A high-quality watch does not have to cost the annual rent of a three-room apartment in the city. Already with a budget of 1,000-3,000 EUR is mixed with the serious clocks league, where it starts with in-house works and mechanical complications to be exciting. Here are our 5 Value Picks for new entrants and all those luxury creatures that are also a bit of Puritan.
1. Junghans Max Bill Automatic
After turbulent years, the German traditional brand of Junghans is being rebuilt.The legacy of the Max Bill series is carefully carried forward into the present, and is at first bound by the design legacy of the Swiss Bauhaus artist. The watches are equipped with the proven calibers of the factory supplier ETA. Max Bill’s Max Bill is particularly well-known for the Midcentury optics and the status of a timeless design icon, which highlights them in the mid-century classic of the mid-century classics such as the Eames chair or the pendulum lamp Artichoke. One thing is clear for the watch lover coming from the design corner: it must be the original.One of the many replicas in the style of the Swiss Bauhaus artist, which bear the name “Max Bill” only for the purpose of sale, is therefore out of the question. The nice thing about this: With prices from the mid-three-digit euro area, the entry from a cost-benefit perspective is particularly attractive. As soon as the next step towards pure manufacturing is planned for Junghans, in a few years you will also try to achieve higher cover contributions with the popular model classics from the Max Bill collection. If you look at the prices that are called for vintage models, the prices for the new Max Bill models will also rise.
Editor’s Note: The Junghans Max Bill himself is still under 1000, – EUR in the automatic version compared to the Meister collection, whose prizes in recent years have climbed the price ladder noticeably. The automatic version with a case diameter of 38 with a list price of EUR 925, – the Go-To variant within the Max Bill collection, is the perfect choice for those who do not want to forgo the comfort of a self -winding . Since most Max Bill fans especially appreciate the design, the even more favorable hand-held variant is again interesting to the list price of 625, – EUR. In contrast to the automatic version, this has remained unchanged not only in terms of its design, but also with its size of 34 millimeters since the release of the original version.
2. Tudor Grantour
It is no coincidence that Tudor’s sport models are among our absolute favorites in their entire range of models. They continue seamlessly the heritage of steel watches in the tradition of Rolex. Compared to the Heritage models Black Bay and Pelagos, the Grantour looks much more contemporary and the overall picture is as harmonious as a sports watch can be. The nice thing about Tudor is that it is basically a work of the Rolex area, but some (but not exclusively) ETA works have been used for some time. The Tudor Grantour is probably the most attractive option to get a Rolex watch. Even though the ETA 2824 is not manufactured by Rolex / Tudor, it is characterized by the same characteristics as robustness and gait accuracy. In addition to the two-color dial, especially the strip cut of the variant shown below, which gives the sporty style of the Grantour a coherent basic tone.
Editor’s Note: The Tudor Grantour is available in white, silver and black as well as with stainless steel and rubber bracelets. Unless one is definitely not the type for it, one should consider the variant with steel bracelet. For a relatively small extra charge you get a bracelet, which is hardly different from the famous Rolex Oysterband. Although the watch is anything but over-sized, not least because of the wide bezel and a relatively small dial, the Tudor Black Bay can also be of interest in sizes 41 and 36 for persons with particularly narrow wrist joints. The 41 mm version also has an in-house factory, such as the Tudor Pelagos , which is offered in a size of 42.
3. Longines Hydroconquest Chronograph Cal.L688
With the HydroConquest Chronograph , you can get a switch chronograph from one of the most traditional Swiss watchmakers for the price of under 2.000, – EUR .In addition, it is here with a waterproofness of 300 meters and a unidirectional rotating bezel around a washable diver. While most of the chronograph works in this price class are based on the famous ETA / Valjoux 7750, the L688, which is installed here, can already be said to be a premium work. Instead of having a simple slide-over circuit, it was equipped with a complex shift-wheel caliber and with the register arrangement at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, the clock also differs visually from the standard chronographs based on the Valjoux 7750. All in all one receives here one Quantity watch for money. The predestined entry watch for all who interpret the starting point of their watchmaking sporty.
Editor’s Note: If you prefer a massive ceramic bezel to the PVD-coated bezel of the HydroConquest, the Conquest Chronograph will still offer a price that is still well below € 3,000, with the same as the HydroConquest on the caliber L688. The advantage of the ceramic bezel is that it shows hardly any signs of wear even after many years of use. Those who prefer less sporty timepieces will find an interesting alternative in the elegant Longines Heritage Chronograph. The watch is fitted with the same mechanism as the Conquest and HydroConquest models, as insidewatch says.The elaborate work finale can be admired by a sapphire crystal case back.
4. Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Blue
With the Moonphase variant from the Slim Line collection , Frederique Constant launched a dress watch with a Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultrathin and Zenith Elite.The main difference is the price: The Frederique Constant Slim Line with the in-house developed caliber FC-705 is already well below 3.000, – EUR. Particularly attractive are the moon phase display with pointer date and the deep blue dial, which reminds of a clear afterthimmel.
Editor’s Note: Although we would always choose the dark blue dial version, the version with a light dial could be particularly interesting as a first-dress watch. If a diameter of 42 millimeters for an elegant watch is a trace too much and who is looking for a Nobel-Dresswatch at an attractive price, the Slim Line variant with 40-millimeter housing could be the Go-To-Watch. Although without manufactory and moon phase indication, but again significantly cheaper.
5. Hanhart Pioneer Monocontrol
That Steve McQueen had a taste for beautiful clocks, is commonly known.However, the name Hanhart rarely falls in this context. In fact, a Hanhart 417, besides the Submariner 5512, was one of Steve McQueen’s favorite watches, with which he was often seen at the beginning of his career. The MonoControl from the Pioneer collection presented here has a great optical similarity to the Hanhart 417 and is reminiscent of the great history of the traditional brand for the production of single-button chronographs and pilot watches. While Hanhart’s single-button models in the vintage market are now priced at a terrific price, the new model at a price of just over EUR 2,000 is the reinterpretation of a German model classic.
Editor’s Note: With chronographs with only one trigger, it is not possible to add separate part times to a total time, as with variants with two pushers. Therefore, if you like the design of this Hanhart, but prefer a chronograph with two pushers, the similarly priced Pioneer Twin Control or the more favorable Pioneer MK II might be interesting.
6. Nomos Club Hand Lift
Even though NOMOS watches have grown somewhat over the last few years, other manufacturers are still looking for watches with in-house factories at just over a thousand euros mark. Since in the last few years we have increasingly been focusing on a more broadly based price portfolio, the entry-level models with manual lift still offer an outstanding price / performance ratio. First and foremost, the Nomos Club is equipped with the Alpha and small second hand lifting mechanism. If you can do without an automatic lift as well as a sight glass floor and is looking for a smaller dress watch with a pinch of eloquent sparkyness, you will find its ultimate fit.
Editor’s Note: Actually we could have suggested the Nomos Tangente, Zurich, Ahoi or Tangent. However, we chose the base model of the Nomos Club without a sapphire crystal backdrop and without a date as it is significantly lower than its counterparts. If the diameter of 36 mm is then somewhat too small and already has more to invest, for which Nomos still has a variety of interesting alternativesin the hindquarters.