Cheaper Alternatives for Esquire’s Big Black Book Spring 2012 Watches
The average cost for one of Esquire’s 22 “dream” watches is $13,964. More than a few of us have never spent that on a car, let alone a watch. The most expensive is a Platinum Paneri which runs, and this deserves to be written out check style: forty four thousand eight hundred and 00/100. What would you write on the “memo” line for that check anyway? I’M RICH BIAATCH! ? Still, they’re stunning, and Esquire excels at showing us the top of the line. The following are more attainable, Dappered-chosen alternatives that you can be awake to enjoy.
#1. Timex Originals Q-Dial – $80.75 w/ SPRING2012 ($95)
Their Pick: Movado Datron
The Alternative: Not an easy combination to find, but the strap and the brushed deep grey on the Timex Q dial is absolutely close. If they only made one with a deeper, navy dial. The Movado executes the roughed up luxury/casual thing perfectly, and the Timex Q dial is an awfully good looking, inexpensive alternative. Full review here.
#2. Orient Explorer – $455 w/ SPRING2012 | St¼hrling World Time – $220
Their Pick: Glash¼tte Navigator World View
The Alternative: The Orient Explorer is a familiar face around here. Used to be much, much less when codes up to 50% off were valid, but Orient Headquarters ended those early in 2012. Consider yourself lucky if you were able to snag one for in the $300s. They’re nails. Not actually a world time like the Glash¼tte, but does have a dual time zone function as well as a slide rule. The St¼hrling IS a world time and has the obligatory time zone/city markings around the exterior. And hey, like the Glash¼tte, there’s an umlaut in play as well. Both have offset crowns at 2 and 4 o’clock. Stuhrling comes with a black band, but that’s easily switched out (in both photoshop, and real life).
Their Pick: Panerai Radiomir
The Alternative: Hand it to Panerai. They’ve put together a unique combination. Not $44k unique, but still… there’s not many cushion/square style cases with a blue almost purple round dial floating around. Momentum makes two versions of this case and dial shape setup. Neither have a deep blue option. More here and here.
#4. Mougin & Piquard for J. Crew – $425 (but wait) | Seiko 5 – $74.00
Their Pick: Bell & Ross WWI-92 military
The Alternative: If the Mougin & Piquard watches are selling anything like the Timex Andros, then wait for them to go on sale. Because you think they would, and during an extra 30% off code, they could drop way down. Still expensive for a quartz, when you consider the Seiko 5 with a greyish browh leather strap could do the job for guys with small wrists… and it happens to be an automatic. Also strongly consider Orient’s Sparta automatic.
Their Picks: Ulysse Nardin & Blancpain Villeret
The Alternatives: The Bulova is as simple and as classic as it gets. If you’re not a gold guy, they do make a silver tone version with a black strap. The Hugo is an automatic (no word on where the movement is from) and you’ll pay through the nose for that “sun ray” dial… but it’s a looker. Fingers crossed for it to get majorly discounted during a half-yearly sale?
Their Pick: Chanel Ceramic and Titanium J12
The Alternatives: Good Grief, Chanel? This is getting harder. Well proportioned metal links, a bezel with some minute markers on it, and some grey tones in there. Interesting that once again, an automatic is less than a quartz. Another option would be the much better looking than the Timex Bulova 98B131. Costs less too.
Their Pick: Patek Philippe officer’s Style Calatrava
The Alternatives: The Patek Philippe’s crown, texture on the inner dial, and the round edges of the case make it one hell of a good looking watch. The Citizen is an ultra affordable workhorse, while the ESQ by Movado carries the load as far as style goes. And thank goodness for one-star reviews? The ESQ is unusually low via Macy’s. One reviewer seems to have gotten a lemon (so buyer beware) and the one star review might be keeping people away…
Part II & III still to come. Other suggestions & alternatives are welcome in the comments. Top Photo Credit: Mark Tee