In this triple-feature watch test our writer Alexander Krupp and photographer Nik Schölzel test a trio of entry-level timepieces from Rolex, IWC and Panerai that offer an entrance into the luxury-watch world for a relatively modest price.
Not everyone with a passion for watches also has a fat wallet. Fortunately, most of the top brands offer reasonably priced “base” models around which an up-and-coming watch connoisseur can build his collection. Our comparative test pits three of these “entry-level” models against each other the Panerai Luminor Base Logo, IWC Portofino Automatic, and Rolex Air-King (Click here for our report on other “entry level” affordable Rolex watches.) A first look at these simple but highly dissimilar models raises several questions. Is a date display more important than a manufacture movement? Is a small watch with a metal bracelet more comfortable than a large one with a leather strap? And is the most expensive timepiece necessarily also the best of the three?
For the full article, with test results, download WatchTime’s digital exclusive, WatchTime E-Special: Starter Watches, for only $2.99 in the WatchTime online shop.
This article was originally posted in 2013 and has been updated.