Basel Bargain Hunting: 7 New Watches Under $5,000


At the Baselworld watch fair, held in Spring each year, many of the biggest watch brands unveil their new watches and in some cases you will find great products for watch fans who look for budget-friendly timepieces and affordable watches. We present a selection of affordable Baselworld watches. Let us know about your own budget-friendly Baselworld watches in the comments section of this post!

As expected, most of the buzz was generated by complicated (and often very limited) models with extraordinary price tags, and the entry-level prices for many luxury brands, in most cases, continued to tick up. However, we also found some makers of timepieces that demonstrated an eye toward value for money in their latest offerings. Below are seven that caught our eye (six with mechanical movements), all under the $5,000 mark.

Alpina Sailing Yachttimer Countdown
Alpina Sailing Yachttimer Countdown

Alpina, the sportier sister brand to Frédérique Constant (purveyor of the under-$40,000 tourbillon) has long been known for reasonable prices, and this year proved no exception: its Sailing Yachttimer Countdown carries a price of 3,150 euro (approx. $4129.97). The watch’s clever yachting-specific complication is a countdown window that counts down from 10 to 1, gradually revealing a red “START” indicator. Only 8,888 pieces have been produced of this limited edition watch.

CT Scuderia Master Time
CT Scuderia Master Time

The CT Scuderia Master Time — from a new auto-racing-inspired collection by the creator of fashion brand Glam Rock — is available for just over $3,000. The Master Time is powered by a black PVD Swiss-made automatic movement, has a 40-hour power reserve, 27 jewels, and a fast frequency of 28,800. The caseback features the colors of the Italian flag.

Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue - pair
Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Tudor, Rolex’s line of more affordable watches, which returned to the U.S. in 2013. Thus at the 2013 Baselworld, we got a look at the first model slated for our shores, the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue, which has a price range of just under $5,000. The Chrono Blue is inspired by the old Tudor “Montecarlo” chronograph, redesigned with three-dimensional hour markers and featuring two counters: one at 3 o’clock for the small seconds hand, and one at 9 o’clock for the 45-minute counter seen on Tudor chronographs of the 1970s.

Raymond Weil Freelancer
Raymond Weil Freelancer

Raymond Weil’s Freelancer 7730, from the brand’s reliably affordable Freelancer collection, has a price tag of 2,975 CHF (approx. $3,185.21). The Freelancer 7730 is a chronograph with a date window at 3 o’clock, and a seconds subdial at 9 o’clock surrounded by a steel appliqué attached by a decorative screw.

4 Responses to “Basel Bargain Hunting: 7 New Watches Under $5,000”

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  1. Chris

    I agree with comments but wonder if swiss quality is to be sacrificed for cheap mass produced watches. How do you break the nexus between quality and price., Swiss made doesn’t mean 100% produced by swiss anymore although swiss involvement is pretty high. Do we want mass produced watches from China to satisfy the price equation. There are some excellent swiss watches on market at reasonable prices, bulova accutron for example, good swiss watches doesn’t automatically mean Rolex in my view. Best watch makers in the world are the Germans, although it is good to see moderately priced selection of swiss watches from the fair.

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  2. It’s about time, I was beginning to think that the Swiss were only interesting in making watches for the likes of the One-percenters (like big Al Gore and his $200 million windfall).

    The prices are getting astronomical (and comical) and they need to control this. There are MANY in the USA and Europe who simply cannot afford a $5,000 watch. So with that, they need to try making watches that are under $1,000. And yes, with their skills, it will have the same quality as that of $10,000.

    Thanks WatchTime for some good news here.

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    • I agree. It’s about time some more affordable watches spring into the open. We all drool over a lot of the watches that we see come out but a lot are so expensive that it costs as much as a mortgage! Don’t get me wrong, loving fine watches is great and Saving up for that one particular time piece may take a bit, but it’s nice to see a small collection like this being displayed for some people to afford. Thanks watch time for posting. I hope you keep posting more about other watches that are more attainable/ affordable to the working class watching loving community!

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      • Good day to u, I thank watchtime magazine for your informative article on budget Swiss watches,I own a Raymond Weil freelancer and I am struggling with the day and the date as they change at 24 and 12 hour intervals,for example,at midnight the day will change and at noon the date changes to synchronise with the day. I would appreciate if you could advise or give me instructions on the way forward,that is, for the day and the date to change concurrently at midnight.thanks & regards sunil.

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