What "affordable" watch brands do you love?

I have a huge love for Hamilton, I think they make such amazing watches in the €500-1500 price margin. An amazing unpretentious brand where you get value for money and is just so cool if you ask me. 

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Hamilton is a great choice. I suggest Certina. DS - Double Security, Swatch group movements, impressive history. I have 2 and they are well-built and stylish, no nonsense watches of great quality.

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If you are open to homages then I can definitely recommend Steinhart. I have had one for years and I basically wear it all the time.

I don’t have any personal experience with San Martin watches, but they might be worth looking into as well. It’s a Chinese brand with both homages and some original designs. I will be getting one, but I can’t really recommend it until I have had it for a while. There’s no shortage of praise of their value for money though.

It is hard to go wrong with a Casio but they’re not “affordable“ in many cases they’re not just genuinely affordable but downright cheap. 😊

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There are a few brands that come to mind for me, as this is the segment of the watch market that most interests me. 

  1.  Christopher Ward - In my mind they offer the best "value" in the game at this level. The finishing equals or exceeds the best in their price range, and they have a distinct design style that sets them apart from the competition. 
  2. Hamilton - They have a nice variety of styles in the the various lines, and offer a lot of for the money. The finishing is well done, if simple at times, and the improved 80- hour power reserves are handy. I also like that they offer a quartz version of many watches, so there is a watch that suits most styles and budgets. 
  3. Marathon - Among the last of the real "tool" watches, still issued in some militaries, their watches even have a NSN(NATO Stock Number). They have been making watches for a long time, and have been making watches for allied countries since 1941. Also, tritium is awesome... 
  4. Damasko - I'm not sure they fall into this category anymore since they switched to the in-house A-26 movement in the base models. Like Sinn, Damasko makes no nonsense "tool-ish" pilot's watches. The big advantage Damasko offers over Sinn is the base models have hardened U-Boat steel. 
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In that price range I think I would enjoy a couple pieces from Damasko, Marathon, Junghans, Nomos, or Longines. But yeah, Hamilton is always appealing to me too.

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KristianG

There are a few brands that come to mind for me, as this is the segment of the watch market that most interests me. 

  1.  Christopher Ward - In my mind they offer the best "value" in the game at this level. The finishing equals or exceeds the best in their price range, and they have a distinct design style that sets them apart from the competition. 
  2. Hamilton - They have a nice variety of styles in the the various lines, and offer a lot of for the money. The finishing is well done, if simple at times, and the improved 80- hour power reserves are handy. I also like that they offer a quartz version of many watches, so there is a watch that suits most styles and budgets. 
  3. Marathon - Among the last of the real "tool" watches, still issued in some militaries, their watches even have a NSN(NATO Stock Number). They have been making watches for a long time, and have been making watches for allied countries since 1941. Also, tritium is awesome... 
  4. Damasko - I'm not sure they fall into this category anymore since they switched to the in-house A-26 movement in the base models. Like Sinn, Damasko makes no nonsense "tool-ish" pilot's watches. The big advantage Damasko offers over Sinn is the base models have hardened U-Boat steel. 

I do like Sinn and would even consider buying one, but the recent price increase has put me off them a little. Just not enough for what they are charging 

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CombatWombat

I do like Sinn and would even consider buying one, but the recent price increase has put me off them a little. Just not enough for what they are charging 

I came close to getting a 556i, or 104, but the hardened steel on the DS30 won me over. I don't baby my watches, and the DS30 still looks new, apart from the outer AR on the sapphire... I dislike outer AR coatings. 

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KristianG

I came close to getting a 556i, or 104, but the hardened steel on the DS30 won me over. I don't baby my watches, and the DS30 still looks new, apart from the outer AR on the sapphire... I dislike outer AR coatings. 

I like the U1 and the extra hardened steel case would make me worry less about scrapes etc. But getting on for 2k is just too much, if it was around 1000 then yeah I'd go for it.

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KristianG

There are a few brands that come to mind for me, as this is the segment of the watch market that most interests me. 

  1.  Christopher Ward - In my mind they offer the best "value" in the game at this level. The finishing equals or exceeds the best in their price range, and they have a distinct design style that sets them apart from the competition. 
  2. Hamilton - They have a nice variety of styles in the the various lines, and offer a lot of for the money. The finishing is well done, if simple at times, and the improved 80- hour power reserves are handy. I also like that they offer a quartz version of many watches, so there is a watch that suits most styles and budgets. 
  3. Marathon - Among the last of the real "tool" watches, still issued in some militaries, their watches even have a NSN(NATO Stock Number). They have been making watches for a long time, and have been making watches for allied countries since 1941. Also, tritium is awesome... 
  4. Damasko - I'm not sure they fall into this category anymore since they switched to the in-house A-26 movement in the base models. Like Sinn, Damasko makes no nonsense "tool-ish" pilot's watches. The big advantage Damasko offers over Sinn is the base models have hardened U-Boat steel. 

I've heard good things about CW but tbh there is something missing from the brand if you ask me, it just feels a bit "meh" to me. If tough military watches are your thing then Marathon is probably the best option. A bit too hefty for my wrists but they have my respect. Damasko is a tough one for me, I like one or two of their flieger models but other than that it doesn't quite do it for me, and again I feel like anything other than the in-house is a little too much for what they are offering. 

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TheSharperTheBetter

In that price range I think I would enjoy a couple pieces from Damasko, Marathon, Junghans, Nomos, or Longines. But yeah, Hamilton is always appealing to me too.

Unpopular opinion...I really dislike Junghans and Meistersinger for that matter I think the models are hideous. 

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Maybe I'm cheap, but it strikes me a little odd that a price range up to 1500-2000 USD is considered affordable. I doubt most people would ever afford a watch in that price range. Or are we talking about the "afforable" watch range of those who have used up parts of the kids' college fund in the name of horology?

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CombatWombat

Unpopular opinion...I really dislike Junghans and Meistersinger for that matter I think the models are hideous. 

I can see why they present as a polarizing design, minimalism can do that i suppose.

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hbein2022

Maybe I'm cheap, but it strikes me a little odd that a price range up to 1500-2000 USD is considered affordable. I doubt most people would ever afford a watch in that price range. Or are we talking about the "afforable" watch range of those who have used up parts of the kids' college fund in the name of horology?

That's more "affordable luxury", but yeah even 500-1000 is considered "affordable" when in reality it is pretty expensive. 

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CombatWombat

I've heard good things about CW but tbh there is something missing from the brand if you ask me, it just feels a bit "meh" to me. If tough military watches are your thing then Marathon is probably the best option. A bit too hefty for my wrists but they have my respect. Damasko is a tough one for me, I like one or two of their flieger models but other than that it doesn't quite do it for me, and again I feel like anything other than the in-house is a little too much for what they are offering. 

I'm a huge CW fan, but I like the simple, and clean design of the dials. I find "fussy" dials like on a lot of Seiko watches to be distracting, and cheap looking. 

I suppose if we all liked the same watches it would be a boring world, so it's good we all have our own opinions, and likes!

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Hamilton,Victorinox,Tissot, Certina are all good choices in the sub $1000 range though not really, in my mind, affordable in the minds of "normal" people. 

The best watches that most people would call affordable are Timex (nice reissues recently), Casio (G-shock in particular) , Swatch, and lower priced Seiko and Citizen.

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It you're thinking $200 - $300 affordable, than you can't go wrong with Citizen (eco-drive's or automatics in the Promaster family) or Orient (Mako USA or Kamasu). Affordable Swiss entries, I would say check out BALL, CW, or Raymond Weil on the secondary market.