Since the launch of e-commerce websites that connect the so-called western world with Chinese retailers (ie. Aliexpress), many industries – especially fashion – have seen a plethora of new brands come to the surface.
Although it’s only fair to admit that the standard offered by most is questionable, there are some that provide good value for money. The Lige watches review should shed some light on the quality of what is one of the most popular budget wristwatch brands to emerge from China.
Without further ado, let’s get down to business.
Who Makes Lige Watches?
From the very first Lige watch that saw the daylight back in April 2013, all Lige watches have been manufactured by the Guangzhou Lige Watch Co., Ltd. Since July 2017, the Lige brand has been globally trademarked. LIGE is part of Shenzhen Kaiser International Trade Co.
Where Are Lige Watches Made?
The Lige watch company is based in Guandong, China. Even though the timepieces are sold in great numbers worldwide, all are designed, manufactured and assembled in China. Currently, the Lige watch company hires more than 200 workers and, with the ever-growing sale numbers in the US and Europe, this number is likely to rise.
Are Lige Watches Good Quality?
The definition of “good quality” can be so subjective, especially when it comes to watches.
So, let’s cut to the chase – are Lige watches any good? If we were to compare the quality and craftsmanship of Lige timepieces to brands that cost 10x more, then probably the simple and understandable answer would be “no” – they are not that great quality. Normally the more you pay for a wristwatch, the better the standard of the materials used to assemble it. High-end timepieces also provide more durable and accurate movements.
On the other hand, if we list Lige watches against models from different brands in the same pricing range, then we can definitely say they fare reasonably well. Although we should never expect to get Patek Philippe or Rolex quality for less than $50, the price-value ratio offered by Lige watches is surprisingly good.
Let’s start with the quality of materials used in timepieces from the Chinese brand. You won’t find many Lige watches that are made from cheap forms of plastic that you could well get with other low-budget watchmakers.
Firstly, most watches come with durable stainless steel cases. If the band is not made from the same material, there’s a high chance it’s leather. It doesn’t matter if you are shopping for a bargain-basement product or a mid-range watch – this is hardly a given with many other brands.
Secondly, the majority of Lige timepieces use reliable dial protection in the shape of mineral crystal. When you compare most Lige models with the same price range watches from other brands, you will be surprised at how few of them offer anything more than acrylic or plastic dial.
Perhaps one aspect in which I’d expect Lige to improve is the water-resistance. Most of their watches are water-resistant up to 30m which unfortunately rules out swimming.
Depending on the type of watch you go for, the precision capabilities will differ. As a rule of thumb, expect battery-powered watches to be accurate to around 20 seconds a month. This result puts them on par with other, often more expensive brands that also use the Japanese quartz movement.
For mechanical watches, you should see a 3-4 minute gain every month. Taking into consideration the small expenditure, it’s really not that bad a result.
When I received my first Lige watch, I was actually surprised that it hadn’t arrived in a random carton. Instead, it was really carefully-packaged and came in an original box. Inside, I found the watch resting in a soft white pillow, next to the warranty card. This makes Lige watch a great, low-budget gift idea.
Lige Watch Warranty
All originally-packaged Lige watches come with a 2-year International Warranty, issued from the date of the first purchase. This is why it’s important to buy watches only from authorized sellers on popular marketplaces like Amazon or Aliexpress.
Avoid independent online stores as they usually order watches in large numbers and then resell them for a profit. In such a case, not only do you overpay but also run the risk of getting a watch with a significantly shorter guarantee period. You can read more about the warranty terms on Lige’s official website.
Types of Lige Watches
Movement-wise, we can differentiate between three types of Lige timepieces.
The most popular type is automatic watches. These by far present the most elaborate design and are also at the higher end of the pricing table. Most of the time, these models come with a leather band. When buying an automatic watch, remember that it’s not powered by batteries but by the kinetic movement of your wrist. In other words, to keep it wound, you need to be wearing it. After you rest it for a day or two, you will have to use the crown to rewind it. If you like your watches running all the time, think about getting a watch winder.
The second type is of course quartz-powered timepieces. With these, you will need regular batteries. For obvious reasons, they are definitely more precise than mechanical models. On the other hand, I find them less appealing looks-wise. I like the feel of leather bands and most of the battery-powered models don’t have them. To be honest, I find their design cheaper than that of “automatics”.
As recently as in 2019, Lige also released their first smartwatch. Since then, more smart models have seen daylight. Unsurprisingly, most of them are relatively cheap. All Lige smartwatches are compatible both with Android and iOS phones, making it a risk-free option for those shopping on a budget.
3 Most Popular Models
The most popular Lige watch released to date.
The LG6826 model is an automatic watch that will never require a battery to keep the movement going. As long as it’s on your wrist, you can rest assured that it will display time no less accurate than up to 6 seconds a day. For the price quoted, it’s really a surprisingly good result.
As far as the exterior is concerned, in my opinion, it’s the most sophisticated model available at the time of writing. The rose gold 43mm case is made from stainless steel and it matches nicely with the brown leather band.
The watch boasts a skeletonized design, similar to that of many popular brands listed in my recent article about the best skeleton watches under $300. At 6 o’clock, you can enjoy a small glimpse of the intricate workings of the mechanical movement whereas the caseback is much more transparent.
The watch face also includes three additional sub-dials. The one on the right functions as a calendar, the opposite shows weekdays, and the last, located at 12 o’clock, signals for Night/Day. For protection against scratches, the dial window is made from mineral crystal.
The 5ATM water-resistance of this watch is a rarity amongst Lige watches and even allows for short swimming sessions.
We already had the most elaborate automatic model so it’s only fair to include a popular quartz-powered choice as well.
The LG9810H model is available in 9 different color variations. Both the 38mm case and the bracelet are made from stainless steel. The version of the watch described here has a gold bezel that looks the part with the two-tone band. A fairly durable Hardlex glass protects the dial from damage.
The timepiece described here is a good choice for sports-oriented people thanks to the 3 chronograph subdials. Between 4 and 5 o’clock, there’s also a date calendar available.
On the waterproofing front, the watch is not as impressive as the model above. With a water-resistance up to 30m, it’s probably okay for sporadical splashes but rules out swimming.
Last but not least, make room for Lige’s own smartwatch line.
The model I have selected here is Lige BW0106 and it’s the highest-rated smartwatch released by the Chinese company to date.
As far as design goes, it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that it’s heavily inspired by the Apple Watch. Nothing too damning about that – personally I love the rectangular shape of Apple models. Similar to the quartz model above, the smartwatch comes with a Hardlex glass whereas the band is made from silicon. There are 3 different designs to choose from: blue (shown here), black and white.
LIGE BW0106 is compatible both with Android smartphones and iPhones. Featurewise, it offers phone calls and text messages notifications, as well as alerts from apps of your choice like Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook etc. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support texting or answering calls.
Furthermore, the smartwatch has the ability to connect with your mobile’s GPS and give you a detailed insight into your fitness endeavours outside such as steps, distance travelled, calories burned etc. Like most smartwatches nowadays, it comes with a heart rate monitor.
The good news is that battery life is pretty impressive. A 2-hour charge can provide up to a full week of use. The bad news is the IP67 water-resistance that makes swimming with it impossible.
Lige Watch Brand Review: Conclusion
To sum up this review of Lige watches, I think that getting one is a very low-risk investment. Most of their watches can be purchased for less than $50 (often in the $20-$30 range), and some models present a surprisingly solid standard of craftsmanship.
Often due to stereotypes surrounding Chinese watch brands, we are not willing to give them any chance. Sure, in many cases the products will turn out awful. But, speaking from my own solo experience with Lige and judging by tons of positive reviews on the web, Lige watches deserve to be given a shot.
As long as you don’t expect to get a God knows what quality while paying next to nothing, you are unlikely to regret the purchase. I haven’t.