In the last few years, we’ve seen a lot of sub $1,000 watches. Within those watches, we’ve seen a handful of movements, various level of finishing quality, original designs, off-the-shelf designs, homages, etc… As time has gone on, what we look for in a watch has shifted away from straight “value”, by which I mean watches that seemingly offer the most expensive components in the cheapest package, to watches that offer quality of concept, design and execution, supported by quality components. So, the latter might cost more for a watch with the same movement and a sapphire, but if it’s offering more in terms of design and finishing; and in our eyes, it’s worth it.
So… When I first saw photos of the Vorque Constantine, who are a new brand out of Singapore, saw the beautiful waffle-textured dial, and read that it was powered by an ETA 2824-2… actually a gilted 2824, I anticipated a certain price. ETAs are expensive these days, a uniquely textured dial that is well executed isn’t going to be the cheapest option, sapphire, deployant buckle, etc are going to add cost too. Having seen it in person now, I can say that on top of that, the finishing (and what we have here is a sample, so it’s likely to be a bit rougher) is decent on the case, the dial is well executed with nicely shaped markers and hands, and the case itself has some elegant details. So, i figured $1,200 on the low end, perhaps $1,800 at the top.
Well.. while currently in crowd-funding mode, these watches can be had for as little as $429. That’s a crazy price, and one you shouldn’t hope to see for a 2824-2 powered watch anymore (frankly, for this watch, I think it could have cost more than that and used a Miyota 9015, but that’s a different conversation). Yet, here it is. Obviously I don’t know how or where they got the movements, if they are making any money at all, or what they plan to do in the future, but for the time being, the Vorque Constantine is a truly remarkable value, while also being an attractive watch. Let’s take a closer look.