Top 5 budget premium watch brands for this Christmas season

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Halios Laguna watch

1. Halios

Seeking a premium microbrand diver’s watch for under $1000? Halios Watches has just what you’re looking for, presuming you can snag it in time. Born out of an online forum in 2009, the microbrand first targeted fellow hardcore enthusiasts who were fed up with corporate hyperbole. Numerous buyers have jumped on board in the time since. One glance at the Seaforth Bronze and you’ll know why.

Country: Canada


Quality and customisation reign supreme at Undone Watches, who can count us among its legion of fans. Choose between a healthy variety of core models before adding the personal touch in just about every department. Throw in some unbeatable prices and you’ll be saving money in style. And don’t forget: this independent watch brand does virtually everything in-house.

Country: Hong Kong


Made in Italy using Seiko movements, Unimatic’s watches are a minimalist, affordable response to the vintage timepiece trends. Its founders Giovanni Moro and Simone Nunziatom are industrial designers who’ve been been making (and selling out) watches in Italy since 2015. With a fundamentally tool-watch approach, the brand’s deceptively simple-seeming formula has been applied to a number of collections with interesting variations within each, collaborations with other brands — and even some surprising models adorned with SpongeBob SquarePants motifs. Don’t ignore their in-house cases, which are anti-magnetic and water-resistant to 300 meters, or their made-to-order options, which include engraved cases.

Country: Italy


One major theme that has emerged in recent years among not only microbrands, but the watch industry as a whole, is vintage-style watches. It seems that every brand is looking to mid-century styles to find influence for their current designs, but few — if any — brands do this better than Baltic. Founded in Paris in 2017 by Etienne Malec as a sort of tribute to his late father’s passion for watch collecting, Baltic creates original vintage-inspired designs like their popular Aquascaphe diver and GMT.

Country: France


The Helson watch company was conceived by a group of divers and sports fans from Asia and Europe. Their goal was to create several lines of divers watches that are reasonably priced, yet feature premium and long-lasting materials. Most Helson watches are designed for underwater use and are built to hold up under the rigors of an active lifestyle. They contract with Superluminova, ETA and Miyota for supplies in the creation of their high-quality wrist watches. Here are the five best models that are popular choices for Helson fans that are available on the market today.

Country: Hong Kong