5 Watches which Look Expensive But Aren’t

Posted on January 25, 2015


In the rarefied realm of watchmaking, the most interesting timepieces are borne of complex, almost hypnotic mechanical constructs. From Breguet’s La Tradition to MB&F’s Legacy machine, the exposure of breathing, movement balance wheels and assorted gearwork has created an appeal beyond natural desire; that said, the only thing which stops us, is the price. But what if you could replicate the emotive force of timepieces without the price tag? Here are 3 Watches which Look Expensive But Aren’t:

Xeric Xeriscope

Xeric Xeriscope

Xeric Watches: Xeriscope Orbiting Automatic ($500)

As Managing Editor of The Millenary, it’s one thing to curate watches and quite another to become a creator of one. Xeric is the collective brainchild of Watchismo and after 15 years of covering watches, they’ve made one of sufficient mechanical appeal and by Kickstarter standards, a fairly successful and affordable one at that.

Using a highly modified Seagull 24 Jewel ST1201 Skeleton Automatic Mechanical Movement With Orbiting Balance-spring which incidentally completes a complete rotation every 12 hours thus serving as an hour indicator as well. With accuracy at +/- 30 seconds a day, don’t expect Swiss precision yet when it comes to emotive timekeeping, chronometry shouldn’t be the goal but incidental.

watches which look expensive but arent - Xeriscope automatic square 2With the simple minutes arc at 12 o’clock, the Xeriscope mimics the appearance of retrograde minutes but is in reality a fairly innovative time display with a unique double sided minute hand. Sub-hours counter might seem fairly redundant but it doubles as a much needed visual balance with the power reserve indicator at 10 o’clock.

Eact iteration of the Xeriscope is available in a limited edition of 100 individually numbered watches. [Buy Xeric Xeriscope]

watches which look expensive but arent - Dietrich OT-1 2Dietrich Watches: OT-1 ($1250)

Emmanuel Dietrich hails from France’s historic watchmaking capital Besançon and his background as a graduate from the prestigious Parisian design school Ecole Boulle has led him to conceive a new aesthetic – Organic Time. Thusly, Dietrich’s OT-1 timepiece looks more organically grown than birthed from a CNC machine, 4 layered construct with alternating sun and vertical brushed treatment across each of the four layers. The case, frame and bezel is 316L steel, micro-bead polished and then coated with black PVD. Ensconced within, is a run of the mill Miyota 82-S-7 skeletonised to expose the escapement on the dial side. [Buy Dietrich OT-1]

SevenFriday M-Series

SevenFriday M-Series

SevenFriday M-Series ($1500)

The watchmaker who started the trend of well machined, well designed timepieces driven with Miyota movements, SevenFriday’s M-Series of digital hour (sans hand pointers) watches driven on modified Miyota 8215 calibre. Highly intricate, the M-Series applies alternating sandblasted, satin and matt polish to 6 layers and then adds a dash of luxury with 10 applied parts and a minute plate with deep stamped textures. [Buy SevenFriday M-Series]

Out-hipster a hipster: MMT T300k Pocket Watch ($400)

It’s Quartz based but great if you’re not too concerned about mechanical timekeeping and into pure design. MMT is a specialist brand, working out of Paris and Hong Kong with a watchmaking philosophy focused on solid wooden shell, bequeathing each piece with a signature design and texture unique from other MMT T300k pocket watches. The natural appeal of wood blends with modern textured black-plated steel and the leather strap, making it an elegant if contemporary take on a classic watch. [Buy MMT T300k]

watches which look expensive but arent - botta design DUO 1

Botta Design DUO

Pure design: Botta Design DUO

Though Quartz based, hold your snobbery for a moment. Botta Design’s DUO is the first ever world timer based on the one-hand principle. A principle first developed by Klaus Botta in 1986, the UNO was built upon a purist concept built upon timekeeping increments of 5 minutes each.

Like the DUO, the UNO’s single hour hand completes a rotation every 12 hours and while the idea is not entirely new (your standard hour hands point at minute rail batons which indicate the approximate passage of the hour anyway), the special scale designed by Botta is subdivided into five-minute increments and realistic (if slightly philosophical) acknowledgement that no civilian or regular human being lives life by the precise minute.

Here, the DUO adds a secondary, colour accented hand which allows the user to tell both local time and the time at one additional time zone, using just one hand in each case. The main display shows local time on an inclined scale ring while the other, lower tier and secondary display shows a second time zone the wearer chooses. Distinctive 12 and 24-hour scales separate both timezones if the coloured hands don’t make it readily apparent. Thoughtful design sees Botta add an artificial horizon divides the inner 24-hour section into a day half and a night half, allowing the day half of the second time zone to be identified at a glance. [Buy Botta Design DUO]

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