Why Don’t You Cover More ‘Affordable’ Watches On aBlogtoWatch?

George G. from Massachusetts, USA, asks:

Why don't you show watches that more people can afford instead of $5,000 or $15,000 t0 $20,000 thousand price range?
Nobody would or should wear at watch at those prices. Show more watches in the $100 - $200 range.

George, we are not particularly fond of the fact that most cool watches are luxury items with prices to match. We also don't strive to only cover high-end watches just because they reach a particular price threshold. In fact, just about everyone working for aBlogtoWatch are "working class" folks with a genuine passion and love for watches, but not with budgets to purchase many of the high-end treats that we cover. So, why, then, does the average price point of watches covered on aBlogtoWatch feel so high?

It is true that you can go buy a watch for under $10 that will tell you most of what you need to know, but these tend to be cheaply made items that we really don't have a lot to say about. aBlogtoWatch isn't just about helping people find items that can tell the time and might look interesting in the process, but about history, stories, mechanics, craftsmanship, engineering, and the art of perfection (or the pursuit thereof). The reality is that most of the watches that capture our attention and give us something to talk about come with high prices.

Regular followers of aBlogtoWatch know that we do cover more modestly-priced timepieces when the opportunity allows. We are presented with less expensive watches all the time, but the fact remains that most of these don't measure up to our admittedly high expectations of what a timepiece should be. One issue, is that the bar of quality has been set really high for us since we've been exposed to the best watches around. To speak with the same enthusiasm about something mass produced and much less interesting at $100 is difficult.

We don't mean to imply that people must spend four, five, or six figures on a wrist watch in order to have a good timepiece experience. We do, however, imply that those are the watches that, to us, tend to be the most interesting. Wrist watches today are either extremely utilitarian or a type of luxury, as humankind doesn't strictly need them for the same reasons, or at the same level we once did. This means that people who choose to learn about and become familiar with watches, are those who want interesting items which they feel are worth their time. Given the amazingly vast and interesting world of high-end watches, it would be difficult to focus only on less expensive items that pale in comparison.

There are websites and stores out there that specialize in more affordable watches and we think they are excellent venues for people looking to find timepieces which are less expensive in price. It would be silly for us to not be mindful of the fact that the majority of people cannot afford watches in the $1,000 plus price range, but if we wanted to write about something accessible to more people we would probably choose to cover something other than wrist watches.

A good point to make is that we like to focus on mechanical watches, because that is what we are the most interested in, along with the occasional smart watch, we love a solid Casio and we do write about some other quartz watches. But, our focus is on mechanical watches. Yes, there are some very low-end mechanical watches in the $100 - $200 range, but frankly speaking, none of us would seriously wear those, as their quality is not particularly good.

We completely sympathize with those people who are teased and tempted with timepieces which are expensive. The aBlogtoWatch team is regularly presented with beautiful timepieces which we would quickly purchase if we didn't have to sell our homes, families, cats and souls to do so. Still, at least a few times a year, we come across something that has the right mixture of design, mechanics, and value that does fit our budgets and it all becomes worth the hours of longing and frustration.

So, at the end of the day, because aBlogtoWatch does cover mostly high-end watches, that fact does catch the attention of an affluent demographic who is able to purchase many of the items we cover. When you have a high disposable income it still means you want to make smart purchase decisions. So, much or our coverage is also designed to help high-end consumers make their watch choices wisely.

With all of this said, we do find watches under $500 that we feel deserve our attention, and we write about these "affordable watches" a few times a month (not always as a full review, but as a Feature or Watch Release article), and we'll often do a Full Watch Review on watches under $500 once or twice a month. You can keep up with our Watch Reviews Under $500 here (you can always find this in the "Reviews" menu up there in our main navigation). We have also written our share of Swatch articles here (they're fun!). And, when you are ready for the $300 - $1000 range, we have a buying guide for you here.

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  • C_Toste

    ” Nobody would or should wear at watch at those prices. Show more watches in the $100 – $200 range. ”
    And anyone who doesn’t buy their clothes at Wal-Mart is a snob right?

  • iamcalledryan

    Hope we can move on from this topic. I am so tired of seeing the same old comments about price. This is about admiring horology not listing all the awful $100 watches out there that have exactly the same Quartz movement inside. If I bought a magazine dedicated to cutting edge automotive technology i ought to expect rather a lot of cars that i can’t afford, instead of a list of the cheapest cars on the market.

  • SN0WKRASH

    iamcalledryan now we can just paste this link in response to those types of comments in the future 🙂

  • daveryan56

    Check out wristwatch review.com Ariel’s buddy John runs it (they do the hour time podcast together) and they quite often cover affordable (whatever a term as relative as that means) quite regularly. Also check out the time bum.com he’s awesome.

  • iamcalledryan

    Agreed!!

  • Chevy < Buick < Cadillac
    This inequality is true for GM cars, both in regards to features and quality, at least perceived so, and to price. Analogously, it’s the same for watches.
    The last two watches that I bought, one for 3 figures and the other for low 4 figures, were a “Chevy” and a “Buick”, yet I was pretty happy at my purchases. And the fact that neither was a “Cadillac” did not detract the least from the ownership experience.
    The idea is not only to buy what I can afford, but also to be satisfied with what I can afford.

  • C_Toste “And anyone who doesn’t buy their clothes at Wal-Mart is a snob right?”
    I’m hoping that with a raise I can move up to Sears or JC Penny for my fine apparel.

  • LapYoda

    There is a big distinction between price and value, and low price does not often equal good value in the world of watches.  You really do get what you pay for, and in the $100-$200 range that George references, there are only a relative few manufacturers that offer good values (typically Japanese), and most of their offerings have workhorse movements in a variety of cases with cheap bracelets.  There are a lot of no-name pieces and “mushroom” brands that cater to this price range with abysmal quality, cheap materials, and short lifespans.  It is probably reasonable to say that the really good values in watches typically start above $300 (solid build quality, durable movements), and the higher in price you go, the better the materials, craftsmanship, etc.  Once you get into the 5-figure range, you are paying for incredible craftsmanship, innovative movements, and precious materials, and can still find “good values” despite this stratospheric price bracket.

    Nowadays, when I look at a watch, besides shopping for price I shop for value as well.  Totally changes what I emphasize in my purchasing decision.

  • egznyc

    An interesting question (or perhaps not, depends on your level of interest) is what brand we’d like to assign as the Cadillac of watches, versus the Lincoln — and more interestingly, which is the Porsche, the Maserati, or the Rolls Royce of watches? At the risk of offending someone — though that is not my goal — maybe the Cadillac is Rolex while the Rolls is PP, for example? 😉

  • DG Cayse

    SN0WKRASH iamcalledryan NO….;)
    IMO this is a very valid concern for a great number of the viewing audience.
    Expressed it myself a few times. (<–complete lack of humility)

    Although, to be fair and balanced, there have been reviews and links to some fine watches in the <US$2/300 price range. Just recently the Bulova article showed some very nice new technology watches that were in the “affordable” range. And also, Seiko produces some very fine watches also in this price range.

    Good watches in the “affordable” range are out there – one just has to shop wisely and stay informed.
    Which is something that ABTW helps with.
    (That Bulova head-guy interview was Excellent!)

  • egznyc

    I know this is preaching to the choir, but hey, we all like our watch porn to be about wish fulfillment, and not necessarily reflective of our own reality or practical considerations. Kind of like any other type of porn (you know, real estate porn, car porn, etc.). I may never get to wake up with that Breguet by my side, but, you know, it was good to admire her beauty on the Internet or in the magazine; it was good while it lasted. 😉

  • SN0WKRASH

    DG Cayse SN0WKRASH iamcalledryan another good reason for this answer to be published.  We can supply this URL when this question is raised, as it will often be, in the future – after all, it includes comments like this one 😉

  • BasilofBakerStreet

    I almost agree with the question but after looking into watches for a while the response is pretty accurate. It’s too crowded and too shady below $500. I feel if you are looking at that price point you are just starting out and should be putting more time to educate yourself what is out there and when you graduate to better quality/higher price you have sites like this to ogle better quality.  On another note I wish there was a more in depth vintage section. If you are looking under $500 there are some great pieces that are well known but finding the authentic pieces can be a pain. But I know that in itself would/could be a huge endeavor.

  • ArmandParis

    I would tend to lean on the side that value does not necessarily always parallel the price of a timepiece. We all know that the more luxurious pricing is just that – catering to aspirational and lifestyle markets.  The more interesting question would be an aficionado blog such as ABTW should be able to delve a bit deeper and find those “diamonds in the rough” for these are tomorrow’s luxury products. For instance the Essential by GREYHOURS .com is expressively made with affordable luxury in mind  for enthusiast who understand value but may not want to spend traditional luxury prices.  Even for timepieces, technology has become the great equalizer. There are companies out there who “get it” and are not thriving on the old way of creating value through hype vs new thinking in technology.  Therefore products should be admired for design and affordability and differentiable quality vs just a tradition since everybody has caught up.

  • Lode_Runner

    I think talking about $10 watches is a red-herring.  No one is interested in seeing those, agreed, but even mentioning that category in the article is disingenuous.  No one who buys a $10 watch is even going to click on this site, and quite possibly, doesn’t even have Internet access.  But there are plenty of enthusiasts who have pieces under $1K, and I’d suspect that a huge chunk of your subscribers own a Seiko SKX007 which can be had for under $150.

    This publication seems way too focused on the types of pieces that only Russian oligarchs would wear.  If you look at the most popular reviews, the ones that get the most clicks, you’ll probably find that they are about the more popular and affordable (relatively speaking) pieces from Rolex, Omega, Seiko, etc., do a lot better than articles about some $100K monstrosity that looks like an internal combustion engine strapped to one’s wrist, or stuff that’s so ridiculously overcomplicated and fragile (and expensive) that you wouldn’t wear outside your house.

    And when you talk about affordable pieces, you cannot forget pre-owned and vintage pieces that are out of production.  I suspect we don’t see those because the manufacturers don’t sell them anymore, so they won’t pay you do to articles about them.

  • Lode_Runner Thank you for the comment. You bring up some good points but you also guess about a few things and I’d like to clear those up. First of all, we talk about those things that interest us and keep us passionate about watches. In regard to the ultra-expensive watches we fully recognize these are only being purchased by a small minority of watch lovers who can afford them. They are like the super cars of the watch world and they provide a lot of talking points and show where things are going at the highest-levels. They are items of interest and for us help keep us excited about more “sober” watches. That is why we like to cover them. You come to read about the Ferrari but you end up buying a Honda. Nothing wrong with that but our staff doesn’t want to write about the Honda of watches exclusively. 

    We don’t write about vintage watches because they are finicky by nature, unpredictable, of various value, and something that is difficult to say “you are safe if you buy this particular vintage watch model.” So much has to do with condition, age, how well kept they are, etc… When we do talk about vintage we speak about it more generally, and frankly we also focus on new more because we are more interested in new. The same goes for pre-owned. The new stuff we talk about today will eventually be pre-owned and if people find a good deal they can reference our articles from the past. 

    There is also the point you bring up about brands paying for us to write articles. I am so saddened each time I see people suspect this because it is entirely untrue and aBlogtoWatch does not and will not ever accept money to cover a particular watch. If we cover the watches of advertisers that is because we accept advertisers whose timepieces we like. There is no “secret advertising” on aBlogtoWatch and our goal is to be as transparent as we know how to be with the integrity of our editorial content.

  • aBlogtoWatch Lode_Runner And “Sponsored Posts” are clearly marked as such and of course reflect the views of the author and not the ABTW editors per se.

  • Sendilkumar Murugaiah

    Excellent question!

    People who are affordable to buy expensive luxury watches, doesn’t read the online content. I strongly believe most of the visitors are interested in knowing different watches, watchmakers, and sales men.

    Ablogtowatch can cover watches worth $10 too, i guess portal is not funded by famous brands.

    🙂

  • Forever Great

    What kind of communist says you shouldn’t wear/buy watches in those price ranges? I’ll never be able to afford the watches I’m most interested in but I enjoy reading and learning about their movements and designs, and this site should educate YOU enough to make purchases based on quality at any price range. I think Bernie Sanders wrote in because he was bored or something.

  • Archie Miller

    Very disappointed watches under $10 won’t be covered.

  • Yojimbo

    more time spent on people like Maratac wouldn’t kill you

  • tommy2sweet

    I read A BLOG TO WATCH for the same reason I read Car & Driver or Automobile magazines. I want to know about the best, fastest and best built, be it a car or a watch. Why they are the best and what they have done to become the best. I may never buy a 100K car or a 15K watch but if I know what makes them better, then I know what to look for in the watches or cars I can afford and WILL buy. You look for the quality of the build.