When considering how much to spend on a timepiece, it can get daunting with how many different options there are for each price bracket. All things considered, the more you spend the more quality, standard of manufacture, features, and craftsmanship you are offered. To get quality watches, however, doesn’t always have to break the bank. Not everyone is looking to spend heavily, whether this is your first luxury timepiece or you just want to add another piece to the collection, there certainly are affordable great watches in the lower price brackets. In this article this is exactly what we aim to do, look at 5 great timepieces that are under $1,500 (Aud). The chosen timepieces range from stunning simple three-handers, sporty and colorful to chronographs.
Furlan Marri Rosso Grigio
Australian Recommeded Retail Price: CHF 555.00 (Approx $895 AUD)
Starting off this list is the Furlan Marri Rosso Grigio (ref. 1085-A). This chronograph timepiece comes with a dual-counter layout, with the 3 o’clock counter being a 24-hr timer and the 9 o’clock counter being a 60-minute counter. The outer part of the dial features an asthmometer (5 respirations) scale. The asthmometer is used to measure respirations per minute by using the chronograph hand and stopping it after the patient/person’s 15th respiration.
The timepiece comes in a 38mm 316L stainless steel case (50m waterproof) which has a beautiful shine under light. I personally own the “Mare blu” and under different lighting conditions, the case shines so well, even more so in sunlight. The 38mm case size makes it a great fit for the average wrist (6.5-7 inches), however, if you have a larger wrist size you may find this small. Legibility of the dial is fairly easy thanks to the white markings on the grey dial background. The hour indexes are a mixture of baton-style black markings or Arabic numerals for the 12 and 6 o’clock.
The movement in this piece is a mechaquarts Seiko VK64. Mechquartz movements are hybrid movements that use quartz technology for the chronograph watch movement and a mechanical module for the operation of the chronograph. Priced at CHF555.0 (approx $895 AUD), this timepiece is a great contender for the under $1,500 category.
MIDO Commander Big Date
Australian Recommeded Retail Price: $1,450
The MIDO Commander Big Date is a three-hander timepiece with super easy dial readability. The watch comes in a 42mm stainless steel case that offers a see-through case back. The initial release of the MIDO Commander Big Date back in 2018 celebrated the 100th anniversary of the brand. Since then there have been different iterations of the watch created, with the one chosen for this article being the blue sunray satin-finished dial.
As the name suggests, the timepiece comes with a large date window at 6 o’clock, which MIDO states “offers unrivalled date legibility”. As part of MIDO’s 100th-anniversary celebrations, they developed an exclusive automatic movement named Calibre 80. In addition to the big date window display, the power reserve on offer is impressive at 80 hours. The open case back shows the Calibre 80 movement with its finely decorated oscillating weight with its Geneva stripes and MIDO logo.
This, modern and elegant timepiece is a great option to consider, as it offers great readability with a beautiful sunray blue dial while having the performance of an 80-hour power reserve movement to back up the aesthetics.
Maurice Lacroix Aikon #Tide
Australian Recommeded Retail Price: $1, 190
For those that are after something a bit more funky, playful with a dose of colour and backed by a luxury brand, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Tide may just be that watch. The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Tide is offered in a variety of eye-popping colours as they were made to be noticed. One of the best things about these timepieces is they help the oceans become a little bit cleaner.
The Aikon #tide range of watches comes from the same family of other Aikon watches created by Maurice Lacroix and is created by ocean-bound upcycled plastic which is then combined with glass fibre. This results in the overall material being twice as hard as standard plastic material, five times more resistant and with a carbon footprint that is greatly less than the production of virgin PET. Maurice Lacroix states that “the bezel, case, case back, crown, end-piece and buckle on this new model are all made from this composite material. It takes 17 bottles to make one fabulous watch and its tailor-made packaging”.
The watch has a 40mm case size and comes in a wide array of colours that match the dial. Our personal favourite is the blue dial with “vagues du Jura”, however, as mentioned a variety of colours to choose from depending on personal tastes.
SEIKO Presage Sharp Edge Blue Rose Open Heart
Australian Recommeded Retail Price: $1,550
The timepiece from Seiko ticks a lot of the boxes for being a great timepiece under $1,500 (Aud). Seiko’s Presage Sharp Edged series was created a few years ago, and since then has established itself for its combination of traditional mechanical watchmaking with a distinctively modern Japanese style.
Seiko has given this model a 40.2mm stainless steel case with a contrasting brown leather strap. The beauty of this timepiece lies in the dial. Firstly we have the patterned indigo blue dial which is complimented beautifully by the rose gold-covered hour indices and hands. Then at 9 o’clock, we have the open-heart which shows the movement’s balance wheel in action. A nice touch to what is already a stunning dial.
Seiko has given their 6R38 movement for this timepiece, giving out a sturdy power reserve of approximately 70 hours. The watch comes with an open case back too in which you can see more of the movement.
TISSOT PRX Powermatic 80 Ice-Blue
Australian Recommeded Retail Price: $1,100
A list of great timepieces under $1,500 wouldn’t be complete without the addition of Tissot’s PRX Powermatic 80. This watch has been out for a while now and is loved by watch aficionados around the world. With the shimmering bracelet design, the 1970’s integrated case now brushed and polished to the ‘tapisserie’ patterned dial, Tissot hit the ball out of the park with this watch.
Now, the brand has quietly introduced an ice-blue coloured dial into the PRX’s lineup. It borders on the ever-so-popular Tiffany-blue, but is a few shades lighter. The ice blue is beautiful, and combined with the tapisserie dial makes it stand out very well.
This latest PRX Powermatic 80 carries all the same functions and features that make the previous versions so great, the only difference being now is the dial colour change. The movement inside is the Powermatic 80.111 which gives out a power reserve of approximately 80 hours. The timepiece is however not yet been released in Australia, however, keep an eye out on Tissot’s website as it is expected to be dropped shortly!