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Grand Seiko, Oris, Nomos: Three Great Entry-Level Brands

New to watches and looking for brands to get you started under $10,000?

May 25, 2020

Oris, Nomos, and Grand Seiko are brands that are crushing it in innovation, mechanics, and creativity. From the GS Four Seasons, and Nomos Orion, to the Oris Diver 65, this list will get you into luxury watches from $1,600 – $8,000.

Oris is first up on the list, and they’ve been around since 1925, so plenty of heritage to speak of from them. Their claim to fame is probably a mix of their Big Crown from the 1930s, and their dive watches from 1965 (which, as many of you probably already know, have been reissued in a few different forms over the last couple of years). It is the reinterpretations of both of these models, for the modern age, that also offer some of the best value in the brand’s current catalog. Both the Diver 65 and the Big Crown Pointer Date are incredible watches for the money, with a variety of designs and sizes for nearly every wrist.

Next up on the list is NOMOS, a brand founded in Germany in 1990. While certainly not the oldest brand on this list, what they lack in longevity (thus far) they make up for in sheer levels of value and creativity. So much of this value can be found just in the movements alone, almost all of which are in-house these days, something rarely, if ever seen in watches that can be had even sub-$2k. For recommendations, take a look at the Orion, which comes in a range of dial colors and sizes and is definitely their dressiest piece, and the Tetra, a square watch that truly offers something more unique than you might even expect out of German minimalism.

Finally, we have Grand Seiko, which is by far one of the brands enthusiasts tend to obsess over most these days, and for good reason. Originally a series of Seiko watches, rather than its own brand, Grand Seiko now stands on their own and, by the looks of things, the pieces they’ve developed since their independence show a true and impressive brand identity all their own. There are a few things Grand Seiko is most well known for, including their Zaratsu polishing method for their cases and dial furniture, their Spring Drive movement which combines the accuracy of quartz with the mechanical elegance of an automatic movement, and of course, their dial textures (whether on the Snowflake, the Seasons collection, or the Mt. Iwate inspired dials). For recommendations, check out the Seasons Collection “Spring” edition and the SBGK005, a blue dialed beauty in 39mm.

In The Shop

Watches: Suter

Leather: Alligator Strap

Watches: IWC Big Pilot

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