Affordable Dress Watches Under $5,000: Four To Buy NowWritten by Melissa Kong
You’ve read our beginner’s guide to men’s dress watches. Now here are some affordable options that will go relatively easy on your pocket.
RAYMOND WEIL MAESTRO TRADITION Ref. 2838 STC 00659 - $2,180
Nothing says “classic dress watch” like Roman numerals and a ‘clou de Paris’ dial. Built with the self-winding Calibre SW260, this beauty comes with 38-hour power reserve and is water resistant for up to 50 metres. Granted, these numbers aren’t the most impressive but it’s also highly unlikely you’ll be taking your dress watch to a week-long dive trip. We have other watches to recommend for that but when it comes to a dress watch, this Raymond Weil timepiece does the job nicely and is just as suited for the office or a casual day out.
FORTIS FOUNDER Ref. 902.20.32 – S$3,150
As an independent, family-owned company, Fortis was under the leadership of its founder, Walter Vogt for 45 years till his death in 1957. In tribute to his pioneering spirit, the company went through its archives to revive a popular model and renamed it ‘Founder’, with a limited issue of 222 pieces.
The watch bears characteristics of the classic Terrestis collection with a round case, integrated lugs and leather straps. The clean dial features raised nickel indexes and a SuperLumiNova dot at the end of each one for enhanced visibility in dim lighting. Finished off with a 40mm polished stainless steel case, this handsome piece is a quite the quintessential dress watch.
MAURICE LACROIX PONTOS 41MM POWER RESERVE Ref. PT6368-SS01-330-1 - S$3,300
This relatively young Swiss manufacture is often overlooked in favour of the big boys in the exclusive Jura Valley club but it might be a good thing to pay it some attention. You may not realise this but they’ve actually been producing complex parts for their in-house movements since 2006, even presenting a new Grande Complication two years later.
This Pontos 41mm Power Reserve is a very respectable piece of watchmaking, equipped with a self-winding movement and power reserve of 42 hours with an indicator at eight o’clock. Integral to the new collection this year is the enhanced case design for better wearability and comfort. Curved lugs and crown protectors seamlessly fused to the caseband offer a sleeker profile while the sun-brushed dial, available in silver or black, give the watch an elegant vibe.
NOMOS TANGENTE DATUM GANGRESERVE Ref. 131 – S$4,950
At almost $5,000, this is the priciest of the lot. But with its price tag also comes worthy features like the in-house manual-winding NOMOS Calibre DUW 4401 with date and patented off-centre power reserve indicator, as well as their proprietary NOMOS swing system.
The timepiece also features decentralised seconds, Incabloc shock protection, tempered blue screws and rhodium-plated movement surfaces with signature Glashütte ribbing and NOMOS perlage, seen through the transparent sapphire crystal caseback. Looks-wise, it’s typically NOMOS and if you like the unfussy yet slightly trendy look, this one’s your best bet.
Like most people these days, Melissa tells the time with her phone. She considers serious timepieces works of art and thinks the perpetual calendar is the handiest complication to date (pun not intended). She's also a Grammar Nazi but promises not to judge if you can't tell the difference between "guilloche" and "guillotine".