Best Entry Level Luxury Watch Reviews

Updated February 19, 2021

A luxury watch is a timeless piece of jewelry that can be worn every day, combining exquisite craftsmanship with practical purpose.

There are many qualities that can make a watch deserving of its luxury title, from the materials used to the method of production or the reputation of the watchmaker.

The price of a luxury watch can reach into tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, if you have the budget to match!

However, if you want to invest a more modest amount in a luxury watch, there are plenty of options out there to choose from, including some from very well-known watchmakers.

We set out to look at the best entry level luxury watches, so read on for our reviews and detailed buying guide.

See Our Best Entry Level Luxury Watches

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1 TAG Heuer - Men's WAR211B.BA0782 Carrera Stainless Steel Watch TAG Heuer Men's WAR211B.BA0782 Entry Level Luxury Watch
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2 TAG Heuer - Men's CV2A1R.BA0799 Stainless Steel Watch
Best For Higher Budgets
TAG Heuer Men's CV2A1R.BA0799 Entry Level Luxury Watch
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3 TAG Heuer - Men's WAZ1110.FT8023 Formula 1 Stainless Steel Watch
Best Overall
TAG Heuer Men's WAZ1110.FT8023 Entry Level Luxury Watch
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4 Gucci - SYNC XXL Swiss Quartz Stainless Steel Watch Gucci SYNC XXL Entry Level Luxury Watch
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5 TAG Heuer - Men's 'Aquaracer' WAY1111.BA0928 Dress Watch TAG WAY1111.BA0928 Entry Level Luxury Watch
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6 Tissot - Men's Seastar T1204171704100 Quartz Watch
Best For Low Budgets
Tissot Men's Seastar T1204171704100 Entry Level Luxury Watch
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7 Oris - Men's 4154LS BC4 Chronograph Watch Oris Men's 4154LS BC4 Entry Level Luxury Watch
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8 Rado - True Skeleton Men's Watch R27100112 Rado R27100112 Entry Level Luxury Watche
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1. TAG Heuer Men's WAR211B.BA0782 Entry Level Luxury Watch

Highlights
  • Swiss automatic movement
  • Anti-reflective sapphire dial window
  • Exhibition caseback
  • 38-hour power reserve

This TAG Heuer timepiece is classically elegant, with the excellent build quality you’d expect from the TAG brand.

The case and link bracelet band are both stainless steel, combining aesthetic appeal with durability and wearability.

The face is clean and minimal in design, with a white dial and sleek silver-toned hands and hour markers.

The hands and markers are luminescent enabling you to read the face in low light or darkness.

A date display in a silver-toned frame sits at the 3 o’clock position.

This watch features a Swiss automatic movement, with a 38-hour power reserve.

Part of the movement can be viewed through the skeleton caseback, allowing you to appreciate the craftsmanship.

The design of this watch is inspired by motor racing, resulting in a sparse yet beautifully designed piece with timeless appeal.

The quality and simplicity make it a great entry point to the world of luxury timepieces.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
Case thickness: 12 mm
Movement:
Swiss Automatic
Case Diameter:
39 mm
Watch Strap:
18.5 mm

Pros

  • Luminescent hands and hour markers
  • Date display
  • Water resistant to 100m
  • Clear, easy to read dial

Cons

  • No day display (there’s another version of this watch which has a day-date display)
  • Relatively low power reserve

2. TAG Heuer Men's CV2A1R.BA0799 Entry Level Luxury Watch

Highlights
  • Three chronograph subdials
  • Swiss automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve
  • Stainless steel case and link bracelet band
  • Super-LumiNova lume illuminates the hands and markers
Best For Higher Budgets
TAG Heuer - Men's CV2A1R.BA0799 Stainless Steel Watch

If a more elaborate dial appeals, the design of this TAG Heuer timepiece may be for you.
The case and bracelet strap are stainless steel, which sets off the black dial and bezel.

There are three chronograph subdials, two with a textured background, and a silver-framed day and date display in the three o’clock position.

Rather than the standard 12-hour or 24-hour markers around the dial, intervals show 05 – 60.

The font is slightly retro and sporty in feel, complemented by the silver hands.

There’s a chunky crown and push buttons around the bezel which also adds to the sport-inspired design.

Overall, there’s a very solid feel to this watch and it may be too chunky for smaller wrists, with a case thickness of 16.5mm.

But for anyone looking for a more rugged style of luxury watch, this watch ticks all the boxes.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
Case thickness: 16.5 mm
Movement:
Swiss Automatic
Case Diameter:
43 mm
Watch Strap:
22 mm

Pros

  • Exhibition caseback
  • Day date display
  • Water resistant to 100m
  • Anti-reflective sapphire dial window

Cons

  • Dial may be too busy for some tastes
  • Thick dial may be too chunky for some wrists

3. TAG Heuer Men's WAZ1110.FT8023 Entry Level Luxury Watch

Highlights
  • Sporty Formula 1 design
  • Clean, bold face
  • Unidirectional black bezel
  • Super-LumiNova lume on hands and indexes
Best Overall
TAG Heuer - Men's WAZ1110.FT8023 Formula 1 Stainless Steel Watch

As you would expect from a Formula 1-inspired watch, the design is sporty and streamlined.

The brushed steel case houses a simple black dial and a black unidirectional bezel. The face is minimal, with silver-toned hour markers and Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 o’clock.

The bold markers and the hour and minute hands are all finished with Super-LumiNova lume to give clear visibility in low light.

Other than TAG Heuer’s signature branding, the only other detail on the face is a date display in the 3 o’clock position.

This watch has a Swiss quartz movement which keeps excellent time.

With minimal features and a sporty appearance, including a rubber strap, this style is better suited to those looking for a casual but minimal timepiece.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
Case thickness: 12 mm
Movement:
Swiss Quartz
Case Diameter:
41 mm
Watch Strap:
20 mm, Rubber

Pros

  • Easy grip crown
  • Water resistant to 200m
  • Date display
  • Rubber strap with brushed steel buckle

Cons

  • Rubber strap doesn’t suit formal wear
  • Limited features

4. Gucci SYNC XXL Entry Level Luxury Watch

Highlights
  • Clean dial design with Gucci logo
  • Accurate Swiss quartz movement
  • Bold, eye catching style
  • Logoed crown

This is a striking and eye-catching watch for anyone wanting to make a bold statement.

The brushed stainless steel case is set on a black rubber strap, with Gucci’s signature stripes in red and dark green down the centre.

The dial design is very simple, with the trademark Gucci double G logo on a sunburst-effect black background.

There are simple block markers instead of numerals, and a small date window at the 3 o’clock position.

The Gucci styling continues with a logoed crown wrapped in the same stripes as featured on the strap.

The design of this watch means it could be worn anytime, though it may be too casual for formal wear.

Overall it’s a bold design for an attractive price.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
Case thickness: 13 mm
Movement:
Swiss Quartz
Case Diameter:
46 mm
Watch Strap:
30 mm, Rubber

Pros

  • Rubber strap with Gucci stripes
  • Silver-tone stick hour and minute hands
  • Mineral crystal dial window
  • Water resistant to 50m

Cons

  • Case is large and may overwhelm smaller wrists
  • Not luminescent

5. TAG WAY1111.BA0928 Entry Level Luxury Watch

Highlights
  • Sporty design that’s still suitable for dress wear
  • Stainless steel case and link bracelet strap
  • Unidirectional bezel
  • Anti-reflective sapphire dial window

In our opinion this Aquaracer by TAG Heuer could hold its own against much more expensive divers-style watches from other luxury brands.

The case is stainless steel, as is the link bracelet strap. The case feels solid and weighty with a diameter of just under 41mm.

The white dial is simple, with a band of concentric circles adding texture.

There are blocky silver-tone hour markers instead of numerals, and matching hour and minute hands.

All have an application of Super-LumiNova lume to enable a clear read of the face in low light or darkness.

There’s a date display at the 3 o’clock position but the face is otherwise uncluttered.

The unidirectional bezel has numerals at intervals of 10-seconds or minutes and a luminous dot at the 12 o’clock position.

A big attraction of this watch is the 300m water resistance, so as you’d expect there’s a screw down crown and case back.

Overall, a great design and build quality at this price point.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
Case thickness: 14 mm
Movement:
Quartz
Case Diameter:
40.5 mm
Watch Strap:
20 mm

Pros

  • Super-LumiNova lume on hands and hour markers
  • Water resistant to 300m
  • Screw-in crown
  • Date display

Cons

  • Quartz rather than automatic movement

6. Tissot Men's Seastar T1204171704100 Entry Level Luxury Watch

Highlights
  • Three subdials
  • Scratch resistant sapphire crystal window
  • Unidirectional bezel
  • Luminescent hands and hour markers
Best For Low Budgets
Tissot - Men's Seastar T1204171704100 Quartz Watch

Tissot’s Seastar watch is sporty but classic in style, with a large stainless steel case set on a black rubber band.

It is water resistant to 300m and has all the design hallmarks of a divers’ watch.

The blue dial adds interest, though the blue isn’t as vibrant as it appears in photographs.

Around the face is a unidirectional dial, in a black finish with silver numerals and a luminous dot at the 12 o’clock position.

There’s a screw down crown and two steel pushers.

The dial itself features three subdials (including 30-minute and 1/10 second counters) and a date display in a small window between 4 and 5 o’clock, but the simple hour markers prevent the face from being too cluttered.

Both the hour markers and the chunky hour and minute hands are luminescent.

This is an attractive statement timepiece with good build quality, though bear in mind that the size may swamp smaller wrists.

Specifications

Material:
316L Stainless Steel
Size:
Case thickness: 12.8 mm
Movement:
Swiss Quartz
Case Diameter:
45.5 mm
Watch Strap:
22 mm, Rubber

Pros

  • Rubber strap with divers’ safety buckle
  • Water resistant to 300m
  • Battery end of life indicator
  • Date display

Cons

  • Bulky design
  • Blue dial is not as vibrant as pictured

7. Oris Men's 4154LS BC4 Entry Level Luxury Watch

Highlights
  • Aviation inspired design
  • Three subdials
  • Exhibition back
  • Leather strap with white stitching

Aviation has inspired the design of this watch by Oris, which features a durable yet elegant combination of a black leather strap and stainless steel case.

The case is slightly squared, with a chunky, quick lock crown and two pushers. The face is round, with a subtle geometric pattern on the black dial.

There’s plenty of detail, with three subdials including a small seconds dial.

A window at the 3 o’clock position spans three dates, with the correct one indicated by a small red arrow.

Hour markers are used rather than numerals, which helps keep the design from being too cluttered. Both the hour markers and hands are luminescent.

The exhibition back allows you to view the automatic movement, and the water resistance (100m) makes this practical for everyday wear.

Specifications

Material:
Stainless Steel
Size:
Case thickness: 15.6 mm
Movement:
Automatic
Case Diameter:
42.7 mm
Watch Strap:
22 mm, Leather

Pros

  • Luminescent hands and hour markers
  • Scratch resistant sapphire glass window
  • Water resistant to 100m
  • Quick Lock crown and pushers

Cons

  • Stationary bezel
  • Bulky size

8. Rado R27100112 Entry Level Luxury Watche

Highlights
  • Eye-catching skeleton dial
  • Automatic movement
  • Unusual ceramic case and band
  • Power reserve of up to 80 hours

For those looking for a distinctive timepiece that offers something different, this Rado watch is a unique and elegant choice.

The first thing you’re likely to notice about this watch is the unusual skeleton design.

A black ceramic bezel surrounds the dial which has areas cut out to reveal the automatic movement inside.

Simple stick hour markers and hands (both of which are luminescent) ensure that it’s still easy to read the time.

A transparent case back gives another view of the movement, which has an impressive power reserve of up to 80 hours.

The skeleton design doesn’t allow for any additional features such as a date display, but does provide a style which is at once simple and decorative.

The case is set on a ceramic band to match the bezel.

Specifications

Material:
Ceramic
Size:
Case thickness: 10.4 mm
Movement:
Automatic
Case Diameter:
40 mm
Watch Strap:
20 mm

Pros

  • Luminescent hands and hour markers
  • Water resistant to 50m
  • Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
  • Transparent case back

Cons

  • Limited features (no date display)

Entry Level Luxury Watch Buying Guide

Best Brands

If you’re investing in a luxury watch, you’ll be looking for a brand which offers a reputation for quality and performance. 

Here are some of the brands you might want to consider. 

Oris

Oris is a Swiss watchmaker established in 1904. 

They may not be as famous as some luxury brands, but produce quality watches at the affordable end of the luxury price range. 

Their watches feature automatic movements and collections are themed around four inspirations – culture, diving, aviation and motor sport.

Longines

Another Swiss watchmaker, Longines offers excellent build quality and design at an accessible price. They produce both automatic and quartz watches in a wide range of designs.

Longines is well-known globally thanks to its sponsorship of many high-profile sporting events and celebrity ambassadors such as actress Kate Winslet. 

Raymond Weil

In the world of Swiss watchmaking, Raymond Weil is a relative newcomer having been founded in 1976.

It’s a family-owned maker which is becoming rarer as many brands have been acquired by a larger parent company. 

The brand is inspired by music and prides itself on precision and quality. 

Tissot

Tissot’s history tracks back to 1853, when the watchmaker was founded in Switzerland. 

When one of the Tissot family moved to Russia around 30 years later, it formed a strong connection with the country and found many Russian customers. 

It is now part of The Swatch Group and has strong links to sport, partnering with the NBA and events such as the Tour de France. 

For the best Tissot watches on the market, make sure you read our comprehensive guide on it. 

Tag Heuer

Another Swiss brand with a long history, TAG Heuer has had a significant impact on watchmaking thanks to the innovations of the founder, Edouard Heueur. 

During their history the company has brought many new features to the market, complemented by great design. 

Rolex

Rolex is one of the most recognised luxury watchmakers. A Rolex watch may actually increase in value over time, as many models have become collectibles. 

Rolex watches do offer great build quality and reliability, but their desirability has no doubt been influenced by their connection to historic events and popular culture. 

For example, a Rolex was worn by Sir Edmund Hillary when he summited Mount Everest, and by the various actors playing 007 in the Bond movies.   

Style & Design

Just as when you’re choosing any other watch, the best style for you depends on your own personal tastes and preferences. 

Because they’re an investment, many luxury watches have a classic design that won’t date, which makes them ideal for formal and dress wear. 

If your look is more casual, there are no shortage of sports watch options. 

Whether you prefer a leather strap or stainless steel, a black dial or a skeleton dial, you’ll find something to suit you.

Material

In the world of luxury watches you can expect to find good quality, durable and attractive materials which reflect the price tag.

Stainless steel is an enduring choice because it doesn’t cause allergies, is robust and doesn’t go out of fashion. A stainless steel case and a leather strap offers a classic combination which is timeless and comfortable to wear.

Pricing Range

Cheap is a relative term in the world of luxury, but compared to the top end of the luxury market, watches which are around $1000 – $2000 can be considered relatively cheap. 

It’s a significant investment, but can seem more affordable if you remember that this is a piece you’ll wear daily for years to come.

Our Verdict

The Tissot Men’s Seastar T1204171704100 Quartz Watch is a stylish and great quality timepiece that we award our Best Entry Level pick.

It has the classic design of a divers watch and although it’s a large piece, we’d be happy to wear it every day.

Our Best Value selection is the TAG Heuer Men’s WAZ1110.FT8023 Formula 1 Stainless Steel Watch, with a sporty and streamlined design that won’t date.

Finally, if you can afford to blow the budget, we recommend the stylish TAG Heuer Men’s CV2A1R.BA0799 Stainless Steel Watch as our Best Top of the Range choice.

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