The sub-$1000 price point is one in which many watch enthusiasts start in. It is truthfully filled with many mediocre and sub-par watches, with a few shining stars to illuminate the dark.
I will be focusing on the category of everyday watches, as I view that as the most important category there is. Everyday watches are watches that you can wear both casually or in a suit. A good everyday watch must be truly versatile, so only watches with sapphire crystals, cases below 40mm, and at least 50 meters of water resistance are considered. Below are three watches that represent some of the best there is in the everyday watch category that one can purchase under $1000.
3. Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical
The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical kicks off the list in third place. It’s a good field watch, especially considering the retail price of $475. It has a manual-winding ETA 2801-2 movement with no date complication. It has 50 meters of water resistance, as well. The case measures 38mm in diameter and has a 47mm lug to lug distance which makes it wear large. It has a 20mm lug width, which is the most popular size for straps, so finding good aftermarket straps won’t be an issue. It get’s held back by being too rugged to be worn well with a suit, so it’s not quite the perfect everyday watch.
Shop for the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical here.
2. STOWA Flieger Classic 36
The STOWA Flieger Classic 36 is simply the best pilot’s watch under $1000, retailing for roughly $960 with a manual-winding ETA 2804-2 movement, no logo, and no date. Like the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical, it has 50 meters of water resistance. It has a perfectly sized 36mm case with a 44.6mm lug to lug distance. Aftermarket straps will be easy to find due to the 18mm lug width. This isn’t ranked first because it just doesn’t dress up as well as the number one pick. However, if you never find yourself in a formal suit then it won’t be an issue.
Shop for the STOWA Flieger Classic 36 here.
1. Seiko SARB033
Here it is: the best watch under $1000 is the Seiko SARB033. This watch can be worn with everything: from t-shirt and shorts at the beach on the stock bracelet, all the way to a tuxedo at a wedding on a gloss black alligator strap. It can be found for $499, equipped with an in-house automatic Caliber 6R15 movement, which also features a date complication. The case is 38mm and has a 45mm lug to lug distance. The lug width is 20mm, so finding straps will be just as easy as the Hamilton. Even though it is the most dressy of all of the watches (which is the reason it won), it has the highest water resistance of 100 meters. Through all of this, the Seiko SARB033 has truly mastered the everyday watch category; being able to be worn from the beach to the ballroom.
Shop for the Seiko SARB033 here.