We try for another budget level for recommendations for a beginner collector. A new one for us – SGD 6k for a new watch. Here are our best picks for 6 of those.
6 for 6: best picks for six new watches on a SGD 6k budget
We have done several budget picks. And most recently for watches from this year’s Watches & Wonders at the entry level SGD 5k level. And two at SGD 10k: one in February 2023, and another in June 2023. Mainly because the SGD 10k mark is a popular budget level for many of our readers. But we have also received several requests for suggestions if one has a smaller budget at one’s disposal. What is one to do? Well, fear not. Here is our recommendations for 6 watches with a SGD 6k budget, as a supplement to the W&W 2023 recommendations at SGD 5k. In terms of increasing retail price.
Citizen Series 8 Model 880 GMT SGD 2,322 (Comprehensive review coming next week!)
First off, at less than half the budget coming in at SGD 2.3k is the new Citizen Series 8 880 GMT model. This is a line extension to the Series 8 first released by Citizen in 2021. Our comprehensive review of the Model 830 is found here, and the 870 is here. We have also covered the 870 Anniversary Model with the carbon dial. The Series 8 are remarkable watches. Well conceived and superbly built. The attention to detail to the case, dial, bracelet is excellent. Citizen gets just about everything right. The design. The build. The finish. All beyond reproach. And most of all, the very reasonable pricing. With out SGD 6k budget, we can buy two Series 8 watches, and still have some money left over.
We just received the Model 880 GMT, a new model which has a decidedly more sporty look, somewhat modelled after the iconic Rolex GMT Master-II “Batman/Batgirl” with its two tone ceramic bezel. And our comprehensive review is coming…probably next week! Watch out for it!
Hanhart 417 ES EUR 1,744 (approx SGD 2,540)
The various versions of the Hanhart 417 ES hold special places in our hearts when it comes to budget watches. Here is a pioneer in the development of wristwatch chronographs and stopwatches, guided by the maxims of precision, reliability, readability and simple/safe operations, they have been manufacturing watches since 1882 when it was founded in Diessenhofen, Switzerland by watchmaker Johann A. Hanhart. Production moved to Schwenningen in southern Germany in 1902 and have remained in Germany since. They are currently located in Gütenbach in the Black Forest in Germany. They started to make stop watches in 1924, and their first chronograph in 1938, powered by the company’s in-house, monopusher calibre 40.
Today’s offerings are all based on the Sellita SW 510 M, but as basic tool chronograph, they are as reliable as they come. We particularly like some of the detailing in the watches, and the faithfulness to the first pilot’s chronograph for the German armed forces in the mid 1950s which were available in a chrome plated brass case known as the 417, and in a stainless steel case – the 417 ES. ES for edelstahl, meaning stainless steel in German. And very similar to the one previously owned by Steve McQueen.
Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph SGD 2,550
Close to the Citizen’s budget heels is our next pick – the Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph. A very impressive watch for the price point, and a superb timepiece that offers great value. What we particularly like the design of the watch. We love the aesthetics of the timepiece, and it does looked great on our wrists.
And for Tissot, a major manufacture to be able to squeeze in not only an excellent mechanical watch at the very reasonable price, but to be able to offer a chronograph is quite remarkable.
Ochs und Junior Ore Due CHF 3,230 (approx SGD 4,940)
Our next piece is a bit out of the ordinary, and we turn our eyes to the Ochs und Junior, a super tiny independent brand out of Switzerland, the brainchild of the towering genius of Ludwig Oechlin is the Ore Due in titanium. Ochs und Junior watches are designed to be the most legible and reliable watches by a systematic process of reducing the number of mechanical parts to make simpler mechanics, which in turn makes the watches more reliable and easier to service.
And the Due provides a second time zone which is amazingly simple and intuitive to use. The second timezone is displayed on an inner row of numerals (Arabic for the Second timezone, and Roman for First), allowing both times to be read quickly and clearly without any mathematical gymnastics. And true to form, the second time zone facility consists of a module with only 2 parts. The base movement is an ETA ebauche. Two timezones without fuss, and instantly available at a glance. Also, the pricing is eminently fair, coming in below the SGD 5k mark.
Next, we have the heavy hitter from the Rolex family. The recently released Tudor Pelagos FXD Alinghi Red Bull Racing caught our eye at just a tad over SGD 5k. The model of our choice is the base time only model carrying the MT 5602 movement. We could also have easily picked the base Pelagos FXD, which is only a bit more pricey at SGD 5,850 – still within budget. Either would be great choices, but our nod goes to the latest Alinghi Red Bull Racing Edition, mainly because of the aesthetics.
Technically, the base FXD is perhaps a better choice. Instead of a carbon fibre composite case and bezel on the Racing Edition, the base FXD uses a titanium case with a ceramic bezel. But more importantly the movement in both is the same MT 5602.
Louis Erard Excellence Marqueterie SGD 6,110
And finally, but not least, we arrive at Louis Erard. The Excellence series has been one of our favourites since Manuel Emch launched the first collaboration between Louis Erard and Alain Silberstein. Many models have been launched. And many are highly admirable. And almost any could fit this list, but our pick for this list is the Excellence Marqueterie, coming in at just SGD 110 more than our arbitrary budget.
But steal the SGD 110 from abstaining from the next bottle of wine, it is well worth it, and you have enough to buy this magnificent watch. The raison d’etre of this watch is the fabulous looking wood marquetry dial made in a traditional artisanal way by Bastien Chavalier. The base watch is the same Louis Erard Excellence series stripped off the seconds hand with only has the signature fir tree hour and minute hands remaining. All for the better to showcase the superb workmanship of the dial.
So here we are. At the end of our six recommendation list if you have a SGD 6k budget. What do you have included in your list?