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Top Entry-Level Luxury Watches You Need To Look For

By Mike Fried,

Entry-level luxury watches open the door to your collection. They allow you to experience opulence while discovering more about what features and styles you like best. From Rolex to Panerai, entry-level watches can be handsome, glamorous, and carry prestige. Pre-owned entry-level watches provide the best value, as you’re buying a watch after its initial depreciation.

In this guide, we’ll share what entry-level luxury watches are, where to buy them, and the top entry-level watches on the market. 

What is an Entry-Level Luxury Watch?

An entry-level luxury watch is a high-end, brand-name watch that falls on the lower end of the price and prestige scale, but is still considered a luxury. Entry-level watches tend to be more simple and more affordable within a luxury brand’s collection. Pre-owned watches make great entry-level watches. They’re often in excellent condition without the high sticker price of a brand-new watch. Pre-owned luxury watches are typically sold by retail boutiques and authorized dealers. 

rolex entry watches on a wrist
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Things To Look For Before Buying an Entry-Level Luxury Watch

When it comes to entry-level luxury watches, you want to keep your eye on quality and resale value. You also want to ensure you buy an authentic watch from a brand that maintains its prestige. Here are 7 tips to keep in mind when buying entry-level luxury watches.

1. Select a Luxury Brand

Choosing a luxury brand ensures your investment retains its value. Luxury brands have name recognition and use high-quality materials when crafting their timepieces. Popular luxury watch brands include Rolex, Omega, Tudor, Oris, Cartier, Tissot, and Audemars Piguet. 

2. Check for Solid Metal Construction

Look for a watch made of stainless steel grade 316L, 14K, or 18K gold. These are durable, beautiful metals that hold up well over time with the proper maintenance. Avoid watches with bracelets and other components that are not solid metal.

3. Look for Crystal

Sapphire crystal is an extremely durable, scratch-resistant material that ranks 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Look for a case with sapphire crystal as it helps ensure your investment stands the test of time. Acrylic crystal is also durable, but not as durable as sapphire crystal. 

4. Opt for Good Dial Lumination

Most high-end watches come with the ability to see the time in low-light and dark environments, through their luminous hands. Double-check the specs of the watch to ensure your timepiece has dial lumination. Some simple vintage models might not offer this. 

5. Investigate the Condition

If you’re buying a pre-owned luxury watch, make sure you understand its condition. Look at the grading and any finer details to determine how much wear and tear or scratches the watch has. Some minor wear is typically fine, but if it’s significant, you may want to opt for a different piece.  

6. Compare Prices

Compare the value, resale value, and price of similar watches. You want to make sure your watch holds its relative value over time. 

7. Confirm Authenticity and Warranty

Be sure your watch comes with original paperwork, boxes, or certification by WatchCSA to verify that you’re getting an authentic luxury watch. 

Read more in our guide to luxury watches.

Best Entry-Level Luxury Watches – Our Top Picks

We hand-selected the best entry-level luxury watches to focus on models that have maintained prestige and value over time, while still being budget-friendly. These watches are stylish, full of status, and made of the finest materials. 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

The Oyster Perpetual is one of Rolex’s long-standing favorites, and for good reason. It’s sleek, and simple, yet alluring in its own right. It has a Twinlock screw-down crown, an Oyster bracelet, and Chromalight for lume. It’s a chameleon of sorts. The watch can be paired with casual or fancy wear, worn to the office or an evening gala. Coming in a variety of colors and styles, the Oyster Perpetual brings class to any collection. 

Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches
Examples of Rolex Oyster Perpetual watches from Jomashop

Specifications

  • Diameter: 28 – 41 mm
  • Crystal: Acrylic or sapphire crystal 
  • Water resistance: 100 meters
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Price: $3,000 – $35,000 (pre-owned)

Omega Speedmaster

The first chronograph to feature a tachymeter scale on the bezel, an Omega Speedmaster makes a classic statement piece in any collection. With its aviation and motorsports roots, the Omega offers a depth of style, unlike other pieces. Ranging from neutral tones and metals to stunning blue dials, select a Speedmaster that catches your unique eye.

Omega Speedmaster watches
Examples of Omega Speedmaster watches from Jomashop

Specifications

  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water resistance: Up to 50 meters, depending on the model number
  • Movement: Automatic, self-winding, manual-winding, depending on model
  • Price:  $2,600 – $26,000 (Pre-owned)

Breitling SuperOcean

With its stainless steel case, robust dimensions, and stunning style, the Breitling SuperOcean offers the perfect combination of classic and contemporary. Featuring a uni-directional timing bezel and scratch-resistant sapphire, this timepiece is as durable as it is eye-catching. Choose from black, white, blue, yellow, and red dials to customize your look. 

Breitling Superocean watches
Examples of Breitling Superocean watches from Jomashop

Specifications

  • Diameter: 38 – 46mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water resistance: Up to 1,000 depending on the model 
  • Movement: Automatic self-winding
  • Price: $3,000 – $5,800 (Pre-owned)

Panerai Radiomir

The famous Panerai Radiomir features its signature wire lugs, onion-shaped crown, and sandwich dial. Your Radiomir might also have special functions such as a month and date complication at 3 o’clock, depending on the model number. The rich aesthetic makes this a strong contender for any collection. Celebrities including Ben Affleck, Tom Cruise, and Russell Crowe have been known to sport a Panerai. 

Panerai Radiomir watches
Examples of Panerai Radiomir watches from Jomashop

Specifications

  • Diameter: 42 – 48mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water resistance: 100 Meters
  • Movement: Hand-winding, manual-winding, automatic, depending on the model
  • Price: $4,000 – $17,000 (Pre-owned)

Oris Aquis

This Swiss dive watch is the perfect underwater companion, with its luminous display, reliable movement, and impressive water resistance. At a budget-friendly price, the Aquis is a handsome investment with lots of practicality. It makes a bold impression while being incredibly durable. 

Oris Aquis watches
Examples of Oris Aquis watches from Jomashop

Specifications

  • Diameter: 36.5 – 46mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water resistance: 300 Meters
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Price: $1,000 – $3,300

FAQs About Entry-Level Watches

Why buy an entry-level luxury watch?

Buy an entry-level luxury watch to begin or expand your luxury watch collection at a budget-friendly price. Entry-level luxury watches allow you to discover styles you enjoy before investing in more expensive, higher-end luxury watches.

How much should I spend on my first luxury watch?

You should spend between $1,000 to $7,000 on a first luxury watch, as this allows you to find a prestigious watch from a luxury brand. Popular luxury brands such as Rolex and Omega have entry-level options that go all the way up to $10,000, though you can often find pre-owned timepieces for less.

How much does an entry-level luxury watch cost?

An entry-level luxury watch costs anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the style, brand, model, and features. If you select a watch from a popular brand such as Omega, Rolex, or Cartier, you may spend on the higher end of that range. If you choose a luxury brand such as Tissot, Oris, or Longines, you can find entry-level watches closer to $1,000 to $3,000. Buying a pre-owned luxury watch is a smart way to get a high-end watch in excellent condition at a lower price than buying a new one.

How much should a new collector invest in a luxury watch?

A new collector should invest anywhere from $1,000 to $15,000 in a luxury watch. Depending on the brand and model, this budget allows for a range of styles. Focusing on quality, aim for a watch that has solid resale value and will maintain its status over time. Keep the watch in excellent working condition to ensure it keeps its value.

Which are the best entry-level luxury brands?

The best entry-level luxury watch brands are Longines, Tissot, and Oris. You can also find budget-friendly pre-owned luxury watches from Rolex, Omega, Tudor, and Breitling. These entry-level luxury brands have the prestige and longevity to maintain value.

Final Thoughts on Entry-Level Luxury Watches

Entry-level watches are a sound investment for those with a lower budget, especially if you shop for pre-owned collections. Many entry-level models maintain their status over time, and if kept in solid working condition, their value is as well. The start of your luxury watch collection gives you the chance to determine what styles and models you like, before investing in more expensive pieces. If you have questions, contact us. We can also assist with selecting luxury jewelry and rings.

Here are more specific watch topics to browse:

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About the author

Mike Fried Mike Fried Mike Fried has over 25 years experience in the diamond industry working with Leo Schachter Diamonds, Moshe Namdar Diamonds, and joining The Diamond Pro in 2007. He is recognized as an industry expert and has been quoted in publications such as Us, People, Page Six, The Next Web and more.

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