The classic definition of a “good” watch generally refers to a watch with mechanical movement. Most Automatic/mechanical watches use an intricate system of gears and springs that rely on mechanical energy to operate. Because of their craftsmanship, these watches are given higher regard because they capture the fine art of watch-making. They command a higher premium as a result, but automatic watches, by their very nature, are often inaccurate (when there is no movement, such as your arm swinging), mechanical watches stop and require winding. In fact, a quartz watch has a simpler and less expensive movement, which uses a battery that sends electrical currents to a small quartz crystal to ensure timing accuracy and is much more accurate than a mechanical watch, and is sold at a lower cost.
Quartz Watches are cheaper because they are not perceived as “sophisticated” by connoisseurs. But who cares? at least they are reliable and accurate. If You are set on a watch with a mechanical movement, know that most popular mechanical watches are manufactured nowadays use automatic movements, which means they wind themselves thanks to the movement of the wearer.
Without getting too technical, I recommend you check out the offerings of Swiss watchmakers for a “good” watch. They are made with the highest standards in the world. With the consolidation that is occurring in the industry, most well-known brands are owned by a small group of companies. This means you can get the same level of craftsmanship of a higher priced watch by buying its lower priced cousin in the company product line.
For example, if you can’t afford a Movado, you can buy its less expensive counterpart by Esquire (it is made by the same company, but since Movado is the more prestigious brand, it carries a premium price). In fact, I would say that a $250 Esquire offers the quality of a watch priced at $1,000 or more. Similarly, You can purchase a Tissot which is a trademark of the Swatch Group, at a much lower price than an Omega which is also a Swatch Group brand, without compromising much quality.