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Six watches for autumn

Sonny Looms

I often have people asking me for my opinion on watches.

Half the time it’s about a particular brand, and I’m always happy to provide my point of view. The other half of the time it’s almost always budget related such as “What can you recommend for this price?” “How much should I splurge on a watch?”

In the almost all of these situations, the budget is always far less than I’d recommend spending on a watch—but everyone is different and values watches differently. There’s a lot of discussion on what constitutes “affordable” when it comes to watches.

Vintage aside, finding good value watches around the $1000 mark is getting easier and easier as brands are recognising that the majority of consumers aren’t in a position (or simply don’t want) to spend five to six figures on a watch. With that in mind, we’ve picked a handful of nice wrist candy that represent good value for money and won’t break the bank.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Day Date


The Hamilton Watch Company has been making timepieces since the early 1890s and became part of the Swatch Group—the world’s largest watch manufacturer—in 1971.

The Jazzmaster Day Date looks very much like some of Hamilton’s first models produced in the 1960s. This model stands out with its clean styling, quality bracelet and elegant caseback, featuring engravings on the steel surrounding the exhibition window.

The Jazzmaster Day Date has understated styling, presented at the perfect size for a vintage, simple but mechanical dress watch powered by an ETA 2834-2 automatic movement, which offers incredible reliability—this movement has been used in watches with day/date displays for over 35 years.

This is the perfect watch for someone looking for a proper mechanical watch from a historic brand at a very attainable price point. The Hamilton Jazzmaster Day Date is available in stainless steel (black or white or silver dial) from $1300.

Shop them here.

Corniche Hertiage 40


Hailing from Sweden, it’s immediately obvious to see that Corniche’s main focus is on materials and details; roman numerals, porcelain enamel dial, sapphire crystal and a butterfly clasp. On the whole, the Heritage 40 case is well machined and finished extremely nicely. The top and bottom are polished, whilst the sides are brushed, which breaks up the case interestingly. It’s a beautiful, traditional watch created for today.

The caseback, secured in place with 6 polished screws, features a Mediterranean pine tree; a motif representative of the brand’s inspiration from the French Riviera and Cote D’Azur.

The Heritage 40 reminds me a lot of the Patek Phillipe 5078, but at around $400,000–$450,000 it’s slightly beyond most people’s reach, whereas the Corniche seems very attainable at $515.

Shop them here.

Daniel Wellington Classic


Established in Uppsala in Sweden, Daniel Wellington watches are widely considered the watch for every occasion and gender.

With a relaxed and unpretentions clean dial, the Classic features a sleek and simple design with a Miyota Quartz movement wrapped in an ultra-thin case. Lightweight and easy to wear, this is a simple watch with lines instead of numbers, no buttons and no other distractions which deter from its minimalistic design.

One thing to note is the ease of the interchangeable straps for further personalisation, with a wide range of leather and nato straps from $45–$89 available from Daniel Wellington’s website.

Even though it’s the furthest piece from haute horology, this really is one of the most affordable and versatile timepieces around. The Classic is available in silver or rose gold at $229 with a leather strap, or $195 with a nato strap.

Shop them here.

Melbourne Watch Co


Melbourne Watch Company is a new Australian owned and operated watch manufacturer. It’s refreshing to see an Australian brand producing a competitively priced mechanical watch that looks great.

Complemented by an anti-reflective sapphire glass display, high grade 316L stainless steel case and genuine leather strap, the Flinders features strong masculine lines and attention to detail on the dial, hands and sapphire case back. The Flinders is powered by a Miyota Cal. 9015 movement, with the back looking just as refined as the front.

Available in a black or white dial, the Flinders Automatic retails at an attractive price point for those looking for a solid everyday watch that doesn’t cost four figures. The Flinders is available in a black or white dial, retailing for $569. See also the Portsea, which represents a contemporary take on the classic marine chronometer.

Tissot PRC 200 Quartz Chronograph


Tissot has built its reputation as a racing brand and their watches often feature the usual chronographs, tachymeters and italicized numerals—but the clean look of the PRC 200 combined with the sporty chronograph hands offer some racing flavour while maintaining a traditional look.

Tissot’s PRC 200 Quartz Chronograph is probably my favourite of the list. A classic sporty timepiece that’s water resistant to 20 Bar (200m), the chronograph features Super-LumiNova hands, a tachymetre and a Swiss-made Quartz ETA G10.211 movement. However, the star of the show by far is the stunning blue dial. The dial is an amazing deep blue shade with crisp white applied indices, complemented with a stainless steel polished case.

The PRC 200 is also available in black, silver and white dials—but I absolutely love the depth of the blue dial. All retail for $720.

Click here for more information.

Frédérique Constant Classics Manufacture


Frederique Constant is a relatively new Swiss brand, founded in 1988 by Peter Stas and Aletta Bax (the brand name is derived from Peter and Aletta’s respective middle names).

Frederique Constant has always focused on producing mechanical wristwatches made in Switzerland at an affordable price point, and the Classics Manufacture fully embodies this ethos.

The Classics Manufacture is priced from $3,495. Although the most expensive in this list, this watch represents amazing value considering the technical and aesthetic quality. There is no outsourcing for its in-house movements; all components are made in Switzerland, primarily in the manufacturer’s Plan-les-Ouates factory.

This watch is an absolute stunner (albeit the most expensive). Frederique Constant is the type of brand that exists in a very interesting pricing category. For some people it is the ultimate watch purchase of a lifetime, for others it is pocket change. At this price however, it’s definitely one of the few watches in its class with an in-house automatic movement and solid finishing across the dial and case. As a truely legitimate Swiss Made mechanical watch, there isn’t that much else out there when you want something more exclusive than an ETA. Available in silver and gold.

Image of ‘man with…’ via Shutterstock


Sonny Looms

Sonny Looms is a multi-disciplinary creative at Coordinate. Born and raised in Canberra, Sonny has been in the advertising and marketing industry since before his graduation, creating brand identities and design material for a wide range of clients, partnering with some of Australia’s leading brands. When not stuck to his Mac you’ll find him indulging in Canberra’s cafés and restaurants, frequenting the gym or travelling the globe. More about the Author