It's a well-known fact that the horological market is full to the brim with timepieces that showcase extravagant details along with busy dials. These timekeepers are usually crafted from noble metals or high-tech materials, feature a host of complications, and sometimes studded with precious stones. However, in recent years, there seems to be a shift towards watches offering minimalist designs and straightforward time-telling mechanisms. What makes such watches even more alluring is that most of them are available at a reasonable price point and buying them will not burn a hole in your pocket. So, here a curation of the best budget-friendly luxury watches, in specific time-only watches that cost less than Rs 2 lakhs.
Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto 38mm
Hamilton is the pioneer of crafting field watches and has been supplying them to the US Army for the longest time. Part of their repertoire is the Khaki collection, which offers rugged, purpose-built watches that are ideal for outdoor activities. One of the latest Khaki iterations to be released is the Field Titanium Auto - 38mm budget time-only watch that is housed in an ultra-light titanium case. The centre of attraction here is the dial of the watch that comes in a muted yet attractive grey hue and displays a three-hand timekeeping system in addition to the Arabic hour indexes and a minute track located at the periphery. Powered by the self-winding ETA-based H-10 calibre, the Khaki Field Titanium Auto is mounted on a grey-coloured leather strap that elevates the overall look of the watch.
Price: Rs 80,000
Longines Silver Arrow
The Longines Silver Arrow is by far one of the best budget-friendly luxury watches out there, another budget time-only watch that has a striking retro feel. First introduced back in the 1950s, this contemporary model more or less retains the design of the original watch and is housed in a compact 38.5mm case along with elongated lugs and a slim bezel. The dial is clean and consists of hour indexes that are corrugated just like in the original iteration - in addition to the dauphine-shaped timekeeping hands. Another interesting detail is the colour of the display, which ranges from white to a very subtle yet tasteful shade of cream under different lighting conditions. The Longines Silver Arrow is powered by the self-winding calibre L888. Beating at 25,500vph, it offers a power reserve of 72 hours and is hidden behind a solid caseback.
Price: Rs 1,73,000
Responsible for bringing single-hand displays to the forefront, MeisterSinger is a young German brand that is best recognised for their relaxed way of time-telling. Seen here is their N01 model that perfectly represents the watch manufacturer's philosophy of crafting unique and minimalist timepieces. Sized at 43mm, the budget time-only watch is offered in an ivory-coloured dial that features a single, needle-shaped timekeeping hand along with double-digit hour numerals and the circumferential five-minute divisions. The MeisterSinger N01 is powered by manual-winding Sellita SW210 that beats with a frequency of 4Hz and stores a minimum power reserve of 42 hours.
Price: Rs 1,48,000
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Nomos Club Campus 38
Released earlier this year, the Nomos Club Campus 38 is undoubtedly a bang-for-the-buck timepiece. Presented in a polished stainless steel case, the unisex watch has been ergonomically designed and is available in either 36mm or 38.5mm. However, what steals the limelight here is the timepiece's time-only dial which comes in deep pink. Just like its predecessors, the new watch features a central two-hand timekeeping system, a recessed seconds sub-dial at 6 o'clock, and a California display (consisting of a mix of Roman and Arabic numerals). At the heart of the Nomos Club Campus 38 is the Alpha calibre, which runs at a frequency of 3Hz and provides a power reserve of up to 43 hours. Adding to the charm of the watch is the velour leather strap that comes in an elegant light grey colour, truly making it one of the best budget-friendly luxury watches out there.
Price: Rs 1,39,000
Oris Art Blakey Limited Edition
Crafted to pay homage to the legendary jazz drummer and bandleader Art Blakey, this limited edition Oris model is epitome of minimalism and uncluttered aesthetics. The time-only dial of the timepiece is reminiscent of a snare or side drum as it features applied hour markers in the shape of a bass drum claw - seen everywhere except the usual positions of 12, three, six, and nine. Protected by the sapphire crystal, the display also consists of the hour, minute and second hands that look sharp and well-executed. The icing on the cake is the watch's caseback that comprises a brass inlay in the shape of a cymbal, a percussion instrument, which Blakey played in the most ingenious way possible.
Seiko King Seiko 'Garyu-Bai' (Ref No. SPB287J1)
The newly launched King Seiko 'Garyu-Bai'Â is a simple, no-nonsense time-only watch, which goes a long way is adding it to our list of best budget-friendly luxury watches. Offering a well-balanced and elegant design, the timepiece is housed in a 37mm case that is ideal for those with petite wrists. Meanwhile, the burgundy red dial comes with a flawless sunburst finish that makes for an aesthetically pleasing look. Apart from this, the display consists of Zaratsu-polished hour and minute hands combined with a needle-thin seconds hand. Under the hood, there is the in-house calibre 6R31 that can run autonomously for 70 hours. The timepiece is paired with a stylish stainless steel bracelet that just snuggles on the wrist.
Price: Rs 1,50,000
Sinn 556 Emerald Green Limited Edition
Primarily known for crafting function-forward timepieces in sombre colours, Sinn this year did something different and presented a host of bright and colourful watches. Part of their latest novelties was the 556 Emerald Green Limited Edition, which comes in a scintillating green-coloured display. Bereft of any over-the-top complications or details, the pared-down, time-only dial makes for optimal legibility and features timekeeping hands and hour markers that have been coated with luminous material. The timepiece is protected by a glare- and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal - both on the front and back. Owing to the transparent caseback, the viewer can admire the Sellita SW200-1 movement inside that ensures impeccable performance and accuracy. This Sinn 556 model is limited to just 400 units and is secured to the wrist with the help of a grey canvas strap.
Price: Rs 1,12,000