Affordable, a vague and variable term; in modern luxury contexts presents something presentable; something that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. The watch kingdom, as we see it today, offers quite a few of such surprises worthy of respect. Which to endorse? All equally good for the purposes they have been built. Most of them are from renowned watchmakers. Fashion brands – leaving a couple of them – don’t stand a chance here. They might be more expensive for their bling but not when it comes to the real work.

Speaking of real work, well; Casio G-Shock is a name known to all. Its horological purism in the digital domain as a multifunctional, useful watch is unquestionable. The great classics of digital watch engineering and designing, they got a blunt, no-nonsense, purpose-driven appearance. They are reassuring, appealing and robust. Any Patek Phillipe Grand Complication (or something equivalent) won’t survive a minute amidst situations that a G-Shock faces on a regular basis and comes out smiling. In its simplest versions, they are plain cheap, but not at the cost of their durability or performance.

But no watch collection is complete without mechanicals and Seiko kind of rules this part of the territory. From the 5 to the Presage – stopping by the Superior for a while – examples are many. So many that you actually lose count at the end. Robust and reliable, the bewildering plethora of Seiko designs (sometimes unexpectedly beautiful!) and features are what most other so-called luxury brands struggle after. Their sister-brand Orient (mechanical only; auto/manual) also share a similar story.

Now we come to Citizen Eco-Drive; Japan never ceases to surprise. These are not social media driven watches (how they keep their distance is however; a rant for another day) and their products, it seems, doesn’t face adversity with indifference. It seems to get actively hostile to stay away from hurt. These watches look sharp, work cool and run on power they create internally.

Those with a time- and date-only, simple watch in mind face no trouble; they just need to focus on the design. Problem starts when you want something more in your watch. Casio offers too many being digital; Citizen and Seiko (being analogue-faced mostly) offer limited but extremely accurate functions. You can’t get all in one; you need to get two or three different watches for that. You may start with the GMT; a watch that shows time in two different time-zones at once. An hour hand that’s set independently to show one hour increments and a hand that rotates once every 24 hours. This one shows home-time and as you arrive at a new destination, set the hour hand to the new local time.

(To be contd.)

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below.  Click to see details and buy them: