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Jeremy Oster of Oster Jewelers and Shaina Williams of Williams Jewelers already gave us their tips (and clued us in to some all-important lingo) for what to look for when buying your first “real” watch. But that’s just step one. Now you actually have to find that perfect timepiece. Here, six of the experts’ favorites.
Jeremy Oster’s Top Picks
Nomos (pictured above) offers a great mix of Bauhaus-inspired design and value. This is a brand with unique top-quality movements, which are made almost entirely “in-house” in Glashutte, Germany. The quality exceeds many watches costing two to three times as much. Tip: Look for styles with sapphire crystal, as they resist scratching on the “glass” of the watch, meaning they look far better over time.
Model: Tangente 35mm
Starts At: Just under $2,000
Iconic British brand Bremont has been a top watch selection for many American and British Air Force pilots. The stainless steel case in the Solo style is seven times harder than standard stainless steel watches, making it less likely to scratch. Plus, the Swiss automatic movement is a Certified Chronometer, ensuring the highest level of accuracy.
Model: Solo 43 mm
Starts At: $4,295
For a bolder look, check out the instrument-inspired Bell & Ross BR collection. This is a modern design icon, and the BR03-92 (pictured) is arguably the quintessential square design watch.
Model: BR03-92 42mm in steel
Starts At: $3,400
Shaina Williams’ Top Picks
With a history dating back to 1860, Tag Heuer is one of the best-known names in Swiss watchmaking. Tag’s bold, masculine watches—the company has a close connection to car racing—are also priced affordably (in watch terms, that is). This automatic timepiece in stainless steel with leather strap, and rose gold numbers and hands is a great piece with which to start your collection.
Model: Carrera 39mm
Starts At: $3,350
Longines is also a heritage Swiss watch brand (the company was founded in 1832). Its line of stainless steel divers watches is sporty yet refined. Fun piece of trivia: Longines was a favorite of style icon Audrey Hepburn.
Model: HydroConquest 41mm
Starts At: $1,275
Originally part of the Rolex family back in the mid-1920s, Tudor was created to be as technically innovative and functional as its more expensive cousin—but at a more attractive price. This automatic watch with ceramic bezel offers buyers the chance to customize their timepieces with different color dial options.
Model: Fastrider 42mm
Starts At: $4,100