In the world of fine watches, two features indicate sophistication and mechanical genius: a thin watch and a watch with subdials. The subdials are for the display of extra features called complications by horologists ( those who study watches). Complications require more difficult engineering to create a movement that can power the extras and remain small enough to fit within a reasonably sized case.
While the finest watchmakers of Europe compete to create exquisite mechanical marvels, mainstream makers of quartz watches provide similar looks at a fraction of the price. Although these battery-powered creations don’t have the prestige, mechanical genius, and exclusivity of the fine European automatic watches, they are accurate, stylish, and priced for the mass market. Here are five quartz watches with subdials that bring very different looks to a classic style of watch:
1. Casio Edifice (AV-305) Men’s Analog Watch with Subdials. Watches in Casio’s high end Edifice line of watches offer high technology analog watches with solar power, atomic timekeeping, multi-drive movements, and other cool features. Unfortunately, most Casio Edifice watches cost hundreds of dollars. But, one lone Edifice (model AV-305) made it into Walmart’s watch inventory. While the AV-305 isn’t fancy, it offers a stainless steel case, black resin band, 40 millimeter case, and three subdials. It has stainless, almost Teutonic, look that exudes technological power. Most amazingly, at Walmart, it was only $40. I have also seen them reasonably priced as Kohl’s and Sears. It’s quite a watch for less than $50.
2. Relic Men’s “Wet” Multifunction Watch. Fossil’s Relic brand is one of my favorites. They deliver quality, value, and attractive men’s watches at affordable prices. A few years ago, I found a great diver-style Relic watch at JC Penney. It has a three subdials that show the date, day, and 24-hour military time. For an affordable $60, the watch is even water resistant down to 165 feet. It’s an iconic look for less than $75.
3. Men’s Relic Sawyer Chronograph Watch. Another Relic offers a very different take on the multi-function watch. In battleship gray, the Relic Sawyer Chronograph offers a nautical, even naval, look in a chronograph watch. It has a silicone strap and a rotating bezel. While it’s gray and flat black color scheme make it more fashionable than functional, the Sawyer draws consistently draws compliments and looks great for just less than $100.
4. Relic Silver Stainless Steel Multifunction Watch. Of course, a moon phase watch is the height of old world horological sophistication. The Relic Silver Stainless Steel Multifunction Watch has a white silver dial with subdials to provide the date, day of the week, and show the sun for day and moon for night. It’s a beautiful, elegant, man’s dress watch that looks like a fine Swiss watch for less than $75.
5. Grenen Analog Watch with Subdials. If the old world style of Europe isn’t for you, then modern European looks might be more your style. I recently bought a $110 Grenen watch for over 60% off it’s full retail price. It offers a thin quartz movement, a wonderful leather band, and subdial functionality in a modern Skagen Denmark designed package.
If you’ve been pining away for watches you can’t afford, put down the Watch Time magazine, with five affordable watches providing five very different looks, you have decisions to make. Any of these fine watches would make an excellent choice and look great on your wrist.
Other articles by Ryan:
Affordable Square Watches for Men