My personal top 10 best value for money watches 2013.

Oris Aquis Depth Gauge

Let me present you a list of ten watches that in my eyes represent excellent value for money and all do cost less then 3500 Euro.

After all the discussions going on about Tudor the last days I want to add fuel to the fire.

What do you think? Do you like my choice?

These are my top 10 favorite watches 2013 so far in terms of not being really expensive and representing good value for money. Why adding fuel to the fire? Because I put on top of the price list the new Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue. The watch costs 3450 Euro and is the most expensive one here. Is it compared to some of the others here worth the money? What do you think?

Please do also note that I have been choosing just one execution of these watches. Most of the watches described here are of course available with other colored dials, bezels and type of bracelets. All the watches have steel cases. You will find more detailed information about almost all the watches shown here if you look on my blog for it


Alpina Sailing Yacht Timer: The in-house built countdown-module is put on a Sellita SW 500. Excellent readability and top quality! The price: 2395 Euro including 19 % of German VAT.



Baume & Mercier Clifton GMT: A full functioning GMT watch for travelling and/or displaying a second zone time, good looking and equipped with an ETA 2893-3 caliber. The price: 2800 Euro including 19 % of German VAT.



Frédérique Constant Slimline Manufacture Moonphase: A very good looking, (what do I write?), a stunning good looking (!) automatic watch with a moon phase indication. Equipped with the automatic in-house caliber FC-705. The price: 2450 Euro including 19 % of German VAT.

Frederique_Constant_Slimline Manufacture Moonphase


Hamilton Khaki Navy Sub Auto Chrono: A 300 meter waterproof sports chronograph equipped with an ETA 7753 caliber. Top quality and a lot of lovely design details to discover. The price: 1595 Euro including 19 % of German VAT.



Longines HydroConquest Chronograph: A 300-meter waterproof chronograph equipped with the Longines column-wheel chronograph caliber L667. It is based on the Valjoux 7750 but a specific development of ETA for Longines and exclusively reserved to Longines. The price: 1610 Euro including 19 % of German VAT. This price is hard to beat guys. In my eyes the best value for money chronograph 2013.

Longines HydroConquest Chronograph_1

Nomos Ahoi: The new Saxon divers watch from Glashütte is waterproof up to 200 meters and equipped with the automatic in-house caliber Epsilon. The price: 2800 Euro including 19 % of German VAT.

Bild 127


Oris Aquis Depth Gauge: A full functional (not a gimmick) divers watch with a depth gauge. The fundamental idea of building it was KISS: keep it simple, stupid. In my eyes the best of the best 2013! The price: 2600 Euro including 19 % of German VAT.

Oris Aquis Depth Gauge


Swatch Sistem 51: The ultimate proof that you can build an automatic Swiss made watch for almost no money. With its 51 components the new movement is a watchmaking revolution in terms simplicity and completely build by robots in less then 20 minutes. Together with the Oris the best of the best 2013. The price: Is not yet fixed exactly. I expect 120 to 130 Euro including 19 % of German VAT.

Swatch Sistem 51


Tissot T-Complication Squelette: If you ever wanted to buy a technical looking, skeletonized watch that offers you big horological cinema for your eyes you should buy this one. The huge Tissot is equipped with an ETA 6497. The price: 1450 Euro including 19 % of German VAT.



Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue: In my eyes this chronograph is stunning cool and the quality is beyond reproach. It is equipped with an ETA 2892-A2 on which Tudor adds a Dubois-Dépraz-chronograph module. The price: 3450 Euro including 19 % of German VAT.




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62 replies on “My personal top 10 best value for money watches 2013.”
  1. says: Rosco Jackson

    Hi,I have had my seiko 150m divers watch for 33yrs,and apart from within the last year,when the day/date stopped working i haven’t had a single problem,was wondering if you know of a seiko today of that standard? plus i like battery,not into automatic etc,turning the big 50 this year and maybe looking at replacing the old girl(and the watch).thanks

  2. says: kinkycad

    This was new in 2013. Must admit that I have only seen photos but was wondering what you thought of this: to me it looks a lovely watch for the money. Mido Commander M014.414.11.031.09

  3. says: Martin Nikolov

    Hi Alexander

    I think they are so many diving watches.
    For example EDOX Iceman 96001. Great diving automatic watch with helium valve and PVD and ceramic bezel.
    What makes you think all this Alpina and Oris are better?

    Thank you for your opinion.

    Martin N

  4. says: PJG


    Great overview! Currently I am making up my mind which should be my first mid end watch. What would be your choice if the price range is < 11,000 USD?

    Nr 1 on my list is currently the BP FF Bathyscaphe.

    Cheers, P

    1. < 11.000 USD ... That´s very difficult to answer, but I would consider all big names of the industry being interesting. In my eyes buy the watch you simply like most. Remember that you wear the "baby" all day long and that you read the time from it during days, months, years... The timepiece and its design should always make you smile... :-)

      1. says: PJG

        Hi Alexander, thanks for your reply. My thoughts so far:

        – BP FF Bathyscaphe: love the retro look with modern engine and the fact that the brand is small and: watch lovers like it, but the public would not know the value. Also, I really like the second hand which is using the full dial, so you see easily it’s an automatic movement.
        – Maybe: Omega Speed Master Moonwatch 9300 movement (I don’t like it’s black with s/s, but maybe with a brown strap it would work?
        – Maybe: Panerai Radiomir Black Seal, but heard the plexiglass scratches easy. Also 47mm might be in fashion now, but not sure if that size is timeless.
        – To keep an eye on: Schofield watches

        Looking forward for your thoughts…

        Bye, P

      2. says: Denning

        Hi there! I would like to seek your opinion. Is hamilton’s men’s jazzmaster open heart watch H32565555 worth buying?

        Many thanks

  5. says: David

    Hi Alexander,

    Interesting blog … but I have a question … today there is much consolidation among watch makers (eg Seiko/Lorus/Pulsar & Swatch/Omega/Tissot etc..)and many buy mechanisms from the same manufacturers .. so in theory it should be possible to buy a very good watch for a very nice price as long as you are not seduced by any particular brand. Do you have any insight into this?

  6. says: anastasios

    Alexander , congrats on your blog !
    May i suggest your top ten value watches of all time?
    I would vote #1 my personal longines legend diver ,
    then any vintage speedmaster .
    Thank you and have fun .

      1. says: Alexander Herzog

        Panerai has its undoubtable strenghts but they are definitely not into the value-for-money-game …

  7. says: Shu Watanabe

    Thank you so much,Alexander.
    I decided to buy a watch after reading this article.
    One day,I saw a watch at the store. It remained in my mind for some reason.
    Then, I read your article by chance.So I’ve noticed what was in the mood.
    “Mechanism” itself of the mechanical watch.Yes,Tissot T-Complication Squelette is the one.
    Wonderful world of mechanical watches,This is the first step for me and I will continue to travel through there now.Your article is going to be a best map.
    Many thanks,Shu

  8. says: Beasley

    I liked this list, all but the Nomos Ahoi, due to the bubble case back! I was actually going to purchase it, online, thank god I got to try it on!

  9. says: Hirsute Hippo

    Hi Alexander, I’m surprised you didn’t mention any Seiko here. The budget range (like Seiko 5) can be had for almost no money, and last for years and years. Seiko also make all their components in-house, so that’s a plus. Just IMHO.

    Rahul Ganguly,

  10. says: Jim Hamilton

    Your list seems acceptable enough but I don’t follow the wristwatch scene closely enough to know which were released in 2012 or 2013. I am glad to see Tudor back in the States, my parents gave me a Tudor Prince when I graduated High School(1970)which I traded in for a Seiko LCD which was the “in” watch of the time – still kicking myself over that !
    These days I seem to have become enamoured of dive watches mostly (I love the Citizen “Eco Monster” the ultimate tool watch), last year it was Italian watches, before that old Hamiltons(is there a more iconic design than the “Ventura”?) Next, I thinking of watches inspired by racing; Tissot MotoGP, TW Steel (Dario Franchitti), etc.
    How about a list of best divers or even better most iconic…ohhh yeah…Speedmasters, Submariners, real Panerais,the Radiomir ? (before they became the present “fake”, Swiss version),any el primo,the aforementioned “Ventura”, Breguet’s Type XX “Aeronavale” ! Could be fun Alexander !

  11. says: Jim

    The Swatch Sistem 51 is a truly brilliant milestone in watchmaking.
    With a resulting movement that apparently meets COSC chronometer specifications, with a 90 hour power reserve and not needing servicing for a minimum of 10 to 20 years..
    ..All for a cost less than one servicing, we have a new path forward that I am sure Swatch will exploit to the fullest in many configurations.

  12. says: ryan

    The Pequinet Rua Royal is a super nice watch in the 5,000-6,000 Euro Range best bang for your buck to bad there is no distribution in North America for this brand.

  13. says: Watchaollic

    The Oris DJ is really amazing for the price !
    I love my submariner but this one is a real contender…
    Rolex should have come up with such a complication for the Deepsea

    Also I agree with you for the Daytona being a woman’s watch.
    Too bad they did not make a new 42mm Daytona for the 50th Bday
    Platinum for sport modèle makes no sense and pretty heavy for the ladies 😉

    1. says: Stephen

      I actually spoke to Rolex today and also mentioned why they did not make a 42mm Daytona for their 50th birthday and was told that they have no plans in the near future to change the size of the Daytona as it is an iconic piece and the movement fits perfectly into the watch as it is.In my opinion the next launch of the Daytona will be in stainless steel with a black ceramic bezel.

    2. says: Roger

      Yes, 40 mm for the daytona is too small for a sportive watch. I would not only wish for a 42 to 44 mm Daytona, but would love to see
      a 42 to 44 mm submariner chronograph with two totalisators and date by 6 o`clock!!!!! The favourite complication is the chronograph, when does Rolex accept it and reacts???

  14. says: Sahr Johnny

    Interesting. No Rolex Daytona Cosmograph (Platinum). I guess the price excluded it from your list.

    1. It’s a personal choice and so the Daytona would have never made it on my list. The Daytona today has become a nice women’s watch and is no longer a desired item for men. As long Rolex presents not a new and much more masculine one I only mention the Daytona when I write about It-watches for women… 🙂

  15. says: Bill Wells

    Great list, some very nice watches indeed. I’ve just picked up a Roamer Searock, auto, 5-year guarantee from Ernest jones in the UK for £295 (reduced from £595). Now thats what a call a bargain for a very smart watch. Keep up the excellent work!!

  16. says: BermudaTriangle

    Alexander, I’m just catching up on my reading after some business travel. I enjoyed seeing your selections in your top 10 value luxury list, particularly Nomos and Freddie C. Did you also consider Raymond Weil?

    My personal favorite complication is the full, annual and perpetual calendar. I am only aware of a couple of watches that offer this feature within your EUR 3500 range and they are all B&M and Breitling. And it seems that the feature is too often paired with a chronograph which I personally think is unnecessary and, of course, it pushes up the price.

    After those it is a bit of a jump to the Zenith Captain Winsor and the Omega SeaMaster and DeVille annuals and all of these are well past your ceiling price (but I suggest they are a good quality and content value for their price).

    Full calendars without the annual or perpetual feature seem to be something of a rarity now and seem to show up only in higher range mechanical models along with other features.

    And perpetual calendars are apparently not possible below US 20,000. I suppose that it is so expensive to put in that one little wheel that takes four years to make a full turn. 🙂

    Once again you’ve done a most interesting survey – I look forward to seeing your next list of the higher tier value models (and maybe some calendars?). Thanks, as always, for your great work.

  17. says: Tom

    Nice list gor true value of money in the 2013 mechanical watch world, i suggest to add the upgraded new Seiko Monster series, and definitely also the Orient Star Standard Date DV02003W which oozes quality at a reasonable price. It looks a bit like an omega aqua terra.

  18. says: Jason1

    Alex, what a great site you run and produce. Always interesting articles to make you think but in these hard times, for some, a limit of 1000 euro would be interesting . Keep up the superb work.

  19. says: David

    Swatch is fantastic ever since it was invented, and the fascination still holds for me, for example the Scuba libre is very nice and well made. I am really looking forward to the Sistem 51 and for sure will buy one. Also, Oris draws more and more of my attention – they are located near to where I grew up and they seem to become more and more innovative. When we are talking about value for price, I would also mention Zenith.

    1. Absolutely agree with Zenith, but in the average price range I mentioned I do not see a model I like. Just a question of my personal taste 🙂

  20. says: Thomas

    I absolutely adore the Hamilton as well as the Tissot skeleton. I can see that you like diving watches the Oris is nice but I am surprised that you did not include the Tissot Touch either Diver or Racer? Anyway well done thanks

  21. says: Chris Launder

    The Stowa Marine model at around Euro 1000 has to be a contender , although made in small numbers and usually a waiting list ( for good reason ) .

  22. says: Amir

    Wow! Great list! I can’t find fault with it all. I particularly like the Longines and the Frederique Constant… Only “suggestion” I would make would be the Hamilton Pan-Europ– it lists for under $2,000, and has the double register version of the caliber H-31 (modified 7753). It does the 70s inspired reissue as good as anything– regardless of price.

  23. says: BobBraun

    I think you put the wrong picture for the Longines. The model you are showing is quartz. Regarding the B&M: nice watch but can’t you find the exact same mouvement in a Longines (and lots of other brands) for less than half the price? Or do I miss something here?


    1. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Correct, I was showing the wrong picture. This was the quartz version. Sorry for that! Now you see the mechanical version, that looks almost 1:1. Concerning the ETA 2893 and the Baume & Mercier I have to disagree with you, since yes you can get the movement in other watches for maybe less money, but you will then not have a Baume & Mercier. The design, execution and quality of this particular Baume & Mercier makes the difference for me … So may choice was not a coincidence … Thank you once again for letting me know that I posted the quartz version …

  24. says: Clifford Meyer

    I’ve been subscribed to your newsletter for a short while now and I really enjoy your articles. This is a great top 10, each a good watch for the price: the Tissot is a delight, I have never seen them do anything quite like this before; I used to think Tudor was the poor man’s Rolex, but I now prefer them; the Frédérique Constant is gorgeous and would be my number 1 in this list; and it’s good to see Hamilton producing eye-catching and affordable designs.
    Just my ha’penny worth! Keep up the great work.

    1. Clifford, thank you for the kind feedback! Yes, nowadays you can buy good watches also for little money. After overseeing the actual novelties I thought these watches are worth being mentioned here 🙂

      Stay tuned and please don’t touch that dial 🙂 There is much more to come!

        1. says: Clifford Meyer

          It’s a pleasure to read your posts, Alexander. I’m glad I signed up!

  25. says: Mezdis

    A cool list, Alex! I agree with your choices.
    However, I am wondering how the Oris depth gauge will perform in the long run…

  26. says: Nick Senn

    how about Longines Heritage 1940,Mühle Glashütte,Tissot Powermatic (maybe even Omega Deville Prestige and Omega Seamaster 300M).

    The list is a little difficult to digest since there are dress watches mixed with sport ones and even few chronographs that are a different category.
    The criteria is also missing; movement refinement or something else.

          1. says: Nick Senn

            impossible; I don’t have the knowledge to judge the refinement and sturdiness of the movement inside.

            So, if I would say “best watch for the money” I would probably indicate any watch that has the Omega 8500 caliber inside. :)) 😀

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