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Watches: Alternatives To Daniel Wellington And MVMT

Wednesday, 19th December, 2018

Two of the hottest names in popular watches in recent times have been Daniel Wellington and MVMT; If you follow social media influencers or bloggers, you’ll definitely have came across them. Yes, even I have featured them a few times on the blog.

But are there alternatives? Yes there sure is!

There’s plenty reasons why you’d want an alternative which I’ll go into below, and you should consider all of the options before going ahead and purchasing your watch.

Fashion watches have had a rocky time in the past couple of years, and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Two of the biggest victims of the fashion watch label, Daniel Wellington and MVMT.

There’s the watch purists and snobs, who will say that both of these brands are terrible, and social media users and influencers who’ll talk about them like they’re the greatest watches of all time. So who is right? What do these watches mean? And most of all, should you buy one?

What You’re Buying When You Get A MVMT Or Daniel Wellington Watch

Perhaps one of the most important things to think about is what you’re actually buying when you go for one of these watches. You’re paying for a design, a name, and a marketing campaign. That is about all.

There’s no big history, no heritage, and no quality craftsmanship when it comes to these types of watches.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it all comes down to what kind of statement you want to make.

What’s Good About MVMT and Daniel Wellington

The big selling points of fashion watch brands are the design, and the marketing behind it. Cool people promote them, and the design is a sleek one which is on trend right now, and so people will buy into the brands.

Personally, I love minimal watches, I love the design, and I bought a Larsson and Jennings.

When you buy a low-end fashion brand watch, you’re usually paying for:

  • The brand name
  • The design
  • The marketing

That’s usually about all. There’s a lot more to think about, namely heritage and quality, which I’ll get onto below.

But first…

What’s Bad About Daniel Wellington & MVMT

The watch enthusiasts, snobs or people who really like watches in general don’t like these two brands, or any of the fashion or start up watch brands. There’s a couple of reasons for this, but it’s mostly:

  • The price point
  • The lack of quality
  • The mass produced nature
  • Lack of heritage

The Price Point – Let’s start with the price. It’s a fair high price, for a fairly simple design and watch, which is nothing special in terms of design, build or heritage. There’s plenty of alternatives which you can get which are cheaper and look the same, around the same price point which are better names, or slightly higher in price which are better quality.

The cheapest MVMT will currently set you back £85.

The cheapest Daniel Wellington will set you back £139 for a leather strap version.

The Quality – One of the biggest factors is the quality. It does not help matters that you can get virtually identical models (minus the branding) on sites like Ali Express and AliBaba for a fraction of the cost.

In fact I wrote about how you can start your own watch brand, and be the next Daniel Wellington. It really isn’t too hard to get yourself going.

Mass Produced – The watches are made in china, for not very much money at all. As mentioned above, you can even go on the Chinese sites and see almost identical watch designs for a fraction of the price; It makes these look incredibly over-priced by comparison.

Lack of Heritage – These brands have only been going for several years, and the people behind the brands aren’t watch enthusiasts. The brands were built around marketing, and that’s all.

Verdict – Should You Buy One?

In the defence of Daniel Wellington, MVMT and the brands like them, they are nice looking watches, which do what they say on the tin – They offer a nice design watch, which look good on the wrist. If you like either of the brands, then you should go for either one.

If you’ve read my style advice you’ll know how much I do like a good watch. But…

My honest opinion is that they are not worth their RRP. If you can get one cheaper, and you can from Amazon and other places, you should go for that. Shop around!

But what are the alternatives? There’s plenty!

Cheap Alternative Minimalist Watches

Since the popularisation of fashion watches, and in particular minimalist design watches, there’s tons flooded onto the market. Many of these are cheap, from brands that nobody has heard of; Much like MVMT and Daniel Wellington to those who aren’t on social media.

If all you care about is the look, and nothing more, then there’s a lot of options. Usually I wouldn’t recommend these watches, as they are cheap Chinese watches. However, if all you care about is the look, then they have to be considered.

Here’s a couple of alternative watches which are super cheap.



Have you heard of CIVO? No? Neither have I. They are not a big watch name, however they have well over 100 good reviews on Amazon. Take a look at the design above, does it look familiar?

This design is pretty nice, and is a minimal design which looks like the popular fashion watches. What about the quality? Well this one sports a Japanese movement, waterproof to 30m, leather strap, hardened glass.

Like Daniel Wellington and MVMT, they have a similar minimal design. But the price?


Yes, that’s £11.99. Well over £100 less than a DW, and over £70 less than a MVMT. You can check it out here, and also plenty of other designs from CIVO.



Like the Civo, the Biden comes in a sleek minimalist package. The one I’ve picked out comes with a date window, mesh metal strap and comes in black as well as other colours. Like the CIVO, it too comes with a quartz Japanese movement.

The price? £22.99 for this piece.



If you like the black on black asthetic, Ronmar has this option. Another quartz watch, this one comes in at a tiny price of £16.99 and will look fine on your wrist.

Verdict On Cheap Minimalist Watches

To be honest, I could go on and on, showcasing a lot of cheap, Chinese made minimalist design watches, but I’m not going to. They’re all more or less the same, with similar designs. The good point about these is the price. If you just want the design, the price is great, and a hell of a lot cheaper than Daniel Wellington and MVMT.

But what if you want something better? Better quality, from a brand which has a bit of watch heritage? Well there’s plenty of affordable options out there.

Affordable Minimalist Watches From Heritage Brands


Timex Fairfield – £79.99

The Fairfield from Timex is a fantastic watch, and a bargain at only £79.99, with some retailers offering it for just over £70. Either way, it’s less than the Daniel Wellington by a lot, and also cheaper than the MVMT.

For that you get a nice big 41mm diameter watch face, nice big crown, mineral glass and a brand synonymous with watches. Check out more about it at Timex here.


Citizen Ecodrive – £76

Renowned for excellent quality, you can pick up this good looking Citizen Ecodrive for only £75. It comes with a good quartz movement, mineral glass, and this sleek black on black colour. The watch features a day and date window, and is at Amazon here.


Tissot Everytime – £160 – £200

The Tissot Everytime is an incredible watch, and looks so sleek. It is more expensive than the other two mentioned, at anything from £160 – £200, which is just a little more than a Daniel Wellington.

But for that extra money, you get a whole lot more of a watch. First of all Tissot, is a Swiss watch brand which has been going for a long time, it’s a proper watch brand. You get sapphire crystal glass, and a Swiss quartz movement, the ETA 902.11.

Needless to say, this blows the fashion watches out the water in terms of spec, and looks the part too. Check out all the details over at Tissot.


There’s nothing really wrong with a MVMT or Daniel Wellington watch, as long as you know what you’re buying. If you just want the design, aesthetic and minimalist looks, there’s better options out there; Cheap, affordable and of course expensive.

If you’re buying one of those watches for the name, then there’s no competition, you have to buy the respective watches for their name.

In my honest opinion, they are not worth the RRP, however, because of the large mark-up on these, they are often on sale. My advice would be if you must buy one, shop around, and wait for a sale.

If you want a cheap minimal design watch, there’s plenty of choices above, and you can pick one up for less than £20. These are not good quality, but for the sake of design, they offer a similar look to both MVMT and Daniel Wellington.

For a watch of quality at an affordable price, there’s a few options above from some brands with watch heritage, those being Citizen, Timex and Tissot.

Whichever one you go for, the most important thing is you love your timepiece. Let me know which one of these you prefer, as you can see there’s plenty of alternatives to both Daniel Wellington and MVMT.

You should definitely invest, and I’ve talked about the reasons you should wear a watch. It adds that little touch of class to your outfit.

Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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