I don’t need to take the time to explain the value of wearing a watch. It’s a piece of statement. It says a lot about you. He says you don’t care. It says you are not glued to your smartphone. But most millennials just can’t afford a Rolex or an Omega or any other watch that costs several thousand dollars. But that doesn’t mean you can only wear a Fossil or a Casio (without taking anything away from those marks, and they have a lot of great watches in them.)
There are also a ton of insanely affordable vintage watches that you can buy and clean for the price of a few video games.
A reputable jeweler can clean and repair even a rusty, non-working watch for around $ 125. This does not and should not apply to crazy, expensive and rare watches. I’m talking about the ones we’re going to find in real estate sales and online.
Here are a few watches I’m currently looking at – and please add yours below in the comments section!
1. A vintage Bulova Date King from the 1960s
Bulova has made a ton of watches over the years. If you want an old watch that isn’t too flashy, but is precise, reliable, and looks great with jeans or a suit, you can’t beat a 1960s Date King for the money. I got this 1964 Bulova Date KING on eBay for $ 26.50. After a good cleaning, it will be an excellent accessory.
A note about these watches (and the cheaper vintage watches) is that they are manual. On the positive side, there are no batteries. On the negative side, you have to wind the watch pretty much every day.
2. United States Military A-11
The shows who won the war. If you want to wear the watch your grandfather wore in WWII (and if he still has the original, keep it safe…), buy an A-11.
They’re military-specification watches – not to say they’re shatterproof, they were just all made to be uniform, like everything else in the military. They were produced from 1941 by Elgin, Bulova and Waltham. The Elgin is considered the “official” watch, but these are all legitimate military parts. There are dust, waterproof, black, white and coin-operated bezel variants. The Hamilton company also made a watch like this for the military during WWII. It’s not called the A-11, but it’s basically the same thing.
Now an A-11 in perfect condition from that time is a $ 1,000 watch. However, you can find them online for under $ 100, and the broken ones are everywhere. Remember, they literally made MILLIONS out of them.
For the Gen-Y man, the watch screams hip-traditional. You like it simple: the watch tells the time and that’s it.
3. Movado from the 1980s
Movado’s signature black and diamond look hasn’t really changed. A nice new, automatic Movado (that is, without batteries or winding) will set you back between $ 800 and $ 1,000.
here is a Movado that has a few years on it. He needs a new group, but so what? $ 249.99.
You can walk into any small jewelry store and find an old Movado cheaply. In downtown Boston last week, a jeweler showed me two 1980s Movados with the black and diamond style. We could get it for less than $ 200. A larger one cost less than $ 300. And something tells me that if I put $ 150 in cash on the table, I would have a Movado right now.
4. An era of the 1970s or the cold war Poljot Okeah
Many serious watch collectors include Soviet watches in their display cases. The Poljot 3133 is a popular movement born out of a Soviet Air Force watch worn by pilots. Yuri Gagarin wore a Shturmanskie Poljot (pilot in Russian) watch, which helped inspire the 3133, when it became the first name to launch into space.
You can get a Poljot 3133 for under $ 200 in good condition. You can get a Shturmanskie voucher for under $ 500. Beware of reproductions.
5. Seiko SKX007K
The Seiko SKX007K isn’t just an entry-level dive watch, it’s a pretty darn decent dive watch.
It’s good at 200 yards, is automatic / non-winding, and has a rugged, sporty look that tells people you’re serious.
If you want to build a nice collection of watches, you might even want to start here. Why? Because you can get one for $ 150, and any type of watch will stick to it. Get it with the elastic instead of the metal bracelet to keep it authentic.
6. Mondaine Stop2go
At $ 600, this one is actually pretty much at the top of my Gen-Y list, but I wanted to include something Swiss that someone our age could afford. Mondaine is not a luxury Swiss watch brand, but it is a true Swiss watch brand, made in Switzerland. You can get a brand new Mondaine for around $ 250.
Mondaine watches have a nice movement and a design inspired by the Swiss railway clock. What makes the Stop2go watch unique is that the second hand moves normally for 58 seconds, then stops for two seconds and jumps to the next minute. This oddly interesting feature, combined with an electronic switch for setting the watch, makes it a keeper.
7. British WWII Omega
Omega is one of the biggest names in ancient and modern watchmaking. It’s on pretty much every collector’s wishlist. You’re not going to find a new Omega on this list, but how cool would it be to own a WWII British military watch that, oh, just happens to be made by Omega?
Everyone contributed to the war effort. You can also find shining examples of German WWII watches, and we have already discussed the American A-11.
You can get a decent British WW2 Omega for around $ 300. I saw the variant right on eBay for $ 235.
There are a ton of fakes. This website gives good advice for determining if you are buying an authentic Omega WW2.
It’s just a beautifully simplistic watch. Not for everyday wear, but it’s elegant and relaxed at the same time.
8. Orient M-Force CEX04001Y0
If you find it, buy it. For under $ 200, you can get a watch that has all the bells and whistles you’re used to seeing in a watch that is 10-20 times the price. You’ll also find a funky variant with a yellow dial for around $ 400. The Orient M-Force is an automatic watch, good at 100-200 meters underwater depending on the variant, with a power reserve indicator to know when to change the battery, and a very comfortable, even slightly heavy feeling on the wrist. .
9. Hamilton Khaki Field
I put my cap on Askmen.com for recommending Hamilton Khaki Field as one of their best “Watches under $ 1,000”And at $ 300- $ 500 you can buy two for that price.
Hamilton is an old name in quality watchmaking. It has a Swiss ETA 2824 movement which is seen in some of the best watches in the world. It’s a great work watch, but it’s not too delicate and fancy that you can’t wear it to the bar afterwards.
I love the watch and would be happy to own one, but it’s the only watch on the list that got me thinking. I only included it because of Hamilton’s history in the business. And I think I’d rather own a vintage Hamilton than a modern one. Today, Hamilton belongs to the Swatch Group, the largest watch company in the world. It owns Bregeut, Winston, Jaquet Droz, Omega, Tissot, and manufactures all watches for Tiffany & Co., and if you Wikipedia the Swatch Group, you see Hamilton’s rich history has earned it a place in… half bottle of the Swatch Group portfolio of brands.
It’s good and bad. Good: you get standardized quality and the same ETA movement as more expensive watches. Bad: It’s Swatch’s basement mark, only slightly above it, well Swatch itself.
What do you think? Do I think about it too much? Let me know below.
10. An Overstock.com watch
Your mom loves Overstock. Your girlfriend too. This is catnip for female online shoppers, so listen to me for a second. Oh and Overstock.com offers Rolex.
If you are looking for a new watch, you can get a Tag Heuer for around $ 1,300. For something a little more realistic you can get a Hamilton for less than $ 400; a simple or complicated Citizen eco-driving for less than $ 200; or very adult Seiko for less than $ 100.
There’s a lot of crap out there too, so be careful what you buy. A word of warning: I have a few Emporio Armani watches. They look cool, and the name is very revealing. But that’s all you get is the name. The watches are made by Fossil, so you only get a regular old watch. Armani watches are luxury in name only.