Best Swiss Watch under $150: Automatic, 90 Hour Power Reserve; In-House Movement

SISTEM51 Review

In this post, I will show you the best Swiss watch under $150. This is a watch that I own, so I will also give a quick review of its best features.

First, let me offer some perspective on my opinion and why it’s justified…

I’m a 28 year old that does digital marketing for a living, and Watch Judge is a side gig (for now). Because of this, my budget for watches is not small, but it’s not huge either.

Every watch I buy needs to be the BEST at its price point. I don’t judge anyone for their choices, but I do judge the watches I’m about to buy, extensively. Maybe even obsessively.

Watches are my favorite luxury item for many reasons. Second is probably my car, a 2015 BMW 320i, which is a great example of my obsession with the combination of value and quality. I bought it certified pre-owned with 7k miles, which means full warranty and free maintenance; and I didn’t pay more than $29k out the door. Find me a better car for that money (all things considered), and I will call you Santa.

The Best Swiss Timepiece under $150

There may be some Swiss watches under $150 that are fine, but this is the only one that excites me. It gets just as much wrist time as my two Rolexes, and you can’t call me pretentious because its a watch you can buy at Walmart!

My taste is always evolving and being influenced, but for now, I only buy and consider watches with automatic movements. There’s nothing wrong with a quartz movement – actually, I see myself owning a Shinola eventually – and they are quartz only.

Why I Prefer Mechanical

    • Utility – Yes, a battery is set it and forget it until it dies, but there is something elegant about the utility of a mechanical movement. If you were stuck on a deserted island and had the choice between two watches – all things being equal except the movements (mechanical vs. quartz) – the mechanical would be a safer bet in terms of longevity.
    • Nostalgia – The idea that the first watches were made with similar fundamental technology.
    • Craftsmanship – Generally speaking, an automatic movement is a good sign that the brand is passionate about watch making. This can translate into quality, or at the very least, is a gesture that the cheapest manufacturing wasn’t the number 1 priority.
    • Complexity – The internal mechanisms in a mechanical watch are all made with the unified intention of powering the watch. And they can all be individually customized by the watch maker.
  • Intangible – Part of my interest in mechanical watches is completely inexplicable and emotional. I just think they’re cool. Its kind of like riding a bike or skateboard. Are they the most efficient forms of transportation? No, but they can be more visceral.

Having explained why I prefer mechanical movements, now I’ll explain why the Swatch SISTEM51 is my favorite Swiss watch under $150.

SISTEM51 Review

The Swatch SISTEM51 was released in 2014. At less than $150, it’s very affordable, but there are several incredible attributes that make it the BEST (at this price point).

    • Automatic
    • Swiss Made In-House Movement – Yes the in-house part is a bit of a stretch in terms of being special, but any watch made entirely by one company is a bonus in my book.
    • Good Design – Simple and clean, but also unique and modern. Almost has a tech/constellation feel with the dots.
    • Winding – You can power it up manually (without wearing it).
    • New Technology – 17 new patents were submitted to make this watch. It was constructed with only 51 parts (hence them name) and 100% built by robots. This makes for an interesting historical significance.
    • Date Window – It shows the date.
    • See-through Caseback – You can see the movement.
    • Water Resistant 99ft – It’s not a dive watch, but it’s sporty enough to handle a splash.
  • 90 Hour Power Reserve – Last but not least, it will run for 90 hours (without winding or wearing)!

If you want a more in depth review, go here: Swatch Sistem 51 Watch Review | aBlogtoWatch.

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