Is The Mid-Market Watch Making a Comeback?

The latest global sales stats were released late July by the Swiss watch industry and sales of watches retailing at 500-3000CHF (approx £430-£2500) were up by 6%. Might not sound much but it reverses a long term downward trend for mid-market Swiss watches. Maybe the collapse of crypto has soured the tastebuds of luxury watch buyers and they’re looking for value this year, maybe it’s the globalist inflation spiral affecting demand for 20K-50K watches – who knows?

But if it makes consumers and collectors look for bargains then we say that is a good thing. So here are five great value Swiss watches worth looking at this summer.

TAG FORMULA 1 Red Bull

The Red Bull F1 is a future classic and even though it’s a quartz, we predict a strong resale demand for this model copared to other TAG F1 watches. Why? It just looks right; F1 team colours, sporty, bloke-ish. Yeah all that. At £1650 it’s relatively cheap for a TAG as well, because the brand has been price walking its popular Monaco and Carrera automatics up by about a grand or so over the last two years.

Cartier Tank Must – Large Edition

A Cartier watch for just £2250? Yes, that’s the entry level deal that Cartier has for ladies who want that Love Island lifestyle on Canvey Island wages. The 33mm wide Tank is still a women’s watch, don’t fall for that Unisex hype, but what a bargain this quartz model offers, with its trademark blue crystal crown ( no, it isn’t a real sapphire or spinel stone).

You could own this watch for five years and make a profit on it. Given the rate of inflation that’s still going to be a small loss in real terms, but compared to buying a ladies quartz Omega, Raymond Weil, Oris, Vacheron, Hublot – almost any Swiss brand except Rolex in fact – you stand to gain with a Cartier, as opposed to lose money in the long run.

This is because Cartier impresses ALL women as a luxury brand name, not just the women clued up about Swiss watches, of which there are very few in any given Influencer Mall. Wave a Cartier tank in the face of rival TikTok bi*ches and see their faces turn green – that’s the value of this watch, it bestows a Queen Bee status upon the owner and the Swiss ladies watch market is driven by such envy. Always has been and always will be. Fact.

Tissot PRX Powermatic 80

A dead ringer for the Tissot automatics of old, and a close cousin of the AP Royal Oak in some respects, the retro case PRX auto with the Swatch Group 80 hour movement is a true bargain. First, this watch will endure in the pre-owned market, someone will always want a waffle dial, blue dress watch that’s 40mm wide and goes with any suit, or casual shirt n trousers combo. It just looks class; understated yes, but still more expensive that the actual RRP of just £565 in the UK.

The auto movement is super reliable and it’s shafed across the Swatch Group, so spares and servicing 10 years down the line won’t be an issue. Look after it and it will last 50 years we think, just like the original PRX watches from Tissot.

Oris Divers Sixty Five

The classic combo of blue dial and steel bracelet at £1800 is a safe, kind of predictable, choice. True, this isn’t an impressive dive watch technically, with just 100m of resistance and a Sellita SW200 base movement inside. But the Oris name carries some weight long term in protecting the resale value, compared to an Indie dive watch.

In short, the Oris Sixty Five impresses men who know nothing about watches because it’s Swiss and it looks the part. For those reasons, it offers the watch investor some hope of getting about 60% of your money back if you need to sell it or PX in future.

Tudor Ranger

You know £2170 isn’t a lot of cash for a watch that many regard as a poor man’s Rolex Explorer. Some might say it’s underpriced.

The Ranger is new for 2022, has a clean, no-nonsense dial layout and that Tudor name, which is slightly younger, maybe even cooler in some circles than sister company Rolex. For us at NWC mag the Ranger offers tool watch simplicity and an entry point into Swiss watch collecting. This is genuinely affordable for a working class person who is doing well by working hard – there’s nothing wrong with rewarding yourself with a nice watch that isn’t some blingtastic Rapper’s delight or a footballer’s Ferrari accessory.

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