We often write about watches that come attached with price tags worth the equivalent of a mortgage, but we also recognise that sometimes, not everyone needs a flying tourbillon or minute repeater.

Wanting to get as much bang for your buck — especially in this tightening economy — is perfectly understandable, and the good news is that you don’t have to break the bank to purchase a quality luxury watch. These choice watches under S$5000 are not only useful tools but also handsome and stylish accessories that should be a part of your everyday carry. After all, you want to know that your hard-earned money is working hard for you too.

From Tudor’s new Black Bay Fifty-Eight to Bell & Ross’ latest addition to the LUM family, here are the best watches under S$5000 to purchase this year. 

1
Ming 27.01

Malaysian watchmaker Ming Thein has garnered a fair bit of recognition over the past few years for his seemingly minimalist watches, many of which are laden with hidden complexities begging to be found. The Ming 27.01 bears the same attention to detail. It sports the brand’s signature sculpted lugs and case shape, only this time it’s also the thinnest watch he’s produced to date. At 38mm x 6.9mm, the stainless steel timepiece is elaborately machined, sporting a cut-out chapter ring for the hour markers to lend depth. 

Inside, the watch is powered by a new Swiss-made movement, a reworked ETA/Peseaux 7001 that’s been masterfully tweaked to lend almost the same finesse as an openworked calibre. Expect a production limit of 125 pieces for the initial series of this ultra-thin watch.

Price
CHF3,950 (Approx. S$5,830)
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2
Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight ‘Navy Blue’

Tudor has extended its tradition of blue sports watches this year with a brand new version of its flagship model, and we’re not complaining. Taking inspiration from its archives, this svelte 39mm watch is the perfect blend of vintage and contemporary, with a rich blue dial and “Snowflake” hands that have been a hallmark of the brand’s divers’ watches since 1969.

The watch employs the same in-house MT5402 as the original Fifty-Eight that was launched at Baselworld 2018, with the same date-free format and a 70-hour power reserve. The timepiece comes with a choice of three straps: A riveted steel bracelet, a leather “soft touch” strap with folding clasp, or a fabric strap.

Price
From US$3,375 (Approx. S$4,700)
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3
Oris x Momotaro Divers Sixty-Five Special Edition

Any denim junkie worth their Selvedges would’ve heard about Momotaro, whose white-striped handmade jeans have been known to be one of the best in Japan. This year, the revered Japanese denim brand dips its indigo-stained toes into watch design with a little help from Oris, transforming the Divers Sixty-Five with a soft gradient green dial. 

The street-ready timepiece is then matched with bronzed markers and a tan lume that pairs perfectly with the warm, vintage colourway. Of course, it’s the strap that really gives this collaboration away; the dark denim strap sees contrasting stitching and the same white “battle stripes” as the Japanese label’s coveted pieces. 

Price
S$3,100
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4
Bell & Ross BR03-92 Grey Lum

The latest to join Bell & Ross’ highly legible LUM family is the BR03‑92 GREY LUM, an aviation-inspired timepiece designed with urban explorers in mind. The watch is recognisably Bell & Ross and pays homage to its aviation roots with the iconic “circle within a square” shape. Atop a polished sunray patterned dial lies bold, Super-LumiNova filled numerals, indices, and hands, which not only glows brightly in the dark but also bring to mind runway markings.

Inside, this watch’s sleek looks make way for precision and robustness with the automatic calibre BR‐CAL.302, which lends a healthy power reserve of 42 hours and a 100m water-resistance. 

Price
S$4,800
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5
Alpina Seastrong Gyre

The Seastrong Gyre might be Alpina’s latest dive watch but its connection to the ocean goes beyond its deep blue hue and 300m water-resistance. Its 44m case is a composite of fibreglass and plastic debris from fishing nets found in the Indian Ocean, while the paired NATO strap is made from recycled bottles.

The altruism doesn’t end there; Alpina donates US$100 to the National Park Foundation for every Seastrong sold and pays local fishermen to extract these nets from the ocean, giving them the opportunity to earn extra income while cleaning up the waters. Only 1,883 examples of these watches will be made.

Price
US$1,395 (Approx. S$1,943)
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Shatricia Nair
Senior Writer
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.