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<100 | Under $1k | 11.14.2011

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One of the problems with some cheap watches is that they look as cheap as they cost. The dials are boring, the colors are dull, and the whole watch appears generic, as though to say “it’s cheap, why put in the effort”. Enter May 28th, a small company founded about 2 years ago by Latvian designer Agni Tilla. What Tilla has done with the cheap watch is truly remarkable. She has developed line of watches that not only come in at under 50 dollars (with free worldwide shipping); they are unique, artistic and simply quite attractive. With faces that range from simple patterns, to detailed textures, to architectural drawings, the watches manage touch on enough categories and interests to probably intrigue anyone.

The watches themselves, as you might be able to tell from the styles, are more geared towards a female audience than male (though they call them unisex). As such, they are primarily 30mm cases, though some (such as the architecture models) are available in “large,” which is 38mm. That being said, it’s great to see a line of interesting watches aimed towards women that go beyond being shrunken men’s watches or bedazzled department-store bling.

There is an obvious parallel to be drawn between these and Swatch. Clearly, Swatch invented this genre, but unfortunately their current offerings are not very exciting. The May 28th line is a little more daring, a lot more sophisticated and still very contemporary. For 39 dollars, these make perfect impulse buys and great gifts.