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Focusing On Watches Regular People Can Afford

Latest Posts & Reviews

Hands-On: AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1960s

Avi-8 is one of my favorite little/big watch brands because of how on-point their watches are thematically. Avi-8 embodies the aviation watch in fun and sometimes over the top ways. Their latest – the Flyboy Centenary edition – is a great example of that.

Both the 1960s and 1980s versions are fitted with three color schemes. Here I’ve got the blue dial 1960s (model AV-4060-02), which I think is the best looking. Let’s take a closer look.

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Scurfa Watches Diver One

Several weeks back a reader emailed me asking if I’d ever seen a watch from Scurfa Watches hands-on. Scurfa, a microbrand based out of the UK, is owned by Paul Scurfield. A North Sea pressure diver, Paul created Scurfa in order to build dive watches that gave divers high-end capability… but at an affordable price.

Scurfa is a two-person brand – my favorite kind of company – and so I decided to buy a Diver One Blue and get my feet wet. Let’s dive in.

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Undone Urban Tropical Sahara

UNDONE is an independent brand that has taken a unique approach to their watches: customers can customize their watch – changing cases, dials, casebacks, and even engraving initials – via UNDONE’s website watch builder. Fans of customization rejoice!

Priced at $345, the Urban Tropical Sahara is within the scope of what most would consider a “nice watch”. This is the first UNDONE I’ve seen hands-on, so let’s not waste any time in having a closer look.

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Citizen Promaster “EcoZilla”: One Serious Diver!

Powered by an Eco-Drive quartz movement, and with styling only an underwater welder could love, the Promaster BJ8050-08E is one of the few watches I’ve come across where the photos do not at all demonstrate the entirety of it. Suffice to say that this Promaster is 100% business, built tough as nails, and designed to handle itself under pressure. With a common street price of under $225, it’s also an affordable option that gives its wearers more for less. So, let’s go for a deep dive as we explore the Citizen Promaster BJ8050-08E!

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Hamilton Khaki Navy Sub Auto Review

I have talked about Hamilton watches quite a lot on WYCA over the years because their mid-range price point puts them right in the upper-end of affordable for most people. “Watch people” might spend north of $1,500 on a watch without hesitation, but for most that’s simply a bit too much. $500 or $600, though? That’s more manageable.

Priced on the grey market in the $490 – $525 range, the Sub Auto is an affordable Swiss-made dive watch with an ETA 2824-2 in it. This is my favorite price range to shop in, and so I definitely appreciated a chance to assess the Sub Auto hands-on. Let’s check it out.

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Invicta Specialty Mechanical Hands-On Review

Invicta’s reputation is as polarizing as it gets in the watch world. I make a point of not being interested in popular opinion when assessing a brand as I’d rather see their watches hands-on and form my own opinion. It was in that spirit that I plopped down $80 to purchase this specialty and give it a fair shake

Given its low price, many will find the Specialty attractive, and there’s no denying that the Skeleton dial is atypical compared to the usual $80 watch. After several mixed experiences with similar watches from other brands, I was genuinely curious to see how the ultra-affordable Specialty would be.

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Orient Monarch Mechanical Hands-On Review

As of the time of this review, the MSRP of the Monarch is $335 (though I bought this one off of Amazon for $160). The Monarch is a classy dress watch that is rather conservatively styled (once you look past the serif hour markers). This model comes with a leather strap, stainless steel buckle, and an exhibition caseback.

Like the Bambino, which I still maintain is the best automatic watch you can buy for under $250, the Monarch hits that sweet spot where what it brings to the table greatly exceeds what it costs to eat there. You won’t find another quality mechanical – let alone with a power reserve complication – at this price point until you start looking at no-name Chinese-manufactured movements.

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Stowa Marine Klassik 40 Roman White

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.

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DuFa Aalto Regulator Hands-On Review

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.

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Hands-On With the James McCabe Heritage Retrograde

Six weeks back I received an e-mail from Drew Meyer, who represents several watch brands. Among them is James McCabe, a highly-stylized microbrand that is doing what brands like Lucien Piccard should have done. Not long after that e-mail, the Heritage Retrograde arrived at my doorstep – courtesy of Drew – and it has commanded my interest ever since.

As the photos within this review will undoubtedly show, the Heritage Retrograde – a sub-$300 quartz casual watch – is among the most excellently styled (and stylized) watches I have come across in a good long time (if not ever). The real question is: is it a good watch? I suppose you’ll have to read on to find out.

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Timex Waterbury Classic in Rose Gold

The Waterbury collection is Timex’s dressier line of affordables, with timeless styling and a multitude of options in terms of sizes, straps/bracelets, and color schemes. On my wrist here is the is the Classic 36mm in rose gold and brown crocodile-grain leather (model: TW2R72500VQ), which is a unisex dress suitable for most occasions.

With an MSRP just north of $100, the Waterbury Classic is an affordable and upscale looking watch that fits in most circumstances. Thanks to its size, it’s also a unisex watch that is equally comfortable on the wrist of a man or a woman (as Melissa and Don demonstrate here).

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Casio G-Shock DW-5600E-1V

The 5600E is the definition of what I wanted to find when I started WYCA. It’s a great value, with excellent water resistance, enduring battery life, unparalleled visibility, and rugged build quality. It also managed to remain aesthetically relevant more than 22 years after its introduction. These types of qualities are what I appreciate most in a watch. Let’s check it out.

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Casio MDV106-1AV Hands-On Review

The MDV106-1AV is handsome for a diver, and it’s absolutely as capable as its deep-water aesthetic suggests. I had to do a double-take on it, actually, as I’d have no idea this wasn’t a $200+ watch if I hadn’t bought it myself on Amazon and paid $45 for it. With that in mind, let’s make some waves with the Casio’s most affordable and ubiquitous diver.

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Watch Reviews By Category

  • Under $100
  • Under $250
  • Under $500
  • Automatic
  • Quartz/Electronic

Invicta Specialty Mechanical Hands-On Review

Invicta’s reputation is as polarizing as it gets in the watch world. I make a point of not being interested in popular opinion when assessing a brand as I’d rather see their watches hands-on and form my own opinion. It was in that spirit that I plopped down $80 to purchase this specialty and give it a fair shake

Given its low price, many will find the Specialty attractive, and there’s no denying that the Skeleton dial is atypical compared to the usual $80 watch. After several mixed experiences with similar watches from other brands, I was genuinely curious to see how the ultra-affordable Specialty would be.

Scurfa Watches Diver One

Several weeks back a reader emailed me asking if I’d ever seen a watch from Scurfa Watches hands-on. Scurfa, a microbrand based out of the UK, is owned by Paul Scurfield. A North Sea pressure diver, Paul created Scurfa in order to build dive watches that gave divers high-end capability… but at an affordable price.

Scurfa is a two-person brand – my favorite kind of company – and so I decided to buy a Diver One Blue and get my feet wet. Let’s dive in.

Hands-On: AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1960s

Avi-8 is one of my favorite little/big watch brands because of how on-point their watches are thematically. Avi-8 embodies the aviation watch in fun and sometimes over the top ways. Their latest – the Flyboy Centenary edition – is a great example of that.

Both the 1960s and 1980s versions are fitted with three color schemes. Here I’ve got the blue dial 1960s (model AV-4060-02), which I think is the best looking. Let’s take a closer look.

Hands-On: AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1960s

Avi-8 is one of my favorite little/big watch brands because of how on-point their watches are thematically. Avi-8 embodies the aviation watch in fun and sometimes over the top ways. Their latest – the Flyboy Centenary edition – is a great example of that.

Both the 1960s and 1980s versions are fitted with three color schemes. Here I’ve got the blue dial 1960s (model AV-4060-02), which I think is the best looking. Let’s take a closer look.

Scurfa Watches Diver One

Several weeks back a reader emailed me asking if I’d ever seen a watch from Scurfa Watches hands-on. Scurfa, a microbrand based out of the UK, is owned by Paul Scurfield. A North Sea pressure diver, Paul created Scurfa in order to build dive watches that gave divers high-end capability… but at an affordable price.

Scurfa is a two-person brand – my favorite kind of company – and so I decided to buy a Diver One Blue and get my feet wet. Let’s dive in.

Popular Reviews & Posts

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Seiko 5 SNK809 Automatic Review

It's hard not to appreciate what Seiko offers in the 5 series. The SNK809 is a good looking, basic automatic watch that offers little frills... and has a diminutive price point to match. Whenever anyone starts getting into watches, the most popular recommendation for a first automatic is - by far - a Seiko 5. Buy a couple of complimentary straps and you can wear it just about anywhere, anytime. This is such a great watch.

Real Watch Reviews By The People Who Wear Them

WYCA was launched on the belief that affordable watches deserve a little bit of love. With kind regard to the premium brands that continue to inspire us with their stunning creations, our eye leans toward the truly special and unique affordables that are interesting in their own right.

We purchase the majority of the watches we review and run long-term updates on the timepieces in our collections. We also work with small independent watch brands and crowdfunded watch projects. The watch community is enjoying a renaissance of sorts, where people can come together to turn a dream into a reality. We love those kinds of stories and the watches they create.

Our watch reviews, including the media and photos in them, are created by the people that wear the watches. They are authentic and based on our first-hand experiences. Learn more about how we review watches and about us.

Automatic, Mechanical, & Quartz Watch Reviews

The movement to a watch is what an engine is to a car. Our love for the wristwatch extends to any well made timepiece, whether it has a battery or a mainspring inside.

We believe that the mechanical wristwatch is an incredible piece of engineering; a proverbial beating heart that can tick more than a billion times over the course of its life. In each review, we assess the movement and test its accuracy; long-term reviews discuss its reliability and lifetime accuracy.

When a watch is an excellent example of the best you can find at its price point, we add it to our picks. These are our favorite- check them out!

View our automatic watch reviews or our quartz watch reviews.