Most people are under the false assumption that the best watches and watch brands are those that are the most expensive. Although there is some truth to that, the cost is only one of many factors that make for a great timepiece.
Characteristics of a Great Watch
Here are some of the most essential factors that come with buying a watch.
Materials: Despite what you may think, steel isn’t the most common material for affordably luxurious watches. And don’t even assume that every watch material is the same too. As a matter of fact, there are different types of steel that are of higher quality and are likely to maintain their shine. Some watches can be made from expensive ceramic or even precious metals, which offer more than cheap steel material.
Movement Type: Movement is another type of distinction that mid-range watches come with. Luxury watches come with complex mechanical movements, whereas the lower-priced ones feature a basic quartz movement. The most devoted watch collectors would often opt for an automatic movement. Although quartz is serviceable, it’s not that desirable among collectors.
Ruggedness: One of the most desirable traits of luxurious watches is that they work in extreme situations like deep underwater. This is due to their robust construction and meticulous craftsmanship. One of the reasons people choose luxury watches is that they stand the test of time.
Movement quality: If you thought all watch movements were the same, you are wrong. A few of the cheaper quality models either gain or lose seconds daily, which is why they require resetting. Also, affordable watches usually experience technical difficulties or stop working after a little while.
Choosing Mid-Range Watch Brands
If you’re opting for a mid-range watch, you’re looking for something between $500-$1,000. In this range, quartz movement isn’t that common and the finish and fit have improved. Also, the automatic changes have become a bit more complicated.
Some of the features of this range have improved as well, including water-resistance. Many watch brands of this range offer a minimum water-resistance of 100 m, especially those that are sports-focused.
Both Swiss and Japanese movements are excellent choices when it comes to offering timepieces with exquisite styling. Standards and expectations are higher with this price range, but it also comes with a few flaws as well.
So, without further ado, here are some of the most budget-friendly watch brands that mid-tier watch lovers should probe around.
Tissot has been a favorite among Swiss watch consumers ever since it started its business in 1853. Their first line of watches was said to have been a pocket watch with two time zones. Others believe that it was the first anti-magnet watch, a mass-produced pocket watch, and more.
This remarkable brand is also the official timekeeper for several professional sports leagues from around the world. It’s no surprise that Tissot’s unrelenting yearn for producing quality-driven budgeted watches is what helped them garner their success. Watches under Tissot’s offer the perfect blend of function and form with absolute precision.
The Japanese watch brand Seiko is also one of the most affordable watch brands in existence. And the reason why that’s the case is due to the brand always strives to produce watches with amazing value. So, whether you’re getting a basic model for $75 or a more luxurious one for $500, Seiko’s deals are some of the best.
The brand is also credited for being the first one to develop a watch that uses an automatic movement with quartz accuracy. Seiko’s most renowned series is the 5, which means the five crucial aspects that their watches must meet to get that moniker.
The Connecticut-based Timex has a fascinating history in the watchmaking business. It first started out in 1854 as the Waterbury Clock Company before it transformed into Timex Corporation in 1944. Nowadays, this brand produces models for just about every occasion imaginable, whether it be a dress, sports, solar, or automatic, among others. One of its most recognizable models the Q Timex that was released back in 1979 and then was recently re-released.
Timex has made a name for itself in developing watches but with a considerable amount of quality in them. They have a versatile range from the cheapest that comes under $50 to the priciest that comes between the range of $100-$300. No matter what, Timex always delivers in whatever their customers want.
Hamilton is one of the only few watch brands from this list that produces watches on American soil. Not only have their watches been used for helping trains arrive on time, but they have also been used during the Second World War.
Hamilton is also worn by a slew of well-known celebrities in the entertainment industry. One of those celebs included Elvis Presley when he wore Hamilton Ventura in his movie Blue Hawaii. This watch was the world’s first-ever electric wristwatch.
Everything went well for Hamilton until it started facing severe competition from Japanese markets. From that point on, Hamilton went from being an independent firm to being under the world’s largest water wristwatch company, the Swatch Group. Even so, Hamilton’s design philosophy always honored their American heritage and upbringing.
Casio is yet another Japanese watch brand that has an extensive line-up of mid-tier watches. It also offers some of the cheapest watches that become as low as $10, if you can believe it. Of course, this means that you’re not getting anything that’s of quality or class, but the price is still hard to beat.
However, the more expensive ones provide more bang for your buck if your wallets can stretch that wide, that is. When it comes to their analog watches, they have models for divers, dressers, and anything else in the middle. However, their pride and joy is their Casio G-Shock line.
Oris is one of the few independent watch brands in the world that isn’t owned by a brand portfolio. Because of this, they have had all the freedom to create whatever appeased them and their consumers alike. This attitude is what their slogan stands for, which is “Defining My Own Path, Going My Own Way.”
Being your own boss means that you have the freedom to make whatever essential decisions are best for your interests. One of their most spectacular models is the Artelier Pointer Date. It comes with a unique pointer date complication and an automatic movement that you will never see with other branded models.