We are back with another series of Fratello Favorites. This time, we pick what we feel are the best watches under €5,000. I have the honor of kicking off this new series and sharing my favorites in the segment. I have chosen to focus on dive watches only this time. Why? Because I feel this is the perfect segment for a great diver. And the fact that it is one of my favorite genres of watches helps too, of course.

Another little added benefit is that it allows me a nice escape from featuring my brand. Of course, that is my absolute favorite in the segment, but it would feel self-indulgent to feature it. So, dive watches under €5,000 it is! Let’s get stuck in!

best watches under €5,000 Tudor Pelagos 39

The best watches under €5,000 — Pick #1: Tudor Pelagos 39

Tudor is the obvious go-to in this segment for me. I feel the brand manages to successfully occupy its niche and offer value within it. The Pelagos 39, specifically, has a strong appeal to me. I have written about it before, describing how close it comes to being my perfect dive watch. It captures some of the five-digit Rolex simplicity that I no longer find with the crowned brand itself. As I described before, the sunburst effects on the dial and bezel are the only things keeping this watch from being an absolute no-brainer for me.

I love the proportions of the Pelagos 39. It is quite close to my beloved 16570 Explorer II in how it sits on the wrist. This is rare for modern divers, which tend to be bulkier. I also like that this watch is executed in titanium. I don’t care one bit that it is Grade 2 rather than Grade 5, which seems to bother some. The moody tone of the metal suits the stark black-and-white dial to a tee.

I also enjoy the quality that Tudor offers nowadays. From the bezel feel to the case finish and the bracelet, it is all very solid. To me, Tudor stands quite a bit above its direct competitors in this sense. You will have to part ways with almost the entirety of the budget as the Pelagos 39 is priced at €4,780. To me, though, this is an easy recommendation nonetheless.

solar power rocks

Pick #2: TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph

I am sticking with titanium divers for a moment. My second entry for the best watches under €5,000 is a TAG Heuer Aquaracer with a solar-powered quartz movement. Measuring 40mm across, it is quite similar to the Pelagos yet very different at the same time. The Pelagos is a little more classical, while the Aquaracer is more contemporary. Its titanium dodecagonal bezel and pale teal accents reflect the more modern aesthetic.

best watches under €5,000 TAG Heuer Aquaracer 200 Solargraph

What I like about this one is the comfortable fit thanks to its 10mm thickness. It has an under-the-radar look that makes it a perfect grab-and-go watch, even more so because you won’t have to wind and set it. I don’t like the term “beater watch” as I am quite careful with all my watches and we are still talking about a very expensive item. Regardless, I could see this function as the watch I grab when it might get in harm’s way. It has that simple, utilitarian vibe to it.

This TAG Heuer is fashioned out of Grade 2 titanium and it is water resistant to 200 meters. It isn’t quite as refined as the Tudor in terms of fit and finishing, but then the price gap is also quite significant. The Aquaracer Professional 200 Solargraph comes in at €3,100.

best watches under €5,000 Doxa Sub 300 Carbon

The best watches under €5,000 — Pick #3: Doxa Sub 300 Carbon

My third pick for the best watches under €5,000 is the Doxa Sub 300 Carbon. Nacho picked it the last time we did one of these series, and I feel it still deserves a spot. I had a chance to try it on again during the latest Watches and Wonders, and I cannot get it off my mind. It is just so darn cool!

What you get is a 42.5mm tonneau-shaped diver in forged carbon. It is true to the original Doxa Sub 300 in shape but executed in this lightweight material. I like forged carbon not just because of the wearing comfort it offers but also because of the cool, swirly mixture of almost-black shades.

The Doxa Sub 300 Carbon is a chronometer with a depth rating of — what’s in a name? — 300 meters. My pick of the bunch would be the Divingstar (yellow) dial with a black rubber strap. I think this is one of the most badass-looking divers out there. It is also a rather original choice that you don’t spot on many people’s wrists. So, if you like it special, this is a great contender. It will set you back €4,190, well within our virtual €5,000 budget.

Honorable mentions

Those three are my picks for the best watches under €5,000 — or, more accurately, the best new dive watches under €5,000. Within the segment, I would also consider the €3,650 Longines Legend Diver on its beads-of-rice bracelet. The Oris Aquis is another that would be on my shortlist. My pick would be the 39.5mm version with a blue dial and a black rubber strap. However, this model comes in at €2,100, which means it applies as a sub-€2,500 choice, which we covered elsewhere.

All in all, I would be happy to own and wear the three watches above. With summer approaching, I reckon these would shine in the pool or by the seaside (though not literally in the case of the TAG Heuer; its bead-blasted case would absorb the sun rather than reflect it…but you catch my drift).

What would be your picks for the best watches under €5,000? Let us know in the comments below!