Quality need not always cost the earth, especially when it comes to Swiss watches,
Far from being designed for a privileged few, Swiss watches exist in endless variations and are offered in price segments that are just as diverse.
Here are some examples of new Swiss mechanical or quartz watches made in the finest tradition of the art of watchmaking and available for under $3,000.
Bomberg – Bolt-68 Chronograph
Whether on the wrist or peeking from the pocket of a pair of jeans, the Bolt-68 from Bomberg is going to be a great hit. This testosterone-packed model shakes up traditional watchmaking standards to impose its own rules. Forget about laterally-fitted pushers and crown; they now sit proudly at 12 o’clock. And the case? An ultra-powerful construction with a criss-cross knurled pattern around the rim that not only looks good and also ensures a firm grip when it’s time to transform the Bolt-68. Because this brilliant “toy for boys” is not just handsome but also transitions smoothly from wristwatch to pocket watch.
Breitling – Colt Automatic
Completely redesigned by Breitling, the Colt collection recaptures its original vocation: that of a watch made for the armed forces whose exceptional performance combines with an understated, efficient design. Bringing a new interpretation of the features that shot it to fame, the most affordable of Breitling watches is as robust, functional and legible as ever. Water-resistant to 200 m, the case is equipped with a large screw-lock crown with protective reinforcements, while the bezel is finished with four rider tabs. A fine circular raised pattern adds interest to the dial, which is circled by oversized, luminescent hands and markers for maximum readability.
Ernest Borel – Retro Collection II
Ernest Borel revisits the classics of the 1940s and 50s to give life to the timepieces of today. Retro Collection II trains the spotlight on the cushion-shaped case, creating a bold identity around carefully studied designs. Large Arabic numerals stand out against an uncluttered dial, while the railroad scale that circles the counters is a nod at the watch's vintage inspiration. An elegant leather strap lends the finishing touch to a chronograph that strikes a perfect balance of tradition and modernity.
Hamilton – Khaki X-Wind Limited Edition
Beneath a strikingly contemporary exterior, the Khaki X-Wind Limited Edition conceals a drift-angle calculator, a chronograph and a day/date calendar. However, this pilot's watch isn't just about performance: it also seduces with the structured architecture of a stepped dial. This multi-dimensional effect is further accentuated by the rubber-moulded bezel and the dynamic impact of the X-shape of the pushers. The Khaki X-Wind Limited Edition is offered in four versions, each as a limited series of 1,999 numbered pieces: sunray silver or black dial with brushed dark grey accents, combined with a black rubber strap or steel bracelet.
Longines – The Longines Avigation
The Longines Avigation is a modern interpretation of a 1949 watch made for the British armed forces. The case, which retains the original 44 mm diameter, houses a mechanical movement encased in a soft iron plate and dome that protect it from magnetic fields. The dial is typical of military watches, displaying red and white luminescent numerals with the distinctive "broad arrow" sign prominent at 12 o'clock. This symbol was used by the British army to identify military equipment.
Manjaz – Manjaz Premium Apollo Skeleton
Manjaz extends an invitation to dive into the mechanics of its latest creation, transforming watchmaking technique into a design feature. The beating heart of the watch, its movement is clearly visible thank to the sculptural architecture of the dial mingling lines and curves to accentuate the ethereally light overall impression. A contemporary orchestration of a classically elegant timepiece, Manjaz Premium Apollo Skeleton captures time and showcases it in a resolutely graphic composition.
Movado – Movado Gravity
Movado explores a daring ultra-modern design with its latest model named Gravity. Elongated lugs accentuate the streamlined profile of the slender 8 mm case, while the carbon fibre ring adorning the case middle and PVD finish instil it with a resolutely high-tech aura of sophistication. The iconic Movado dot at 12 o’clock stands out with aesthetically pleasing clarity against the shiny black carbon dial, rimmed by a black minute circle and generous silver-toned hour-markers creating elegant contrasting effects. Modernity, design innovation: Movado’s characteristic triptych once again displays its impressive powers of seduction.
Reconvilier – Hercules Classic
While the Hercules Classic is very traditional in terms of its mechanical construction, the movement and its design, it is more than in tune with modern time. Beneath its deceptively retro appearance, it demonstrates contemporary elegance through its finely crafted dial. This playful creation by Reconvilier is available with various dials in tune with individual taste. A few clicks on the brand’s website provide a chance to personalise a timepiece by choosing the material of the case, the colour of the dial and indices as well as various straps.
Victorinox Swiss Army – INOX
The 130-year history and DNA of the brand that invented the world-famous Swiss Army Knife have been packed into INOX. The watch takes its name from "inoxydable", the stainless steel that Victorinox adopted more than 50 years before it became a standard feature of Swiss watches. Proof of the brand's determination to constantly set new limits and rewrite the rules, INOX has been subjected to an impressive 130 tests – an appropriate number in this anniversary year. Pushing the envelope well beyond conventional verifications, these tests give confirmation of a watch robust enough to survive every possible situation and more. Beneath its elegant exterior, INOX can withstand being repeatedly driven over by a tank, keeping time with the same reliable precision when trapped inside a block of ice or in the stratosphere, and is unharmed by chemical attacks!
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