Sure, you can get a great watch on a budget, but the real fact of the matter is that if you want a watch to wear for the rest of your life, you’re going to need to spend a bit more. We’ve rounded up the best watches for under $150 before, and while they’re impressive, we think that the golden mean of watch shopping is the under $1500 range. That's because watches under 1500 carry all the hallmarks of a luxury watch without the five-figure price tag.
Don’t get us wrong, $1500 isn’t cheap. A high-quality timepiece is — and always has been — an investment. But while the entry point for the Rolexes and Audemars Piguets of the world stands at around $5000, copping luxury watches under 1500 dollars is a task worth undertaking.
So, to save you time and money, we hit the net to round up the best watches under 1500 dollars. From the Bauhaus expertise of Junghans to collaborative pieces like the Omega x Swatch drop, here are some of the best investment watches to bag on a budget.
Shop 9 of the best watches for under 1500 dollars.
UNIMATIC Modello Uno Limited Edition Automatic 40mm Watch
This limited-edition version of UNIMATIC's Modello Uno is made in support of the Italian National Trust, which works to safeguard the Italian environment, culture, and arts. UNIMATIC borrows the charity's signature green for the bezel which combines effortlessly with the galvanic black dial. The Modello Uno is powered by a Swiss-made Sellita SW200-1 movement for precision and longevity.
Omega x Swatch Bioceramic Moonswatch Mission to the Moon Watch
Collaborations aren't a regular fixture in the world of watches. That's maybe why the Omega x Swatch partnership worked so well. The ability to buy an Omega Speedmaster for under $500 created a frenzy on release. Now that the resale prices have come back down from outer space, it's a great playful timepiece to add to the collection.
TAG HEUER Formula 1 Watch
TAG HEUER is a perennial presence in watchmaking. The Swiss manufacturer was founded in 1860 which is more than enough time to perfect the art of the timepiece. Powered by a proprietary TAG HEUER movement, the Formula 1 is housed in a 43mm case that stands out on the wrist.
VAER R1 USA Racing Chronograph
Independent watchmaker VAER has impressed us with each release for some time now. Combining classic design with technical prowess and serious affordability, the brand-new VAER R1 USA Racing Chronograph crystallizes what we love about the brand. The R1 not only looks like the beauties found on racetracks during the '60s, it's got a lot going on under the hood, too. It's powered by a hybrid mecaquartz movement, which uses quartz technology for the main functions of the watch and a mechanical module for operating the chronograph.
Seiko Prospex 44mm Watch
When it comes to affordable diver's watches, few can hold a candle to Seiko. Sure, you won't be treating yourself to a luxury timepiece, but for the price tag, you will be securing one of the best deals on the market. We love the Prospex; it's a great-looking watch, especially in this orange colorway, that's water-resistant to 200 metres.
La Californienne Daybreak 24mm Watch
Surprisingly, La Californienne began life making watch straps and the Daybreak represents the brand's first foray into watchmaking. It's a confident way to begin, that's for sure. The retro-style 24mm rectangular case settles nicely on all wrist sizes and there's no faulting the Swiss-made quartz ETA movement.
Junghans Automatic Max Bill Watch
German watchmaker Junghans takes inspiration from the national treasure that is Bauhaus. The 20th-century design movement looks to clean lines and minimal detailing to get a strong, no-nonsense point across. The Max Bill watch is one of the brand's leading designs with a clean face and reliable J800.1 movement.
Montblanc Summit 2+ 43.5mm
I always said that I wouldn't wear an electronic watch until it wasn't possible to tell the difference between one and a 'real' watch. Well, Montblanc's Summit 2+ calls an end to my prejudice. Equipped with cellular connectivity, a built-in speaker to make calls, a translator, a fitness tracker, and much more, this really is a feat of engineering.
Baume & Mercier Hampton 27.5mm
But while smartwatches are seemingly getting smarter by the month, it's hard to beat the charm of a timepiece like Baume & Mercier's Hampton. At just 27.5mm in diameter, this square-faced watch recalls a bygone era in watch design. This Swiss-made masterpiece is wildly classy and that's largely down to its unimposing stature.
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