With the recent move towards ‘accessible luxury’, Client Experience Director Thomas highlights 11 luxury Swiss watches that are more affordable than you think!
I’ve recently written about how luxury watch brands have been pivoting their business models in the wake of various lockdowns and restrictions due to Covid-19, to ensure they can still connect with their audience. From selling online to streaming virtual watch unveilings on social media, it’s clear that accessibility has become a major focus.
But when looking at the broader meaning of ‘accessibility’, another important aspect to consider is price. Previously seen as a bit of an oxymoron, ‘accessible luxury’ has come to the fore during the pandemic, with consumers being more pragmatic when it comes to making big purchases.
The highly coveted ‘Swiss made’ tag might not strike you as accessible luxury; however, there are many stunning models that are priced under the £2,000 mark. I’ve come up with a list of favourite models in this price point for four popular Swiss watch brands – TAG Heuer, Longines, Rado and Tissot. Which is your favourite?
You might be surprised to learn that many TAG Heuer models are available for less than £2,000!
This world-renowned Swiss luxury watch brand is dedicated to showcasing engineering at its “most innovative and awe-inspiring” – but many of their watches have modest price tags, starting from £950 for a quartz watch and £1,550 for an automatic watch.
Here are my three favourite TAG Heuer watches under £2,000. You’ll notice that two of my top picks are from TAG Heuer’s flagship Formula 1 collection – these motor-racing inspired designs would be perfect treats for racing lovers who miss the thrill of attending the race in person.
- Gents Formula 1 Quartz – RRP £950.00
TAG Heuer says their Formula 1 collection is for “men and women who dare live life at full speed”, and while we might be moving through life at a slightly slower pace at the moment, this stylish design will certainly add a thrill to your everyday life! I love the contrast between the black dial and the 41mm brushed steel case.
- Ladies Formula 1 Diamond Quartz – RRP £1,695.00
In 2019 I wrote about how blue dials were emerging as a big trend, and it’s continuing to resonate with watch connoisseurs. This slender timepiece has a sporty edge, but is undeniably elegant and feminine – who could fail to notice the dazzling ring of 36 diamonds on the fixed bezel?
- Gents Aquaracer Automatic – RRP £1,850.00
A popular diving watch, this sleek blue and silver design is water-resistant to 300 metres. Perfect for a fashion-conscious man who’s coveting his next beach-based adventure (aren’t we all!).
Next up, we have Longines, who have an array of stunning wristwear in the ‘under £2,000’ price bracket, starting from £580 for quartz and £870 for automatic. With beautiful creations for both him and her, Longines also do a lot of ‘his and hers’ models, making this purchase even more meaningful as we spend more locked-down time with our loved ones.
Here are my top Longines picks under £2,000:
- Ladies PrimaLuna Automatic Diamond Quartz – RRP £1,530.00
There’s a reason the PrimeLuna collection has been a popular choice with the ladies since its release in 2009. Inspired by the celestial shimmer of the moon, this particular model features elegant diamond-adorned mother-of-pearl dial, contrasted with gorgeous blue hands.
- Gents La Grande Classique Quartz – RRP £980.00
Launched in 1992, La Grande Classique de Longines has become synonymous with Longines’ classic elegance and timeless sophistication. This model stands out with its slim profile, modest 36mm diameter and sleek roman numerals. But La Grande Classique isn’t just for the gents…
- Ladies La Grande Classique Diamond Quartz – RRP £1,090.00
…this La Grande Classique model features a smaller 29mm case and diamond hour markers – a perfect choice for the lady in your life!
Known for using contemporary materials (ceramic/titanium) and mixing it with traditional watchmaking, Rado models are still very affordable. Prices start at £505 for a quartz watch and £575 for an automatic watch.
Here are my two of my favourite Rado watches under £2,000:
- Gents Centrix Skeleton Automatic – RRP £1,735.00
I’m a huge fan of Swiss watches with skeletonised movements, and this Rado design caught my eye, with every wheel and gear proudly displayed.
- Ladies Integral Quartz – RRP £1,640.00
Did you know the first Integral watch appeared in 1986, and was the first Rado watch made from high‑tech ceramic? 35 years later, this iconic line has evolved to suit a contemporary audience, while staying true to the pioneering original. My pick of the collection is this slimline silver and black model, which has a sleek art deco feel about it – perfect for any occasion!
Tissot certainly own the value-for-money space in terms of Swiss watches, starting at £165 for a quartz watch and £340 for an automatic watch. Their top-of-the-range collection is a multi-function quartz collection called T-Touch, including one below.
Here are my three favourite Tissot watches in the ‘less than £2,000’ price bracket:
- Gents T-Touch Expert Solar Quartz – RRP £910.00
Introduced at BaselWorld 2015, the T-Touch is still bang on trend. Powered by solar energy with 25 features including weather forecasting, altimeter, second time zone and a compass, it’s the perfect travel companion.
- Gents Seastar 1000 Automatic – RRP £645.00
Water-resistant to an impressive 300m, the Seastar is the perfect choice for divers – and its practical and authentic style will make it just as popular on dry land!
- Ladies Ballade Powermatic 80 Automatic – RRP £955.00
We end on this silver and rose-gold beauty! With its Clous de Paris guilloche on the bezel, readable dial and efficient movement, this elegant timepiece is the perfect watch to go from day to night.
An industry view: Redefining ‘value’ in luxury watches
As well as being more affordable than customers might expect, luxury Swiss watches are becoming more accessible in other ways.
Generation Z and Millennials will soon account for over half of luxury shoppers globally, so brands are looking to resonate with how these demographics like to shop and interact with companies – whether that’s by expanding their online offering, or by connecting with them via immersive advertising.
By engaging with customers and building communities in the digital sphere, luxury watch brands are automatically becoming more inclusive. This is invaluable, as the majority of luxury buyers (77% globally, according to Global Web Index) say they would buy a product or service simply for the experience of being part of the community built around it.
As we can see, ‘value’ can be subjective, but by promoting watches in a range of price points, engaging customers with their brand story and building communities on social media, Swiss watchmakers can put themselves in a very strong position as we look to emerge from the pandemic.