7 watches for under €1,000

The Holiday season is almost here, and Frank Sans C has filled his sack with a fine selection of watches for under €1,000. In order of appearance, we have Alpina, Apple, Awake, Balmont, Certina, Hamilton, and Herbelin. Here are some pieces with excellent value for money ratio, which are sure to make you or your peers giddy! Our guest star today is Youtuber Jojol, high-tech specialist.

By Chloé Redler

AWAKE, Mission To Earth – Cosmos by Frank Sans C

Awake and Frank Sans C, now that’s a friendship meant to last! They have already collaborated on a project once, and this time they are unveiling their second showpiece, a 50-piece limited edition. So, act now and don’t miss out on this exclusive watch.

AWAKE Mission To Earth – Cosmos by Frank Sans C and its remarkable aventurine dial.

The Mission To Earth – Cosmos by Frank Sans C watch has a 40mm recycled titanium case, and a dial designed to look like a glimpse into space. The awe-inspiring sight of the deep blue is coupled with the reflective mineral inclusions that shimmer whenever you move your wrist. A favourite of our watch expert, aventurine spawned several tall tales about its creation. However, there is one that caught our attention: Created in the 17th century, aventurine glass is the result of an Italian glassmaker accidentally or ‘all’avventura’ dropping copper filings into a mixture of boiling silica, soda, and lime. As it cooled, the material shape-shifted into a shimmering constellation with golden reflections (it is also known as goldstone). The only other elements that appear on the dial are the hands (minutes and hours), the signature ‘Made in Frank’ at 6h and the TickTock fanatic’s famous catch phrase ‘Même une montre arrêtée donne l’heure deux fois par jour,‘ on the outermost disc of the dial.

Water resistant up to 100 meters, the watch’s elegant cogs are visible via the transparent back case.

Available with a smooth light blue strap, this watch has an automatic calibre Miyota made in Japan and a power reserve of about 42h. The oscillating weight, visible thought the transparent back case, is intricately decorated with a planet and stars.

Limited edition 50 pieces – €900



ALPINA, Startimer Pilot Quartz Worldtimer

Alpina’s first Worldtimer watch, a great addition to the Startimer Pilot Quartz collection! This sporty complication watch is perfect for globe-trotters, with a 41mm brushed and polished stainless-steel case and bracelet.

The Startimer Pilot Quartz Worldtimer by Alpina

Fit for journeys through the concrete jungle as well as the great outdoors, the Startimer Pilot Quartz Worldtimer’s dial comes in different colour variations – pictured here is the olive green with a sunray-finish – that makes for a perfect readability. Divided into three concentric rings, the time-related information figures in the center and are indicated by the luminescent hands. The seconds hand is easily distinguished by its bright red triangular counterweight and the GMT hand by another red triangle. Around the main disc is the 24h disc divided into two parts (white for the day and green for the night).

Alpina’s Startimer Pilot Quartz Worldtimer sets itself apart with its green dial with a sunray finish.

Last, but certainly not least, the 24 major international time zones indicated by their principal cities appear on the outermost disc. Some clever readers might have noticed a telling detail, which reveals the Swiss origins of Alpina: ‘Paris’ has been replaced by ‘Geneva’ in the UTC+1 time zone. The Worldtimer is equipped with a quartz movement AL-255 calibre, complete with a 45-month power reserve. Its bracelet’s polished inner links are enhanced by the brushed outer links creating a superb light show.

On a black leather bracelet – €895
On a stainless-steel bracelet – €995

Click here to read the full Startimer Pilot Quartz Worldtimer technical sheet.


APPLE Watch Ultra 2

How far can Apple push the enveloppe? Last year already, Frank Sans C covered the latest Apple Watches, and now we can herald the arrival of the second Ultra Watch. This time around Apple innovates with a brighter display, new and improved functionalities, an expanded double tap gesture, interchangeable carbon neutral bracelets and more!

The New Apple Watch Ultra 2.

Light weight and tough, water resistant up to 100 meters, Apple Watch Ultra 2 is equipped with a 49mm titanium case whose raised ridges protect its screen perfectly. The 3,000 nits display is the biggest and brightest ever made for an Apple Watch, and thanks to the S9 SiP module, the on-screen information is effortlessly readable.

The Apple Watch Ultra 2 and its double tap gesture.

With the release of the watchOS 10.1, the new double tap gesture enables you to interact with your Apple Watch with only one hand. All you need to do is join your thumb and index finger twice in a ‘double tap’ to make and end calls, stop your alarm, check your notifications, use the smart scrolling feature, and even take pictures. Just like its predecessors, The Apple Watch Ultra 2 combines with a variety of straps: Ocean, Alpine, and Trail – the last two are carbon neutral. This watch is an important step for Apple’s 2030 product carbon neutral goal.


Click here to read the full Apple Watch Ultra 2 technical sheet


BALMONT’s BDX004 watch

The up-and-coming watchmaker Balmont is committed to the goal of its three creators to make a watch fit to withstand the elements, and any challenge its wearer might face.

Balmont’s BDX004 from their BDX collection

The BDX collection comprises 5 models – one of which is a limited edition – whose robust cases are forged with 316L stainless-steel. Water resistant up to 200 meters, the BDX004’s case measures 40mm and is equipped with a white, ceramic coated dail. The luminescent indices make for optimal readbility in any kind of weather. This timepiece is fitted wit a automatic calibre SOprod P024 (precision of -7/+7 seconds per day), a 38-hour power reserve, and is available on either a green suede or black nylon strap.

The calibre’s golden oscillating mass shines through the transparent back case and is engraved with the Balmont emblem.

BDX is more than just an elegant collection, it is the embodiment of a brilliant idea. But to reach this idea, and the watch itself, you’re going to have to dig deep, literally. Balmont promises an incredible experience for those who wish to undertake a treasure hunt to find their watch! An airtight capsule is buried or immersed by the Balmont team somewhere around the world. To find out where, the case comes with a mission briefing that gives the buyer clues about the topography, climate, fauna, and flora of the environment – sometimes even the GPS coordinates – of the place where the capsule is hidden.

Every year, a new and unique mission is held in all sorts of environments.

However, some logistical questions remain. Can one access the capsules without being a professional mountaineer, diver, or rock-climber? Are the trips to the capsule’s location paid for by Balmont? Let’s see how this treasure hunt experiment plays out.


Click here to read the full BDX004 technical sheet.


CERTINA, DS Action Diver 43mm

Thanks to its Double Security (DS) system, the DS Action Diver is water resistant to up to 300 meters. It’s equipped with a unidirectional bezel, luminescent (Super-LumiNova) hands and indices, screwed-down crown and back. All these features make the DS Action Diver the perfect deep-sea diving instrument. In accordance with the ISO 6425 standard, the case measures 43mm and is made of 316L stainless-steel. The black PDV coating gives it a stygian look, and the dial’s hues evoke the abyss. The NATO bracelet is made of tide ocean material®, a synthetic material made with recycled plastics fished out of the ocean. With a power reserve of about 80 hours, this sporty model has a Powermatic 80 movement equipped with a magnetism resistance spiral by Nivachron®.

The DS Action Diver is water resistant to up to 300 meters.


 Click here to read the full Certina DS Action Diver technical sheet.


HAMILTON, Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze

The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze.

Heavily influenced by the watches designed for the American, British, and other Allied Forces in the 1940s, the Khaki Field Mechanical is forged in bronze. The alloy, mainly composed of copper and tin, tends to oxidise when put in contact with different elements. This however is a plus for the watch, since it brings out unique patinas – from dark brown to forest green – that make each watch unique.

The pallet of different bronze patinas.

The 38mm model of the Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze is water resistant up to 50m and sports a black dial on which luminescent beige hands dance. Keeping with its old school allure, this timepiece has a mechanical movement and comes with a calfskin strap.

 The unisex 38mm case is well suited for either men or women.

€995 euros

Click here to read the full Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze de Hamilton technical sheet.


HERBELIN, Cap Camarat Square

The French watchmaker Herbelin introduced the Cap Camarat collection in 2018. The year 2022 saw the birth of the Cap Camarat Square, which as the name implies, has a square-like case that measures 29mm by 39mm.

The Cap Camarat Square by Herbelin.

Chiefly handsome, the steel watch retains many of the aesthetic codes of the Cap Camarat collection, namely the six screws that stud the bezel and the horizontally struck dial. The black dial has beveled luminescent indices, rectangular facetted hands, and the date it at 6h. A rail-track minutes circle brings added precision to the dial. Water resistant up to 100m, the chic and sporty model, which comes paired with a black elastomer strap, is equipped with a Sellita SW 200-1 automatic movement that can be glimpsed via the transparent back case.


Click here to read the full Cap Camarat Square de Herbelin technical sheet.



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