Great Watches Under $5,000
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11
There are a handful of chronographs that have reached icon status since coming to market. The TAG Heuer Monaco, or rather its vintage counterpart the Heuer Monaco, is one such model. While Heuer has many legendary chronographs, such as the Autavia and the Carrera, the Monaco really stands out. This comes down to a few things: its looks, historical significance, and the original vintage movement. The new TAG Heuer Monaco looks just like the old one, but it probably doesn’t seem as strange as the original did when it first came out. If you like square watches and chronographs, the Monaco might just be the perfect watch for you. This model builds on the legacy of the Heuer Monaco, and there are clear lines between the two. If the original Monaco was good enough for Steve McQueen, this one has a solid chance of being good enough for any of us. The Calibre 11 that powers this TAG Heuer isn’t the same movement you’ll find in vintage Monacos, even though they share a name; however, this should be the least of your concerns. The TAG Heuer Monaco is an awesome timepiece for a great price.
Enthusiast’s Corner: Rare and Exceptional Timepieces
Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto Chrono
Everybody loves an elegantly done remake that comes close to the original in terms of design while adding a modern touch. If you are on the market for such a watch, the Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto Chrono is one to consider. The brand offers a number of chronograph models with panda and reverse panda dials in 40 and 42-mm cases, and this watch is one of them. The blue dial with contrasting white subdials and tachymeter scale makes for a great color combination. The watch is easy to read and stands out from all those other monochrome chronographs. Its 40-mm case makes the Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto Chrono contemporary in size, but the pump pusher and large crown are both nods to its vintage roots. While some aren’t fond of the date window at 6 o’clock, I actually don’t mind it. This watch looks good and wears well, pairing a trusty automatic movement with a neo-vintage look – what more could you want?
Iconic Timepieces: Great Value for Money
Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA231
Many consider Grand Seiko the elegant, less sporty sibling of Seiko. The Grand Seiko lineup is most famous for its classy watches, while Seiko offers everything from divers to chronographs. However, Grand Seiko has four major model lines, one of which is the Sport collection. The timepieces in this family possess the same elegance as every other Grand Seiko – beautifully finished cases, decorated movements, and advanced technology; however, they do so while looking just as sturdy and sporty as any other Seiko diver. The Grand Seiko SBGA231, for example, is the perfect blend of sophistication and style. Its 44-mm titanium case makes the watch lightweight despite its large size, and its Spring Drive movement is not only extremely accurate but also has a power reserve of 72 hours, as well as an associated indicator at 8 o’clock. Large hands and indices make the SBGA231 the perfect companion underwater.