The 5 Best Starter Watches Under P50,000
If there is one men’s accessory that has weathered through all the fashion trends since it was first manufactured, it would be the wristwatch. Flashy or understated, sleek or chunky, a man’s wristwatch has become a barometer of a man’s success as well as his personality. However, not all watches are made equal. At the top of the chain, there are the Pateks, the Dufours, the A. Lange and Sohnes. Names that draw admiration in the world of haute horlogerie.
However, not everyone can afford to drop 6 to 7 digits worth of money on a watch, especially today’s young professionals and entrepreneurs, who would rather spend their hard-earned cash on more important matters—bills for example. That condo unit you’re living in will not be paying for itself after all. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that today’s men should not don a good watch from a reputable brand. The watch is the ultimate men’s accessory and choosing a watch should be given the respect and attention it deserves. Here are some suggestions for watches under P50,000 which won’t break the bank while keeping you in style.
Hamilton Khaki Field Watch
Hamilton might not be a familiar brand to most individuals, but this American brand has a history in watchmaking spanning over a century. It started out as a watch maker to the American Railroad community, becoming a watch supplier to the US Armed Forces in 1914. The Hamilton Field Watch echoes the brand’s military roots with its rugged looks. A stainless steel case gives way to a face whose hours are marked with Arabic numerals with second and sub-second markers. The watch is run by a 25-jewel 3Hz ETA 2824-2 automatic movement with an 80-hour reserve.
Frederique Constant Classics Quartz
Frederique Constant might be known for its ultra-luxury watches like the Manufacture Perpetual Calendar. However, they also have offerings in the cheaper end of the spectrum. Thankfully, cheap doesn’t mean low quality and the Classic Quartz exudes an understated minimalist charm that fits well with the aura of a rising corporate star. The face is clean, with bars denoting the hour hands. Meanwhile, the textured finish on the face itself adds character to the watch.
P29,500; available at Lucerne, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City
Maurice Lacroix Eliros Chronograph
Another relatively unknown brand in the mainstream, Maurice Lacroix first started creating their own watches in 1975. However, its parent company, Desco from Schulthess AG has been representing and marketing Swiss watch brands since the early 1900s. Maurice Lacroix’s Eliros Chronograph holds true to the Swiss watch aesthetics of clean faces but with the addition of a chronograph face for a sportier look.
P35,500; available at Lucerne, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City; and Elemento, SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
Tissot T-One Automatic
Steel straps are considered as less formal than leather straps but that does not mean that a steel strap watch will not fit the corporate environment. The Tissot T-One Automatic keeps it clean with its uncluttered dial. The black face contrasts well with the shining steel for a more striking look while the white face is better for those looking for a less flashy option. Either way, one will not be remiss in forgetting the actual day thanks to it being displayed prominently just under the 12 o’clock marker.
P33,100; available at Tissot
Seiko Presage Automatic Basic
Swiss watches might reign supreme in the minds of watch aficionados, but that same community also respects the works of Seiko. While Filipinos might consider it a cheap watch brand thanks to its ubiquity, there are models that showcase the strength of this Japanese watchmaking company. The Seiko Presage can be considered as the younger brother to the legendary Grand Seiko line. The Presage Ref. SSA306J1 combines utilitarian design with elegance thanks to the sweeping power indicator which flows from the 11 o’clock position towards the 4:30 position. Below the center line, another dial shows the date, giving balance to the otherwise busy upper half of the watch.
P19,700; available at authorized Seiko dealers
More Good Inexpensive Watch Brands
If anything below the suffocating sticker price of Patek and Rolex counts as inexpensive, then the world is blessed with many and more of these happy options. These include brands such as Nomos Glashutte, Skagen, Alpina, Victorinox, Citizen, Movado, Mondaine, Swatch, and Timex. With a range of prices from wow to yes-I-can-do-that, you’ll find what you need here.
More About Tissot Watches
Ask an expert—Google!—and he’ll most likely mention Tissot as makers of good watches that won’t break the bank. The Swiss watchmaker is very old, having been established in Le Locle, Switzerland by Charles-Félicien Tissot in 1853. Today, the mid-range brand is part of the Swatch Group, itself known for democratic watches. Famous wearers reportedly include Elvis Presley, Grace Kelly, and Nelson Mandela, so you know you’ll be in good company.
More About Timex Watches
The ubiquitous Timex continues to surprise. The American watch company is known for truly affordable watches that are available everywhere (seriously—it has locations in most malls here). Last month, it released the M79 Automatic Watch, which looks like a vintage watch with its woven metal strap and black and white dial. There’s also the Q Timex and the Weekender, both handsome pieces, too. Sometimes, you just need a reliable beater that looks good on the wrist. Timex probably has it.