Looking to pick up a shiny watch on a budget? We’ve picked out seven unique watches from our favourite brands that'll keep you looking sharp, for both business and vacations
For watch enthusiasts, there will always be a ‘grail watch’, unattainable due to price or rarity. After all, not everyone wants to drop a major chunk of change for a luxury watch like a Rolex or an Omega. But with watches being such a ubiquitous part of a man’s accoutrements, you’ll be happy to know there is a stunning variety of affordable high-quality watches that won’t leave you reeling in sticker shock. Here are our top picks for men’s watches under $1000.
For the globetrotter: Steinhart GMT-Ocean 1
Steinhart’s Ocean line of watches might get some flak for its overt similarities to the Rolex Submariner. But if you’re after a rugged, high-quality timepiece with a classic dive watch styling, Steinhart checks all the boxes. The GMT version of the Ocean 1 features a distinctive red 24-hour hand and a two-toned 24-hour bezel, allowing for a total of three time zones to be tracked. The sapphire crystal and cyclops date-viewer complete the look.
For the racer-at-heart: Nezumi Voiture
I’ve always had my eye on vintage timepieces, but never the patience to scour through eBay listings for a vintage watch that may or may not work. So imagine my delight to discover the Nezumi Voiture, a racing-inspired chronograph with a modern quartz movement and vintage ’70s styling. Available in three colour-ways (the white with black accents is my personal pick), the watch features a mechanical-quartz movement that marries the accuracy of quartz timekeeping with a mechanical chronograph. The layered-sandwich dial is an eye-catching addition that cements it as a watch that punches above its price point.
Nezumi Voiture, available online for $562.
For the Diver: Seiko SRP777
You can’t write an affordable watch guide without mentioning Seiko somewhere. The watch giant offers high-quality offerings on both the luxury and affordable watch markets. Key among its budget offerings is the SRP777, affectionately known as the Seiko Turtle. The watch sports a cushion-shaped case (a throwback to the original Seiko Turtle seen on the wrist of Martin Sheen in “Apocalypse Now”), 200m ISO depth rating, and Seiko’s 4R36 movement. This automatic movement features hacking seconds, hand-winding and a 41-hour power reserve.
For the wannabe pilot: Citizen Eco-Drive Nighthawk
While I love vintage watches, I’m just as enamoured with techy gear like Citizen’s Eco-Drive Nighthawk. The brand’s Eco-Drive line features reliable quartz movements, as well as a solar-powered rechargeable battery. The Nighthawk also features two more useful features like a GMT hand and a bezel slide rule – perfect for calculating the fuel loads on the business jet you don’t have.
For the rugged outdoorsman: Casio G-Shock Mudmaster
More than just a tool for telling the time, this top of the line G-shock offers a suite of useful features that’ll come in handy for hikers and outdoors-y types. The brand that often comes to mind for the rugged outdoors is the Casio G-Shock series. Their more advanced models, like the Triple Sensor Mudmaster, feature a thermometer, barometer, and compass – all packed in a ridiculously large case. If its size, feature set, and $629 price tag prove a little too intimidating for you, opt for the classic G-Shock 6900. While lacking most of the complications of its more advanced cousin, this model features G-Shock’s hallmark toughness and water resistance at just $150.
Casio G-Shock Mudmaster, available online at Skywatches for $629.
For the suave dresser: Orient Bambino
Fancy a dose of vintage charm? Spring for the Orient Bambino with its distinctive vintage styling that features a domed crystal and dial. The automatic 40mm watch is available in a bevy of distinctive designs and colours. The selection also includes more modern looking dial designs.
For the weekend warrior: Timex Weekender
Want a fuss-free watch that’s just as at home at the beach as it is at a hip new café? The Timex Weekend is a timeless design that borrows elements from classic military field watches and adds a little whimsy with its variety of funky straps. The weekender line also includes chronographs, as well as the more minimalist Fairfield collection.
Timex Weekender, available online from $65.
Rolex and Omega more your style? Here are our top picks for luxury watches in Singapore.