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Christmas gifts - Six great men’s watches under 3,000 Swiss francs

Christmas gifts Six great men’s watches under 3,000 Swiss francs

The term “affordable” in the world of mechanical watches can mean different things to different people. But these six watches offer some of the best value for money on the market.

For most Swiss watch brands, the prices you will find below constitute “entry level”, yet for many people these sums might still seem excessive for a timepiece. If you’re looking to offer a quality Swiss timepiece for Christmas this year without breaking the bank, here is a selection of watches to satisfy a variety of tastes.

Alpina Startimer Pilot: CHF 950

The pilot’s watch has a distinctive style that derives from its historical use, which required large (Arabic) numerals and clear legibility, as well as an oversized crown that could be manipulated when wearing gloves, as the early pilots did to battle the freezing cold conditions in cockpits.

Among the numerous versions of the Alpina Startimer available, there are small date, big date, quartz, automatic, chronograph and GMT versions with a choice of brushed steel or black-coated case and leather or rubber straps and stainless-steel bracelets. We have chosen the Startimer Pilot Automatic in titanium-coloured steel. Aside from its self-winding mechanical movement with a power reserve of 38 hours, this 44mm pilot’s watch comes with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, applied hour markers with luminescent material, water resistance to 100 metres and a genuine leather strap.

Six superbes montres pour hommes à moins de 3000 francs suisses

Startimer Pilot © Alpina

Buy an Alpina Startimer Pilot watch


Anonimo Nautilo Bianco: CHF 2,190

The new Anonimo Nautilo Bianco bears all the hallmarks of Anonimo’s Italian heritage in the production of robust diver’s watches. The cushion-shaped 44mm case is in brushed stainless steel with a partial black DLC coating and has a graduated bezel with black ceramic insert that can be rotated anti-clockwise for safely recording dive times. Its Sellita SW 200-1 self-winding movement offers a power reserve of 38 hours and the watch is water resistant to 200 metres. As the model name suggests, the dial is in opaline white and, like all Anonimo watches, it comes with a leather strap that is hand made in Italy.

Six superbes montres pour hommes à moins de 3000 francs suisses

Nautilo Bianco © Anonimo

Buy this Nautilo Bianco watch

Emile Chouriet Ice Cliff: CHF 1,120

The Ice Cliff takes some beating among Swiss Made watches with self-winding mechanical movements. Although not a sports watch per se, it is inspired by Switzerland’s alpine peaks, to which tribute is paid by a jagged motif around the edge of the dial, evoking shards of ice, craggy outcrops, or maybe even the teeth on the gear wheels of the EC9316 calibre self-winding movement that powers the watch? A power reserve of 38 hours puts it on a par with the two preceding models in our selection, while water resistance to 30 metres ensures that it can cope with everyday wear. The design of the Ice Cliff models has been reworked for this year and they now come with a choice of blue or brown dials and steel bracelets or rubber straps.

Six superbes montres pour hommes à moins de 3000 francs suisses

Ice Cliff © Emile Chouriet

 

Maurice Lacroix Aikon Bronze: CHF 1,350

Bronze watches are all the rage at the moment and the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Bronze is undoubtedly among those that offer the best value for money, mainly thanks to the use of a quartz movement. It is a limited edition of just 388, which gives it extra collector’s value and the aged appearance of the smoked brown dial, with its horizontal lines, will complement the patina of the bronze as it ages. Gold-plated hands and hour markers complete the warm look, while SuperLuminova inserts ensure optimum legibility.

Six superbes montres pour hommes à moins de 3000 francs suisses

Aikon Bronze © Maurice Lacroix

Seiko Presage Cocktail Blue: €420

If you are looking for a reliable self-winding mechanical watch with classic appeal from an established name, then the Seiko Presage “Cocktail” collection takes some beating. Presented earlier this year at Baselworld, the collection has made it to the shops just in time for Christmas and includes two different movements: one with a centre power reserve indicator and one with three hands and date. Our choice is the latter in blue, inspired by the Starlight cocktail created by Hisashi Kishi at Tokyo’s Star Bar. With a stainless-steel case, Hardlex box-shaped crystal, transparent case back and water resistance to 50 metres, this model is practically unbeatable on price.

Six superbes montres pour hommes à moins de 3000 francs suisses

Presage Cocktail Blue © Seiko

 

TAG Heuer Formula 1 Senna Special Edition: CHF 1,350

TAG Heuer produced three special editions this year to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ayrton Senna winning the Monaco Grand Prix for the first time. We have chosen the quartz-three hand version with its 43mm brushed steel case with black PVD coating and SENNA logo. The black look continues on the dial, which has an opaline black background, black flange and black hour markers, with contrasting red hands.

Six superbes montres pour hommes à moins de 3000 francs suisses

Formula 1 Senna Edition Spéciale © TAG Heuer

Brands

Established in 1883, Alpina is recongised as the inventor of the sports watch as we know it today, having presented its Alpina 4 model back in 1938.

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Born in Italy, crafted in Switzerland. The history of Anonimo watches is unmistakably linked to the pioneering exploits of Italy’s naval divers and alpini militare.

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The firm is committed to maintaining and passing on the values of Emile Chouriet – an integral part of its DNA. Elegance has always been associated with the heritage of the Geneva watchmaker’s...

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Based in the Jura region of Switzerland, Maurice Lacroix has been producing fine Swiss timepieces for over 40 years and has developed 14 in-house movements over the past ten years.

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The history of Seiko is a more than 130 year story of innovation. From the very start, Kintaro Hattori was determined to be at the forefront of the industry and his oft-repeated credo was that...

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Over 150 years of watchmaking savoir-faire and technical innovation have made TAG Heuer a global reference in avant-garde sports watches. As it tracked the rise of sports demanding increasingly...

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