Here at Crown & Caliber we often feature watches that can cost $4,000 and $5,000, and sometimes even more, and let’s be honest that can be a lot of money. So, we thought we’d feature some of our favorite watches that are a little bit more affordable. Here are top seven picks four watches under $2,000.
The Omega Speedmaster Date – Ref. 3513.30.00
This is an Omega that doesn’t seem to get as much love because it’s not a traditional Speedmaster, but what this Speedmaster lacks in heritage it more than makes up for in practicality. The Speedmaster Date comes in a more modest 39 millimeters. Its got an automatic movement, but unlike the Speedmaster Reduced that has a somewhat finicky movement this Speedmaster has the Omega Caliber 1152. It is based on the Valjoux 7750. and it is a tank. It is a fully integrated chronograph that stands the test of time. The use of the Valjoux 7750 does mean that the chronograph sub-dials are now shifted to 6, 9, and 12, which again, breaks with the traditional appearance of 3, 6, and 9, but as a benefit it does make space for the three o’clock date window. Which brings us to another notable aspect of the watch: the date. The addition of the date is somewhat controversial because again it’s a departure from the traditional Speedmaster, but from a practicality standpoint it is definitely welcomed. In keeping with the departure from tradition we went with the silver dial option.
The Breitling Colt Skyracer – Ref. X74320
The Colt Skyracer is probably the single coolest quartz watch you can buy. This limited-edition watch is made up of Breitlight, which is a proprietary polymer made by Breitling. The 45-millimeter case weighs next to nothing yet is still durable and highly scratch resistant. The Breitling Superquartz movement is accurate to within 10 seconds a year. This watch is all about form following function. Even the strap has standard measurements and can easily be removed thanks to a proprietary design.
The Longines Hydroconquest – Ref. L3.665.4
This watch is a beast, and this is our pick for someone looking for a larger timepiece. The nearly 48-millimeter case can seem daunting, but the angular lugs help it wear well for its size. And the chronograph pushers and crown guards complement the angular design of the case so well. The watch is also water resistant to 300 meters. Now some of the Longines Hydroconquest are quartz watches but this one is powered by a modified ETA 7753. It’s essentially the workhorse Valjoux 7750 modified to have the sub dials at three six and nine. One of the coolest parts of this watch is the bezel that is reminiscent of the Rolex Yacht-Master.
The Bell & Ross Sport Heritage – Ref. BRV123-ST-HER/SRB
Bell & Ross is a brand known for its striking instrument style timepieces, but before their watches looked like they came right out of an airplane’s cockpit they had a more traditional styling. The BR123 Sport Heritage checks all the boxes for a vintage inspired timepiece. It has a faux patina on the legible Arabic numerals, hands and indices. It features a black 60-minute fixed bezel and also has some subtle red text on the dial and a domed sapphire crystal. And to top it off a nice tropic style rubber strap completes the vintage inspiration. The exhibition case back shows off the modest Bell & Ross caliber 302, and the movement is housed in a 43-millimeter case with sharp tapered lugs. This watch balances elegance and ruggedness perfectly.
The Nomos Orion – Ref. 301
Nomos watches can sometimes have a fairly polarizing style, but the Orion seen here is just classic. It features a sleek case that has some of the best curves in the watch game. The watch is a modest 35-millimeters, but with its long lugs it wears nicely on plenty of wrist sizes. The watch is powered by Nomos’ in-house caliber Alpha. It’s a manual wound movement that represents the brand’s self-sufficiency perfectly. The clean silver dial with gold indices and blued hands is so perfectly designed I just catch myself looking down at my wrist. And the strap on this Nomos is one of the brands shell cordovan versions and is the epitome of what a leather strap should be. If you want a dress watch then look no further than the Nomos Orion.
The Baume & Mercier Clifton – Ref. MOA10052
Staying with more of the dress watch style we’ve got the Baume & Mercier Clifton. This watch does a great job on straddling the formal and the casual. The clean silver dial with blued hands lend themselves to the dressier watches, but the Arabic numerals and the 41-millimeter case size are on the sporty-er side. Baume & Mercier keep the cost reasonable on this watch by using a Sellita caliber SW200-1. While not an in-house movement this is another great example of a time-tested robust automatic Swiss movement.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500m – Ref. WAK2110
This list wouldn’t be complete without a TAG Heuer. They offer so many great watches and at a reasonable price point. The one we chose was the Aquaracer. It’s a robust sport watch that can take a beating. This is a watch that has countless options as well so there’s plenty of style variations to choose from. We went with this classic black plank dial and matching ceramic black bezel. This watch does so many things right. Though slightly smaller from the previous design, the 41-millimeter case is the sweet spot for sport watches. 500-meter water resistance is plenty and the TAG Heuer Calibre 5 is a solid automatic movement.
As you can see there are plenty of solid watches at or below the $2,000 mark. Let us know your top picks for luxury watches under $2,000 and as always thanks for watching.