Raman Kalra is the founding father of The Watch Muse weblog and has kindly agreed to share a few of his articles with us right here on Quill & Pad.
Within the watch world, there isn’t any disputing that a couple of manufacturers and fashions stand excessive above the remainder. They’re identified to virtually everybody and have grow to be icons. I imagine it could be difficult to seek out somebody that doesn’t want to personal a minimum of considered one of these iconic fashions. It’s also no secret that watches of this stature usually are not low cost. They’re, typically, a once-in-a-lifetime buy, even should you can justify spending that quantity on a watch.
Nonetheless, there are options on the market which are as compelling in their very own proper for a fraction of the value.
Earlier than entering into the listing, I wish to emphasize that these usually are not cheaper options essentially appear to be their well-known counterparts. As a substitute, they’re an analogous sort of watch that may give you a high quality timepiece becoming into the identical class, typically with an equally robust heritage and model recognition. And sure, ‘reasonably priced’ has a distinct which means for all of us, however the watches under are considerably lower than their well-known counterparts, and that’s what I imply by reasonably priced right here.
All the under must be in your radar when you’re in search of your subsequent buy! Let me know should you assume there are any I’ve missed out for subsequent time!
Rolex Submariner | Seiko Prospex SPB143
In any listing that features iconic watches, you will see the Rolex Submariner. Diving watches are an especially well-liked class due to their versatility and wearability. It’s no shock that the reasonably priced diving watch choice comes from Seiko. Seiko is the king of reasonably priced divers watches and has constructed a repute for terribly succesful items with out the value tag. The particular mannequin I wish to name out is the Prospex SPB143. It’s on the increased finish of the Prospex lineup, however there’s a cause for this selection.
What helps make the Rolex Submariner so well-liked is its modest measurement for a divers watch, clear dial and strong bracelet. That is one thing that the SPB143 provides compared to different Prospex fashions. The Seiko incorporates a 40.5mm case diameter, a fantastically proportioned gray sunburst dial, and a “DiaShield” coating on the bracelet to assist shield it from minor scuffs. Should you get uninterested in the bracelet aesthetic, it comes with drilled lugs making strap modifications straightforward. The ending lives as much as the usual we have now come to count on from Seiko, with a pleasant mixture of polished and brushed surfaces.
Lastly, contained in the SPB143, the Seiko Caliber 6R35 automated motion powers the watch. It has a median accuracy ranking of +25/-15 seconds a day, however a strong 70h energy reserve and can be a dependable companion in your on a regular basis. Seiko has put all of the constructive qualities from their Prospex lineup right into a timeless design, which is uncommon for Seiko when you think about their turtle instances and daring designs. It actually makes the SPB143 an especially compelling package deal. And it’s all yours for round USD $1,350.
Additional studying: Why I’ve By no means Owned A Rolex – And Why I Would possibly But (Replace: I Do Now!) and Actual-World Diving With The Seiko Prospex The 1968 Computerized Diver’s Trendy Re-Interpretation Restricted Version SLA055
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch | Bulova Lunar Pilot “Moonwatch”
The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch wants no introduction. It arguably has one of many coolest tales behind the watch, and figuring out that the modern-day model is extraordinarily near the precise watch worn on the Moon makes it that significantly better.
However, there’s one other watch that ventured into house – the Bulova Lunar Pilot. The historical past of this watch remains to be not absolutely identified, however in 1971 the crew members of Apollo 15 had been allowed to take private objects with them into house. Dave Scott, a crew member, took a Bulova-provided backup watch and ended up carrying it on the Moon after his Speedmaster crystal popped off.
In 2015, after the public sale of the particular Bulova from 1971, Bulova re-launched the mannequin with the identify Lunar Pilot. The Lunar Pilot is a devoted recreation of the watch worn on the Moon and has a really distinct aesthetic that appears much like what Omega produced (they had been going after the identical NASA contract in any case!). It has a deep black dial with white textual content, fingers and indices. It’s a barely bigger watch at 45mm diameter, and this did initially put some off, however due to its fluid design and properly positioned chronograph pushers, it wears properly. It’s provided on a bracelet and strap.
There may be even a black PVD model so yow will discover the look that fits you. Inside, it’s outfitted with a quartz motion, nonetheless, it’s not simply any quartz, it’s a direct descendent of Bulova’s Accutron know-how. It operates at 262Hz and is extra correct and dependable than an ordinary quartz motion. Let’s be trustworthy although – you’re shopping for this look ahead to the story. You might be shopping for a watch that was worn on the Moon. RRP $675 with a bracelet, however it’s cheaper on the strap and yow will discover provides from numerous retailers.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso | Oris Rectangular
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is a singular watch first created again within the Thirties. Understandably it’s not doable to discover a watch that gives the “Reverso” case, nonetheless, there are some convincing options. The one which must be in your radar is the Oris Rectangular (I’m shocked they couldn’t give you a greater identify).
There are a number of rectangular watches on the market, however the Oris stands out with its robust artwork deco dial and vary of colours. It provides the traditional rectangular watch look with a well-designed dial accentuating the form of the case, and the colours be certain that yow will discover one in your model. It isn’t a totally unique look, however Oris has managed to construct lots of attraction into the watch.
What is just not immediately noticeable are its dimensions, and measurement is critical with rectangular watches as they are often too lengthy or too large, the lugs will be too thick, or it may well sit too tall on the wrist. The Oris manages to get this all proper. There may be even some further complexity within the case with a step alongside all sides and delicate curves.
This can be a watch that received’t be for everybody, however in case you are after a dressier timepiece or one thing vintage-inspired, the Oris Rectangular is an effective begin. RRP round $1,900.
Additional studying: 90 Years Of The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
IWC Pilot’s Watch | Hamilton Pilot Pioneer
IWC is synonymous with Pilot’s watches and far of the model is constructed on them. The IWC Mark sequence is the purest type of a Pilot’s watch, however comes at a price given the construct high quality and heritage of the model. There are, nonetheless, a number of choices on the market when in search of a Pilot’s watch, so when it comes all the way down to selecting an reasonably priced different, it comes down to a couple components. Model heritage, construct high quality and naturally, seems to be. The Hamilton Pilot Pioneer suits the invoice completely.
Hamilton has been round since 1892 and was initially based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (it moved to Switzerland in 1969). Hamilton has had its justifiable share of technological achievements, however what we care about right here is its affiliation with the army. Hamilton first provided the US Navy in 1942, nonetheless, the Pilot Pioneer takes inspiration from a Nineteen Seventies watch issued to the British Air Power.
The trendy re-issue retains the identical dimensions as the unique (33x36mm) and could be very centered on being a real, purposeful Pilot’s watch. The case is absolutely brushed, and the dial is a textured black with minimal textual content and white Arabic numerals. The fingers and indices are crammed with an aged white lume, giving it a real classic design.
The outcome? Excessive legibility – a defining characteristic of the class. It doesn’t cease there. The mechanical motion, surprisingly, is similar to the unique used within the Nineteen Seventies though you do now get an 80-hour energy reserve. Oh, and 100m water resistance! It fulfils on the model heritage, construct high quality and, for my part, seems to be as properly. The very best half is, it’s out there for round RRP $900. That may be a fraction of the price of the IWC.
Rolex Daytona | Seiko Speedtimer SBDL085
The Rolex Daytona. I don’t must say extra. With regards to discovering an reasonably priced different, it’s a comparable state of affairs to the IWC above as there a number of different chronographs. Meaning we have to discover an alternate that has robust construct high quality. Fortunately, Seiko has us coated with the Speedtimer SBDL085. Seiko wants no introduction and seems on this listing a number of instances, constructing nice high quality watches throughout their assortment. What may not be broadly identified is that Seiko launched the Speedtimer in 1969 with an automated motion (cal. 6139).
This is identical 12 months Zenith and Tag Heuer launched their very own automated chronograph actions, broadly often known as the primary ever. Regardless of this, the brand new SBDL085 makes use of a solar-powered quartz motion housed in a 39.5mm case. Just like different Seiko’s, the Speedtimer has a excessive degree of ending with the highest of the case brushed and the edges polished. The ending continues to the dial, which is a traditional “Panda” dial (different colours can be found) that includes a fragile texture throughout the white floor.
The recessed subdials are navy blue, although initially they seem black, however curiously, should you have a look at the 6 o’clock subdial, Seiko has even included an influence reserve indicator denoted by F and E. As well as, Seiko has added lume to the fingers and on the 12-3-6-9 place in sq. markers that resemble the unique 1969 Speedtimer. Right here you get the entire Seiko package deal. RRP round $730.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak | Tissot PRX Powermatic 80
I don’t imagine there’s any watch that has gained in recognition within the final 5-10 years just like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. It’s comprehensible as to why this has occurred given the enduring design. There is just one reasonably priced watch on the market that must be thought-about in case you are trying to get these iconic Nineteen Seventies aesthetics. The Tissot PRX. I don’t know the place to start with this watch. I’ve written a full overview of the PRX Powermatic 80 and the largest praise I can provide it’s that I personal one and put on it greater than some other watch. The PRX is a devoted reintroduction from Tissot of their PRX launched in 1978. It follows the identical formulation – a chrome steel sports activities watch with an built-in bracelet.
There are a number of manufacturers which have jumped onto this style in the previous couple of years, however Tissot was lucky sufficient to have a mannequin of their again catalog they might depend on. The distinction with Tissot nonetheless is that they have achieved such a fantastic package deal with this contemporary PRX. The case and bracelet are implausible and the standard punches method above the value vary. There are contrasting finishes throughout the case and down the bracelet creating depth and fantastic light-play. The bracelet has a very good taper and hugs the wrist properly.
The Powermatic 80 motion is a strong motion with an 80h energy reserve and will be seen by means of a sapphire caseback. The watch is clearly sporty, however there are hints of magnificence with slim fingers and indices on the tapisserie dial. It’s an especially strong watch and I might advocate it to anybody. RRP round $600.
Rolex Datejust | Citizen Tsuyosa
The following on the listing is a more recent watch as an reasonably priced different to one of many oldest Rolex fashions nonetheless on sale, the Datejust. The Citizen Tsuyosa was launched in 2022 and it isn’t their first entry to the posh chrome steel watch class. Citizen beforehand launched the Caliber 0200 and Citizen 8 assortment, though neither has been reasonably priced just like the Tsuyosa.
Citizen is a family identify and is finest identified for its Eco-Drive quartz actions. It’s no stranger, nonetheless, to extra accessible automated watches as Citizen is the founding father of Miyota – the motion producer that many now depend on. The Tsuyosa is available in a 40mm tonneau case with an built-in bracelet.
It isn’t a secret that the Tsuyosa has taken inspiration from the Datejust and likewise the Rolex President bracelet, however it has accomplished so with an built-in look to attraction to the present style. It has led to a really handsome watch. The ending, much like the Tissot PRX, punches above its worth with a pleasant mixture of beveled edges, a brushed case high and a cultured bezel.
The watch comes with a sapphire crystal and a date magnifier, in addition to a mineral glass caseback so you’ll be able to see the calibre 8210. The dials are extraordinarily legible with the indices and fingers that includes Natulite (Citizen’s proprietary lume), and are available 4 colours so you’ll be able to resolve how formal/enjoyable you need the watch to be. With a RRP round $350, it’s onerous to go flawed!
Additional studying: 2019 Rolex Datejust 36 Reference 126234: A Crowning Achievement In ‘Relationship’
Breitling Navitimer | Glycine Airman No.1
One other Pilot’s watch, I do know, however the Breitling Navitimer is arguably THE Pilot’s watch. This is likely one of the instances on the listing the place the reasonably priced suggestion doesn’t replicate the performance however is a good Pilot’s watch different with historical past. The Glycine Airman. The Airman was first proven in 1954 within the US solely with a white dial, adopted by a black dial variant to Worldwide audiences a 12 months later. It was launched across the identical time because the Rolex GMT and was designed purely with pilots in thoughts. The Airman has been produced ever since with many variations, however in 2014 Glycine determined to go full circle and launch the Airman No.1.
This was a re-issue of the unique discovered within the Nineteen Fifties and it oozes with a ton of attraction and emotion. The Airman No.1 follows the precise proportions of the unique so it is available in a 36mm case with a small dial and engraved steel bezel. I perceive this is likely to be on the small facet for some, however there are lots of different Glycine Airman fashions to select from and all include the Glycine heritage and design. The attention-grabbing design cues don’t cease there with the No.1.
The case is absolutely polished, once more one thing you’d anticipate finding in watches from the Nineteen Fifties, and the bezel is a friction bezel locked into place by a crown on the 4 o’clock place. There are two variations of the No.1 on provide, with one being a “purist” model that has a 24-hour time scale so the hour hand solely rotates across the dial as soon as a day. This was one of many causes it was so well-liked with pilots, particularly within the Vietnam struggle. Inside there’s an automated Sellita-based motion (cal. GL293).
Total, a singular providing and one that could be a true Pilot’s watch. RRP round $2,200, though after a fast browse on-line, there are lots of retailers that look to supply them for much less!
Additional studying: You Are There: Breitling Launches The Restricted Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute And Collectors Strut Their Stuff
Grand Seiko “Snowflake” | Seiko Presage SARX055
If we had been to do that listing 10 years in the past, the Grand Seiko SBGA211 “Snowflake” wouldn’t have been on it, such because the rise to icon standing the mannequin has had. Now that extra are trying into Grand Seiko and appreciating the degrees of high quality on provide, costs have slowly been creeping upwards. Nonetheless, Seiko as soon as once more provides an reasonably priced different – the Seiko Presage SARX055 “Child Snowflake”. Contemplating it’s a Seiko, very similar to the opposite fashions I discussed above, high quality and worth for cash come as normal.
The Presage SARX055 was launched in 2017, and given its seems to be, shortly gained the nickname it’s now identified for. The watch allowed Seiko to indicate off its skills in watchmaking at a lower cost level, taking a number of design cues from its huge brother. The Presage is a real day by day wearer. It is available in a 40.8mm case, solely 11mm thick however right here is the catch, it’s absolutely titanium. Sure, a titanium case and bracelet, once more akin to the Snowflake. Right here, Seiko makes use of its “DiaShield” course of to assist the scratch resistance of the titanium (much like the Prospex talked about earlier). Then we attain the dial. Seiko is aware of methods to execute dials extraordinarily properly, and right here is not any exception.
The silver dial has a light-weight “frosted” texture throughout it with small particulars resembling mirrored indices and fingers on each facet, all seen underneath the AR-coated sapphire crystal. The motion inside is the Seiko 6R15 caliber which is a sensible and sturdy motion that’s seen by means of a show caseback. Belief me once I say I may write much more concerning the element of this watch.
Regardless of all these further ending touches, this may be purchased for lower than $1000. Sadly, Seiko now not makes the SARX055, however they’re out there on websites like Chrono24, beginning at round $850.
Panerai Radiomir | Nomos Membership
This one may not be as clear, particularly given the Panerai Radiomir was initially designed to be a dive watch. It nonetheless technically is. Nonetheless, what units Panerai aside is the gorgeous design and legible dials. On high of this, some of the iconic dials on the Radiomir is the California dial. That is the place the Nomos Membership is available in. It may not be as giant because the Panerai and due to this fact, it has much less of a sports activities really feel (although it has 100m water resistance), however rather a lot stays.
The Nomos Membership is the entry level into the model however that doesn’t imply you’re lacking out on the brilliance of Nomos. There are a couple of totally different case sizes and colours on provide, however for the Panerai impact, the “Nacht” darker dial is the one I might go for. It’s in a really attention-grabbing shade of gray and options the California dial the place indices are surrounded by a inexperienced define. To complete the dial off you could have a small seconds subdial on the 6 o’clock place with an additional sprint of shade for the seconds hand.
Inside you could have a completely in-house mechanical motion from Nomos (Alpha motion), and as normal, the caseback is a strong clean canvas, though there’s the choice for a sapphire caseback for a small surcharge. The place the Nomos and Panerai cross paths, other than the California dial, is that each are fantastically designed. Each final element has been thought of, even when at first look they each look easy.
That’s the reason it’s so good. You might be getting lots of high quality for the cash given how a lot Nomos prides itself on creating all the things itself. RPP $1,200.
Ten iconic watches and ten equally nice, reasonably priced options. Penning this has left me fully uncertain as to which I might have on the high of my listing. Genuinely, they’re all nice! It has simply bolstered to me that we’re so fortunate to have so many selections on provide. Lastly, it opened my eyes that you may doubtlessly personal all ten of those options and it could be cheaper than a Rolex Submariner on the gray market – loopy!
That is all my opinion, and I might love to listen to yours.
You possibly can learn extra articles by Raman Kalra at www.thewatchmuse.com.