We’ve said it many times in the past, but honestly we probably can’t repeat it enough: You do not have to spend thousands of dollars to get a great watch. Sure, unlimited budgets make almost everything in life a whole lot easier, but if you’re willing to do your research and avoid the rap-lyric brand names, there are plenty of watches that anyone can be proud to wear with only three figures on the price tag. Whether you’re a new collector looking for your first “serious” watch or someone with a healthy group of watches already in rotation who’s looking to add something fun, here are five new (or new-ish) watches for under $1,000 that our editors love.
Cara Barrett – Casio G-Shock GW-5000 Full Metal

You might be surprised to see an all-gold watch on this list, but I found one worth it's weight! How could I ever fulfill my gold/diamond/gem-set/ostentatious needs for under $1,000? Cue the gold-colored G-Shock, a $600 hunk of faux-gold metal to carry me through my current inexplicable obsession with all things shiny. While many gold watches at this price point are fashion watches with much left to be desired, this G-Shock is impressive in more ways than one. First of all it's a G-Shock, which carries cult-classic status and boasts a super illuminator LED light and a solar battery. It's a really well-made watch crafted from heavy duty gold-colored steel and it has an impressive bracelet to boot. If you're looking for something a little off the beaten path, then this watch is for you.
$600; gshock.com
Jon Bues – Mido Commander Shade

This watch is pretty stunning value. It's a fully automatic, Swiss-made wristwatch with day and date, and it comes on a great-looking Milanese bracelet, all for less than $900 as shown here. The Commander Shade uses a modified (through the addition of a day wheel) version of the well-known ETA 2824-2. The fumé dial may be a bit strong for some tastes, but I happen to like it. Mido has been on a roll of late and this watch is a perfect example of why.
$870; midowatches.com
Jack Forster – The Seiko Prospex SPB0079

Under $1,000, things have gotten a little hairy for conventional wristwatches in recent years – with the Apple Watch and other smartwatches offering a ton of functionality and a plethora of features and options, a mechanical watch needs more than ever, to bring a lot to the table to be competitive. While I know the Seiko-as-a-great-value perspective is hardly a new one, as Charlotte says in Charlotte's Web, "it's true, and I have to say what's true, don't I?" The new Prospex diver SPB0079 isn't anything violently ground-breaking or novel, and that's exactly the point: a classically styled, functionally irreproachable dive watch for 850 bucks is always good news. Extra points for the lovely touch of blue on the bezel.
$850; seikowatches.com
James Stacey – Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical

While the competition for a sub-$1000 mechanical watch has arguably never been hotter, the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical comes in at half that budget and offers charm to spare. With a nearly universally wearable 38mm steel case, a legible and date-free dial, a hand-wound ETA 2801-2movement, luminous hands and markers, drilled lugs, and a casual fabric strap, the Khaki Field Mechanical is a great example of Hamilton's legacy in making straightforward, handsome, and versatile everyday watches. Whether dressed up with a leather strap for the office, or on a perlon for the beach, it's an easy-wearing choice with strong enthusiast appeal.*
$475; hamiltonwatch.com
Stephen Pulvirent – Tissot Ballade

This is a watch that really delivers. For under $1,000, the Tissot Ballade is a moderately sized, well appointed time-and-date watch with a silicon balance spring and 80 hours of power reserve. And no, I'm not pulling your leg here. There are a few different versions of this watch, some new for this year, but my personal favorite is still the all steel model with a black dial – it's super sleek and looks like a watch two or three times the price, easily. If you've got a little extra coin you might want to swap out the strap, but that's something that can definitely wait if you're on a tight budget.*
$925; tissotshop.com


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