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Collection Starters: Grow Your Watch Collection for Under $2,000

Mechanical watches—those powered by mechanical means, automatic or hand wound, but not battery powered or quartz—are much loved by watch aficionados for many reasons. For their longevity, for their accuracy, for their classic design aesthetic, for their technological innovation, for their timeless contributions to horology. In fact, timeless is an accurate description of mechanical timepieces.

The good news is, there are many excellent luxury mechanical watches available on the market today for less than $2,000, and they’re a great way to grow your watch collection. Here are some of our favorites.

Junghans Max Bill Automatic


Every watch collector has to start somewhere, and it’s usually because a particular watch catches their eye. Sometimes, however, it’s more than that. Sometimes it’s more than the look of a watch, or the name brand, or the type, or the mechanical specs—sometimes the watch just calls to you. The Max Bill Automatic is the serendipitous result of what happens when a brilliant designer—Max Bill—distills watch styling to its pure, classic essence. The pristine white dial is home to specially created, rounded Arabic numeral markers with SuperLuminova. It’s set within an elegant, round polished PVD case, with convex hard plexiglass crystal coated for enhanced scratch resistance. The grey calfskin strap completes a look that will never, ever go out of style. Strap the Junghans Max Bill Automatic on your wrist, and see if you hear the call.

Rado Captain Cook Automatic


Often, the cornerstone of your watch collection makes a statement of intent—this is exactly the kind of watch I desire to collect. It may be a sophisticated dress watch, or a rugged tool watch. Or, it may be a boldly styled showstopper like this Rado Captain Cook Automatic. The talented designers at Rado have taken the vintage details and bold styling that made the Captain Cook collection such a sensation when it debuted in 1962, and updated them with twenty-first century technology. The stainless steel case features grey ceramic bezel, screw-down case back, and screwed crown, with a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. The boldly geometric hands and hour markers are set on a rich grey dial, and the grey fabric strap is a perfect complement.

Hamilton Khaki Field Chrono


Watch collections tend to have different inspirations, different design visions for their inception. For instance, many watch companies take, as inspiration, the design aesthetic of various vintage military timepieces. If that’s where your heart resides, you cannot do better than Hamilton’s Khaki Field collection, which harkens back to the military timepieces of the 1940s. Think of these as lightweight, highly functional field watches ideal for today’s fast paced lifestyle. This automatic chronograph has a stainless steel case with see-through caseback and anti-reflective sapphire crystal. The sleek black dial features chronograph counters and a day and date indicator. Finished with a brown calf leather strap, this is just one example of the immensely popular Khaki collection that spans pilot watches, field watches, and beyond! Whatever your field of battle, from the boardroom to the back nine, the Hamilton Khaki Field Chrono will lead you to victory.

Tag Heuer Aquaracer Professional 200


Some watch collections exist to support and represent your lifestyle, and if your lifestyle finds you on, or under, the water as much as it finds you on dry land, this is the watch for you. The Aquaracer Professional 200 is a superbly functional dive watch, with water resistance to 200 meters, as the unidirectional, rotating 12-faceted bezel, screw-down crown, and twin gaskets make clear. However, like all the best dive watches, it’s so much more than that. The rugged brushed stainless steel case has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, and looks just as good with a business suit as it does with a wetsuit. The light blue dial features luminescent hands and hour markers. Even the stainless steel bracelet is suitably heavy duty, with a safety clasp, and diving extension to ensure it fits over gloves easily. As a flagship of TAG Heuer’s catalog for decades, the Aquaracer is the perfect entry to iconic luxury timepieces.

Tissot T-Classic PRX Powermatic 80

Watchmaking is an industry that celebrates technological innovation. If that’s what excites you, if you decide to build your watch collection around timepieces that push the technological envelope, then the Tissot T-Classic PRX Powermatic 80 would make a fine anchor to your collection. T-Classic watches have a sterling reputation for combining fine craftsmanship and pinpoint accuracy with boundary-busting performance. This PRX Powermatic 80 has a stylish stainless steel case and bracelet, with see-through case back and anti-reflective scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, water resistance to 100 meters, and an astounding 80 hours power reserve, double the industry standard. The textured green dial features silver tone hands and hour markers with Super-LumiNova. Try the Powermatic 80 on for size, and feel the power. Best of all? Sheer versatility! As of 2023, the PRX is available in both quartz and automatic versions as well as a variety of sizes from 35mm to 42mm!

Discover these and other luxury mechanical watches from Feldmar. Browse our online store or stop into our flagship location.

About The Author: Tom Roth


Born in Washington state, Tom developed an interest in photography during college at University of San Diego. There, he got started in music journalism, interviewing artists and taking photos at concerts. A life-long tinkerer and collector, it wasn’t long before Tom became fascinated with fountain pens and watches.

Those interests collided in November 2020 when Tom started at Feldmar Watch Company where he lives out every watch geek’s dream: photographing and writing about timepieces. When he’s not tinkering with his watch collection, Tom can be found traveling, biting his nails while watching PNW sports teams, and taking flying lessons.

Read more from Tom Roth

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