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03/02/2022
 3 minutes

Non-Hype Watches: The 6 Most Underrated Timepieces

By Thomas Hendricks
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If there’s one factor that defines the watch market today, it’s hype. Now that investment potential is playing a more significant role than ever in watch collecting, we’re seeing all sides of the industry – buyers, sellers, brands, and media outlets – focus on a handful of hot models. But of course, many great watches are flying below the radar and deserve more credit than they get. 

So, we at Chrono24 asked you to shout out the watches you think are the most underrated. There is a bit of irony in asking a large group of people what they think everyone else is missing, but we got some surprising, diverse, and well-considered submissions. So, let’s dive in! 

1. Glashütte Original PanoGraph

Have you ever heard of the Glashütte Original PanoGraph? I hadn’t until now, but I did some research and was pleasantly surprised. Hailing from the capital of German watchmaking in Glashütte, Saxony, it’s a fun watch featuring an asymmetrical dial layout, sharp details, and an inventive chronograph counter that provides a bit of a twist to what is otherwise a rather traditional-looking watch. You could say German watchmaking, in general, is underrated, and Glashütte Original is a key example of that. Once you see this watch, it’s a tough one to forget. 

2. Oris’ Chronoris and Aquis diving watches

We also saw some love from the community for Oris. The Swiss brand offers a range of watch styles, most of which fall below the $3,000 mark. The brand’s 1970s-inspired Chronoris and Aquis diver lines are favorites that the audience feels are particularly underrated. The build quality is higher than you might expect for the price point. On top of that, Oris isn’t afraid of color, which features prominently in their Oris Aquis Upcycle, for example. It’s refreshing to see since many divers don’t venture outside the standard black and blue options. 

3. IWC 3706 Chronograph

For a bit of a lighting round, let’s talk about IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Longines. All three of these brands have a rich history of watches across a wide variety of categories, including diving watches, chronographs, dress watches, and pilot’s watches. 

IWC is a brand that has remained independent and makes some of the best, most legible, no-nonsense pilot’s watches in the industry. The crowd particularly likes the IWC 3706 chronograph. 

4. Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris and Master Control

Jaeger-LeCoultre has been dubbed “the watchmaker of watchmakers” for the sheer number of movements they’ve created throughout their history, many of which appear in their competitors’ watches. I’ve been a JLC fan for a while, and it’s nice to see support for the Jaeger-LeCoultre Polaris and Master Control lines. 

5. Longines Spirit Collection

The Longines Spirit Collection
The Longines Spirit Collection

Longines is a fantastic introduction to mechanical watches, and they’ve really hit their stride with their vintage-inspired watches that pull from the brand’s archives. Key examples of this include the Longines Spirit Collection and the Longines Aviation BigEye Chronograph. 

6. Seiko and Grand Seiko

The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Snowflake: not such a hidden gem in the watch world.
The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Snowflake: not such a hidden gem in the watch world.

Finally, we also saw several votes for Seiko and Grand Seiko. This was interesting to see because Seiko has long been the most recommended brand for their price point, and Grand Seiko has seen arguably the biggest surge in public opinion over the last few years. Yet even as the brands’ popularity grows and solidifies, many feel that their reputation still hasn’t caught up with their value proposition. 

There we go! That’s a quick look at some of the most underrated watches according to our community. Do you agree or disagree? Did we miss any favorites? We have more videos coming to the channel all the time, so stay tuned for those. I’m Thomas with Chrono24, and enjoy your watches! 

Read more

3 Watches Under $10,000 With High Value Retention (That Aren’t Rolexes)

Crafting Perfection: Audemars Piguet’s Rich History of Fine Watchmaking

My Love Letter to Watches: Finding THE One


About the Author

Thomas Hendricks

I didn’t grow up a watch guy, but a few years after graduating from university, I landed a job at the online publication Watchonista as a writer and marketer. “Welcome to the watch world,” my colleagues told me half-jokingly, “no one ever leaves!” Now at Chrono24, I work as a private client advisor, helping people find the perfect watch for major life moments.

Read more

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