Lot of our favorite watches in Gentleman’s Journal — and the majority of the ones we tend to shout — have hefty price tags. And there’s generally a fantastic reason for this; some are made of precious metals such as silver or gold, some are limited versions of already stunning timepieces, and some are assembled using techniques so complicated even we can not get our heads around them.
But many of us are not seeking to wrap tens of thousands of pounds about our wrist over a daily basis. Rather, we want something which will look good in the boardroom without worrying us every time we carry it on the tube. So we’ve rounded up six of the top watches beneath #2,000 which are worth your time. From a Baume & Mercier to some Bell & Ross, each of those timepieces has a fantastic movement, fantastic provenance and the capability to grab a compliment or two around the office. And you will still be able to pay your rent.
For those seeking heritage: Montblanc Heritage Automatic
If you’re searching for an entry door timepiece with a good chunk of heritage behind it, then this Montblanc is a good place to start. Inspired by the historical Minerva wristwatches of the 1940s and 1950s, this collection combines the elegance of watchmaking’s past together with the daring design cues and technology of today.
Our favorite, which sneaks in just a shade under #2,000, comes in a 40mm stainless steel case with a silvery-white dial and adornments including dot indexes, rhodium-coated numerals and luggage of Super-LumiNova. You’ll also get a lovely leather strap for your money; a grey Sfumato alligator strap straight in the Richemont Pelletteria in Florence.
For all those attracted to design: Longines Master Collection
Possibly the most expensive looking watch on this listing, Longines’ ref. L2.909.4.78.3 from its storied Master Collection takes the award for the most handsome dial under #2,000. Mottled in a silver’barleycorn’ routine, it comes a close second in our favourite features after that moonphase display sitting at 6 o’clock.
And there is more to appreciate. From the subtly blued steel hands and painted bold numerals to the self-winding mechanical movement ticking away under that dial, this is a highly thought-through watch — along with the definition of a fantastic deal.
For all those of a realistic mindset: Bell & Ross BR V1-92 Black Steel
Simply designed, monochromatic and effortlessly sleek, this all-black Bell & Ross is just another throwback to classic wristwatches. However, where other watchmakers have fallen into the trap of faux-patinas and antiquing, Bell & Ross have kept things clean; and generated an infinitely better looking watch as a result.
The satin-finished stainless steel case is discreet, the wealthy matte black dial does its job along with the traditional lugs curve almost over your wrist. Couple this with its unrivalled legibility and it becomes perhaps the very hands-on, workable watch on this listing. And don’t dismiss this as a criticism; we like nothing more than practicality.
For those sweet on sport: Baume Mercier Clifton Club 10378
Baume & Mercier gets the mid-level sports watch market all buckled up. Its Clifton Club collection is a bastion of quick-ticking, athletically designed style — and that ref. 10378 is one of the very best. That glowing blue dial grabs you by the lapels of your tracksuit, as well as also the Swiss-made automatic, self-winding motion supporting it keeps you interested.
The urban-chic of this bracelet affords it flexibility, the time-indexed blue bezel lets you record even your speediest sprints along with the Super-LumiNova palms will guarantee you can remain active all through the night, if the mood takes you. Moreover, and rather rare for a opinion under #2,000, Baume & Mercier offers free engraving on this version — which makes it an ideal present.
For those charmed by the operational: Tudor Black Bay 36
Tudor Black Bay 36
There are many types of watch. Some are designed to be jewelry, and glow bright from beneath the cuff of a dinner jacket. Others are made for sportsmen, together with colourful cases and much more subdials than you can shake a personal best at. And some, like this rugged Tudor Black Bay 36, are made to be purely practical tools.
There’s an undeniable allure in this pragmatic Tudor. Slightly more compact than the remainder of the Black Bay set, it keeps the proportions and layout cues — while the black no-nonsense dial and reliable aged leather strap keep things grounded.
For all those of a restricted budget: Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical A reinterpretation of a vintage military watch created to the British Royal Air Force in 1973, this streamlined timepiece is powered by the famous H-50 hand-winding motion — that boasts 80 hours of power reserve.
But it’s not just the calibre that has turned our heads. Featuring a distinctive dial layout, robust strap and atmosphere of proud military personality, Hamilton’s water-resistant timepiece is among the best affordable mechanical watches with which to start your own collection.