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.

Diver

Benrus Type 1 Limited Edition

benrus type 1 limited edition
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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 Limited Edition 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

Price: $1,695

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Doxa Sub 300T

doxa sub 300t
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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

Price: $1,890

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Oris Divers Sixty-Five 40mm

oris divers sixty five 40mm
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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

Price: $2,000

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Dress

Junghans Max Bill Automatic

junghans max bill automatic
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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

Price: $1,045+ (depending on configuration)

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anOrdain Model 1

anordain model 1
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There are simply very few "microbrand" watches that can match the anOrdain offerings for value. Enamel dials are incredibly difficult to manufacture, with an absurdly high rejection rate, but this Scottish brand's entire aesthetic is entirely based around this centuries-old art. When married to modern automatic movements and steel cases, they make for some of the most beautiful watches you can wear today at this price range.

Diameter: 38mm

Movement: ETA 2824-2 automatic

Water Resistance: 50m

Price: ~$1,640+

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Longines Flagship Heritage

longines flagship heritage
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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

Price: $1,675

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Pilot's

Laco Paderborn

laco paderborn
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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

Price: $1,190

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Ollech and Wajs OW P-104 S

ollech and wajs ow p 104 s
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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

Price: $1,344

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Damasko DC 56

damasko dc 56
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Damasko has been quietly making some of the best tool watches in the world — and especially pilot's watches — since 1994. The German brand's technical prowess is especially visible in the DC 56, a contemporary pilot's watch with vintage design inspiration (sword hands, highly legible dial, useful chronograph) and modern technology (a specially hardened case.) If you've never explored their offerings before, take it from us: this is one of the best values in watches today.

Diameter: 40mm

Movement: Valjoux 7750 automatic (modified)

Water Resistance: 100m

Price: $1,860

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GMT

Farer Lander III

farer lander iii
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Though Farer has several GMT watches in its lineup, we find the Lander III the most compelling. Similar to the Monta Atlas (see below), it's a dressier model, and super thin at just 10mm in depth. Available on a variety of straps, its features a fixed bezel with an inner 24-hour ring and a stunning blue dial that's rare amongst GMT offerings. Aesthetically unique and interesting, it's a standout in a sea of otherwise similar watches.

Diameter: 39.5mm

Movement: Sellita SW330 automatic

Water Resistance: 100m

Price: $1,445+

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Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT

zodiac super sea wolf gmt
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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

Price: $1,795

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Monta Atlas

monta atlas
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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

Price: $1,950

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Field

Timor Heritage Field

timor heritage field
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Available in both handwound 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

Price: $1,243

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Weiss 38mm Standard Issue Field Watch

weiss 38mm standard issue field watch
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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

Price:
$1,450

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Sinn 856

sinn 856
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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 856, for instance, undergoes a special hardening process, while a special copper-sulfate capsule absorbs and diffuses any internal moisture that enters the watch, thereby preventing any fogging in the crystal. Pretty crazy for under $2k, eh?

Diameter: 40mm

Movement: Sellita SW300-1 movement

Water Resistance: 200m

Price: $1,870

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Chronograph

Yema Speedgraf

yema speedgraf
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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 and the feel of a modern watch.

Diameter: 39mm

Movement: Seiko NE86 automatic

Water Resistance: 100m

Price: $1,499

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Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope

junghans max bill chronoscope
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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: Junghans J880.2 automatic (Valjoux 7750 base)

Water Resistance: Splash-resistant

Price: $1,549

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Farer Chronograph Sport

farer chronograph sport
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Available in three different colorways, the Chronograph Sport is the perfect chrono for those who prefer a bit of playfulness in their watches: Even the black-dial variant features a fun splash of teal in the handset. Powered by manually wound Swiss movements, these otherwise colorful chronos feature touches that the die-hard watch enthusiast set will appreciate. 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 hand-wound

Water Resistance: 100m

Price: $1,955

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