Of all places, Nordstrom isn’t the kind of place you’d go looking for a Rado, Hamilton, or Tissot automatic or mechanical watch, but you’d be surprised. As an authorized dealer for a cluster of the Swatch Group brands, they’ve got a lot on offer. Yes, there’s a lot of basic quartz-powered stuff in the mix, but skimming their sales section revealed a handful of solid deals worthy of exploring. A couple of these pieces can be found a bit cheaper if you’re willing to take the risk of shopping grey market through Jomashop, or other unauthorized dealers, but overall these four selections are quite reasonably priced.
Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook 37mm
By far one of the coolest RADO releases in recent history, the RADO Captain Cook is a proper vintage diver throwback executed just about perfectly. A 37mm case, red date disc, and greenish faux-aged lume for its indices and hands (not to mention the hands themselves) are all a period-correct tribute to the vintage diver the watch is based on. 37mm can be a bit small for some, but the addition of a bracelet on this model helps bulk it up when on wrist. A 15% discount drops this guy down to an even $1,700 until further notice.
Tissot V8 Automatic Chronograph
A budget/beater chronograph in the sub-$1k price range isn’t always easy to come by, but if you can handle the large 45mm proportions of this Tissot V8 it could be a pretty compelling selection. A crisp blue dial, pump-style pushers, and an engraved tachymeter bezel all come together quite nicely, not to mention the big bad Tissot isn’t powered by the usual 7750 seen in most other chronographs in the category. Instead the Tissot C01.211 was designed and built on the same principles the Swatch Group used to create the machine-built Sistem51. Don’t expect any high finishing, mind you, but overall these calibers seem to be holding up pretty well. At $671.25 brand new, it’s pretty hard to go wrong here.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical
About as classic as they come from Hamilton’s many collections, for a long while the brand was basically one of the only contenders in the affordable mechanical hand-wound watch space. Also a modest size—clocking in at 38mm in diameter—these modern interpretations of the classic military issue field watch have tons of appeal, even if they are a little low tech in the grand scheme of things. On the plus side, it’s precisely that sort of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ mentality that ensures that no matter where you are, even the most rough-around-the-edges watchmaker could get this thing up and running again.
Raymond Weil Tango GMT
A 42mm, 300m rated diver’s GMT from Raymond Weil? I can safely say that I missed the memo on this, being far more familiar with their recent all-black dive watch releases. Stealing obvious design cues from the iconic Rolex GMT-Master Pepsi, this Raymond Weil is still a handsome watch when taking into consideration its approachable $787.50 sticker price. It won’t be for everyone, but those looking for a moderately sized Swiss made GMT that they won’t see all over the Gram might want to entertain it as an option.