Last month, we introduced you to StockX, an online “Stock Market of Things” that aims to foster a buying/selling experience that values transparency and authenticity above all else. Similar to the way one would buy a stock on the NYSE, StockX uses a bid/ask model where potential buyers anonymously bid on a watch. If a bid matches an anonymous seller’s asking price, a sale is made. Today, with the help of the team at StockX, we’re back to roundup five great watches under $4,000 that are currently available on the platform. Without further ado, here are our picks.
Quirky in all the right ways, horologically stout, easy to wear; what’s not to love about the NOMOS Metro? NOMOS resides but a stone’s throw from the powerhouse manufacture, A. Lange & Sohne within the charming town of Glashütte, and while NOMOS watches may not have the same jaw-dropping movements lurking underneath the dials that Lange has, they are built in-house and feature engineering and finishing that bat way above their relatively modest price tags.
I love the Metro for its simple charm and attention to detail. In particular the execution of the power reserve, which adds a pop of color and personality to the otherwise sterile dial landscape. At 37mm in diameter and under 8mm in thickness, the Metro is a joy to wear. There is a lot of value packed into the diminutive Metro, and the fact that it’s priced well under $4,000. Again, what’s not to love?
Throwback designs have been a shot in the arm for the watch industry in recent years, and they show no signs of slowing down. But there’s a fine line to balance when it comes to executing a retro design in the spirit of the original while maintaining some of the luxuries we enjoy in modern construction and materials. Lean too far in either direction and it’s easy to lose the plot. Recent successes include Omega’s 60th Anniversary trio of the Seamaster, Speedmaster, and Railmaster; TAG Heuer’s Autavia; and the Oris Chronoris Date. The Oris is a shining example of retro done right, and it can be had for under $2,000.
The Oris Chronoris Date recalls a watch by the same name from the year 1970. But you probably could have guessed that by looking at it. The cushion case design, domed crystal, and funky-but-clean dial is straight retro in all the right ways. Even the sizing is perfect at 39mm in diameter. The attention to detail is apparent straight away thanks to small pops of color, a radially brushed case surface, and textured crowns. Oh yeah, it’s got two crowns. One at 2 o’clock for adjusting the internal rotating bezel (I love internal rotating bezels), the other at 4 o’clock for adjusting the time. On duty within the Chronoris is a Swiss Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement. The Oris Chronoris is a refreshing take on the retro inspired genre of watches, and one I’d like to see more of from other brands.
The Black Bay established itself as an entry-level mainstay in the dive watch category back in 2015, and it’s shown no signs of slowing down since. It’s been released with red, blue, and black bezels (almost forgot green), gone from ETA to in-house movements, and now, you can get one with a steel bezel. I love this example for its throwback feel thanks to a red triangle at 12 o’clock on the bezel, a single line of red text on the dial, and a riveted steel bracelet. Boy, do I love that riveted bracelet. Sure, it wears a little thick, but it looks great on the wrist, and makes for a superbly fun weekend wearer. Best of all, it’s still a great value, even with the in-house movement.
DOXA is a storied dive watch brand, and the SUB 300 is the iconic DOXA watch. Released in ’67—though that year is somewhat contested—the original SUB 300 set the tone for the brand with its vibrant orange dial, unique handset, and distinct bezel. The DOXA SUB 300 Professional 50th Anniversary Edition honors that watch, riding the neo-vintage wave of the last several years to create something that truly looks and feels like a time capsule. It retains the dimensions of the original, with the most significant update coming in the form of the beautifully domed sapphire crystal instead of acrylic—a small concession, but one that should appease contemporary expectations. Aesthetically, the rest of the watch is a near one-for-one recreation. Inside the SUB 300 is ETA’s 2824, a proven workhorse movement, but upgraded here to chronometer grade.
Altogether, the DOXA SUB 300 Professional 50th Anniversary Edition is a really unique and fun watch, and it’s as purposeful as it is cool looking. Take this one on your next diving trip.
Speedmasters exist in a strange duality. They are simultaneously loved for their consistency, having a design that has remained largely unchanged since the moon landing, and for the sheer breadth of variations. Outside of the “Professional” line of manual wind, NASA-approved watches, Omega has created a staggering amount of cool and sometimes quirky variants on the theme. Some utterly gorgeous and highly collectible, others kind of odd and a bit too out there, but regardless, there’s a lot to look at and choose from. They can also provide a great entry into the world of Speedmasters at a lower cost, or they can even be a second Speedy for those who really have the bug.
One excellent, reasonably priced and sort-of-overlooked model is the MK 40 ref. 3520.50. Part of the 39mm “Reduced” automatic series of Speedmasters released from the ’90s, the MK 40 has a couple of exceptional qualities. First, it’s powered by the caliber 1151, a 7751 base movement with a 6, 9, 12 layout and an integrated chronograph—something that the other reduced models are not. More interesting, however, is that it’s a triple calendar model with a pointer date and day and month indicators. They also throw in a stacked 24-hour/sub-seconds at 9 for good measure, giving the watch a whopping eight hands and two date windows. While it might not look like a traditional Speedmaster, it still has its DNA, especially in the case, and it’s simply a killer chronograph for a good price.