The Marine Klassik is one of Stowa’s best-selling timepieces, and for good reason. A semi-customizable watch, the Marine Klassik 40 gives its owners choice with respect to which movement powers it. The base model, coming in at roughly $650 USD, is powered by an ETA 2824-2; opting to upgrade introduces both the top-finish ETA 2824-2 (+$130), a limited-edition model with an ETA 2892, or a hand-wound ETA 2804-2 (+300). All versions are made by hand and come with fine finishing- traits Stowa is known for.Read More
Those looking for historical horological significance will likely overlook DuFa. Deutsche Uhrenfrabrik – aka, DuFa – is a brand that has flown underneath the radar, as they compete in a sea microbrands and Kickstarter success stories. In today’s environment, it’s difficult to differentiate yourself and there are a lot of up and coming indie brands out there. But DuFa stands out, and so do their watches.
Take, for example, the Aalto Regulator I have here. The German roots of its style are undeniable – clean shapes, a bold face, and minimal distractions – and the mechanical heartbeat, care of the Miyota 8217 automatic ticking within, is found in hundreds of watch models the world over. A blend of sophisticated style and practical engineering- very German.Read More
Justin Ng, owner of Gem by Carati and frequent WYCA benefactor, got in touch and asked if I was ready to check out another limited edition Hamilton. Who could say no to a line like that?
He sent me over the newish Intra-Matic 68, a limited-edition auto chrono powered by Hamilton’s H-31 automatic. Only 1968 of these were built, and of those, only 20 made their way to Canada. With that in mind, let’s check out this modern take on a vintage greatest hit.Read More
In 2010, Seiko released the SARB065 Cocktail Time. A classic watch, and one that will enjoy decades of relevance, is a hard design to pen. Of course, the Cocktail Time is among those that get it right.
In my hands, I have the SARB065, aka the “Cocktail Time Cool”. Before I move on to the updated Presage Cocktail Time next month, I wanted to get hands-on with the aging SARB065 so that I had an accurate basis for comparison when I get hands-on with the new one.Read More
The Freelancer collection, released in 2007, is one of their mainstay lineups. With an MSRP just north of $3,000, the Freelancer Chronograph is more expensive than other chrono’s I’ve tested from Swiss brands.
In any case, as always, I was more than happy to get this chronograph around my wrist. Let’s check it out.Read More
Check out this modular/interchangeable watch from Egard! On my wrist is the Vader, which is the name of the collection of parts used to build the watch as opposed to that of the watch itself. The dial is named the Dillishaw, and the other components (case, bezel, strap/bracelet) are given no name at all, so Vader it is (rolls off the tongue easier than Dillishaw).Read More
The Commander II is quite typical of an entry-level luxury watch from a Swatch-group manufacturer: it’s an automatic, made with upper-end materials, priced in the $600 range in the grey market ($1,000ish MSRP – like most of the Hamilton’s and Tissot’s of a similar caliber I’ve reviewed).
In any case, I was excited to get some hands-on time with the Mido Commander II (in gold, of course).Read More
The Multifort Day/Date I have here is my first hands-on experience with Mido; it’s also one of the better-looking versions of the Multifort collection (though all of them are attractive). I prefer clean, purposeful design, and the gold/white dial/brown leather combination I have here is well-styled by such definition.
This watch scratches all the right aesthetic itches.Read More
The Slimline Classics is the first Frederique Constant I’ve reviewed on WYCA, and when I received it I was quite excited to get some wrist time. At this price point, Frederique Constant competes directly against brands I’ve gotten plenty of hands-on experience with (Hamilton, Tissot, and Seiko) and I was curious to see how it compared.
The model I have here is among the lease complicated in the collection, featuring a guilloche dial and a date display at 6 o’clock. Other models in the range feature small seconds, moonphase complications, and an assortment of styles. Regular readers know that my style is conservative, and the one I have here is my preferred version.Read More
Every watch geek goes through a “skeleton” phase. If you’re there now, the Swatch “Body & Soul” YAS100G is a pretty affordable pick. But is it any good? That’s the question we’re looking to answer today!
The MSRP on the Body and Soul is just north of $175, but astute Amazon shoppers will see it for around $150. For $150, you can get a lot of mechanical or automatic skeletons. So, is the Swatch better, and if so, why?Read More
The Audaz Scuba Master, a sub-$400 dive watch with a Seiko automatic inside, is a gigantic piece that’s built like a tank and rated to travel with you into the depths. This is a satisfying diver from an up and coming microbrand- check it out!Read More
Updated July 7, 2018
A common question we get on our Facebook and YouTube channels is “what are the best mechanical/automatic watches under $X”. The $X changes, but the sentiment in the question does not. It’s a good question, too, as there’s never been a broader selection of mechanically-powered watches than what’s available today.
In this list, I’ve called out my favorite automatic or mechanical watches priced under $1,500. A notable caveat: if the watch is an automatic, the movement must be able to be hand-wound like a non-automatic mechanical movement.Read More
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