It’s never been more exciting to look for a luxury wristwatch than now. With so many beautiful and stylish watches on the market, it can get a little overwhelming. But as long as you stick to the key features in this guide to buying the best watches, you won’t regret your investment. That is, of course, if you’re looking for watches under $6 000.
The luxury wristwatch industry is heaving with affordable watches right now, so you can pick up a decent Japanese quartz movement for as little as a few hundred dollars. You can go all out and look at top-range brands that provide everything from sports watches like the TAG Heuer Carrera chronograph, to precise Grand Seiko models, to dive watches – those are watches that will sustain depths down to thousands of meters.
Maybe you’re interested in fully-equipped professional pilot’s watches that can keep precision time while soaring through the clouds (and even up to space if you’re familiar with Omega’s Professional Speedmaster – the first watch to the moon!)
But if you want to hit somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, then anywhere between $4000 and $6,000 dollars will get you a top quality timepiece from some of the most prestigious watch brands on the market. We’re talking about watches like the Tudor North Flag Automatic and the Bell & Ross 126 Vintage Heritage Chrono. These watches are built to last an entire lifetime. Read on to see which watches from our list of best watches under $6k takes your fancy.
View The Best Watches Under $6000 Below
1. Breitling Aeromarine Superocean Heritage Watch
Breitling’s Aeromarine Superocean Heritage watch is ready to face any challenge head-on. The brand now celebrates over 60 years of developing expertly crafted dive watches. The Breitling cal. B17 automatic movement is sturdy and powers the hands around this sleek black dial, equipped with a chunky luminous central minute hand.
You’ll also find the iconic Superocean Heritage arrow-tipped minute hand. The timepiece guarantees a total of 42 hours of power reserve and features a date window at 6 o’clock behind a bright white background for enhanced readability. Additional features include a solid screw-in case back and a screw-locked crown, adorned with the famous “B” (for Breitling) motif.
+ Broad 46mm stainless steel case
+ Water resistance – 200 meters
+ Mesh-style steel bracelet
+ Chronometer-tested automatic movement
+ Unidirectional rotating bezel
Why We Like It – The key features of this Breitling timepiece include the simple, classic diver’s dial, its reliable movement, and the practical date aperture.
2. Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Automatic
The Omega Seamaster is another diving watch. It’s expertly crafted with blue ceramic material used for the unidirectional rotating bezel and the dial. An OMEGA Liquidmetal™ diving scale is mounted to the 43.5mm stainless steel case.
The underside is sealed with an alveol screw-in case back. A sapphire crystal glass lens will provide you with the clearest view of the Omega Seamaster’s dial. There you’ll find baton indexes for the hour markers and arrow-tipped central hands.
The timepiece is water-resistant to a staggering 600 meters. So, if you’re keen on your diving and you like the sound of Omega’s in-house made Co-Axial escapement movement, this confident and water-ready wristwatch is certainly for you!
+ Chronometer certified automatic movement – caliber 8900 – 60-hour power reserve
+ Domed scratch‑resistant sapphire crystal with anti‑reflective treatment
+ Helium escape valve
+ Date window at 3 o’clock
+ Steel bracelet with patented extendable foldover clasp
Why We Like It – To be worthy of its Chronometer certification, this Omega watch has had to endure eight rigorous tests set out by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology
3. Ball Engineer Master II Watch
The Engineer Master II automatic chronograph watch comes with a clever slider to facilitate the chronograph feature. If you slide up you can start timing. To reset, you push down on the slider attached to the case in one simple, flawless motion.
As well as its effortless chronograph tool, the black dial of this Ball model is equipped with luminous features. Ball illuminates their dial accents by filling gas tubes with special lume. The automatic chronograph movement has features displayed at 6, 9, and 12 o’clock on this model, so you have the right-hand side of the dial dedicated to the day and date.
The shape of this Ball Engineer Master II’s case is slightly retro-inspired. It comes complete on a steel bracelet to match the case and is powered by the company’s in-house manufactured Calibre RR1402 automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve.
+ 50-meter water resistance
+Automatic chronograph movement
+ Bold 47.5mm steel case
+ Tachymeter scale
+ Screw-down crown on the case
Why We Like It – If you want the unique features of your wristwatch to become a talking point with your friends, this Ball chronograph watch has an innovative slider chronograph tool.
4. Bremont Supermarine Type 300 Diver Watch
Vintage-inspired cues are obvious in this Supermarine Type 300 diving tool from Bremont. The collection derives from the 1930’s aircraft company, Supermarine. Type 300 was their first Spitfire prototype, which became one of history’s most iconic designs.
Bremont takes the wristwatch underwater, combining technical features used for the skies with innovative and highly robust materials needed for sea exploration. This includes its durable 300-meter water-resistant steel case and decorated screw-down crown.
The model is nice and simple, with luminous nickel satin hands and an integrated dial ring. A supple brown calfskin leather strap, with a steel buckle, completes the retro look of this stylish men’s model. It’s also powered by an in-house designed self-winding movement that will provide you with an impressive 38-hour power reserve.
+ Metal dial with Super-LumiNova coated appliques
+ Chronometer certified to ISO 3159 standard
+ Domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass lens
+ Engineered in Britain
+ Laser-engraved ceramic unidirectional rotating bezel
Why We Like It – Bremont’s steel case features their patented TripTick case construction, which includes a scratch-resistant DLC treated case barrel.
5. Bell & Ross 126 Vintage Heritage Chrono Watch
This is one pilot style wristwatch with a difference. You’re sure to look stylish with this Bell & Ross Vintage Heritage watch on your wrist, and it doesn’t even matter if you can fly an aircraft or not! The timepiece is slick and stylish, presenting the time on a galvanic black sunburst dial with a glass bead blasted steel case and anti-reflective domed sapphire crystal glass.
This 50-meter water-resistant timepiece will pair beautifully with any smart, professional, or elegant evening attire. Its striking brown calfskin strap contrasts with the black PVD coated case to create a vintage wristwatch powered by a modern engine.
+ Photo luminescent coated hands and numerals/indexes
+ Powered by an automatic movement
+ Calfskin strap with blasted steel buckle
+ Date window at 4:30
+ Chronograph minutes and seconds at 9 and 3 o’clock
Why We Like It – This Bell & Ross Heritage watch is one of the best watches under $6k because it balances technical features with a simple and highly legible dial for those who prefer something in the middle.
6. Longines Heritage Military Automatic
If you like the look of military watches, this one will certainly get you noticed. The Arabic numerals around the edge of the dial are accompanied by a 24-hour track, detected by the red-coated center hands. The model’s black dial, fitted with a classic black synthetic strap and white contrast stitching, will pair easily with anything in your wardrobe.
Plus, it’s powered by the ETA A07.171 self-winding movement, which will provide you with a 46-hour power reserve for those evenings when you want to switch things up with a different wristwatch.
+ Fluted flat crown
+ 42mm stainless steel case
+ 24-hour track
+ Anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass lens
+ 30-meter water resistance
Why We Like It – This Longines Heritage Military 1938 watch is based in the original Longines models developed for withstanding extreme conditions, thus ensuring durability and longevity – and value for your money!
7. Nomos AHOI Automatic Watch
If you like classic and understated, the clean lines and smoothly sculpted lugs of this Nomos Ahoi Date Siren Blue wristwatch will bring sophistication to your entire wardrobe. The simplicity of its dial creates a purist look.
The mix of Arabic numerals and needle fine indexes are rhodium plated with a Super-LumiNova inlay, and a zesty orange central hand in the small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock creates a stark contrast against a dial that has been inspired by clear blue summer skies. The in-house DUW 5101 movement powers this model, providing you with a glimpse of its performance through the back of the wristwatch.
+ 200 meter water resistance
+ Blue-black textile strap with a winged clasp
+ Date and small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock
+ Domed sapphire crystal glass lens
+Luminescent dial for underwater time reading
Why We Like It – If you like getting your money’s worth, you’ll enjoy the exhibition case back of the Nomos Ahoi Date watch, which allows you to admire the movement in motions through a sapphire glass window.
8. Tudor North Flag Automatic Watch
Makers of the Black Bay, Tudor, have created this steel diver’s watch, dressed in sleek silver and black tones. The case is water-resistant to 100 meters. The Tudor Calibre MT5621, which beats inside the timepiece, provides you with an impressive 70 hour power reserve, So you could technically come back to this model after the weekend and find it has kept perfect time while it’s been off the wrist.
The wristwatch also features legible elements on the dial, including the arrow-tipped minute. A date aperture at 3 o’clock will also enable you to keep on track of a busy working week, while a power reserve indicator at 9 o’clock will show you exactly where you’re at with the movement’s remaining energy.
+ Black and yellow diver-style bezel
+ Anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass lens
+ Stainless steel link bracelet
+ Date and power reserve display
+ Powered by an in-house movement
Why We Like It – We love the striking yellow color splashes across the surface of this Tudor watch’s dial.
9. Oris Artelier Automatic Watch
This Artelier Date model from Oris will allow you to enjoy a classic dress watch with innovative features like a domed sapphire crystal glass lens, as well as a sophisticated silver guilloche dial and hands coated in Super-LumiNova C3 technology. You’re also granted a cheeky glimpse into the performance of the Oris 733 movement through the model’s mineral glass case back.
As stylish as ever, this Oris Artelier Date will wrap around the contours of your wrist with a supple alligator strap and boasts a comfortable 40mm steel case. A date window at 6 o’clock is the only complication added to the dial of this Oris watch, so it’s perfect for you if you like to keep time reading to the bare minimum.
+ Silver guilloche dial with simple baton index hour track
+ See-through mineral glass case back
+ Traditional-looking brown leather strap
+ 50 meter water resistance
+ 38 hour power reserve
Why we like It – We love the see-through mineral glass case back, as it adds a certain level of style.
10. IWC Pilots Automatic
This pilot’s watch from IWC Schaffhausen presents the time on a beautiful blue dial with a matching blue leather strap. If adding a subtle touch of color to work attire is your thing, this simple three-handed dial with a date window at 3 o’clock is a great timepiece to consider.
It’s powered by an in-house designed automatic movement that is hand-assembled by an expert team of horological artisans at the company’s manufacturing house. Together with an anti-reflective sapphire glass lens and a robust steel case with 60-meter water resistance, this 36mm model is perfect for slender wrists that can’t take the bulky steel cases of other aviation watches.
+ Luminous hands
+ 60-meter water-resistant steel case on leather strap
+ Soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields
+ Date window at 3 o’clock
+ Powered by the 35111 automatic movement – 42-hour power reserve
Why We Like It – The automatic movement beating away at the center of this IWC Pilot’s watch is found inside a soft iron inner cage for ultimate protection against magnetic fields.
Watches Under $6000 Buyer’s Guide
A watch that bridges the gap between a designer timepiece and a high-end wristwatch is, by far, the most exciting to collect. You have more choices for a start! When the time comes to start looking at the best timepieces out there, you’re going to want some sort of check-list to refer to. There’s a huge scope of watches to explore for this budget. Big names like Omega and Breitling are highly sought after, but it’s not all about the brand name.
If you’re considering parting with this much money, you won’t want to put it all on a brand name. You want to make sure that A) it’s to your taste and B) it provides the functions that you need it to. Besides that, there are the obvious wants. It needs to be reliable and made from high-quality materials.
Rest assured that the brands we’ve featured in our review guide are the best brands for this price range. Many of them are loved by watch collectors because they forego the flashy name and the extortionate price tag, providing you with more watch for your money. Today’s retail industry is constantly striving to offer the consumer more for their money – the same goes for luxury watch brands, so don’t question it – enjoy it!
You can even compare some of these brands we featured in our review guide with the likes of a Patek Philippe because mid-range luxury watch brands are now equipping their timepieces with the same level of technology as their unaffordable, minus the label.
Which watch brands are the best?
To ensure you’re investing in the brand just as much as you are the timepiece itself, here’s a quick run-through of why each watch brand we featured in our review list is renowned within the industry.
Breitling: This Swiss company has unprecedented skills in creating precision chronographs that look highly-technical on the wrist. Their dials are filled with features that will enable you to carry out calculations utilized by pilots, along with capabilities useful for deep-sea diving.
Omega: Two noteworthy facts about Omega are as follows 1) the brand became famous for creating the first wristwatch to visit the moon, and 2) they created the iconic Seamaster watch, which has gained global acclaim on par with the likes of the Rolex Submariner. If you like solid-looking watches with impressive patents incorporated into a mechanical movement, Omega watches, fitted with the Co-Axial Master chronometer, are a great option for you.
Ball: Ball Watch Company are based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Their wristwatches are loved for promising accuracy. They’re developed for those with large wrists that can take the bulk and heft of a confident and dynamic timepiece. Known for their expertise in areas of movement manufacture and watch dial lume, these technical-looking tools embody titrium gas tubes and anti-magnetic properties in their designs.
Bremont: Bremont are inextricably linked to the aviation and car manufacturing industry. Both areas of expertise are brought together and melded with the Bremont brothers’ passion for mechanics. These timepieces are geared towards military personnel and adventurers. So if you class yourself as either one of the two, then a Bremont watch is your kind of timepiece.
Bell & Ross: Bell & Ross is the official supplier of the Space Lab Mission. Their core areas of focus have been to perfect water resistance, longevity and reliability in the area of watchmaking. The company is one of the very few within the industry that does not make its own movements. That said, if your heart isn’t set on an in-house made automatic movement, you’ll still likely be impressed with other aspects of a Bell & Ross watch, like their technical BR V3 models and the wristwatches from the Vintage Heritage line.
Longines: This Swiss company has a longstanding relationship with the equestrian industry. Their horse racing heritage has led to success in other areas too, namely their ultra-thin movements, which have become synonymous with their slogan “Elegance is an Attitude.” The brand has been making watches since 1832 and is one of the oldest manufacturers within the industry that remains in constant production.
Nomos: In 2005, Nomos introduced the first automatic caliber to be made in-house entirely from start to finish. The company also constructs 95% of their watch’s DNA in their Saxony-based facilities in Geneva, where their intentions remain to keep time-honored watchmaking as close to tradition as possible.
Tudor: Tudor keeps calling upon their rich heritage to create their striking watches, like the Black Bay. Their 2018 Black Bay GMT model was the first in the collection to be kitted out with a GMT movement.
Oris: Oris is loved by the world for its aviation timepieces and high-tech diver’s tools. One of the most recognized pilot’s watch is the Big Crown. Dials are available in green, brown, deep blue and black, and come on traditional leather straps that create a striking style on the wrist.
IWC: IW Schaffhausen is most renowned for creating high-end aviation-inspired pilot’s watches using a blend of traditional watchmaking values and cutting-edge materials, like titanium. This has given many of their timepieces a lightweight and sophisticated feel upon the wrist.
What are the key features to look for when choosing a watch?
This might seem like a strange one to start with, but it’s actually the most important aspect of buying a luxury timepiece. Aside from doing lots of research into the brands that you like the sound of, when parting with a considerable amount of cash, you need to rely on your heart more than you think.
It’s easy to overthink buying a high-end timepiece if you focus too much on the pressure of how much it’s going to cost you rather than style. You’ve no doubt been saving for a timepiece for a while. So the best way to make sure you’re getting a style that you really want, and not what your money-saving brain is telling you, go for the timepiece you have a connection with.
If you like the style of a simple-looking dress watch that foregoes all the bows and ribbons, and the gismos and gadgets – buy that! You can still get your money’s worth out of a high-end classic dress watch. It may not be equipped with a display that tells you what the day, date, month, year, or position of the moon is. It may not display what the remaining energy levels of your watch’s movement are. But it tells the time modestly and stylishly. It’s an expression of your personality and taste – it’s a style that’s more “you.”
Who you buy a luxury timepiece from is a crucial decision to make. It can’t be rushed. Good, solid research must be carried out on a watch brand. This is not merely to discover the style of watch they create or the type of movements they make, but also what their ethos is. Sticking to a budget when investing in a luxury timepiece will refine your options a little, enabling you to hone your decision-making to a select few that match your style.
First, ask yourself the question: “What do I want my watch to say about me?” Is it that you want admirers to know you have invested in a quality movement, made from the best materials and technology within the industry? Or is it that you want people to know you’ve invested in a wristwatch because you like the brand’s story.
For example, watch brands like Luminor, or the manufacturers of the Grand Seiko watch (that have always created mechanical movements), suffered interruptions during the quartz crisis of the 1970s. Oris, on the other hand, went from producing their own movements to sourcing Swiss ETA base movements for a period. Then they went back to creating their own movements once again. Their journeys represent perseverance and unwavering determination to withhold their reputation within Haute Horlogerie.
When researching leading watchmakers out there, look for brands with a history that spans two decades at the very least. Some watch brands have hundreds of years’ experience in the art of watchmaking. The longer a company has been manufacturing, the longer their heritage has been anchored in examples of success and innovation.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with younger brands. British watchmaker, Bremont, was only founded in 2002. Yet, its aviation-inspired timepieces and its collaborations with world-renowned car manufacturers like Jaguar, have gained the company global recognition.
High-end watches between $4-6k are likely to offer a mechanical movement. While a quartz movement offers better accuracy than a mechanical watch, luxury timepieces are all about the craftsmanship behind what’s considered the spectacle of a watch – the masterpiece. Automatic watches are run by a mechanical automatic movement.
This has been hand-assembled by horological experts, who have endured years of training to secure a position at one of a high-end manufacturing house. Often referred to as the heart of a timepiece, the engine is composed of tiny intricately crafted components. They have been harmoniously arranged into position and tested beyond their means, along with the other materials used in a watch’s manufacturing process.
Some of the best automatic movements in the world oscillate at around 28,800 vibrations per hour and will continue to run even when they aren’t used since many have power reserves that will keep the timepiece ticking over. As well as a self-winding automatic movement, some of the best watch brands in the industry create manual winding watches, which require you, the wearer, to wind the wristwatch at the same time every day.
This keeps the watch running on time. These timepieces are highly collectible to the avid wristwatch enthusiast. Part of the fascination and enjoyment in owning a manual winding watch is the fact that the wearer gets that hands-on wristwatch that many consider a work of art. Some luxury timepieces expose the performance of their movement through the back of their wristwatch. Sapphire crystal glass exhibition case back features allow you to appreciate how all the different parts of a movement work simultaneously together.
Some of the best watches under $6,000 will feature complications. This is any function, not including the simple two or three-handed dial design. Complications can vary from a straightforward date window to a sporty flyback chronograph to full-on world timers, a standard chronograph, or a perpetual calendar. It all depends on what you want in a wristwatch. Some collectors feel that complications over-clutter the dial, whereas others believe that the addition of a chronograph, or a few complications, make a watch look technical and more expensive.
Vacheron Constantin is recognized across the globe for creating exceptional complications using its own manufacturing methods and techniques. However, there are watchmakers out there who have recreated the high-tech spec for a more affordable price and simply nailed it! There are GMT and world timers, annual calendars, perpetual calendars, moon phases, and minute repeaters, all of whom can easily be purchased at a lower price than a Vacheron or Patek watch.
We mentioned it earlier, and as simple as it sounds, the material of a watch can be a make or break deal for a collector. If ease of wear and comfort are a necessity to you, don’t make the mistake of purchasing a wristwatch made from stainless steel, just because you think it feels more solid and robust.
There are, in fact, other materials on the market that promise the same durability with lightweight properties, like titanium, which may be more suitable. Most luxury timepieces promise anti-corrosive, scratch-resistant, and anti-shock values, as well as some models with built-in anti-magnetic technology or silicone parts to further protect the movement from damage.
Sapphire crystal glass lenses are often integrated with anti-reflective technology – a key feature for ensuring that glare from the sun won’t affect your view into the dial. Other materials like luminescent technology applied to the hands and markers on the dial, are ideal if you work during the night or dive regularly.
While a strap can be alternated either by yourself or by a professional, make sure you opt for a timepiece that naturally comes on a strap of your preferred choice. A rubber strap is often the choice for sportsmen and divers, whereas metal bracelets are perfect for pairing with a suit for the office or other formal attire. A leather strap, such as an alligator band, sits in the middle somewhere. This type of strap is ideal for a luxury wristwatch because it can be worn every day of the week. Plus, it’s versatile enough to wear with all styles of clothing.
Something to think about
Don’t forget, when you’re investing in a timepiece, you’re also investing in a brand and all that they stand for. Some companies like Grand Seiko focus on the manufacture of their movements. Others, like Longines, take pride in creating elegant watches for all occasions. Some models, like a TAG Heuer Carrera, prioritize creating precision timepieces for professionals in the diving, aviation, or motorsport industry.
In this guide to choosing the best watches under $6k, we’ve covered pilot’s watches from IWC, and Bell & Ross, diving watches from Breitling, Omega and Bremont, a military watch from Longines and even a Nomos watch that bridges the gap between a diving tool and a classic statement piece. You can be as daring or as understated as you like when choosing watches within this budget.
But whether you’re drawn to a sporty TAG Heuer Carrera chronograph, a precise Grand Seiko watch, or diver’s watches like the Black Bay, always make sure you’re considering style, provenance, movement, complications, and materials. One piece of important advice, however, is to go with your gut instinct. If you’ve had your heart set on a particular model for some time, then go for the one you love, and you won’t go regret it.
If you still aren’t sure whether you should take the plunge on a watch that you have only researched online, go and try the timepiece on in a store. Get a feel for how the watch looks on your wrist, taking into account its style, size, case shape, case material, and display. This will help you make an informed and balanced choice before finding the best price using online resources.
Did you know
Vacheron Constantin’s pocket watch ref: 57260, packs in an impressive total of 57 individual complications inside its case! The pocket watch takes the title for “the most complicated watch ever made”!