Four Edgy Yet Elegant Watches for Under $4,000

Four Edgy Yet Elegant Watches for Under $4,000

As your social calendar heats up, many yearn for an elegant evening watch that offers a smack of “different” and is accessible, yet still plays nicely in the sophisticated nocturnal realm. Here, we help you out with four recommendations that go well beyond the usual, sober, seen-them-before evening timepieces.

By Roberta Naas
Special Correspondent

Call them unisex or call them men’s watches, it really doesn’t matter because these days people wear what they like. Still, we took a look around to find some edgily elegant watches that are easy on the budget and decidedly rad in some way. After all, it’s nice to stand out in a crowd and show a sense of style and savoir-faire, while also showing off your funky side.

Accutron Spaceview 2020

When it comes to thinking outside of the proverbial box, Accutron has been a leader for years. Making its debut in 1960 with the world’s first fully electronic watch regulated by a tuning fork, the Accutron was visionary as well as revolutionary. Two years ago, in 2020, the brand released the Spaceview 2020, inspired by the electronic watch. The newest Accutron Spaceview 2020 watches now include a bold stainless steel version with integrated bracelet and domed sapphire crystal – a full package in and of itself. But what sets this 43.5mm watch way out of the league of other brands in comparable prices is the proprietary electrostatic movement on full display on the dial side.

Recently reimagined, the highly engineered motor features a twin turbine system that rotates with the movement of the wrist and generates power to two electrodes. The energy powers two motors, with the electrostatic motor powering the seconds hand and a step motor running the hour and minute hands. This in and of itself is cool, but even more dope is that the seconds hand automatically stops after five minutes of no activity in order to save power.

The wearer need only swing the arm up and down for a few seconds for the hand to jump back to life. On the dial side, one can witness the turbines, outlined in bold green and set against a tungsten-colored backdrop – making for a dramatic statement about time. The domed sapphire crystal features pale green luminous circular markers and minute track, as well as luminous hands. It is priced at $3,850.

Hamilton Ventura

Always on the cusp of electrifying designs, Hamilton, once an American-made brand, debuted its first electric watch in 1957 in the form of the triangular Ventura. Totally ahead of its time in design and movement, this watch fast became a fan favorite. And it wasn’t just the public at large that wanted to get the then-space-age-looking watch on their wrists. The Ventura was a favorite of the legendary Elvis Presley, who can be seen wearing it in movies and while in the service.

Since the original watch made its debut, Hamilton has created evolved versions – all inspired by the extraordinary looks of the original, but in a more modern format. This particular watch, the Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton Automatic is a deft blend of the brand’s rich history and design flair and modern watchmaking prowess. It is powered by an automatic mechanical movement, the H-10-S, that is skeletonized and boasts the zig-zag center line recalling the brand’s first electric watch.

Crafted in rose-gold PVD steel, the triangular case rounds out the wow factor of the watch. Blend the dynamic design spirit of the Ventura with the charismatic spirit of Elvis Presley, and this watch also offers captivating storytelling. It is priced at $1,795.

NOMOS Glashütte Metro Date

German watch brand Nomos Glashütte is all about Bauhaus style and design. Every one of its watch collections is clean, chic, and superbly minimalistic. Add to that the fact that this brand loves color – whether in subtle neutrals or bold brights – and a Nomos watch is a sure-bet winner. Don’t take my word for it, though, check out all the prizes and awards this brand has garnered, including the Red Dot, Good Design, and German Design Awards. So, which watch garnered all this attention? Many of them, but the one we like best is the Metro Date.

Measuring 37mm in diameter so that it sits great on wrists of all sizes, the steel-cased watch is devoid of a bezel, giving its wearer a sharp look at the large, galvanized silver-white dial. It features an aperture for the power reserve indicator, oddly set beneath 1:00 on the dial for a slightly askew design. At 6:00 is a date window and above that is the subsidiary seconds dial with a sleek red-orange hand. In fact, the color codes of this watch are undeniably alluring with muted tones of mint-green, red-orange, and black against the stark dial.

The watch also boasts the brand’s first hand-wound calibre DUW 4401, which is equipped with a proprietary escapement called the Nomos Swing System and the extra-large date window – both of which are patented. The more you look at this watch, the more you want it. Plus, it has its own story to tell. It is priced at $3,780.

Oris Aquis Date

Color is all the rage right now, especially in watches, with greens of all shades, along with coral and orange, making a huge statement in time. Swiss independent watch brand Oris has color covered – on so many levels – but it also has mastered the art of function as well as form. Its Aquis collection of superb, high-precision dive watches is a prime example. Why do all dive watches need black or ocean blue dials? Because most brands didn’t think outside of the traditional color box. However, Oris did – across several of its coveted collections.

This Oris Aquis Date watch is crafted in stainless steel and measures 36.5mm in diameter – a perfect unisex size. The light seafoam-colored green dial is made of mother of pearl, endowing it with a shimmer much like sunlight on water’s surface. The white-by-day, luminous-by-dark (or underwater) hands and indices are coated with Super-LumiNova BG W9. The outer bezel boasts a notched, raised-number bezel with luminous triangle at 12:00 to help with underwater orientation.

It is powered by an automatic movement with date at 6:00 and an instantaneous date/date corrector. It even boasts hacking seconds for exact time setting. More importantly for a dive watch, it is water resistant to 300 meters. While this watch will attract the attention of like-colored underwater creatures while diving, it will also attract attention from land lovers. It is priced at $2,400.

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