Five great integrated-bracelet watches for under $10,000Henry Zwartz
Watches with that integrated-bracelet appeal and 1970s aesthetic are all the rage right now. Recently Vacheron Constantin released its 222 to some acclaim, and Tissot’s smash hit, the PRX, both underlined what many had already noticed – people love the design and clear-cut lines of integrated bracelet watches. Let’s face it: while most of would love a Patek Philippe Nautilus or an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, we’d struggle to find the cash for one even if the opportunity to buy one ever did miraculously present itself. Luckily, there are plenty of integrated-bracelet options for the enthusiast that don’t cost the earth.
Tissot PRX Chronograph
First off we have Tissot’s new PRX Chronograph. Okay this is cheating a little bit because I mentioned the time-date PRX in my intro but the new chronograph is worthy of a look-in. Particularly given its impressive specs for a competitive price. What you get for $2775 AUD is a Valjoux automatic chronograph movement with see-through case-back and 60 hours power reserve, handsome looks, and 100m water resistance; this is a watch that could truly be a daily wearer. As luck would have it, we’re taking pre-orders on the Time and Tide site.
Tudor’s Royal collection is massively overshadowed by the brand’s successful Black Bay line, which is somewhat of a shame because what you get with the Royal is an excellent, sporty, integrated-bracelet watch from a brand with serious heritage and commitment to build quality.
Tudor, as we know, is the sister brand to Rolex – and has always provided a strong case for value without compromises on quality. The Royal collection is no exception with a large array of sizes, and model options, including with precious stones on the dial and two-tone to match every individual’s taste. For $3150 AUD you can get a nicely proportioned stainless-steel black dial Tudor Royal with roman numerals and a date complication. Better yet you get a Sellita calibre modified by Tudor and a 100m of water resistance. Once again, Tudor makes a very strong case in the value proposition space.
If you want something as iconic (if not more so) as an integrated bracelet option from the holy trinity then look no further. The Cartier Santos line has you covered. Although technically not quite the integrated bracelet design you see with some of my other options, I’m putting it in this list because it’s in some ways the original sports watch with bracelet design for this category. Used by pilots way back in 1911, the first model was actually custom built by Cartier in 1904 for the Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont. And so the Cartier Santos was born. You can get a medium-sized model for $9,800 AUD. And with the heritage, story and build quality to match, the Santos is truly legendary.
Citizen Series 8 Ref. NB6010-81E
There’s so much to say about this new offering from Citizen but I’ll keep it brief. The design is engaging, the build quality is fantastic and the price – around $1,400 AUD – is extremely competitive. For that money you get a solid integrated design with a date complication and decent anti-magnetic resistance as well as a water resistance rating of 100m. This design is for the discerning collector who is after something a little different. Handling one of these in the metal will not disappoint. Bravo, Citizen.
IWC Ingenieur Ref. IW323902 and Ref. IW323904
Lastly is our wild-card choice, but perhaps one of the strongest contenders. IWC has discontinued these Ingenieur references, which came in three dial options and were first introduced in 2013, but you can still pick them up as new old stock or second hand for under $10,000 AUD. For that you get a beautiful design and rock-solid build quality one would expect from a storied brand like IWC. These watches are wonderful to try on the wrist with fantastic proportions and I heartily recommend you investigate this option if you are after something a little different. With 120m of water resistance this watch is sporty. Honestly, if I had to make a choice on this list, this would be my favourite.