From my blog, Watch-Insider.com, here is my list of the top 10 men’s watches that represent the most excellent value for price. There is a lot of discussion about what constitutes “affordable watches” and “affordable luxury” when it comes to top watch brands. For me, it means watches at around $5,000, from the best watch brands and other affordable brands that offer reasonably priced high-quality watches.
The top watch brands represented here are all well-known for their generally excellent affordable watch price-to-value ratio. (One of the most expensive watches on the list, the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue, is priced at just $4,425.) Please note that I have chosen just one version of each affordable watch; most of the watches described here are, of course, available with different colored dials, bezels and types of bracelets. All of the watches on the list have steel cases. You can find more detailed information about nearly all these affordable watches — as well as many that are, shall we say, less affordable — at my blog. Keep in mind that this list will be updated throughout the year by WatchTime’s team. Thus it has already become a top 20+ list, and more top affordable watches will be added by the team soon. So please come back frequently and also share your own choices for best affordable watch brands and top affordable watches in the comments section at the end of this article.
Alpina Sailing Yacht Timer: The Alpina watch company, which stakes its reputation on making inexpensive watches with Swiss mechanical movements, has added an in-house regatta countdown module to an automatic Sellita SW 500. Excellent readability and top quality. The price: $4,129.
Baume & Mercier Clifton GMT: The next recommendation on our top 10 affordable watches list. This is a fully functional GMT watch for traveling and/or displaying a second zone time; it is an attractive watch and equipped with an ETA 2893-3 caliber. The price: $3,000. (Click here to read more about the Clifton collection.) What is your opinion about Baume & Mercier? Would you include it on a list of the top watch brands that offer affordable watches?
Frédérique Constant Slimline Manufacture Moonphase: A stunningly good-looking Swiss automatic watch with a classical moon-phase indication, equipped with the automatic in-house caliber FC-705. The price of $3,500 places it solidly in my ” top 10 affordable watches” category. More details here. Make sure to check out the full list of this company’s watches on WatchTime’s database where dozens of other watches are covered.
Hamilton Khaki Navy Sub Auto Chrono: This very accessible Hamilton watch is a 300-meter water-resistant sports chronograph equipped with an ETA 7753 caliber. Top quality from a top watch brand in that price range, and a lot of lovely design details to discover. The price: $1,995 on a rubber strap. What is your opinion? Do you own a Hamilton watch? Do you like it and would you agree that this a watch brand that belongs on this list?
Longines HydroConquest Chronograph: This 300-meter water-resistant Longines HyrdoConquest chronograph contains the Longines column-wheel chronograph caliber L667. As you might already know, Longines is a top watch brand owned by the Swatch Group. Longines watches are often considered to be affordable options for watch aficionados. This Longines HydroConquest is based on the Valjoux 7750 movement but this specific version was developed by ETA for Longines and exclusively reserved for Longines which is how it found its way into the new Longines HydroConquest Chronograph. The price is $2,325 on a bracelet (pictured) and $1,450 on a rubber strap. To me, the best “value for money” chronograph on this list.
Nomos Ahoi: The only German-made watch from Glashütte, on my top 10 list of affordable watches and top watch brands. The new affordable Saxon divers watch entirely produced in Glashütte is water-resistant to 200 meters and powered by the automatic in-house caliber Epsilon. The price: $3,940. Check out the other affordable Nomos watches. This watch brand only produces manufacture watches made with in-house parts and in-house calibers. A great watch brand with attractive affordable watches that have a large fan base in Europe. Will Nomos soon also be considered a top watch brand in America as well? Do you like their affordable watches? What are their best watches? Let us know in the comments section!
Oris Aquis Depth Gauge: A well-known top watch brand. This affordable professional-grade and non-gimmicky divers’ watch with a cleverly designed depth gauge is very attractive, especially for men. (More details in our recent Watch to Watch article.) Certainly my favorite divers’ watch of the year, as well as being one of my top 10 affordable watches overall; Oris is a great watch brand and offers many affordable watches. The price: $3,500.
Swatch Sistem 51: The ultimate proof that you can create an automatic Swiss-made watch for a minimal price. With its 51 components, the new movement is a watchmaking revolution in terms of simplicity – completely built by robots in less then 20 minutes. Together with the Oris, my “best of the best” for 2013. And this one would be considered a very affordable watch by almost any standard: the U.S. price is just around $150. What do you think about this top 10 affordable watch? Does Swatch belong to our selection of best watch brands?
Tissot T-Complication Squelette: Tissot is a brand that produces large quantities of affordable watches a reasonable prices. If you ever wanted to buy a technical-looking, skeletonized watch that offers you a horological cinema for the eyes, consider this one, equipped with an ETA 6497 and priced at only $1,950. Tissot is a top watch brand and you should make sure to look at their entire collection to better understand what Tissot watch potentially is the best affordable watch for you.
Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue: Tudor recently celebrated a successful comeback to America, with a focus on being a top watch brand for affordable watches. The design of this affordable chronograph is stunningly cool and the quality is beyond reproach. It is equipped with an ETA 2892-A2 onto which Tudor adds a Dubois-Dépraz chronograph module. The price: $4,425. Affordable luxury and one of the one of the best men’s sport watches in recent years. Tudor will surely be on top of the best watch brands lists of WatchTime’s readers.