Best Luxury Watches on a Budget – Top 10 List for Feb. 2018
Groom+Style discusses the Top 10 Best Luxury Watches you can find for Men and Women who do not have an unlimited budget.
You can buy a Swatch for under $50 and it will run non-stop until the battery dies and you put in another one. You don’t get a more accurate timepiece (necessarily) by buying a luxury watch, that’s not the point.
A luxury watch is really only one of two things:
We could go on all day, picking watches few of us will ever own, watches in the region of $40,000, $60,000 each. Watches that cost the same as the down payment on a house or a university education. And you can forget all about the Patek Philippe Supercomplication, which was last valued in 2014 at $24 million.
Instead, Groom+Style have put together a more modestly priced collection of luxury watches, which, while still expensive, could be considered as more reasonable investments.
What to Look for in a Luxury Watch
Let’s be real, if you’re spending a few grand on a luxury watch, you can look for whatever you like. Want a diamond skull with a gold snake wrapped around the eye sockets? We won’t try and talk you out of it.
But here’s what most luxury watch buyers look for:
Brand — It’s a status symbol. You either go with the Rolexes and Omegas or something so obscure, people have no choice but to think you’re a true connoisseur.
Complications — You won’t get many complications in an affordable luxury watch, but you might get one or two. A complication is any feature — such as a spinning moon or a third hand to tell the time in Tokyo — that’s there in addition to the timekeeping elements.
Materials — 18 to 24 karat gold, silver, diamonds, rubies, whatever you’re into, you’re looking for the very best in your luxury watch.
Design and build — Most luxury watches are Swiss. Mont Blanc is German, but most others are Swiss.
Movement — It’s pretty much a given that the most expensive watches will be mechanical i.e will be automatic or manual wind (that means it winds with movement or winds manually). For a budget luxury watch, you might have to compromise on this!
For a more detailed look into the world of luxury watches please read the good, the bad and the ugly of luxury watches.
Luxury Watches for Men, Most Affordable
1. TAG Heuer Formula 1
A staple of the Formula 1 circuit, it’s near impossible to find an affordable TAG Heuer watch, but Amazon has this one on offer. Beefy, bold and ultra-stylish, it features a clear readout with numbers around the dial, leaving more space inside for the two additional sub-dials.
Those sub-dials, by the way, are like little stopwatches, used by the guys and girls on trackside to keep up with their drivers. Swiss quartz movement, this watch might very well be the most accurate on our list.
2. Frederique Constant Horological Smartwatch
Swiss made by the lakes of Geneva, the Frederique Constant Smartwatch looks every bit like a traditional luxury watch, but it’s not. Special dials inside the watch track your movement and sleep patterns, in much the same way as a Jawbone or FitBit tracker does, allowing you to download via Bluetooth to your smartphone and analyze the results later on.
This is about as close to Bond as it gets for under a grand. We absolutely love the open and ice-cool dial on this one.
3. Maurice Lacroix Eliros Automatic
Maurice Lacroix is a relatively new player in the luxury watch market who started marketing watches in 1975. They are based out of Biel in Switzerland. The Groom+Style team loves the slight steampunk vibe of the Eliros, especially when it’s all blacked out. There’s plenty of room on the sleek black face for those gorgeous gold hands to move around on, and those slim Roman numerals? Heaven.
The watch is easy to wear with a comfortable black leather strap. It features three separate complications, a marvel for a watch in this price range.
Luxury Watches for Women, Most Affordable
1. Raymond Weil Noemia Mother of Pearl Two-tone Ladies Watch
Featuring a classically elegant white mother of pearl dial with Roman numerals – each hour point is studded with a beautifully brilliant cut .04 ct diamond (10 in all). The bracelet is two-tone stainless with yellow gold PVD plating, which matches the crown and soft gold hands. The Noemia is very feminine and one of Raymond Weil’s signature ladies watches which is never going out of style.
2. Maurice Lacroix Eliros Ladies
For ladies who prefer more classically masculine watches, but who find the dials a little too big, Maurice Lacroix makes a ladies version of the Eliros. An understated leather strap focuses the eye on the lovely open face protected by sapphire glass. There is a more expensive version which features eight diamonds.
3. Gucci Diamantissima
No numbers, no date, no complications, just pure Gucci styling. Features a rose gold crown, quality leather strap and a tasteful, yet boldly patterned dial. Absolutely no doubt that you know what you’re talking about when you rock out wearing this stunning piece.
Groom+Style Picks: Best Watches for Men, Slightly More Expensive
1. Frederique Constant Heart Beat
Would you look at that skeleton window, isn’t it beautiful? Catch a glimpse of perfection every single time you look down with the Heart Beat by Frederique Constant. This awesome Swiss Made watch features elegant Roman numerals and a couple of super slender hands to match. The magnificent leather strap is so silky smooth, the thing might melt off your wrist if you’re not careful (it won’t.) We even love the crown, which sticks out to decadently, it’ll make you feel like more than a boss, you’ll be a king.
2. Raymond Weil Freelancer
Who says luxury watches have to be all leather and gold? The luxury man with his luxury watch is an adventurer, he has places to be, tundras to wade through and what have you…The Freelancer features a rugged rubber strap with breathable holes, and it’s water resistant up to 300m. You won’t get that anywhere else in a luxury watch unless you cough up another couple of grand for an Omega Seamaster.
Groom+Style Picks: Best Watches for Women, Slightly More Expensive
1. Omega Women’s Constellation
To find an Omega at this price is a miracle in itself. To find one as handsome as the Constellation, which features matt black hands set on top of silver on silver, is something else. We love the tiny star at the bottom of the face and the way the Roman numerals are engraved on the outside edge of the dial. Don’t forget to marvel every time you look down and see that Omega logo, the one you got for under two grand.
2. Longines Master Collection Ladies Watch
Ageless, but never timeless, the Longines Master keeps time with a precision Swiss automatic movement. The beautiful silver on silver design stands out when you get up close, and the mother of pearl face is stunning, too. Features one of the best clasps we’ve seen on a watch, real craftsmanship at work.
Sorry to those of you who were hoping for some crystal skulls and ruby-encrusted butterflies, maybe we’ll cover those next time. Now, what are you going to do with all that change?