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12 Best Luxury Watches Under $3,000

Spending thousands of dollars on a watch is something that has always been considered a luxury purchase by watch “civilians,” who, in actuality, make up the vast majority of consumers. 

However, If you’ve spent time reading watch reviews, watching videos, and exploring watch blogs, you shouldn’t count yourself as an ordinary consumer. Heck, the mere act of reading this article is an admission that you are a watch enthusiast or, at the very least, well on your way to becoming one. 

I’d like to formally welcome you to our ranks! Please enjoy obsessing over minute details such as lug-to-lug widths, power reserves, and screw-down crowns. I hope you like ramen because this hobby has become really expensive over the past two decades.

Only twenty years ago, one could buy a stainless steel Rolex Submariner without jumping through hula hoops for around $3,000. That price has more than tripled today, and with the seemingly unceasing waves of inflation, an important question bubbles to the surface: Can you purchase a quality luxury timepiece for under $3,000?

What to Look for in Luxury Watches Under $3,000

The answer to the above question is a resounding yes. There are a multitude of value propositions, some from larger, well-known brands and others from independents. When considering which timepiece to buy, it is always important to do independent research and seek guidance from authorized dealers like Exquisite Timepieces. But not all sub $3000 watches are made equally, so when purchasing a timepiece in this price range, it is important to consider the following criteria:

Watch Purpose

What are you using your watch for? I wouldn’t go diving with a dress watch that lacks lume and a screw-down crown. I also wouldn’t wear a chronograph with a tuxedo. When a watch costs thousands of dollars, it means that it has been purposefully built to meet specific standards.

Yes, today’s Avant-Garde fashion world is fluid, but when purchasing a watch for formal occasions, swimming, or with the flexibility to do both, it is important to consider the “style” of watch that best suits your needs.

Dive watches are extensively tested to ensure that they meet ISO standards. Chronographs offer a more complex level of timekeeping, used in automotive racing and aviation. So, I’ll ask you again… What are you using your watch for?

Brand Reputation

As with anything, branding can be a deciding factor for many people spending their hard-earned cash. When spending $3,000 or less, however, it is important to consider the specs, build quality, and overall package of a watch. It is much easier to “stretch your dollar” with a lesser-known independent brand than it would be for a much more established and well-known Maison.

At the end of the day, it is up to the individual to decide whether or not wearing a timepiece with pedigree supersedes wearing one without. Some people love having their watches recognized, while others prefer a more “stealth” approach to what they wear. There’s no incorrect answer here; for myself, I prefer getting the most out of my dollar, so having an inferior watch that is more “recognizable” doesn’t really scratch my itch.

Build Quality & Finishing

It took me a while to really understand the nuances of build quality and finishing. Most people don’t see the differences between a $200 watch when compared to a $2000 watch, but if you spend time with watches at various price points, it becomes easier to see.

Higher priced cases have greater variation of brushed and polished surfaces, with chamfered edges and greater dial complexity—applied indices, heat-treated blued hands, matching date wheels, and on and on. It becomes much more apparent with bracelets, too. A cheap bracelet is often clunky and jingly, whereas a more expensive bracelet conforms to the wrist and has a solid feel to it.

There is an intentionality in higher-end watches. They just feel right on the wrist, and wearing them is a reminder that horologists have put greater effort, materials, and research into the product you are wearing.


I know what you are thinking: quartz movements are cheap. Why would I spend $3000 on a watch with a quartz movement when I can purchase one from the mall for $70? Well, not all quartz movements are made equal. Some are accurate up to +/- 10 seconds per year, which is just about as accurate as a watch can be unless you throw a “smart” out in front of the word, but that’s neither here nor there.

I guess what I am trying to get at is this: an automatic or manual winding watch is not necessarily an indicator of quality or price. There are work-horse movements that are outsourced by watch manufacturers. These aren’t necessarily “bad” movements, as they are built to a specific standard, but they don’t elevate a watch alone. And the sub $3,000 price range is nearly devoid of in-house movements.

Still, some manufacturers manage to stretch their catalog’s value with proprietary (built specifically for them) or even in-house offerings. When considering an automatic or manual winding watch in this price range, look at accuracy, power reserve, and finishing—if an exhibition caseback is present—as this will be the best way to separate the mundane from the extraordinary.

Pricing & Availability

The following list of watches, curated by us here at Exquisite Timepieces, is available to purchase from authorized dealers. The best way to purchase a new watch is always from an authorized dealer, as you are ensuring the watch will arrive with a full warranty. You are also ensuring that your future watch will arrive unblemished while eliminating the chance of purchasing a fake watch, which is possible when shopping on online forums or the gray market.

Exquisite Timepieces is an authorized dealer for many of the watches below, and you can view the full range on our website from the convenience of your home. Of course, if you find yourself in Naples, Florida, please stop by our showroom Monday through Saturday from 10AM-5PM.

12 Best Luxury Watches Under $3,000

It wasn’t easy, and of course, there are too many watches available to make the cut. Still, when considering the best 12 luxury watches at around or under $3,000, we’ve curated a list of options worthy of your attention. So, please stay a while, enjoy the read, and let us know if you have any questions about any of these timepieces! 

Longines Spirit Zulu Time 39mm (ref. L3.802.4.63.2)

Longines Spirit Zulu Time 39mm (ref. L3.802.4.63.2)

The Spirit Zulu Time 39mm is the impetus for Longines’ resurgence within the watch community. Not only is this watch absolutely gorgeous—I dream about the green bezel version—but it is also built to a high standard of finishing. Also offered in a 42mm variation, the smaller 39mm Spirit Zulu Time is made from stainless steel and is 13.2mm thick, with a 46.7mm lug-to-lug. 

This is as wearable as a watch can be, folks, offering superb legibility and the ability to easily slip under a cuff. What’s more, unlike most of its competition, the Longines Spirit Zulu Time 39mm is a true GMT, allowing the hour hand to be independently adjusted. The movement within also parallels the excellence of the case. It offers a COSC-certified ETA movement, exclusive to the brand, with 72 hours of power reserve. 

If you are looking for one of the best bargains in the industry, the Longines Spirit Zulu Time 39mm retails at just a hair over $3,000 ($3,050 on the leather strap and $3,150 on the bracelet). I love this watch so much that I just couldn’t keep it off this list! 

Grand Seiko Quartz (ref. SBGP013)

Grand Seiko Quartz (ref. SBGP013)

Grand Seiko, from a horological standpoint, is the pride of Japan. And yet, for decades, people have scrunched their nose at the prospect of spending “Swiss watch money” for a fancy Seiko. Fools—all of them. To see a Grand Seiko in person is to witness the perfect amalgamation of art, design, and engineering. In recent years, Grand Seiko has pushed hard to gain ground in the United States, and they are doing so with great success.

This success, along with inflation, has put most of their offerings out of the $3,000 price range, but the SBGP013, at $2,600, is an extraordinary value proposition. At 40mm, with a lug-to-lug of 47mm and a case thickness of 10.6mm, this watch will fit like a glove for the vast majority of wrists out there, both small and large. Grand Seiko has also taken perfection to the next level with the introduction of the 9F85 quartz caliber, accurate to +/- 10 seconds per year!

The new caliber also has the ability to tweak the hour hand without stopping the seconds hand, ensuring precision timekeeping even when changing time zones. I can write about the merits of this timepiece for hours, but you really have to go see it in person to fully appreciate the Zaratsu polishing and superb overall package.

Oris Divers Sixty-Five (ref. 01 733 7720 4055-07 8 21 18)

Oris Divers Sixty-Five (ref. 01 733 7720 4055-07 8 21 18)

What if I told you that you could purchase a vintage-inspired timepiece by an independent Swiss watchmaker with centuries of heritage, a 42mm stainless steel case, 100m of water resistance, a Swiss automatic movement, sapphire crystal, screw-down crown, and killer looks, all for $2,500? You probably wouldn’t believe me, and if you did, you would think that the watch was a limited release from an obscure microbrand (not that we dislike microbrands, of course!).

Oris is a name synonymous with Swiss watchmaking and yet the majority of their catalog has crept up in price over the past decade, many surpassing the $3,000 threshold. This modern iteration pays tribute to the original model, released in 1965, by retaining its vintage aesthetic and functional features while incorporating contemporary advancements in watchmaking technology.

Ball Engineer III Endurance 1917 GMT (ref. GM9100C-S2C-GYR)

Ball Engineer III Endurance 1917 GMT (ref. GM9100C-S2C-GYR)

Ball is a watchmaker that doesn’t receive the attention it rightfully deserves. Established in 1891 by Webb C. Ball in Cleveland, Ohio, Ball Watch Company has a rich history of producing high-quality timepieces. While it may not be as widely recognized as some of the larger Swiss watch brands, Ball has earned a solid reputation for its precise and durable watches, particularly in the field of railroad timekeeping.

The Ball Engineer III Endurance 1917 GMT is just about as handsome as a watch can be, with a gorgeous H-link bracelet, 41mm case, and superb finishing. The gray dial, adorned with 39 multi-colored micro gas tubes, dances with luminosity, ensuring visibility even in the darkest of nights. Equipped with a COSC-certified Ball in-house caliber RRM7337-C, this automatic movement ticks at 28,800 vibrations per hour, boasting a power reserve of 80 hours.

The red arrowhead hand gracefully glides across the 24-hour chapter ring, seamlessly indicating the second time zone. A screw-down crown and sapphire crystal are the quintessential finishing touches, elevating the timepiece to a robust daily wearer, suitable for all occasions and environments. Did I mention that all of this is available at an MSRP of $3,199?

Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver Panda Automatic (ref. 86004A01)

Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver Panda Automatic (ref. 86004A01)

Some watches elicit attention. Some watches evoke beauty. The Nivada Grenchen Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver Panda Automatic—yes, that is certainly a mouthful!—does both of these and then some. The panda dial, broad arrowhead handset, hint of red on the crown-side subdial, and the vintage lume all come together to create one of the most aesthetically balanced chronographs out there for under $3,000.

With a stainless steel 38mm case and a 14.8mm case thickness (due to the automatic chronograph movement), this chronograph is pleasant to wear, even for those with smaller wrists. Though it looks gorgeous in pictures, one has to put it on the wrist to really enjoy the subtleties of its beauty, such as the marvelous double-dome sapphire crystal and etched steel caseback.

The Nivada Grenchen watch boasts nine versatile features, including a time-out stopwatch for elapsed time, a regular stopwatch for precise measurements, and specialized functions for doctors, divers, aviators, and yachters, all in one accurate, waterproof, and shock-resistant timepiece. That’s a lot of functionality for a watch with an MSRP of $2,195.

NOMOS Glashütte Tangente 38 (ref. 164)

NOMOS Glashütte Tangente 38 (ref. 164)

Enter the Germans—known for engineering with a rich history of horology. The second half of NOMOS’ name comes from a small town in Saxony called Glashütte, where German watchmaking was born hundreds of years ago. This town has a legacy of producing some of the finest timepieces in the world, each bearing the mark of German excellence and craftsmanship.

The NOMOS Glashütte Tangente 38 (ref. 164) is possibly the most German-looking timepiece I can think of. I close my eyes and think of German watchmaking, and there it is, with its Bauhaus-era numerals, heat-treated blued hands, and narrow, segmented lugs. This is a handsome watch, which can be dressed up or down due to the 38mm case diameter.

The in-house Alpha caliber is manual winding with 43 hours of power reserve and one of the principal feats of engineering that allows for the watch’s head-scratching 6.8mm thickness. I know what you are thinking. Okay, that sounds great, but how much is it? I’m smiling as I type $2,330. It’s that good of a watch.

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Pro-Diver (ref. ZO3552)

I personally own a Zodiac Super Sea Wolf Skin Diver, with the cream dial and stainless steel bezel—an ode to the 1953 release, which just so happened to make its announcement alongside Rolex and Blancpain at the 1953 Basel Fair. So yeah, this brand and collection have a lot of history and horological heritage.

The Zodiac Super Sea World Pro-Diver is a beefed-up and modern iteration of the original; this watch means business. It has a 42mm stainless steel case featuring 300m of water resistance and full ISO certification. It also has a ceramic bezel, sapphire glass crystal, and a very nice 7-link stainless steel bracelet.

And yes, I did mention this watch in the same breadth as Rolex and Blancpain, but it only costs $2,195. Not bad for membership to the “holy trinity” of Swiss dive watches. You heard that term here first!

Seiko Presage Limited Edition “Baby Snowflake” SJE073

Seiko Presage Limited Edition Baby Snowflake SJE073

Seiko’s Presage line is a step above their more entry-level models. With a focus on elegance and precision, Presage watches offer affordable luxury for those who appreciate both style and finishing in their timepieces. At $2,200, this is the cheapest watch from the Japanese Maison that offers the revered Zaratsu polishing.

The timepiece gets its nickname from the Grand Seiko Snowflake, which really elevated the brand to new heights when it was first released. You can lose yourself in the SJE073’s dial, an evocation of freshly fallen snow in a calm field. Applied indices, a robust stainless steel bracelet, and a very wearable 40mm case make this a package that is hard to resist.

This watch has been on my “must buy” list for some time, but alas, my wife will likely give me treatment colder than the dial if I bring home “another watch.” But you know what they say: ask for forgiveness, not permission (especially when it comes to adding a new timepiece that fits your budget).

DOXA Sub 300 Professional (ref. 821.10.351.10)

DOXA Sub 300 Professional (ref. 821.10.351.10)

With its vintage design cues, orange dial, beads of rice bracelet, and COSC certification, the Doxa Sub 300 Professional is a dive watch for divers and enthusiasts alike. The robust disc-like case shape measures 42.5mm but actually wears much smaller due to its lugless design. The bracelet has a diver’s extension clasp for wetsuits, along with a generous taper for comfort.

38 hours of power reserve ensures that the watch will maintain its high accuracy for days on end.  Sometimes you need a watch that simultaneously “stands-out” and flies under the radar, and the Doxa Sub 300 Professional does just that. It’s the perfect congruence of bold and subdued, and its MSRP of $2490 demands your attention.

Tudor 1926 Black Dial 41mm (ref. M91650-0002)

Tudor 1926 Black Dial 41mm (ref. M91650-0002)

The Tudor 1926 collection draws inspiration from the brand’s heritage and the classic designs of the 1920s. The collection’s name itself pays homage to the year when Tudor was established. This is an entry-level Tudor, but it really does punch far above its weight.

It has a signed screw-down crown, 100m of water resistance, a spectacular 7-link bracelet, and 38 hours of power reserve. The dial also has a “waffle” effect on it, which Tudor refers to as “embossed decoration,” along with domed Rhodium-plated hour markers and hands and a date at 3 o’clock.

The Goldilocks dimensions are 41mm in diameter and 9mm in thickness. They can be dressed up or down and fit virtually any wrist. Tudor also has one of the best warranties in the industry: 5 years. What are you waiting for? Yes, you can get a brand new Tudor for only $2,150, and this is as robust of a daily wearer as one can find from one of the most reputable entry-level luxury watchmakers around.

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Automatic 43mm (ref. WAZ2011.BA0842)

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Automatic 43mm (ref. WAZ2011.BA0842)

Growing up, those Tiger Woods Tag Heuer ads were really a genius marketing campaign. I didn’t play golf, nor did I watch it, but staring at those ads as I walked through the mall, I knew that I aspired to one day own a Tag Heuer watch. I still do. The Tag Heuer Formula 1 Automatic is striking, modern, and elegant—all at once.

It has a stainless steel 43mm case, a push-button brushed steel bracelet, and an automatic Swiss movement. A date complication at the 3 o’clock accentuates the sunray dial and applied indices.

Folks, this watch has an MSRP of $2,450, so yes, if brand recognition matters to you (and why shouldn’t it?), and if you’ve dreamed of a Tag Heuer for as long as I have (thanks, Tiger), then there should be nothing stopping you from pulling the trigger on the Tag Heuer Formula 1 Automatic.

Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto Chrono (ref. H38416711)

Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto Chrono (ref. H38416711)

Yes, I am aware that both chronographs on this list are panda dials, but what could be better than a panda dial chronograph? The Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto Chrono (pauses to take a breath) exudes quality. The watch is a modern reworking of a 1968 signature piece that offers a sporty but classic look.

Combining authentic 60s appeal with the exclusive H-31 automatic movement and a class-leading 60 hours of power reserve, its distinctive panda dial is a guaranteed eye-catcher. The chronograph has 100m of water resistance, a screw-down crown, sapphire crystal glass, and a very wearable case at 40mm in diameter and 14.45mm in thickness.

The watch is available on mesh steel or leather, with this specific reference coming with a supple cow-hide strap. With an MSRP of $2,295, this is a chronograph worthy of your consideration.

Closing Thoughts

As the unceasing winds of inflation continue to lighten our wallets, it is becoming harder and harder to find luxury timepieces at affordable prices. But the deals are still out there, and here at Exquisite Timepieces, we are happy to help you on your horological journey! 

Competition will continue to drive innovation, and as we enter a new golden age of horology, you can own a piece of history by choosing your next sub $3,000 entry level watch.

12 Best Open Heart Watches

Like many watch collectors, I’m a sucker for a beautiful movement, but I find my friends’ patience is tested when we’re having dinner or drinks, and I keep staring through a crystal case back at a ticking movement. Some people are addicted to their screens; me – I’m a watch guy.

A watch with an “open heart” exposes its movement through an aperture, giving you a glimpse of the mechanical complexity and precision normally hidden by the dial. I’m not always a fan of this design, and it’s tough to get it just right. But when it’s done well, I like the sophisticated addition to the dial that an open heart creates, and there are some amazing examples out there that are worthy of closer attention.

About Open Heart Watches

Open heart watches have an aperture cut into their dial that reveals the escapement, a small part of the movement that converts rotational energy into lateral movement, or the balance wheel, which acts like a pendulum.

At their best, they combine beautiful dial design with a stunning glimpse of the mechanism behind the time and complications. They differ from skeletonized watches in that the dial exposes only a part of the movement; a skeletonized watch reveals as much of the inner workings of the watch as possible.

For me, the best examples of open heart watches marry an elegant, simply sophisticated dial to a small window into the movement. A busy dial, paired with an open heart, can make the watch hard to read – and it can look really gaudy if it’s overdone.

But when executed properly, using high-end movements that have been polished and decorated, there’s nothing like glancing at the dial and seeing the movement beating away.

History of Open Heart Watches

Open heart watches are a relatively recent development in horology, dating to Revue’s use of the name “Open Heart” in 1979. A his and hers pair, the men’s version was skeletonized; the women’s featured what we now call an open heart.

But it wasn’t until 1994, when Frederique Constant revealed its “Heart Beat” model, that this dial design became truly popular, spreading across the watchmaking world.

Since then, a wide array of brands and models feature an open heart design, made all the more complicated by the need to balance beauty and function.

12 Best Open Heart Watches

The best open heart watches work real magic, like sleight of hand in reverse, revealing exactly what’s in the magician’s hat. Instead of concealing the mechanical wonder that keeps the hands moving in perfect time with the movement of the sun, they give you a glimpse of what’s behind the curtain.

And like the magician’s assistant, the open heart needs to be eye-catching without being too revealing. It should draw your attention but not steal the show from the other elements of the dial and case. Let’s take a closer look at how the open heart design can be executed to perfection.

Chronoswiss Open Gear Flying Tourbillon Paraiba (ref. CH-3123-PABL)

Chronoswiss is known for its fascination with color, pattern, and aesthetic balance, and nowhere is that more evident than in the Open Gear Flying Tourbillon Paraiba.

Limited to just 15 pieces and priced at $44,400, this exquisite watch features a 44mm stainless steel case with both polished and vertically brushed finishes and an onion crown. Knurled details add to its elegance, but one glance at the dial is all I need to know that this watch is a Chronoswiss.

The multi-level dial’s bold textures and striking colors recall the blues and greens of prized Paraiba tourmalines, and as light plays across your wrist, the dial will change color and hue. The textures themselves are works of art: the Côtes de Genève and hand-guilloche details are breathtaking.

A subdial at the 12 tells the hour, while the minute hand rotates from the center of the dial. And, of course, at the 6, you’ll see the Flying Tourbillon, the heart of the manual-winding Caliber C.303 movement.

Frederique Constant Heart Beat Automatic 41mm (ref. FC-310B4NH6B)

Frederique Constant Heart Beat Automatic 41mm (ref. FC-310B4NH6B)

In 1994, Frederique Constant’s Heart Beat Automatic brought the open heart concept out into the open, as it were, and there’s little question as to why once you see this watch. Its 41mm stainless steel case is an elegant combination of brushed and polished finishes that remind everyone that sophistication and simplicity go hand in hand.

And it sets off a matte black dial with an embossed globe that adds a touch of texture. Simple sword hands tell the hours, minutes, and seconds, and even the indexes are simple illuminated markings – nothing fancy.

But that’s as it should be because, at the 12, you’ll find the open heart of this watch, visible through a window centered under the double index at the top of the dial. In imitation of anatomy, the central jewel on which the balance wheel turns is just left of the center, right where a heart should be.

Inside, you’ll find the FC-310 movement, based on the Sellita SW300-1. Retailing for $2,295, Frederique Constant’s Heart Beat Automatic demonstrates how the open heart should be designed.

Seiko Presage Classic Semi-Skeleton Shiroiro (ref. SPB469)

Seiko Presage Classic Semi-Skeleton Shiroiro (ref. SPB469)

Seiko’s Presage collection constantly threatens my bank account, and Seiko may as well have my credit card info stored for permanent use. Seiko’s Presage Classic Semi-Skeleton Shiroiro is understated, as you’d expect, offering casual luxury and the option for daily wear.

Priced at $1,125, it’s within reach of most enthusiasts, but it looks a lot more expensive than that. Shiroiro is Japanese for the color of unbleached textile, and this watch’s design is centered on the traditional use of that material in Japanese culture.

From the dial’s soft texture and delicate color to the rounded details of the case to the curved and recessed sundial and open heart, this watch is all about elegance and sophisticated design details. Familiarize yourself with the Presage Shiroiro, and you’ll catch the Seiko bug, too.

Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear Blue Spark Limited Edition (ref. CH-8756.1-BKBL)

Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear Blue Spark Limited Edition (ref. CH-8756.1-BKBL)

The second limited-edition Chronoswiss I’d like to discuss today, the Flying Regulator Open Gear Blue Spark, is another masterpiece of design and precision, retailing for just $11,600. The 41mm case is machined from stainless steel and then coated with an electric-blue CVD finish.

The case and crown are identical in every other respect to the Open Gear Flying Tourbillon Paraiba. But the dial – wow! Amazing texture, incredible detail, and stunning design.

As you’d expect from Chronoswiss, it’s a multi-level affair: the bottom layer is hand-guilloched, while the top features screwed-on skeletonized train-wheel bridges for the hours and seconds displays. The seconds display – with an amazing hand design – reveals the open heart of the Flying Regulator. The minute hand rotates from the center, balanced by the seconds and hours displayed above and below.

Seiko Presage Style ’60s (ref. SSA425)

Seiko Presage Style '60s (ref. SSA425)

Seiko’s Presage collection tends to be dressy, but the mid-century looks of the Style ‘60s capture the essence of Sean Connery’s Bond in You Only Live Twice: elegant, refined, and yet incredibly capable.

An undeniably homage to the Seiko Crown Chronograph from 1964, the Style ‘60s has a brushed 40.8mm stainless case on which a black bezel rides. Gold markers on that ebon ring add a sporty flair, transforming what would otherwise be a purely dress watch into something more – something ready for wherever the evening might take you.

The dial design is simple and elegant: black with silver and gold details. The hands are illuminated, and at the 9 and 10:30, slightly overlapping, you’ll find a 24H compilation and the aperture revealing the heart of the mechanical Caliber 4R39 movement. At just $460, this watch is a steal!

Frederique Constant Heart Beat Moonphase Date 40mm (ref. FC-335MCNW4P26)

Frederique Constant Heart Beat Moonphase Date 40mm (ref. FC-335MCNW4P26)

You’ll remember that I praised the elegant application of an open heart on a sophisticated dial. Is it any surprise that Frederique Constant gets this just right? Their Heart Beat Moonphase Date model is everything a dress watch should be and then some.

The refined, simple 40mm case stands out behind a detailed dial that gets all the little things right. From the multiple rings delineated by carefully applied textures to the Clous de Paris guilloché center to the Roman numeral hours and outer date complication, this watch is all class.

At the 12, you’ll find the open heart – and yes, the central jewel on which it turns is ever so slightly left of center. Below that, at the 6, Frederique Constant has placed a moonphase window that adds visual interest without subtracting from the elegance of this timepiece. Priced at $1,995, this watch punches well above that price point on the wrist.

Orient Bambino Open Heart (ref. RA-AG0002S10A)

Orient Bambino Open Heart (ref. RA-AG0002S10A)

Orient’s Bambino Open Heart demonstrates that luxury needn’t break your budget. With a 40mm stainless case featuring an elegant pairing of brushed and polished finishes and a pure white dial that enhances the beauty of the polished hands, indexes, and yes, even the escapement bridge visible just a touch south of the 9, this watch channels old-money understatement.

Everything about the Bambino Open Heart is dialed-in, polished, and refined, down to the onion crown and brown croc-embossed strap. If you appreciate simple refinement and unadorned luxury – the look that says wealth rather than money – the Orient Bambino Open Heart is perfect for you at an unbelievable $225.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Open Heart 40mm Black Dial (ref. H32565735)

Hamilton Jazzmaster Open Heart 40mm Black Dial (ref. H32565735)

If you’re the kind of guy who just oozes cool, a modern-day Miles Davis, so to speak, the Hamilton Jazzmaster Open Heart can help you chill a room and smooth your vibe like careful aging polishes a good whiskey.

The sophisticated stainless case holds a dial that refuses to be nailed down as either open heart or skeletonized – giving free play to the beating movement it reveals. Against a black-as-night dial adorned with funky Arabic numerals at the 3, 6, 9, and 12, as well as polished hour, minute, and second indexes, the open aperture makes a statement that can’t help but be heard.

The carefully polished and engraved H-10 automatic movement is a show-stopping background to the dial. Effortlessly cool always stylish, the Jazzmaster Open Heart will only set you back $995.

Tissot Gentleman Powermatic Open Heart (ref. T127.407.11.041.01)

Tissot Gentleman Powermatic Open Heart (ref. T127.407.11.041.01)

For fans of open heart designs, Tissot offers the Gentleman Powermatic Open Heart, a watch that’s perfect for daily wear, white-collar work, and casual evenings with friends. The key to that versatility is refined simplicity. The 40mm case combines brushed and polished surfaces, harmonizing with a polished bezel that enhances the beauty of the deep blue dial.

Polished silver-tone hands, indexes, and minute and second markers really stand out against this dark color, and the open heart—really two open hearts slightly overlapping—gives you a glimpse of the automatic caliber 80.601 movement. Paired with a brushed and polished bracelet, the Tissot Gentleman Powermatic Open Heart takes work and play seriously and is available for $895.

Bulova Classic Automatic Open Heart (ref. 96A201)

Bulova Classic Automatic Open Heart (ref. 96A201)

It’s not easy to make a watch that is both elegant and sporty, perfectly wearable when you’re in a suit, and just as fitting when you’re dressed casually and just hanging out with friends. But Bulova gets that balance perfect with its Classic Automatic Open Heart.

A 41mm matte stainless case encloses a soft black dial punctuated by crimson lines that divide the dial into quarters. Simple, polished hands mark the time against elegant indexes, and of course, you’ll see the beating heart of the automatic movement.

That balance of red and silver against a dial as soft and dark as fine velvet allows this watch to move seamlessly with you, wherever you are, however you’re dressed. Available for $499, the Bulova Classic Automatic Open Heart is always whatever your style needs it to be.

Rado Centrix Automatic Open Heart (ref. R30178152)

Rado Centrix Automatic Open Heart (ref. R30178152)

Rado’s Centrix Automatic Open Heart is a study in contrasts, pairing a ceramic brown so dark it looks almost black with polished stainless – and a polished and decorated movement. Certainly closer to a skeletonized design than an open heart, the angular dial is barely there, revealing more of the in-house automatic movement than it covers.

Simple lance hands tell the time, matched by simple indexes at the edges of the dial. We don’t need watches to keep track of the time these days, and timepieces are statements more than necessities, jewelry rather than tools.

That’s certainly true of the Rado Centrix Automatic Open Heart, and legibility has been sacrificed for a closer look at the movement. That said, the result is handsome, elegant, and eye-catching. And for the fashion-forward, this $2,495 watch will turn heads, just as it should.

Zenith Chronomaster Open El Primero (ref. 03.3300.3604/69.M3300)

Zenith Chronomaster Open El Primero (ref. 03.3300.3604/69.M3300)

Zenith’s Chronomaster Open El Primero is a greatly improved and updated version of the original Chronomaster Open, down-sizing the case to more manageable proportions and – to me, at least – upgrading the aesthetic appeal of this watch.

This new Open El Primero retails for $10,300, and every penny is well spent if you like open heart watches. The new case measures 39.5mm, and it sports both brushed and polished finishes. The bezel is slim and highly polished, a bit more than some would want on a chronograph that’s designed for a sporty appearance.

The matte silver dial shows off tri-color counters, as well as a transparent counter for the running seconds. And not one, but three, open heart apertures overlap from the 7 to the 10. The Caliber 3600 chronograph rotates its hand around the chronometer ring 10 times a second – an impressive feat of design and engineering – adding to the horological street cred this watch undoubtedly deserves.


Open heart watches may not be for everyone, and there are certainly poorly executed examples aplenty. But when manufactured by a company with the horological chops to design them well, they are a stunning testament to the watchmaker’s art.

And for those who just can’t get enough of the open heart design, the good news is that many excellent brands produce them, offering a wealth of choices for the discerning buyer.

20 best luxury sports watches for men

Sports watches are the epitome of durability, comfort, and elegance.

Whether you want to play a racket game, race at the derby, frolic in a pool or wear your watch every day, luxury sports watches adorn your wrists while you sweat it out.  They tell the time with superior accuracy and carry energy-conserving movements that can make or mar victory in particular sporting events. 

Regardless of your intentions…

You will surely find a befitting timepiece in our review of the most iconic ultra-luxury to entry-level sports watch collections.  No favoritism zone here. Only the best. There are superb options from Swiss to German to Japanese models with incredible complications and prestigious history. 

Go through our list of the 20 best luxury watches to see which ones are worth your time, and don’t forget to bookmark this to periodically weigh in on your options.

What’s A Sport Watch?

A luxury sports watch is a rugged, comfortable timepiece with significant water resistance. There are no dedicated mechanical sports watches, except if you’re considering a smartwatch or a digital watch. A sports watch typically has a strong case, significant water resistance, a tachymeter, or a stopwatch (if it’s a chronograph). Interestingly, one fits the description – although quartz – and adds a smartphone connectivity function to our list.

Why Choose A Luxury Sports Watch?

As mentioned earlier, luxury sports watches are more than sports-specific. With various features, watch styles, and price points, men are guaranteed to find a watch that fits their preferences, budget, and lifestyle. So whether you enjoy activities like golf, polo, triathlons, or even watersports, get the most out of your day-to-day with a high-end luxury watch.

Unrivaled Accuracy

The best luxury sports watches use movements with certified high accuracy that keeps up with your ever-changing needs. Their movements usually last for at least 40 hours, giving you enough space before the next wind-up or activation. But more specifically, you can expect a sport to be accurate to +2/-2 to around +7/-7 a day.


A luxury sports watch will have reinforced bracelets and tough casing to repel scratches and jerks from wear. It also offers water resistance to reach great depths during fun activities like scuba diving, swimming, or watersports. Alternatively, even if you don’t intend to dive with your sports watch, its corrosion resistance prevents rusting and skin irritation from daily use.

Befitting Straps

Men’s sports watches typically have a stainless steel strap to handle rugged use and some comfort. It’s a super comfortable material that’s unlikely to irritate your skin from extended use. Plus, stainless steel watches are better immune to scratches than gold, are cheaper, and won’t draw unwanted attention. 

Nonetheless, titanium, a stronger and lighter than strap material than SS, is the ultimate metal sports watch strap (though more expensive). The most notable drawback of the SS strap is that it collects dirt over time. But most sports watch also have the option of a rubber or sailcloth strap that is highly functional for physical activities. You don’t risk scratching the band, plus it’s washable and won’t fade from cleaning. 

On the downside, though, rubber straps are best for sports, but not versatility. As a result, many watch enthusiasts avoid wearing them on night outs, business, and even casual outings.

Takeaway: If you’re getting a sports watch strictly for rigorous, sweaty activities, a rubber, sailcloth NATO, or Perlon strap is your best option. 

This is especially useful for a wearer with thick wrists that experiences steel bracelets digging into their skin. Ultimately, it’s logical to have multiple sports watch straps to style your timepiece conveniently all seasons.

Top 20 Men’s Luxury Sports Watch Models

1. Patek Philippe Nautilus

Patek Philippe Nautilus

Starts from approx. $30,000

The Nautilus is the most iconic sports watch collection of the prestigious swiss watchmaker. It was released in 1976 as a luxury sport and dress watch for executives and high-class individuals. The Nautilus was a proverbial sword in the hands of a knight to slay dragons in the boardroom. 

There are 5 different Nautilus models for men: Steel case and bracelet, Nautilus Ref 5712 with a moon phase, power reserve display, and pointer date, Time Travel Chronograph Ref 5990 with two time zones, stopwatch display in steel, rose gold, or white gold. 

The Nautilus 5726 has the most complications Nautilus, carrying an annual calendar, moon phase, and chronograph.Ref 5980 had the first chronograph movement and is available only in rose gold and two-tone steel. 

Pro tip: Patek Phillipe Nautilus is the apex luxury sports watch for the classic man, either in steel or precious metal.

2. Rolex Submariner Date/No Date 

Rolex Submariner Date/No Date

Price starts from approx. $14,000

The Submariner has arguably been the most iconic Rolex since its release in 1954. In fact, Bloomberg tagged it the most legendary watch of all time in 2019.  Renowned as the “King Sub,” it was designed as a diving tool watch with a 300 feet water capacity. Since its induction over a half-century, Rolex has preserved its timeless design, only available in 40mm or 41mm. 

It keeps the simple time-only or time-and-date dial throughout the 10 references in the modern Submariner collection. But any of its steel, stainless gold variations. This sports watch is also battle tested and stylish. For example, Sean Connery’s James Bond wore a Rolex Submariner ref. 6538 in Goldfinger. And Loren Janes’, ref. 1655 gifted to him by Steve McQueen, survived a wildfire.

  • Movement: Rolex caliber 3135/3130
  • Case size: 40mmWater resistance: 300 meters

3. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch

Starts from approx. $6500

The Apollo 11 astronauts wore the Omega Speedmaster to the first moon landing and accompanied subsequent NASA expeditions into space. You don’t need any more field testing for a watch that’s been to space and back (in one piece and with its precision intact). You can still buy the same Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch model Buzz Aldrin wore on the moon.

It’s the reference 105.012-66 which costs around $35,000. Speedmasters are chronographs (stopwatch function) built for daily, energetic use. But you’ll also find them in the display case or wish list of seasoned collectors. You must have also seen one in a James Bond movie, so they carry a high social validation and are as likely to hold value as a Submariner. 

Unlike most watches that use a sapphire crystal, the Moonwatch uses plexiglass, which allows it to withstand heavy pressure in space or land. Its hand-wound calibers are designed by Lemania, a world-class movement maker for luxury brands. 

Pro tip: Adorn the Omega Speedmaster to make a statement or have a story to tell anytime you step out without breaking the bank. 

  • Movement: Omega caliber 3861
  • Case size: 42mm
  • Water resistance: 50 meters

4. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Starts from approximately $50,300

Any watch enthusiast looking for a high-end sports watch most likely has the Royal Oak on their list. When AP released this timepiece, designed by Georges Golay in 1972, it was the first luxury sports watch made of steel. 

Not much has changed since, with its plain yet classy octagonal bezel and interchangeable strap system. Interestingly, the case’s 50 meters water resistance results from the bold-looking, “fluid-tight” screws on its bezel. Its designer, Georges Golay, drew inspiration for this design from the old diver’s helmets. 

Although Royal Oak first carried Jeager-LeCoultre manufactured movements, they now use the spectacular AP caliber 2385 with a humble 40-hour reserve. It’s also the world’s thinnest automatic chronograph movement, measuring only 5.5mm. 

  • Pro tip: Wear an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak if you want a sleek, dressy, and bold sports watch.
  • Movement: Rolex 3230 Automatic
  • Case size: 40mm
  • Water resistance: 300 meters

5. Zenith Defy Skyline

Zenith Defy Skyline

Starts from approx. $7,000

The Zenith Defy, with its stainless steel/titanium build and interchangeable rubber and steel bracelets, is perfect for everyday use. Launched in 1969, the Defy has maintained its sporty and dressy mix with its “toolsy” octagonal watch face.

In addition to a streamlined watch lug and bracelet, it’s a more affordable but capable alternative to the AP Royal Oak. Inside the Defy is the El Primero 3620, which is Zenith’s first movement that’s accurate to 1/10th of a second. As if to honor the caliber, there’s a 1/10th second indicator at 9 o’clock, plus a date indication at 3 o’clock.

Pro tip: Zenith Defy is an entry-level industrial-style watch you can rock every day in style.

  • Movement: El Primero 3620 with 60 hours of power reserve
  • Case size: 41mm
  • Water Resistance: 100m

6. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Chronograph Q1538530

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Chronograph Q1538530

Starts from around $9,000 

The Q1538530 is an exquisite timepiece from the Master Control line. It maintains the beloved round case that exudes modern elegance. 

Its polished “bezeless” stainless steel case also gives off a relaxed character that passes for daily use and still slays elaborate occasions. Yet its triangular hands, chronograph, and in-built tachymeter on the sun-brushed dial tell of a tool watch.

Compared to several luxury watch brands, we love that you can easily acquire a set of bracelets from Jaegar. While the Master comes with a calf leather strap, you can order an alligator skin or stainless strap. The only drawback to the Master Control, depending on who’s wearing, is its superior movement is hidden under Jaegar LeCoultre’s medallion case back. 

Pro tip: Master Control Q1538530 is for the gentleman who’s bold enough to carry the dressy masterpiece on any occasion.

  • Movement: JLC Caliber 751G
  • Case size: 40mm
  • Water Resistance: 100m

7. Nomos Glashutte Autobahn Director’s Cut A3

Nomos Glashutte Autobahn Director's Cut A3

Starts from approx. $5,000

Unique. That’s what you see when you shop a Nomos Glashutte collection. In typical Glashutte style, it has a striking two-tone dial with white background and bright orange accents. Strikingly, the seconds hand is in a separate window from the hour and minute hands. 

The Director’s Cut A3 also has a different stainless bracelet – two holes cut out on either side of the pre-bent bracelet – that you’d rarely see elsewhere. Combined with its flat folding clasp, the A3 is super-comfortable, easy to adjust, and won’t ride up the wrist. 

Only Breitling has ever produced a similar steel band. Moreover, this German work of art is limited to 175 pieces to celebrate Glashutte’s 175th anniversary. 

Pro tip: Nomos Glashutte’s Director’s Cut A3 is a true limited-edition sports watch with a one-of-a-kind bracelet. 

You can find silvery white and blue dial models on Exquisite Timepieces. 

Alternative models: Director’s A7 and A9

  • Movement: In-house caliber DUW 6101 up to 42 hours 
  • Case size: 41mm
  • Water Resistance: 100m

8. Grand Seiko SBGA211 Spring Drive Power Reserve

Grand Seiko SBGA211 Spring Drive Power Reserve

Starts from around $6,200

The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Power Reserve packs a ton of functionality for a sporting watch in its price range. It is another timepiece that rivals top luxury brands at a competitive price. 

Its standout features are its power reserve indicator and a mindblowing 72-hour power reserve. You can keep track of the movement’s energy reserve right on the dial, so it never dies. Plus, take in the magnificent engineering of the caliber through the transparent case back. 

It has a clean white dial, stainless indexes, sword minute and hour hands, and a blue seconds hand. The latter drifts over the white dial in an intriguing gliding movement. But that’s not the kicker.

The SBGA211 Spring Drive watch face is enclosed in a non-destructible titanium case and bracelets. 

Pro tip: Perfect for outdoor tool watch to swim, adventure, or statement maker. 

  • Movement: Grand Seiko caliber 9R65  
  • Case size: 41mm
  • Water Resistance: 100m

9. Hublot Big Bang 301.SX.1170.RX

Hublot Big Bang 301.SX.1170.RX

Starts from approx. $13,000

The Big Bang is Hublot’s earliest innovation from its commitment to the “Art of Fusion.” under Jean Claude-Biver. The brilliant infusion of multi-layered materials that make up the case won an award for Best Sports Professional watch in 2005 (the first year of its release) at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de la Ville de Geneve. 

This 301.SX.1170.RX model in stainless steel is arguably the most affordable, at about $13,000 upward. Other Big Bang models like the Unico Magic Gold – the world’s first scratch-resistant 18k alloy – cost around $35,000. And the MP-11 with 2 weeks power reserve is worth over $90,000 new. 

There’s no denying the durability of the case and comfort of the rubber bracelet of any Big Bang. 

Not to sound cheesy, but you’d enter a room with a bang wearing a Big Bang on your wrist. Its “toolsy” and unique appearance draws attention to your wrist within seconds, but it is also one of the most expensive “non-iced” sports watches.

  • Movement: Hublot caliber HUB4100 6101 up to 42 hours 
  • Case size: 44mm
  • Water Resistance: 100m

10. Piaget Polo GOA41002

Piaget Polo GOA41002

Starts from approx. $11,000

Thinking of durable sports watch that’s slim but not as expensive as Patek Philippe Nautilus or Richard Mille RM UP-01 Ferrari? Well, Piaget is revered as one of the best ultra-slim luxury watchmakers. In fact, Piaget’s Altiplano once held the record for the world’s thinnest watch for three months, measuring only 2mm. 

But you’ll need a much more reliable Piaget, like the Polo series. And as its name implies, it is remarkably comfortable if you play polo or any intense sport. Its polished stainless steel case is only 9mm thick, which is impressive compared to the 8.4mm thick and $30,000 more expensive Patek Phillipe Nautilus. 

Pro tip: Grab a Piaget Polo if you want a cheaper alternative to the slim, octagonal, and sporty design of the Patek Philippe Nautilus.

  • Movement: Piaget 1110P with up to 50 hours of power reserve
  • Case size: 42mm
  • Water Resistance: 100m

11. Bremont Argonaut Automatic

Bremont Argonaut Automatic 

Starts from approx. $3,600

Like an adventurer engaged in a quest, the Bremont Argonaut Automatic is another true sports watch. Its name is inspired by the Greek mythology of a band of heroes on conquest and has a history with the Royal Navy. 

Built as a military-grade dive watch, the Argonaut can be used for formal or casual occasions. Its polished steel case and internal ten-minute marker bezel are particularly striking. Save your hands from fatigue or scuff marks with its lightweight sailcloth strap, which is ideal for extensive use under wet or sweaty conditions. 

Pro tip: The case, blue dial, and strap are a befitting watch for every man. 

  • Movement: BE-92AV automatic chronometer with up to 42 hours of power reserve
  • Case size: 42mm
  • Water Resistance: 300m

12. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150m

The Omega Aquamaster is a versatile collection that can be sported as a tool or dress watch. You’ll find many dial, case, and strap variations, so you have options tailored to your lifestyle. 

But it’s stainless steel models like the ref. is a simple sporty watch with 150 meters of water resistance. It has a round case with dark silver dials and a striking blue accent from its hands and indexes. And a day date function on its six-o’clock. 

The Seamaster Aqua Terra collection is similar to Rolex’s Datejust line. It’s one of Omega’s affordable lines, and like DateJust can become ultra-luxury level expensive depending on the model you pick. 

Pro tips: This is one of the best entry-level luxury sports watches for men looking to hold considerable resale value.

  • Movement: Master Co-axial caliber 8900 with 55 hours of power reserve
  • Case size: 41mm
  • Water Resistance: 150 meters

13. Breguet – Marine 5817

Breguet - Marine 5817

Starts from approx. $15,000

The Breguet Marine 5817 is a rugged tool watch with a beautifully hypnotic face. It has a guilloche pattern dial that’s breathtaking when glanced under a light. You can also spot a sun ray etching on the side of the watch case. In addition, the dial has three layers of black, gold, or silver indicating roman numerals and a black outer layer holding the indexes. 

By the way, the black dials are actually gold – black rhodium gold, to be precise. The 5817 also has a magnificent grande date at 6 o’clock. It’s a joy to watch it cross into a new day. Also, the Marine 5817 has prominent welded lugs that give you a sense of added security and actually provide it.

Instead of spring bars, the straps are joined to the case with screw pins, which are extra durable but more rigid to change bracelets. Breguet pays extra attention to details on virtually every part of the 5817, from case to straps, which are all hand-made. And you can tell almost immediately, as the watch is 11mm thick.

Pro tip: Get a Breguet Marine 5817 in stainless steel or rubber strap if you enjoy admiring the intricacies of your timepiece. 

  • Movement: Automatic caliber 8900 with 55 hours of power reserve
  • Case size: 39mm
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters

14. Breguet Chronograph 5527

Breguet Chronograph 5527

Starts from approx. $22,000

Continuing with the set Breguet momentum is another fantastic feat of engineering from the swiss watchmaker, the Chronographe 5527. 

The $21,000 average chronograph is a luxury you can afford to wear to grace any occasion without fearing wear. Its 13mm thick case is made from titanium, which is almost indestructible and lighter than steel. Couple that with a rubber strap, and you can wear this watch for even the most challenging events and not worry about scuff marks. Fancy minimalistic but artistic watches?

You’d appreciate this 5527 with a slate gray dial, tiny indexes for each second, stylized roman numerals, and thin sword hands. The dial also has the hand-crafted guilloche wave-motive style that honors the watch’s navy origin. 

Pro tip: The Breguet 5517 can be dressed in rubber, stainless steel, or leather to fit every occasion. 

  • Movement: Automatic caliber 582QA with 48 hours power reserve
  • Case size: 42.3mm
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters

15. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe 5000-1110-B52A

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe 5000-1110-B52A

Starts from approx. $12,500

The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe was introduced as the first modern diving watch in 1953 by the world’s oldest surviving watchmaker, Blancpain. It’s a simple but rugged mechanical automatic timepiece with versions in 38mm and 43mm stainless steel or titanium cases.

Speaking of options, it has rubber, leather, and stainless-steel bands. True to its name, the Bathyscaphe – an old-world deep-sea dive vehicle – can enter depths of 300 meters unscathed. The Trieste reached over 10,000 meters, though, so they don’t compare.However, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe has a sleek, minimalist design similar to a Rolex Submariner.

But even better – depending on your preference – it uses a ceramic casing that’s lightweight, heat and corrosion-resistant. All versions of the Bathyscaphe watches carry in-house Blancpain calibers. And offer an impressive 192 hours of power reserve, as seen in the caliber 25c of the $117,000-worth Bathyscaphe Tourbillon. 

An alternate version, the Fifty Fathoms Flyback Chronograph, graced the GT World Europe Challenge between 2014 and 2019 when it was sponsored by the swiss watchmaker. It depicts the versatility of this timepiece for diving, racing, and general sports. 

Pro tip: Make a solid first impression with the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe. 

  • Movement: Automatic caliber 1315 with up to 120 hours of power reserve
  • Case size: 43.6mm
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters



Starts from approx. $40,000

To round off our list with the final “Holy Trinity” member, we included the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph. As VC puts it accurately, every watch in the Overseas collection is an elegant yet casual timepiece for men.

In addition, the collection includes a tourbillon, chronograph, perpetual calendar, and self-winding models that could easily cost up to $300,000 apiece. But we’ve stuck with the titanium, and stainless steel references, which are more sporty options for this review. Vacheron Constantin enhances the wearability of the Overseas with its interchangeable bracelet system.

You can swap out straps as quickly as you would an Apple watch. Although most luxury watch movements have jewels, the Overseas caliber 5200/1 has almost double the average (54). What’s more, its open case back displays a 22-carat gold component. 

Pro tip: Get an Overseas Chronograph for a bulky but comfortable sports watch of the highest luxury. 

  • Movement: Automatic caliber 1315 with 52 hours of power reserve
  • Case size: 42.5mm
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters

17. BULGARI Octo Finissimo 102713

BULGARI Octo Finissimo 102713

Price starts from approx. $16,000

The Bvlgari Octo is the thinnest automatic watch after the recently launched Richard Mille Ferrari and Piaget Altiplano. Compared to the UP-01 Ferrari, though, it’s a lot more affordable and socially acceptable ultra-thin men’s sports watch. 

Despite its sizeable 40mm case, the Octo Finissimo, in its entirety, is only 5.15mm thick, while its caliber is just 2mm thick with an extraordinary 120-hour power reserve.The Octo Finissimo’s unique octagonal design is inspired by the Messentius Basilica. It uses titanium from the dial and casing to its integrated bracelet to imitate the seemingly indestructible Roman structure.

The latter feature makes the Finissimo cuff up the wrist, though, so it feels slightly larger than your average 40mm. Another distinctive feature that jumps at you when you glance at the Finissimo is the standalone second hand replacing the 7th and 8th hour in an aperture. 

Pro tip: Obtain a Bulgari Octo Finissimo to wear an ultra-sleek and modern everyday watch of the elite. 

  • Movement: Automatic caliber 1315 with 60 hours of power reserve
  • Case size: 40mm
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters

18. BREITLING Exospace B55

BREITLING Exospace B55

Starts from about $8,000

Remember we promised to share a fascinating quartz chronograph? The Breitling Exopspace is a pilot chronograph with a glimpse of smartwatch features. It has the typical makeup of a durable sports watch with its titanium case and strap. And, of course, rubber and nylon strap options complete the sporty look. 

In addition, its bi-directional bezel with bold minutes etchings is typical of hardcore men’s watch. Plus, it’s almost oversized at 46mm and 15mm thick. I saved the best feature of the B55 for the last. The B55 has two LCD screens that you control with the control to set timers, record activity times, and operate a tachymeter. 

Pro tip: This sporty mechanical-like watch connects to your smartphone through a dedicated app. 

  • Movement: Breitling B55 caliber Super-Quartz and 12/24-hour LCD digital display
  • Case size: 46mm
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters

19. TAG HEUER Carrera CBN2A1AA


Starts from approx. $4,500

Tag Heuer is a luxury watchmaker with a known affinity for making world-class racing and sports watches. The casing of this Tag Heuer Carrera combines finely polished ceramic and steel making it robust yet classy. But what puts the Carrera in a league of its own is its watch face.

It has an imposing black bezel and dial, red accents on the hands and crown, with s numbers and letters printed in bold fonts. Sure, there are watches with bold fonts, but the Carrera is special. The numbers stand out because the indexes are 10-60 minutes intervals, not the typical 1-12 hours. So they’re right in your face. As you’d expect, there are regular bezel-less date versions in the Carrera line if the chronograph’s imposing design’s not your cup of tea. 

Pro tip: Go for a Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph if you love oversized but comfortable chronographs with a legible font. 

  • Movement: Caliber 16 automatic
  • Case size: 44mm
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters

20. LONGINES HydroConquest L3.781.4

LONGINES HydroConquest L3.781.4

Starts from approx $1,350

We’ll finish the list with a timeless dive watch from a Swiss watchmaker with the world’s oldest unchanged logo trademark. Longines’ HydroConquest may be the most affordable model on this list, but it is regularly compared to the Rolex Submariner. 

Its sunray blue dial and bezel radiate an eye-catching attention to detail and luxury presentation. In fact, it is identical to a Submariner, except for the Arabic numeral dial and triangular (instead of round) hour hand. 

However, the HydroConquest’s all-stainless steel (ceramic bezel) engineering can be bulky, weighing over 185 grams. Longines categorizes it in its Sports collection and regularly extends the line with new, colorful iterations for men and women. 

Pro tip: The perfect luxury watch to brave sporty, casual, and dressy occasions in style with a budget. 

  • Movement: Caliber L888 with 72 hours power reserve
  • Case size: 41mm
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters

Best German Watch Brands

Switzerland and Japan typically come to mind when one thinks of watch brands and watchmaking. However, a third country to the party is Germany. Germany has a rich history of watchmaking, and as an indicator, German brands are somewhere between Swiss brands and Japanese brands when considering different factors. Today we will discuss a variety of brands, including A. Lange & Söhne, Glashütte Original, NOMOS, and more.

History of German Watch Brands

There are varying accounts of the origins of watchmaking in Germany. Based on my research, German clock-making and watchmaking trace their roots back to the 1700s in the town of Pforzheim. Several watchmaking institutions were established in Pforzheim to create job opportunities and a workforce at that time. These and the demand for wristwatches became a catalyst for Glashütte, eventually becoming a vital region for watchmaking in Germany.

The impact of World War I on German watchmaking had the effect of reform. The War brought about the significance of the wristwatch as it shifted focus away from pocket watches and their production. World War II also significantly impacted German watchmaking as many factories were destroyed due to heavy bombing, and as a result, they closed.

Following World War II, whatever watchmaking within Germany was taken over by the State, and progress waned. Following the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, signs of innovation and evolution returned. Several of the watch brands in this discussion were founded or re-born following 1989, so this was a crucial period in German watchmaking history.

German Watch Brands vs Swiss Watch Brands

Let us consider how German watchmakers compare with the Swiss in a variety of characteristics. Firstly, the label “Swiss Made” means something special to the general public. Thus, given the public perception and marketing, Swiss brands have a point over German brands, but this could soon change with time.

Regarding the variety of brands, Switzerland trumps Germany due to a broader array of Swiss brands at every price point. Historically, watchmaking has been the “bread and butter” of the Swiss manufacturing industry.

Even as I look at my current collection of watches, over 40% are Swiss Made, and the rest are made up of Japanese brands. This is not to say that German timepieces are lacking, but Swiss Made watches are more accessible and promoted.

In terms of build quality, German watch brands take a point over their Swiss rivals. Germany is a country renowned for their high-quality engineering, including watches. Some German watch brands use submarine steel, Tegiment steel, and hardened coating, to name a few features. German watches are also typically sturdy and have tight tolerances.

So, expect nothing less, as this is German engineering at its pinnacle. Concerning movements, the Swiss have a wider variety of standard use movements that have been shared throughout many brands, namely ETA, Sellita, STP, Soprod, and La-Joux Perret.

German watchmaking is outshone here, but this does not tell the bigger picture regarding in-house manufacture movements, as German watchmakers have a host of in-house movements. For example, NOMOS has the in-house Alpha hand winding movement within their Club Campus series of watches at $1,500 MSRP.

That is great value for money when considering the price of in-house movements from Swiss brands, which typically begin at much higher price points. Now, we will inspect several German watch brands in more detail alphabetically.

1. A. Lange & Söhne – German Watchmaking at Its Finest

A Lange Sohne

A. Lange & Söhne was founded by Ferdinand Adolph Lange in 1845 in Glashütte. But they were severely affected by World War II as their production ceased in 1948 due to the division and occupation of Germany. Following the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, A. Lange & Söhne was re-born with the efforts of Walter Lange, the great-grandson of Ferdinand Adolph Lange.

My grail watch brand is A. Lange & Söhne because they are the only watchmakers that assemble every watch movement twice in a process called the “two fold assembly” process, which allows the mechanical pieces within the movement to be adjusted to perfection.

In addition, their most affordable watch (The Saxonia) is finished to the same standard as their more expensive watches, such as the Zeitwerk and Datograph. The Lange 1 Moon Phase is highlighted because of its distinct designs to A. Lange & Söhne. It has an asymmetrical dial, yet it is beautiful and interesting.

The dial layout contains the hour and minute hands, small seconds, large date cut-outs, moon phase, and power reserve; this is perfectly imperfect. The movement of the watch is displayed by the exhibition case back and finished to the highest standard. So I recommend this brand wholeheartedly as you will be amazed by it on many levels.

Notable Watches: Grande Lange, Zeitwerk, and Datograph.

2. Archimede – Outdoor Companion

Archimede has roots going back to 1924, with Karl Ickler founding their original family business. Following the dormant period of the brand during World War II, it was rebuilt by Karl’s two sons. The company is now managed by Thomas Ickler and remains an independent and family-run business. In 2003, Archimede came to the forefront with their modern release models and as we know the brand today.

What makes Archimede interesting is their variety of designs with their tool and vintage-styled watches. My friend Kim purchased the Archimede Outdoor in 2018, and his opinion of the watch is that it is of “…military grade and can handle tough environments and handle extreme conditions”, so it is a great watch for exploring and an excellent choice for a GADA Watch (Go Anywhere, Do Anything).

The Archimede Outdoor model has a barrel-like shape with 39mm or 41mm case sizes. The Outdoor models vary with simple 3 hands with date or chronograph and are extremely anti-magnetic. But what makes this ready for the wild is that the watchcase uses a hardened coating and is 200 meters watch resistant, so you can dive, hike, cycle, and surf with it. 

Notable Watches: Pilot and Klassik.

3. Damasko – German-Made Watches With Robust Construction

What makes Damasko watches great and robust? Maybe it is because they use submarine steel and have a hardened coating.

A key watch model of their current lineup is the DK30 range of watches; these contain their in-house A26-1 movement. This is impressive at the starting retail price of €1,645. The watch’s blue or black military-style dial also contains cross hairlines, which allows the watch to remain legible and yet adds an extra touch to it. This watch is a great tool with robust construction and Damasko’s hardened coating, enabling them to withstand more hits than a heavyweight boxer.

Notable Watches: DS30 and DC Chronographs.

4. Glashütte Original – Elegant Watches Designs With Innovative Watchmaking

Glashutte Original Karree Perpetual Calendar Moon

When I think of Glashütte Original, elegance and innovation come to mind. Glashütte Original has roots dating back to 1845, but I wish to focus on the brand in its modern form, which began in 1994. Since then, it has represented high-end watchmaking, which is obvious when viewing its finishing and movements.

In 2000, Glashütte Original was acquired by the Swatch Group but still remains distinctly German in design and heritage. My first experience with Glashütte Original occurred in March 2017 when I visited the Glashütte Original Boutique in The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore with a friend. Richard Goh, Boutique Manager, pleasantly greeted us.

We sat down, and Richard allowed us to try on a variety of watches; one of the models that stood out to me at the time was the Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date in blue and gray dials. I remember being impressed by the beautiful dials, sturdiness of the case, and finish of the movement through the exhibition case back. Since then, I’ve told myself that I will own a Glashütte Original watch.

Notable Watches: SeaQ and Pano.

5. Hanhart – High-Quality Military Chronograph Watches

Hanhart has Swiss-German roots, having been founded by Johann A. Hanhart in the village of Diessenhoffe, Switzerland, in 1882. In 1902 he relocated his company to Schwenningen, in southern Germany. Hanhart created the world’s first reasonably priced mechanical stopwatch in 1924, and ever since then, they have been renowned for stopwatches and chronograph watches. 

The iconic Steve McQueen was a notable wearer of Hanhart, specifically the Hanhart 417 Chronograph Watch. The modern iteration of that watch is the Hanhart 417 ES Chronograph Watch in 42mm and 39mm case sizes.

These are faithful to the original watch by combining design with history with the 2-sub dial layout on a lovely leather bund strap. The watch is ready to be worn and taken into action like it was intended to be when created as a military tool watch.

Notable Watches: Pioneer One and Pioneer MK I.

6. Junghans – The Original Minimalist Watch

Junghans watch

Junghans personifies the saying that “less is more”. Junghans was founded in 1861 and, in 1866, began making clocks. In the 1930s, Junghans began fitting their movements within wristwatches, and in 1946, they ventured into chronograph watches.

Moving forward, the 1950s was the catalyst for Junghans as we know them today, and they began working with Max Bill (scholar of Bauhaus) in designing kitchen clocks. In 1961, Max Bill worked with Junghans to create a wristwatch, which has since become the brand’s icon that watch enthusiasts admire.

So it’s no surprise I am promoting the Junghans Max Bill collection consisting of automatic, hand winding, chronograph, solar, and quartz models. Each utilizes the simple dial layout consisting of minimalism and thin lines as hour and seconds markers. 

Some models even contain small Arabic numerals and small seconds, but one look at them, and you can tell the models are all related. The Max Bill collection also includes a variety of case sizes from as small as 32.7mm to 40mm. Thus, this collection can be for any gender as it is clean, simple, and does not contain superfluous features.

Notable Watches: Chronoscope, Form A, and Form C.

7. Laco – One of the Original Flieger Manufactures

Laco was founded in 1925 and is famous for being one of the five original Flieger manufacturers for the pilots of the German Luftwaffe. Their watches were created to be large, legible, and built for battle. Yet, Laco watches are distinct and simple.

Typically, Flieger watches are larger in size, 46mm, and upward, as they were designed to be as legible as possible when flying in the skies. But the watches I choose to recommend are smaller and suitable for wearers. The Aachen and Augsburg Flieger watches are notable because they represent great value and tradition. The price point begins at $410 MSRP, which is exceptional as it’s accessible and affordable.

Those models are available in 39mm and 42mm sizes, making them suitable for various wrists. Also, those watches have black, blue, and white dial variants. My preference is the black for due to the connection with the original Flieger watches. However, the white dial makes for great summer wear. Thus, if you can, give the brand an opportunity and open up your horizon.

Notable Watches: Leipzig and Heidelberg.

8. Montblanc – Traditional Instruments

“The pen is mightier than the sword” – Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1839. Montblanc is a very famous brand within the sphere of writing instruments. However, many may not be aware that they are a German brand. In 1997, Montblanc added time-telling instruments to its catalog, and it has grown ever since.

The Montblanc watch that should be on your radar is the Nicolas Rieussec Chronograph GMT (with R200 movement). One look at this watch, and you are mesmerized because so much is happening on the dial. The timepiece consists of three sub-dials with the main time and GMT on the center dial, then on the lower left is the running seconds hand, and on the lower right is the chronograph minutes counter. 

Also, most people tend to miss the day and night indicator on the peripheral of the 8 and 9 o’clock markers, which is a subtle touch on an elegant watch. Easily missed is the date indicator on the peripheral of the 3 and 4 o’clock markers. These details allow the watch’s dial to appear symmetrical and beautifully proportioned. In my opinion, this is the icon within the Montblanc watch collection.

Notable Watches: 1858 and Heritage Collection. 

9. Moritz Grossmann – Haute Horology

From a modern perspective, Moritz Grossmann was founded in 2008 by Christine Hutter. She had acquired the right to use the name of the famous German Watchmaker. Since then, the brand has gained a following with high-end watch collectors due to the brand’s artisanal hand finishing to that of the standard of true haute horology. According to reports, Moritz Grossmann produces approximately 200 watches a year.

The Heritage collection from Moritz Grossmann is simply stunning and they have created masterpieces in every detail, from the proportions of the watch, dial color, and hands on the dial to the engraving on the movement. These are the reasons why the brand charges upwards of €29,400 for their watches. In my opinion, Moritz Grossmann creates works of art on your wrists, which are worth every cent they charge, but that’s just my two cents.

Notable Watches: Central Seconds and Universalzeit.

10. NOMOS Glashütte – Classic Designs & Beautiful In-House Movements

Nomos Glashutte Autobahn Director's Cut A3

NOMOS Glashütte can be considered a new kid on the block in German watchmaking as Roland Schwertner founded the company in January 1990. The style of watchmaking by NOMOS can be regarded as Bauhaus, given that many watches feature simple dial layouts with modern designs.

A unique set of aspects of NOMOS that should be highlighted is their in-house movements and product finishing. The Alpha Hand Winding movement and DUW automatic movements are great value-for-money in-house movements that do not break the bank, and typically, in-house movements indicate innovation from the brand.

The case finishing of NOMOS watches is typically mirror-polishing to a high standard. The movement decoration includes ribbing and a perlage finish, which adds beauty to such an outstanding watch. The NOMOS watch I highlighted is a watch I previously owned, the Club Campus Nacht in 38mm. The story of how the watch entered my collection began with Baselworld 2017.

NOMOS presented this as a watch to be gifted following graduation or a great achievement. The Club Campus contains a sterile case back (also available in the exhibition case back) if one wants it engraved with a special message. I love this idea. I was impressed by the case finish and thinness of the watch (being less than 9mm thick) due to the in-house Alpha hand winding movement.

My experience with NOMOS has been very positive, but a critique is that the lugs are very long for the case size. The long lugs also show a sizable gap between the strap and the watch case. However, these criticisms are easily overcome on larger wrists or the use of a one-piece nylon strap.

Notable Watches: Zurich World Time, Orion, and Ahoi

11. Sinn – The Ultimate Tool Watches

Sinn watch

Sinn has a well-documented pilot and military history, having been founded by Helmut Sinn (pilot and flight instructor). An interesting fact is that Sinn produced the cases for early Bell & Ross watches. Since Sinn’s inception, its focus has been on military watches and cockpit clocks. Also, Sinn utilizes submarine steel for many of their watches cases along with Tegiment coating, which makes their watches highly resistant to scratches. 

Moreover, some Sinn models include dehumidifying technology built inside via a capsule. The capsule indicator on the side of the lugs shows when the watch has accumulated too much moisture, and then at that stage, you should contact Sinn to get the watch serviced.

The Sinn 556i is a great watch, though; firstly, the case size of 38.5 mm and a thickness of 10mm. These measurements make it a universal size, as those with small to medium wrists can wear it. Also, the dial is glossy black, and the gold-plated rotor of the watch has been customized by Sinn to add an extra depth of quality. Overall, the Sinn 556i is fantastic, over-engineered, and dependable.

Notable Watches: Sinn 104, Sinn 856, and Sinn U1.

12. Tutima – Best of Both Worlds

Tutima may be a lesser-known watch brand, but they produce both tool and dress watches with immaculate quality, thus making them ideal to be on your radar. Tutima was founded in 1927 in Glashütte and specializes in military and tool watches.

I highlight the Tutima M2 Seven Seas diver watch and the Patria dress watch range. The Tutima M2 Seven Seas is a dive watch released in 2022. The watch has several dial color variants, including blue, yellow, green, and red. Although colorful dials are not something revolutionary, these colors make the watch feel more trendy and suitable as a fun weekend watch. 

Furthermore, the Patria range is a hidden gem in German watchmaking as it contains an in-house hand-winding movement with excellent case, dial, and movement finishing comparable to watches costing upwards of $10,000. The Patria comes in stainless steel or 18K rose gold, but, in my opinion, go for the stainless steel option as it is a bargain and can be had for less than the price of a Rolex Submariner on the secondary market.

Notable Watches: Saxon One and Grand Flieger.


In summary, we’ve inspected several German Watch brands that should be on your radar. From my own experience, having owned the NOMOS Club Campus, I can attest that German watchmakers offer exceptional quality that can be seen and experienced in the metal better than in images. 

Also, with many Swiss watch brands raising prices regularly, it is a great time to purchase your first German watch or add more to your collection. It will only be a matter of time before word gets out on German watch brands and their popularity skyrockets. To my audience, danke!

Best lesser known watch brands

Most people tend to go for the big names when looking for wristwatches. Thus, they gravitate towards renowned brands like Rolex, Casio, Tag Heuer, and the like. Although these brands have the best watches, their luxury chronographs are usually on the high side. 

 Do you get how exhausting it is to see people wearing a particular brand when all you want to do is stand out? The good thing is that lesser-known Swiss watch brands and other underrated affordable watch brands dish out the best watches at affordable rates.

Our article will help you discover the 21 best lesser-known watch brands that offer value at lesser prices. Additionally, you can read on if you are not a fan of popular brands and want to patronize lesser-known luxury watch brands with excellent designs.  

We will look at some of the most reliable watch brands, which are lesser-known but provide quality timepieces. The wristwatches on our list will help you to achieve this goal. Additionally, you will get some lesser-known watches from reputable brands. Thus, you will eventually stand out even if you want to patronize big names but do not want popular wristwatches. 

Most Underrated Watch Brands In 2022

Here are some of the best under-the-radar watch brands you can consider:

1. Junghans

Junghans watch

Junghans is one of the best under-the-radar watch brands produced in Schramberg, Germany. Although the brand had started production before 1866, it only began using the name from that period until today. Since the brand started producing its trademark wristwatches, it has become one of the most renowned brands in the world. The brand produces more than three million pieces yearly.

Underrated Model

Junghans produces wristwatches for every occasion. You can use the brand’s timepieces on classic dresses or casual attire. One very interesting watch that comes to mind when you mention this brand is the Max Bill Chronoscope (Ref 27/4500.49). The wristwatch has a self-winding Caliber J880.2 movement encased in a 40mm stainless steel case.

Additionally, the watch features a silver-colored Milanese bracelet to match the casing. This watch has pencil-styled hands and Arabic numeral indices with two chronograph subdials at 6 and 12 o’clock markers. Furthermore, the watch features a date-day indicator at the three o’clock marker. The timepiece has a 48-hour power reserve, ensuring you can enjoy full power. You can also enjoy a water resistance of 30m, enough to withstand splashes but not deep immersions. 

2. Georg Jensen

Georg Jensen Koppel

Georg Jensen is an establishment of a Danish silversmith. The brand is one of the most underrated yet outstanding timepiece manufacturers. While you may know Georg Jensen for producing the best cutlery, jewelry, tableware, gift products, and pure silver-made items, the brand also has outstanding timepieces. 

Georg Jensen is one of the best unknown swiss watch brands with outstanding Swiss automatic movements. The brand produces sleek, elegant, breathtaking chronographs inspired by Scandinavian principles. You will enjoy these watches if you love the simplicity and focus as the theme of your timepieces. 

Underrated Model

One of the brand’s most famous models you can obtain in modern times is the Vivianna Ref. 3575655_0. The watch is perfect for people with small wrists because it has a case size of 34mm. Furthermore, the timepiece has a stainless steel case, diamond-studded bezel, and a dial. 

Another attractive thing about this watch is that it has a Swiss-made ETA E61.031 Caliber that offers an extended battery life of 49 months. If you have money to spend on the best unknown swiss watch brands, you should consider this luxury watch.

3. Komono

Komono watches

Komono is a Belgian brand with affordable timepieces made from superior materials. The brand has a youthful outlook inspired by its founders, Anton Janssens and Raf Maes. Moreover, former snowboarders, these individuals officially added wristwatches to their opticals and sunglasses brand in 2009. Since the introduction of wristwatches, the brand has made waves in the field.

Underrated Models

There are two outstanding picks from this brand. One such pick is the Komon Mono Sky which satisfies your versatile and minimalistic design desires. Additionally, the watch comes in several colorways. However, the most common color you will find is sky-blue, which is aesthetically pleasing. The watch has a polycarbonate case that matches its sky-blue silicone dial and strap.

Additionally, the dial has grey baton hour markers and hands. Another option is the stunning and eye-catching Komono Ray Legacy Nato Lunar. This piece is a favorite of many people who love straightforward and understated timepieces. Interestingly, the watch easily steals the attention of onlookers with its simplicity. 

The Komono Ray Legacy Nato Lunar has a small seconds sub-dial found above the six, seven, and eight o’clock markers. Furthermore, the timepiece has a reliable Japanese Quartz movement. The watch also has a water resistance of 50m.

4. Giuliano Mazzuoli

Guiliano Mazzouli watches

The name of this brand already gives out a lot of information about its timepieces. You will love this brand if you are a sports enthusiast. Additionally, the watch catches the attention of individuals who love unusual concepts. The brand also has a long history of producing notebooks, planners, and writing materials with great appearances. 

Underrated Models

Giuliano Mazzouli has timepieces that depict attitude and class. If you love attitude, you want to try the Transmission Meccanica Chronograph. This timepiece derived its inspiration from automobile transmission. The wristwatch has a black strap and a stainless steel case with unusually patterned edges. Additionally, the timepiece has a chronograph function that tells more than time. 

Another good option is the Manometro Compressed Polished Blue timepiece. The watch has a 45mm stainless steel case. Additionally, the bezel comes from a similar material as the watch case. The watch also has a brown calfskin Florentine leather strap and a beautiful blue dial. 

5. Object

If you love customized wristwatches, this brand is the ideal pick for your needs. The brand customizes its dials, hands, straps, buckles, crown, rotor, and anything you can think of on your timepiece. Almost every piece on the brand’s wristwatches is customized for top-tier detail. Additionally, you don’t need to bother about the design process because the brand takes care of everything. 

Object offers an exciting finish, colorway, and several outstanding material choices. Not to worry, the brand also has ready-made wristwatches for individuals who do not like the stress of customizing their watches. Furthermore, these ready-made timepieces have minimalistic aesthetics and top-tier engines made by either ETA or Ronda. Hence, you don’t have to worry about durability. 

Underrated Model

One of the best models you can acquire from this brand is the Object Hach Grey Automatic wristwatch. This beautiful timepiece has a DLC-treated stainless steel case of 42mm. The case material offers protection from bumps and scratches. Furthermore, the watch has a numberless and black dial with 3D patterns and some thick, round baton-style hands. 

You will also find a single attractive yellow minute hand that adds a touch of youthfulness to the watch’s outlook. This Swiss-made timepiece also has a grey strap conjured from Italian leather. Additionally, the watch is powered by a 25-jewel automatic movement (ETA 2824-2). The Hach Grey Automatic timepiece is your bet if you want an attractive wristwatch. 

6. Bulova

Bulova watch

Bulova is one of the world’s most successful watch brands. Why, then, did we include it in this list? The brand has some highly underrated timepieces which you may not know existed. Bulova is not that famous compared to brands like Rolex, Tag Heuer, Casio, etc.

However, the brand delivers some very cool wristwatches. This New York-based company started in 1875 and became a part of the Loews Corporation in 1979. Since its inception, the brand has made some exceptional watches.

Underrated Model

The Bulova Archive Series Men’s watch is one timepiece you can obtain from this brand at a reasonable price. The watch has a six-hand calendar chronograph and a sapphire glass that covers the black dial. Additionally, the watch features a high-performance UHF quartz movement from Bulova. 

This timepiece also has interchangeable straps included in the package. You will find black nylon and a nubuck leather strap for one option and a textured black leather strap for the other. If you need unparalleled accuracy, consider this watch because it has a frequency of 262 kHz.

7. Victorinox

Victorinox watch

Formerly known as Messerfabrik Carl Elsener, Victorinox is a Swiss-based watchmaker and knife manufacturer. The brand is renowned for its prominent Swiss army knives. However, the brand also produces some of the best-underrated timepieces you can don with pride. 

Underrated Model

Victorinox has very affordable and underrated timepieces. One such underrated watch model from this brand is the FieldForce Sport Chrono. The FieldForce Sport Chrono combines casual with sporty. This watch has a colorful outlook that suits every occasion. 

The Swiss-made watch has a chronograph function with a tachymeter scale to measure your speed. Additionally, the watch has an easy 24-hour readability feature due to the size of the case and the numeric dial markers. Also, the watch has a Super-Luminova feature that illuminates the dial under poor lighting conditions. 

8. Omega

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 6000m Ultra Deep Blue Dial 45.5mm on bracelet

It may surprise you to see Omega on this list, but most people do not know of some Omega timepieces. Interestingly, most people overlook the Railmaster series for other of Omega’s watch collections. However, you will discover that the series is not just underrated but has some of the best features you will see in any Omega watch brand.

Underrated Models

As noted, the Railmaster series is one good model to purchase if you want to stand out while wearing an Omega watch. The Railmaster Co-axial Master Chronometer is one watch to add to your wishlist. The watch has a 40mm watch case made of stainless steel. On top of that, the timepiece has a coated nylon fabric strap that matches the watch dial. 

The watch has an Omega Co-axial Master Chronometer (Caliber 8806) movement that provides accuracy while using the wristwatch. Furthermore, the timepiece has a design that withstands a magnetism of 15,000 gausses. Thus, you can use this Railmaster timepiece to enjoy excellent anti-magnetic qualities. 

9. Timex

Timex watch

Nowadays, Timex is garnering attention for rebuilding some of its legendary designs, which were hits back in the day. The company, formerly known as Waterbury Clock Company, is a watch manufacturing company that came into existence in 1854. At that time, the company name was Waterbury Clock Company. 

Due to insolvency in 1944, the company made some changes to become Timex Corporation. Since its reformation, this brand has dished out some of the best, most underrated timepieces you can find on the market. If high-accuracy movements are your thing, you can consider using this watch brand.

Underrated Model

One great place to start when you need a Timex wristwatch is the Giorgio Galli S1 Automatic timepiece. Asides from being an affordable wristwatch, you can enjoy a one-year limited manufacturer warranty. Additionally, the watch features are something to consider if you love class and style. 

This underrated timepiece has a 41mm case width, stainless steel, and a black band. Furthermore, the wristwatch utilizes a polished case finished for aesthetics. The timepiece has an automatic mechanical wind and a water resistance of 50m.

10. Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko watch

Yes, Grand Seiko. You may not want to agree with me, but Grand Seiko also has some underrated timepieces. Grand Seiko is a brand that debunks claims that Swiss-made watches were superior to Japanese timepieces. The Grand Seiko has thrived since its debut and continues to make top-tier timepieces. However, the brand still has some underrated pieces in its gallery. 

Underrated Model

Grand Seiko’s SBGA211 is an underrated timepiece in this watch’s collection. The timepiece has a snowflake dial spring drive with high-intensity titanium. Additionally, the wristwatch has a 72-hour power reserve and a see-through case back with a lion emblem.

This timepiece has a date indicator at the three o’clock dial. This round-shaped timepiece has a 41mm case diameter and a case thickness of 12.5mm. Additionally, the dial window is high quality, boasting an anti-reflective sapphire covering an analog display. Overall, this watch is as classy as it gets. 

11. Tissot

Tissot Men's T0704051641100

Tissot has some outstanding timepieces everyone considers at first glance. This brand, founded by a two-person father and son team, has impressed me over time. The brand began operations in Switzerland and made its remarkable debut in 1853. Since then, the company has remained one of the best brands to patronize for your timepieces.

Underrated Model

One underrated watch model under this brand is the Tissot T-touch Connect Solar. This timepiece has a solar touch quartz movement with a case diameter of 47.5mm. Additionally, the timepiece is scratch-resistant, thanks to its tactile sapphire crystal-ceramic bezel. This timepiece is special because it is a modern descendant of the first multifunction tactile watch by the brand. 

The watch features a water resistance of 100m and can withstand a pressure of 10 bar. Furthermore, the watch has a black dial with index markers and interchangeable quick-release bracelets. You could interchange the bracelets with a standard buckle. The blue-colored strap is made from embossed cow leather.

12. Shinola

Shinola is an impressive yet unknown American watchmaker that officially took off in 2011. This brand is one of the most recent watchmakers in this generation. The brand officially launched in 2011 and has created fully-functional and affordable American timepieces.

Underrated Model

One of the most underrated yet popular models from Shinola is the Runwell 47mm. The timepiece has an excellent build and finishes, not to mention its outstanding dial layout and crown style. Everything about this watch stands out. 

The watch case features a sandblast PVD gunmetal for protection against scratches. On top of that, the timepiece has a handsewn cattail strap (brown) which matches the matte velvet dial. The dial features a fierce midnight blue color and features a smaller seconds sundial. The timepiece also has sword-style hands and Arabic numeral indices. 

13. Thomas Earnshaw

Thomas Earnshaw watch

This brand simplified marine chronometers in the 1700s. The brand is named after the English watchmaker Thomas Earnshaw and creates intricately-designed timepieces suitable for adventure seekers. 

Underrated Model

One timepiece you can obtain from this brand is the Thomas Earnshaw Beaufort ES-8059. The timepiece features a 43mm gold-colored watchcase and a brown-colored strap crafted from genuine leather. Another interesting feature of this timepiece is its intricate dial.

The dial has skeleton parts and subtle lines that allow you to enjoy the beauty of its movement. This outstanding timepiece also has a water resistance of 50m and an affordable price for a wristwatch of its caliber. This watch is your best bet if you love classic skeleton timepieces that do not cost much. 

14. Skagen

Skagen watch

This Danish watchmaker has operated since 1989. The watchmaker produces trendy and pocket-friendly timepieces you could use for any occasion. Interestingly, the brand now produces other goods asides from wristwatches. Nowadays, the brand produces jewelry, handbags, decors, homewares, and other accessories. 

If you appreciate timeless and sustainable concepts, you will love this brand. Asides from its lightweight case design, most wristwatches from the brand have neutral or monochromatic colors that make it easier to appreciate the watch’s design. 

Underrated Model

The Skagen Ancher is a good monochromatic wristwatch you can use. Interestingly, this wristwatch has a thin fixed bezel containing 50% recycled stainless steel and a 40mm case. The watch case matches the beautifully designed stainless steel bracelet with a safety mesh buckle. 

Another thing is that the watch has a tidy and pleasing charcoal-colored dial. The dial features luminous hands and silver baton hour markers that glow in poor lighting conditions. Additionally, the watch is powered by a simple yet powerful three-hand movement. 

15. Alpina

Alpina Startimer watch

Alpina is an impressive and lesser-known watch brand that started producing watches in the late 1800s. The brand has crafted some classy and exquisite sports watches over time. Today, the brand still impresses with its sophisticated and robust watches, which suit people who love function and form.

Underrated Model

One brown diver stands out among all else. The 300m water-resistant Alpina Seastrong Diver Heritage Brown is a 42mm stainless steel timepiece for all occasions. The case comes in a brown hue and a brown leather strap to match. Additionally, the dial is protected by sapphire crystal.

The brown dial has rose gold indices and luminous hands that glow in the ark. This Alpina Seatrong watch has a sophisticated automatic movement for precision. The movement covers 28,800 vibrations hourly. 

16. Festina

Festina Watch

Another outstanding watchmaker you can consider for impressive timepieces in this category is the Festina. The brand was birthed in 1902 and is relatively underrated. Nowadays, the corporation includes other brands like Perrelet, Candino, Jaguar, Lotus, and Calypso. Furthermore, the brand has a huge global presence with global production hubs. 

The brand also produced official timepieces for Tour de France from 1992 to 2016. Festina specializes in practical chronograph wristwatches and inelegant dress watches. Overall, the brand’s wristwatches fit modern men and women.

Underrated Model

One watch you will find particularly interesting is the Festina Boyfriend, which has rose gold and silver color scheme. This timepiece features a 36mm 316L stainless steel case and a matching bracelet containing rose gold links.

The timepiece also has baton hands designed with luminous elements and stone-studded indices. This timepiece has a mineral crystal glass that protects the dial and its accompaniments. Additionally, the watch runs on an analog movement and has a water resistance of 50m. 

17. MeisterSinger

MeisterSinger Watch

MeisterSinger is a relatively young and underrated watchmaker from Germany. The brand produces outstanding, high-concept wristwatches that combine modern and traditional concepts. Established in 2001, the brand has conjured some interesting timepieces. 

This brand is so outstanding with its vintage-inspired appearances, award-winning designs, and otherwise contemporary details. The brand draws its inspiration from 15th-century tower clocks. Hence, the timepieces only have a single hand that tells time instead of the regular two to three hands. 

Underrated Model

One good thing about the watch we will mention next is its affordability. Although the MeisterSinger Classic is affordable, it has many features and is a highly dependable and solid watch option. The watch comes with a stainless steel case. Additionally, the ivory dial is protected by a domed sapphire glass. The watch also has Arabic numeral hour markers and a thin black hand.

18. Nixon

Nixon watch

Nixon is a demonstration of the true American timepiece dream. The brand launched in 1997 and has remained an integral part of the watchmaker industry. Initially curated for a youthful audience, the brand produces outstanding timepieces for adventure lovers. 

Underrated Model

One timepiece you must not overlook here is the Nixon Sentry. The timepiece stands out due to its brushed bracelet, case, and gold-colored scheme. Hence, the timepiece looks outstanding even from a distance. 

The brand embodies its “simplicity is beauty” in this watch design. Thus, you will only find a simple date-day feature on the dial and baton hour markers. Asides from its three-hand bracelet, the timepiece also has a Miyota quartz movement.

19. Ball

Ball watch

Ball is one of the interesting watchmakers among the lesser-known watch brands. Interestingly, the brand offers some of the most advanced wristwatches with outstanding aesthetics. Originally from Cleveland, U.S., the brand pays its designs homage to the American railroad industry.

Underrated Model

If you want a subtle timepiece that does not have an overwhelming design, you can consider the Ball Engineer III Pioneer. The timepiece features a 40mm stainless steel case and has a bracelet made from a similar material. Asides from the magnified date display, the black dial features Arabic numeral and baton-style indices. Additionally, the wristwatch has dauphine hands that fit with specially designed tritium gas tubes. 

20. Bremont

Bremont H-4 Hercules Steel Limited Edition

Bremont is a British luxury brand specializing in chronometers for the aviation niche. The brand draws inspiration from British engineering; hence, Bremont has technologies like the Anti-Shock, TRIP-TICK case, etc. 

Most of Bremont’s timepieces are usually donned by members of the armed forces. To prove its commitment and excellence to superior watchmaking, the brand has won several awards for its outstanding designs.

Underrated Model

An underrated model from this brand is the Bremont ALT1-C Friffon-R-S. The watch features a 43mm stainless steel case and has a black leather strap. The dial has a stark black color that contrasts well with the Arabic numeral hour markers.

Additionally, the watch features Supr-LumiNova-coated hands with two sub-dials with a chronograph function. The wristwatch also has a date window at the six o’clock marker. Furthermore, the timepiece has a sweep seconds hand with an automatic Caliber 13 movement. The watch features a 42-hour power reserve.

21. SevenFriday

SevenFriday watch

SevenFriday produces ultra-unique and futuristic timepieces that do not stick to the status quo. If you love Swiss luxury watches that stand out, you will love rocking timepieces from SevenFriday. 

Underrated Model

An eye-catching wristwatch from this brand is the S-Series which comes in a 47mm case. The wristwatch has a stainless steel bezel and case that matches the padded and embossed black calfskin leather strap. Additionally, the watch has an anti-reflective mineral glass for protection. The dial features an antique brass PVD=coated metal that covers its surface. 

Buying Guide

Getting the best lesser-known watch brands could pose a problem to watch lovers. Hence, we have collated this buying guide to help you make the most of your shopping experience.

Material Used

The watch material is one of the essential things you need to consider when picking your timepiece. You will typically see different watch materials like gold, platinum, etc. If you have the money, you can consider gold or platinum-plated wristwatches. If not, you can opt for cheaper stainless steel options.

Buying Objective

You need to understand why you need to buy a watch before you pick one. There is no need to buy a sports watch with a water resistance of up to 300m if you do not use it for diving. Instead, you can go for classic watches with more designs that suit your taste.

Watch Movement

There are outstanding watch movements you can consider. You will find manual or automatically wound mechanical watches, including other watch movements, when you go to the market. The movement you pick depends on your preferences. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most underrated watch brand?

There are many underrated watch brands you will find on the market. The most underrated of them depends on your choice and design.

What are the big three watch brands?

The watches that make up the big three include Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, and Audemars Piguet.

Which is the No. 1 watch brand in the world

There are many outstanding watch brands on the market. However, Patek Philippe ranks as one of the best so far. The watch bests the 1950s Swiss watch brands known to stand out.

Who makes the best inexpensive watch?

Many brands make the best inexpensive watches. We have considered 21 such brands on our list to give you variety while looking for the most underrated watch brands to patronize.


We have considered the 21 best lesser-known watch brands in our article. Our roundup includes some of the best brands you may not have known. Although you may find some popular names on our list, these brands have some lesser-known watch models with outstanding features. Thus, we have included such models in our roundup. 

We have also included a buying guide and a FAQ section to help you gain insight into the best-underrated watch brands. You can use our buying guide and FAQ section to improve your shopping experience. If you need the most underrated yet top-tier watch brands, our list helps you get the best. 

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