Surprisingly, as someone that’s been ‘in to’ buying watches since teenage years, I was … shocked … to see that a £5,000 watch is only considered ‘mid-range’ by a number of sites.
Really? Five thousand pounds on a watch is just … meh, middle of the road, nothing out of the ordinary?
Of course, I understand that you could be spending hundreds of thousands, but let’s reverse that – you could be spending a pound, or not even have a watch at all, after all, most of us have a mobile phone with some sort of time function.
Put it another way, you could buy some sort of Rolex for that money, and regardless of why some people buy them, they’re a style and engineering icon, something that will be recognised the world over, something that just says “money” to around 90% of the world’s population. Middle of the road it isn’t.
Middle of the road watches
Following on from the £1,000 and Under, I thought that we’d run through some of the higher-end stuff – what sort of watch can you get for under £5,000?
£5,000 seems to be about the realm of possibility for most normal horolophiles – yes, it’s a lot of money for a watch, but not quite reaching the levels of ridiculousness for a multi-millionaire looking to spend £30, 50, 100+ thousand on a watch.
So this is what I’d choose.
Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic
In a departure from their regular ‘big is beautiful’ styling ethos, Breitling has produced the Navitimer to look vintage in every way. This includes dropping the original Navitimer size from 46mm right down to 38mm, and it works.
This is classic styling that will work for most looks and budgets. Think of a modern vintage watch and the new Navitimer is just that.
Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra
Love, love, love this watch. Yes, it’s been created in collaboration with an American designer Peter Brock (not to be confused with the legendary King of the Mountain), but it takes its inspiration from the Shelby Cobra, right down to the pedal-shaped pusher buttons and automotive dashboard inspired subdials.
Tag Heuer Monaco Chronograph
I’m noticing a theme here … another automotive-inspired watch, but this list wouldn’t be complete with a Monaco gracing it, perhaps one of the most famous automotive watches in existence.
Whenever I think of the Tag Monaco, I can’t help associating that with the King of Cool himself, Steve McQueen.
Omega Seamaster Diver Co-Axial
I’m not going to reference 007, James Bond or Mis(h) Moneypenny, but the Seamaster has been part of my ‘must-have’ list for longer than any other, for no other reason than it’s just different enough to stand apart, and still have a classical design element that works with anything.
Oris Aquis Date
The thing I love about Oris is that you’re getting a super quality Swiss watch, but without the inflated pricing that automatically goes with the Swiss label.
With the Aquis Date, you’re getting a proper 300m dive watch, that’s virtually indestructible and a proper pedigree – this isn’t some mongrel pretending to be fancy.
OK, officially this doesn’t belong on the ‘Under £5k’ list, but I’m guessing that if you’re a regular visitor to your local nirvana of watches, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to pick one up for a fair bit less than retail, so in my book, that constitutes a fair fight.
The ‘Sub’ is a style icon, can take a knock or two and works in any situation.
Of course, you may look at these watches I’ve picked and dislike every single one, but that doesn’t matter – I know that I have a particular style that I like and know what works with me, but they won’t necessarily be the choice for everyone.
Five thousand pounds opens up a whole world of choices, and despite what some sites may tell you, we aren’t talking about run of the mill stuff, these are all high-end watches that most horolophiles would be happy to own, even if it wasn’t their dream watch.
I should also point out that it isn’t that I don’t like the classic looks or traditional simplicity, it’s just that for £5,000, I’d prefer to choose what I really want, rather than make a compromise.
Why not let us know which watches you’d choose for that budget? Have we missed something that every watch lover must-have? Let us know in the comments.