Owning a high-quality timepiece is a great way to stitch a new layer of substance into your sartorial setup. Whether it’s a watch that sits on the dressier side of the spectrum that you reserve for special occasions, or an everyday timepiece that finds its place with any outfit, the £5000 and under bracket is a great starting point. Going into the third month of 2020, we’ve already seen some spectacular releases from watch brands we know and love, and they fit perfectly into this price point.
Ultimately, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for a quality timepiece that will transcend lifetimes. We’ve picked five stand-out releases from this year that perfectly prove the point, all falling within the entry-level luxury watch bracket. Don’t be put off by the term ‘entry-level’ - with regards to the world of luxury watches, timepieces that tick this category are far from average and are known to keep time for years to come.
Here is our list of 5 must-have watches in 2020 under £5,000.
Oris Aquis Lake Baikal Limited Edition.
Movement: Oris Caliber 733, based on Sellita SW 200 - automatic.
If you didn’t already know, Oris has a strong commitment to protecting the seas around the world. Although this initiative isn’t the foremost focus of the brand, it forms a large part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.
The Oris Aquis Lake Baikal Limited Edition watch is dedicated to preserving the world’s largest source of freshwater, Lake Baikal. It is the deepest lake on earth, with a depth of 1,642 metres, and also contains 20% of freshwater on Earth! However, it is under threat from man-made pollution, which is why Oris started its partnership with the Lake Baikal Foundation. Sales of the watch will help raise funds in support of Lake Baikal conservation projects.
The watch is clearly stunning, and there are plenty of details that relate to the lake itself. For instance, the dial and the bezel have both been made using the colours found on Lake Baikal when it is frozen. If you look closely you can also see a gradient on the dial, with a light blue centre radiating outwards towards the edges. Another unique feature on this Oris Aquis Lake Baikal is the caseback. It features a Lake Baikal insert, resembling the icy crackle that covers the lake.
This is a truly unique watch and is limited to 1,999 pieces, making it an exclusive symbol of sea life sustainability. The watch is priced at £1,850.
Longines 1832 Heritage Moonphase, 40mm stainless steel
Movement: Caliber L899 - automatic
The Longines 1832 Heritage Moonphase serves as a timeless tribute to the company’s date of creation. The timepiece ticks all of the boxes when it comes to the brand’s horological heritage. The watch is comprised of the codes that form the brand’s conceptual core, mixing tradition with elegance and performance.
The transparent caseback provides a window for the wearer to marvel at the movement within, which is the exclusive Longines L592 or L888 movement. Longines have always been known to make some of the most beautifully crafted luxury watches at an affordable price. This is a fine example of a dress watch done well, and the delicately coloured off-white dial accompanied by the moonphase display will certainly catch glances from those you share an eye for detail with.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition, 42mm bronze case
Movement: Caliber MB 29.25 - automatic
Okay, we get it. Given the title of this article, we cheated slightly with this watch as it clocks in at just over the £5,000 mark, but don’t count this one out for a second.
This offering from Montblanc is truly special. Firstly, the watch case is made from bronze, which is quite unusual given the number of rose gold and titanium cases out there, so this already sets it out from the rest.
This timepiece has a story behind it too, and it is inspired by the spirit of early 20th-century mountaineering. The 1858 Geosphere Limited Edition is dedicated to the Seven Summits climbing challenge to conquer the Earth’s highest peaks. This is shown on the dial, where the world’s Seven Summits are marked with red dots on two turning globes and are also engraved on the caseback. The two domed globes turn in opposite directions and complete a full rotation in 24 hours, and they are a newly manufactured world-time complication developed by the Montblanc watchmakers in Villeret.
If you are an adventurer at heart, this watch is definitely for you. We’re hoping you can see why this watch made the list despite it exceeding the budget by £200. It’s difficult to find a timepiece such as this in this price range, and the quality alone perpetuates the peerless practices of perfect precision that Montblanc undertake with the creation of each wristwatch.
Cartier Santos-Dumont, 31.4mm stainless steel case
Cartier are very well known for their classy yet functional approach when it comes to their range of luxury accessories, and their watches are no exception. The Santos-Dumont is classically sized and thin, whilst serving as a fluent expression of the Cartier design language. This is exhibited through the cleanly rounded edges on the square case, along with the elongated Roman numerals that warp into the edges of the dial. It sits very comfortably on the wrist and can seamlessly integrate itself into a more formal dress code, whilst still being an appropriate choice for an everyday watch. Whatever the occasion, the Santos-Dumont maintains a very appealing wrist presence.
The Cartier Santos is noteworthy due to its quartz movement, which results in the entry-level price point. Having said that, it is not to be disregarded. Cartier has fitted a custom “high-autonomy” quartz movement that offers six years of battery life, providing longevity for those looking for a simple and easy to wear luxury timepiece.
Bremont Rose Official England Rugby Watch
Movement: BE-50AE - automatic
In celebration of becoming the Official Timing Partner to both England Rugby and Twickenham Stadium, Bremont created one of the most special watch releases of the year - the Official England Rugby watch. The impeccably crafted details on this timepiece all pay homage to England Rugby, and the collaboration celebrates shared values of durability, precision, and technical ability.
Bremont’s series of special edition mechanical chronometers are for both fans and players. As for the details, the Bremont Rose is the first watch in Bremont’s range to state ‘England’ on the dial as opposed to ‘London’ at 6 o’clock. The brushed steel chronograph features two sub-dials embossed with the symbolic England rose, combined with blued steel hands and a beautifully contrasting red chrono second hand as a nod to the St George’s Cross.
Just like in the modern game of rugby, precision is everything for a Bremont timepiece. The Rose is powered by the extremely accurate BE-50AE automatic movement, which features a 42-hour power reserve. The rotor features the England Rugby rose, as well as the words ‘Swing Low’ in honour of England Rugby’s anthem. The details that appear in this timepiece strike a chord with all England Rugby fans, and the sentimental value of this watch is absolutely timeless.
“Timing is key in Rugby, so it’s great to have Bremont on board with England Rugby, supporting the game as the official timekeeper.” - Eddie Jones, England Rugby Head Coach.