Buyers Guide To Decent Timepieces Below $1000.00 – Wednesday Watch

Look around you, how many people are wearing a $1000.00+ USD timepiece? Since you are visiting MotoringExposure, we probably don’t have to explain why to spend more than $25.00 on a watch, which is probably going to run better (more accurate) than your precious mechanical timepiece. You don’t drive a KIA either, do you? However, there is a giant gap between a $25.00 quartz watch and a haute horlogerie timepiece with state of the art technology and innovative complications like the Grönefeld GMT06 we reported about a few weeks ago here at ME.

Last week’s Wednesday, we put a recession friendly Movado Bold in the spotlight. This Wednesday we are going to explore some more friendly priced  timepieces under $1000.00. Since the watch market in the $25 – $1000 price range is so big, we have included some rules to play by.

1. It should be a (respected) Swiss or German brand.
2. A mechanical movement (Swiss/German origin), ETA2824 or ETA6498 for example.
3. No plastic parts on the outside (excludes Swatch).
4. Stainless steel casing.
5. Sapphire crystal.

During our quest for a cool -$1000 watch, we found that there are a lot of new brands that made name very quickly. We also found that brands like Omega, TAG Heuer and Longines, who still had low-level entry pieces in the 1980s and early 1990s, disappeared in this price range. One of the few brands from the past that we found active in this price range is Tissot. Tissot manufactures timepieces since 1853 and managed to survive the quartz crisis from the late 1970s and is currently trying to get a grip on the market of mechanical watches with their, for example, PSR516 Sports Chronograph. Although a code like PSR516 is never a good way to refer to your watches, it is actually a very interesting timepiece for a price of approx. $730.00 USD (retail is $1275.00, but we never pay retail prices).

The Tissot PSR516 Sports Chronograph is a 42mm diameter watch, comes with a leather strap, water-resistant to 100 meters (10 bar), sapphire crystal and a mechanical automatic chronograph movement ETA/Valjoux7750. This movement can also be found as a base caliber in chronograph watches from IWC, Breitling, Fortis and many, many more. A good choice for the sporty watch freak that needs a solid timepiece with a rugged chronograph movement.

A probably less known brand is Sinn Spezialuhren, although we found them advertizing in various watch magazines world wide. Sinn is a brand from Frankfurt, Germany and only a few decades old. Sinn entered the market with their functional timepieces and since then have been used by German special forces, fire departments, astronauts and with their Finanzplatzuhr showing multiple timezones, also by bankers. Our favorite $1000.00 watch by Sinn is the reference 656 with a leather strap (pictured with a stainless steel bracelet). This 38.5mm is suitable for every wrist size and with a height of only 10mm – which is almost unique these days – is will also fit under your cuffs. Inside ticks an ETA 2824-2 movement, also found in several famous Swiss highly respected brands.

The Sinn 656 has a stainless steel bead blasted case (and bracelet, in case you choose for this), a sapphire crystal and is water-resistant to 20 meters. The face of this watch reminds us of the navigation clocks and panels in the cockpit. The watch is also resistant to high magnetic fields, which may come in handy when flying an aircraft or working with machinery with strong magnetic fields.

Next one up is a Glycine. Glycine became famous during the Vietnam war, since a lot of chopper pilots were wearing the Glycine Airman which enabled them to read ’24 hours’. These Airman timepieces of the 1950s actually are very valued amongst collectors. However, we selected the affordable (at just under $1000.00) Incursore ‘Black Jack’ timepiece.  With a stunning 46mm diameter, this watch can’t be overlooked. This black PVDed wrist watch has a small seconds hand, a display back to see the ETA2895-2 movement, screw-down crown for 100 meter water-resistance and is limited to 350 pieces only. Given the history of Glycine and the current ‘hype’ of black DLC or PVD watches, we found this watch to be very interesting in our quest.

The black face with large numerals (filled with Luminova) and large hands with Luminova is probably a feast for the eyes when it’s dark. It is also the watch with a decorated movement, as both Sinn and Tissot use fairly basic finished ETA movements. The Glycine uses an ETA movement that has a “perlé” finish and blued screws, visible through the transparent display back. The front and back crystal are made of sapphire of course. You can choose between a leather calf strap with white stitching or a strap made out of natural rubber.

As you probably have guess already, our choice is the Glycine Incursore ‘Black Jack’ Automatic Small Seconds. A truely nice watch for just under $1000.00.

Of course, this is a very small selection of all available watches that match our criteria and perhaps we should do this more often. In the meanwhile don’t hesitate to use the comment field below to add your favorite timepieces under $1000.00.

Timepieces Below $1000 Gallery

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Robert-Jan

Robert-Jan knows his share about cars, but his true interest is in wrist watches or better yet – haute horlogerie. Since a few years he writes about haute horlogerie on his own blog FratelloWatches, contributes to several other watch websites and is watch-columnist for a Dutch magazine.