A guide to entry level luxury watches
By definition “luxury watches” are going to be higher-end items that will cost more than basic watches. Nevertheless, it is good to know what type of money you’ll need to spend when your wrist has earned its first fine timepiece. Why do you want a luxury watch to begin with? Whether it is professional performance or a sense of class and status, high-end watches are emotionally gratifying. I like high-end watches because they are made with quality, and can be one of the only things even very wealthy people own that are potentially hand-assembled and highly detailed.
In a world of mass produced and disposable items, a beautiful luxury timepiece is a wonderful way to assert your personality and carry around an appreciation for tradition and craftsmanship for everyone else to see. There is no specific price point where “luxury” begins and mainstream ends, but you are generally going to spend at least £1,000 or so when buying your first luxury watch. How high does that number go? How high can you count?
I like to suggest to people that they buy a name brand timepiece when going high-end for the first time. There are a number of great independent brands out there, but it is a good idea to get a watch from a solid reliable watch brand that has been around for a while and is well known by others. If you simply must go small for your first nice watch then it is good to consider a piece from a brand like Bremont. Based in the UK, their entry point watch is called the Solo, and comes with a white or black dial. What makes it luxury? The finely made case is one of the best you can get at this price point, and the attention to detail throughout is impressive. You’ll also notice the well-regulated movement which has a COSC Chronometer rating.
Some mainstream brands to look at when considering an entry-level priced luxury watch include Longines, Bell & Ross, TAG Heuer, and Breitling. Each of these brands has some more expensive timepieces, but excellent stuff at their respective entry-level price points. TAG Heuer and Breitling for instance are among the few high-end brands that offer quartz movement based watches. The TAG Heuer Formula 1 is a legendary piece with an excellent sporty design that gets updated frequently. Breitling makes the best out of Swiss quartz with the Colt timepiece. Durable and masculine, the Colt is a great way to enter the famous brand even if it is more expensive than some other entry-level luxury watches.
If your tastes are more traditional then something from Longines or Frederique Constant should do nicely. Longines’ Master collection has some relatively affordable mechanical chronograph watches with vintage inspired designs. You’ll probably notice that prices seem to range a lot for what might appear to be the same features. Brands will often price their products in accordance with their brand image, and small variations from product to product can really affect pricing. Whatever you buy, realise that it probably won’t be your last timepiece.