It’s become increasingly difficult to find mechanical watches that you can recommend without reservation, and at fault, in many if not most cases, is price. It’s not that there aren’t wonderful watches out there, but the sheer cost of getting into the game has gone up so dramatically over the course of the last decade or so that entire economic demographics have simply been priced out of the game. Seiko, on the other hand, has bucked this trend by holding prices for even its luxury offerings in the Grand Seiko lineup to below $5,000 (in steel), which means I have the pleasure of recommending a starter watch less than $500, and a saver-upper less than most folks’ idea of a starter watch. It’s easy to forget, but for most people five thousand dollars is actually quite a lot of money, and I think it’s important to step back occasionally and remember that if mechanical watchmaking’s going to stay relevant, it has to be possible to enter that world without setting first-timers up for disappointment.
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