Great Watches Under $5,000
Cartier Santos XL 2656
Cartier is always a good choice. No matter the model, the Richemont powerhouse will not leave you disappointed. While Cartier is a key player in the jewelry industry, they also have an extensive catalog of iconic timepieces. In fact, Cartier arguably created the very first wristwatch. And it wasn’t just any watch – it was a Santos. As the story goes, in 1904, Louis Cartier developed a watch that was easy to read while piloting a plane for his friend and aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. This timepiece inspired the brand to produce more wristwatches. A lot has changed since then, but one thing remains the same: The Cartier Santos XL’s look is as much of a representation of the brand as any other model. It combines the company’s DNA with a modern 38-mm size. If you love Cartier and are looking for a contemporary timepiece, look no further than the Santos XL.
Enthusiast’s Corner: Rare and Exceptional Timepieces
Patek Philippe 5522 Calatrava Pilot
Most watch enthusiasts will already be familiar with the Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time. While very different than what you might usually expect from the brand, the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time comes packed with a bunch of cool features and looks great on the wrist. But did you know that Patek also released a time-only version of the Calatrava Pilot? This model bears the reference number 5522 and comes in a 42-mm stainless steel case. If you don’t remember seeing it at your local Patek Philippe boutique, don’t worry, it’s not your fault. Patek only ever produced 600 copies of the Calatrava Pilot 5522 and exclusively offered it in the United States. Apart from being a three-hand watch, this timepiece looks exactly like the Travel Time. It has the same dark blue dial, raised indices, and hand style. While no longer in production, you can still find quite a few of these models on the secondary market. What’s more, the prices seem to be stable for the Calatrava Pilot, given its limited availability.
Iconic Timepieces: Great Value for Money
Breguet Classique Automatic 5177BR
There’s no better way to close an article featuring Cartier and Patek Philippe than by talking a bit about Breguet. To many, Abraham-Louis Breguet is the grandfather of watchmaking as we know it today. Breguet established his brand in 1775. While the modern company may be different from the original business, it still pays keen attention to details and the heritage. As such, Breguet watches look exactly like what you’d expect from such a storied brand. The Breguet Classique Automatic 5177BR is a prime example of how the manufacturer can create a modern timepiece that simultaneously honors its almost 250-year history. It starts with the simple round 38-mm precious metal case. To that, you add the famous Breguet numerals to the dial and finish it off with the iconic Breguet-style hands now found on many watches. Combine all of that, and you’ve got yourself a modern classic. However, the brand is about more than just good design; it’s also about superb craftsmanship. Fulfilling the desires of all true watch movement fans, Breguet equips the 5177BR with their beautiful caliber 777Q with a free-sprung silicon balance.