This can’t be answered in binary. For affordability, here, doesn’t cut down their value for money. Let’s start with the similarities these affordable watches share.


The common points

  • All are quality products, providing excellent values.
  • They all use in-house movements or stock movements manufactured by renowned movement manufacturers. E.g. ETA from the Swatch Group supplying the guts for an automatic Tissot to the quartz TAG. Or a Miyota to be found both within a Citizen and a Ratio.
  • They actually do what they are meant for, without faking features and/or functions.
  • The makers of these watches have always been innovators. Engineers appointed by these brands improved measures to make the watches not just function better but look too.

The common mistake

Casual buyers often end up going spendy-trendy, buying a more expensive piece utilizing the same movement, only varying externally and that’s more for the emblem on the dial (or wherever visible) than because of any great differences in materials; perhaps a finer finish or a slightly better build quality. A Breitling Navitimer will have the same ETA 7750 as the Raymond Weil Geneve Freelancer, but with a $2500 difference.

Few examples to save you from spending the extra dollars

  • Raymond Weil Geneve Freelancer: An automatic chronograph watch, powered by the ETA 7750 – a reliable mechanical movement – and built by a Swiss, horologers’ family making watches for three generations. This very inexpensive stance from Raymond Weil plays a significant role in your choosing of an affordable mechanical watch with an excellent value.
  • AVI-8 Hawker Harrier II: Uses Miyota 8247; a 21 jewel, 21,600 beat, 2 hand movement with a small ‘seconds’ indicator and a 24 hours indicator. It’s inspired by the aircrafts known for their ability to take off and land vertically and named as they were by the air force of the United Kingdom.
  • Zeppelin Flatline: Uses a MIYOTA automatic caliber 9132, with a power reserve indicator. Made by Citizen; got 26 jewels, beats at 28800 vps and the whole ensemble is 51° lift-angled. A wonder compared to many other Swiss stock movements.
  • Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Automatic Chronograph: The Hamilton caliber H21 is essentially a Valjoux/ETA 7750, the variant featuring a custom designed H-pattern on the bridge; an increased accuracy and a power reserve full 18 hours more than the 7750’s 42 hours.

Is that all?

As stated before, these four examples shall set you along the way of finding some of the best mechanical watches that offer great values at affordable prices. These will help you determine the bests from an otherwise mind-boggling array of mechanical watches where a fancy name might otherwise cost you a considerable chunk.


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