11/11/2019
 5 minutes

Budget-Friendly Luxury: Our Top 5 Watches Under $2,000

By Jorg Weppelink
Budget-Friendly Luxury: Our Top 5 Watches Under $2,000

Budget-Friendly Luxury: Our Top 5 Watches Under $2,000

Coming up with a list of top watches is never easy. There are always so many models to choose from, so narrowing it down to 3, 5, or 10 pieces can seem impossible. It gets even more difficult when looking at reasonably priced pieces that meet the standards of luxury mechanical watches. However, we are up for the task. In this article, we’ll be exploring five high-quality pieces from some heavy hitters that sell for under $2,000.

Longines Flagship Heritage: $1,600

Longines Flagship Heritage
Longines Flagship Heritage

Founded in 1832, Longines has been one of the world’s most well-respected watch brands for almost two centuries. The Longines Flagship Heritage is a reflection of that rich history as the direct descendant of the Longines Flagship from the 1960s. This versatile statement piece is a great all-arounder that you can pair with almost any outfit.

The Flagship Heritage is part of the incredible Longines Heritage Collection. However, it sets itself apart with its timeless elegance. The cream-colored dial with gilt indices, dauphine hands, and the Longines logo resembles those from the wonderfully stylish timepieces of the 1950s and 1960s. The font is yet another reminder that this model traces its roots back to the post-war era. The Flagship Heritage’s 38.5-mm stainless steel case houses the automatic caliber L615. This movement is based on the time-tested ETA caliber 2895.1. Longines mounts the final timepiece on a brown alligator strap.

On the case back you’ll find the same enamel Flagship emblem used on the original Flagship models. This is just one of many small details that connects this timepiece to its heritage. For only $1,600, you’ll be giving the gift not only of a fantastic timepiece, but also an amazing history.

Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Oxblood: $1,700

Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Oxblood
Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Oxblood

Oris is yet another brand that’s fond of reimagining vintage designs for a modern audience. This Swiss brand has been around since 1904 and has several successful retro collections, including the Divers Sixty-Five, the Chronoris, and the Big Crown.

The current Big Crown collection is the successor of the original Oris Big Crown pilot’s wristwatch from 1938. Both models share a pointer date instead of a date window and an oversized crown that pilots can operate without removing their gloves. The modern Big Crown Pointer Date comes in a 40-mm stainless steel case. The automatic Oris caliber 754 powers this timepiece. Oris creates this movement by adding their pointer date complication and the company’s iconic red rotor to a Sellita SW 200-1 base caliber.

What makes the Big Crown Pointer Date Oxblood truly special is its eye-catching red dial. Oris isn’t afraid to play around with color, and it’s generated a lot of buzz around the Big Crown collection. As you may have guessed, this model features a stunning deep red dial that perfectly complements its cathedral hands and stylized Arabic numerals. The final result is a textbook pilot’s watch. At only $1,700, the Oris Big Crown Pointer Date Oxblood is hard to beat in this price category.

NOMOS Glashütte Tangente Reference 101: $1,600

Nomos Glashütte Tangente
NOMOS Glashütte Tangente

Germany-based NOMOS Glashütte has carved out their own corner of the watch industry with their unique and consistent designs. Their stunning Bauhaus-style timepieces have taken the world by storm and earned the company a loyal following.

While many NOMOS watches could have made the list, we’ve opted for the one that started it all: the NOMOS Tangente Reference 101. This now-iconic unisex watch epitomizes the brand’s classic minimalist style. Tempered blue hands glide atop a white silver-plated dial stamped with beautiful black indices and numerals. The dial also features a small seconds dial that adds just enough sparkle to help the Tangente stand out while remaining true to its Bauhaus roots. NOMOS packages this masterful design in an equally elegant 35-mm stainless steel case.

The Tangente is powered by the in-house manual Alpha caliber. This remarkably thin movement allows for a total case thickness of only 6.2 mm. A black leather Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan strap completes the look. If we’re being honest, we could dedicate an entire article to this model alone. However, the Tangente speaks for itself. This simple, elegant, and refined timepiece makes an outstanding gift for that special man or woman in your life. And, at $1,600, it won’t break the bank, either.

Seiko Prospex SPB105J1: $1,200

Seiko Prospex
Seiko Prospex

This list would not be complete without an appearance by Seiko. No other brand produces such high-quality watches at such affordable prices. Seiko has proven time and time again that, for them, crafting fantastic watches matters more than astronomical profit margins. The Seiko Prospex SPB105J1 is proof of that.

The Prospex collection contains Seiko’s professional diving watches. It also happens to be home to some of the brand’s most iconic models. Our pick for this list is the Seiko Prospex SPB105J1. Fans also refer to it as the Seiko Prospex Dark Green Sunset after its striking dial color. A black bezel inlay surrounds the stunning green sunburst dial, contrasting beautifully with the gold hands and indices.

The Seiko SPB105J1 follows in the footsteps of the original Seiko Prospex Diver from 1968. This 44-mm stainless steel watch houses the fantastic in-house automatic Seiko 6r15 caliber. Seiko pairs this model with a stainless steel bracelet featuring a folding clasp. This timepiece looks like it should cost a lot more than $1,200. In fact, it’s probably my favorite watch on this list. If you decide on this model, be sure to act fast, as this is a limited edition.

Sinn 104 St Sa I A: $1,300

Sinn 104 St Sa I A
Sinn 104 St Sa I A

For our final watch, we turn to Sinn. This German brand enjoys a reputation for producing highly functional and technically advanced tool watches. Over the last few years, they’ve also released some stylish models at extremely good prices.

The 104 is Sinn’s take on a classic pilot’s watch. It’s also the brand’s entry-level model. This particular edition, the Sinn 104 St Sa I A, is defined by its 41-mm stainless steel case and the automatic Sellita caliber SW 220-1. This movement is anti-magnetic and provides the timepiece with a day-date display at 3 o’clock.

The 104 St Sa I A sets itself apart from the standard edition with its stunning galvanized anthracite dial. This amazingly detailed sunburst dial looks gorgeous paired with the black bezel inlay and luminous hands and markers. There are many straps and bracelets to choose from. However, if you’re looking to make a statement, I’d recommend the gray Alcantara leather strap. For only $1,300, you’ll be getting a watch that’s equal parts stylish and functional. And, in the end, isn’t that what watches are all about?

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About the Author

Jorg Weppelink

Hi, I'm Jorg, and I've been writing articles for Chrono24 since 2016. However, my relationship with Chrono24 goes back a bit longer, as my love for watches began …

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