Sunday, January 11, 2015

Top 10 Inexpensive Watches - Part 1

I recently read an interesting post on the WatchTime blog.  Watch industry insider, Alexander Linz listed the Watch Insider’s Top 10 Best-Value Chronographs of 2014.  These were all fine mechanical watches that he considered excellent affordable chronographs.  Unfortunately, with the exception of one Swatch, all of the watches listed were premium watches that cost thousands of dollars.

Like many mortal men, I am cursed with having taste without wealth.  I can admire the chosen watches for their style, engineering, craftsmanship, and brand history.  However, as a middle-aged, middle class, American man, I can only pray that I accumulate the wealth needed to comfortably acquire such a timepiece. If I ever earn the requisite fortune to acquire such a watch, I hope that I have the class to wear it without it being perceived as doing an end zone dance to show status over others.

For those of us in the 99-percent, I would propose an alternate top 10 list of best inexpensive watches.  I can't claim the level of horological expertise that belong to Alexander Linz and the staff at WatchTime Magazine. But, I believe their are many worthwhile timepieces at low price points. Some of these watches bring new and unique capabilities to watch collectors while others allow common people to emulate the looks of classic watches.  While high end watch aficionados embrace the tradition of mechanical watch making, the rest of us enjoy the accuracy of  quartz watch movements.

First, in this post, let's look at 5 inexpensive watches that give us classic looks or unique styles!  Companies like Invicta and Stuhrling Original have brought timeless styles to common folks.  While these companies also have innovative designs, we have to thank them for putting classic looks on our wrists.

1.  Invicta Pro Diver.  The Invicta Pro Diver is a classic dive watch inspired by the Rolex Sub.  There are many colors and all do a good job of channeling the classic Rolex Submariner.  You can read my review of my Invicta Specialty Pro Diver watch here.

2.  Stuhrling Original Concorse Raceway.  If you like the Rolex Speedmaster, the Concorso Raceway will give you the look at a fraction of the price.  It has chronograph features and looks great.

Beyond the classics, come the watches that bring unique style to our wrists.

3.  Skagen.  If any brand has a unique and immediately recognizable style, it is Skagen.  The Skagen brand brings Danish design to the wrist.   Skagen watches have a minimalist modern Scandinavian look.  They also have thin streamlined cases.  The Grenen by Skagen watch below really typifies the Skagen look.

A Grenen by Skagen watch

4.  AVI-8.  The AVI-8 brand of watches bring classic aviation icons to the wrist.  The AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane practically beckons you to spin the prop and take to the skies.  AVI-8 provided me with a sample watch and it is one of my favorites.

5.  Izod.  The Izod line of watches brings a preppy look to the wrist with class and panache.  For those of us old enough to remember the Izod craze of the early eighties.  If you want a real Izod on your wrist, it's the one to buy.  There are many affordable Izod watches in stores like Burlington today.

An Izod Watch

These watches show that you don't have to spend a lot of money to wear seriously stylish watches.  Next week, we'll look at 5 more watches that bring unique capabilities to our wrists!

[This post was updated with new photographs in May 2024.]

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