The 10 Best Watches Under $5,000

IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII


The Mark series by IWC Schaffhausen is one of the most iconic lines of timepieces in horology. Gracing the wrists of discerning flyboys since 1936, IWC’s Pilot watch is characterized by its impeccable legibility and dedication to accuracy in extreme conditions. The new Mark XVIII continues this tradition with a robust, self-winding Sellita calibre inside its antimagnetic, soft-iron inner case. Reduced in size to 40mm (from 41mm with the Mark XVII), this successor now sits in the sweet spot, midway between IWC’s Pilots Watch 36 (36mm) and their Big Pilot (44mm). Other changes include a move to a much cleaner single-window date display and the choice of a vintage-inspired Santoni calf leather strap.

Grand Seiko SBGA085


The Grand Seiko SBGA085 is easily the engineering marvel of this selection of watches. Powered by a self-winding Spring Drive movement, this Grand Seiko features a 72-hour power reserve and is accurate within 1 second per day. This combination of quartz accuracy and mechanical beauty is owed to Seiko’s ethereal, electro-mechanical Caliber 9R65 movement. The intricacies of the Spring Drive’s inner workings are a rabbit hole of horological geekery; essentially, an electromagnet, known as the Tri-Synchro Regulator (TSR), is employed in lieu of a mechanical escapement, allowing the Grand Seiko to keep time with acute precision. The TSR also perpetuates the continuous sweeping movement of the seconds hand around the 39mm dial.

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