Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches
Buying Guide

Sensible ‘Back To Normal Life’ Watches With Bundles Of Character

Summer's over, and back to school or work we go, with something stylish and accessible on the wrist.

| By Robin Nooy | 6 min read |
Baltic HMS 003 silver-blue - Baltic Bicompax 003 salmon

As summer is drawing to an end, it’s time to pack away our swim shorts and bikinis, inflatable unicorns and snorkel gear and return to normal life again. Although pretty much everyone looks forward to the season of ‘fun in the sun‘, it’s inevitable that at one point we must return to our everyday activities, whether that’s a full-time job or perhaps college or university. And with this transition from pleasure to business comes a question; what to wear on the wrist? Well, you’re in luck as today’s Buying Guide offers some stylish suggestions, all with a very sensible sticker price.

Tissot Chemin des Tourelles

We’ve recently put the blue dial version of the Tissot Chemin des Tourelles in the spotlight, but the rest of the range is not to be overlooked. The Chemin des Tourelles comes in 34mm, 39mm or 42mm sizes, with a variety of styles and colours. The design of the case is fairly simple yet tasteful and houses the Swatch Group’s Powermatic 80 automatic movement. Depending on the exact model, it comes on a leather strap or steel five-link bracelets, which can be easily exchanged thanks to quick-release push pins. In keeping with Tissot’s tradition of sensible pricing, the collection ranges from EUR 825 to EUR 895.

Tissot Chemin des Tourelles Collection 2023

Ad – Scroll to continue with article

For more information, please visit

Quick Facts – 34mm, 39mm or 42mm diameter – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – sapphire crystal front & back – 50m water-resistant – available in a variety of styles and colours – applied indices – Dauphine-style hands – date at 6′ – Powermatic 80, automatic – 21,600vph – 80h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date – Nivachron hairspring – leather strap or steel bracelet with quick-release push pins – EUR 825 to EUR 895

Seiko Presage Style 60’s GMT

Seiko’s Presage Style 60s collection perfectly captures vintage looks in a modern package. The Presage Style 60s GMT models, reference SSK009 (Blue-Grey), SSK011 (Sand Grey) or SSK013 (Smoky Black) are the latest models to arrive in the collection. Even though it’s an Office/Caller GMT, all three references look rather good and would serve anyone quite well on the wrist. The 40.8mm case, with a fixed 24-hour bezel on top, is equipped with the Calibre 4R34, an automatic with an independently set 24-hour hand. Worn on a perforated leather strap or a stainless steel bracelet, none will break the bank at the retail price of EUR 670.

Seiko Presage Style 60s GMT - SSK009 SSK011 SSK013

For more information, please visit

Quick Facts – 40.8mm diameter – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – fixed bezel with two-tone aluminium 24-hour insert – Hardlex crystal – see-through caseback – 50m water-resistant – hairline-finished Blue Grey, Sand Grey or Smoky Black dials – applied faceted indices and hands with Super-LumiNova – Calibre 4R34, automatic – 21,600vph – 41h power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date, (office) GMT – leather strap or steel bracelet – EUR 670

baltic HMS 003

We’ve said it before, and we’ll happily say it again; Baltic is one of the best new watch brands of the past few years. A keen sense of style is coupled with an eye for balance and proportions and the ambition to provide good, sensible watchmaking for an affordable price. The recently introduced HMS003 once again proves Baltic knows what it’s doing, with a simple yet very well-executed time-only watch. At 36.5mm in size and a finely balanced sector dail it captures the spirit of 1940s watchmaking perfectly. Powered by a Miyota 8315 and with a retail price of EUR 360, there’s very little to complain.

Baltic HMS 003 silver-blue - Baltic Bicompax 003 salmon

For more information, please visit

Quick Facts – 36.5mm x 13mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – hesalite crystal – closed or open caseback – 50m water-resistant – silver, salmon or blue dials with grained and brushed textures – blue, silver or gilt indices & hands – Miyota 8315 automatic movement – 21,600vph – 60h power reserve – calfskin leather strap or beads-of-rice bracelet – EUR 360 (excl. VAT)

Orient Bambino 38

Coming in at just EUR 275, the Orient Bambino 38 is the most affordable option we’ve selected, but it packs quite a punch. The 38.4mm diameter of the case is spot-on for most people in terms of size, and with a height including the crystal of 12.5mm, the proportions are very good overall. It comes in stainless steel, optionally with a gold-coloured coating. The convex dial in black, white or beige punches above its weight thanks to the nicely applied indices and hands. The in-house movement provides 40 hours of running time. The Bambino 38 is worn on a brown or black leather strap with a faux-alligator pattern.

Orient Bambino 38 - Value Proposition Review

For more information, please visit

Quick Facts – 38.4mm x 12.5mm – stainless steel case, with optional gold-coloured coating – mineral glass crystal – open caseback – 30m water-resistance – convex black, white or beige dial – applied indices – Dauphine-style hands – date at 3′ – Calibre F6724, in-house automatic – 21,600vph – 40h power reserve – black or brown leather strap with an alligator pattern and pin buckle – EUR 275

Yema Urban Field

Field watches are widely available, with very good reason as it is one of the most popular styles in the industry. The robust, clean, legible nature of field watches is an excellent choice for most situations you will encounter in life. Yema’s Urban Field collection comes in five distinctly coloured dials with a grained texture, and a very pleasant 37.5mm by 7.80mm package. The biggest benefactor of this slender exterior is the super-slim Sellita SW210-1b manual wound movement. With any of the colours, you get either a Bonklip steel bracelet (for EUR 1,099) or a steel multi-link bracelet (for EUR 1,249) and an additional leather strap.

Yema Urban Field Collection

For more information, please visit

Quick Facts – 37.5mm or 40mm x 7.80mm – stainless steel case, polished – sapphire crystal – see-through caseback – 100m water-resistant – white, black, blue, green or light brown grained dial with field-type design – contracting markings – hands and indices with Super-LumiNova – Selita SW210-1b, hand-wound – 28,800vph – 42h power reserve – leather strap and steel multi-link bracelet or Bonklip bracelet – EUR 1,099 (Bonklip) or EUR 1,249 (multi-link bracelet)

Merci Instruments LMM-01

Merci Instruments really took us by surprise, not only for their cool and affordable trio of mechanical watches but also for how these came to life. We’ve explained the details here if you’re interested. The LMM-01 comes in three silver-white Calatrava-style dial designs; the Everest, the La Nationale, and The Archiwatch, which is priced slightly higher and is limited to 250 pieces. Priced between EUR 590 and EUR 650, you get a cool Calatrava-style watch with one of three very nice sector dials, worn on a black NATO-style strap. Power comes from a Sellita SW210-1, so you’re good on that front too.

For more information, please visit

Quick Facts – 38mm x 12mm – stainless steel case – three-part construction with stepped bezel – mineral crystal – solid caseback – 50m water-resistant – silver-white dial with two-tone sector design – three available styles – Sellita SW210-1, hand-wound – 28,800vph – 42h power reserve – black nylon NATO-style strap – EUR 590 (Everest and La National style) or EUR 650 (The Archiwatch, limited to 250 pieces)

Leave a Reply