Purchasing a timepiece can be daunting at times — especially so, when considering that these mechanical wonders don't necessarily come cheap. At the $10,000 price point, one can easily get caught up in a predicament with the abundance of options available on the market.
These timepieces come in the form of various movements, styles and complications. Basically, that means spending months creepily obsessing over more strangers' wrists and falling into the bottomless pits of forum threads. Or you could take it from us as we round up five entry-level recommendations from our favourite brands.
1. Hermès Slim d'Hermès
In recent times, there are increasingly more luxury fashion houses venturing into haute horlogerie and Hermès is no exception. Case in point is the Hermès Slim d'Hermès — a timepiece that perfectly represents the brand's spirit of understated elegance. Its silver-hued dial makes for a conservative backdrop that complements the innovative use of numerals, typeset by graphic designer Philippe Apeloig, seemingly straight out of the French label's advertising campaign from the 1950s. Manufactured in Switzerland, the 25mm quartz model is Hermès' rendition of a true dress watch.
2. Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
Omega's iconic Speedmaster Professional has always been synonymous with space travel and adventure since the 1960s. And despite various reiterations throughout the decades, the timepiece remains instantly recognisable across the world. Breathing life into the chronograph is the brand's robust mechanical calibre 1861, an upgraded manual-winding movement almost identical to the ones beating within the timepieces that have faithfully served NASA astronauts on several endeavours into space.
Essentially, the Moonwatch makes for an exceptionally illustrious heirloom for subsequent generations — one whose achievement has been carved onto its case back as a constant reminder on your wrist.
3. Tag Heuer Connected
From cogs and gears to pixels and resolution, the Tag Heuer Connected is considered most notable within the smartwatch portfolio — a timepiece that integrates Google's Android Wear operating system and a Swiss-made case. More specifically, it was designed to take on an appearance of the brand's time-honoured Carrera but with a digital dial. Furthermore, the brand offers a two-year trade-in program that allows you to otherwise replace the smartwatch with a mechanical alternative.
4. Panerai PAM 560 Luminor Base 8 Days Acciaio
What might quite possibly be the most definitive model within Officine Panerai's current catalogue is its reference 560, featuring the brand's quintessential design elements such as a signature 'sandwich' dial, Arabic numerals and crescent-shaped crown guard. Beating within the timepiece's 44mm bulletproof Luminor case is a calibre P.5000, the Firenze-based company's very own in-house movement, which can be seen at work via its clear sapphire back. Ultimately, the timepiece is pretty much a no-nonsense affair with time-only function. But more importantly, what makes a Luminor is its luminescent glow under low light conditions providing torchlight visibility even in the dark.
5. IWC Pilot's Watch Automatic 36
With a stellar line-up of contemporary tool watches added to the International Watch Company's collection at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2016, the Pilot's Watch Automatic 36 might sometimes be overlooked due to its simplicity — but is, in fact, a sleeper hit particularly significant to the brand's aviation roots.
Appealing to most purists at 36mm in diameter, the timepiece pays homage to the original Mark XI issued to Britain's Royal Air Force combatants in the 1940s. Other features adhering to its historical forebear include an anti-magnetic, soft-iron inner case and a highly legible Arabic dial. Overall, the slightly ornamental dial alongside distinctive sword hands allow the tool watch to be worn as easily under a pilot's rugged flight jacket as a non-pilot's tailored shirt.