Possibly never before in the history of horology has there been as wide an array of timepieces as there is today. So many options can at times create a challenge for the budding enthusiast as he, or she, tries to find the best watch within a certain budget.
The watch is often required to suit various needs. Sometimes such watches are bought to commemorate a significant or meaningful life event. Or watches can dovetail with other passions, for instance a love of automobiles or diving. With that in mind, allow us to make the decision easier with our top five picks for watches priced below $5,000 – a good starting point for someone seeking a well made mechanical timepiece with a touch of luxury that’s still affordable.
Significant life events have an equally wide range of variety, but we’ll cover the bases here. For the fresh graduate, ready to take on the world outside the doors of his or her alma mater, a proper watch is most appropriate an accessory. The Nomos Tangente Neomatik, from its clean aesthetics all the way into its inner values expressed via the fine movement, is a solid starting point. What better tool to start one’s working life than one with straightforward, confident German design and an impeccable, proprietary DUW 3001 movement? A good match for any occasion – for life can lead you in many directions at this point.
One can express – and enjoy – his affection for cars and everything automotive through a number of car-themed watches that are on the market today. Junghans, with its 150-year old factory in Schramberg in Germany’s Black Forest, has in fact been among the first to develop dashboard clocks and even a “speed-measuring device” that the company patented in 1905.
Being true car lovers, the Junghans family became close friends with the Maybach family – which leads us to a stellar new piece that helps you express your love for cars: the Junghans Meister Driver Handaufzug (“hand-wound” in English). Styled after dashboard instruments of the 1932 Maybach DS 8 Zeppelin, it’s powered by a hand-wound ETA 7001. While Junghans is not the obvious brand for an automobile-inspired watch, the Meister Driver boasts a beautiful car-inspired design – and this is what makes this wristwatch so special.
Young people are often frequent and savvy travellers, explorers of the world who do it in style but on a budget. Given the electronics modern travellers carry, what is needed is less a multi time-zone watch than a tough timepiece that keeps time while looking good.
For that the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 Day-Date Chronograph in black titanium is a good pick. With its distressed brown leather strap, sand-colour dial and bezel accents, this watch sports the safari look. The hard black-coated titanium case, proper seals all around for 100m of water (and dust) resistance, plus the dependable Calibre 16 movement inside, it is quite the watch to rock while exploring the sand dunes of Africa.
Have you conquered the deep blue depths – or just bravely explored a coral reef on your last holiday? Maybe you’re one of the lucky desk divers? Either way, the new Tudor Pelagos LHD (for “Left Hand Drive”) is one of the hottest new watch releases in recent years.
Tudor used their chronometer certified in-house calibre and modified it to accommodate a crown on the left of the case and date now on the right, wrapped it inside a tough titanium shell, and added some vintage-inspired ivory-tone lume as well as a historically relevant roulette (red-black) date wheel. The result is a high-tech, yet timeless with a hint of retro style – what’s not to like?
But sometimes it’s not just a watch for sports, but for a lucky few, a watch to mark a sporting victory. Omega’s evergreen Seamaster has been given special colours for the 2016 Olympic Games, resulting in the Seamaster 300m Rio 2016 Olympics Limited Edition. A run of just 2,016 pieces, the watch features all the glorious colours of the games, along with a special dial and case back pattern to highlight the Seamaster’s sportier side. At 41.5mm with a Co-Axial movement inside, you can trust this comfortable and reliable piece to accompany you through many more victorious moments.
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