A small history of watches and a few advices for purchasing the perfect watch. Autavia Isograph, 42mm brushed and polished stainless steel case, dark brown calfskin strap. The Autavia has made brief appearances in Tag Heuer’s collection since it was officially discontinued in 1985, making more headlines as a collector curio than a novelty. The welcome return this year of the watch whose name is a portmanteau of “automotive” and “aviation” comes with the promise of lots of options, including a bronze-cased version, and a high-performance movement. The secret here is in the “Isograph” delineation, which points to the advanced engineering of the movement’s most delicate and important part: its hairspring. The Autavia’s is new and engineered from carbon-composite, a material that brings the benefits of anti-magnetism, resistance to gravity and shocks, and increased precision. In practice, that should make for a more reliable, more durable, and better watch.
Let’s move on to the under 1000 USD category. Cases made from solid titanium — loved for its lightweight, durable and hypoallergenic properties — are not such a common site on sub-$150 watches, which is what makes the young U.S. watch brand Bertucci an enticing option. Similarly enticing is the classic field watch dial design, the Japanese quartz movement inside, and a 100-meter depth rating. You’d be forgiven for thinking Citizen’s entire lineup is made up of its quartz Eco-Drive watches, but the brand does, in fact, make some mechanicals. The NH8350, for instance, packs a Miyota 8200 automatic movement into a clean-cut stainless steel case and comes adorned with a shimmering, sunray blue dial. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better mechanical dress watch for less.
Certina, founded in Grenchen, Switzerland in 1888, has always been a rather low-key brand. You may not know, but they were innovators in shock protection and water resistance, which is nearly weapons-grade on this watch. The rotating ceramic diving bezel on this 41mm beauty, usually a hallmark of much more expensive pieces, is scratch resistant and nearly indestructible, and the handsome strap features a deployment clasp. Shinola watches, assembled in Detroit, have sparked a renaissance in the Motor City and for American watch brands in general. One of their latest editions of their most popular design, the Runwell, is a subtle version of what can be a busy style. This is destined to become a classic design that will no doubt age well with it’s stainless steel case and durable leather strap. With a clean ivory-colored face and luminous hands, wearing this watch makes a statement that you value good design, but don’t need an overly expensive timepiece to speak for you.
WatchNerd is dedicated to giving watch enthusiasts access to hard facts and data, not just opinions, in a way that’s easy to understand, so that they can make well-informed, confident decisions. It exists to make your mechanical watch buying experience enjoyable and clear, giving you all the information you need to be confident in your decision without overwhelming you or pushing you in a particular direction. WatchNerd remains rooted in the watch enthusiast community, actively engaging with fellow watch nerds regularly so we can make sure we’re serving your needs. WatchNerd believes the watch-buying experience should be fun, not overwhelming or complicated, and always rooted in a passion for mechanical watches. We are completely open with our users when it comes to how we find our information, score watches, work with sellers, and make money. See extra details about https://www.watchnerd.com/.