Fratello Editors’ Favorite Watches Under €1,000 In 2023 — Daan’s Picks From Mido, Serica, And Traska
I wasn’t consulted when this series was started. If I had been, I would certainly have called it to a halt. It’s not that I don’t like writing articles like these. It’s just that it’s so tempting to go over all the possible options before making my final selection. These are all watches that I’ve considered buying before, and seeing them time and time again doesn’t make it any easier to keep avoiding them, especially at this somewhat affordable price point of under €1,000. But all right, let’s just get it over with!
There are so many watches in this price category. I’m glad we already did a series with a €500 budget since that rules out a large number of eligible watches. And for this €1,000 version, at least Thomas and Nacho have already picked some of the low-hanging fruit. That allowed me to look a bit further than the usual suspects like Seiko, Hamilton, and Citizen. I would like to start with one other big player, though, who’s also very strong at this particular price point.
Favorite watches under €1,000 in 2023 — Pick #1: Mido Commander 1959
I still feel bad for not buying Mido‘s re-edition of the Multifort Datometer. It’s true that with its 40mm case, it was a bit too big, but it still looked very nice. The current Multifort Patrimony has a very similar case with a rose gold PVD coating, but I don’t really like its dial layout. It doesn’t feature the pointer date, and I think the date window that replaces it really messes up the dial. But don’t worry, there’s another Mido watch that certainly deserves my approval. It’s the 37mm Commander 1959 in yellow gold PVD.
First of all, I love the tapered mesh bracelet, which is something you don’t see very often. It’s directly attached to the very simple case without the use of any lugs whatsoever. That in combination with its 10.5mm thickness results in a very comfortable wearing experience. The characteristic black and gold hands and indices, the applied logos, the big frame around the day and date, and the “Automatic Datoday” text at 9 o’clock all look great on that sunburst silver dial. I still haven’t taken the plunge to buy a yellow gold(-tone) watch. However, this Commander could very well be the try-out watch to see if I could get used to that tone on my wrist.
The Mido Commander 1959 has a price of €960 (including VAT), and that will get you both an acrylic crystal and Mido’s version of the Swatch Group’s Powermatic 80 movement. The next watch on my list comes from a much smaller brand, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less impressive than the Mido.
Pick #2: Serica 4512 California
With its fat brushed and polished bezel on top of its 37.7mm case, the Serica 4512 looks very muscular on the wrist indeed. The big crown at either 3 or 9 o’clock (the choice is yours) reinforces that strong character. And the Bonklip bracelet it comes with wears like an absolute dream. It might even be my favorite feature of this watch. A close second, though, is the “California” dial. It’s playful, easy to read, and a perfect match to the brushed Broad Arrow hands.
I think the only reason I haven’t bought the 4512 California yet is because I’d rather have one with an automatic movement. I very much agree that the hand-wound Soprod movement suits the character of the watch. But I’d use this watch as a daily beater on holidays, and one thing I wouldn’t want to worry about is winding it. Other than that, the Serica 4512 California is a complete home run by Jérôme Burgert and his team. It can be yours for €690 (including VAT) and comes with a sapphire crystal, 200m water resistance, drilled lugs, and yes, that magnificent Bonklip bracelet.
Pick #3: Traska Venturer Steel Blue
This last watch is not actually available at this very moment. However, it is still in production, so I think it qualifies for this series. Plus, I simply can’t skip over this killer GMT watch. The Traska Venturer with its Miyota 9075 offers you a flyer GMT function in a 38.5mm case. In addition, it’s water resistant to 150 meters, and it has an internal GMT bezel and a double-domed sapphire crystal. It’s still only a little over 10mm thick, and it comes on a fully articulating bracelet with a clasp that includes five micro-adjustment points. And just like the case, the bracelet and the clasp have also been treated with a scratch-resistant coating.
I just can’t believe the Venturer only costs US$695 (excluding VAT). No wonder it sells out so fast every time it becomes available! I haven’t found any other watch on the market that offers the same value for that kind of money. It’s packed with features that you usually only see on more expensive watches, and, I have to take Vincent’s word for it, but also its quality swings way out of its league. I’m a big fan of the Steel Blue version, and I might just sign up for the brand’s newsletter to see when the next batch becomes available. I just wish Traska could change that logo, though…
Favorite watches for under €1,000 in 2023 — Final words
There you have it — my three choices for today. Now, if you ask me tomorrow, they might be three totally different ones. Please don’t, though, because the more I look at all these watches, the more of them get added to my “next watch” list
What are your three favorite watches under €1,000? Let me know in the comments below.
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