Watches Under 2k

I am an incoming SA and looking for a great first watch. I am not looking to spend more than around $2000 on my first watch so let me know if anyone has any ideas. thanks and really appreciate the help.

Comments (40)

May 24, 2020 - 2:11am

would love your opion. Thinking about spending part of signing bonus I am about to receive in June on either the Ferragmo new Amer and another pair of shoes or a watch. what do you think?

or alternatively. what should I spend 2k on?

May 27, 2020 - 2:04pm


Seiko SARB035

I was going to recommend a SKX-007 or -009, but they're getting hard to find, and I like this option for only $300 more. It also looks like there's a black dial version of it that some may prefer. Thanks, you may have found my next watch, although that fund is a little tapped out right now, since I just bought a Nezumi last week. (Yes I have a specific account for watch purchases, with auto-transfer from checking. It helps keep the habit in check)

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.
  • 2
May 27, 2020 - 2:27pm

They discontinued the line due to sales cannibalization from their Grand Seiko line from what I understand. It pairs very nicely with a nato strap.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 24, 2020 - 3:31am

Something from the Seiko Presage line would fit the bill, very high quality and it's right in your price range. The SARX055 "baby snowflake" has a beautiful dial with great finishing and takes a lot of design cues from Grand Seiko while being much more affordable. Looking at Seiko's regular line, the SARB035 could be a good choice, but the steel bracelet with the plain off-white dial might be too old-fashioned for someone your age; the SARB033 is a good alternative if you can find one for under $500 or so.

May 24, 2020 - 5:14am

I am accutally confused/intrigued. Why do SA spend 100s or even thousands on watches, when they arent really bringing in the money like that yet. Like dont get me wrong I understand if someone is a fan of watches why they would but from browsing the threads it just seems like people use them as status symbols. Wouldnt that money be better spent on investing in the future or building up an emergency fund/investments?

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 24, 2020 - 5:23am

Maybe he or she plans on using it in the long term or wants to make it worthwhile with their first big paycheck, for which they worked really hard to get. I mean why does anyone care how other people spend their money? And yes they're making enough to spend that much on a watch. def getting paid at least 10k if full 10 weeks pay is guaranteed, which is a lot of money for a college student who doesn't really have other financial obligations or a child to support. And they're also expecting to earn a lot post grad so I don't see how spending one or two thousands on a watch is a big issue. I've seen people blow away money at clubs or on a trip to Vegas.

  • Intern in IB - Ind
May 24, 2020 - 9:29am

For me, I put so many hours into networking, studying technicals, and achieving a high my GPA that I just think I deserve to spend some of money this summer on myself that's all. I agree that investing and saving is best, but I just want something as a gift for all the hard work I've put in.

May 27, 2020 - 9:49pm

why not? you have next to no other expenses and this is the first time you have a significant amount of money to blow. investing ~2k isn't going to make a difference when you're making over 100k a year for the foreseeable future

May 24, 2020 - 1:36pm

Depends a little bit on whether you are steadfast on a new watch or are comfortable buying used. The used watch market is highly liquid (I equate it to the used car market). If you have a friend or advisor who can help you look at one, then used can be a good option. If you buy new, make sure you keep all the relevant paperwork and boxes so you can maximize resale value later on. My first two watches were a lightly used Breitling Colt GMT and a TAG Formula 1 Chronograph.

Some thoughts: Sinn, TAG Aquadiver or Formula 1, Hamiltons, Nomos, Omega Seamaster (Used) or Speedmaster Reduced. Oris makes some awesome watches.

This reddit buying thread is a good start.

"If a grasshopper tries to fight a lawnmower, one may admire his courage but not his judgement.." - Robert Heinlein
  • 2
May 25, 2020 - 8:59am

Look, more power to you for wanting to buy a nice watch early doors and maybe start a collection. That said, I'd emphasise the fact that there's absolutely no need to buy a flashy watch pre-internship if you don't want to. No one will judge you. In fact, the interns turning up with the more expensive kettles are likely to be judged far less kindly than those without. Just something worth considering in my opinion if, as you imply above, you're buying a watch exclusively for your upcoming internship.

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes" - Oscar Wilde
  • 1
May 25, 2020 - 3:00pm

I'm a first year and I just bought a Tag Aquaracer. I'm pretty happy with it; I looked at the Omega Seamaster and some Grand Seiko models as well. Imo stay away from Rolex/Tudor - if you're an incoming summer, there is no need to virtually flex any of those, just wait for your first year bonus and get an explorer ii or op. Also, don't get a Breitling or anything gold.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
May 25, 2020 - 3:35pm

Not crazy well acquainted with the culture of finance as I am a freshman and more focused on simply recruiting rn. How key are things like an expensive watch and suit (in the thousands)? Would something like say an apple watch be problematic?

May 25, 2020 - 5:00pm

They don't matter at all, as long as your clothes fit and you are presentable it does not matter, I have seen way more MDs wear no watch/fitbit/apple watch than ones who wear Patek/Vacheron/JLC/etc.

May 27, 2020 - 12:16pm

Amen to the above comments.

Literally no one gives a fuck (among the analyst/associate levels) about your watch/sleds/custom suit/etc. By that I mean, if you wear a flashy watch and its nicer than your VPs/MDs, its probably a bad look. When I was a summer I wore a $300 Seiko; I later swapped that out with an Apple Watch, then a vintage Omega Seamaster.

When you're eventually in the office, you'll notice that the biggest thing is looking presentable while being comfortable, given that you'll be at your desk ~16-17 hours a day.

May 30, 2020 - 5:45am

If you must have a new one, Longines would be my suggestion. It's a legacy watch house with very simplistic under-the-radar designs. It would behoove you though if you have a more expensive watch in mind, to hold out and save that extra 2K for that. I wish I did that since I went down the sub 2K watch route after my 1st year bonus. Wasn't my first choice at all but still dropped ~1.7K on it. Just picked up a seamaster aqua terra (gorgeous and understated and I've been a Bond aficionado since I was little) and really wish I had saved for it instead of getting the "intermediate" watch. YMMV but hindsight it's what I'd do

  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in HF - EquityHedge
Jun 3, 2020 - 5:28am

Assuming you want something new, I suggest a Monta Atlas or a Oceanking. Personally have a black oceanking on a rubber bracelet. Monta is a pretty high quality microband for under 2k. Looking to purchase a Vacheron Overseas within the next year

Jun 5, 2020 - 4:24pm

Casio F-91W-1 or Swatch are the ultimate power play.

Or go Jamie Dimon's style with no watch. You don't need it when you control time.

"If it is on WSO, it must be true" ~ old Jewish proverb.

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