Finding The Best Two-Tone Watches Under €5,000 — From Tudor, Oris, Yema, And More
Here at the Fratello offices, we get a lot of questions from you, our readers. Probably the most-asked questions are centered around the topic of what to buy for different budgets. The most popular budget question is what watch to buy for under €5,000 in different watch categories. That’s why we decided to set up a small series of articles focusing on the best watches that you can buy within that budget. In this installment of the series, we will look at the best two-tone watches available for under €5K. Let’s see what the best options are if you want to add a bit of color to your stainless steel.
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of a two-tone watch is obviously a steel-and-gold combo, more specifically a steel-and-gold Datejust on a Jubilee bracelet. That, for me, is the ultimate two-tone watch. But your best bet for finding one within this budget is on the pre-owned market. You can’t even take a new two-tone Datejust home for double that budget. That is, if you can even find one at all. But it does raise another question, and that’s what two-tone watches you can get for €5K? The trick is not only to look at the combination of steel and gold. No one said it couldn’t be a combination of steel and bronze! And the really affordable options feature gold PVD parts. So let’s take a look at some of the best two-tone watches out there for under €5,000.
Oris Divers Sixty-Five
The first watch that popped into my mind for this list was the steel-and-bronze Oris Divers Sixty-Five. The brand’s vintage-inspired diver executed in steel and bronze has become quite popular with watch enthusiasts. And seeing the different options that Oris offers, there is no denying that the two-tone combination adds a lot of character to the Divers Sixty-Five. And there are plenty of combinations to choose from. Oris offers the watch in 40mm and 42mm with a variety of bezel and bracelet executions. While I definitely like the version with the full-bronze bezel, the one that takes the cake is the pictured 40mm version with a bronze bezel and a black aluminum insert.
As Ben said perfectly in his review of the watch, “By toning down the bronze to just the outer edge, instead of the entire bezel, the blend is a little more harmonious.” While there are more versions that use this bezel execution and combine it with a stainless steel bracelet, those are a little on the safer side. That’s why the Divers Sixty-Five as shown here is the way to go if you want a bit more color. The stainless steel rivet bracelet with bronze center links is a joy to wear and it spices up the overall look perfectly. Inside the stainless steel case, Oris uses its caliber 733, which is a Sellita SW200-1 with hacking seconds, the date at 6 o’clock, and 38 hours of power reserve. Add the €2,100 list price, and it’s hard to ignore this two-tone Oris Divers Sixty-Five
Tudor Black Bay S&G
The Tudor Black Bay S&G on the steel-and-gold bracelet is just over €5K with its €5,120 list price. So, technically, it’s not part of this list. But the same watch also comes in two different versions that fall within our budget. You can get the same watch on a leather strap or a fabric strap and they fall within the price bracket easily at €3,930. And I have to say, they look amazing. Talk about a classy vintage presence! The watch features a 41mm stainless steel case with a unidirectional 18K yellow gold bezel. The bezel insert is matte black anodized aluminum with a yellow-gold-tone diving scale. The watch comes with the choice of a black or champagne dial, but that one is an easy pick — black is the only way to go!
I love how the watch looks on a strap. The combination of steel and gold with the straps creates a very vintage-inspired overall look that is classy. The only thing that I am not the biggest fan of is the white date wheel with black printing. A black wheel with gold printing would have made this even better. As Robert-Jan explained, Tudor equipped the watch with the in-house caliber MT5612. This, by now, very familiar movement is COSC-certified, features 70 hours of power reserve, and uses a silicon balance spring. You could argue, obviously, whether people will actually buy this version or the version that comes with the steel-and-gold bracelet for €5,120. With a full-steel bracelet, that would be an easy answer. But with a price difference of over €1,000, it might not be so simple. Either way, this Black Bay S&G is a great pick.
Tissot PRX Powermatic 80
If you are looking for a watch that has as least as much 1970s swagger as the Rolex Oysterquartz, look no further than the Tissot PRX. Fans of the Oysterquartz definitely remember the steel-and-gold variant with the gold dial. While the Datejust might be the ultimate steel-and-gold icon, the Oysterquartz is a great second choice in my opinion. Now, we are big fans of the automatic Tissot PRX, especially the stainless steel versions. Lex wrote an in-depth review of all three of the Powermatic models last year. And the star of the lineup for this list today is the white-dialed stainless steel version with the rose gold PVD-coated bezel.
During the time we had all three models in the office, I developed a soft spot for this model. It features the same 40mm stainless steel case that is 10.9mm thick, and it comes with an integrated bracelet just like the other versions. But the gold-colored bezel, hands, hour markers, and date-window frame give the watch a boost of ’70s swagger. If you turn the watch around, you are greeted by the Powermatic 80.111 caliber that is visible through the display case back. The automatic movement operates at 21,600vph, and it has 23 jewels with 80 hours of power reserve. The Tissot PRX was one of the best releases of last year for me. If you are looking for a very affordable, stylish two-tone sports watch, look no further. At its €725 list price, the PRX is unbeatable.
Yema Superman Steel Bronze
Another very stylish, vintage-inspired steel-and-bronze combo comes courtesy of the French brand Yema. In late 2020, the brand introduced two full-bronze Superman GMT models, one of which Tomas reviewed here. But alongside that model, Yema also introduced two versions of the Superman Steel Bronze diver. With this model, you have the choice of a 39mm or 41mm case, as well as a green dial or a gray dial. Both colors certainly have their own charm, so I won’t be as outspoken as I would usually be. I love the combination of the stainless steel case with the bronze dive bezel and the green dial. Those colors work very well together. But the gray dial also makes the bronze bezel really pop, so there is no clear winner for me.
If you have made up your mind about the color, there is also the choice between a leather strap or a stainless steel bracelet. In this case, I would definitely pick the leather strap; on a strap is where the Superman Steel Bronze looks its best. The watches are 13mm thick, in part because of the 2.6mm box-style sapphire crystal. The watches are also water-resistant to 300 meters. Inside the case, you will find Yema’s in-house YEMA2000 Caliber. The automatic caliber provides accuracy of ±10 seconds per day and 42 hours of power reserve. Overall, the Yema Superman Steel Bronze models are great picks, and at €1,090 on the bracelet and €990 on the leather strap, they are affordable options for some two-tone magic.
Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT Two-Tone
The last watch on this list is the super-stylish Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT. The Super Sea Wolf takes its inspiration from the Zodiac GMT from 1966, but I am always pleasantly surprised how modern the Super Sea Wolf models feel. This is one of two regular-production models that do not feature the usual colorful execution that we have come to know from Zodiac. No, these two models are very straightforward stainless steel watches with a 40mm stainless steel case that is 14mm thick. This specific version features a brushed, gold-colored 24-hour bezel and gold-colored center links on the Oyster-style bracelet.
Add the deep black dial with the big stainless steel markers and the red GMT hand, and you still end up with something colorful but very distinguished and stylish. Another stylish detail that I love is the date wheel; it’s black with white printing, allowing it to blend in perfectly. The watch is water-resistant to 200 meters and inside the case, Zodiac has equipped the watch with the Soprod C125 automatic GMT movement. The movement operates at 28,800vph and has 42 hours of power reserve. Rather than a quick-set 12-hour hand, it features a quick-set 24-hour GMT hand, making it an “office” or “caller” GMT. But don’t let that spoil the fun because the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT is a great affordable pick to round out this list at $1,695.
This is obviously just a very short list of possible picks for the best two-tone or bi-color watches under €5,000. Some other honorable mentions are the Longines Hydro Conquest, the Rado Captain Cook Automatic, and another Oris, the Big Crown Pointer Date in stainless steel and bronze. But I would like to turn it over to you guys. What do you think? Are the five options I mentioned the best ones that are currently available? While there are not a great number of two-tone options out there under €5K, we would love to hear your favorites and suggestions in the comments section below. We will be back with another list of possible options under €5K soon.
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