8 affordable watches under $1000 that get the nod from watch snobs: 2020 Edition 8 affordable watches under $1000 that get the nod from watch snobs: 2020 Edition

8 affordable watches under $1000 that get the nod from watch snobs: 2020 Edition

Zach Blass

At first glance, many assume that in order to get your feet wet in the horology hobby you have to shell out thousands and thousands of dollars to get a quality watch. The reality is there are plenty of more affordable options in the marketplace to elevate your wrist game, and gain the attention and respect of even the most serious collectors. Here are eight watches that get the nod from watch snobs – all under $1000.

Seiko Prospex “Save the Ocean” SRPE33K

get the nod from watch snobs

Starting this list off with a bang, this has to be the most gorgeous blue dial (or dial period) available for under $1000 AUD. Go ahead, try to think of a better dial at the price point. I have the utmost faith you won’t be able to, as this scratched blue dial is a true piece of oceanic artwork. It really looks like a penetrating birds eye view of the ocean, with manta ray silhouettes just in view as if they are playfully hiding beneath the surface. The Seiko Prospex “Save the Ocean” SRPE33K automatic diver houses a reliable Seiko movement, is water resistant to 200 metres, and features a Rolex Cyclops style date magnifier that will scratch the Submariner itch without having to totally rip off its design.  RRP: $995 AUD

Swatch “007 ²Q”

get the nod from watch snobs

Want a James Bond watch without the typical Bond watch price tag? The 007 ²Q from Swatch is the way to go. Bond-themed watches are always appreciated by the watch community, the history and heritage is undeniable. This watch is featured on the wrist of the man who outfits 007 with the latest and greatest tech the MI6 has to offer, known as Q, and presents the most affordable way to get a piece of the latest Bond gear on your wrist. RRP: $340 AUD

Fugue “Fiction One”

get the nod from watch snobs

“Mystery dials” are not necessarily new to watches, but the Fugue “Fiction One” presents a modern take on the desirable aesthetic – at an affordable price quite rare to the style. A “mystery dial” refers to the seemingly floating hands on the dial, that appear separated from the centre to the naked eye – and collectors and snobs alike can appreciate the less common configuration of the dial. The watch comes in either a “smoked black” dial with “vintage” lumed hands or a “smoked white” dial with “aqua” lumed hands. RRP: A Kickstarter Pledge of €395 Euro = around $648 AUD

G-Shock “CasiOak”

get the nod from watch snobs

This compact 45mm watch wears as large as a modern Submariner, and presents the integrated octagonal aesthetic that is all the craze right now at a much more affordable price point. While some snobs may scoff at what they believe is a wrist-computer, the fact is these watches are actually hard to get – and it’s because both hardcore enthusiasts and mainstream consumers looking for an affordable watch have flocked to this killer design. RRP: $99 USD/$245 AUD

Merci LMM-01 (Mechanical)

get the nod from watch snobs

The LMM-01 Mechanical Merci is a great watch for those who want classic style without being too flashy. While some world leaders opt for more opulent and expensive wrist wear, others — in recognition of being leaders of the people — choose to wear less expensive watches they can rely on to guide their day. Case in point, French President Emmanuel Macron has been spotted frequently sporting his very own Merci LMM-01 – a poster child that original and attractive mechanical watches don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. The watch comes in white, black, and vintage white dial colours, on NATO or leather straps, that can quite frankly pair with any outfit on any occasion.  RRP: €399 Euro = around $654 AUD

Hamilton Khaki Field Watch

get the nod from watch snobs

The Hamilton Khaki Field watch is a great first mechanical watch for any wrist. Its military-inspired design is timeless and always in style. It’s mechanically powered by a workhorse ETA movement, housed inside a robust 38mm case that is 50 metres water resistant. The drilled lugs make this watch a “strap monster”, ready to be paired with a variety of straps that will make one watch feel like multiple – with only a swap of the strap, the wearer can create an unlimited number of fresh new looks. RRP: $475 USD = around $660 AUD

Lorier Neptune Series III “Black Gilt”

get the nod from watch snobs

The Lorier Neptune is a back to basics diver that gives a whole lot of value for the dollar. The no-date dial of the Neptune presents a clean vintage aesthetic of divers past and provides all the vintage vibes and design cues that collectors (even snobs) drool for. Gilt accents, a bubble plexi crystal that creates distortion to the dial, vintage-style lug taper, and compact lug to lug makes this watch a great diver for all wrists. RRP: $499 USD = around $697 AUD

Timex Marlin® Automatic X Peanuts Featuring Snoopy Flying Ace 40mm Leather Strap Watch

get the nod from watch snobs

It doesn’t take more than $10,000 to get a sick Snoopy watch. The Timex Marlin across the board is a great watch to introduce one’s wrist to the wonders of a mechanical watch. That being said, even the snobbiest of snobs will appreciate the clean sunburst grey dial featuring “Flying Ace Snoopy”, sure to bring a cheeky smile to their face. It doesn’t hurt that it has a reliable mechanical movement inside at an extremely low cost proportional to the offer. RRP: $250 USD = around $349 AUD