Check out Hamilton or Seiko. Perhaps also Tissot, but if you're looking for automatic, Hamilton might give you the best bang-for-the-buck ratio.What is the least expensive yet first-rate automatic watch(es)? I'm looking for the point of diminishing returns, where further investment yields little additional quality. Can such a watch be had for under $1000? Thanks
A Seiko Sumo or for a bit more the Seiko Shogun.What is the least expensive yet first-rate automatic watch(es)? I'm looking for the point of diminishing returns, where further investment yields little additional quality. Can such a watch be had for under $1000? Thanks
Any time people ask about the best value chronograph, I always go to the ~$400 Seiko 6139. I love this watch.
Happy to have it in the collection alongside watches costing far more - I always enjoy wearing it.
1. The Seiko 6139 is one of the 3 movements in the race for El Primero automatic chronograph, reaching the shelf before the Zenith 3019PHC, or the Heuer Cal. 11
Hodinkee Article: Just Because: Seiko 6139, The Other First Automatic Chronograph
2. A gold '71 Seiko 6139-6005 was the first automatic watch in space.
It was worn by Col. Wm. Pogue on his 84 day Skylab 4 mission in 1973, setting a record for 12 weeks in orbit.
Col. Pogue died in 2014 at age 84, eulogized by NYT here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/11/sc...t-84.html?_r=0
3. I'ts good enough for Flash Gordon, savior of the universe.
4. Single-crown day/date watch with a internal rotating bezel. Awesome.
5. Great vintage Seiko style, with a modern 41mm case size and a beautiful sunburst dial, which color shifts from pale yellow to deep orange.
Always makes me happy to wear it.
6. It's the All-Man Man's Watch
7. It's the watch that Science built:
View attachment 3865034
I have some other 6139 print ads on the way from Japan now. Like I said, I love this watch.
Also love the 6138 Bullhead and Panda, but they're less 'important':
View attachment 3865058
I don't know of/have any high-value non-Chrono automatics.
And to that list (a good one) I'd add Archimede. Well under US$1000, top notch case, many styles to choose from, Selitta SW200-1 or ETA 2824-2 movement.There is no best watch. Only watches that you develop an emotional connection to.
That being said, under $1000 USD
I would list the following.
Stowa Partitio with the Top Grade ETA2824-2
Seiko SARB065 / SARB033
Stowa Flieger no Logo with ETA2824-2
Junkers Bauhaus with the ETA2824-2
Sinn 556i (but it only has a elabore 2824-2 and non fancy steel) barks in at a whisker over $1000
And if you search carefully on chrono24 you can get a Nomos Club ref701 under $1000 but it's a handwind
But Seiko sarb/sarx/sarw/etc series, Orient Star and Citizen Signature series have hacking and hand winding movements, sapphire crystals (minus a couple exceptions) and comparable accuracy with the swiss. The Citizen users are reporting phenomenal accuracy, in fact.Seiko, Orient, Citizen, Christopher Ward, Hamilton are usually the ones I recommend in the < 1K segment. The Chris Ward and Hamilton generally a bit pricier than their Japanese counterpart, but give you hacking movement, sapphire crystal and generally a bit better accuracy in the mechanical movement.
Have never seen an Orient up close, but the Hammies are finished pretty darn nicely.The fit and finish of the dial, hands and case of my Orient Stars is nicer than a Tissot, Certina or Hamilton, easily on par with Oris and Longines. I'm not trying to play the blind fanboy here, but was a bit disappointed when trying to add a swiss watch from the mentioned brands to my collection some months ago and discovering the finish wasn't as nice as my japanese watches, at comparable price points.....