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There’s a time and a place for dropping serious dough on a watch with a laundry list of fancy features. Today isn’t it. Today we’re celebrating the watches that value quality and affordability over gaudy designs and showy embellishments.
Any of these 10 watches can be yours for between $1000 and $2000. Many take styling cues from bigger brands, so you’re getting something that looks as good as your bank account will feel.
It’s a perfect place to start if you don’t have rock star cash … yet.
1. MeisterSinger No.01 AM3302
$1650, available from
MeisterSinger’s single-hand watch (pictured above) is a stripped-back tribute to the earliest tools of time measurement. While some watches rely on over-the-top details or oversized cases to get people talking, this one is a conversation piece without even trying.
The simple black design and ETA 2801-2 movement make the Meister Singer No.01 a winner both functionally and aesthetically, and a versatile choice that’s appropriate for either work or play.
2. G-Shock MT-G
$1299, available from
The G-Shock MT-G is a refined, high-end version of a classic that’s perfect for the man who’s in the market for something durable with a metal bracelet. The watch boasts an impressive line-up of new features, including a Core Guard Structure that provides ultimate shock resistance, and an LED-infused Tough Movement which utilises a radio-controlled signal to automatically set the time and date.
Pair cool features, substantial (but not too much) weight and trusted Japanese quality, makes for a top pick.
3. CT Scuderia CS20100
$1385, available from
If you’re on the lookout for a watch that’s going to set chins wagging, try this one from CT Scuderia. The Corsa takes inspiration from the tools required for a day at the race track.
Like a stopwatch, the Corsa features prominent start/stop and reset buttons at the top of the case. The interchangeable bands made from materials found in performance cars also tie the watch to its racing heritage.
4. Seven Friday P3/1
$1507, available from
We happily sing the praises of plenty of classics, but sometimes we’re in the mood for something different. With the P 3/1, Seven Friday held nothing back with their creative watch design.
The first thing you notice is its retro TV-shaped stainless steel case. After that is the unique dial, which features unconventional hands, an “animation ring” to track minutes, and two rotating discs for the seconds and 24-hour time.
5. Marvin M126.96.36.199
$1540, available from
This is how you get the Panerai look without spending a fortune. The Marvin M188.8.131.52 delivers high style without the high price tag.
The black PVD steel case is 42mm wide with both brushed and polished surfaces and a see-through case back. Note the small red mark for 8 o’clock which is a signature of all Marvin watches. Altogether, it’s a handsome watch for the money.
6. Alpina Extreme Diver
The Alpina Extreme Diver 300 is a looker that would be a smart addition to any collection. For actual divers, the orange accents against the black background increase legibility deep underwater where visibility is seriously compromised. For the rest of us, it just looks good.
The case comes in two sizes with a choice of three bracelet options, but the black rubber diver’s strap is our favourite.
7. Seiko SARB021
$1730, available from
The Seiko SARB021 is one for the grandkids. Mechanical and classic in design, it hits the sweet spot between quality and price.
The stainless steel case, mineral crystal display back, flat sapphire glass and black dial (heads up: no lume) take care of the aesthetic side of things, while the solidly accurate 6R15 movement ensures the SARB021 is a safe long-term investment.
8. Longines Legend Diver
$1726, available from
The phrase “bang for your buck” was practically invented for a watch like the Longines Legend Diver. The Longines Heritage Collection focuses on reissuing mid-century classics with modern components and finishes.
Here, that translates to a rework of a 1960s watch that features a round stainless steel case, a black dial with silvered polished hands, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, an L633 self-winding mechanical movement and a black synthetic strap.
9. Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day Date
Oris has been producing aviation-inspired timepieces like the for over 70 years.
Its predecessor was launched in 1938 to meet the needs of fighter pilots in Normandy. In its current incarnation, the watch features a stainless steel case with a black dial, an olive textile strap and an Oris 752 movement.
10. Hamilton Pan Europ
$1495, available from
Inspired by a Hamilton watch of the same name introduced in 1971, the is an automatic chronograph that takes a nostalgic look back at history’s timepieces.
Today’s Pan Europ is powered by the calibre H31 with 60 hours' power reserve. Where looks are concerned, the Pan Europ is rocking a black leather strap, a black dial and a round 45mm stainless steel case with sapphire crystal.
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