Being a watch enthusiast in this trying times of economy can be very intimidating. You have to learn how the industry works, needs to be friends with a lot of movers and shakers, and at least have the money to go to events. For a little boy who is passionate about watches, knowing everything about luxury watches won’t be enough.
But there is something to be said about self-starters. And with a fire that can change the whole industry, some watch connoisseurs have made it as so far as becoming watch depots businessmen. That’s peak watch geek if we’ve ever seen one. But for the young adult fresh out of college graduation, getting a luxury watch is going to be a great thing.
That’s why it’s essential to make sure that the first big purchase is worth it. So how does one ensure this? The answer to that is lots of research. Let’s face it: If you’re a watch geek, you have biases, and predilection to gravitate towards a specific brand for any number of reasons. Their ethos, movement, and principles, etc. But the truth of the matter is, your first choice will depend mainly on the watches you can afford.
So we’ve collated the best starter mechanical watches in the world right now. Don’t expect Omegas and Rolexes in this list, as that level will require a little more money. The watches we’ve listed are priced just enough to be aspirational and reachable at the same time. Here are your options:
Hamilton Khaki King
Consistently voted as one of the best starter watches in the world, the Hamilton Khaki King under its Field line is the best testament of Swiss watchmaking and the American aesthetic. Under the hood, you get a mechanical inhouse movement with standard power reserve, plus an automatic winding capacity.
Arguably one of the best watches under 1000, the Khaki King is a Swiss watchmaking marvel, with its streamlined look and straightforward presentation. You get a watch that can transition from day to night, and won’t quit on you even when you’re not using it. It’s also easy to wind, and the warranty and after-sales services are top-notch.
Certina DS PH200M
If you want a watch that resembles a Rolex, without the expensive pricing, the Certina DS PH200M got you covered. Laid in stainless steel for both the case and band, it’s a watch reminiscent of watches with classic styling: silver clasp, band, and black dial. You can never go wrong with it.
With a water-resistance feature of 200 meters, it’s the quintessential diver’s watch, albeit it doesn’t look like one. You have three options within the collection: black/silver and black/black. If you’re feeling generous to yourself, get both, but for a starter watch, we say go for the black and silver. Nothing beats a classic. Did we mention it’s in Chronograph as well?
Maybe the cheapest starter watch in this list, the Citizen NH8350 is a wonder. For its price point, it’s not a shabby-looking watch it’s up there in presentation with the greats. The movement is an automatic Miyota 8200, with a diver-friendly dial of eclectic blue. The watch in itself is a darling among watch connoisseurs, paving the way for mechanical watches to be mass-accepted.
Seiko 5 Sports
Seiko is one of the most underappreciated watch brands in the world. It’s not Swiss-made, as the brand originated in Japan and has been changing the watch landscape in the East since its conception. The Seiko 5 Sports collection boasts of trendy watches with automatic movement, plus you get the most bang for your buck.
Get one from the Suits line to be safe, as it’s the line with better versatility. But when you want an everyday watch you can wear to the office and can transition into your nightlife, the Sports line may be better suited.
Starter mechanical watches can be expensive. That much is the truth. But there are options out there that won’t break the bank. You can get mechanical watches under $500 if you’re savvy. Look for brands that are starting, or not caught up in the Swiss tradition of overpricing, even if they’re Swiss-made. The options may be limited, but they’re out there.