It’s time to chime in on the best watches under €2,500. It’s a tough subject for a couple of reasons. First, many of my colleagues have already opined and used up some great picks. Second, this price level now feels like a no man’s land because most brands prefer to play above or below it. Still, I’ve found some stellar watches that I own or wouldn’t mind adding to the collection.

For most people, €2,500 isn’t a forgettable sum. It’s well above a casual expenditure, yet it’s now below what most brands seem to recognize as the luxury level. Well, forget about them because plenty of value and goodness is available. Some brands, particularly Seiko, offer watches well below €2,500 or significantly above the amount. It’s interesting because the €5,000 mark is significant, so it makes sense that many buyers would divide by two to create a budget. With the challenge in hand, did I find the best watches under our magic number? You bet I did, and these are some great options.

The best watches under €2,500 — Pick #1: Seiko SPB411 Navigator Timer reissue

It’s amazing how quickly we forget some of the best watches just months after they come out. The Seiko SPB411 Navigator Timer was a highly anticipated rerelease and finally broke cover in October 2023. My colleague Michael Spencer reviewed it with a hands-on article just a month later and declared that it fully met his expectations. The SPB411 is a retro model inspired by the highly collectible reference 6117-8000. It has an external 24-hour bezel and an internal 24-hour hand. It is powered by the in-house 6R54 automatic movement with 72 hours of power reserve. Furthermore, it carries one of the best modern Seiko bracelets in existence.

Seiko SPB411 Navigator Timer reissue best watches under €2,500

I chose the SPB411 as one of the best watches under €2,500 because it’s a fantastic-looking piece that brings GMT and water-going functionality. Plus, at 38.5mm wide, 45.2mm long, and only 12.6mm thick, it fits many wrists perfectly. Seiko has made 4,000 of these watches, and the model is still available in most markets. In Europe, the retail price is €1,700. That’s not inexpensive compared to lower-level Seiko releases, but the SPB411 is a high-quality watch in the metal.

MING 17.09 Hands On Watch 7

Pick #2: Ming 17.09

The Ming 17.09 debuted in 2021, which means it’s only available now on the secondary market. Roughly three years later, I still find this watch as captivating as I did when I received mine in the mail. It came with a polished 38mm × 43.9mm steel case, and Ming produced an unknown number of watches based on the number ordered within a certain window. The dial, though, is where this watch brings the magic. Whether in blue or burgundy, the Clous de Paris pattern dances before the eyes.

Ming 17.09 Burgundy

Balazs and I both own a 17.09. He bought his on the secondary market in 2023 and was able to source it well below the €2,500 mark. Reportedly, the Schwarz-Etienne-modified Sellita SW330-2 with its independently adjustable hour hand caused some initial issues, but neither of us has experienced this. What we have enjoyed is a lovely case finish and a watch that wears beautifully on a wide variety of straps. Currently, several examples on the secondary market are between €2,000 and €2,500. I feel that the Ming 17.09 is certainly one of the best watches in this price range.

Oak & Oscar Atwood best watches under €2,500

Pick #3: Oak & Oscar Atwood chronograph

My next pick for the best watches under €2,500 is hot off the press. Last week, Oak & Oscar debuted its new Atwood, and I’m a big fan. The watch is available in three classic colorways and contains a manually wound flyback Sellita chronograph movement with a column wheel. Best of all, it’s 39mm wide, 46mm long, and only 12.9mm thick including the crystal. Plus, the lovely bracelet is one of the best in the business.

Oak & Oscar doesn’t flood the market with releases but takes sufficient time to develop watches that should age well. I also find the brand’s attention to detail and quality better than others charging far more. The typical detractor is that Oak & Oscar’s prices are often higher than others. The Atwood turns the tables on this theory, though, at US$2,650 (roughly €2,440) including the bracelet. That leaves enough left to enjoy cocktails at your favorite local watering hole.

best watches under €2,500 Longines Heritage Classic

Pick #4: Longines Heritage Classic

For my final pick of the best watches under €2,500, I’ll turn your attention to one of my favorite watches from the past five years. The Longines Heritage Classic debuted in 2019 with a silver sector dial. At some point, Longines added a black version. Both dials are available with strap options or on an appropriately designed beads-of-rice bracelet. At 38.5mm wide, 47.6mm long, and just 11mm thick, the Heritage Classic is a great size. Unfortunately, these ’40s-styled pieces use an automatic movement, but at least Longines had the good sense to keep any text indicating that from the dial. On a positive note, the L893 caliber offers 72 hours of power reserve.

A quick trip to the Longines site reveals that the Heritage Classic has a list price above our threshold. Don’t worry, though, because less than a minute of web sleuthing will show that these are available for far below these prices on the secondary market. Alternatively, check with your local authorized dealer. Here in London, I saw this watch advertised with a nice discount. Some may feel this watch is long in the tooth, but a classic is a classic. I’d recommend letting its long production period work in your favor because this is still one of the best watches on the market in this price range.

That’s all for now

Thanks for reading about my picks for the best watches under €2,500. Hopefully, you find them to be different and somewhat creative. Now that you’ve had the chance to digest several of these articles, which are your favorites and have you been introduced to any new or forgotten watches?