Perhaps it is wrong to include this in the <100 genre, since it is exactly $100, but in my opinion that means you will inevitably see it for slightly less at some shop somewhere. ANYWAY… I present to you the Nixon Mellor in Black/Saddle. The Mellor has been around for some time, but this color-way is new and it is spot on. Simultaneously hitting vintage and military notes, the light green of the index, black of the face and tobacco brown of the strap meld very nicely. I find the emphasized 3, 6, 9, and 12 or 15 minute interval markings add a nice cross-hair/false horizon effect that is unique to this face. I happen to have seen this in person in a store in NYC, and though it sat towards the back of a large watchcase, it really stood out. What you can’t see from the picture here is that the watch sports a domed mineral crystal that really adds to the overall perceived quality of the watch. Overall, the watch is rather petite, measuring in the 30’s, but it doesn’t look effeminate or undersized.
There is one major draw back to this watch however…the band is sewn around fixed wire lugs…meaning that the casual watch wearer might be stuck with one strap. The strap is perfectly matched to the watch; I am more concerned with longevity here. The wire lugs add a nice authentic vintage-ness to the watch, but I feel that on a mass-market watch there could have been a design solution to have that aesthetic with the convenience of spring-bars. Regardless, if the strap gets worn out, it can always be cut off and replaced with a small width NATO, perhaps in black and khaki?