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Best Places To Sell Your Watch Online

Most people get into watches with the intent to purchase only one or just a few pieces and create a small collection. However, as they get deeper into the hobby, they start lusting for more types and styles and amass extensive collections with the intent of keeping them forever.

In the end, though, we all have that one watch sitting in a drawer that we thought we would wear more. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to sell watches like these for several reasons, such as getting funds for a brand-new timepiece. 

But where should you sell your watch? How much should you expect to get for it? Is it better to sell it online or look for physical stores? 

My goal with this piece is to give you all the necessary information about why you would want to sell your watch, the benefits of opting for online vs. retail dealers, which are the best places to sell your watch online, as well as a few tips and tricks on how to make the most of it.

About Selling Watches Online

The number one question you probably have on your mind is why you would want to sell your watch in the first place. There are several reasons why someone would want to liquidate part of their watch collection.

A few of the most common ones include downsizing your collection or funding your next luxury watch purchase. Others come to the decision to sell their watch because their price has increased significantly since they bought it, or perhaps they need the money due to an emergency. 

At this point, I’d like to encourage you to only shop for watches you can truly afford and not compromise your living circumstances. All of us (or most of us anyway) started with affordable Seikos and Casios before moving on to “better” Swiss luxury watches. 

And, in my opinion, that’s the best way to appreciate the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into these marvelous pieces.

So, with that out of the way, let’s get back to selling your watch. In this day and age, my go-to places for selling any watch would be online retailers, marketplaces, and forums, as they offer some tremendous benefits.

Some of the most important ones include accessibility from anywhere in the world, as well as scoring a better price most of the time. But, with the internet being a sea of options, which are the best places to sell your watch online?

Best Place To Sell Your Watch Online

There are countless outlets you can use to sell your luxury watch online, with some being more preferable to others. Here’s a list of the top and most reputable online retailers and marketplaces you can utilize to sell any watch you want:

Exquisite Timepieces

Exquisite Timepieces

When it comes to online watch dealers, few can beat the years of experience that Exquisite Timepieces has in the watch industry. Ever since our establishment in 1999, Exquisite Timepieces has been the go-to stop for watch enthusiasts to buy their favorite watches from dozens of available brands.

Not only that, but Exquisite Timepieces also offers a watch-selling service, where we’ll buy your watch from you at a very competitive price. Plus, the process of selling your timepiece is straightforward. Just complete the online form with all the necessary info about your watch, including its model name and reference number, production year, and additional information, such as when it was last serviced. 

Then, one of our experts will evaluate your watch and provide a quote. If you agree, Exquisite Timepieces will arrange all the shipping details so that you can ship your watch to us. Just make sure to follow the shipping instructions so the watch doesn’t get damaged accidentally during shipping.

Finally, once the watch is inspected and looks as promised, Exquisite Timepieces will process your payment and complete the transaction!



If you don’t want to work with an online retailer and prefer to sell your watch to another person directly, your best bet is to list it on Chrono24. Chrono24 is arguably the number one online watch marketplace and provides watch enthusiasts with a safe and reliable way to sell their watches.

Chrono24 has been a leading watch marketplace for 18 years and currently features over 500,000 watch listings, which is a staggering number. Plus, the website enjoys approximately 300,000 daily visits from watch buyers, which means your watch listing will definitely attract attention.

Speaking of listing, you’ll need to create it yourself by filling in the special Chrono24 form with all the necessary information about your watch. Then, you’ll need to upload a few high-quality images of the timepiece, and you’re ready to go. Once your watch is sold, Chrono24 will charge you a 6.5% commission based on the final price.



WatchBox is an online watch dealer that also has several physical locations across the world. The platform specializes in high-end luxury watches from brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe, so it’s one of the best options if you’re looking to sell your luxury watch online.

WatchBox has a very simple and easy process to complete the sale of your watch. The first thing you need to do is fill in their online form, providing as much information and photos as possible about your watch, as this will allow them to make a better evaluation.

If you’re happy with your quote, WatchBox will arrange for free, insured delivery, or you may choose to do the collection face-to-face. After the watch is thoroughly examined by the WatchBox team of experts, if everything is as described, you’ll receive the full payment via wire transfer or check.



eBay is one of the largest online marketplaces in the world, where people sell anything you can imagine, including their precious timepieces. Whenever I want to check the price on a rare or vintage timepiece, eBay is usually one of the first places I’ll look at.

In my experience, putting your watch up for sale on eBay is much more straightforward compared to other watch marketplaces. That’s because you only need to fill in some basic details and use the same form as any other goods.

However, as always, the more info and photos you provide, the better your chances of selling your watch. Keep in mind that eBay used to be a paradise for scammers. I can’t even recall how many times I’ve seen people buying something from the platform and receiving an empty box.

While things are a lot better nowadays, you should always double-check if the person you’re selling the watch to is legit. And, don’t forget about your own ratings as well, as they’re an essential part of drawing more people to your listing.



WatchUSeek is arguably the most well-known watch forum, with over 500,000 members and 20,000,000 watch-related posts. As you can imagine, with tons of people visiting the website every day, WatchUSeek has a huge marketplace for trading, buying, and selling your watches.

Creating a listing on WatchUSeek is just like writing a simple forum post. However, you should always be aware of the different rules and formats each subforum has. If you don’t follow the exact format or don’t provide enough information, few people will click on your post, and it may even get deleted.

Since WatchUSeek is essentially a person-to-person marketplace, the platform’s selling corner has a few ground rules to avoid bots and scammers. If you want to sell your watch on the forum, you’ll need an active account for over 90 days and 100 posts, which can be replies or your own new posts.

Facebook Marketplace

When it comes to online marketplaces, few can beat the accessibility and variety of Facebook Marketplace. After all, most people nowadays have a Facebook account and utilize the platform to sell basically anything, including watches.

If you start browsing the Facebook Marketplace, you’ll find tons of users selling all types of watches, from new and popular models to older, vintage timepieces. All it takes to create a listing on the platform is a Facebook account. Then, you’ll need to provide some information about the watch, as well as a couple of pictures.

When someone’s interested in your watch listing, they’ll contact you directly, so you can provide any additional information. There might also be some price haggling, although it’s up to you if you want to be flexible or firm about your listing price. As always, try your best to avoid scams, and look for a face-to-face collection, so the buyer can inspect the watch in person.

Crown & Caliber 

Crown and Caliber

Crown & Caliber is another great online watch dealer where you can find tons of luxury watches in excellent condition for competitive prices. Plus, their service team always ensures each watch functions properly and looks good. The platform will also buy your watch outright or trade it for another one.

Crown & Caliber will offer you a free quote so you can get an idea of how much your watch is worth. All you have to do is provide some basic details about it, such as the brand and model number. If it’s a popular watch model with tons of market data behind it, Crown & Caliber may be able to offer you an instant quote.

Alternatively, a full evaluation may take up to five business days. If you agree to the offered quote, Crown & Caliber will provide a prepaid shipping label with FedEx, so you can send your watch in for the final check. If all goes well, you’ll receive your payment in store credit or a check.

Reddit (r/WatchExchange)

Reddit (r/WatchExchange)

Reddit is an online discussion platform where people can talk about anything imaginable. Among the sea of different subreddits, countless ones discuss and partake in watch sales; however, the most popular one is r/WatchExchange.

This subreddit currently features almost 300,000 members and is in the top 1% of the entire website. Naturally, with so many members, the platform is heavily moderated and has a specific form and rules you need to follow. On the bright side, anything you put up for sale will probably be sold very quickly.

Make sure to read carefully through the rules of posting a new watch listing, provide as much information as you can, and include a picture with your username, watch, and date for verification purposes.

Quick Tip: Ask for a fair price; otherwise, your post may get heavily downvoted and not seen by many users as a result.

Facebook Groups

Compared to the Marketplace, Facebook groups operate more like a dedicated forum rather than an online watch marketplace. However, since they are very easy to create, you can find groups for all niches. For example, there are dedicated forums about affordable watches, vintage watches, and even brand-specific ones.

Each Facebook group will come with its own rules for being accepted and posting, so you should familiarize yourself with them. Once you’re in, you’ll find tons of watch enthusiasts with similar interests to you, with who you can engage in conversations as well as watch transactions.

Sometimes, Facebook groups are the best place to find rare timepieces, as it’s more likely for a watch enthusiast to want to sell them to someone from their group rather than a stranger. Plus, if you want to sell your watch, you’ll find many potential buyers that you may be familiar with already.

Bob’s Watches

Bob’s Watches

Bob’s Watches is a safe and trustworthy online watch dealer that’s been around for a very long time and has built a reputation as the go-to option for selling your Rolex watch. Apart from Rolex, you can also sell other reputable watch brands, like Omega, Tudor, and Cartier, and the selling process is very simple and quick.

Bob’s Watches offers a free quote, which you can get by calling them or filling in their online form with information and pictures of your watch. Plus, they have a catalog of current buy prices for some of the most reputable models, so you can get an idea about how much your watch is worth.

If you’re happy with the quote number, Bob’s Watches will provide you with a free shipping label, so you can send in your watch for the final appraisal. If everything goes according to plan, you’ll quickly receive your payment via transfer, check, or even in cash.

Rolex Forums

Rolex Forums

Rolex Forums is one of the oldest online watch forums and has been in operation since 2004. As the name suggests, the forum acts as a platform for discussing primarily Rolex watches. Additionally, you can buy and sell Rolex watches, as well as other high-end brands, to forum members.

While the platform specializes in Rolex, people also buy and sell Tudor watches very frequently, and there’s a dedicated subforum for selling non-Rolex watches. Make sure to read through all the relevant rules and terms of the forum and be as thorough as possible when describing your watch.

One of the newest rules is that you need a membership to post a specific number of listings. This helps avoid any scammers, and the membership fee is not exorbitant, especially if you’re going to sell multiple watches on the forum.



WatchPayer advertises itself as the most secure platform to sell your watch online. The platform will buy almost any watch from you at very competitive prices, and the process of getting a quote and selling your watch is easy and engaging.

You start by providing some basic information about your watch, including the model number, condition, and availability of boxes and papers. Then you’ll get a free quote in your email. 

If you accept it, WatchPayer will actually pay you the money upfront using a third-party payment service. This way, you can be certain you’ll receive your money before sending in the watch.

WatchPayer will also provide you with a free shipping label to send your watch, and once it arrives, they’ll inspect it thoroughly. If the watch is as described, your full payment will be released and arrive in your account quickly and safely. If not, you’ll receive a corrected price based on the condition of the watch.

Tips & Tricks For Selling Your Watch Online

Selling your watch online can be tricky, which may be off-putting for several watch enthusiasts. But don’t worry. I’ve got some tips and tricks that will help you get started on your watch-selling journey, as well as save you a lot of time and, potentially, money.

Know Your Watch

For me, this is the number one tip I give to anyone looking to sell their watch. You won’t believe how many times I’ve been searching for a watch on an online marketplace, only to find short listings that contain little to no information about the watch or ask for an exorbitant amount of money.

Always do your research on the watch you’re selling, and get the key specs and information down correctly. Also, have a thorough look through the market to see how much others are selling the watch for.

I know you want to get as much money for your watch as possible, but you always need to be realistic about how much you’re asking for. A good listing with a competitive price will probably ensure your watch is sold within a few days (or even hours).

Provide All The Necessary Info

To expand upon the previous tip, you need to be as detailed as possible when constructing your listing, as it will save you time from having to answer basic questions. List all the relevant specifications for the watch. Describe its condition meticulously, and don’t try to hide any imperfections or faults; you’ll only end up ruining your seller’s reputation in the long run.

Another huge point is box, papers, and accessories. Ideally, you’ll want to have saved everything related to the watch, including its original box, paperwork, tags, spare straps or bracelet links, and any other potential accessories.

Don’t forget to mention them on your listing, as they will significantly increase the price you can ask for your watch. Also, if your watch is not on the factory bracelet or strap, make sure to state it clearly in your listing to avoid any misunderstandings.

Good Photos Can Make or Break a Listing

This is arguably the most important factor to consider if you want to sell your watch online. Since the potential buyer will likely not be able to inspect the watch before purchasing it, they will heavily rely on the photos you’ve included.

That’s why it’s crucial to take good photos of all angles of the watch and highlight any imperfections so the buyer acknowledges them. Nowadays, you don’t even need professional equipment to take good pictures, as your smartphone can usually take excellent photos. 

If you don’t have access to a modern smartphone with a good camera, just ask a friend to help you out. Whatever you do, always choose a well-lit environment, as it will help highlight all aspects of the watch and make the photos more appealing.


All in all, the availability of online watch dealers and marketplaces has made selling your watch online a breeze and far more accessible and profitable than going to a physical store.

If you’re looking to enjoy the hobby of watch collecting, you’ll inevitably have to sell one or a few of your watches at some point; new luxury timepieces come out almost daily, and you may want to downsize your collection to a more manageable number of pieces.

Just make sure to do proper research on the watch you want to sell, provide all the necessary information, and use good-quality photos for your listing.

Plus, putting your watch for sale on a safe and reputable online platform will ensure a smooth selling process without issues. If you want to sell your watch online through Exquisite Timepieces (that’s us!), click here to get started, and receive a free quote for your watch today!

best jubilee bracelet watches

The word jubilee means a special anniversary—a celebration. It is also related to the word jubilation, which means intense happiness or excitement. In the world of horology, catchy names are an important piece of the puzzle aimed at capturing the hearts and minds of both enthusiasts and casual buyers. 

Enter Rolex’s Jubilee bracelet, released in 1945 on the Datejust model, just in time for Rolex’s 40th anniversary. I tip my hat to Rolex for genius marketing and creative nomenclature.

Heritage and Wearability

Made up of a five-piece structure with semi-circular links, the jubilee bracelet offers a more comfortable, form-fitting wear, as well as a dressier overall look. The larger outer links are usually brushed, and the narrow inner links are polished, giving the jubilee bracelet an elegant appearance with eye-catching light play. 

However, we live in an age where nobody balks at somebody wearing a dive watch with a suit or somebody wearing a moonphase with jeans and a t-shirt. This is appropriate for what watch-wearing should be in the year 2023: an expression of self, free from the restraints and rules of society. 

In a world with looser requirements for corporate wear, we are seeing this transfer into other fashion areas: coats, shoes, hats, and accessories. It’s normal to see someone in a suit with a nice pair of sneakers on, and the same can be said for the wearing of watches. 

The jubilee is the most appropriate bracelet for a dress watch, period. It also wears nicely on the weekend with a pair of jeans. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more versatile bracelet, and we are seeing more and more watch manufacturers—Rolex included with their GMT Master II—release sports pieces on a jubilee bracelet. 

What are the downsides, then? 

For one, the jubilee bracelet is not as robust or durable as the traditional Oyster bracelets—created, again, by Rolex—that are associated with dive and sports watches everywhere. 

If I were going on a dive or an outdoor excursion, and I preferred a watch on a metal bracelet, I would opt for an Oyster bracelet every time. The jubilee bracelet also has a tendency to stretch over time, though this was more the case with older models using hollow links. 

Newer models shouldn’t stretch, as they are built with modern materials and manufacturing processes, but because there are more “parts” to these bracelets, it is possible that they will show more wear over decades of use. 

15 Watches on Jubilee Bracelets Worth Your Attention

1. Rolex Datejust 41 Mint Green (ref. 126334)

Rolex Datejust 41 Mint Green (ref. 126334)

If ever a jubilee bracelet was to appropriately match a timepiece, I can think of none better than the Rolex Datejust 41 in Mint Green. Its 41mm size can be dressed up or down, with its svelte case easily being able to slip under a cuff. 

The fluted bezel is a delicious accompaniment to the polished inner links of the jubilee bracelet. Somehow, the lines and light play offer perfect harmony between case and bracelet—something often missing in watch design today. 

We all know that Rolex’s color is green, and the maison is on trend with the subdued greenish hue of its dial, ultimately creating a watch that evokes success and luxury, offering good value at its MSRP of $10,250.

2. Tudor Black Bay 39 (ref. M79660-0002)

Tudor Black Bay 39 (ref. M79660-0002)

Tudor has been one of the hottest watch brands of the last decade, with brand ambassadors such as David Beckham and Lady Gaga. The new Tudor Black Bay 39 is a GADA watch (Go Anywhere, Do Anything) that checks many enthusiast boxes. It is the perfect size for the majority of wrists, at 39mm. 

It has a new in-house COSC-certified movement (MT5602). It also has one of the best jubilee bracelets I’ve ever felt, with the new “T-fit” clasp that gives a superior level of micro-adjustment. The reference here is the blue dial version, but Tudor offers a variety of dial options.

I’ve tried these on in-store, and it was tempting not to throw my plastic on the counter for the champagne-dialed version. At $3950, this timepiece punches well above its weight!

3. Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 (ref. ZO9287)

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf 53 (ref. ZO9287)

Zodiac is a brand with tons of heritage. Acquired by the mighty Fossil Group in 2001, they’ve since gone on to offer outstanding designs that pay homage to their rich lineage. Zodiac is best known for their dive watches, releasing their first dive watch in 1953—the same year that Rolex released their Submariner and Blancpain released their Fifty Fathoms. 

They are also well known for their beautiful and funky colors. I can attest to the quality of the Super Sea Wolf 53 as an owner of one. The jubilee bracelet exudes quality, with a unique clasp that expands and contracts with your wrist. With an MSRP of $1595, this watch can be considered a bargain when compared to other offerings in its price bracket. 

4. Seiko SKX007

Seiko SKX007

The discontinued SKX007 makes this list because when it was originally released in 1996, it quickly became the benchmark for all dive watches under $1000—this with an original MSRP of under $200. A no-nonsense, do-anything dive watch, it wears smaller than its 42mm case suggests. 

Something about the design just feels right; it doesn’t feel like it is copying any other brand but rather establishing its own unique footprint in the annals of watch design. The SKX007s are getting harder and harder to find, with unworn models approaching the $1000 mark. These timepieces have become collector’s items in the horological community, so if you have an opportunity to acquire one at a reasonable price, I’d say pull the trigger! 

5. Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver Geneva (ref. 2760-ST1-GVA01)

Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver Geneva (ref. 2760-ST1-GVA01)

Another watch on this list that I own, though admittedly an older model on a rubber strap, there is a whole lot to like about the Raymond Weil Freelancer Diver Geneva. I absolutely love Raymond Weil as a company, one of the only independently owned major market Swiss Watch brands that still exist. 

This brand, for me, is a gateway into luxury watchmaking. For most people, spending several hundred dollars on a watch can feel like a luxury, but you don’t really comprehend the next “tier” until you hold a higher-quality timepiece in your hand.

The first time I held a Raymond Weil, I realized that it was something special, built to last and be passed down to the next generation. At 42mm, the 300m dive watch is purpose-built and ready to tackle anything from the boardroom to the depths of the Atlantic. At $2150, this robust dive watch will not seriously dent your wallet. 

6. Rolex GMT Master II “Pepsi” (ref. 126710BLRO)

Rolex GMT Master II “Pepsi” (ref. 126710BLRO)

There are four Rolex watches on this list for a reason: not only did they create the Jubilee bracelet, but they epitomize luxury watches for the vast majority of consumers. What can I say about the Pepsi? It’s highly coveted, it’s a damn good watch, and the Jubilee bracelet looks magnificent on it.

At 40mm, the GMT Master II is the perfect compromise of wrist presence and comfort. Moreover, the GMT function makes it ideal for traveling, especially if going to a different time zone. Rolex is synonymous with luxury and quality, and it is evident that the $10,900 GMT Master II cuts no corners.

7. Steinhart Ocean 39 GMT Chocolate (ref. 103-1218)

Steinhart Ocean 39 GMT Chocolate (ref. 103-1218)

You may be thinking to yourself, a brown watch? No thank you! But then you see it—the decedent brown dial, the two-tone jubilee bracelet, gold plated at the center with accents on the bezel and crown. 

For around $700, the Steinhart Ocean 39 GMT Chocolate is all-class. Putting one on reminded me, coincidentally, of unwrapping the fine gold foil of an expensive Swiss chocolate. Beyond looks, the functionality of the 39mm watch offers 300m of water resistance and a GMT function. 

Like all Steinharts, the Ocean 39 GMT offers enormous value and style. Whether you are a seasoned collector, or dipping your toes into the waters of Swiss watches for the first time, Steinhart is a brand always worth considering. 

8. Seiko 5 Sports GMT SSK001

Seiko 5 Sports GMT SSK001

The evolution of the aforementioned SKX, the new Seiko 5 Sports GMT is an ode to the design language that millions of loyal customers have purchased over the years. It’s a handsome watch, and one with high functionality with Seiko’s new 4R34 movement that will, no doubt, grace hundreds of new microbrand releases over the next decade. 

That’s what Seiko does: they set trends and offer the benchmark for everyone else to follow. They’ve hit a homerun with SSK001, and at $475, this Seiko is a purchase that will give you countless smiles without placing a huge burden on your wallet. 

9. Rolex Sky-Dweller Bright Blue (ref. 336934)

Rolex Sky-Dweller Bright Blue (ref. 336934)

The Sky-Dweller is the most mechanically complicated Rolex. It also offers a fresh deviation from the standard-fare Mercedes hands that are so typical to the brand. It has a fluted bezel that is complementary to its high quality jubilee bracelet. Pictures don’t do the richness of the blue dial justice. 

If you can see one in the flesh, do it, because you will quickly come to realize why these are so highly sought-after. It also has great wrist presence at 42mm, which helps offer more real estate for the complications: dual time zone and annual calendar.

This is a watch that you can set and forget, and it will keep the proper date, even in a different timezone, all year long. It won’t come cheap, however, with an MSRP of $15,650, but if you are in the market for a high end watch, the Rolex Sky Dweller Bright Blue is certainly worth your consideration.

10. Tudor Black Bay (ref. M7941A1A0RU-0003)

Tudor Black Bay (ref. M7941A1A0RU-0003)

I remember when I became obsessed with Tudor, as a brand. I was 22 years old, fresh out of college and unemployed, and about a million miles away from having the means to purchase a luxury watch. 

In 2012, Tudor released its Black Bay collection, a collection that would go on to define the brand as we know it today. The collection was originally headlined by the Black Bay 41, Burgundy. It had a gilt dial and rich burgundy bezel. It was originally powered by an ETA movement, which was good for 38 hours of power reserve. 

In the decade since its release, Tudor has maintained much of what made the original watch aesthetically beautiful, enhancing it now with a jubilee bracelet and new, in-house movement with a 70-hour power reserve, COSC certification, and powerful antimagnetic properties. With an MSRP of $4450, the Tudor Black Bay remains within reach for seasoned and first time buyers alike.

11. Davosa Ternos Professional GMT Automatic (ref. 161.571.05)

Davosa Ternos Professional GMT Automatic (ref. 161.571.05)

With a history of watchmaking that spans over 150 years, the “official” brand did not establish itself as Davosa until 1993. The Ternos Professional GMT is a serious watch with a solid reputation. Yes, many of their watches appear to be homages of offerings by Rolex, but that doesn’t take away from their quality. 

Rolex built a blueprint that many follow today—Davosa included. It looks especially handsome on the jubilee bracelet, though they can also be purchased on an oyster style bracelet. At 42mm, with 200m of water resistance, this watch offers startlingly good quality for its price of $1299.

12. Rolex GMT Master II “Batgirl” (ref. 126710BLNR)

Rolex GMT Master II “Batgirl” (ref. 126710BLNR)

Yes, yes—you’re probably as bored of reading about Rolex as I am with writing about them. But they do deserve repeated mention in an article that highlights the Jubilee bracelet. The GMT Master II “Batgirl” is identical to the “Pepsi” but for two distinct differences. 

The Batgirl’s hand is blue instead of red, and its bezel is black and blue, as opposed to blue and red. I think this makes a more subdued and professional looking watch that blends better with a variety of clothes, but that’s just me. It too is offered at an MSRP of $10,900—that is if you can get one without waiting a few years! 

13. Raymond Weil Freelancer Open Aperture Green Dial (ref. 2780-ST-52001)

Raymond Weil Freelancer Open Aperture Green Dial (ref. 2780-ST-52001)

With a visible balance wheel, a ‘Clous de Paris’ inner dial pattern, and dark green hue, the Raymond Weil Freelancer Open Aperture Green Dial is eye-catching and objectively beautiful. There is just so much dial presence here, and Raymond Weil was right on the money with making this a 42.5mm watch. 

This is not a dial to hide, to slip under the sleeve, to keep away from the admiring eyes of bystanders. Rather, this is a dial that shouts confidence, construction, and creativity. At $2375, the Freelancer Open Aperture offers enormously dynamic horology at a very reasonable price. Did I mention how great the quality of its jubilee bracelet is? Go try one on and see for yourself.

14. SMITHS PRS25 Everest Jubilee

Winning the honor of purchasing a SMITHS watch at MSRP (around $430 here) is akin to winning the lottery. No–really. One must do the following if they hope to acquire a SMITHS watch at retail price. Sign up for the newsletter. Pray that the sliver of time they open the Smiths online shop coincides with your schedule.

Be really quick with your mouse or smartphone. A little bit of fairy dust and a magic lamp might help as well. If you can get a SMITHS watch—any SMITHS watch really—do it.

For the price, they offer absurd value. The PRS25 Everest Jubilee comes with a breathtaking aventurine dial that is reminiscent of the night’s sky. With a Miyota 9 series movement, and a compact 36mm size, this watch both honors its heritage while offering modern mechanical timekeeping.

15. Lorier Astra 

Lorier Astra

Both a dress and sports watch, the Lorier Astra, arguably, offers the one of the best bangs for the buck on this entire list. Since entering the market in 2018, Lorier has established a reputation for superior bracelets, construction, and design. The Astra has a jubilee bracelet that is completely brushed, giving it a very durable finish. 

At 36mm and with a lug-to-lug of 44mm, the Astra will fit even the smallest of wrists. The bracelet also has screwed links, as opposed to the pin and collar system that is pretty typical in this price range. With a Miyota 9 series movement and an MSRP of $499, you can do a lot worse with watches, even double this price point.


All in all, the jubilee is a unique type of bracelet that’s appropriate for both casual and formal attire. While it was introduced and made popular by Rolex, you can still find a few brands that utilize it in some of their watches. Or, you can just go with the original from the Crown. Either way, if you choose to go with one, you’ll definitely like its comfort and style!

Best hand-wound watches

The idea of hand-winding your watch is even more romantic than that of an automatic watch. You’re breathing life into an inanimate object and then depending on it to keep you on time. In modern times you mostly see these types of movements in dress watches, as tool and sports watches have all migrated to automatic movements. 

That said, there are still a few gems on the market for you to buy in 2023. Some are from higher horology brands, whereas others could be the perfect first watch for you to invest in. Whatever the case may be, if the movement inside is a hand-wound movement, you’re bound to have a great relationship with your timepiece. 

About Hand-Wound Watches

As the name would suggest, these watches are not powered by a self-winding movement or a quartz system but rather with hand-winding. Both automatic and hand-wound watches are mechanical watches; however, they are vastly different from one another. 

The biggest difference between the two comes from (unsurprisingly) where the power originates from. Self-winding movements have a rotor attached that spins as you move. This kinetic energy is then converted into potential energy as the rotor winds up the mainspring. 

Unlike a self-winding movement, a manual-wound movement does not need a rotor. The winding will come from the wearer turning the crown of the watch, turning that energy into the potential energy stored in the mainspring. 

We mentioned that you mostly see hand-winding movements within dress watches, and there’s a very good reason for that. Because these movements lack the rotor, they tend to be thinner, which is desirable in a dress watch meant to slip under the cuff of a shirt or jacket. A rotor is also weighted, making the timepiece more cumbersome – again, not incredibly ‘dressy’. 

The drawback of a hand-winding movement is that you need to wind it. For some, this is a selling point, and for others, this is a red flag. Depending on the watch’s inner workings and the power reserve, you might be winding that crown for a while. Again, some find this tedious, while others enjoy it. It also has to be mentioned that shoddy quality around the seal of the crown could wear over time in a hand-wound watch. 

History of Hand-Wound Watches

Until the quartz revolution of the 1970s, all watches were mechanical. Mechanical watches are powered by the mainspring, as mentioned. 

It’s not 100% clear which watch was the ‘first’ wristwatch, but most believe it was made by Patek Philippe for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary in 1868. Others believe the first wristwatch was made by Abraham-Louis Breguet for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, in 1810.

But even way before this, men wore pocket watches, and prior to this, the only portable timekeeping devices were clock-watches. The name may sound like an odd combination of two different words because it is. 

Developed in the 16th century in the German cities of Nuremberg and Augsburg, these devices were worn on the body or around the neck rather than on the wrist. They only had an hour indication and didn’t even feature a glass but rather a brass cover (usually). Even though these devices were manually wound twice a day, they were incredibly inaccurate; some were hours off each day. 

Pocket watches took over soon after, and eventually, wristwatches replaced them, mostly worn by women because men still had pocket watches. In World War I, this changed as soldiers wore wristwatches for added maneuverability and ease of use. 

The first self-winding movement was made in 1923 by John Harwood, and eventually, self-winding movements replaced manually-wound movements. That said, manual movements are still found in various watches today, as you’ll see on the following list. 

The 15 Best Hand-Wound Watches You Can Buy in 2023

1. Timex Marlin Hand-Wound (ref. TW2R47900)

Timex Marlin Hand-Wound (ref. TW2R47900)

Many revere this watch to be one of the best entry-level watches on the market. The Marlin is a watch that is completely at ease with itself; humble, if you will. The Marlin is actually a reissue of the brand’s 1960s Marlin. A true dress piece through and through, it features only three hands with an uncomplicated dial. 

The 34mm case will certainly please those with smaller wrists, and a domed glass lens offers a bit of uniqueness for the price point and a subtle throwback to the 60s design language. Behind the highly legible silver dial is the manual wound movement (not specified by Timex), but has a 40-hour power reserve. 

2. Seagull 1963 Hand Wind Mechanical Chronograph (ref. 6345G-2901)

Seagull 1963 Hand Wind Mechanical Chronograph (ref. 6345G-2901)

Finding a mechanical chronograph will lead you to learn that this complication comes at a price. Seagull, a Chinese watch brand, aims to correct that notion. Powered by the hand-wound No. ST21 mechanical, the Seagull is (perhaps) the most cost-effective way of getting your hands on a mechanical chronograph. 

The cream dial is matched with blue and red hands and an olive green NATO strap to create a vintage allure to the watch. The value of this timepiece is elevated even more when you notice the exhibition case back. The only downside is that servicing this timepiece might actually be more expensive than just replacing it. 

3. Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical (ref. H69439931)

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical (ref. H69439931)

Hamilton is the entry-level Swiss company, especially if your taste veers towards field and pilot watches. The Khaki Field Mechanical is a giant in their lineup and comes in numerous editions and versions. 

The ref. H69439931 is a modestly priced 38mm steel field watch matched with a khaki NATO strap and a brushed finish. Taking inspiration from the original 1960s model, the Khaki Field features a ‘Type B’ dial used by pilots in WWI and WWII. This dial configuration comes in three colors, white, black, and dark brown. 

The Hamilton caliber H-50 is based on the ETA 2801-2 and is equipped with an 80-hour power reserve. The Khaki Field is loved by many, and you’ll often see it sharing a watchcase with big hitters like Pateks and Rolexes. 

4. Junghans Max Bill Hand-Wound (ref. 27/3702.02)

Junghans Max Bill Hand-Wound (ref. 27/3702.02)

If you google ‘Bauhaus Design’, you are greeted with perhaps the perfect description of Junghans’s design language, “Abstract, angular, and geometric, with little ornamentation”. Based in Germany, Junghans takes this popular design and makes it their own. 

The Max Bill is a 34mm dress watch that only measures 9mm in height, most of which comes from the domed crystal. The polished black dial features a minute track and hands that are covered with an environmentally friendly luminous substance.  

To keep costs down, the Junghans caliber J805.1 is based on the hand-wound ETA 2801-2 and is equipped with a 42-hour power reserve. Overall, the Max Bill is a classic design but still different enough to make you smile whenever you look at your wrist. 

5. NOMOS Club Campus 38 Night (ref. 736)

NOMOS Club Campus 38 Night (ref. 736)

Sticking with both Germany and the Bauhaus design, we have the NOMOS Club Campus 38. The first thing you notice about the timepiece is the California dial with Arabic numerals on top and Roman numerals at the 4 and 8 o’clock positions. 

The Campus line was initially introduced for a younger wearer with quirky design features combined with a sporty feel at a reasonable price. This everyday option from NOMOS is perfectly sized at 38.5mm in diameter and measures 8.5mm in height. The utility is emphasized by adding a 100m water resistance rating, something rare for a watch this thin. 

The small seconds hand offers a pop of color in contrast to the all-black dial, while the hour markers and rhodium-plated hands are all filled with luminous material – in fact, it’s one of the most legible dials for the price point when the room goes dark. The movement powering the watch is the NOMOS Alpha Manual and features a 43-hour power reserve. 

6. Longines Watch Heritage Military 1938 Limited Edition (ref.  L2.826.4.53.2)

Longines Watch Heritage Military 1938 Limited Edition (ref.  L2.826.4.53.2)

The Longines logo is the oldest logo in the watch industry, which hints at some of the watches they produce. Their ‘Heritage’ range is a must-have for those that like a vintage look combined with modern technology. The Military 1983 Limited Edition was limited to only 1983 pieces that pay tribute to the watchmaking spirit of Longines. 

The highly legible matte black dial features large Arabic numeral hour markers along with a small seconds sub-register located at the 6 o’clock position, a railway track chapter ring, and a thinner onion crown. The vintage aesthetic of the dial is purposely designed to look identical to the original 1983, hence the ‘aged’ lume. 

The Longines caliber L507.2 is their adaptation of the ETA 6498-1 (or ETA Unitas) hand-winding movement that features a 46-hour power reserve. 

7. Oris Pro Pilot X Calibre 115 (ref. 01 115 7759 7153-Set7 22 01TLC)

Oris Pro Pilot X Calibre 115 (ref. 01 115 7759 7153-Set7 22 01TLC)

Oris is one of the last independent Swiss watchmakers, and it shows in their ability to be daring in design but also to listen to their fans. Branching away from the brilliant Oris Aquis, we have the Pro Pilot X Calibre, a titanium equipped with a fully skeletonized in-house movement – the Caiber 115. 

While the design of this watch is undoubtedly something special, so is the beating heart within. A massive 10-day power reserve (240 hours) comes courtesy of the hand-wound movement; in fact, you can see the mainspring positioned perfectly at the 12 o’clock position. 

The visually striking dial is matched with a gorgeous integrated bracelet and knurled bezel, the latter of which is meant to evoke the turbine blades of a jet engine.

8. Omega De Ville Trésor Master Chronometer Small Seconds (ref. 435.

Omega De Ville Trésor Master Chronometer Small Seconds (ref. 435.

Omega is known for its sport and dive models, but its De Ville range has been the centerpiece of its dress range for decades. The 40mm polished steel case is matched with a striking blue domed dial that features a small seconds sub-register at the 6 o’clock position. Timekeeping duties are dealt with by 18K white gold hands and domed indexes. 

Ticking within the Trésor is the Omega Caliber 8926. As with most modern Omega movements, it is refined and brimming with technology. Turn the case to reveal the emblematic Geneva waves, but beauty is matched with COSC specification as well as a Master Chronometer Certification. The 72-hour power reserve is matched with resistance to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. 

This particular model does come in different variations. A steel case, white dial, and a diamond set bezel. A yellow gold version featuring a green dial and the Omega caliber 8927. A Sedna™ gold red dial variation that also features the Omega caliber 8927. And lastly, a grey dial steel version with the Omega caliber 8926. 

9. Grand Seiko Elegance SBGK007

Grand Seiko Elegance SBGK007

Grand Seiko is much more than the luxury segment of the most famous Japanese watch brand, Seiko. They are known for combining exemplary finishing methods with similar attention to detail with their movements – the ref. SBGK007 is no different but with an under-the-radar or stealth-wealth personality. 

The clean white dial is a rather simple design with two sub-registers, a power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock, and a small seconds at 9 o’clock. The dial actually features slopes toward the edges meant to amplify the 11.6mm thinness of the case. 

As always with Grand Seiko, the movement within is something special. The manually wound caliber 9S63 is equipped with a 3-day power reserve but is also rated at +5 to -3 seconds per day for accuracy. This might be one of the entry-level options from Grand Seiko, but it’s certainly a ‘sleeper’ if you will. 

10. Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate Manual-Wind Watch (ref. 6606 1127 55B)

Blancpain Villeret Ultraplate Manual-Wind Watch (ref. 6606 1127 55B)

Blancpain is the oldest surviving watchmaking brand and has a devoted following. Best known for its dive watches but the Ultraplate takes a far more dressy approach. It’s part of the ‘Villeret’ line, which is ‘the most classic collection’ from Blancpain. 

An ultra-slim case of merely 8.55mm is matched with a striking white dial and silver hands, and Roman numeral hour markers. The manual caliber 11C5 features a pretty impressive 100-hour power reserve and not only powers the hour and minute hands but also displays small seconds as well as a power reserve. 

There are various variations available in this model line, but this particular reference is the true embodiment of a timeless dress watch. 

11. Glashütte Original PanoReserve (ref. 1-65-01-26-12-61)

Glashütte Original PanoReserve (ref. 1-65-01-26-12-61)

Glashütte Original or GO is widely respected in the horology world, especially by those fond of Germany’s approach to watch design. The galvanic blue dial features three separate complications thanks to the caliber 65-01. 

The dial features a panoramic date window, a power reserve, small seconds dial, and, of course, a time display. The sub-registers feature a vinyl-type finish and, when combined with a combination of hour batons and numeral markers, create visual interest and a sense of contrast.

The 40mm polished steel case is certainly sized for contemporary tastes and is matched with a blue Louisiana Alligator leather strap. Turn the case over to reveal the aforementioned caliber featuring typical GO finishes like the three-quarter plate with a striped finish. You will also find the double swan-neck fine adjustment, which is synonymous with the brand. 

12. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duoface (ref. Q3958420)

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duoface (ref. Q3958420)

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is one of the most well-known and loved watches in the industry. The Duoface ref. Q3958420 ventures away from the sporty origin of the Reverso and exudes a luxurious appeal. 

The grained outer dial is contrasted with a smooth inner dial and features alpha hands and a night-day indicator. But as the name hints at, reversing or ‘flipping’ the case reveals a second dial. This white dial is beautifully contrasted with blue hour markers and hands. At the 6 o’clock position, you’ll find a radial date function surrounding a moonphase indicator. 

No one does Art Deco quite like JLC does. But, they are also known as ‘the watchmaker’s watchmaker’ because JLC has made movements for various heavy hitters like Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, Panerai, and IWC. The movement within the Duoface is the manual caliber 853/A introduced in 2016 and features a 42-hour power reserve. 

13. Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton (ref. 103126)

 Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton (ref. 103126)

Bulgari is known as a Swiss watch company with Italian design inspiration. The Octo Finissimo is widely known as one of the thinnest automatic watches you can get your hands on. Originally launched in 2012, the Octo Finissimo line has become the centerpiece of the Bulgari catalog. 

This particular model is not only extremely thin at 5.50mm but is completely finished in ceramic, a case material that is unbelievably hard to produce but does offer immense resistance to scratches. While the ceramic case and bracelet might be intriguing, your attention is immediately drawn to the skeletonized dial. 

Certainly not made for legibility but rather for aesthetics. The caliber BVL 128SK is on display with an expert brush finish and is based on the Bulgari BVL 128. The manual in-house caliber is extra thin (2.35mm) and features a 65-hour power reserve. 

14. H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Small Seconds Purity

H. Moser & Cie. Venturer Small Seconds Purity

H. Moser & Cie is perhaps not the most-known watch company on the planet but certainly deserves recognition. Their minimalist approach to design is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but their attention to detail is certainly admirable.

The Venturer Small Seconds Purity was presented at SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) in two variations, a blue fumé dial white gold version, and the version referenced here, a red gold with a smokey fumé dial. 

The dial is actually domed and is matched with a thin bezel, allowing for a massive dial profile. With the fumé effect and the crystal, it creates a mirror-like finish, something you won’t see every day. The only other features on the dial are gold hour markers at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions and a recessed sub-register.

The movement within is the Moser caliber HMC 327, a hand-wound movement equipped with a 72-hour power reserve. In fact, the movement is visible through the sapphire caseback, finished with stripes on the plates and bridges, and features a power reserve indicator above the balance wheel.   

15. Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes De Vache 1955 (ref. 5000H/000A-B582)

Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes De Vache 1955 (ref. 5000H000A-B582)

Known as the ‘underdog’ of the Swiss Holy Trinity, Vacheron Constantin is known for legendary timepieces like the 222 and the Overseas. The model presented here is certainly not a sports model but does feature a sporty feature, a chronograph function. 

As the name suggests, this watch pays tribute to another and is based on reference 6087 from 1955; the ‘cow horn’ lugs are a direct inspiration from the ref. 6087. The chronograph function is amplified with the addition of a painted tachymeter scale, allowing the wearer to measure the speed of an object.

The dial is actually finished in a combination of Copper and Zinc, allowing for a striking ‘grey velvet-finished opaline’ color. The blued steel chronograph hand offers great contrast and a burst of color. 

Flip the 38.5mm polished steel case to reveal the beautifully finished caliber 1142, which is based on the hand-wound Lemania 2310 and is finished with the Côtes de Genève as well as the Geneva seal. 


While the hand-winding movement is perhaps not what everyone prefers, there is still a romantic aspect when you imagine ‘breathing life’ into an intimate object. These are usually only found within dress watches, but as this list proved with the Seagull and Hamilton, they can also be found in sporty and field watches. 

If you prefer to be even more connected with your timepiece, then you may be on the market for a manually wound watch. Just make sure to remove the watch from your wrist before you start winding; the angle might be bad for the crown… 

12 best chronograph watches under $$2k

There are few features that enamor a watch enthusiast like a chronograph function. I am not sure exactly what it is that draws us in, but their popularity among enthusiasts speaks for itself. With limited objective purposes that a wristwatch can provide outside of telling the time, it could simply be the fact that a chronograph gives us another way to interact with these machines we obsess over.

If that was the only factor, wouldn’t we all just aspire for the most complicated watch that we can afford? It must go deeper than that. The chronograph function turns the watch we love into an actual tool. It makes them easier to justify their necessity of ownership, not only to yourself but to your significant others as well (and isn’t that what really matters)!

If we are honest with ourselves (something most of us watch enthusiasts HATE doing), a chronograph watch doesn’t really serve any practical function in our lives that we couldn’t get from our phones. To those of you logical enough to make that argument; How exactly did you find this article? And why are you still reading? This hobby is clearly for the unhinged radicals who value precision over practicality and craftsmanship over convenience!

How many types of Chronographs are there?

As we evaluate the chronograph there are several ways to provide this functionality to our timekeepers. There are affordable quartz offerings, hand-winding mechanical movements, automatic mechanical movements, and then jaw-dropping artistry coming out of the ultra-luxury brands such as A. Lange & Sohne or Breguet. Add to this the fact that almost every brand all the way from entry-level to ultra-luxury, both mainstream and micro brands, creates a watch with a chronograph and we are certainly spoiled for choice.

Are all chronographs expensive?

Time to slam on those brakes! If you’re reading this article, you very well could be in my same shoes. A mere mortal, with enough money to pay for things you need and a little extra for the fun stuff. Unfortunately for us instead of choosing a perfectly fine hobby like collecting rocks or another free medium, you chose wristwatches; A hobby most enjoyed by those with copious amounts of spare cash.

If you work hard and are disciplined most of us could save up $2k. There are some excellent examples of wristwatches under this price that really make me question why I ever need to spend more. Chronographs rarely make these lists of best watches under $2k and there’s a good reason.

These complicated watches are expensive! Let’s take a journey to the most affordable corners of the entry-level and luxury watch market (the irony is not lost on me) and find the 12 best chronograph watches under $2k. And because I want this list to be as interesting and informative as possible, I am only going to select one watch per brand.

Budget Options for the most Frugal of Collectors

Seagull 1963

Seagull 1963

Starting off our list is a true hero of the frugal watch community. The Seagull 1963 provides a mechanical hand wind movement at a price that many other watch companies charge for a replacement strap. The version that I would go with comes with a 38mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, and a classic cream dial with gold indices. The watch screams vintage and has small pops of flair like a red star on the dial to help it stand out from the crowd.

The real showstopper here is the in-house Seagull ST19 hand wind mechanical chronograph. The movement is manufactured in China but based on the famed Venus caliber 175. Prices vary on this model depending on how you choose to spec it out, but even if you spec it to the top, you’ll be under $500, let alone the $2000 budget we have here. You might even have enough left over to pick yourself up a nice time-only piece to round out the collection.

Bulova Chronograph A 98A252

If the vintage design is your thing, but you’d rather have a piece that you can just pick up and go, look no further than the Bulova Chronograph A. This model, which is commonly referred to as the “surfboard” by collectors, has a great vintage aesthetic but will be ready for action thanks to the robust quartz movement.

The watch features a 40.5mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, and a nice 200-meter water resistance. The real stand out for this watch is the surfboard-style sub-register layout and bicolor dive bezel. This gives the timepiece a very sporty vibe. There are lots of colors to choose from within this model, but the black and red really sing to me.

This model will come matched with a tropic-style rubber strap allowing you to not only look at a surfboard on the dial but have the option to actually jump on a real one and catch some waves. With a list price hovering around the $700 mark and discounts almost always available, this watch is far from a budget buster.

Citizen Promaster Skyhawk A-T JY8078-52L

Citizen Promaster Skyhawk A-T JY8078-52L

In the world of chronographs, pilot-inspired timepieces are highly coveted and commonly drawn upon for inspiration. If the $6k plus market for a new Breitling Navitimer isn’t for you, but you want something with serious aviation heritage, then Citizen and their Promaster Skyhawk line might be exactly what you’re looking for. This version is a Blue Angels edition and comes with a classic blue and yellow color scheme to match.

The stainless steel case comes in at a hefty 45mm, but given how many complications they managed to squeeze on this, the size is more than justified. My favorite attribute of this watch is the Eco-Drive movement, gaining its power from the sun as opposed to a traditional battery. Add to this the atomic timekeeping feature, slide rule bezel, and endless digital features and you have a watch that can almost do it all, whether you’re in a plane or not, at less than $800.

Micro Brand Offerings for those Seeking Something to Match with their Favorite IPA
Unimatic U3 Classic

Unimatic U3 Classic

One of the best ways to stretch your hard-earned dollar in the world of watch collecting is through the exploration of micro brands. This area can be hit or miss, but there are a few brands on this list that absolutely knock it out of the park. The first of these brands is Unimatic with their U3 Classic. This quartz-powered chronograph carries the distinct Unimatic Italian aesthetic and seamlessly integrates a chronograph function.

This watch comes in a 41.5mm stainless steel case and features a sapphire crystal and unique meca-quartz caliber with the use of the Seiko VK64. This movement utilizes a mechanical chronograph module that is added to a typical quartz-powered watch.

If you are mesmerized by the smooth sweep of a mechanical watch, this chronograph may be enough to scratch the itch. Combine this technology with the distinct no-frills look of a Unimatic and you have a very compelling option at roughly $700.

Studio Underd0g Mint Ch0c Chip (Gen 2)

Studio Underd0g Mint Ch0c Chip (Gen 2)

Perhaps one of the best examples of a microbrand catching fire in the watch community is Studio Underd0g. Their bold color choices helped them achieve success almost immediately while introducing their collection to the world during the uncertainty of a global pandemic. The watermelon color iteration receives a lot of glory, but I am an absolute sucker for their Mint Ch0c Chip design. The mint green dial and brown accents help to give this watch its namesake and the combo works surprisingly well.

This watch features 38.5mm stainless steel case and is powered by the previously mentioned ST19 mechanical chronograph. The price will come in at close to double what you could find a Seagull 1963 for and good luck finding one in stock as they are almost always out of stock. Even with those drawbacks, this watch deserves all of the hype that it has received and I would certainly line up for 2 scoops of this!

Maen Skymaster 38 MKII-Panda

Maen Skymaster 38 MKII-Panda

If you’re open to a micro brand but lust after something a little more traditional, there are few brands that can pack as much of a punch as Maen. Their Skymaster 38 MKII has a beautiful 38mm stainless steel case and features a 12-hour ceramic uni-directional GMT bezel.

Add this functionality to the already pleasing visual representation and you have a watch that is hard to beat at any price. Where Maen really separates itself from the other micro brands on this list is its use of a top-grade Swiss ETA 2892-2 movement.

This modular chronograph allows this watch to come in at a very svelte 12.9mm. The panda dial variation with the bracelet is my favorite of the current offerings and even with this upgrade, you are still looking at less than $1100. As is the case with many of these lower-production micro brands, supply can be hard to come by. It’s like people have figured out that this is a tremendous value or something.

Sticking to the Classics of Mainstream Entry Level Luxury

Longines Conquest Chronograph Quartz-L3.700.4.96.6

Longines Conquest Chronograph Quartz-L3.700.4.96.6

There are few brands in the luxury watch space that carry as much name cache among the general population as Longines. With a history dating back to the 19th century and some of the greatest watchmaking achievements under their belt, the Longines name stands for something.

All of their traditional mechanical chronograph movements, despite presenting some of the most significant value among all chronograph watches, do fall just outside of our $2k parameter. That’s when our favorite cost-saving movement, quartz, is here to save the day.

The Conquest Chronograph is aesthetically very similar to the automatic version, featuring a 41mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, and unique button pushers that scream Longines. The quartz movement in this watch is the L440.2 manufactured by ETA and is capable of measuring 1/100th of a second.

Considering that human reaction time is considerably higher than that number, this watch is as accurate as humanly possible. If precision in a chronograph is what you are looking for, you simply won’t do better than this Longines Conquest Chronograph and you won’t even need to spend $1500 to get it.

Christopher Ward C65 Chronograph C65-41ACH1-S0BB0-B0

Christopher Ward C65 Chronograph C65-41ACH1-S0BB0-B0

Long considered one of the mainstays of the micro brand community, Christopher Ward has done enough for the watchmaking community, and British watchmaking, in particular, to graduate to a mainstream brand. Sure, they are still disrupting the industry and cutting out the middleman (collective watch enthusiast eye roll), but they are going about it the right way. The C65 Chronograph is a beautiful example of what makes Christopher Ward so great.

A 41mm Stainless steel case, screw-down pushers, and sapphire crystal help give you the confidence that this watch will stand the test of time. What really helps set this watch apart is its use of vintage-inspired colors and sub-dials.

I can’t help but picture this watch in a Steve McQueen film and very much look the part. Pair this with their use of a Swiss-made Sellita SW510 automatic movement and you have a very compelling option for anyone looking to buy a chronograph, whether you have a $2k ceiling or not. Lucky for you, this great watch will set you back at less than $1800.

Certina DS Chronograph Automatic

Certina DS Chronograph Automatic

If traditional watch design is more your speed, there are few options that will look as classy as the DS Chronograph from Certina. This design evokes the spirit of something that would be coming out of the Holy Trinity and not a mid-tier brand of the Swatch group.

Coming in with a 42mm case and 14mm case thickness, this watch may struggle to be your exclusive dress watch, but luckily with the swap of a strap, this watch would look just at home with jeans and a sweater. The DS Chronograph is powered by a modified ETA movement that incorporates silicone components into a traditional 7750.

Despite looking the part of a watch from a bygone era, the modern sizing and use of modern components help elevate this watch to suitable everyday wear. Despite having these improvements, this watch still finds a way to slide beneath the $2k budget, even if there is literally nothing to spare.

My picks- The 3 Chronographs that have me in Jeopardy of Sleeping on the Couch

Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph T137.427.11.041.00

Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph T137.427.11.041.00

I am not sure if you know this, but blue dial integrated steel sports watches are kind of having a moment. Despite most of these mainstream offerings being presented from brands who would never be on a list like this, Tissot decided to change the game and make something for the common folk.

The Tissot PRX has had a meteoric rise in popularity and the expansions in this line are evidence of this. The PRX Automatic Chronograph is the best iteration of this line yet, combining the iconic design and Swiss Made automatic chronograph movement.

The 42mm stainless steel case and integrated bracelet may reserve this option to watch enthusiasts with average or above-average wrists, but the cool vibes of this piece have me considering bulking up to put some meat on these chicken wrists.

The Blue dial and white sub-dials give this watch a classic look, that will have no problem adding just enough pizazz to any outfit. This watch is coming in at under $1800 and with the extra cash, you might be able to score yourself a nice integrated rubber strap to mix things up.

Hamilton Aviation Pilot Pioneer Auto Chrono H76416135

Hamilton Aviation Pilot Pioneer Auto Chrono H76416135

Of all the watches on this list the Hamilton Aviation Pilot Pioneer Auto Chrono surprised me the most. To be honest, I didn’t know that it existed. I went to Hamilton’s website only to be gutted that the beloved Intra-Matic falls outside of my price range. This watch however is the silver lining to that devastating story. This watch features a 41mm stainless steel case and is powered by the same H-31 automatic movement as the aforementioned Intra-Matic.

What makes this watch really stand out is its timeless design. There is something about this watch that feels very familiar and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Of all of the watches that have made this “prestigious” list, this feels like the safest choice.

A watch that will go unnoticed yet always be there when you need it. The Aviation Pilot Pioneer Chrono comes in at just under our $2k budget but considering the stainless steel bracelet and similar components of the Intra-Matic (the one well over our budget) you’re getting a terrific value.

Seiko Presage SRQ025

Seiko Presage SRQ025

If you thought that I was going to complete a value-packed list of any type of watch and not include a Seiko, you must be out of your mind! There is no brand that can pack as much value into a wristwatch as Seiko. Even after allowing their prices to catch up to the rest of the market, what you get far exceeds what they are asking for their watches.

The Seiko Presage Chronograph is no exception. Much like the Certina, the modern case size of 42mm and 15.2mm (that’s thicc with 2 c’s) may not match up exactly with the traditional design, but I am ok with it!

The beautiful dial pattern, intricate numerals, and stunning case finish are enough to let me overlook the extra heft. The in-house 8R48 Movement powering this watch offers all of the robustness you would expect from a Seiko while also rivaling the Swiss in overall construction and build quality.

We all know that Seiko can sometimes fall behind the Swiss in terms of +/- tolerances of daily deviation, but that’s something a qualified watchmaker could sort out in an afternoon. You’re going to eat up almost all of that $2k budget with this watch, but this Seiko absolutely deserves it.


So there you have it, 12 of the best chronograph watches your hard-earned $2k can afford you. There are several other options we could explore if we were willing to look at more than one option from each brand.

Even with this price restriction, it appears we are still very spoiled for choice. You might have to explore some options you wouldn’t need to if it wasn’t a chronograph you’re heart desired, but if there is one thing I learned from this exercise it’s that variety is fun!

Take a look at micro brands when you’re bored of seeing the same old options. Be willing to look past that quartz watch snobbery when looking for a more complicated watch on a budget. More than anything, however, when researching a watch with the value being the main criteria, remember this one simple adage; All roads lead to Seiko (at least for me they do)!
Happy watch hunting!

In this video: Angelus U21 Tourbillon Carbon Gold

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