Favorite Inexpensive/Dirty Pleasure Watches

Let's face it a lot of the postas around here related to watches involve fancy timepieces costin bmultiple thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars.  I'm not actually going to wear a Yachtmaster sailing, but I still like to know the time.  What are your personal favorite inexpensive/dirty pleasure watches.  Lets cap it at $1k, and say you must personally own the watch or have worn it for a number of months if you sold it.

I'll Start.

-SKX-009 This is an easy one, although the 'pepsi' -009 may be less popular than the black -007.  The bracelet is a jangly mess, and it doesn't keep great time but it's super comfortable (even if much less of a strap monster than the -007) and easily in my normal casual rotation, despite the size it actually sits well on my 6 1/4" wrist.  I'm happy to subject it to the ocean all day long, and confident that it won't affect the watch.

I'm going to throw a microbrand I like for the next two.  Island Watches "Islander" brand started out as an "I can do it better" SKX homage brand and has grown from there. Not groundbreaking, but great quality for the price.

-Islander ISL-85 "Not Tiffany Blue" A mashup of Oyster and SARB references on an Oyster bracelet with a Miyota 9015 for $350.  It just hits well, and is basically a Tiffany Oyster 95% of the way in a better 38mm size for a tiny fraction of the price, and 11mm thick. It's my 'casual classy' watch since I'm not willing to pay 3X list for the real thing.  

-Islander ISL-40: A really nice 39mm slab sided field watch that is even more of a strap monster than my Khaki Automatic.  The stock band sucks from a color but not quality standpoint, but it looks quite cool, particularly on a leather rally band, and takes NATO straps quite well.

-Seiko SNA 411 "Flightmaster"  Yes it's quartz, Yes it's insanely busy, but it is the ultimate analoge pilot's watch with a built in slide rule and mostly useful tachymetre for under $300.  I do also sort of like the built in strap.  I'm not a huge fan of putting it on a NATO like a lot of people are, since it's already so tall, but it looks great on black leather.

Hon. Mention: Hamilton Khaki Field Auto:  Great power reserve, and super slim for $600 (look for deals around $400) but I dislike the lack of adjustment on the stock bracelet, and for whatever reason it takes an extra half second for me to read the time on it.  Objectively great, but subjectively I have to dock it for reasons I can't quite quantify.

What are your favorite 'guilty pleasure' watches?

Region

Comments (26)

Jan 22, 2022 - 10:39pm
Whatever1984, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How the hell did this get tagged France without the ability for me to edit it?  Mods? All or None Plz.

The only difference between Asset Management and Investment Research is assets. I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
Jan 23, 2022 - 2:14am
johnny-mnemonic, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My guilty pleasure watches are Vostoks. Paid like $70 over paypal on this russian site and my Amphibia showed up two months later. It's an absolute tank of a dive watch that hasn't changed design for decades. The factories have changed hands over time but they never stopped cranking these out. It's amazing you can get an automatic watch with decent water resistance at this price point.

  • 2
Jan 23, 2022 - 8:39am
NPV123, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Seiko SKX is a great beater. I'm a fan of the Seiko 5 lineup and the Orient Mako as well.

I haven't owned one, but Swatches look fun.

Jan 23, 2022 - 8:56am
simia pecuniaria, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Vintage military Hamiltons/Benrus (something like the MIL-W-46374) are relatively inexpensive but very charming imho. A Seiko 5 with Arabic dial is also a cool and quirky piece.

Some could argue that Baltic also offers good value for money (the MR01is cool but they shouldn't have gone for the re-run imho)

Jan 23, 2022 - 3:08pm
matt19215, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have an old Omega Seamaster 200 "Pre-Bond" 

I bought it used for a bit under a grand. Love the thing, fits snug and has a nice 90s vintage look to it.

Jan 23, 2022 - 7:24pm
GoingToBeAnMD, what's your opinion? Comment below:

None. 

I'm not into vintage watches (or many used things in general). In addition, I used to like these inexpensive watches but once you have a really nice watch, you come to look at the rest as just "toys". I have a drawer full of watches that I'll never wear again because they just don't give the same satisfaction as an expensive watch. And before anyone makes any judgements on this, you know you feel the same way too! :) I'm not the only one that shakes their head and says "what was I thinking" when looking at the white ceramic watch that was "cool", you have one in your past too! 

*
  • 2
Jan 31, 2022 - 7:25pm
tt909, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Funny I was just about to say I like to wear "toy" watches (that are honestly pretty shitty at telling time). Eg I wear Mr Jones Watches a lot: https://mrjoneswatches.com/collections/mens-watches/products/a-perfectly-useless-afternoon

Feb 11, 2022 - 2:03pm
Reaganomics10, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I see what you mean in that I definitely have prior watches that now feel chintzy and would no longer wear, but I also have inexpensive watches that I enjoy just as much as my luxury watches. Quality of lower priced watches has also gone up drastically in the last several years. As far as vintage, I wholeheartedly disagree. I love modern watches but a lot of them feel too flashy (e.g. the polished center links on the current oyster version of the GMT Master II). Many vintage sports watches have a warmer, more utilitarian feel that appeals to me. 

Jan 24, 2022 - 11:25am
JonnyDrama, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I have been into watches for the last 5 years and haven't owned anything above >$1k yet. Below are my two favorites

Baltic Aquasaphe - retro/vintage looking dive watch, great simplistic design

Lorier Falcon V2 - sports watch which can be worn for any occasion

Jan 24, 2022 - 7:22pm
HealthcareRE, what's your opinion? Comment below:

My only watch is a 1960 Omega Seamaster ref 166.010. I bought it when I got my first job out of school for ~$400, and here I am 7+ years on still wearing it every day. As much as I love watches I'm glad I've invested the money instead of fallen deep into this rabbit hole.

Jan 24, 2022 - 8:34pm
Whatever1984, what's your opinion? Comment below:
HealthcareRE

My only watch is a 1960 Omega Seamaster ref 166.010. I bought it when I got my first job out of school for ~$400, and here I am 7+ years on still wearing it every day. As much as I love watches I'm glad I've invested the money instead of fallen deep into this rabbit hole.

as the owner of what I can sorta identify as a '62 day-date I appreciate the watch, but don't think it fits in this convo.

The only difference between Asset Management and Investment Research is assets. I generally see somebody I know on TV on Bloomberg/CNBC etc. once or twice a week. This sounds cool, until I remind myself that I see somebody I know on ESPN five days a week.
Most Helpful
Jan 24, 2022 - 10:09pm
jarstar1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'm a huge sucker for Swatches if their movements weren't so damn loud. There are quite a few I'd buy now if I knew I could actually keep them in my bedroom without waking me up with the loudness of their ticking. Otherwise I have an automatic Swatch from 1991 I got on eBay for $75, it's a blue dial with a transparent case, it's pretty cool.

Second guilty pleasure is an old Timex from the 70's (also an automatic) that I put on a two-strap nato. It's got a great old-school white dial with black numbers, only the evens. I think I got it for $25 on eBay, totally worth it. It's my go-to watch if I'm going somewhere I don't care to bring a watch I care about or that shouldn't take the shocks it's going to suffer (like playing tennis). 

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jan 25, 2022 - 12:41am

I'm a young guy but have a couple watches. Really enjoy wearing the Citizen's Chandler field watch and it gives an adventurous look. My favorite watch in my collection is a limited edition Michael Kors stainless steel watch. I've had it since I was a kid and it's a great piece. People constantly point it out and think it's from a more expensive brand. Wouldn't recommend all MK watches, but this model was a great value.

Jan 27, 2022 - 6:43am
TheBuellerBanker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

To be fair though, you can totally wear your yachtmaster sailing as it's literally built for heavy water exposure. But I'm in the same boat, can't wear my nice watches on "rugged" times given I don't want to ruin them. Interestingly though I've seen a lot of older folks who have worn their rolex/omega etc for years and they are beat to hell. 

  • 1
Jan 31, 2022 - 6:26pm
G_S_C, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Marathon TSAR

G-Shock Squares

Scurfa

Mar 14, 2022 - 11:22am
PeepeeFinancePoopoo, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I bought a Beobachtungs-Uhren for the equivalent of like $80 from a military surplus stall, it was the favourite amongst Luftwaffe pilots in The Second World War and it's mad resistant even now, though I had to put a load of TLC into making it run again.

Life is a road... and I love creating potholes
  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Mar 24, 2022 - 12:02pm

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