Watch Appreciation - Pt. 2 $500 - $1kUSD
It’s time for our essential watch series to take a step up. In this edition of our ongoing examination of the best investment watches, we’re looking at timepieces that sit between US$500 and US$1,000.
This is an exciting part of the market because, although you aren’t forking out a car or small house’s worth of dollars (we’ll get to that), you start to play in the mechanical watch space. As opposed to the more affordable quartz watch, mechanical watches use a clockwork mechanism (think cogs and wheels) to tell the time. Mechanical watches are where the true craftsmanship comes in, with care that goes more than skin deep.
Like watches below the US$500 mark, it’s unlikely a watch at this pricepoint will increase without a certain level of exclusivity attached. Fortunately for us, this is the space where a number of non-watch brands like to play in the collaborative space, as well as a few brands which only release a limited number of watches. So without further ado, let’s get into the watches.
Seiko 5 x Rowing Blazers
For our first watch, we’re already breaking the rules. Yes, we featured the Seiko 5 in our last write up, but the Seiko 5 comes in many shapes and forms, and this collaborative number from Rowing Blazers is one of the best.
Rowing Blazers is a brand with deep prep and Ivy League roots, and this watch, with its pops of colour on the bezel, will go perfectly with one of our stripe button-down shirts at the yacht club. We particularly love that you can swap the stainless steel strap for a nylon military option, to dress it up or down.
Casio G Shock x Moncler Genius
Another entry level watch meets fashion house collab, here we trade the College Prep kings for the European alpine wear experts at Moncler. While you might associate G Shocks with chunky rubber digital watches, this beauty has a stainless steel case and a glass face, and is much more sleek than other G Shocks. Again, it comes with two straps, both in resin. One is black, emblazoned with Moncler Genius in all caps, and another in a yellow camo print.
There are plenty of bells and whistles, too: digital and analogue views, an automatic calendar, and 20-bar water resistance. One for outdoorsy folks, all you'll need now is a pair of our utility shorts.
Launched - $334 USD, Resale - $601 USD
80% price premium
Unimatic Modello Uno U1 FDN Black
Unimatic is a relative new-comer to the watch world, established in 2015 by two Milanese locals, Giovanni Moro and Simone Nunziato. Inspired by 50s Dive watches from the likes of Rolex and Omega, Unimatic’s watches are all clean, minimal lines, with a subtle luxury that will slot into any considered wardrobe.
The watches are all made in limited batches of up to 300, and their more limited releases are often only released in runs of 40, and fetch impressive premiums on resale. The Uno, much as the name suggests, was their first ever watch. This particular watch is a minimalist wonder, all black stainless steel on a nylon strap. Not flashy, but those who know will recognise the quality when they see it.
Seiko Prospex x Neighborhood
It’s impossible to create a list of affordable watches and not have Seiko feature heavily, as it did in our first entry in this series, and again here. This time, we have Japanese streetwear meets heritage biker brand, Neighborhood, and their spin on another incredibly popular and well-priced timepiece from the incredibly popular and well-priced timepiece aficionados.
This aggressively-styled divers watch has an automatic movement, glow in the dark hands, and looks like it would survive being run over by a mack truck.
Vintage Pick - Omega Seamaster
Omega is one of the true big-shot names in luxury watches, and not one you might have thought to find in this price bracket. In recent years, the Seamaster line has been known as a diver watch, but the original was made for the person steering the ship, and as such this one isn’t water resistant, despite the name.
This is the kind of watch you buy to pass down the generations. Wear it on special occasions or every day, it’ll continue to age like a fine wine.
Notable Mention - The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical
While the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical breaks our rules on the resale front, we think that’s alright, because this isn’t the kind of watch you sell. A classic daily driver, it’s well put together, unassuming, and at a great price point. This is about as good as it gets for a mechanical watch, and is a great step up from the Timex Weekender.
We love the khaki colouring on the strap as well, a perfect match for just about any casual outfit.