Feature: Five Cheaper Alternatives To Patek Philippe’s Calatrava
The Calatrava was not only a major milestone for Patek Philippe, it possibly rescued the brand from oblivion at a time when it had hit the financial skids. A simple design inspired by the German Bauhaus movement, the Calatrava quickly became a barometer for the modern dress watch. But if the price tag of the Calatrava makes your wallet shrivel up in terror, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives that carry its stylish DNA.
Here are five contenders worth checking out.
Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques LC6017-SS001-330
This classy model from Maurice Lacroix is smart enough for both day-time casual wear and the sort of suave evening shindig that involves canapes and an after-dinner speaker. With its uncluttered black dial and elegant six-link bracelet it’ll match with almost anything you’re wearing, from a suit to a kilt.
Montblanc Tradition 114337
Combining steel and rose gold in a tasteful dress watch, this Tradition model reflects Mont Blanc’s growing maturity and stature as a luxury watchmaker—and, yes, it still does the fancy writing instruments, too. It’s powered by an automatic movement visible through the case back, while the Montblanc logo on the crown is a neat touch.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin 1292520
Slimmer than an After Eight mint, this watch is refined simplicity at its luxurious best. Coming in a lavish rose gold case and a white grain dial that’s almost as minimal as watches get, the Master Ultra-Thin measures in at a slender 4.05mm. Subtlety is the name of the game with this superb dress watch for the ages.
Baume & Mercier Classima Executives M0A10355
Baume & Mercier is an underrated Swiss brand that is actually older than Patek Philippe and its Classima line consists of watches that edge towards the formal end of the spectrum. This quartz-powered model is unusual for not having a seconds hand, adding to the clean minimalist look. Its 36mm case further enhances the pre-1960s vintage feel.
Zenith Elite 03.2270.6150/01.C493
The polar opposite to the celebrated El Primero, this deceptively simple Zenith offers fans of the brand a dressier option to sit alongside the sporty chronograph in their watch box. The dazzling face of this watch really is something to behold. On gloomy winter days just look down at that gorgeous sunburst effect dial to instantly raise your spirits.
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