Karina’s Top 4 Women’s Watches Under €1,000
As a watch enthusiast, watches have always been my weakness. Indeed, my Omega collection could map the story of my adult life. Well, you’re probably wondering if Omega was, in fact, the choice of my adolescence. Well, yes and no. I wore Baby-G to my primary and secondary school. As a student, I couldn’t afford a crazily expensive timepiece so I happily made do with my first Constellation that I got when I was a kid. At that time, despite my love for Constellation, I wasn’t even thinking that watches could actually become “a thing” for me. As you can imagine, there was not a single article to be found on The Top “X” Women’s Watches under €1,000. Also the discussions on women’s watches were really only beginning to take place.
Speaking of watch journalism, I realize that today many articles cover only women’s watches with high price tags. While for most people, even the €1,000 price range is beyond affordability. Moreover, articles on less expensive timepieces very often look to cover so-called fashion watches; rather than something with a mechanical movement and an appealing appearance.
Longines Conquest L3.2126.96.36.199
My sister, who is the owner of Longines HydroConquest (L3.3188.8.131.52), loves her watch for its super chic and sporty look. When I started to research this topic, the first brand I explored was Longines. It couldn’t have been any different. When you’re looking for women’s watches, with both a decent movement and style retailing for under €1,000, Longines is one of your first points of call.
The Longines Conquest is, in my eyes, an elegantly casual timepiece. Oozing practicality, inside this watch we can find the L592 self-winding mechanical movement. It has a power reserve of 40 hours and ticks at 28,800vph. Speaking of its aesthetic, the Conquest is utterly minimalistic, and yet powerfully stylish.
It comes with 3 different dial options — black lacquered polished, sun-brushed silver, or sun-brushed blue. The round case made of stainless steel measures 29.50 mm in diameter. The case itself is simple and modern, whereas the size makes the watch delicate and practical for a woman’s wrist. What I love most here is the bracelet with its triple-safety folding clasp. The massive links add a great deal of power to this watch’s presence on the wrist.
The dial oozes the same vibe. Here I choose to showcase the black lacquered version with its painted Arabic numerals and indexes, and silvered polished hands. Taken together, they depict a laid-back picture of a modern watch for women with a solid movement at its heart. Naturally, the water-resistance of this watch is up to 3 bars (30 meters). The Longines Conquest with automatic movement costs €985.
Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto H38475501
For those who want to embrace style with a vintage silhouette, the Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic might be just the watch for you. I’ve never been enthralled by “gold” timepieces, but the combination of the yellow-gold tone and brown faded dial is truly a fashionable statement.
The 38mm stainless steel case with its rich golden PVD coating is effortlessly minimalistic with an array of modern detailing, like extended lungs or a more sophisticated crown. The hands and the stick-shaped indexes come to life against a sun-ray gradient brown dial. When it comes to functionality, the automatic 2892a2 caliber ensures 42 hours of power reserve. What might particularly steal your heart is the transparent case back of the American Classic. I must admit that the branded rotor is a nice touch.
Nonetheless, all that glitters is not gold. Based on my sister’s experience with PVD coating (Longines also uses it for its golden yellow/red timepieces or parts) this design may not stand the test of time. Luckily the same model is also available in stainless steel if you prefer a brighter tone. The retail price for Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto is €872.
Swatch Body & Soul YAS100G
A while ago, one of my colleagues asked me to recommend a watch for his girlfriend up to €250. Without hesitation, I sent him a link to not only an automatic watch but also one made by the coolest affordable watch brand that has ever existed. Combining the art of thinking big and modern with old-school watchmaking, the Swatch Body & Soul is the standout value piece on this list.
The oversized 3-bar water-resistant case (37.40 mm width and 43 mm height) has made it fashion’s must-have, particularly given the obsession with everything chunky and functional. And even though it’s not purely a women’s watch it has a feminine levity to it. Made of stainless steel, it houses an automatic, ETA 2841 movement. The most exciting feature is the full disclosure of the movement. Undoubtedly, skeleton watches captivate, but from the purely practical perspective, readability might be the biggest challenge here. While the dial is completely transparent, the white luminescent hour, minute hands and lollipop second hand significantly improve visibility.
Body & Soul presents an integrated design. I could rattle on forever about its precision and execution, although different techniques of finishing could have brought extra flair to this concept. The retail price for Body & Soul is just €170, so tiny flaws can be forgiven.
Tissot Lady Heart Powermatic 80 T050.207.17.117.04
At last! Something for girly girls who love mechanical movements and want a women’s watch for under €1,000. The Tissot Lady Heart is made of stainless steel and measures 35 mm in diameter. The smooth, rounded design means this watch can be worn at any time, and for any occasion. The water-resistance of Lady Heart is 3 bars. Here, the dial is the star of the show. The movement’s beating heart is visible through a flower-shaped window placed at 12 o’clock.
This variation comes with a mother-of-pearl outer dial and a simple white inner dial with a Tissot logo. Subtle Arabic numerals, curved indexes, and diamonds add a touch of sparkle to this glamourous piece. The Lady Heart comes with a white synthetic strap embossed with a flowery motif. At the heart of this timepiece, you can find an automatic movement that can be seen through the transparent case back revealing a decorated rotor. The power reserve of the Powermatic 80.601 is an impressive 80 hours. The price? An equally attractive €643,36.
Tudor Style m12100-0001
A Tudor Style women’s watch is a wildcard addition to this list. Why? Because it blows the budget out of the water. The retail price is €2,000, but it’s undeniably worth shelling out for. From all the listed timepieces, Tudor has the quality that other players may be missing. This model is created in stainless steel and features a classy silver dial. The clean shapes of the 28mm case and bracelet bring simplicity to the fore. The monochromatic face is crisp, clear, and easy to love.
The combination of polished and satin finishes add nuance to a design that firmly believes that “less is more”. This Tudor is equipped with a self-winding Calibre 2671 mechanical movement. It can generate a power reserve of 38 hours. Speaking of water-resistance, it is waterproof up to 100m. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s pretty hard to find a self-winding watch from an upper-mid luxury brand like Tudor that comes with this price tag. Perhaps it is an investment worth considering?
Before choosing the watches for this list, I spent a lot of time wondering what’s worth highlighting the most. The majority of women’s watches under €1,000 are driven by quartz movements. I have nothing against quartz. I am firmly convinced that watch brands prefer to bet on pearly dials, diamonds indexes, or more adorned bracelets rather than on the movement itself.
But who can blame them? Lots of women opt for these styles in this lower price bracket, instead of paying extra for that finer movement. I just hope that this list has encouraged you to step out of your comfort zone so that you can consider all the props that come with owning a mechanical timepiece.