Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Day Date Auto
Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Day Date Auto

There’s the ring of prestige around the phrase ‘in-house’. No it’s not the be-all and end-all of watchmaking that some brands would have you believe, but it’s a good indicator that at least some effort has gone into the mechanics of a watch.

There’s also the misconception that you need to pay an extortionate amount for in-house movements. Sure, that’s the case when you hit haute horology levels, but there are plenty of decent – if not excellent – entry-level watches that hit the in-house mark nicely. Here then are our favourites…

Nomos Glashutte Tangente Automatic (£1,460)

Nomos Glashutte Tangente Automatic

You can’t mention well-priced and in-house in the same sentence without mentioning Nomos Glashutte. The brand’s been killing it in recent years with thoughtful Bauhaus design and accessible prices. They’ve stepped things up complication wise but that means price-wise too. Still, at the core of it all is the simplest Tangente, the Ref 101. At just £1,460 it’s one of the finest in-house movement-equipped timepieces shy of 3 or 4k; nomos-glashuette.com

Montblanc 1858 Automatic (under £2,000)

Montblanc 1858 Automatic

Montblanc are more in-house than most. They don’t just have an exclusive movement, they own the damn factory where they’re made. It’s why they can offer some seriously good watches for even better money. Take the beautifully simple 1858 as a prime example. At just under £2,000 it’s a phenomenal everyday watch, especially on the bracelet. It’s design won’t set the world alight, but it’ll last. Give it 20 years and this will still be a brilliant watch; not many in this price range can say the same; montblanc.com

Laco Pilot Watch Original Saarbrucken (€1,130 / £980)

Laco Pilot Watch Original Saarbrucken

The average punter might not know Laco particularly well but they’re legendary among vintage pilot watch collectors. If you see a passing resemblance between this Saarbrucken and the IWC Big Pilot that’s the reason – these guys used to build them back in the day. They’re still one of the only brands to offer a true pilots watch without a name on the dial. It’s also phenomenally priced. Titanium-blasted 45mm case, vintage-style dial and oversized crown, all for under 1k; www.laco-watches.com

Seiko Turtle Prospex SRP777 Diver (around £400)

Seiko Turtle Prospex SRP777 Diver

It’s hard to know where to start looking with Seiko. Nearly all of their watches fit our criteria here, all the way up to the leap to Grand Seiko. The ‘Turtle’ though is just fantastic. For around £400 you get an iconic 70s design with a modern update and greater (200m) depth resistance. Like all Seikos it’s in-house movement is reliable if not extraordinary, and it’s near-impossible to find better value for money than the quintessential Japanese watchmaker; www.seiko.co.uk

Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Day Date Auto (£965)

Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Day Date Auto

Pretty much the opposite end of the aviation spectrum from what Laco do, Hamilton’s intensely modern Khaki is nonetheless a fantastically made watch for the money. Granted it’s hard to count in-house when talking about the ever-incestuous brands of Swatch Group, but it still makes the cut – if only because you get a hell of a lot of watch for £965. It also helps you keep your eye on the cross wind which is nice I guess; www.hamiltonwatch.com

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