It has already been nine months since our last series of articles about the best watches under €5,000. I had to look up my choices from last time (new watches from Longines, Tudor, and Seiko and a pre-owned pick from Omega). I still stand by those picks, but my mood is slightly different these days, so I will swap them out for watches I would consider at the moment.

Yes, €5,000 is a chunk of money, so let’s spend it wisely. When you add the pre-owned market, you have so many exciting watches to choose from, and you can easily spend days or weeks browsing the interwebs to find that one special piece that fits this budget. We can say it’s a buyer’s market today, so if you have the money and are comfortable spending it on a watch, now is the time to do so.

Stacked from 40 images. Method=B (R=2,S=4)

My picks under €5,000

As some of my colleagues have already indicated in their articles, a €5,000 budget today does not give you access to the same brands as it did 10 years ago. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Many brands now in the sub-€5,000 segment are offering the same or better quality than some of the brands inhabited it years ago. The watch industry doesn’t sit still when it comes to innovation.

Design is a different story, but even there, you can argue that a lot of customers are always looking for the “classics” and don’t necessarily want something out of the ordinary. The good thing is that if they want something different, there are also many brands to choose from. Often, smaller brands bring new designs to the table, such as those from Fears, Formex, and Louis Erard. Honestly, though, those are not for me (with a few exceptions). I am quite conservative when it comes to wearing watches.

best watches under €5,000 Tudor Black Bay Pro

Tudor Black Bay Pro

Let’s start with the uncrowned king of watches, at least among enthusiasts. The Black Bay Pro is not a Tudor model I would have considered before, but seeing my colleague Jorg wearing one in the office for the past few weeks has warmed me up to it, and I have asked him more than once to let me give it a try.

It is no secret that it’s reminiscent of the classic Rolex Explorer 1655, a watch I like a lot. When a friend of mine lent me his 1655 for a while, I found it amazing how different it was from other Rolex sports models and how confusing the dial was at first glance. The double line of hour markers (for the dial and bezel) took me a while to get used to. The Tudor Black Bay Pro is much easier to read and doesn’t “suffer” from this. While it is a bit thick (14.6mm), that didn’t bother me when wearing it. The 39mm Black Bay Pro is a cool and comfortable watch with a nod to the “Freccione” at a friendlier price of €4,290.

I would always choose the version with a stainless steel bracelet. The faux rivets are not my favorite, but they do not disturb me. Inside is Tudor’s chronometer-certified MT5652 movement. It offers 70 hours of power reserve, and, as a flyer GMT, it has a 24-hour hand for home time and an independently adjustable 12-hour hand for traveling. With a 200m water resistance rating, this watch is almost a do-it-all. Almost!

best watches under €5,000 Longines Conquest Heritage Power Reserve

Longines Conquest Heritage Power Reserve

Though perhaps not as versatile as the Tudor, this Longines Conquest Heritage Power Reserve brings some class to the table. The version with the champagne dial is my favorite, and it indicates the remaining hours of power via the central circle on the dial. This is a rather uncommon way to show the power reserve of a watch. The 72-hour scale is printed in black and revolves around the center pinion. The applied hour markers are faceted and curved to fit the domed dial perfectly, and they match the gold-colored sky-scraper-shaped hour and minute hands. At 12 o’clock, a gold-tone frame highlights the date aperture.

This 38mm Longines takes inspiration from the 1950s. Those, like me, who fancy that style will find a good companion in this Conquest Heritage Power Reserve model. Inside is the Longines caliber L896.5, which ticks at 25,200vph and has a silicon balance spring. The watch measures 12.5mm thick overall and has a 45.6mm lug-to-lug span. Besides champagne, this watch is also available with anthracite or black dials, so there are three references in total. The retail price for the Longines Conquest Heritage Power Reserve is €4,250, and the watch comes with an alligator strap.

best watches under €5,000 Sinn 140 St

Sinn 140 St

Approximately 20 years ago, I bought my first Sinn watch, the 142 St S. This is a black-coated Sinn 142 chronograph with a Lemania caliber 5100. I regretted getting the black version as I soon learned that black watches weren’t for me (at least not that one). Not much later, the Sinn 142 disappeared from the market in its classic form because Lemania stopped producing the 5100 movement and brands ran out of stock. If memory serves me correctly, Tutima was one of the few brands to still produce watches with that movement for a long time afterward.

The original Sinn 142 — Image: Analog:Shift

Anyways, the 142 received a new ETA-based movement when the caliber 5100 went out of production, and today, there’s only the model 140 left. The current 140 model is powered by Sinn’s caliber SZ01. Basically, this is an ETA-based movement that has been redesigned to match the layout of the old Lemania 5100 (minus the 24-hour sub-dial). This means it has two central chronograph hands to measure elapsed seconds and minutes. The 44mm stainless steel case has a bead-blasted finish and received Sinn’s Tegiment treatment to make it virtually impossible to scratch.

On a leather strap, the Sinn 140 St has a retail price of €4,280. On the stainless steel bracelet, the price increases to €4,630.

best watches under €5,000 Fortis Novonaut N-42

Fortis Novonaut N-42

The Novonaut is Fortis’s successor to the famous Official Cosmonauts Chronograph watches. I always had a weak spot for the 1990s/early 2000s models, and just like the Sinn 142, they were powered by Lemania’s 5100. The Novonaut is different from the Lemania 5100-powered models, though. This watch feels incredibly solid, partially due to the Fortis Block Bracelet. Inside is the Fortis Werk 17, a column-wheel chronograph with a power reserve of 60 hours. Officially, it is not a chronometer, but the watchmakers at Fortis headquarters in Grenchen regulated it according to the same standards.

This stainless steel 42mm chronograph has a 15mm thickness and a 51mm lug-to-lug. The Novonaut N-42 is a big watch indeed, even for my 18cm wrist. But that’s how it was intended. It’s certainly not for everyone, and when I asked Fortis CEO Jupp Philipp, he underlined that point. If the size and dimensions of a Fortis watch are not for you, you should look for something different. I respect this angle a lot because it means that Fortis will not make any compromises on the watch’s design. There are so many brands out there that you will certainly find something that suits you better.

The Fortis Novonaut is available in several variations, but I like this Legacy Edition best so far. The retail price of the Novonaut on the bracelet is €4,950.

best watches under €5,000 Cartier Panthère

Panthère ref. WSPN0006

Cartier Panthère

Unlike last year, I am not going to include a pre-owned watch. We’ve published many other articles covering pre-owned options (and we will keep doing so). Instead, I thought including a women’s watch in the sub-€5,000 price segment would be interesting. One of the watches that I always find attractive on a lady’s wrist is the Cartier Panthère. It is a very 1980s watch, and the supple bracelet was why Cartier named this watch after a panther. The small version measures 23mm wide, 30mm long, and only 6mm thick. Inside is a quartz movement that only powers hour and minute hands. You can also find the Panthère in larger versions, but they all exceed the budget. This model, reference WSPN0006, has a retail price of €4,750.

Choices still abound

Despite the price hikes across the brands, there’s still much to choose from. Other watches on my shortlist include the new Oris Aquis Date Upcycle Calibre 400 (€3,750), Nomos Zürich World Time in Midnight Blue (€4,820), and the Spring Drive-powered Grand Seiko SBGA439 (€5,000). But what do you think of my picks here? Let me know in the comments.