Best Built Under $2.5K

During any watch review on YouTube, for a piece under the $3K - $2.5K range, people love to throw around the “value for dollar/price” description. 

I completely get why watch reviewers and content creators often use this phrase…they list off specs to justify why they think a certain piece is a great deal...they’re essentially telling the viewer that “you’re getting a lot of watch for a good price”. 
 

Does anyone else feel like watch reviewers focus too much on specs/materials and not enough on build quality? 

I’m curious to hear what people think about the best “entry level“ pieces are from a build quality perspective...usual suspects: U1/50, Aquis, etc.  

Very interested in ya’lls opinions! 🤠

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I feel they just cater to what the audience wants, I want to know which watches are good value for money too.

And yes, in my experience, Oris is tons of value for money and and a great starting piece.

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This is not entirely too different than your last thread on build quality with some of the same brands you mentioned, granted it’s cool you’re expanding. Build quality can be subjective as what one considers quality another may not care.

Strictly build quality, I’ll always plug Monta in this space; over Sinn, Oris, and many other micro competitors. Nomos would be my second. Weiss is also a heck of a build for the money and hard to appreciate until you handle one.

All that said, Oris, Sinn, Longines, Farer, and a host of others from the micro tournament have very well built watches under $2500 USD.

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AllTheWatches

This is not entirely too different than your last thread on build quality with some of the same brands you mentioned, granted it’s cool you’re expanding. Build quality can be subjective as what one considers quality another may not care.

Strictly build quality, I’ll always plug Monta in this space; over Sinn, Oris, and many other micro competitors. Nomos would be my second. Weiss is also a heck of a build for the money and hard to appreciate until you handle one.

All that said, Oris, Sinn, Longines, Farer, and a host of others from the micro tournament have very well built watches under $2500 USD.

I love that every brand you mention (aside from Longines) is an independent or microbrand. I lean that way too.

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Glycine makes great watches generally for under $1K.

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At the price range, you could almost certainly source a gray market entry level Grand Seiko quartz.

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And even GMTs 

Sbgn011/13

If you don't care about quartz ( and I'd argue GS quartz is a different beast than most quartz), then Grand Seiko punches well above their weight in finishing and build quality at the range.

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AllTheWatches

This is not entirely too different than your last thread on build quality with some of the same brands you mentioned, granted it’s cool you’re expanding. Build quality can be subjective as what one considers quality another may not care.

Strictly build quality, I’ll always plug Monta in this space; over Sinn, Oris, and many other micro competitors. Nomos would be my second. Weiss is also a heck of a build for the money and hard to appreciate until you handle one.

All that said, Oris, Sinn, Longines, Farer, and a host of others from the micro tournament have very well built watches under $2500 USD.

I own an Oris and Sinn; they both have excellent build quality. I’ve heard great things about Monta, but never handled one. Last weekend I was at the Wind Up Watch Fair, but never made my way to their both. 

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My Sinn I like, but not crazy about the build quality. Sure it feels like it can take a beating, but the bezel action is just okay, bracelet was immediately swapped. The Aquis I had was a level up quality wise IMO.

The separator, to, me is the Monta feels like a $3K+ watch and the bracelets are hard to beat at its price point.

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Edge168n

At the price range, you could almost certainly source a gray market entry level Grand Seiko quartz.

Sbgv235

Sbgx261

Sbgp013

And even GMTs 

Sbgn011/13

If you don't care about quartz ( and I'd argue GS quartz is a different beast than most quartz), then Grand Seiko punches well above their weight in finishing and build quality at the range.

Excellent call.

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I think you should expect very good build quality after passing 1000$ and the finishing should be great after passing the 2000$ point!!

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I should be interested in Monta, but their dial designs just don’t gel for me. I can’t quite put my finger on it. 🤔 

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Edge168n

At the price range, you could almost certainly source a gray market entry level Grand Seiko quartz.

Sbgv235

Sbgx261

Sbgp013

And even GMTs 

Sbgn011/13

If you don't care about quartz ( and I'd argue GS quartz is a different beast than most quartz), then Grand Seiko punches well above their weight in finishing and build quality at the range.

Finishing, yes, but their blind "in hand feel"... I don't know. The GS build quality, which if you ask me is mostly relevant when we talk about bracelets, isn't that great, at least in my admittedly limited experience. Take a look at this bracelet for example

Image

the gaps between the links at the bottom are quite large and make it feel jangly despite the solid links. Most GS bracelets I handled at ADs felt comparably jangly. A similar story with the end-links that have more play than on my Casio that can be had for 10% of the GS price. As best as I can show but the GS has quite a bit more wiggle room.

GS:

Image

Casio Edifice:

Image

The GS finishing makes them look very pretty but they aren't that well put together if you ask me. It typically isn't terrible but unlike the finishing it doesn't excite me either.

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I think nobody talks enough about build quality. In my opinion, if we want to make somewhat meaningful statements about that, we need standardised tests/criteria that can be easily and accurately measured for stull like tolerances in clasp, bracelet, bezels, hand alignment etc. That is hard because unless it's cheap and many YouTubers can do it, the samples will be too small for statistically meaningful statements. In addition to that we would ideally have some "wear and tear statistics" where the watch is abused to some extent to tell how will it look like after X amount of wear. After this abuse said measurements for tolerances and play are performed again to see how well it all holds up.

The latter is obviously far too expensive and will never happen and I totally see why nobody does it. It's too much hassle and people will watch the content anyway...

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$3k is a hell of an "entry level" watch.

I would counter with a preowned Orient as the best =value/price.

Within the price in the OP, I was very pleased with a PO that I paid $2100 for, and the BB36 at about $1700.

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Just about any Sinn

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If i was to buy one watch in that price range today its would be something from the Longines Spirit collection. 

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Specs are one of the few objective points of comparison reviewers can use. Anything beyond specs comes down to preferences, and is entirely subjective. 

I think Damasko and CW are hard to beat for value, and finishing. 

I think Oris is overpriced for what they actually offer, but to others they represent great "value".