If steadily ascending prices in jewellery shop windows, and the bonkers premiums being paid on the pre-loved watch market, have you resigned to the fact that you’ll never own a proper, Swiss-made mechanical timepiece, allow us to be bearer of some rather good news. Rolex might have jacked up its prices so that entry to the Submariner club now starts at a lordly £7,700 – astonishingly, you’ll struggle to source a second-hand version of the world’s most famous dive watch for anything less than that online – but there are bucket-loads of big-hitting horologists offering blockbuster men’s watches under £5,000.
Not exactly pocket change, granted. But if you can justify the outlay, £5,000 provides access to the top flight of watchmaking, an arena in which you’ll find some of the most celebrated – ‘iconic’ even – watch designs from the most fêted of brands: see Breitling’s Superocean Heritage, Cartier’s Santos and IWC’s Portofino, among others.
Look hard enough, and you might even unearth an ‘in-house’ movement. The extent of the buzz you’ll get from doing so will very much depend on the value you attribute to the provenance of the movement inside your watch. But that’s a different topic for a different day.
Here are some of the heaviest-hitting watches you can bag for under £5,000…
Read more: The best men's watches under £500