The world of Haute Horlogerie – for some, familiar territory, for others a confusing jungle of premium timepieces with daunting price tags. All this can be overwhelming and might even deter you from buying a luxury watch. This budding enthusiasm doesn't need to be crushed to the ground, but instead allowed to grow and flourish peacefully. To help you find the right watch, we've compiled a selection of entry-level watches under €3,000 from the most prestigious manufacturers, which are ideal models for newcomers. You will be amazed what is possible on a relatively small budget.
Top 10 entry-level watches below €3,000
Let's begin by discussing our basic idea. Why did we decide on a maximum budget of €3,000? We believe that while €3,000 is by no means a small amount of money for a timepiece, there is a wide range of watches available within this price category. Moreover, with a little discipline, an amount of this magnitude can be saved up fairly quickly or financed in reasonable instalments. It is important to keep in mind that the order of this list is arbitrary and by no means intended to suggest that the first watch is better than the last one. All of the watches featured in the following list are outstanding timepieces and inspire in their own charming way. Here are our top 10 entry-level watches for under €3,000 at Watchmaster.
1. The TAG Heuer CarreraA legend on and off the racetracks worldwide, the TAG Heuer Carrera has more than earned its status as a racing watch. Whether as a simple three-hand watch with display for day and date such as the Carrera (Ref. WAR201A.BA0723) for €1,560 or as a chronograph like Referenznummer CV2010.BA0794 starting from €1,700 – with a Carrera on your wrist, you will become a king of the road. The masterful and time-honoured design and an eventful history make this all-rounder the ideal everyday companion, even off the racetrack. With this watch, you are sure to make an elegant, sporty and undeniably solid entry into the world of luxury watches.
TAG HEUER CARRERA CV2010.BA0794
2. The Omega Seamaster 300MFinish your martini, take a moment to adjust your bow tie and prepare for the next challenge lurking around the corner. The Seamaster 300M (Ref. 2531.80.00) by Omega radiates endless charm thanks to its regular appearances on the screen on the side of the famous secret agent James Bond Wearing this watch, even a VW Golf 6 will feel like an Aston Martin DB5. In addition to its most famous wearer, the Omega Seamaster offers a unique design, an automatic calibre and water resistance of up to 300 meters. This magnificent watch full of elegance and sophistication enjoys a large fan base and it is possible to can find pre-owned models for less than €3,000.
3. The Breitling ColtWhenever things get a bit uncomfortable, you want to be able to rely on your wristwatch. What timepiece is better suited for this task than the robust Breitling Colt? Whether as a model with a quartz movement or an automatic movement, the Colt is the perfect companion for the modern-day adventurers. Its striking look, typical of Breitling, may appear a little massive on slimmer wrists, but this watch is the epitome of an "impressively imposing" watch. Available standard with a date display as a chronograph or three-hand watch, with a steel, leather or rubber bracelet, the Breitling Colt stoically serves its purpose in spite of any environmental influences and is a more than adequate entry-level watch with a moderate price tag between €1,800 and €2,500.
BREITLING COLT AUTOMATIC A17388101B1A1
4. The Omega Speedmaster"I love you right up to the moon – and back." Perhaps it won't be very long before you can whisper these words from the children's book "Guess How Much I Love You" by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram to your Speedmaster Day-Date (Ref. 3220.50.00). And no other phrase would be as appropriate for this model, because the Omega Speedmaster was the first watch on the moon. This was a milestone in history, because aside from the momentous achievement of the moon landing, it was the first time that a man-made object left the Earth and returned unharmed. The Speedmaster is a watch that does not shy away from pushing familiar boundaries and, thanks to its exceptional history, is an absolute must-have for every collection of fine watches. So why not lay the foundation for yours today with the Speedmaster Day-Date? With a little luck, you will be able to find a version of the Moonwatch for less than €3,000.
OMEGA SPEEDMASTER DAY-DATE 3220.50.00
5. The Cartier SantosWhile we are talking about milestones in history, we'd like to also feature a model that is extremely meaningful. The history of the Cartier Santos dates back to 1904 and the Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont and his friend, the jeweller Louis Cartier. Santos-Dumont asked Cartier for a timepiece on which he could easily read time during a flight. A feat that was difficult to perform with the pocket watches that were prevalent at that time. The jeweller fulfilled his friend's wish and created one of the world's first wristwatches for men – the Cartier Santos – at the beginning of the 20th century Its design has hardly changed to this day and the name still commemorates the story of two visionary friends. For a Santos (Ref. W20056D6 1565) in good, pre-owned condition including its box and papers, you should expect to invest about €2,700.
6. The Longines La Grande ClassiqueDo you prefer elegance and subtle glamour? If so, then you should definitely take the Longines La Grande Classique into consideration. Fine timepieces such as the reference L126.96.36.199.6 rely on an understated dial design, but feature a stylish diamond bezel. With this watch, you acquire a beautiful piece of jewellery that not only complements a cashmere sweater well, but also looks great with evening wear. Distinguished understatement is part of Longines' identity and inevitably is reflected on the wearer of their watches. For a pre-owned price of €1,600, you will not only receive a beautiful watch, but also the accompanying papers and the original box.
LONGINES LA GRANDE CLASSIQUE L188.8.131.52.6
7. The Baume et Mercier CliftonIf you have browsed the world of watches, you might have already come across the name Baume et Mercier. These Swiss-manufactured watches are characterized by both modern and slightly futuristic as well as a classic, understated look – such as the Hampton for Men (Ref. M0A10030). A rectangular stainless steel case on a black leather strap ensures timeless elegance and houses an accurate automatic movement that powers this avant-garde chronograph with a date display at 6 o'clock. With this watch, you will immediately appear like a watch enthusiast. You can purchase this model pre-owned starting from €2,800.
8. The Maurice Lacroix Pontos ChronographeDo you prefer casual clothing to a suit? We may have the perfect watch for you with the Pontos Chronographe (Ref. PT6288-SS001-130). The "Reverse Panda" dial with a chronograph, small second and a date display at 6 o'clock together with a brown leather watch strap give this timepiece a sporty yet elegant look. This watch appears superb on any occasion and ensures a confident appearance. The Pontos Chronographe, with a price of about €1,700, is also an ideal start to a life as an avid watch collector. Maurice Lacroix also has a number of other models in its range, which are under €3,000 and are perfect for your entry into the world of watches.
9. The Tudor GlamourWith the utmost quality and timeless designs, the Rolex subsidiary Tudor makes it possible to obtain premium timepieces for an affordable price. As close relatives of Rolex watches, Tudor watches are in a league of their own when it comes to a price-performance ratio. Believe it or not, it's possible to purchase a Tudor watch for even less than €3,000. Models such as the Glamour Date (Ref. 57000) for men, which costs around €2,300, or the Glamour (Ref. 51003) for women, which comes in at an affordable price around €2,100, for example, have a high-precision automatic movement, a classic design and premium craftsmanship. All these features appeal not only to enthusiastic newcomers, but are also valued by seasoned watch collectors. And who knows, maybe your next watch will be from its big brother – Rolex.
TUDOR GLAMOUR DATE 57000
10. The TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45If you are interested in high-quality luxury watches and simultaneously passionate about state-of-the-art technology, then why not start your collection with a luxury smartwatch? With the Connected Modular 45 (Ref. SBF8A8012.11FT6077) by TAG Heuer, you can combine your passion for technology with your fine taste. In the 2017 film "Kingsman: The Golden Circle", Taron Egerton, Colin Firth and Mark Strong all wore special editions of this watch, which helped the Connected Modular 45 become world famous. Industry giant TAG Heuer has taken a step into the future with this smartwatch. A striking titanium case, an Intel Atom Processor Z34XX and a sturdy bracelet make this watch not only a fashionable accessory, but also a highly practical everyday companion and an elegant alternative to ordinary smartwatches.
Browse more entry-level watches
If you haven't found the right watch for you among our Top 10 entry-level watches, take some time to browse a little more specifically by brand. We have collected a list of the best brands for entering the world of luxury watches and feature a few popular models. And if you would rather browse through the wide selection of entry-level watches in the Watchmaster collection yourself, feel free to visit our online shop.
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