Charlotte's Top 5 Manual-Winding Watches under £2,000

Charlotte's Top 5 Manual-Winding Watches under £2,000

4 min read
Charlotte Harris


Watch Buying Guide

Charlotte Harris


Watch Buying Guide

Quartz, automatic or manual-winding? It’s a decision we’ve all had to make when choosing our next timepiece.

Quartz is effortless and requires very little maintenance; we can simply slip it onto the wrist knowing full well it will be running on time. But for some, quartz lacks any artistry. Automatic watches, on the other hand, are the bridge between quartz and manual. With just a quick shake or few turns of the crown, the rotor springs back to life and continues its timekeeping mission.

Then there’s manual-winding watches. Manual winding or hand-wound movements require a bit more of a hands-on approach. They are solely powered by turning the crown and must be regularly wound to keep time. Now you may be thinking, why would anyone bother with manual winding watches when there are less maintenance options out there? The answer lies simply in the magic and history of its construction.

Hand-wound movements fuelled the first wristwatches in history, and in today’s digital era, the mesmerising dance of gears, springs, and escapements is a refreshing break from it all. For many, winding a manual watch is a tactile, personal experience and gives the wearer an excuse to engage with their timepiece. With this in mind, both experienced watch collectors and newbies to the watch world are often tempted by the delights of a manual winding watch. Finding one however, is a different story – especially at an affordable price. Thankfully, we’ve done all the hard work for you, so without further ado, here’s our list of top 5 manual winding watches under £2,000…

Marloe Pacific 76

Marloe Pacific 76Marloe Pacific 76 - Credit WatchGecko

While some of the bigger names in the industry are ignoring the traditionalism of manual winding movements, focusing predominantly on automatic watches, micro-brands like Marloe are filling in the gaps for us, and accessibly at that. The Marloe Pacific 76 doesn’t even hit the £1k mark and beautifully delivers the Sellita SW216-1 manual-winding movement in a quintessentially British package. It offers a slender 12mm tall and 40mm wide stainless steel case with curved lugs and an unadorned bezel. The latter surrounds a bold blue dial with a glossy white railroad outer track, white numerals and a snailed small seconds counter at 6 o’clock detailed with a contrasting red hand.

Junghans Meister Handaufzug

Junghans Meister HandaufzugJunghans Meister Handaufzug - Credit Junghans

Lovers of slim, minimalist watches will enjoy the Junghans Meister Handaufzug watch. The German watchmaker’s slimmest design in their Meister range, the design sits on the wrist at only 7.3mm tall and 37.7mm wide, housing the hand-winding movement calibre J815.1 with a 42-hour power reserve. The cases come in stainless steel or yellow gold and offer simplistic dials with small second counters. Truthfully, we could have easily included two manual-winding Junghans watches in this list. The Junghans Max Bill Handaufzug is another fantastically affordable, Bauhaus-inspired design but its specs and overall appearance do lie close to its Meister sibling so we thought it was unfair to allow Junghans to oversaturate our list. Both watches are worth checking out though.

Junghans Meister HandaufzugJunghans Meister Handaufzug - Credit Junghans

Timex Marlin Manual

Now for the most affordable manual-winding watch on our list, if not in the entire market: the Timex Marlin Manual. It’s almost hard to comprehend a hand-wound watch under £200, but here we are. The exact movement in use is currently a bit of a mystery, but the “Made in China” on the back does help to clarify its affordability. Despite that, the watch is beautiful, offering a 1960’s-inspired aesthetic inclusive of a compact 34mm stainless steel case, sunray-brushed dial and leather strap. The Timex Marlin Manual with the California dial is a personal preference, uniquely combining both Arabic and Roman numerals on a crisp white dial.

NOMOS Club Campus

NOMOS Club CampusNOMOS Club Campus - Credit NOMOS

NOMOS’ in-house Alpha manual-winding movement powers many of the brand’s accessible hand-wound watches including their most affordable of all, the NOMOS Club Campus. These watches won’t be to everyone’s taste, we understand that, but if you have a penchant for contemporary colours and aesthetics, and you’re just getting started in the world of luxury watches, then we urge you to take a closer look. With steel cases of 36mm, sapphire crystal glass, 100 metre water-resistant ratings and Superluminova dials, these models offer specs worthy of a much higher price point. We can also really appreciate the mass of bright dial colours on offer which includes shades of orange, pink, coral, green and purple.

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical

Hamilton Khaki Field MechanicalHamilton Khaki Field Mechanical - Credit WatchGecko

Winning the fight for the top spot is the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical watch. If you’ve already swept internet for affordable manual-winding watches, then it’s likely you’ll have already seen this vintage-inspired icon on the first page of Google. It’s understandably hugely popular with those that lean towards field watches, bringing back to life a no-nonsense military design originally contracted by the US government. At just over £500, it has a handsome 38mm blasted steel case, matte black dial with syringe-shaped, luminous hardware and an appropriate textile strap. Inside, the H-50 manual winding movement delivers the best power reserve on our list at 80 hours.

That concludes our Top 5 Manual-Winding Watches feature.

Do you agree with our opinions, or would you have chosen a different model for your number one spot?

Let us know in the comments below!

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Charlotte Harris

About the Author: Charlotte Harris

Writing and watches are two of my biggest passions in life so being able to unite them on a daily basis is a wonderful thing. I hope through my writing that I can bring a fresh, feminine perspective on the watch space and encourage more men and women to get excited about all that’s happening.

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