mm
  • Band Width: 20mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Calfskin Leather (Smooth)
  • Water-Resistance: 3 ATM (30 meters)
  • Clasp Type: Tang & Buckle 
  • Crystal: Hardlex (Made by Seiko)

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Above-average build quality
  • Separate day, date, and month subdials
  • AM/PM indicator

Cons

  • It’s NOT a genuine moonphase watch, it only has an AM/PM indicator
  • Overall quality is not up to the mark

Parnis Men’s Mechanical Moon Phase Watch 

Parnis Men's Mechanical Moon Phase Watch

The next cheap moonphase watch on my list is the Parnis Men’s Mechanical Moon Phase Watch. Parnis is another Chinese brand but it uses better materials and components compared to Carnival.

For instance, it has a mechanical movement made by Seagull (ST36-542). This movement is quite popular even in the international market for its reliable quality and accuracy.

Also, it’s a true GMT watch capable of tracking time of two different time zones. You’ll even fall in love with the guilloche design on the dial.

It seems like quite the irresistible pick, doesn’t it?

Alas!

It also practices false marketing tricks. Yes, it doesn’t have a moonphase feature rather comes with an AM/PM indicator just like the previous option.

Parnis could just use the Seagull ST2528/TY2528 movement that comes with legit moonphase feature.

Product Specifications – Parnis Men’s Mechanical Moon Phase Watch 

  • Movement Type: Mechanical (Chinese)
  • Caliber: Seagull ST36-542
  • Case Diameter: 42.5mm
  • Case Thickness: 12.5mm
  • Band Width: 22mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather (Embossed Alligator)
  • Water-Resistance: 3 ATM (30 meters)
  • Clasp Type: Tang & Buckle 
  • Crystal: Sapphire

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Seagull movements are reliable despite being a Chinese brand
  • Has GMT features that can keep track of two different time zones
  • Decorated bezel and guilloche dial
  • Above-average build quality
  • Separate seconds subdial
  • AM/PM indicator

Cons

  • It’s NOT a genuine moonphase watch, only has an AM/PM indicator
  • Doesn’t include any day, date, or month indicator

Graf Zeppelin Hindenburg Swiss Quartz Moonphase Dress Watch 7038-3

Graf Zeppelin Hindenburg Swiss Quartz Moonphase Dress Watch 7038-3

I’ll finish off the list with great German watch.

I know you might think that a German watch would be extremely expensive but Graf Zeppelin Hindenburg 7038-3 unbelievably cheap.

The watch absolutely crushed it in the design department. It has all the classic design elements that we mostly see in the expensive watches.

Yes, it has a quartz watch but I wouldn’t mind getting a watch with Ronda movement. Also, it has a functional moonphase complication.

I would always choose authentic quartz moonphase watches over the fake automatic Moonphase Watches.

Overall, the cheap price tag, stunning design, and the presence of an actual moonphase complication make the watch very, very appealing.

More: Check our Guide to SMAEL Watch Review Here

Product Specifications – Graf Zeppelin Hindenburg Swiss Quartz Moonphase Dress Watch 7038-3

  • Movement Type: Quartz (Swiss)
  • Caliber: Ronda 706B
  • Case Diameter: 40mm
  • Case Thickness: 10mm
  • Band Width: 20mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel (Gold-Plated)
  • Band Material: Leather (Embossed Alligator)
  • Water-Resistance: 3 ATM (30 meters)
  • Clasp Type: Tang & Buckle 
  • Crystal: Domed Hesalite

Pros

  • German craftsmanship
  • Breguet-styled hands
  • Day and date subdials
  • Fully functioning moonphase feature
  • Sun-ray dial
  • Great value

Cons

  • Poor water resistance

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Affordable Moonphase Watch?

While choosing the best affordable moonphase watch, you need to consider a few things carefully.

As most of the moonphase watches are quite expensive, we need to create a priority list so that we can ditch less important features.  

Just make sure to find answers to following questions –

Is It a True Moon Phase Watch?

I know, this step seems a bit redundant. But numerous watch brands use a simple AM/PM indicator and market the watches as moonphase watches.

A true moonphase watch should be able to indicate the four phases of moon mechanically or digitally.

So, rather than blindly believing the marketing statements from a watch company, do your research beforehand.

More: Fanmis Watch Review: The Best Cheap Chinese Watches   

Case Material

A decent watch must offer durability and use high-quality materials. It’s true for all kinds of watches in general.

For examples, stainless steel is good option to go for. You might even choose a watch with alloy casing. But plastic or resin cases are not that durable (except the G-Shocks!).

The best materials for case include titanium or ceramic. But these materials extremely rare in the cheaper end of the market.

More: Uboat Watches Review: The Premium Italian Brand

Water Resistance

In most cases, users use the moonphase watches in the formal and social gatherings. We don’t typically see many sporty moonphase watches in the market.

Manufacturers are well-aware of these practices. That’s why, they don’t invest heavily in the water-resistance features. In most cases, you’ll see 5 ATM water resistance on the moonphase watches.

However, most of the expensive watches have 3 ATM. The top-end brands view water-resistance as an unnecessary feature as nobody bring their thousand-dollar watches for swimming.

More: Benyar Watch Review: A Case for Chinese Watches!

Strap Material

It’s a debatable issue!

Some users feel that their moonphase watch should come with a high-quality strap or bracelet. For example, the inclusion of a leather strap or SS link bracelet is a must-have to them.

Others have a different idea.

Typically, these are the advanced users. This group wants the manufacturers to include the cheapest possible straps and use that money to offer better movement or case.

In this way, they can replace the cheap strap with a high-quality aftermarket strap and get better overall performance from their watches.

More: The Best Gucci Watches Review: Are Gucci Watches Worth the Purchase?

Conclusion

So, that was my take on the best affordable moonphase watch. But which of the watches are the best?

I’d put Frederique Constant Men’s FC270SW4P6 Business Time Quartz Watch in the first place. Citizen Watches BU0057-54E Calendrier will claim the second place.

Lastly, Longines Master Collection Men’s Watch L2.773.4.78.3 will come in third place.

What do you think? Don’t you agree?

Let me know!

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