ten awesome watches for under $1000

Lately I have been wanting a watch. My parents gave me a watch as a college graduation gift, and although I love it and it is timeless, at the moment it is not my style. I let my John put links back in it and wear it for now (it is a men's Tag Heuer Monaco, so its is a men's watch).

I am not sure what style of watch I want exactly, but I would like a men's watch again and I want something that is timeless and that I will want to keep forever (not a cheapy Michael Kors).

I am looking for a watch for less than $1000 and I don't want a replica, either. My John has done a lot of research to narrow down some options for me. He took a lot of time to compile these great time pieces taking into account the mechanical movements that are housed inside, the use of sapphire crystal, and build quality.

My John is a watch aficionado; he has several beautiful timepieces which I absolutely LOVE. If they weren't quite so large (the Panerais are just too large for a female wrist), I would certainly hijack one of his. But, John believes that a watch says a lot about a person, their aspirations, their personality, and in this day and age if you are trying to make an impression and you're on a budget, these are the watches to consider.

As you scroll through these watches you may only recognize a few or you may not recognize any of them. However, that is something else I like about them - they are beautiful timepieces, but they aren't flashy (may I mention the Michael Kors again, or even more flashy a Chanel watch).

The rest of this post was written by my one and only, John...

What makes a watch that costs $5,000-$10,000+? Well much of it has to do with the history of the brand itself and if the watch says Swiss made. There are many Swiss manufacturers that have been around for a long time, but some of them have only been around for a few years and try give you the impression of a rich history with impressive marketing. Many Swiss manufacturers outsource watch cases, parts, and movements from places like China. Many of the higher-end watch brands use modified movements that are typically purchased from ETA, a company founded in 1856 and owned by the Swatch Group ...Yep THAT Swatch. ETA has become a monopoly in the Swiss watch movement world, controlling much of the supply and production. The movements themselves are actually quite inexpensive to buy in many cases ($200-$500), but when they are housed in a higher-end brand's case, they command a higher-end price. Many manufacturers modify the movements to make them their own by polishing certain components and adding details which set them apart (details like engravings). What I am trying to point out is that in a lot of cases, paying for a high-end watch just as much about the name, not just about the quality of the parts inside. Don't get me wrong if you can afford a high-end watch in the $5,000-$10,000 or more then of course buy it. But the watches below sport many of the same movements as the expensive brands.

Keep in mind that the prices that I found for these watches vary depending on where you are looking for them, but on average my listed prices give you an idea of what you are likely to spend.
STEINHART "Nav B-Chrono II Black Special Edition

This great watch from Steinhart called the STEINHART "Nav B-Chrono II Black Special Edition" sports a movement from ETA named the VALJOUX 7750 automatic. It has a stainless steel case, and black dlc coating. The sapphire glass with double anti-glare coating on the interior side and the dial with blue hands make this pilot watch really stand out. A watch of this caliber from another brand would easily cost thousands more. You should definitely browse through their other models when you have a chance.


Christopher Ward C11 MSL MK1 Automatic - Brown

This might be one of my favorite watches on the list as it reminds me somewhat of a Panerai that will run you $5000+, but with a twist that sets it apart. Christopher Ward was founded in London by three gentlemen in 2004 that were clearly passionate about creating affordable timepieces. The company has some very interesting timepieces that sport quality ETA movements, and sapphire crystal glass. The hands on this particular watch are coated with Super Liminova a coating on the hands and numbers that allow the watch to glow nice an bright in the darkest conditions. Also the leather strap is akin to those on much pricier watches. 


SevenFriday is an interesting watch company that I had to include on my list. I know that some people might not receive it well, but I love it! The company was officially founded in 2012 by Daniel Niederer The first collection of watches are all basically similar variations of the watch you see above with changes in color and strap. This watch is one of the few on my list that sports a Japanese Miyota movement which is still quite reliable. The watch says the words Zurich making one think that it is prduced in Switzerland, but the company admits much of it is made in China. Even though this is the case I believe this to be a great watch for the money.


Archimede Pilot 45 Hand Wound

Archimede is a watch company that was founded by Ickler who has been making watch casings and components in Germany for almost 90 years. Their watches are extremely well built. This particular watch reminds me of the IWC Big Pilot watch which retails for around $15,000.This model has saphire crystal front glass with an anti reflective coating. It also has a nicely appointed hand wound ETA movement that shows through on the back of the watch.


Shinola The Runwell 47mm

Shinola is an interesting company that is not afraid about the fact they they are American made in Detroit Michigan. Each watch has a serialized stamp on the back of the case as well as a larger place to proudly display "made in Detroit" The watch uses a quartz movement that is made right in their own factory. The hands are coated with Superluminova to give them a strong night time glow as the glass is saphire crystal. Even the leather strap is hand made!


Raymond Weil Maestro

Raymond Weil might be one of the few watches here that you might actually recognize. The company was founded in 1976 and is a well recognized swiss watch company. Unfortunately I can't garuntee that the watch is truly swiss made. I did however chose this piece because I really like it's simplicity and etchings on the dial. The watch has a nice leather strap, a sapphire glass front with an anti reflective coating and a nice exposed automatic movement when you turn it over.


Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch

Weiss is a newer watch brand founded in the United States by Cameron Weiss a certified and well pedigreed watch maker. There are currently only two models available, one with a white dial and one with a black dial. The watches comprise of a popular hand wound ETA 6497 movement that can be found in many high end Panerai Watches that cost $4,000+. Both of these fine watches and movements are hand assembled in Los Angeles California with features such as front and back Sapphire Crystal, luminescent hands and a military style canvas strap. for an extra $58 you can purchase a distressed leather strap which looks quite nice.


Tissot Heritage Visodate Automatic

Tissot is a company that is well known watch brand that has been around since 1853. This watch sports a vintage look with a nicely appointed exposed back and simple styling. This watch is a throwback to the original Tossot Visodate that came out in the late 50's. The innovation back then was the incorporation of the date function into the movement. The watch houses an ETA 2836-2 movement with sapphire crystal and both the day and date function.


The Hamilton X-Wind Auto Chrono

The Hamilton X-Wind Auto Chrono watch is really unique. If you are a pilot or simply someone who wants to look like one this might be the watch for you. The dial has a built in calculator to allow pilots to determine crosswinds during their flights. The watch has Sapphire Crystal, a tough leather strap and an very unique looking exposed back to go along with the pilot theme.Some website are selling this watch for as much as $1,500, but I have seen a few deals in the sub $1,000 range.


Stowa Antea 365 A10

This great watch is made by Stowa in Germany and has a swiss made Soprod A-10 movement which has been positively reviewed. The Antea model comes in a few variations, but this particular version with a somewhat distressed leather strap is my favorite because of how it balances with the polished steel case. This model has blue steel hands, a date function, and Saphire crystal on both the front and back. Stowa will even let you engrave whatever you want on the back of the automatic rotor which is kinda neat.


Limes Pharo Open Balance 

Ok so I know this watch is over $1,000, but I had to include it. This watch is extremely well built and looks far more expensive than it actually is with a beautifully exposed front. This watch is also produced by Ickler the same company that makes the Archimede watches. I love the detailed face, light gold hands beautifully polished ETA 2824 movement and exposed back. If you jump to the link of the watch you will also see that the side of the case has a nice ribbed look found only in higher end brands.


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