We feature a fair number of high-end watches in our Watch of the Week series, but don’t let the price tags fool you: You don’t have to spend a fortune to pick up a handsome watch. The market is full of affordable watches for discerning buyers, especially if you’re open to quartz movements. Fossil has long been a great resource for these kinds of timepieces, and the brand’s Vintage Classics collection, launched earlier this month, includes a pair of new watches that fall squarely into the “big style, small budget” category. We particularly like the Fossil Bronson Chronograph: With its bold case, dial colors, and stitched leather strap, it nails the balance between rugged and refined.
The rugged half of that equation is obvious even from a quick glance. The watch features a large 44mm stainless steel case. With its angular styling and knurled surfaces around the bezel and crown, it serves up a muscular look. It’s available in three different color combos: black with a striking green dial, grey with a grey dial, or “salted caramel” (a pale gold hue) with a brown dial.
We like the black and green combo. The contrast between the two colors feels unexpected (in a good way) and makes the dial pop. The green pairs well with the simple beige block-shaped indices. It’s also the only version that comes with a bright orange second hand—a key detail that increases legibility and gives the watch a more military-inspired vibe.
Those burly looks come with plenty of refinement and capability, too. All three versions of the Bronson come with a date window at 3 o’clock and three subdials for tracking time using the watch’s chronograph function, powered by a reliable quartz movement. A stitched leather strap comes standard, and it gives these watches a classic, lived-in look that helps balance the chunky case. In addition, the watches are also water resistant to a depth of 50 meters, so swimming isn’t out of the question (but we’d pick up an alternate strap first).
[Starting at $149; fossil.com]
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