The 5 Best Value Watches You Can Buy Right Now
Within the world of fine timepieces there exists a special category of watches that deliver exceptional value for money. Offering big name brand appeal, quality construction and head turning good looks, these are the watches that will have your friends thinking “how could they afford that?”. Don’t worry, we won’t tell if you don’t. Of course, unearthing these gems can sometimes take some work, and even then, there’s no guarantee you’ve made the right choice. That’s why we set our experts the task of putting together a list of the five best value watches you can buy right now. Here’s what they came back with:
1. Tudor Black Bay Pro
Since its founding more than 90 years ago, TUDOR has focused on making accessibly priced, robust, and above all, functional tool watches. In the modern day, a prime example of this comes in the form of the Tudor Black Bay Pro. This dual-time model is presented in a 39mm steel case with polished and satin finishes, with its domed black dial framed by a 24-hour graduated fixed bezel in satin-brushed steel. Local time is displayed centrally by a short “Snowflake” hand complete with jumping hour complication. In practice, this means the hour can be easily “jumped” forwards or backwards in 1-hour increments depending on the direction of travel. Reference (or “home”) time is indicated by a longer, yellow “Snowflake” hand which completes a lap of the dial every 24 hours. The second time zone is read from the fixed 24-hour bezel. The date, displayed through an aperture positioned at 3 o’clock, is coupled with the local time hand so that when setting the time and passing midnight in retrograde, it instantly jumps to the previous day. Impressively, the Black Bay Pro is powered by an in-house, self-winding movement; the TUDOR Manufacture Calibre MT5652 with integrated GMT function. Housed within the 200m water resistant case, it offers a healthy power reserve of 70 hours.
2. Cartier Tank Must Extra Large
Value for money is ingrained in the DNA of the Cartier Tank Must. Its story begins back in the mid-1970s, when Cartier made the decision to introduce a more accessible timepiece to satisfy the desires of those who wished to own a Cartier timepiece but did not necessarily have the financial means for the brand’s precious metal offerings. The modern reinterpretation of the Cartier Tank Must continues in this same vein, offering a stylish and sophisticated timepiece, housed in a stainless-steel rectangular case and powered by Cartier’s own self-winding mechanical calibre 1847 MC. The dial features Louis Cartier’s trademark Roman numerals and rail-track minute chapter with flinqué engraving at the dial centre, along with Cartier’s signature sword-shaped hands (complete with central seconds hand). The result is that quintessential Cartier look that is as iconic as it is attractive. The date appears via an aperture at the 6 o’clock position. As an added touch, Cartier has equipped the Tank Must Extra Large with its “QuickSwitch” interchangeable strap system, which allows for tool free strap changes.
3. Breitling Chronomat Automatic GMT 40 and Chronomat Automatic 36
Ok, here our experts have cheated a little bit and given us not one, but two suggestions, although we’re sure there won’t be any complaints. Both are members of Breitling’s recently refreshed Chronomat collection, and both feature the exceptionally well designed and comfortable rouleaux bracelet. For the tool watch enthusiast who doesn’t want to compromise on style, there’s the Breitling Chronomat Automatic GMT 40, in a full stainless-steel case that offers 200m water resistance. The dial, available in five different colours, features a central, three-hand time display along with a red GMT hand for simultaneous tracking of a second time zone. The Chronomat Automatic 36 meanwhile puts proof to the phrase ‘good things come in small packages’. A gorgeous time and date model, it too is offered in a full steel case (with matching bracelet) in a range of dial colours. Certified as a chronometer by the COSC, these self-winding watches will keep you on time and style no matter what the occasion.
4. Omega Seamaster Diver 300M
Without doubt one of the most recognisable watch models on the planet, the world’s favourite British spy has worn an Omega Seamaster on his wrist in every James Bond film since 1995. And with good reason. Practical, reliable and undeniably chic, Mr. Bond’s Seamaster is always the perfect complement to his impeccable dress sense. It’s not just the celebrity appeal that makes the Omega Seamaster Diver 300M such a great watch for the money though. Available in a range of case metals, on offer are luminous, highly legible ceramic dials framed by ceramic bezels. Inside the case is Omega’s famed Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 8800, which is officially certified by METAS. Beating at a steady 25,200 vph, this self-winding movement can store up to 55 hours of power reserve. More than just a desk diver, the Seamaster Diver 300M offers 300m of water resistance, with the special, patented design of the helium escape valve on the side of the case (for operating in a diving bell) ensuring the watch remains water-resistant to 50m even if the valve is accidentally opened underwater.
5. Panerai Radiomir Logo 3 Days PAM00753
With the Radiomir Logo 3 Days PAM00753, Officine Panerai gets back to basics in the best possible way. This is the classic (and slightly quirky) Radiomir that you know and love, offered in a no-frills package that delivers everything you want and nothing you don’t. Drawing on Panerai’s extensive military heritage, the Radiomir Logo 3 Days is the ultimate understated tool watch, presented in the brand’s well-known cushion-shaped case with wired lugs. Measuring 45mm in diameter, it’s crafted from polished stainless steel and is water-resistant to 100m. The matte black dial, with its simple two-hand display, features luminous, painted numerals and indices in a lovely light cream colour, emphasizing the model’s vintage aesthetic. Behind the dial is Panerai’s in-house P.6000 calibre, a hand-wound movement beating at a relatively slow 3Hz frequency and offering 72 hours (or 3 days) of power reserve. Designed and produced in the Panerai Manufacture in Neuchâtel, this movement has been built to be robust and reliable and features a transversal cock-bridge with twin supports. It’s worn on a light brown natural leather strap with contrasting beige stitching and looks every bit as cool as it sounds.
All the watches discussed above are available in-store or online from Watches of Switzerland right now. Contact us today to book your own private appointment to view these models and others in person at your nearest Watches of Switzerland boutique. Or shop online today to ensure delivery before Christmas.