Mechanical watches, often referred to as hand-wound watches, represent the origins of watchmaking. The skill and expertise required to build these intricate and precise timepieces has been passed down through the generations from the very first watchmakers to today’s horological experts. Often, this kind of watch will come with a high price tag due to the expensive materials needed to construct them. However, some brands are finding methods by which to create extremely high-quality mechanical timepieces with the same level of expertise that has been used for decades, but for a lower cost. Mechanical watches are a luxury that all watch enthusiasts should be able to enjoy. If you are looking for a mechanical watch at a more affordable price, keep reading for our complied list of 5 mechanical watches under £1000.
How Do Mechanical Watches Work?
The movements of mechanical watches contain a component that is called the mainspring. The act of turning the crown winds the mainspring, transferring energy until it is very tightly coiled. The other components in the movement are put in place to ensure that the mainspring does not uncoil immediately. Watchmakers have to ensure that it uncoils slowly, over a very precise amount of time, so that it causes the hands to move by the correct measurements.
It is important to know how much a watch needs to be wound. If it is wound too little, then it will not have enough power to continue to run for the length of the day. Overwinding can cause lasting damage to a watch that will need to be repaired by a professional. Every mechanical watch and its movement are different, so there is not a single set of instructions. It is advised that the owner of a mechanical watch should familiarise themselves with the manual for their particular timepiece and get to know the feel of their own watch. With daily winding, it will become clear at what point the watch is fully wound and the action will become natural.
5 Mechanical Watches Under £1000
Junghans are a very well-respected German watch manufacturer, known for using the highest quality materials and movements in their timepieces. The brand’s Max Bill collection is their most iconic, with its simple and clear dials that have been precisely designed for optimal timekeeping. The collection combines minimalistic style with maximal function, so the matte silver dial features only baton hour and minute indices. The hour, minute and second hands are treated with an environmentally friendly luminous substance to ensure for excellent readability, even in the dark. The dial is protected by anti-reflective, domed sapphire crystal. A stainless steel case, measuring 34mm in diameter and 9mm in height, frames the dial. The watch is powered by a hand-wound movement of the calibre J805.1. This movement has a generous power reserve of 42 hours. For a classic dress watch look, this model is finished with a black leather strap that fastens with a stainless steel buckle. This model is a traditional timepiece in every sense, from the hand-wound movement to the timeless design.
For lovers of all things neutral, this Hamilton model would make the perfect accessory. The watch features a brown dial with clear and easy to read white Arabic indices. A high-quality matt silver stainless steel case frames the dial. It measures 38mm. The watch is secured to the wrist with a beige NATO textile strap that fastens with a pin buckle. This style of strap ensures that the watch will be comfortable and lightweight on the wrist. Hamilton have taken every measure to make this model as practical and long-lasting as possible by using scratch resistant sapphire glass to protect the dial and ensuring that the watch is water resistant up to 50 metres (5 bar). Also, the numerals and indices are treated with a luminescent material for excellent timekeeping in the dark. The watch is powered by a Hamilton exclusive calibre H-50 hand-wound movement which has an impressive power reserve of up to 80 hours. This model is a faithful recreation of the original 1960s model, so the use of a traditional hand-wound movement is integral to the overall design of this watch.
J&T Windmills have been creating watches since the 1600s, and so have centuries of experience in building hand-wound movements. Every J&T Windmills model is individually numbered, making each one unique and collectable. This model features an antique white dial with black Roman numeral indices, creating a vintage appearance. A date aperture can be found in the 3 o’clock position on the dial. Sapphire glass is used to protect the dial in order to ensure that it will be resilient against any small knocks and bumps.
A modern touch is given to this classic model with the use of an 18 carat rose gold case to frame the dial. Rose gold is a very on-trend metal currently, so adds a contemporary twist to an otherwise very traditional watch. The case back of this watch is engraved with an iconic J&T Windmills floral design. This model is powered by a Swiss made hand-wound mechanical movement. The brand has remained true to their heritage throughout their years of watchmaking by continuing to build hand-wound watches just as the original founders of J&T Windmills did. This model is finished with a brown articulated leather strap that will match any outfit for any occasion, making it an excellent addition to this list of 5 mechanical watches under £1000.
This Junghans model would be perfect for those who like a more modern look in their watch collection. With this model, Junghans have combined the old with the new by pairing a traditional calibre J805.1 hand-wound movement with a chic and modern stainless steel Milanese bracelet. The matt silver dial exhibits baton hour and minute indices, with luminous dots for optimal readability in the dark. The watch is splash resistant to ensure that it will be able to withstand very small amounts of water. The dial is protected by convex, hard plexiglass and framed by a stainless steel case that measures 34mm in diameter and 9mm in height. The hand-wound movement within this model has a 42-hour power reserve, allowing the watch to be worn for a reasonable amount of time before it needs to be wound again.
Hamilton’s Khaki Field Watches are designed to be rugged, resilient and robust. Each model is designed based on the original 1960s Hamilton models that were inspired by the military. This model features a white dial with Arabic and triangular indices which are coated with SuperLumiNova to ensure that the dial can be read in the dark. The dial is protected by sapphire glass and framed by a high-quality stainless steel case that measures 38mm in diameter. This watch is water-resistant up to 50 metres (5 bar) and finished with a natural-coloured NATO style leather strap. This strap fastens with a pin buckle for a secure and comfortable fit. Hamilton has used the exclusive H-50 movement to power this model. It as an 80-hour power reserve, so can be worn for long periods of time without the need to wind it. The military inspiration behind this model is apparent in the design, but the natural leather strap gives the watch a classic and elegant look, making it suitable for everyday wear.
What are your thoughts on our 5 mechanical watches under £1000? Will you be adding one to your collection? Let us know in the comments below!