At the other end of the landscape occupied by one-of-a-kind hand-made watches that display such things as the pattern of the night sky in the town where you were born are well-made watches meant to be used. The five chronographs shown here, each less than a thousand dollars, are great for the weekend, a golf game or maybe on the wrist of a graduate.
All have similar faces—similar dials, placement of date—but the numbers vary wildly. The Citizen Eco-Drive San Remo is made from titanium and is exceptionally light. It charges from any natural or artificial light source and never needs a battery. The Nautica, with its elegant white hands, is a hefty number with a bubble case and a sloped interior, giving it a pleasing sense of dimension. The Burberry Endurance is a typical Burberry product—handsomely styled, simultaneously bold and restrained. The Swiss Army watch is tasteful and unpretentious.
The most colorful among them, the Tag Heuer Formula 1, is a redesign—new bezel, new band, new hands—of a flagship model the company began selling in 1986. It has a scratch-resistant crystal and highly luminescent hands. Scuba divers will appreciate little touches like a bezel that turns in only one direction, so any movement can be read unambiguously as a reduction in diving time—a handy feature should you ever find yourself subject to the rapture of the deep.
From top: Nautica NTECH 083, $325; 800-248-3775 or nauticawatches.com. Tag Heuer Formula 1, $795; 866-260-0460 or tagheuer.com. Swiss Army Alliance Chrono, $350; 800-442-2706 or swissarmy.com. Burberry Endurance Collection, $650; 800-699-0564. Citizen Eco-Drive San Remo, $365; 800-321-1023 or citizenwatch.com.