Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches
Buying Guide

5 Elegant Dress Watches For Less Than 1,000 Euros

Looking sharp does not necessarily mean spending thousands on a fine watch

| By Robin Nooy | 6 min read |
Baltic MR01 Salmon Accessible Calatrava-style Micro Rotor Watch

There are moments in our lives that require us to dress up at least a little. A wedding, a 25 year work anniversary, a high-class event, going to the opera, or perhaps just going out to town and wanting to feel like a million bucks. What would you wear on your wrist for such an occasion? Surely it must be something that costs an arm and a leg, looks dapper and comes from some high-end watch manufacturer? No, not quite. On the lower end of the spectrum, there is plenty of options to choose from. You don’t even have to break the 1k barrier for a nice, classy watch, as showcased in today’s Buying Guide featuring 5 elegant dress watches for less than 1,000 Euros.

Baltic MR-01

The Baltic MR-01 caused a bit of a buzz when it was recently released to the public. Baltic takes the very classical Calatrava style of watchmaking as a starting point and adds its own fresh touch to it. The result is a very fairly priced dress watch with vintage dimensions, a nice mechanical movement and some interesting details.

Baltic MR01 Salmon Accessible Calatrava-style Micro Rotor Watch

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The best one out of the MR-01 collection in our books is the one with a salmon-coloured dial. The grainy texture in that rich pink-ish tone is just lovely. The strong lugs, relatively wide bezel and that dial with applied Breguet numerals and off-set small seconds display give a slightly modern twist on the Calatrava concept. Power comes from the Chinese made Hangzhou ELA05MN micro-rotor movement, which looks surprisingly well finished actually. The Baltic MR-01 sells for EUR 650 including taxes.

Quick Facts – 36mm diameter x 9.9mm height – brushed and polished stainless steel Calatrava style case – domed Hesalite crystal – see-through caseback – salmon, silver or blue dial – grained texture – Breguet-style numerals – leaf-shaped hands – offset small seconds display – Hangzhou ELA05MN micro-rotor movement – 30 jewels – 28.800vph – 42h power reserve – EUR 650 including taxes

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Certina DS Powermatic 80

Some might debate that a watch that has indications beyond two or three hands (hours, minutes, seconds) cannot be labelled as a dress watch. The parameters of a proper dress watch are not as strict as they used to be, so a watch with a date complication can work just as well in more formal settings. With that in mind, we enter the Certina DS Powermatic 80 into the mix.

Certina has had a long history of offering well-made, relatively affordable mechanical (and quartz, admittedly) powered watches. The new DS Powermatic 80 is no exception and comes in one of five dial colours, steel or gold PVD coated cases, applied indices, lance-shaped hands and leather or textile straps. As the name suggests, it houses the Swatch Group’s own Powermatic 80.611, providing a healthy 80 hours of power when fully wound. It retails for CHF 850 in steel and CHF 890 in gold PVD coated steel.

Quick Facts – 41mm x 10.90mm height – stainless steel and rose or yellow gold PVD coated case – domed sapphire crystal – sapphire crystal caseback – 100m water-resistance – white, blue, green, brown or gold coloured dials – applied indices with luminous dots – lance-shaped hands – date window at 3 o’clock – Powermatic 80.611 – automatic winding – 23 jewels – 21,600vph – anti-magnetic Nivachron balance spring – 80h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date – CHF 850 in steel or CHF 890 with gold PVD case

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Delbana Recordmaster

The Delbana Recordmaster might be an unconventional choice when it comes to dressy watches, but its retro vibes make it a suitable candidate in our book. Delbana is celebrating 90 years of watchmaking and presents the Recordmaster and Recordmaster II just for this occasion. Both are limited to 90 pieces and take inspiration from the world of music and a vintage Delbana Recordmaster watch from the 1950s.

Delbana Recordmaster and Recordmaster II Limited Editions hands-on

The most interesting of the two is the Recordmaster, with a dial that partly mimics the look of a vinyl record. The concentric grooves in black double as the hour track and features applied indices. The dial’s central section has a guilloché like finish in silvery-white, with a minute track and luminous dots on the outside. Cathedral hands are coated with vintage minty green Super-LumiNova and the Delbana logo is a distinct vintage font. It measures 40mm in diameter, comes with the reliable Sellita SW-200 and retails for EUR 790.

Quick Facts – 40mm diameter x 11.5mm height – stainless steel case, polished – domed sapphire crystal – see-through caseback – 50m water-resistance – silver guilloché-like pattern – black grooved hour track – luminous minute track with roundels – luminous cathedral hour and minute hand – red seconds hand – vintage Delbana logo – Sellita SW 200 – automatic winding – 28,800vph – 38h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date – limited to 90 pieces – EUR 790

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Delft Watch Works Oostpoort Radial Grey

Delft Watch Works is a young and upcoming watchmaking company from the city of Delft, the Netherlands. The brand’s inaugural collection takes its name from the city’s oldest city gate, known as the Oostpoort (Eastern Gate in English). The city is perhaps most famous for its Delft Blue pottery but is also home to the world-leading Technological University. And this is where Delft Watch Works’ story starts, as the founding men Michiel Holthinrichs and Twan Briels met while studying at the university.

The Oostpoort Radial Grey is the most subdued member of the Oostpoort family. It is a time-only watch with very interesting details. The case has a unique shape, designed by Michiel Holthinrichs of Holthinrichs Watches. The dial has a stepped architecture, with a grey (with royal blue or semi-transparent alternatives) middle section. The hour track has a circular brushed finishing, black printed minute markers and applied polished indices for the hours. The hour indices extend over the middle section of the dial, giving it some depth and play. Power comes from the STP 1-11 automatic movement, an ETA 2824 alternative. Prices for the Delft Watch Works Oostpoort collection start at EUR 749, and the brand offers several customization options if desired.

Quick Facts – 40mm diameter x 12,4mm height (top of crystal) – stainless steel case, brushed and polished – domed bezel and sapphire crystal – sapphire crystal caseback – screw-down crown – 50m water resistance – three-part dial in matte grey and brushed outer ring – applied hour indices, polished – central hours, minutes and seconds hands, polished – STP 1-11 automatic movement (top grade) – laser-engraved Oostpoort rotor – 26 jewels – 28,800vph – 44h power reserve – suede leather strap – starting from EUR 749

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Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80

The second Swatch Group entry on this list, using the same base movement as the Certina, is the Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium. With relatively modest dimensions, at 40mm across and 11.5mm in height, it is a watch fit for most people and for virtually all occasions. It comes with some proper specs, including sapphire crystals front and back, 100m water-resistance, a steel bracelet and of course that Powermatic 80 movement.

Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium Blue Dial

The dial is executed in blue, with a sunray brushed finish. Paired with a steel case, this is a classic combination that simply works well. It features applied, faceted indices with brushed and polished finishing. The Dauphine-style hands are facetted and polished as well, and the date window at 3 o’clock has a simple but effective frame around it. The Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 is a very sensible, well-built watch, retailing for EUR 840.

Quick Facts – 40mm diameter x 11.5mm height – stainless steel case, brushed and polished – sapphire crystal and see-through caseback – 100m water-resistance – sunray brushed blue dial – applied indices – Dauphine hands – Powermatic 80 movement – automatic winding – 25 jewels – 21,600vph – silicon balance spring – 80h power reserve – stainless steel bracelet – EUR 840

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