If we’re going to be realistic and truthful–we’re all friends here, after all–a watch is anachronistic in today’s world. With clocks on all your devices and on almost every corner, a watch worn for its timekeeping abilities is redundant. That’s not to say you shouldn’t wear one, though. What separates us from other animals isn’t language or standing on two legs or even sending members of our species into space. No, the distinction is our use and love of fashion and style. Okay, so this may be a little hyperbolic, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some truth to it.
What we wear reflects not only our identity, but our culture. So, if you want to appear put-together, professional, and competent in today’s western world, a high-quality, stylish watch on your wrist still sends that signal–even if it does have a touch of the old-school to it. We put together five of the best watches under $1000 for you to add to your sartorial arsenal. We chose $1000 as the upper limit because we felt this was an accessible price point to those looking for a luxurious watch without going bankrupt in the process.
Filson Mackinaw Field Watch, $650
Having been around since 1897, Filson knows the art of durable, quality goods and accessories. Their Mackinaw Field watch does not disappoint in this arena. With a scratch resistant sapphire crystal face, a Shinola Argonite 715 quartz movement, Swiss Super LumiNova (glow-in-the dark) hands, Arabic numbers, hour markers, and water resistance up to 660, this Shinola Detroit made watch is truly field-ready. Take it on an adventure and feel secure knowing it can stand up to any test you put it through.
Shinola Runwell 36 MM White Watch, $550
This classic timepiece by Shinola, also built in Detroit, features a black leather strap, illuminated dial numbers and hands, and a double-curved crystal sapphire case. The classic, streamlined silhouette looks dashing when paired with a suit or jacket. It’s smaller size and simple aesthetic makes this watch the most versatile and wearable on this list.
AVI-8 Flyboy Bronze Limited Edition, $800
With a sturdy leather Nato strap, domed crystal case, large, glow-in-the-dark hands and numerals, the AVI-Flyboy sports throwback styling reflective of WWII era pilots and mechanics. Machined from bronze, the Flyboy is designed to take on a patina over time. The oils from your skin, moisture in the air, and other environmental factors will lead the case to burnish and go slightly green, lending the watch a distinct appearance unique to you and emblematic of your own shared history. Consider this a heritage piece you can pass on to your current or future son.
Tsovet SVT-CN38, $225
Straddling the line between art-deco and modern styling, the SVT-CN38 is a gorgeously simple watch. The vegetable dyed Italian leather straps and the dial’s simplistic satin finish lend an air of quiet luxury to the piece. Featuring a Ronda 513.1 movement, a gold stainless steel case, and bright blue contrasting hands, the CN38 stands out with its staid styling contrasting with its refreshing (and surprising) color combination. At only $225, this is the least-expensive watch on our list.
Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch, $950
We’ve written about Weiss American-made watches before and we love them. Any company dedicated to bringing manufacturing back to the United States gets mad props from The Manual. Using a relaxed waterproof gray canvas strap with a complimentary waterproof stainless steel case, the Standard Issue Field Watch from Weiss is not only durable, but fashionable. And, with a clear back, allowing a bird’s eye view of the internal mechanism, it’s almost like an art piece. This is the only manually wound watch on our list, so owning this piece requires a little extra care. But trust us, it’s worth it.