Classic, quality watch under $1000?
January 15, 2013 7:21 AM   Subscribe

I want to buy my partner a watch. Where do I start?

My partner is a woman with generally masculine/androgynous style. I want to buy her a "nice" watch but I don't really know what that means. I was thinking something in white gold possibly. I think she'd like a very classic, clean design that would never go out of style. Something like this, but fancier, somehow.

I don't want to spend less than a couple hundred but I don't want to spend thousands either.

1. Is there a great men's or butch fashion blog that would talk about watches?
2. Any recommendation for watch brands in the, say, $200 - $1000 range?
3. What am I even looking for? I am most concerned about style/beauty, as if this is a piece of jewelry, though of course it must be of decent quality. I don't need any fancy features though. Trouble is, I have no idea how to look at a men's watch and tell if it's stylish and well designed the way I can tell about women's jewelry.

(My partner doesn't know anything about watches either, so unfortunately I can't just ask her.)

Thanks everyone for your help. I am totally lost here.
posted by ohsnapdragon to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Poke around on the Poor Man's Watch Forum for good deals on less-expensive nice watches...
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:42 AM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

I think the aesthetic of Movado's watches might appeal - the clean lines on their women's watches avoid some of the fragile looking or excessively frilly things I've seen on a lot of more femme looking women's watches.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:45 AM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Second Movado. A lot of the designs strike me as timeless and elegant.
posted by kathryn at 7:52 AM on January 15, 2013

In that price range, you might want to look at Hamilton.
posted by neroli at 8:12 AM on January 15, 2013

Best answer: When I was looking for watches for my husband, that Poor Man's Watch Forum was not only helpful but quite interesting.

Based on that, I was probably aiming for a Citizen, since Movado was a smidge more than I wanted to spend. Citizen was still up there, but I found some good deals online.

Do you know for a fact that she might like a watch? (Does she wear one, or has she said she'd want to?) You could start with something a little more everyday to see how she likes it. Skagen is known for its steel/gold mesh styles that are mostly a little lower than your price range, but looks quite classic. One thing I really like about them is that (for me at least) the mesh design kind of makes the men's watches a bit more versatile, such that I wouldn't mind wearing them myself even in more formal situations.

This is a slightly off-the-wall mention, but my husband wanted to be a Watch Guy, so he was very happy with the Skagen I bought him. Unfortunately, he turned out to be one of those people who... I don't know, have a little extra electrical current running through their body or something, such that any watch he wears shorts out. I've replaced batteries, had him wear different ones... no dice, which is why I didn't end up buying him a new one after all. Bummer.

So that's one reason why starting out with a nice but slightly more reasonable model, if she doesn't already wear one, might be a good idea.
posted by Madamina at 8:15 AM on January 15, 2013

You can get more bang for your buck with a quartz watch, but there are some pretty nifty automatic watches at that price point.

Consider Stowa. Classic design. Minimalist.

There are too many to link to, but look online for the Seiko SARB. Seiko has watches at literally every price point there is and they are well respected and of good quality.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 8:38 AM on January 15, 2013

There is a subreddit about watches in the form of /r/watches which may help you. They seem to be big fans of the Seiko Black Monster (which is under $300, I think), Citizen, and a few others. It should be a good place to get some ideas, and also to find reviews of watches you have your eye on.

Use caution, this is reddit. You might look up from reddit to find that it's tomorrow already.
posted by Sunburnt at 8:53 AM on January 15, 2013

My husband bought me a really beautiful, classic watch from Victorionox.

I think he spent about $500 on it.

We are now looking for one for him there in the $1000 range.
posted by hrj at 9:30 AM on January 15, 2013

You're not going to get a gold watch in that price range -- are you thinking plated?

Tissot has some nice clean classic stuff.
posted by kmennie at 9:52 AM on January 15, 2013

Here's the thing, watches are really personal. My mom gave me a Movado (got a good price on it at the PX in Okinawa or something) but I never wore it much. I had a Fauxlex and a Craptier and wore the heck out of them. Only after the junk died, have I started wearing the Movado.

It's fine, it's totally my Mom's taste. I would have liked a Cartier Tank Watch.

I think it might be fun to take your partner shopping for a watch. Good jewelry stores will set aside a tray of watches in your price range and you can go with her and let her select from the tray the watch she likes the most.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:45 AM on January 15, 2013

Response by poster: I really like a lot of the Citizen watches - particularly the Firenza. Just what I was looking for. Thanks all!
posted by ohsnapdragon at 11:14 AM on January 15, 2013

The watches I covet are the Stowa Antea and the NOMOS Tangente or Orion.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 11:46 AM on January 15, 2013

Also, it sounds like you've found something you like, but the forums at are helpful (geared toward men, but sounds like your partner would be OK with something that was technically a man's watch).
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 11:48 AM on January 15, 2013

There are some butchey watches on watchismo, lots of really huge ones. Especially the Diesel and Nixon ones...
posted by paultopia at 6:36 PM on January 15, 2013

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