Another year, another round of price hikes in the rarefied world of luxury watches. In the case of Rolex, make that two price increases in the space of 18 months. And, while 2023 might have seen a reduction in the price of certain ‘grail’ pieces on the pre-owned market, second-hand watches from Switzerland’s pedigree watchmakers remain, by and large, further out of reach than they were before the pandemic.
Not on a footballer’s salary? No problem. Because you don’t need to turn to heavyweight horologists from the Jura Mountains to bag a serious watch. Nor do you need to ply your trade in the Premier League to score something stylish for your wrist. Some of the most interesting watches on the market today slide in under the £500 mark. Indeed, the two most-talked-about watches of the past two years – the Bioceramic MoonSwatch and Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms, both from Swatch – cost less than £350.
From big-name brands to plucky independents, and from quartz to mechanical, we’ve rounded up a selection of watches that punch well above their price tag. In this case, £500 or less.