There’s something about the price point of under $4K when it comes to watches. For many watch collectors, it’s the budget level that takes you above the realm of the $2K watches, which immediately makes me think of brands like Oris, Rado and Seiko, which are all fine brands we admire.
Photo by Oris
But if you have $2K saved for a watch, working a bit harder to push that budget up to where you can get a Tudor or less-sought-after vintage Rolex model makes one think it might be a good idea to look at the under $4K mark.
Photo by Monochrome Watches
We happen to really enjoy watches from Tudor and Rolex, so we’ll admit our bias. But it seems like they do hold value better and if you look at a watch like the Tudor Royal, these are readily available and have a lot of charm. Integrated bracelet, a day-date complication on the 41mm model and a cool engine-turned bezel are just some of the reasons that a new Royal might be one of the best values in the marketplace right now. The style is certainly not for everyone, but I do think it may be a wiser purchase than many other watches in that price range.
Image from Doxa Watches
As much as I love the fun factor of Seiko dive watches, I prefer them at the $500 level rather than the $2K level in most instances. One of my favorite watches I’ve owned at the $2500 mark was the DOXA 300 Sub, which has a trademark look marked by a cushion case and small dial. The Rado Iron Horse (at $1,800) is another example of vintage-inspired watch that has a standout look, a very-wearable 37mm case and cool beads-of-rice style bracelet. All of these watches in this price bracket are great on their own merits, but I’m arguing that pushing your budget can get you into a watch that may be more of a foundation-type watch in a small collection.
As I’ve mentioned in previous articles on the Everest Journal, you can find a classic Rolex Air-King for just under $4K. You’re still getting into a Rolex and, call us fanboys and fangirls, and that level of quality is a big enough step up to make it worth spending a little more for longer term enjoyment. Some will point to the rattly hollow bracelets of Rolex past as the biggest negative with non-modern Rolex watches, but many of us believe that these cheap feeling bracelets are some of the most comfortable we’ve ever worn.
Even if you are not into older Rolex models, we have been on the record on declaring the Black Bay 58 as the best value period in the current marketplace. Currently, they are not as difficult to get as when they first came out and for under $4K you are getting a superb build, an in-house movement with 70-hour power reserve and a fantastic looking piece.