Three Great Watches For Less Than £300

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Three Great Watches For Less Than £300

Words by Mr Paul L Underwood

13 February 2018

Stylish ways to tell the time that don’t cost the earth.

The legendary Swiss brand’s design bona fides are well established, owing to a design deeply indebted to Switzerland’s iconic railway clocks. This piece features another well-known example of Swiss design: the Helvetica typeface. Paired with a restrained face and a rugged leather strap that will improve with age, this is a versatile timepiece – one that weds museum-worthy design with an Affordable Art Fair price point.

The Connecticut-based brand has been around for a century and a half, but has recently been reclaiming its heritage, first through a series of high-visibility collaborations, and more recently with reissues of its most treasured designs. This preppy piece pairs an attractive, gold-tone case with a reversible grosgrain band inspired by Ivy Leaguers’ neckties, a look that complements a suit or a more casual look in equal measure. And at 36mm, the smaller case is of a piece with the trend toward more modest-sized watches.

This is the Rolls-Royce of affordable watches, and that’s not just a cliché: it’s named after the Rolls-Royce Merlin, the V-12 engine that powered the storied WWII-era P-51 Mustang fighter jet. (Indeed, the design itself is inspired by planes from the same period.) The case is made from corrosion-resistant stainless steel, and the dial features large, easily-scanned Arabic numerals – details that can mean the difference between life and death for a fighter pilot, and add a nice hint of intrigue for those of us in lower-stakes lines of work.