A Boom for the Budget-Minded: Watches Under $1000

Accutron Edison

Times are tough. But, contrary to what you might think, a tight watch budget doesn’t mean taking a pass on a mechanical movement. With the fall selling season dawning, there’s a fresh crop of under-$1,000 mechanical watches now in stores or soon to be there: the biggest batch, at least it seems to us, since the mechanical revival began.

The brands offering under-$1,000 mechanicals now number in the dozens, ranging, literally, from “a” to “z.” A partial list includes Alpina, Arctos, Ball, Bathy’s Hawaii, Bulova, Bulova Accutron, Davosa, Débaufre, d.freemont, ESQ by Movado, Frédérique Constant, Limes, Hamilton, Mido, Mühle Glashütte, Naked Watch, Ocean7, Tissot, Philip, Victorinox Swiss Army and Zeno. Mechanical watches have even hit the $300-and-under segment, with brands including Timex, Swatch, Guess, Fossil and Kenneth Cole now offering automatics.

Here’s a sampling of some of this year’s new budget-wise mechanicals:

Victorinox Swiss Army’s new mechanicals include a small seconds model (left, $825) and a day/date watch ($825). The leather strap version of the day/date is $725.


Tissot’s new Couturier Automatic, containing an ETA 2834-2, comes in the rose-gold PVD-coated model shown here and in a plain steel version. Both are $595. The Couturier also comes in a chronograph version for $795.


Bulova’s new mechanicals range in price from $425 to $799. The models shown here, from Series 505, are $525 and $575. Both are water-resistant to 100 meters and have transparent casebacks.


The new, tonneau-shaped automatic Edison model from Accutron has a rose-gold finish and transparent caseback, $850.


Hamilton’s Khaki Field Automatic, with an ETA 2824, is priced at $645.

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  1. Finally Zeno was mentioned! Best of the budget divers that’ll outlast the 10k plus heavy hitters

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