Picking a racing watch is an exciting endeavor, and we are here to help you navigate the seemingly endless number of options on the market. As always, we were on the lookout for outstanding quality, timeless design, and that little extra something that ensures a steady flow of compliments on your new watch. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best racing watches under or around $2,000.
*By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.
Hamilton American Classic INTRA-MATIC
The Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono is a new recreation of a 1968 signature timepiece that delivers a sporty yet timeless design. With its characteristic panda dial and true 1960s charm, the H-31 automatic watch is a surefire eye-catcher. It’s a great watch for classic car enthusiasts as well as the tachymeter on the bezel and long seconds hand make you feel like you’re looking at a dashboard of a racing car, already visualizing the checkered flag.
TAG Heuer Formula 1
There is no comprehensive racing watch list that doesn’t include a TAG Heuer, and our pick is the Formula 1. This watch has a very serious, masculine look due to all black dial, bezel, and push buttons. It comes complete with all the elements of a true racing watch, including a high tech rubber band that is very comfortable on the wrist. The Formula 1 is built for durability, speed, and endurance, marked by the checkered flag engraving on the back of the case.
Hamilton American Classic Pan Europ Day-Date Auto
The American Classic Pan Europ from Hamilton is an absolute classic, just like the name suggests. In the true American spirit, it fuses sophisticated design elements with robust practicality effortlessly, resulting in a timepiece that is not only reliable but sure to draw compliments as well. The NATO strap it comes with ensures it will sit on your wrist comfortably and securely, and due to its classic and sophisticated dial design, this watch can easily become your everyday favorite.
Read our Hamilton brand review.
Baume et Mercier Capeland
Our next contender comes from Baume et Mercier, more specifically from their known and loved Capeland collection. As opposed to being on the bezel, the tachymeter is placed right on the dial, giving this watch a sleek, sophisticated look. The case diameter is 42 mm, ensuring comfortable wear for most wrist sizes. As an added and very much appreciated bonus, this Capeland has a skeleton case back, giving us a sneak peek into the inner workings of the Baume et Mercier’s in-house automatic movement. Definitely one of our favorite picks.
Raymond Weil Freelancer
Raymond Weil is a Swiss independent watchmaker, and in our opinion – offers one of the best values on the market. Investing into one of their timepieces is betting on quality craftsmanship and lasting, impeccable design. In this case, they present us with a collection that blends classic and modern elements just right. The Freelancer is powered by Raymond Weil’s own in-house automatic movement, giving you 48 hours of power reserve. We love the stunning simplicity of the brushed stainless steel case and push buttons, and of course the skeleton case back. 10/10 in our book.
Read more about Raymond Weil watches.
Rado HyperChrome Chronograph
At this point it seems well established and documented that we love pops of orange on sporty watches, so we bring you some more of the good stuff: the Rado HyperChrome Chronograph. Sleek yet sporty, this watch has a really dynamic yet sophisticated look, making this watch an excellent candidate to become your everyday companion. The case diameter is on the bigger side at 44 mm, best suited for bigger wrist sizes. Admire the automatic movement (with a 52-hour power reserve!) through the skeleton back case. All around a great choice.
Tissot Heritage 1973
Tissot honours its historic links to motor racing with a re-issue of a seventies-style chronograph, as innovators by tradition. The Tissot Heritage 1973 is pleased to be a part of Tissot’s illustrious stable. It represents the collaboration between Tissot and the Kessel Classics racing team. This 43 mm wide chronograph, with a silvery grey dial and matte black counters, meets modern criteria and is available in a limited edition of 1973 pieces. The overstitched black calfskin strap, with its huge perforations, is a replica of the one Tissot designed and patented in the 1960s. Tissot has equipped this racing machine with the ETA Valjoux 7753 self-winding movement, which is a durable, powerful, and well-tested engine.
Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Chronograph Silver
The Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Chronograph model, inspired by Alpina’s legendary 1970 design, has a barrel case design, screw down crown, and automatic chronograph movement – Alpina’s own AL-727 caliber providing 55 hours of power reserve. The tachymeter is not on the bezel, but part of the dial, which gives this already beautiful watch a more elegant look.
Baume et Mercier Clifton Club Automatic Chronograph
Another great option from Baume et Mercier is the Clifton Club Automatic Chronograph, a classically designed racing watch that is sure to stand the test of time. We love the orange accent color on the dial, and the black and cream dominant color combination is something you don’t see on every corner. The case diameter (44 mm) is on the bigger side, so this watch is best suited for gentlemen with larger wrist sizes.
BALL Engineer Hydrocarbon Racer
The Engineer Hydrocarbon racer watch from BALL is a very serious timepiece, exuding masculine energy. The stainless steel bracelet, black tachymeter bezel and blue dial combination gives this watch a “straight to business” feel, no messing around. The patented crown protection system adds a layer of intrigue, a very cool eye-catching design element. Here’s an interesting piece of history: when standard time was adopted in 1883, Webster Clay Ball was the first jeweler to use time signals, bringing accurate time to Cleveland, Ohio. For this reason, the Engineer Hydrocarbon has a picture of a locomotive engraved on the back in reference to the American railroads, symbolizing the importance of accurate time keeping.