The Braun watch brand has a Sale on right now and you can get the all-black chronograph for £275, which is half price. This is a high spec quartz watch, with a one-piece case construction and sapphire crystal. Here’s the press blurb;
The case of this Braun analogue watch is carved of one single block of steel. This one-piece’ construction eliminates the need for a case-back and in turn removes the element of potential leakage.
The Swiss movement is mounted into the case from the top before being covered and sealed by the sapphire crystal. This allowed the Braun designers to taper the bottom part of the watch more elegantly and attach the band lugs in such a way that would not be possible with conventional watch construction.
The simple screwdown battery cover means that replacing the battery is easy-peasy too – a definite bonus.
We also spotted a classic three hand ladies Braun for just £24. Considering the build quality that is a bargain.
Seiko and Citizen know it to be true; a turquoise dial watch is actually very cool, the choice of those who dare to be different. You can still buy a Seiko 5 or Presage today with a mix of blue and green on the dial and we are big fans at NWC magazine.
But can you get the same joy from an Ali Express budget automatic from Paulareis, at just £19.15? Well, yes and no.
Let’s start with the positives on this one, which was bought from Timerunner store. There were some random polystyrene protectors in there, but the watch was packed inside a basic plastic sleeve – no box.
To be fair, this is bargain basement level watch buying, so no fancy box is fine.
The steel case and bracelet feels good, nicely polished, no sharp edges. The clasp has a foldover strap and presses down with a satisfying click. Feels secure. I took out one link and moved the clasp in along for a perfect fit. This watch is 40mm across which most enthusiasts agree is the ideal size.
The dial colour is stunning, it really stands out. There is a touch of lume on the quarter hour markers as well. Solid caseback, with a Rolex style splined backing plate. pretty certain our old friend the Chinese DG movement is inside there.#
Pull out the crown to position one and you can wind the watch. It ran for 27 hours left alone on the workbench. Wearing it all day, even mainly deskbound, put enough extra in the balance spring to power it through the night a day later.
Feels like a mineral crystal, which sits a little bit high by the way. Not sure if that’s a good thing or whether it might be vulnerable to little nicks and scratches.
The bezel is almost the same as a Seiko SNK series watch, it has that chamfered smoothness that’s just good to touch. Plain n simple, classic design.
The crown is difficult to align on the tube when pressing in, before screwing it down. It doesn’t realy want to screw all the way on the thread. On the upside, it’s a fairly small crown so it doesn’t dig into the back of your hand like some watches do.
Most irritating was the condition of the watch. It was dirty underneath the protective stickers, especially inside the clasp. I took it apart to clean up properly as I adjusted the clasp, but still, not a good indicator as regards quality control at the Timerunner outlet.
It sits a bit high on the wrist at around 14mm, but I don’t really mind – it isn’t a huge lump of a thing like the 43mm Pulsar quartz chronograph I bought last year.
You cannot complain too much for the money. Yes, a turquiose Seiko 5 is a far superior timepiece in terms of build quality, resale value and you get all that lovely box, paperwork n guarantee. But it’s also £250. This thing is under twenty quid – you know, a chippy tea price for the family on Friday.
I’m amazed that the factory in China is making any money and even more impressed that overall, this Paulareis offers everyday automatic timekeeping for a car boot sale price.
Let’s suppose for a minute that you like Skagen watches, millions of people do. But you hate paying £150 for a basic quartz watch that has a caseback so impossible to remove, even Timpsons expert openers leave three or four scratches when its battery change time.
Or you might like Nomos Glashutte models, like the post-modernist Orion Neomatik, with its hushed grey dial tones and wafer-thin hands. But again, you dislike the Nomos price tag of about £1800.
There is a cheaper way to look uber-modern and stylish, albeit with a quartz movement for just a fiver – including postage. Seriously.
We found a brand in China called Top Of the World and bought this grey-green dial model which cost just £4.75, yes under a fiver.
Good old AliExpress brought this one up when we searched quartz gents watches by price and you have to admit that it delivers. Packed in a curious flip-up bubble of plastic, there’s no box or papers. Just a basic leaflet telling you how to set the hands.
It was set to the correct UK time when it arrived, which is a nice touch by the brand, not many Swiss companies would bother to set the new watch to the right time. Measuring just 41mm across, with a superslim bezel this is the perfect fit for many people. It’s not too high either at 10.6mm.
You get a PU fake leather strap, so it ticks the vegan box if you like to make sure that no leather is in your life. On the wrist the PU actually feels really soft and comfortable.
The dial has got that Junghans Max Bill kind of look, although the numbers are slightly smaller. It’s utilitarian, basic and none the worse for that, in fact the entire design reminded me of a rev counter from a mid-70s Honda CB400/550/750, minus the fabled red zone – which always used to fade in the sunlight.
Those ultra skinny hands stand out nicely and you can get the time with a glance. No superlume for night time of course, but you know…it’s a fiver. Some artisan cafes are charging that for a bowl of organic apple porridge.
This beats Argos, Amazon or eBay when it comes to cheap prices and a decent spec. It arrived in just under a week too, so five stars for value. Nope, we aren’t on commission, we just like a bargain.
As it’s August then the Summer Sales are on, so your NWC watch fan decided to have a nose around online to find the big reductions and try to sift the bargains from the Eternas..sorry, the also rans.
Starting with Jura watches site, we spotted about a grand off a Nomos Glashutte Ahoi Datum, which still seems expensive at £2600 to us. You can buy plenty of dive watches with 200m ability, Swiss movements and 40mm cases from Indie brands for under £1000.
Given the resale value of a Nomos is on par with a Hamilton, you need to chivvy more from the price we think, even if you love the minimalist style of this model.
Also on the Jura site, a Longines Master chronograph with £350 off the list price is worth a look, as the classic lines won’t age too badly and the brand name always attracts buyers if you fancy selling it after a few years. An Oris Big Pilot at just under two grand is another handy discount, of about £600, on a well known watch brand.
As most of you know, H Samuel, Ernest Jones and Zales is the same company – Signet Group – so it’s worth a look to see what has been reduced in price as their staff have failed to bamboozle customers with the `Are you alright there?’ ploy in-store.
H Samuel have Citizen automatics with 50% off, for a retail of £199 – that is undeniably great value. A black and gold Eco-Drive for £130 is another fantastic deal if you are after an everyday watch that needs no battery for about ten years. Please don’t say it lasts forever, you just look like a bellend.
Now I’m a fan of the Casio Edifice range and a Scuderia Alpha Tauri at £149 is a hard-to-resist deal. Bluetooth, schedule timer, worldtimer, great night light – all the Casio features you love and beautiful styling too. Some Edifice models look like kids toys, let’s be blunt, but this one has a touch of class.
The Seiko Prospex models have sold out by the way. No surprises there.
Meanwhile at Ernest Jones they have a Longines Master automatic, 40mm case, three hands, auto reserve indicator near the 6pm position for £1300, down from £1900.
Or how about a Hamilton Jazzmaster at £385? This blue dial model looks fairly decent, steel bracelet and features a quartz movement. Cheap way to own your first Swiss watch.
A Tissot Chronograph on a tan leather strap for £550 isn’t too painful either, nice big 43mm case, water resistance to 200m and a good saving on the £790 RRP.
If you just want a very basic watch then Argo have it covered. How about a Casio 80s style digital in blue for £11.20? I mean yes, you have to drive to the shop to collect it, but jeez…what more do you want?
They also have a black dial Citizen Eco-Drive for £80 and a quartz hunter style pocket watch for £6.99. If you are kitting out a wedding party, then that’s the way to decorate those waistcoats.
A Seiko Prospex Street model might not be your thing, as it’s grey hues look a bit underwhelming, but at £270 it’s a fair price for a new Seiko. We like the Seiko 5 Streetfighter edition at £305 as well.
A Rado Couple Classic is a decent 40mm Swiss watch, with a see-thru caseback and a known brand name, all for £895, which is the absolute limit that you should pay for any Rado. Try selling one at a pawnbrokers if you don’t believe me, these are impossible to sell at a decent margin, so you’ll be pleasantly insulted with a 500 cash offer, even with box n papers.
Finally, an Oris divers Sixty-Five for £1270 is a fair price. It isn’t anything special compared to many Indie brand dive models, but that Oris name and the classic blue dial/black bezel design really does hold a broad appeal.
We had an email in yesterday alerting the Northern Watch Co magazine to Octon watches in Sweden.
So glad they did. Amazing value watches, many are auto models, with the trusty Sellita SW200 or Seiko NH35 movement inside, sapphire crystal and a 300m rating. Prices start at just £181 – yep under £200.
That really compares well with Indie brands who are charging nearly £700 for the same spec dive watches. Let’s not get started on Swiss brands at £1400 and above, which you could argue are more about the perceived value of the brand name than the actual dive spec of the watch.
OK, let’s be honest, you won’t get many people wanting to bid on your Octon watch if you decide to sell it on eBay to fund another purchase two years down the line. But if you just love watches that have reliable features and a range of bright dial options for swimming n diving, then Octon delivers.
Better yet, you can build you own watch, choosing dial, bracelet, strap, movement and bezel. Here is one we did earlier;
We love that Build-A-Bear online shop feature – it’s just like Bamford London but without the premium price tag.
By that we mean how little will you spend for an everyday quartz watch that tells the time and looks half decent?
We say about £20. There are some basic Casio models that retail for around £15 and of course Amazon and Ali Express are packed with 15 quid watches with oddball names and basic packaging.
But Time Products in the UK, who sell Accurist and Sekonda, have an even cheaper brand called Limit in their portfolio. It’s an old Swiss brand, famously the maker of good automatics and mechanical models back in the 50s and 60s, but then like many Swiss brands, the quartz attack from Japan in the 80s finished them off.
We love this Limit digital with its Wire Guard logo and chunky design. Yep, it’s £30 but watch out for regular Limit deals and offers online. Nice digital display plus a backlight button for checking the time if you wake up in the night.
Let’s be honest a water resistance of 100m at this price level is pretty fair. Most fashion watches have just 50m, some less. The orange digital model at the top of ther page has a reasonable spec and we think it looks kinda sporty too.
You can’t really fault this red digital, with an alarm, stop watch and a plastic strap. So yeah you can swim in it. £25 is alright we think and although we aren’t saying disposable watches are a good thing, you ain’t gonna shed a tear when the strap splits and that’s the end of the watch.
It’s easy to get snobby about watches, but if you work in a rough job and your watch gets damaged, or you want to buy a teenager a watch and you just know they will hammer it to destruction, then brands like Limit offer the working person a chance to buy something with a guarantee that looks modern, and tells the time, for the sort of money that MPs spend on coffee n a vegan snack bar.
Northern Watch Co magazine misses the old days when you could sit in a pub debating all kinds of things, such as why do most Lib Dem candidates all have dreadful hair?
Another Alan Partridge topic is that only rubbish watches like Bench, Henleys and similar car boot dross can be had £10 or so. You have to pay about £25 to get a simple timekeeper that will last you a couple of years.
So in spite of pubs now pretending to be field hospitals that serve alcohol and chicken wraps as a sideline, we took up that challenge last week.
The winner of our ebay search was a near-mint Casio dive style quartz, which cost £10 exactly, plus £2.99 postage. This MRW 200 model is available online from as little as £14.99 at Argos, although other outlets are trying to get over 30 quid for it.
You can’t blame them because it’s a decent watch for the money, with 100m water resistance, a moveable bezel, some OK lume on the hands and markers, plus a resin strap and day/date feature.
Unpacking the watch I was surprised at how clean this used watch was – hardly a mark on it and set to the right time, date and ticking away. It even had the original docs in the groovy 1990s style see-thru box.
On the wrist it feels super light and not too big, with a 42mm case diameter. The caseback screws down and the only way water can sneak in is via the crown, which has little protector lugs next to it. The white dial lets the markers stand out and after holding the watch under a kitchen light for a few minutes, the lume was bright for around 20 mins. Not bad at this price.
No, you would not scuba dive in this watch, and the docs state that quite clearly. But a little dip in a hotel pool should be fine.
Like every Casio, this one feels well made and durable. The black paint on the case will probably withstand a few knocks better than most budget watches and the painted on white numerals on the bezel looks nice and thick under a loupe.
The clasp even has a Casio logo indented into it, which is a neat touch on a low cost watch. Most are unsigned.
This is a sharp looking everyday watch that you can wear when giving your vintage stuff a rest inside its case, or winder. You could lose it and not worry too much because at this price it’s cheaper than a gastro pub meal with a couple of drinks.
There is a difference between cheap, and great value. Any Casio offers that value, plus a little bit of respect from watch collectors and the general public alike. People see it and say `It’s a Casio so they last for years.’
When you buy that kind of brand rep for a tenner, you’re winning.
Heimdallr isn’t a watch brand that’s been on our radar. But after a late night Google search for watches with the ETA 2824 Swiss movement, we found this dive model.
The spec is impressive for the price. Stainless steel case and bracelet (the cheaper option has a silicone strap), sapphire crystal with AR coating, superlume all over the indices and hands, screwdown crown, screw type caseback, date window and ceramic bezel.
It is nice that the dial has a shark logo rather than the brand name as well. So many China based watch brands have not very appealing names. We don’t blame them, all the good names are kinda snapped up already, but stuff like Cadisen, Benyar and more don’t add any value. In fact, you just end up explaining what the brand name means, so yeah, go with a shark logo.
Physically, this is a big watch at 44mm across and it’s 13mm high, so you need a big wrist to pull off the James Bond Thunderball look quite honestly.
OK, yes, it’s a Chinese brand and we know that puts a bit of doubt in people’s minds over the actual dive ability and manufacturing quality. There are import duties plus 20% VAT on top of the Sale price too.
But this spec for fashion quartz money? Hard to fault. The steel bracelet version costs around £250 by the way. Judge for yourself with a little visit to the Heimdallr site.
You can pre-order the new Zelos Hammerhead V3 model in a couple of days, and we reckon the teal dial and emerald green dial are the pick of the range. With a slimmer profile at 13mm, the 44mm Hammerhead remains a serious dive watch, but is now something that can be worn slightly more comfortably every day. Sapphire crystal naturally, screw down crown, steel case, Seiko NH35 movement and 300m depth rating. You also get a date window for that practical wear-it-on-dry-land vibe too.
Chunky dive watches with sunburst/fume dials are not everyone’s cup of tea, but we love the sheer value that Zelos offers. Reliable Seiko power with real dive ability at just $349 plus import taxes etc is a bargain compared to a typical Swiss 300m dive watch. I mean an Oris Sixty-Five is about £1300 and can only handle 100m, the entry level Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba is another 100m watch, although it can be found for about £400. For a 300m Swiss made dive watch you need to look at spending over £2000, or £4000 if you want a prestige brand name like Omega,
The offer on this new Hammerhead is good until the end of May, and you can see the entire range; orange, brown, white dials etc here.
Ladies n gentlemen, can we have a tip of the hat to Accurist who have launched a pretty decent 1970s chronograph for under £130. In fact we saw one example at £109 on Ideal World today.
The Retro Racer has a qaurtz movement, the usual chrono functions and a Milanese mesh bracelet option too. It only has a 50m depth rating so don’t go swimming while wearing it, but this is an everyday watch that captures 70s motorsport style with a selection of dial colours. We love the blue best, but the silver is cool and the black option with red second hand gives you that older 60s vibe. The brown leather strap has the Paddy Hopkirk perforated look as well.
The thing we like about this is that the case has those rounded angles on its old fashioned TV dial look. Accurist has been making round case chronographs for ages, but since they dropped the Sekonda Monaco homage, they haven’t really produced anything a bit different from most of the budget fashion quartz watches out there. (Yes, Sekonda, Limit and Accurist are owned by the same company)
This new Accurist watch could pass for one of the many Indie brand VK64 models out there on Kickstarter right now and yep, that’s a good thing.
Why? Well, Accurist has become the Honda Jazz of watches, it’s an old person watch brand, so if it’s going to survive then they need some punchy, sharp designs – and they need to make much more of their 1960s Old England heritage. Spaceman cases, steering wheel watches, Twiggy Union Jack revival…the opportunity is there, get busy.
Accurist has produced a sort of Zen And The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance video for the Retro Racer, which is worth a look;