Shining bright like a diamond.
That Rihanna song still rings in my ears 15 years later.
Back then, I could only imagine myself with diamond-plated necklaces and timepieces. Nowadays, my imagination is still being kept quite busy.
However, there’s a light in the tunnel for me and folks who would love a head-turning, shiny timepiece but can’t afford a stone-adorned Rolex (yet). The last few years have seen an influx of the so-called iced-out watches that won’t necessarily break the bank and look way, way above their moderate price tags.
If you’re at least a bit into fashion, you’re probably familiar with the term. However, if you’re not, I rush to explain: iced-out watches are those boasting an extremely luxurious look, mainly due to the rich presence of stones like diamonds (not necessarily genuine). Depending on the model, the stones can be adorning the face, dial, or bracelet – or all three combined.
The number of reliable watchmakers offering these types of models is increasing year after year.
If you’re after a shiny timepiece but are not prepared to shell out a considerable amount, keep on reading. In this article, we will have a look at some of the cheapest iced-out watches in 2021. All models come from reputable brands that also cater to the needs of folks with smaller budgets. The cheapest model on the list is available for way below the $200 mark.
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At a Glance:
- Most crystals: Bulova 98C126
- Genuine stones: JBW Phantom & JBW Orion
- Solar-powered: Seiko SNE458
- Low-budget: Guess U0799G1
Cheapest Iced-Out Watches (Top 5 Reviewed)
To back up the claim that we will concentrate only on reliable brands, we open up today’s list with one of the leading Japanese watchmakers, Seiko.
The Tokyo-based brand is also one of the oldest hands in the industry as its roots date back to as far as 1881.
Certainly, the iced-out look isn’t a typical Seiko design. The brand is predominantly known for its impressive collection of dive watches, as well as a large selection of dress timepieces. Seiko SNE458 is one of very few models adorned with crystals produced to this date. But boy, does it look outstanding.
Before we move on to the description of the head-turning exterior, it’s worth noting that this model is solar-powered. Seiko prides itself on increasing the number of eco-friendly timepieces and this one is certainly a solid representative. With a 10-month power reserve on a full charge, the chances of it dying are next to none. And so there’s no need for battery replacement.
When it comes to looks, the watch comes with a 44,5mm stainless steel case that’s flooded with Swarovski crystals. The same can be said about the two-tone stainless steel bracelet.
The pitch-black dial is a nice contrast to the gold-tone hour markers and hands. As you can see in the picture above, each hour indices includes one Swarovski crystal as well. At three o’clock, there’s also a date window.
The watch’s face is protected by a scratch-resistant Hardlex crystal. On the durability scale, it’s more or less a mineral crystal glass – just with a different, Seiko-invented name. The model is equipped with a modest 3ATM (30m) water resistance.
As already mentioned, Seiko’s iced-out watch is solar-powered. Hence, it runs on quartz movement. The exact caliber used in the timepiece is Seiko’s in-house V157. It delivers an accuracy of +/- 15 seconds/month.
If you like the look of this iced-out watch but aren’t familiar with the brand, read our Seiko watch review.
Like Seiko, Bulova is hardly known for stone-adorned timepieces. However, the one we have here is one of Bulova’s best-selling models across all collections.
Bulova is another of the mainstays of the horological industry. The American brand was founded in 1875 and is going stronger than ever these days.
The 98C126 model is slightly less massive, with a case measuring 41,7mm in diameter. Both the case and the stainless steel are gold-tone and decorated with as many as 308 Swarovski crystals (including the watch face).
With this model, you get a lot more shiny face. There are nearly 100 crystals embossed across the dial which also includes three sub-dials for weekdays, the day calendar, and the 24-hour time scale. Another feature that’s included here and isn’t with the Seiko model is the luminescent hands for hours and minutes. This certainly makes time-reading after dusk that much easier.
Solid protection against cracks and scratches is ensured by the mineral crystal window. Akin to the Seiko model above, Bulova offers a modest 3 ATM (30m) water resistance rating.
The watch is powered by a Swiss quartz movement and shouldn’t lose/gain more than 15 seconds monthly.
Like the look of this iced-out watch but not sure about the brand? Learn more in our detailed Bulova review.
If you’re a fan of designer watches and are on a low budget, this Guess timepiece should be the leading candidate for your next purchase (it’s the cheapest iced-out watch on the list).
As a fashion company, Guess has been around for 4 decades already. Although mostly known for its apparel, the watch line is constantly growing in popularity. Next to timepieces from designer brands such as Versace or Gucci, Guess watches are some of the most popular.
The model should be especially appealing to folks who prefer a unified color design. This one is all silver-tone. It comes with a larger case than the two iced-out timepieces we discussed above. The case is made from stainless steel and measures 46mm. The bracelet is also made from stainless steel. Both elements are neatly polished and accented with many crystals.
The most iced-out element of the watch, however, is the dial. The crystals are adorning basically every inch of the busily arranged face. Similar to the Bulova model above, the watch is equipped with three sub-dials. At three o’clock is the weekday sub-dial, at 6 o’clock the date sub-dial and finally at 9 o’clock 24-hour/military time sub-dial. Because of the hour markers of the same color, you might find the face a bit difficult to read at times. Luckily, the hour and minute hands are luminescent.
Protecting the face from cracks and scratches is mineral crystal glass. For an iced-out watch in this price region, it comes with a fairly solid water resistance rating, of 10ATM (100m).
Finally, on the movement front, Guess UO799G1 is battery-powered and runs on a Japanese quartz caliber. The accuracy levels match those of the previous two timepieces (15 seconds/month).
Due to its focus on diamond-accented timepieces, JBW has been on the lips of many watch aficionados for years.
Unlike the other brands on the list, JBW specializes exclusively in offering iced-out models. Hence, there’s a lot to pick from. And that’s why we’ve included two timepieces from the brand on today’s list.
Before we move on to the description of the brand’s best-seller, the JBW Phantom, it’s worth noting that all JBW models use genuine diamond stones. You can read more about the unique approach of this watchmaker in our JBW brand review.
JBW Phantom is the brand’s most popular model as of now. It comes with a rectangular case measuring 46mm in diameter. The fact that the case is 18k gold-plated and decorated with genuine, round-cut diamonds, makes the timepiece the most luxurious option on today’s list of cheapest iced-out watches. In total, the watch is adorned with 200 diamonds. The crocodile-embossed leather bracelet just adds to the head-turning look.
Moving on to the dial, it’s just as rich in diamonds. It includes three chronograph sub-dials, measuring hours, minutes, and seconds. Additionally, at 5 o’clock you can find a date window. The edge of the face includes painted minute markers to which point three watch hands – two of these are luminescent. For a bit of contrast, the second hand is painted blue.
The precious watch face is protected by a mineral crystal glass window. On the waterproofing front, the watch can withstand depths of up to 50m.
JBW Phantom is powered by a Japanese quartz movement.
If you’d like to learn more details about the model, you can read our JBW Phantom watch review.
Finally, closing the list of the cheapest iced-out watches is the second JBW model, JBW Orion.
Due to a smaller number of genuine diamonds (12), the model is considerably cheaper than the Phantom. If you’re on a tight budget but would still love to fashion genuine stones, this timepiece is an excellent alternative.
Akin to the JBW Phantom, it comes with a rectangular, 18k gold-plated stainless steel case. This time the case size is 43mm. The watch uses a black, crocodile-embossed leather strap.
The stone-rich dial includes gold-tone hour indices. The watch uses a 3-hand configuration, with the hour and minute hands glowing in the dark. The central part of the dial includes the JBW logo and three sub-dials showing weekdays, a 31-day calendar, and 24-hour time.
Like all JBW models in this price range, the Orion comes with a mineral crystal dial window. For a budget iced-out watch, the water resistance is quite impressive (10ATM / 100m).
The timepiece runs on Japanee quartz movement with an accuracy of +/- 15 seconds/month.