Watch Articles

Top 5 Most Affordable Luxury Watches

October 9, 2018 - Watch Articles
Luxury timepieces unify hundreds of years of horological innovation, artisanal craftsmanship and sophistication. With endless timepieces to select from, finding the best luxury watch that fits your budget can feel overwhelming. To help you find your next favourite timepiece, we asked our head horologist, Tom Pozsgay, to curate a list of the top 5 most affordable luxury watches. All of the top 5 most affordable luxury watches are masterfully constructed, exceptionally reliable and, of course, come at an obtainable price.


Top 5 Most Affordable Luxury Watches:

  1. Rolex Air – King
  2. Breitling – Colt
  3. Bell and Ross – BR 01-92
  4. Cartier – Tank Solo
  5. Tag Heuer – Carrera

1. Rolex – Air-King

Starting at: £4,750

We’re beginning our list of the top 5 most affordable luxury watches with Rolex’s Air-King. In regard to this timepiece, Pozsgay stated, “The Air-King was made in the mist of World War II to honour the RAF pilots and remains as the most affordable Rolex watch.” When this watch was introduced in 1945, it joined a larger “Air” collection including the Air-Tiger and Air-Giant. The dial contains Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9 o’clock with the remaining hours represented by stick hour markers. The Air-King was the last line of the “Air” collection which was briefly discontinued in 2014 and revived in 2016 with several modifications to the movement and dial. For a historic, dependable and affordable Rolex, the Air-King is your perfect match.


2. Breitling – Colt

Starting at: £2,750

Next up on our list of the top 5 most affordable luxury watches is Breitling’s Colt. The Colt was designed in the 1980s to be a reliable and legible military watch. The dial contains Arabic numerals at 6, 9, 12 o’clock, date window at 3 o’clock, 24-hour scale and 1/100s hour scale.  The Colt’s unidirectional bezel possess 4 raised “riders” at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, which makes it easy to view and adjust the bezel as you need. Pozsgay stated that the Colt comes, “At a great value for a robust COSC certified watch.” Thanks to its Superquartz movement, which Breitling claims is 10 times more accurate than standard quartz, it meets the strict COSC certification standards at a minute deviation of just 10 seconds a year.

3. Bell and Ross – BR 01-92

Starting at: £3,350

For a true lover of aviation and adventure, Bell and Ross’ BR 01-92 is the timepiece for you. Pozsgay selected the BR 01-92 for one of the top 5 most affordable luxury watches because of how greatly it takes inspiration from aeronautic instrumentation as well as its excellent durability and legibility at a great price. The watch’s square dial looks like it is straight from an aircraft’s control panel and features sizable Arabic numerals 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock as well as stick hour markers, all of which are coated in SuperLumiNova. Bell and Ross’ BR 01-92 is sure to speak to the spirit of adventure in all of its wearers.

bell and ross

4. Cartier – Tank Solo

Starting at: £2,060

Another must have on our list of the top 5 most affordable luxury watches is Cartier’s Tank Solo. Pozsgay explained that, “Cartier’s Tank watches have always been the hallmark of elegance and the Tank Solo achieves this for someone on a limited budget.” Created in 1916 by Louis Cartier himself, today’s Tank Solo has stayed faithful to Cartier’s design. As Pozsgay stated, the Tank Solo has been imbued with sophistication, making it a beloved timepiece of celebrities, fashionistas and other members of high society. Not only is the Tank Solo greatly stylish, it also is incredibly legible because of the dial’s roman numeral hour markers, railway track index and blue-steel sword-shaped hands. Certain Tank Solo timepieces allow the wearer to customize their watch by selecting from a brilliant array of straps made available by Cartier. With its distinctive rectangular case, exceptional legibility and history of decadence, it’s no wonder why Cartier’s Tank solo ranks on our list of the top 5 most affordable luxury watches.

5. Tag Heuer – Carrera

Starting at: £3,850

Concluding our list of the top 5 most affordable luxury watches is Tag Heuer’s Carrera. Pozsgay stated that the Carrera, “Remains one of the most durable watches at this price point.” Named after a dangerous car racing event during the 1950’s in Mexico, the Carrera joins Tag Heuer’s collection of racing inspired timepieces. As an automatic chronograph, the Carrera possess three well balanced subdials including a minute chronograph counter, hour chronograph counter and permanent second indicator. Additionally, a day and date window sits at 3 o’clock with rapid date correction. The timepiece’s SuperLuminova coating ensures legibility in the dark. With the Carrera’s outstanding durability and multiple complications, this watch is sure to become an instant favourite.

tag heuer

How to afford a luxury watch

Has our list of the top 5 most affordable luxury watches inspired you to update your timepiece collection? When you work with WP Diamonds, we make affording luxury timepieces easy. At WP Diamonds, we are expert online diamond, jewellery and luxury watch buyers. You have the option to sell your diamonds, jewellery and watches to us to use as funds for your new timepiece or take advantage of our trade in-program. With our trade-in program, you will receive 10% more on your final offer in the form of store credit to use with our jewellery store partner.

Selling your diamonds, jewellery and watches with WP Diamonds is easy. Simply complete our online form with information about your items and you will shortly receive a tight price quote. To get a final offer, you can mail-in your items for free through our secure, insured, trackable and overnight mailing service OR schedule an appointment at one of our offices. If you accept your offer, you can receive payment by bank transfer. Our trade-in service is also entirely free, just keep in mind that you will need to add VAT to the final price of the item that you are trading in for. Now affording a luxury watch is easier than ever.

Click the button below to get the funds to go towards a timepiece that you’ll love.

Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

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