First Job Watches under S$1,000

Just graduated and landed your first job, how about buying a watch to celebrate the new life milestone? Let’s look at some watches under S$1,000 that wouldn’t look out of place on a fresh grad’s wrist!

For a fresh graduate, spending a thousand dollars on a watch is actually quite reasonable. I bought myself a pre-owned Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 at S$1,000 after landing my first job back in 2013.

Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 5

For this guide, we will try to cover a range of mechanical watches suitable for various occupations and lifestyles.

Business in front, party at the back

If you’re working in a creative agency, you’d probably want a sportier watch to go with your casual work outfit. Theses watches shouldn’t look out of place in a client meeting or at an after work drinks.

Seiko 5 Sports

The new Seiko 5 Sports series was launched in September 2019 and the company recently launched a new line-up without bezel. There’s a wide selection of colour which includes black, blue, grey, green and more (SRPE51, SRPE53, SRPE55, SRPE57, SRPE58, SRPE60, SRPE61, SRPE63, SRPE65, SRPE67, SRPE69).

  • Price: S$330 – S$400
  • Size: 40mm (diameter), 20mm (lug width), 13.4mm (thickness)
  • Crystal: Hardlex
  • Water Resistance: 100m
  • Movement: 4R36 (automatic with 40 hours of power reserve)

Seiko Prospex “Alpinist

I can’t tell you how much love I have for the Seiko Alpinist. The latest models retain the original designs but now with date cyclops and coming in 4 colours – black (SPB117), white (SPB119), green (SPB121) and cream (SPB123). Impressive yet beautifully understated.

  • Price: S$850 – S$1,000
  • Size: 39.5mm (diameter), 20mm (lug width), 13.2mm (thickness)
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 200m
  • Movement: 6R35 (automatic with 70 hours of power reserve)

Always on the move

An entry-level job in property management or engineering will require you to be outside for most part of your working days. These watches have good visibility and are hardy enough to take some damage (if you’re not the careful type).

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical

Powered by the H-50 calibre made exclusively by ETA, the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical was relaunched last year with a selection of dial and strap options. It’s not an automatic movement so you will have to wind it once the power reserve runs out. If you like the vintage military look, this is the perfect watch for you.

  • Price: S$690 – S$850
  • Size: 38mm (diameter), 20mm (lug width), 9.5mm (thickness)
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 50m
  • Movement: H-50 (manual wind with 80 hours of power reserve)

Orient Star Outdoor

The Orient Star Outdoor is an excellent harmony between a pilot’s watch and a field watch. Extremely masculine timepiece with an Explorer-style dial, large hands, power reserve indicator, date window and big crown. I highly recommend getting one with the blue dial.

  • Price: S$650
  • Size: 41mm (diameter), 21mm (lug width), 12.1mm (thickness)
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 100m
  • Movement: F6N43 (automatic with 50 hours of power rerserve)

Strictly business only

Landing a job in the financial sector or a business consulting firm means having to wear a suit everyday. These watches are slim enough to fit under the cuff and look super dapper with formal colours.

Seiko Presage “Zen Garden”

You will love the Seiko Zen Garden (SARY139) if you are someone who appreciates the finer things in life. This watch has high level of finishing and a textured dial that resembles a Grand Seiko. Super dressy, and an absolute classic.

  • Price: S$665
  • Size: 41.7mm (diameter), 20mm (lug width), 11.7mm (thickness)
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 30m
  • Movement: 4R35 (automatic with 40 hours of power rerserve)

Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium

A blue dial sporty dress watch is always going to look good, no matter when you wear it or how you match it. The Tissot Gentleman is a handsome watch with polished bezel and mirror-finished centre links on the bracelet. It’s looking very much like a Rolex Datejust from afar.

  • Price: A little above S$1,000 (be polite and ask for a discount)
  • Size: 40mm (diameter), 21mm (lug width), 11.5mm (thickness)
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 100m
  • Movement: Powermatic (automatic with 80 hours of power reserve)

This list could go on and on, but a big part of the watch buying journey is down to your own personal research. Buy something that suits your lifestyle and do ask for second opinion from your best friend, family member or partner before making the purchase.

Most importantly, enjoy the process!

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