Please note that this is an outdated version of the "TOP 20 LIST". We have now several TOP 10 lists in the new "Best Watch Recommendation" section

The Rules for the quarterly challenges are here


20 best watch buys below $1'000 suggested by PMWFers
Rank numbers are not important. The numbers are used for the quarterly challenge only!

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Movement and Specs

PMWF logon name and comment
16 slots for watches below USD 500 (1 - 16)
SEIKO "White/Black/Orange Knight"
e.g. SKXA49K1 = Black Knight Automatic
(note: Picture is from the Quartz version)
7S26, Automatic, non winding, non- hacking

Quartz: 7N36

Bjorn Keizers

It's a high-quality watch in all respects. Superb fit & finish allround, outstanding bracelet, nice weight, excellent movement - everything we love in the Monster in a dressier, friendlier package. Available in white, black & orange dials and with both the 7s26 movement as well as the quartz 7N36 movement.

Additional comment by paulc

This is one of several Seiko 7S26/36/35 divers and it represents them all in terms of a best buy. This might help people new to watches who look at the Top 20 as a place to pick one out.

Casio G-Shock MTG Series
Models MTG900 and 930
Silver/Metal with Stainless Steel Band
Shock Resistant
Mineral crystal glass screen
200M Water Resistant
Auto EL Backlight with Afterglow
Atomic Timekeeping
Solar Powered
30 Page Time Stamp
World Time (30 Cities)
1/100 Sec. Stopwatch
4 Daily Alarms / 1 Snooze Alarm
James aka Jittery Jim

Everyone needs a beater they can truly rely on, and the G-Shock series of watches provides just that. Beyond the durability, this series adds the extra perks of atomic synchronization and solar power, meaning no pesky batteries to change and it's always on atomic time. It's big and it's thick (everything popular in watches today :-) ) and it is just FUN TO WEAR! :-) Thanks to G-Moy for turning me (and half the PMWF gang) onto these great watches! :-)

Yao-ized Seiko SKX007K
7S26, Automatic, non winding, non  hacking Cafe aka Evan

A $205 customized watch that gives the rugged Seiko Diver a British MoD dive watch look


  Vostok Amphibia
both Cal. 2416B
Automatic ball borne,
bi-directional rotor winding and handwinding
21,600 vph
31 jewels

I'd like to nominate the Vostok Amphibia. This is a real VPMW! Can be had for as little as $25 to $40 and comes in a wide range of varieties! It's rated 200m and comes with an automatic movement (vintage ones can be hand wound). The case is stainless steel.
The only real disadvantage? The standard strap is crap - you're gonna need a new one Smiley
I included a picture of the only recent model I own, but remember - there is a wide range available

Jeff aka TakesALickin'

As a watch that's more representative of the kind of watch that a lot of us poor men have, I think the Amphibia's a great candidate. Super affordable, with it's own clunky Slavic charm, and reliable as a Sherman tank. Powered by the cal. 2416B, it's a dependable entry level water resistant auto - here's a different pic...

Blue "Samurai" SEIKO SBDA003
(thumbnail by Zeb aka Dan)
Cal. SEIKO 7S25 (same as 7S26 without Day), 21'600 bph, no hacking, automatic but no manual handwinding Jeff aka TakesALickin'

It's just a heckuva good watch and a great deal at under $300 w/bracelet!

Citizen Diver NY0040
Miyota Caliber 8203, handwinding but not hacking Paulc, supported by Chris L

The Citizen NY0040 series (in black, blue, the rare yellow, and black dial with two-tone case) comes with the robust and hand-windable 8203 auto movement (mine runs less than a minute fast per week). A true 200m diver's watch, it wears a little lighter than other popular 200m divers due to its slightly smaller, rounder case. Visually, however, it wears about the same as a Seiko SKX (ie, 007/009/A35) due to its dial size. Other nice features include the screw-in crown at 8 o'clock (great for those of us with wrists that get dug by traditional 3 o'clock crowns), inky black dial (on the watch pictured) and applied indices. The lume on this one is also very good. Dimensions are: about 41mm across the bezel, 44mm incl. crown, 47mm lug to lug, 12mm thick and 20mm lug width. At just around the $100 mark on the internet, the NY0040 series offers a great deal for your money.


Hamilton Khaki Hand Wind or


Mechanical: ETA 2804-2 (latest version)

WR 5 atm

Automatic: ETA 2824-2

Mechanical: Durable

Reason: One of the most legible combinations of dial and hands I have seen; the sapphire crystal and matte finish of the stainless steel is very resistant to scratches; it also looks good with many different types and colors of straps; the oversized crown makes winding easy and a joy; the diameter is a very comfortable 38 mm while the 11 mm height of the watch allows it to fit under one's long sleeves with ease; it beats at 28,800 bph, which provides a silky sweep of the second hand; and finally at under $250 it is a definite bargain!

 Automatic: Andrew F

Hamilton Khaki Chrono
Valjoux 7750 Robmks (Bob)
Tissot Seastar 1000 m
ETA 2824-2 movement
Water Resistant 300 meters
Stainless Steel case - 45mm diameter, 16mm thick
Sapphire crystal
solid link braclet with hollow end links
displayed back attached with 6 screws.

Zeb aka Dan

First off, it's great looks and large size. The faceted shape of the case with it's sharp edges is mean looking, and the very square and angular bracelet add to the tough look. It fits right in with the tastes of todays WIS.

Second, where else can you get a Swiss made 300 meter diver with automatic movement and sapphire crystal for around $400.00 USD retail? I'm truly amazed at the value this watch represents.

Summary: A Swiss made monster of a dive watch for only twice the limit. It can't be beat.

STOWA Antea Automatic, not limited edition
Handwound ETA 2660,
originally designed for a ladies wristwatch.
beats at 28,800 vph and does not hack.

Here are the Stowa's specs:
Case dimensions:
39 mm across excluding crown
7.5 mm thick
48 mm lug tip to lug tip
20 mm between the lugs

Micha, Bas and Wen,

Since the Nomos Tangente is about to be "banned" to the "old dogs" list, I thought another German watch should take its place. The Stowa Antea LE has the same clean Bauhaus looks as the Nomos, but at EUR 285 (incl Shipping, it's much more affordable than the Nomos (the basic Tangente costs EUR 690).


Poljot Okeah Chronograph

Poljot 3133  Micha

I'd like to suggest the Poljot Okeah, because it offers an unique looking watch for under $200. The Poljot 3133 movement is among Poljot's best.
(Picture borrowed from UVox - don't have any of my own yet)


On April 12th 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first man performing a space flight. While in space, the cosmonaut was wearing a "Shturmanskie" (Navigator) watch, manufactured at the First Moscow Watch Factory (1-MChZ). From 1964 the watches of the First Moscow Factory have been marked by a trademark "ПОЛЕТ" and "POLJOT", which means "flight" in Russian and is a tribute to the number of space trips their watches have accomplished.

Since the late 70’s, Poljot launched a new chrono movement: the 3133. It was a 23 jewels, manual winding (43 hours), a modified Russian version of the Swiss Valjoux 7734 of the early 70’s. Poljot 3133 were taken into space by cosmonauts from Russia, France, Germany, Ukraine. On the hand of V.V. Polyakov Poljot 3133 chronograph movement-based watch set a space record for the longest space flight in history.

Poljot chronographs with the 3133 movement are available starting bellow $200, making them one of the most interesting proposals for poor men chronographs presently. This Shturmanskie is an elegant timepiece that won a "beauty contest" in PMWF (a poll I made with 4 Poljot chronographs) and can be had for little more than $200.
Besides the great looks, this watch has an inner turning bezel with hoursthat can be used while traveling as a rudimentary GMT indication.

Citizen Eco-Drive "EcoZilla"
Citizen Eco Drive

Mike Lipphardt

In the "My diver can beat up your diver" category has to be the Ecozilla. It's big, it's bad and it's very cool. While the all stainless versions can be very fun to wear they are also very heavy, which to my eyes makes the titanium and rubber version preferable. Nice blue lume, HUGE legible hands, great bezel, and a nicely designed, well guarded crown at 9 instead of 3 to improve wearability. Ecodrive means no batteries, quartz means few accuracy worries. Practical and fun, but you have to like them big at 48mm diameter.

Archimede Pilot
Stainless steel case with satin finish, sapphire crystal, screw down case back with mineral crystal showing the robust ETA 2824-2 inside, 50m WR, optional pilot's crown, diameter 42mm or 39mm (excluding crown), thickness 9.9mm and 20mm lug width Paulo

A great quality watch with Flieger aesthetics for 245 euros plus shipping (Jan 2007) from a company created by Ickler (a well known quality German case supplier for various companies and also owner of Limes)


Seiko SKX779K "Black Monster"

7S26, Automatic, non winding, non  hacking, 21'600 beats per hour or 6 beats per second Reto

because you can rarely find a better case and bracelet with even a hidden diver's extension on a watch in this price class

 Orient Star Power Reserve
Orient in-house Caliber ER (487) GMF (Gary M. Frazer)

"Power reserve complication, decorated manufacture movement, classic style, solid link bracelet with deployant clasp.  Where else can you find a
Japanese (or Swiss) watch with all that for less than $300.00 US?"

Citizen Power Reserve Chronograph 2100
Miyota Caliber 2100 Micha

Nine hands, Eco-Drive awesome lume and all this with a little searching for under $300! Need I say more?

2 slots for watches $500 - $1'000 (17 and 18)
Stowa Seatime
ETA 2824 Micha

For 590€ you'll get a 300m Diver with a design of it's own. The finish of the case is just perfect. Despite it's size, it's very comfortable to wear - even on a small wrist

 Marathon SAR
ETA 2824-2 KCComp, Keaton

Comments please? Well, I did not get any comments, so let the picture speak for itself ;-)

2 slots for Out-Of-Production or Vintage Watches (19 and 20)
Vintage or OOP: Omega Seamaster
Omega Cal. 420 Jeff aka TakesALickin'

Omega Seamaster are some of the most readily available vintage watches to be found today (both to buy, and to find parts for), and are great bargains to boot. Solid movements, great cases and designs, great dials - almost anyone with a vintage collection has one. It's a classic! It's the '57 T-Bird of the watch world! How can you not have this on the list?!

Vintage SEIKO 6138 Chronograph
SEIKO Column Wheel Chronograph Cal. 6138 with vertical clutch Cafe

The 6138 is the first integrated chronograph movement complete with column wheel, vertical clutch and balance bridge. The only other watch with this combination is the current Rolex Daytona.



20 watches waiting to be promoted to the TOP 20 LIST


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Movement and Specs

PMWF logon name and comment
16 waiting slots for watches below USD 500 (C1 - C16)
Seiko SKX031
7S26, Automatic, non winding, non- hacking Mike Stuffler

Where do you get such much watch for USD 95?

Orsa Luminous Sea Angler 2
2824-2 Tom P

I think Martin Berg's SEA ANGLER should be considered. Now that it's made in Switzerland, and still available for under $500, it is one of the best quality watches I've handled in under that price range. With a 2824-2 movement and several dial colors, as well as a limited production run, these 44mm watches can not be mistaken for any other watch out there!

Elysee Power Reserve
Elysee Automatic Power Reserve
47mm diameter excl. crown
12mm thick
Stainless steel
Mineral glass
21 jewels automatic & hand wind
Power Reserve meter
Small seconds hand at 6
(Haven't checked the Powerreserve time yet -
I own it just 1 day at the time this is written -
Jan 6th, 2004)
john (NL)

The reason I like this watch is the massive size of it. I don't think I have ever seen a watch this size and weight. It's a real PMW with a RMW appearance (less than $100).

Kienzle Atlantis Mecanique
Unitas 6497
Hand wind, non-hacking


I nominated the Kienzle (having received one for xmas) for its very high quality, striking design and clear lines which will also lead to great legibility. Also, the Unitas movement is extremely accurate and I think for around $300 its an excellent value.


Poljot Shturmanskie

Movement: Poljot 3133, 23 Rubies, 21600 balance speed, Chronograph, manual wind, 43 hour power reserve, date, inner turning Bezel via crown at 10


On April 12th 1961 Yuri Gagarin became the first man performing a space flight. While in space, the cosmonaut was wearing a "Shturmanskie" (Navigator) watch, manufactured at the First Moscow Watch Factory (1-MChZ). From 1964 the watches of the First Moscow Factory have been marked by a trademark "ПОЛЕТ" and "POLJOT", which means "flight" in Russian and is a tribute to the number of space trips their watches have accomplished.

Since the late 70’s, Poljot launched a new chrono movement: the 3133. It was a 23 jewels, manual winding (43 hours), a modified Russian version of the Swiss Valjoux 7734 of the early 70’s. Poljot 3133 were taken into space by cosmonauts from Russia, France, Germany, Ukraine. On the hand of V.V. Polyakov Poljot 3133 chronograph movement-based watch set a space record for the longest space flight in history.

Poljot chronographs with the 3133 movement are available starting bellow $200, making them one of the most interesting proposals for poor men chronographs presently. This Shturmanskie is an elegant timepiece that won a "beauty contest" in PMWF (a poll I made with 4 Poljot chronographs) and can be had for little more than $200.
Besides the great looks, this watch has an inner turning bezel with hoursthat can be used while traveling as a rudimentary GMT indication.

Sector 600 Ana-Digi
No movement information, Matt V. please, or anybody that knows, thank you! Matt

For way under $500, the Sector 600 ana-digi offers a large, solid stainless steel case, solid bracelet, sapphire crystal and one of the best implementations of an analog-digital quartz movement in this price class. Lots of functions on the movement, this watch is fun to wear and fun to experiment with (new straps).

7S26, Automatic, non winding, non- hacking Hoang

Seiko SNX123K with the proven 7S26 movement. This poor man's GS can be had for under $60! With a truly striking dial, perhaps the best way to describe it is to quote Ed Brandwein: "Looks like a watch that could costs 10 times its price".

SEIKO Spirit
6R15, the long awaited SEIKO automatic movement with handwinding and hacking feature Paperboy Part Deux

For less than $300, you get a Seiko with:

-Impeccable fit and finish with a very, VERY distinct Grand Seiko look
-The hacking and hand winding 6R15 movement which runs (in most cases, if you believe what you read on watch forums) within (+) or (-) 5 seconds per day out of the box
-Sapphire crystal
-A nice, big signed crown for easy winding and setting
-Mineral crystal display caseback
-Solid stainless steel bracelet which is actually the watch's only real weak point because (a) it's too short even with all the links in it and (b) it's difficult to get the sizing just right due to the clasp having only two fine adjustment settings. But, this gives the wearer a great excuse to try a leather strap, a change that really brings out the beauty of this watch, in my very humble opinion.

There are other styles in the Seiko Spirit line (as well as the Alpinists) that carry this same movement so if this model isn't your "cuppa tea", there almost certainly is another that would suit you better.

ETA Quartz FloridaSam

The new crop of ZODIAC are extremely well made watches, the fact that they can be had for $50.00 with incredible packaging is a WIS dream come true. If I had to pick one I would pick the AM/PM Post about a GMT or 2nd Timezone watch As someone else said its big and kitchy without being USSR or Russian Watch Smiley The bracelet is as good as any watch costing 10, 20 or 30 times the asking price. Screw down crown, independent GMT hand, rotating bezel, BIG.... I can't think of anything they left out on this one!

Orient World Timer
Caliber Orient FA00 Paulo

This is an elegant Post about a GMT or 2nd Timezone watch (inner bezel rotates, acting as the 24h hand) that can be had for less than $400.
A superbly finished timepiece on a 3mm thick bracelet with double button clasp.

Zodiac Calame Chronograph
Make: Zodiac
Model: Calame Chronograph Ref. ZO-2003
Movement: Automatic modular movement by Dubois-Depraz (Caliber 2025 – base ETA ebauche).
Dial: Black
Complications: Chronograph, Date, Screw Down Crown, Display Back
Material: Stainless Steel
Crystal: Sapphire
WR: 100M
Width: 40mm
Height: 14.5
Lugs: 20mm
Lug to Lug: 47mm

This is a great looking watch and a great value. It is more expensive than many of the Zodiacs PMWFers are frequently posting kudos about, but this model seems to be a cut above.

Orient Diver 200 m
Model # : CEM65001D
Movement : Orient Japan Automatic Movement 21 jewels
Case width: 41.5mm
Bob Collins

A great watch at just under $100 delivered on a thick stainless bracelet. Has day date complication and is quite accurate from my experience. Wet ink blue dial, good lume, red-tipped sweep, screw down crown and pusher, 200M.

Pulsar Solar Diver PUA111
-Pulsar PUA111 Solar 4000 Quartz Diver's Watch - Blue-dial version
-V145 quartz movement with 180-day power reserve on full charge
-200 meter water resistance
-Screw down crown and caseback
-All stainless-steel construction
-Solid-link stainless steel bracelet with solid end links, flip-lock clasp and hidden diver's extension
PaperBoy Part Deux

Just an excellent value in a solar-powered quartz diving watch. Weighs as much, perhaps even more than the chunky Seiko Monster, yet wears very comfortably on the wrist. Very accurate quartz movement...just +5 seconds in just over three weeks of use...with a tight seconds hand that hits the chapter ring marks dead on. The crown may seem a little odd at first, but one quickly gets used to it, and it screws down to boot. The dial is simple in shimmering blue, with just a date complication and excellent lume on the markers and hands. This watch can normally be found for around $100 on the 'net, which in and of itself is a great price for what you get, but sometimes can be found for around $60 to $70 when blowout sales are taking place. If you have to have one quartz diver, this might be it.

Sandoz Singapore Explorer
(a) Sapphire crystal with cyclops
(b) Swiss ETA 2824-2 movement
(c) Screw-down crown
(d) Solid stainless link "Oyster" band
(e) Excellent fit and finish on dial, case, bezel and band
John Lind

The "Singapore" Sandoz Explorer is a great value for under $250 with classic style, excellent materials, proven workhorse movement, and a well executed fit/finish that creates a good looking, reliable, and quite durable watch.
Dial and hand style are that of a Rolex Air King, but in slightly larger 36mm traditional Explorer size with date (the Air King is 34mm without date). The example depicted in the photo has the centers of the band and end links polished which dresses it up a little. Stock, the centers are brush finished. Note the shape of the case between the lugs, and the end links. If you want to dress it up more, and make it wear heavier, there are aftermarket, very heavy solid link "President" bands with the same radius on the ends that will fit this case (found only on the Singapore version of the Sandoz Explorer).

Citizen Skyhawk (ECODRIVE)
Caliber 650 Joon

I believe the Skyhawk is the one of the most versatile & useful watches around, especially if you travel or need to know times in various countries like I do. The preset and quick change of time zones is a wonderful feature.

It can be had even from ADs for about $200 and for $150 or less used. Since it's Eco-Drive it's virtually maintenance free!

2 waiting slots for watches $500 - $1'000 (C16 and C17)
C17 VACANT    
Oris TT1 Diver Titanium
ETA 2824 TMK
2 waiting slots for Out-Of_Production or Vintage Watches (C19 and C20)
Zodiac Astrographic 2000
ETA 2824 John Lind

The Astrographic 2000 is a collectible commemorative of Zodiac's unique and distinctive mystery dial Astrographics that were introduced in 1971. Their hallmark is an orbiting red dot seconds marker and floating hour/minute hands that have no (easily) visible means of attachement. In 2000, while Zodiac was struggling financially and ownership rapidly changed hands a couple times, a limited production of no more than 500 each were made with black, blue and silver dials in square and round cases. The photo is of the round, blue dial version.

The Astrographic 2000 is an update of the original concept using modern materials, design and construction, with solid stainless cases, heavy solid link bracelets, sapphire crystals, and high grade 25j 28.8k bph ETA 2824-2 movements. With a MSRP of $1295, it broke the $1000 PMW limit, but street prices when first released were under that. They can be bought now (in 2006) for under $500, if one can be found, and there are still a small handful of NOS to be had. "In the flesh," they are a beauty to behold. With Fossil's ownership of Zodiac since 2002, and the nearly complete elimination of mechanicals from Zodiac's collections, it's unlikely we'll see another mechanical Astrographic in the foreseeable future.

SEIKO 6309
SEIKO Caliber 6309 Matt V.

A great vintage Seiko diver and gaining in popularity lately!



Old Top Dogs - Former List Entries

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Movement and Specs

PMWF logon name and comment

Marcello C Nettuno 3
Solid stainless steel case
Diameter 40 mm (without crown),
 height 12 mm
Screw down crown and caseback
300 m water resistance!
Solid link bracelet
with screwed links,
fold over deployant buckle and divers extension,
20 mm wide between the lugs and 3 mm thick

Movement: automatic ETA 2824-2 with date function
Sapphire crystal with AR coating, unidirectional rotating divers bezel,
hands and dial markers treated with Superluminova

Nettuno 3 is the improved 2004 Marcello C model that replaces the no longer available award winning Nettuno 2 (voted "best watch under €500.00" by a German watch magazine in 2003). One of the nicest classic diver watch design and a timeless timepiece, with a great quality and price.

7S26, Automatic, non winding, non- hacking jeffc/Adam in NYC

Speedmaster Reduced
Caliber: Omega 3220 (the Omega name for the 2892 coupled to the DD module)
Self-winding chronograph movement with rhodium-plated finish
Power Reserve: 40 hours

Reference: 3510.50.00
Hesalite crystal
Stainless steel case
Black dial
water resistance down to: 30 meters/100 feet

Ron Cormier

The Omega Speedmaster Reduced is cosmetically similar to the Omega cal 321 or cal (1)861 Moonwatch complete with Hesalite crystal, but this is where the similarities end.

The Reduced model uses heavily modified and decorated version of "the tractor" ETA 2892 movement as a basis, but the Omega engineers have coupled it to the VERY thin Dubois Dépraz Chronograph module. This lends the Reduced it's very slim profile and allows the watch to be produced more inexpensively than traditional column wheel or shuttle-cam chronographs, without the loss of functionality or reliability. This, of course, results in both the "reduced" model's smaller size and lower profile than its predecessors. In fact, it wears alot like a quartz powered chrono despite it's being fully mechanical. Additionally, the watch is commonly sold within the PMW pricing limit, often much lower.

While not the pinnacle of chronograph development, the DD module offers a quality low cost solution to manufacturers without sacrificing features. From an engineering standpoint alone it is a quantum leap forward in the technology of precision mass production, and it deserves it's place in the PMW hall of fame.

M-16 (pic westcoastime)

ETA 2824-2 Waco Kid

$398, stainless steel O&W case, ETA 2824-2, screw-down crown and back, domed mineral glass, Marathon dial with Tritium vials that glow all night and day for a dozen years, any strap/bracelet you want, GMT or 60 min bezel, 200 m. A unique and practical watch that can go anywhere. Image stolen from

SKZ211K1 aka Landshark
7S36, Automatic, non winding, non- hacking Paulo

 4 Star Maritime
ETA 2824 Wen

The 4Star Maritime is a beautifully styled and finished 42mm aviator automatic with display back. ETA 2824 movement. And it comes with that Jurgen tropic strap that you would probably add anyway. Great buy at $329.

Oris BC3 Diver
out January 2004

ETA 2836 with day/date feature Evan BC3 (non Diver)

Why?: High quality and inexpensive pilot style watch made by Oris, emphasis > on "made by Oris"

Kramer (Diver)

For a mere 100$ more, it seems reasonable.

Erken "Mechanik" Panerai homage
out January 2004
ETA 2824-2 Geoff aka slicefixer

Best value in a watch I've ever owned.....IF you like the Panerai "look"

Sandoz Explorer-like
(Supply on and off...)
ETA 2836-2 with unused Day and Date mechanism Evan (Cafe)

Sandoz Explorer-like....allows us to enjoy classic design at a more than modest price!


Solid link bracelet, Sapphire Front and Display Back, "Explorer" looks.

Seiko Quartz Chronograph 7T32
Case and bracelet: stainless steel
Crystal: Hardlex (Seiko's version of mineral glass)
Water-resistance: 3 Atm
Movement: Seiko 7T32 quartz

Width: 37 mm incl. crown.
Height: 42 mm.
Thickness: 8 mm.

Bas in 't Hout

I would like to nominate this model (7T32-6A50) for its classic "European" looks, the versatility of the movement and the fact that this watch hasn't let me down in 7 years of (ab)use.

The alarm dial is completely independent from the gear train and can also be used to display a second Time Zone or to time any event lasting up to 12 hours. Another interesting feature is the chrono second hand which advances in 0.2 second intervals just like a mechanical watch from the early 60's.

Since the alarm can wake up the dead :-) a 7T32 makes an ideal PMW traveling watch.

Titoni Airmaster (DISCONTINUED)
ETA 2824-2 Kevin Chan,

"Well-made watch with a good-looking Explorer-type dial. Very accurate movement. Titoni makes no-nonsense, functional watches (without a lot of style variations) that are very inexpensive but well put-together. They use stock ETA 2824-2 movements but assemble the parts in their own factory in Grenchen, Switzerland. In my experience, Titonis run more consistently and wind more smoothly than other ETA-2824 watches because of that. Can be had on the net for less than $250 USD"

Zeno Pilot Classic
ETA 25 jewel automatic, calibre 2834 running at 28800 BPH.

Case - Polished stainless steel case with solid back. Water resistant to 50 metres.
Dimensions - 42 mm ๘, 50 mm lug to lug and 12 mm thick.
Movement -

Henrik Ahman

In love as I am with my new Zeno for its classic discrete looks, I can't help but nominating it to T20PMW

USD 315

<1000 USD:
17. Nomos Tangente

NOMOS movement 1 T

Small second hand
Produced since 1971
Movt. 23.3 mm
H 2.5 mm
17 Jewels
21600 A/h
Power reserve 42 h


Nomos comes from the Greek and means adherence to a set of laws or order. This describes the nature and working principle of this watch. NOMOS watches are mechanical, hand-wound watches of good quality and clear design. The high precision timepieces, in formal design a combination of Werkbund and Bauhaus, a great sucess by german graphics designer Suzy Guenter carry on the flawless tradition of fine watchmaking in Glashuette, Saxony. The design focuses particularly on the watch's functional performance and legibility.

STOWA Antea Limited Edition

Handwound ETA 2660,
originally designed for a ladies wristwatch.
beats at 28,800 vph and does not hack.

Here are the Stowa's specs:
Case dimensions:
39 mm across excluding crown
7.5 mm thick
48 mm lug tip to lug tip
20 mm between the lugs

Bas and Wen, Bas says... (Wen concurs):

Since the Nomos Tangente is about to be "banned" to the "old dogs" list, I thought another German watch should take its place. The Stowa Antea LE has the same clean Bauhaus looks as the Nomos, but at EUR 285 (incl Shipping, it's much more affordable than the Nomos (the basic Tangente costs EUR 690).

Poljot Aviator Alarm or ...

Poljot ... Handwind
Poljot Caliber 1612

Movement - 2614 Poljot
Manual winding-up
17 jewels
balance semi-period 21 600 a/h
38 power reserve fully wound

Ted aka TMK

The Poljot Aviator Alarm has a 1612, 18 jewel hand wound mechanical movement that is currently running +2/day, three weeks out of the box. The dial and bezel are an attractive combination of black face and sandblasted stainless steel. The shapely hands and clearly legible markers are coated with Super Luminova; accordingly, the luminosity is nothing short of sensational. The original leather strap is superior in terms of comfort and perfectly compliments the watch (yes, it's going back on as we speak Smiley ). The alarm is functional and definintely gets your attention...tone-wise, so-so. Additionally, the Poljot was the first watch in space and history counts!!! Combine the above with an on the wrist price of $69.95 and you have one unbeatable PMW, worthy of the recognition of this august body. I have nothing against the Seiko Quartz dress watch per say...I just think it is time to update our list with a bit more style, pizzazz and international flavor!!!

Ted aka TMK

For $39.95 plus shipping, this watch might just be the PMW value of the decade. Runs well, looks beautiful and many of the Forumers own it.

Invicta 8926

Miyota 8215 John Holbrook II

The 8926 has gained a near legendary status on the Internet with it's reputation of being one of the greatest values ever in watches.  The 21 jewel automatic movement in this watch is rock solid and etremely accurate.  The stainless steel bracelet is of the highest quality and has even drawn praise from Rolex owners.  The Invicta 8926 retails for $315.00, but can be easily obtained on the Internet for $100.00 - I've personally never heard of anyone who was disapointed by this watch.

500 - 1000 USD:
The Fortis Official Cosmonaut GMT
ETA 2893-2, 21 jewels.Two time-zone registers, 200 m. water resist cwm38 (Charles McCoy)

The Fortis Official Cosmonaut GMT. A real military-pilots-cosmonaut watch. ETA 2893-2, 21 jewels. Two time-zone registers, 200 m. water resist, bi-directional bezel, Sapphire crystal, All SS satin finish, screw in pins in bracelet. Overall quality and operation is faultless. Discounts available. More information at:

Ollech & Wajs MP
AS 2063 Alejandro Rojas

The Ollech & Wajs MP is a really nice watch. Very easy to read. Good size, all stainless steel, glow great in the dark, and the AS2063 movement has proved to be very accurate. the price: only US$ 149

Zeno ref. 1249G "Explorer"
ETA 25j 2824-2 automatic movement.
28,800 a/h.
Stainless steel "Oyster" style case.
Screw down crown and back.
"Oyster" style bracelet.
Domed acrylic crystal.
$230.00 USD

Zeno ref. 1249G "Explorer "36mm excluding crown.
While this watch is inexpensive it truly is a quality timepiece. It's classic style (based on the 1016 Rolex Explorer) is timeless and with the domed acrylic crystal it has quite the vintage look to it. The thickness of the watch (13.5mm) gives it the appearance of being a little larger than it actually is. IMHO, this is one of the nicest looking "Explorer"-like watches on the market. So, for those that want that classic Swiss styling coupled with a fully automatic Swiss movement that hand winds, hacks and has a screw down crown this is just the ticket.

Strela Chronograph
Poljot 3133 Ted aka TMK and

Strela: Beautiful watch, very affordable

Jeff aka TakesALickin'

With the Strela I have purchased one of the finest examples of Russian watch making in existence. What leapt out at me initially was the improved level of finish on the Strela compared to other Poljot watches I’ve owned. It begins to approach the price of some introductory level Valjoux 7750 powered watches, such as Hamilton or Movado. But it carries with it a cachet that is hard to match

Sandoz Diver 2003 Model
ETA 2824-2 w a y p o i n t  aka Collin

The MOST bang for the buck IMHO
- Sapphire crystal with a working cyclops
- Quality of finish on the full SS case and improved screwdown crown & back
- Great bracelet; solid links
- ETA 2824 with SANDOZ trademark decoration; assumed until Reto returns =)
- 100 WR
- Classic design
- Product distribution-wise; I am sure it will come round to your part of the world soon enough

Orient Star GMT (discontinuted)
Caliber FE03-A000 Stuffler Mike

Where do you get a GMT for USD 250?

  Orient M-Force CEX04001Y0
 and CEX04001M0
(nickname Yellow, Orange Beast)
Orient In-house Caliber EX04 with Power Reserve, not handwinding, not hacking Shawn

Price- For about 125$ U.S. delivered, you get.. Choices- Blue, Red, Yellow, Orange, Black.. Movement- The Orient In-house Caliber EX04 with Power Reserve, is not handwinding, and not hacking, but I have found it to be highly accurate for this price range. It also seems quite robust and has taken a decent amount of abuse at my hands. The combination of power reserve complication, accuracy, robustness make this very attractive for the price. Display Back- A nice feature to enjoy owning an automatic watch. combined with 200m water resist this is very nice. Shrouded case- many of use are very fond of the seiko divers with shrouded cases (300m quartz pro, 600m auto pro, 600m quartz pro, 200m pro, H558). While there is no separate shroud attachment, the intrinsic design of the case offers shroud protection to the bezel at the 3-5 and 9-11 positions. Rotating Dive Bezel- very firm ratcheting unidirectional action. superior to many of the current citizen dive bezels. Screw down crown with guard- This design has no extruding crown protection, but is bored to allow the crown to screw "into" the case. A very hardy way to go about it. quick set date- great for the end of the month. push a button and you have entered the correct date. Solid double clasp bracelet. A hefty design with five different components, and all solid. Many manufactures cheat and use folded inner links on jubilee and other designs more complicated that 3-piece oyster. Textured dial and framed indices- again, an area where many manufacturers skip this level of attention and craftsmanship even on much more expensive watches Functional Cyclops- again, an area many manufacturers skimp on and use a very under magnifying money saving device.
Overall, this is not my idea of the perfect dive watch, my favorite looking watch, my favorite bracelet, favorite movement, or favorite brand, etc. However, I feel the need to recognize Orient for putting out a well made, solid, accurate, and reliable dive watch with many touches and attention to production values for such a low cost. Other automatic dive watches at this price point typically come with a rubber strap, unframed indices, non textured dial, and certainly no complication to the movement beyond date or day/date. I suspect Orient is fully capable of putting out a completely in-house dive watch with 200 or 300m WR, day/date-gmt-and power reserve complicated hacking and wind able auto movement, with framed indices and better lume, on a solid ss double clasp bracelet, and with sapphire crystal for 300-400 U.S. $. That should make other Asian manufacturers, let alone much higher priced European ones, nervous.

Vintage or OOP
: Omega Speedmaster
Movement: Omega Cal.861 = Lemania 1372, ticking @ 21600 BPH

Case: Stainless steel, screw-on back.
Water-resistance: keep away from all liquid substances!It's vintage
Dimensions: width: 44 mm incl. crown, height: 45 mm thickness: 14,5 mm


About 8 months ago, I bought this Omega Speedmaster Mark II and it's been my favorite watch ever since. This model was only produced between 1970 and 1972. Vintage Omegas are now in the PMW price range, even the vintage Speedmasters can be found for prices well below USD 1000. I paid USD 640 for this one, Add 20 dollar to get the money to the seller, 22 dollar to have the watch sent to my doorstep and 126 USD import duties (that really hurts).

Oris TT1 Diver
ETA 2824-2 David aka tradescant

Why do I think this watch is worthy?

Clean simple elegant design. Hands and indices have a sleek 'flowing' look to them. A clear easy to read face if ever I saw one. Comes with a flush fitting rubber strap in various colours, or if preferred, a stainless steel bracelet with divers extension. Sapphire crystal. Water resistant to 200 metres - more than most of us will ever need. Not for the faint hearted at 44mm, but the design makes it look smaller than really it is.

Citizen Nighthawk EcoDrive
Eco Drive Miyoata Cal. 0870 Wen

The Nighthawk is the modern interpretation of the aviator watch: solar powered dual time zone with a flight computer (slide rule). Unique design, large size and great quality. All for less than $200

Orsa Quartz Diver
Swiss Ronda Quartz Caliber 515 Ed Brandwein

$105.00 for looks and build quality like this. A real PMW (Poor Man's Watch)

 MarcelloC Tridente
ETA 2824-2 TMK

Big, tough, accurate (2824-2 movement) and stylish...a superb bracelet and sapphire crystal. Hard to find a better 1000m dive watch for under $1,000.00.



TOP20PMW Challenge Rules

Very simply put, there is a TOP20PMW List with 20 watches, and there is a waiting list with Candidates with exactly the same structure.  TOP20PMW entries can only be replaced by Candidates. Former TOP20PMW list entries will be collected in the Old Top Dogs list at the bottom of this page.
1. Promotion: A new watch must enter as a Candidate and is then eventually promoted to a TOP20PMW entry during a consecutive Challenge. One promotion per PMWFer please, thank you.
2a. Blockage: During a voting day, PMWFers are free to "block" for example the removal of a watch from the top list. These "veto" posts do not count as per rule 1.
2b. Support: You can post your support for a suggestion and as with the block calls, these support votes do not count as per rule 1.
2c. Resolution: If a promotion is blocked by other PMWFers
I will try to work out a solution given my experience in adjusting/updating this list.


Examples of valid Promotions


List Promotion: Specify the TOP20PMW list entry to go OUT and the Candidate to come IN

Sample Post:  5. Seiko SNK121K OUT ---  C9. Sandoz Diver 2003 Model IN


Candidate Promotion: Specify the Candidate to go OUT and the new watch to become a Candidate and please supply for the new watch:
1. Thumbnail
320 x 240 or 240 x 320. If the picture is not from you, please give credit to the source
2. Brand, Model name, Movement and Specs
and eventually other technical features of it
3. Why
you are suggesting this candidate, you can be a bit verbose here if you wish


Sample Post:  C5. Orient Star GMT OUT --- New Candidate SAR MARATHON IN

If the Candidates list has vacancies, then simply pick one and post:

C 14. New Candidate SAR MARATHON IN


TOP20PMW List Structure



 16 watches below $500*

 2 watches $500 - $1'000*

 2 Vintage or discontinued watches



 16 candidates below $500*

 2 candidates $500 - $1'000*

 2 Vintage or discontinued candidates



A continuing collection of former List Entries




* street or online prices in US Dollars


Back to PMWF!