The Best Mechanical Watches for Men (2019)
Mechanical watches immediately stand out from the crowd in terms of style, but you want to make sure that the watch you get is a perfect combination of nostalgia, function and fashion.
Watches are aesthetic tools with a specific purpose. Mechanical watches are arguably the most time-honoured type of watches, as gears power them instead of electricity. You won’t have to worry about your battery causing your watch to stop working or having to replace it.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the nicest mechanical watches on the market (for the money).
Zoom in: 3 Best Mechanical Watches
This is a gorgeous watch with a simple yet elegant style. The dark blue dial and bright silver indexes, hands and numbers contrast one another allowing the watch to stand out.
Additionally, the case itself is stainless steel surrounding a stunning indigo dial with luminescent hands. Within the dial, there is unidirectional bezel function with a count-up scale, military time, a date window, and power indicator.
Anti-reflective sapphire material makes up the dial itself, which is one of the most expensive crystals because of its durability. This material is approximate 20 time harder than acrylic crystals and 3 time harder than mineral crystals.
What this means for this analog watch from Victorinox, is a hardy and durable watch that won’t give a glaring reflection and is scratch resistant. With a double locking fold over clasp, combined with a hypoallergenic stainless-steel band provides a perfectly secure and comfortable watch for day to day wear.
Features include a screw down crown, swiss quartz movement, a calendar date, and water resistance up to 100 m.
Unique — that’s a perfect word to describe this watch. The style of the watch is rather distinct compared to other watches. This distinction comes from the design of the dial itself which is how most watches distinguish themselves.
The dial contains a textured jeweled background, reef tiger brand logo, bright silver indexes and numbers. Sub dials include the date, as well as additional sub dials with distorted numbers. Chosen stylistically, those distorted numbers are the main feature providing a distinct character.
Within the watch, a skeleton dial showing the inner workings of the watch. It’s an ingenious way to highlight the mechanics of the watch. The sleek textured black leather adds to the watch’s elevated elegance by contrasting against the silver.
Reef Tiger has more watches within this model type that you can choose from including a dial with a white background with black text and blue hands, as well as a band with smooth brown leather.
You can mix and match these leading to choose from 4 distinct watch styles. A customer reviews this watch, raving about the craftsmanship claiming, “the workmanship is excellent.”
This Sugess model is hand wound with mechanical movements powered by the mainspring and the resulting tension caused by winding. Mechanical hand wound styling is a wonderfully nostalgic movement within the watch community.
It’s traditional but that doesn’t mean the aesthetics of watches need to stay traditional.
This model form Sugess is a gorges example of traditional movement with innovative aesthetic. This watch is subtle but not overly simple. Within the dial, there isn’t multiple sub dials and text to overwhelm the design.
Instead, it has indexes without numbers, the Sugess logo and a beautiful skeleton sub dial. This sub dial gives a sneak peek to the mechanisms below the watch, allowing the wearer to see what makes it tick.
With a sleek black leather band, this analog watch provides a gorgeous and comfortable wear.
Features include 30-meter water resistance, tourbillon see through sub dial and leather band. Altogether, this watch is perfect for the casual wearer wanting to keep within the nostalgic sensibilities of a mechanical watch.
This Akribos xxiv watch hides nothing as its dial is completely see through. The design itself is called skeleton as it’s a way to see the bones of the mechanisms within the watch. Through the window, you can see everything and it’s breathtaking.
Completely visible, is the silver gears, bright blue fasteners, golden gears, as well as engraved artwork. Without indexes or numbers, the blue hands stand out against the watches’ visible mechanisms. There’s an additional sub dial within the dial showing the seconds with a matching blue second hand.
The dial window is created with synthetic sapphire, which is a hardy and expensive material which is considerably more durable than acrylic crystal or mineral crystal. Made of stainless steel with a deployment clasp, the band itself is a perfectly comfortable and easily to access band.
Features include stationary bezel function, mechanical hand wound power, water resistance up to 99 feet, and a manufacturers warranty. This 43 mm analog watch is perfect for those that appreciate the inner workings of a watch and can appreciate it at a mere glance.
With precise 17 jewels Chinese mechanical movement, this watch provides a combination of innovation and tradition. Mechanical watches are more than just nostalgic, in the case of this Invicta watch it’s also breathtaking.
The watch itself has a skeleton dial showing gorgeous metallic mechanisms beneath the watch’s service surrounded by a gold border with black indexes. The contrast of black and gold create a stunningly elegant watch.
The dial’s material, durable synthetic sapphire material, is one of the priciest crystals due to its durability. For this magnificent Invicta analog watch, it means a highly durable dial that’s scratch resistant.
Instead of typical stainless-steel band, this watch is stainless steel polyurethane allowing a lighter weight watch with an ideal combination of wear and abrasion resistance.
Additionally, it ensures quiet operations as polyurethane absorbs noise that metal typically produces. Holding it together is a buckle that remains secure and adjustable.
Features include stationary bezel function, mechanical hand wound, and water resistance up to 165 feet. The water resistance is what allows this watch to stand out as a Russian diver watch capable of going deeper than your average mechanical watch.
This is a rather rustic yet elegant mechanical watch. A green nato band is different to the typical neutral colored leather bands of other watches but provides a casual watch that stands out.
The numbers and indexes within the watch are bold and easy to read. The numbers aren’t limited to merely standard time but also 24-hour time as well.
Beyond the readability of the numbers, the hands themselves are coated with superluminova and glow bright within low light. Your timepiece will keep telling the time even within the shadows.
All mechanical watches are slightly different from one another in terms of craftsmanship and thus in terms of power reserves.
This Hamilton watch has a power reserve of 42 hours, meaning that you don’t need to wind it as regularly as you would need to other ones., winding it daily would become a habit to ensure optimal operation. The 42-hour reserve provides the peace of mind to not need daily windings.
What adds to the beauty of this watch is the gold, allowing the wearer to see both the wooden case and band as well as the metallics that mirror the inner workings of the watch.
They create a visual and conceptual contrast with the gold ticks on the dark bamboo dial. This unique watch is perfect for those that require a formal watch that stands out from the average watch.
Made from 100% natural black sandalwood and bamboo, this watch is organic and biodegradable. The wood used to create this watch is sustainably sourced from reclaimed natural sandalwood.
Beyond the complementing beauty, this watch has an amazing amount of functionality. Functions include high quality components, battery free time keeping, self-winding mainspring, clasp, adjustable wrist band.
Combining wood and metal is an enchanting way to innovate a new style of watch while keeping the nostalgia and simplicity of times before. Although it may seem like a contrast, Tempus has created a breathtaking mechanical wooden watch where the two materials complement one another stunningly.
In terms of style, this watch is like that of the Akribos Xxiv. However, this Charles Hubert watch differs as it provides an elegant watch that’s more geared toward a formal watch.
Created with elegance in mind, the wearer can see every gear, pin, screw through the skeleton dial. All of it is on display.
Adding to the elegance is the attention to details within the engraving throughout every gear creating a breathtaking design that draws in the eye and keeps it there.
Without a cover, the blue hands contrast beautifully against the metallic mechanics of the watch. Add a genuine black calfskin leather band with an easy to access buckle, and the contrast merely continues to the entire watch to create a captivating statement piece.
Along the side of the case, are silver roman numerals contrasting against the black dial as to not interfere with the skeleton dial. Additionally, there’s a sub dial at the position of 9 o’ clock to display a sixty-second hand.
Other features include 30-meter water resistance, mechanical hand wound movement, and an analog display.
Mimicking a star lite sky at midnight, this watch is breathtakingly handsome. With a gold case, dials, and hands contrasting and complementing the navy leather band and dial background, fossil has created a work of art.
A circular sub dial contains the indexes for the main time keeping, as well as sub dials providing date, day, hour, minute, second, and 24 hours. To the left of the dial is a skeleton section showing through to the mechanics underneath.
Functionality is not compromised because of this craftsmanship. With a water resistance up to 165 feet, this watch is suited for submersion in the case of recreational swimming but not deep-water diving.
Of course, mechanical hand wound movement is the highlighted feature. This hand wound watch continues the craftsmanship of watchmakers that has continued for centuries past and future.
Ideal for any watch collector requiring a formal watch to be the center of attention for his wardrobe. The watch is unlike most formal watches in the term of its style inspired by the very thing that allows it to operate; mechanical.
With the progression in our technology sector, there have been several innovations in the art of timepieces. Smart watches, Google watches, and Apple watches have become a prominent fixture within the market.
Even before then, cellphones (and now smart phones) took away the base need for a wristwatch. People can simply look up the time using their phones. More than that, calendars, world clocks, speedometers, and much more are right within our pockets.
In recent years there’s been a debate about the benefit of mechanical watches in a time of digital watches and smart watches.
In an interview with The Verge, John Tarantino founder and CEO of the mechanical watch company, Martenero, explains the difference between the two within the same type of market:
“I’m really curious to see the market response. Right this second, I wouldn’t say I consider it a threat,” he explains, “yes, the price points are similar, but they’re pretty different products right now, and I think [they] appeal to a different sensibility”.
What’s the point of a traditional watch when there are other more advanced options available? They provide additional functions that a mechanical watch simply can’t provide.
However, there’s something that smart watches also can’t provide. Watches, and specifically mechanical watches, are now loved for more than function. There’s a style to them, a nostalgia if you will.
Many would regard watches in the same way that people regard vinyl records, French pressed coffee, or vintage cars. However, there’s a kind of sophistication to watches that can’t be replicated in terms of creative advancements.
In an era of the Apple smart watch, it’s hard to know if there is a place for mechanical watches. Tarantino thinks there is and there will be for a long time to come.
“Watches are about a lot more than telling the time,” he explains, “when you wear a watch, I think a lot of people think it says something about them, and they like for people to notice their watch.”
Though the watch industry has made huge innovative strives and enhanced precision, design and engineering, the aesthetic itself hasn’t been altered. Gears, springs, screws, wheels, and pendulums make up a watch, but they aren’t the only thing to go into a watch.
There’s also delicate craftsmanship, intricate detailing, and an immense attention to details. The creation of the watch and the watch itself is intricate and complex.
Every watch is crafted by watchmakers with skill, precision, craftsmanship, manufacturing and detailing. Combined with the craftsmanship and the intricate internals of the watch itself, you have something that’s truly a work of art.
Mechanical watches are a kind of nostalgic timepiece that’s been around for centuries and will continue to be around for centuries more. Before the invention of electricity or batteries or solar power or quartz movement, mechanical watches were the way to tell time.
How a Manual Watch Works
Manual watches require – yep, you guessed it – manual winding. The mainspring is the power source within a watch. To give it the power it needs, the wearer would wind the watch using the crown, usually on the side of the case.
The winding of the crown winds the mainspring and in doing so loads it with potential energy. After this happens, the gears within the watch use the tension to power the watch. Incrementally this stored up energy gets released and powers the movements of the entire watch.
Mechanical watches need to be wound on a regular basis to continue operating as they should. Instead of being powered for the long term with a battery, mechanical watches have a power reserve from the winding of the main spring.
This power reserve is essentially the time it takes for it to unwind completely, thus losing all the tension that was built up. It averages between 36 and 42 hours before the watch needs to be wound again.
Though each watch is different due to its design and craftsmanship, so the power reserve may range depending on the watch. The power reserve directly relates to the winding interval.
Winding intervals or the time between windings will depend upon the watch itself. Some watches require winding every day, while some can last a couple of days between windings.
Most watch enthusiast get into the habit of winding their watches daily. It’s easier to do it regularly than wait for the mechanism to wind down completely.