When I tell people that I collect/buy/sell watches as a bit of a hobby, I usually get greeted with a response along the lines of “ooh, I bet that’s an expensive past time”, well yes, it can be. If you were only interested in Rolex and Patek Philippe watches then the hobby is very likely to become very expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. When I first got started in my watch career I didn’t have a lot of disposable income to spend on watches, but I still had lots of fun at the lower end of the market. A decent watch really doesn’t have to cost the earth and I have compiled a small list of 10 pieces that can all be had for under £100.00 (one of them is even under £10.00)!
Now, no real scientific thought process went into this, I just spent a little time on some well known auction sites and retailers websites and found some watches in this price bracket that I would be happy to own, and in most cases have actually owned at some point.
The first contender is the mighty Casio F-91W, this can be had for less than £10.00, (I found it for £8.99 to be exact). This is certainly a no frill watch but if you just need something to tell the time, be accurate and reasonably robust then this is really all you will ever need.
The next offering from Casio is this ‘divers style’ watch. I have emphasised the ‘divers style’ bit as I wouldn’t attempt any actual diving in it (apart from maybe some desk diving) but this watch looks pretty cool, has a 100m water resistance and is yours for less than £15.00!
For £24.99 you can have this, which is again quite a funky looking thing that also has 100m water resistance, but this time with moon and tide graphs thrown in.
I found this G-Shock for £69.99, but I am quite sure that it can be found cheaper with a little bit of effort put in! It may be an entry level G-Shock but this stealthy and rugged ana-digi (analogue and digital) display watch with 200m water resistance will be virtually indestructible.
Possibly the only watch you will ever,ever need is this GW-M5610 G-Shock. This shaped G-Shock is a classic in its own right just as the Omega Speedmaster or Rolex Sub is. This watch boasts tough solar (powered by light), Multi band 6 atomic time keeping and 200m water resistance. For £99.99 this has got to be one of the most feature packed watches available in most price brackets, let alone under £100.00.
I found these Citizen watches priced at £79.99 and £95.00 respectavley. Both powered with Eco-Drive movements these watches will be well built, both have day/date windows and both sport military style dials which I think just look really cool. I usually find that Citizen have some decent lume going on too.
Available for less than £60.00 brand new and including delivery is the ubiquitous Vostok Scuba dude. These watches are super cool, boast automatic movements and rotating divers bezel, and did I mention that they are really cool? Seriously though, these watches won’t win any timekeeping performance awards but for this sort of money I don’t anyone is going to expect COSC accuracy.
Last but certainly not least are these Seiko watches for your consideration. I make no secret that Seiko is my favourite watch brand. Everything they produce is made entirely in house, they even grow their own quartz crystals! The above Seiko 5 will have a pretty basic, but entirely reliable automatic movement, sweet military styling and even a display case back. For £59.99 from a well known online retailer this is a watch that will give years of service with little or no maintenance.
Next up and last in my list of 10 watches for under £100.00 is this Seiko SNE109P1. These probably retail for just under £200.00 when new but I found this on an online auction house, at time of writing it currently sits at £80.00 with only a few hours left. I love Seiko divers and am quite partial to the orange variety and I may well try and win this one. Being Seiko you just know that the build quality is going to be great, the lume will shine like a torch and with it being solar powered quartz no real need to worry too much about maintenance or timekeeping!
So there we go, all of these watches can be had for less than £100.00, but if you were to spend a bit of time looking around online, and not just a few minutes like I have, there will be plenty more to choose from in this price bracket. If you are looking on the well known auction site that we all know and love, a word of warning. use some common sense and make sure you know what you are looking at before you buy, and always ‘buy the seller’ first. The site is full of ‘Franken’ wtaches-watches that have been cobbled together with old or even non genuine bits and Seiko is probably the brand that has most often been lashed together by unscrupulous sellers looking to turn a quick profit.
There are plenty of forums online that are full of knowledgable members, who in my experience are more than happy to pass on their knowledge to another member, especially if its going to help them avoid buying a lemon! These forums also usually have sales sections which can be a great place to buy and sell watches in any price bracket, but be aware that most forums will have a minimum amount of time you must be registered, and a minimum post count before you can access the sales part of the site. This is done to protect all members of the site and to stop people using and abusing the sales sections which are often used without charge to the seller. Join the forum first, and get involved with the community, trust me, you will learn a lot more about watches this way and will discover brands that you didn’t even know existed!