As we've said before, $2,000 is a sweet spot in the watch-buying world. At $1,000 and under, though you can nab yourself a perfectly good timepiece, you're largely swimming in the "budget" pond. Double your money, however, and you can easily purchase something that will serve you well forever. What's more, you can buy such a watch from a large, reputable brand with an extensive service network and a guarantee that you can believe in.

There are also plenty of deals to be had on circa-$2k watches from mircobrands. No matter what you're looking for — a dive watch, a dress watch, a pilot's watch, or even a GMT these days — there's a watch out there at this price range that'll make for a great daily wearer or an awesome gift. Here are some of our favorites.

Dive Watches

Dive watches aren't just popular for their underwater credentials — they're great everyday watches with sporty style that can often even be pretty stylistically versatile. And while you're priced out of the most famous luxury examples like the Rolex Submariners and such, in many ways a rugged diver feels more authentic. And spending up to $2,000 can get you a totally legit example.

Benrus Type 1

Benrus Type 1
benrus.com
$1,695.00

If you appreciate military watches, horological history and something that flies under the radar, then this is the watch for you. A note-for-note remake (or nearly so) of a watch was only ever issued to the spooky set, the new Benrus Type 1 will give you that military feel without actually having to go through Basic. Equipped with 300m of water resistance and a sterile dial, this is the modern mil-watch we've all been waiting for.

  • Diameter: 42.5mm
  • Movement: ETA 2681 automatic
  • Water Resistance: 300m

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    Doxa Sub 300T

    Doxa Sub 300T
    Doxa.com
    $1,890.00

    Available in six colors, the Sub 300T offers a wildly good value from a storied Swiss company whose history in the diving space extends back to the early days of the sport. For under $2,000 you get an incredible (and highly visible) dial, Doxa's famous decompression bezel, a cool cushion case, and one of the best beads-of-rice bracelets on the market. Hell, at this price, you may as well buy a few of 'em.

    • Diameter: 42.5mm
    • Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic
    • Water Resistance: 1,200m

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      Oris Divers Sixty-Five

      Oris Divers Sixty-Five
      oris.ch
      $2,000.00

      So good it's almost outrageous that it can be had for $2k, the Oris Divers Sixty-Five is a modern — and vintage — classic. Handsome, nostalgia-inducing, well finished and well proportioned, it features all the charm of a vintage watch and all the modern tech expected of a contemporary masterpiece. (What's more, for just $200 extra, you can nab one on a vintage, rivet-style bracelet.)

      Diameter: 40mm
      Movement: Sellita SW 200-1 automatic
      Water Resistance: 100m

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      Dress Watches

      By nature, dress watches are simple both in terms of style and features. That means that without the likes of rugged specs, involved construction or complications pushing up the price, a budget of $2,000 can go toward higher quality. So you're in a good place shopping for something classic or formal in this range.

      Junghans Max Bill Automatic

      Junghans Max Bill Automatic
      windupwatchshop.com
      $1,045.00

      Though we love the thin, handwound version of the Junghans Max Bill, some folks just prefer the convenience of an automatic movement, which we totally get. Thankfully, the auto version is just as handsome as the hand-cranker. Modern but not overwhelmingly large at 38mm, the MBA is available in several dial and strap variations, and even with a date. Influenced by the Bauhaus, it has a look that'll never go out of style.

      • Diameter: 38mm
      • Movement: ETA 2824-1 automatic
      • Water Resistance: Splash resistant

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        Nomos Tangente 101

        Nomos Tangente 101
        nomos-glashuette.com
        $1,900.00

        Where else are you going to find beautiful in-house mechanical movements for under $2,000 except from Nomos? Nowhere, that's where. Well, maybe from Japanese or occasional fellow German brands, too, but Nomos is still offering some incredible bang for buck. On top of that their minimalist, Bauhaus-inspired design sense offers a modern feel that seems perpetually chic. Their simplest watches with smaller diameters and hand-wound movements like this Tangente model is where you'll find those particularly strong values.

        • Diameter: 35mm
        • Movement: Nomos Alpha manual
        • Water Resistance: 30m

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          Longines Flagship Heritage

          Longines Flagship Heritage
          longines.com
          $1,775.00

          Having seen this watch from afar — or perhaps even from up close, too — you'd be hard pressed to know it wasn't a vintage midcentury piece. And that's a good thing. With the exception of its slightly upsized 38.5mm case, modern automatic movement from ETA and sapphire crystal, this stunner retains all the things that made 20th century watches so desirable: beauty, consideration, proportion and utility.

          • Diameter: 38.5mm
          • Movement: ETA 2895 automatic
          • Water Resistance: 30m

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            Pilot's Watches

            Like dive watches, most pilot's watches nowadays probably aren't used the way they were originally intended: helping pilots of the last century in a range of ways from military timing to navigation and other critical calculations. Today, that background makes them exciting and one of the most popular genres of sport watches. A $2k budget can get you a pretty solid one.

            Laco Paderborn

            Laco Paderborn
            windupwatchshop.com
            $1,190.00

            Oh, so you wanted a pilot's watch pilot's watch? Well, it doesn't get much more iconic than this. The Paderborn is one of many Laco timepieces based on the brand's original beobachteruhren, or pilot's watch of the World War II era (also called flieger watches). This version features the so-called "B" dial arrangement, with an inner 12-hour track and an outer 60-minute track graduated in 5-minute intervals. Just watch out for that enormous onion crown.

            • Diameter: 42mm
            • Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic
            • Water Resistance: 50m

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              Ollech and Wajs OW P-104 S

              Ollech and Wajs OW P-104 S
              ow-watch.ch
              $1,303.00

              This might seem like a simple time-only watch, but not all pilot's watches are chronographs — in fact, perhaps most aren't. Also, look at that bezel: it's for on-the-fly calculations for airspeed, wind, navigation etc. Ollech and Wajs made some of the coolest, under-the-radar midcentury pilot and tool watches back in the day, and their P-104S recreates the look and feel of the best of them. (Maybe save the airspeed calculations for digital gauges and computers, however.)

              • Diameter: 39.56mm
              • Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic
              • Water Resistance: 300m

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                Hanhart 417 ES 1954

                Hanhart 417 ES 1954
                hanhart.com
                €1,980.00

                The pilot's watches Hanhart made in the 1930s to the 1950s are legendary. The German brand's history is especially visible in the 417 — but not just for its high-flying heritage, but also because it's became associated with actor Steve McQueen who was known to wear one (when he wasn't wearing watches like the Heuer Monaco). With the newest version, however, the modern brand has returned to the watch's original sizing and answered fans calls with a 39mm case.

                • Diameter: 39mm
                • Movement: Valjoux 7750 automatic (modified)
                • Water Resistance: 100m

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                  GMT Watches

                  GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time. But watches known by this monicker (also sometimes called UTC for Universal Time Coordinated) refer to those that, alongside normal time telling, feature an additional hand on the dials that displays another time zone in 24-hour format. The GMT hand is set separately from the main time and it can be convenient for travelers or simply those who regularly communicate across time zones.

                  Farer GMT Bezel

                  Farer GMT Bezel
                  farer.com
                  $1,495.00

                  Though Farer has several GMT watches in its lineup, we find the GMT Bezel the most compelling. The rotating sapphire bezel offers more time zone tracking ability, in addition to the 24-hour hand. Aesthetically unique and interesting and measuring a mid-sized 41mm wide, it's a standout in a sea of otherwise similar watches.

                  • Diameter: 41mm
                  • Movement: Sellita SW330-2 automatic
                  • Water Resistance: 200m

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                    Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT

                    Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT
                    zodiacwatches.com
                    $1,795.00

                    The Super Sea Wolf GMT recalls a line of similar watches from Zodiac that were highly popular in the 1960s, and provided a less expensive alternative to watches such as the Rolex GMT Master. For less than $2,000 you're still getting a quality Swiss movement, however, plus a matching steel Oyster-style bracelet, a rotating steel bezel and 200m of water resistance. Not bad at all.

                    • Diameter: 40mm
                    • Movement: ETA 2893-2 automatic
                    • Water Resistance: 200m

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                      Monta Atlas

                      Monta Atlas
                      montawatch.com
                      $1,950.00

                      Monta actually has two badass GMT watches in its catalog, but for the purposes of keeping the offerings in this guide to below $2,000, let's check out the Atlas: Released in 2019, this is one of the rare "dressier" GMTs on the market, similar in feel to certain Grand Seiko offerings, but powered by a third-party Swiss automatic movement rather than something in-house. That's perfectly fine, however, because this thin GMT is ultra comfortable, handsome and versatile.

                      • Diameter: 38.5mm
                      • Movement: Sellita SW330 automatic
                      • Water Resistance: 150m

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                        Field Watches

                        Field watches have a special place among sport watches. They're simple and often small, but their pragmatic design and rugged build makes them a favorite of watch collectors. Like dress watches, their simplicity also means affordability, so a $2k budget give you a lot of options.

                        Timor Heritage Field

                        Timor Heritage Field
                        timorwatch.com
                        $1,250.00

                        Available in both hand-wound or automatic variants, the Timor Heritage Field is a reproduction of the brand's "Dirty Dozen" field watch delivered to the military in 1945. Though Timor is among the less well-known brands that produced the W.W.W. watch ("Watch. Wrist. Waterproof."), the resuscitated firm seems to have hit the nail on the head with its 36mm tribute. Wear it in the field, wear it into combat, or maybe just wear it around the office.

                        • Diameter: 36mm
                        • Movement: Sellita SW260 automatic or SW216 manual
                        • Water Resistance: 50m

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                          Weiss 38mm Standard Issue Field Watch

                          Weiss 38mm Standard Issue Field Watch
                          weisswatchcompany.com
                          $1,450.00

                          Weiss's products are based on classic American field watches from the mid-20th century, so it's no surprise that his Standard Issue Field Watch looks so familiar. A hand-polished case and hand-finished mechanical movement, however, differentiate this solid timepiece from the pack, lending a serious degree of refinement to what is otherwise a strictly utilitarian design. If you're looking for the essence of the field watch without any frills, this is the watch to buy.

                          • Diameter: 38mm
                          • Movement: Weiss cal. 1005 hand-wound (ETA 7001 base)
                          • Water Resistance: 100m

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                                Sinn 556

                                Sinn 556
                                watchbuys.com
                                $1,530.00

                                Sinn, much like fellow German brand Damasko, doesn't mess around when it comes to crafting technically superior watches that pack more value than similar wares from bigger-name brands. The steel on this 556, for instance, is like a smaller version of its 856 series watches, and while it doesn't feature the brand's famous case hardening process, it's still a lot of watch and cool as hell.

                                • Diameter: 38.5mm
                                • Movement: Sellita SW200-1 automatic
                                • Water Resistance: 200m

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                                  Chronograph Watches

                                  A chronograph is a watch that incorporates a stopwatch in addition to telling the time. They're often easy to spot, with pushers on the case side and multiple subdials giving them a technical, purposeful look that makes them one of the most popular watch complications. We're happy to say that in recent years you can increasingly get a great mechanical chronograph for under $2,000.

                                  Yema Speedgraf

                                  Yema Speedgraf
                                  yema.com
                                  $1,549.00

                                  Even if the Speedgraf wasn't an incredibly well executed homage to one of the brand's 1960s chronographs, the fact that it uses a rather uncommon automatic chronograph movement from Seiko — complete with column wheel and vertical clutch — would be enough to hold watch guys' and gals' interest. Interesting movement aside, the Speedgraf's well sized 39mm case, box-style domed crystal and applied indices give it the look of a vintage piece but the feel of a modern watch.

                                  • Diameter: 39mm
                                  • Movement: Seiko NE86 automatic
                                  • Water Resistance: 100m

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                                    Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope

                                    Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope
                                    junghans.de
                                    €1,795.00

                                    Amazingly, the Chronoscope manages to retain the Max Bill collection's minimalist, Bauhaus character while adding a dual-register chronograph. Perhaps the use of the up-down configuration for the sub-registers, rather than the more convention side-by-side, as well as a thin bezel and top-hat chronograph pushers, helps to keep the watch's added functionality from feeling overwhelming. However you look at it, this is the perfect chronograph for the design set.

                                    • Diameter: 40mm
                                    • Movement: Valjoux 7750 automatic
                                    • Water Resistance: 30m

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                                      Nivada Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver Automatic

                                      Nivada Chronomaster Aviator Sea Diver Automatic
                                      nivadagrenchenofficial.com
                                      $1,904.00

                                      Once a favorite of vintage collectors in the know, the Nivada Chronomaster returned along with the brand itself for the 21st century. And being able to get a watch this great looking, full of history and sized at a delicious 38mm, this is one hell of a chronograph for the price. You can get automatic and hand-wound versions, as well as a wide range of variations based on actual vintage examples.

                                      • Diameter: 38mm
                                      • Movement: Sellita SW510 BH B automatic
                                      • Water Resistance: 100m

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                                        Automotive Watches

                                        Watches made for the petrolhead can take many forms. You've got chronographs made for the racetrack, as well as watches that simply tug at car-lovers' heartstrings through design. With the broad crossover between enthusiasts of both watches and cars, you've got solid options in the $2,000 range that should resonate with any lover of speed and engineering.

                                        TAG Heuer Formula 1 Automatic

                                        TAG Heuer Formula 1 Automatic
                                        tagheuer.com
                                        $1,950.00

                                        TAG Heuer has a lot of history and cred in the automotive world, and several collections based on racing. The Formula 1 is the brand's entry-level collection and this model offers an automatic movement, sporty rotating bezel and even a steel bracelet (TAG makes a nice one). If quartz is your thing, there are even more options in the collection worth checking out.

                                        • Diameter: 43mm
                                        • Movement: ETA 2895-2 automatic
                                        • Water Resistance: 200m

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                                          Farer Chronograph Sport

                                          Farer Chronograph Sport
                                          farer.com
                                          $1,935.00

                                          Available in several colorways, the Chronograph Sport is perfect for automotive fans who prefer a bit of sporty playfulness in their watches. Powered by manually wound Swiss movements, these colorful chronos feature touches that the die-hard watch enthusiast set will appreciate — and motorsport fans, even more so. Choose one of Farer's luxurious St. Venere leather straps to pair one with, and you're off to the races.

                                          • Diameter: 41mm
                                          • Movement: Sellita SW510 BH Elaboré manual
                                          • Water Resistance: 100m

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