The top 5 value-for-money watches

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

This isn’t about price point nor about how much cheaper you can get these watches by shopping around, (street price vs retail price), but it’s about ‘bang for your buck’.

Most of us don’t have a great collection of different watches so we want to make sure that the one we do own is great value for money. Here are my top 5 in alphabetical order:

Baume Mecier

Baume & Mercier Classima 10214
RRP: $2990
Baume & Mercier sources components for its watches from many different, high quality watchmakers and only the best will do.

Their range is extensive and with one constant: quality. This is a men’s steel, automatic watch with an alligator strap and has been entirely re-designed for the iconic collection in a new 40mm size.

The automatic movement is visible through a sapphire glass back and the hands remain blue, as in the original. This is an elegant watch that will give you a lifetime of service.

The Lüm-Tec Combat

Lüm-Tec Combat B19 Bronze
RRP: US $1,095
This watch, assembled in Ohio in the US is a limited edition of only 250 pieces and it features a solid CuSn8 Bronze case.

Bronze cases are usually in the price-stratosphere and this one is not only affordable but build to very high specifications. Living up to its ‘Combat’ name, it is waterproof to 300m, shockproof and will take an inordinately high amount of abuse, be that underwater, high in the air or working in dusty, sandy environments; and it’s damn good looking. The watch is 43mm and 13mm thick, anti-reflective German sapphire crystals front and rear, 3D multi-layered Swiss Super-Luminova dials and a precision 28,800 BPH 9015 automatic movement. This watch is very easy to read, including the date and due to its super-luminova dials the same applies in the dark.

Melbourne Watch Company’s Portsea

Melbourne Watch Company ‘Portsea’
RRP: $875
This is the Melbourne Watch Company’s interpretation of a modern Marine Chronometer, with a white dial and Arabic numerals. This is a sporty dress watch and it’s Australian designed and quite possibly the best looking Australian watch to date. The dial especially commands attention with its great depth due to the multi-layered construction and main, thick ceramic disc. Automatic movement with a triple calendar date, coin-stamped back and German leather band, it is 40mm 316L Steel with anti-reflective sapphire glass and water resistant to 100m.

The Nixon 48-20 Chrono Orange

Nixon 48-20 Chrono Orange
RRP: US $500
This top-quality chronograph comes in different combinations from green, yellow to orange hands, black dials, black case or grey cases but one thing remains constant: value for money. To pick up a water resistant, 48mm watch with a 6 hand, date Miyota wide-eyed quartz movement at this price is terrific with its triple-gasket screw in crown and pushers and an accuracy of +-1/20th second per day. This is an imposing watch without being ridiculously big and the crown and pushers are on the left of the watch and don’t press into your wrist. Fitted with a great-looking grey and orange wrist band this is a statement for the young and active.

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Milgauss

RRP: $ 10,400
No watch brand is as often copied by unscrupulous companies in Asia as Rolex and the reason is that most people crave to own a Rolex sometime in their life. Rolex is also one of the safest investments you can make as the brand holds its value better than most.

Using aerospace quality 904L steel and powered by Rolex’s in-house 3131 automatic movement, the heart of the Milgauss is its resistance to high magnetic fields. It was first conceived in 1956 and the name, Milgauss reflects that the watch will withstand not just 100 gauss (the most common magnetic interference) but up to 1000 gauss.

Apart from being instantly recognisable I love the jagged appearance of the second hand and it’s one of the most accurate mechanical movements ever made.

* Franz Scheurer runs a ‘below-the-line’ advertising agency specialising in cosmetic clients and takes on photographic assignments world-wide. He loves watches, creative expressions and different cultures and their food and is the founder of the Australian Gourmet Pages website .

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