Some people get excited by the idea of having an assortment of watches–dive, pilot, dressy, you name it (see our comprehensive watch guide), while others like to keep it simple: a good quality, nice looking timepiece that you can wear for all occasions. The issue with picking just one favorite is that the options on the market are truly endless, and the search can feel long and dizzying. You’re in luck, because our team of watch enthusiasts was up for the task, and did the research so you don’t have to. Without further ado, we present the best of the best (in our humble opinion) under $1,000. Happy shopping!
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Victorinox Alliance Mechanical
If you are a fan of classic watch designs and good movements, you’ll love the Victorinox Alliance Mechanical. The true timeless look is paired with the ETA 2892 automatic movement, providing a 42 hour power reserve. The exhibition case back provides a sneak peek into the inner workings of the movement, and the calendar window is placed at the 6 o’clock position on the dial–giving it a well balanced look that is very pleasing to the eye. It’s quite simply the whole package, a choice you will not come to regret.
Hamilton Khaki Field – The Interstellar watch
Okay–we had to include this one from Hamilton. Not just any watch, mind you. This is the watch that saved the world in the movie ‘Interstellar’. The beautiful Hamilton classic that Coop (Matthew McConaughey) left for his daughter before departing on his mission to the stars. The watch was then used as a tool to communicate coordinates in Morse code from another dimension, enabling Murph Cooper (the daughter) to complete an equation and therefore save humanity from complete destruction. As a well-deserved nod to the movie, the word “Eureka” is printed on the seconds hand in Morse code in lacquer. A great watch with an awesome background story? YES please.
Tissot Heritage Visodate Powermatic 80
This beauty by Tissot was inspired by the Visodate Collection from the ‘50s. It merges the classic look with modern elements perfectly, making it a great choice for you as well as an heirloom for next generations. The Powermatic 80 automatic movement will give you up to 80 hours (!) power reserve. A real gentleman’s everyday watch.
One word: classy. The Longines HydroConquest strikes a perfect balance between elegance and active lifestyle. The 41 mm case diameter makes it a great size for all wrists, and you can wear this classic design to a wide range of occasions, from a date night at a restaurant to a diving expedition. All around a great pick that will last you a lifetime.
Shinola The Runwell Chrono 41 mm
Shinola watches are hand-assembled in Detroit, and the 41 mm Runwell Chrono brings us a classic looking watch with a modern twist: the signature Arabic numerals and 2 sub-dials. The stainless steel case, blue dial and brown leather strap combination adds visual appeal and the result is a reliable, comfortable, and stylish timepiece that can be your new best friend for almost all occasions.
Raymond Weil Freelancer
The Freelancer collection by Raymond Weil is one of the most well known collections, and rightly so. Our pick here is a perfectly sized 42.5 mm case diameter, making it a great fit for all wrist sizes. The classic design ensures an evergreen appearance for virtually all situations. Can’t go wrong with this one!
Certina DS Action GMT
The incredibly durable DS Action GMT Automatic is the ideal travel companion since it is renowned for accuracy and exceptional toughness. The GMT hand doesn’t take the attention away from the overall design, yet remains highly visible, so it’s easy to track time in a second time zone. The 80-hour power reserve is as impressive as the black and dark green combination, which makes the Certina DS Action GMT a very unique watch.
The Marus by Sternglas is inspired by classic diving watches but with a minimalist, modern look. With the classic and clean looking black and stainless steel combination, you never have to worry about not being on trend. The domed sapphire glass has a double anti-reflective coating and is scratch-resistant. We love the minimalist look of the steel bracelet as well, and as a bonus, this watch is water resistant for up to 200 meters, so you have all your bases covered.