I love watches, which is a horrible thing to be into if you're not independently wealthy (which I'm not). I just can't help it. And like many watch lovers, tiny details and seemingly minute things will either make a watch for me or ruin it entirely forever. When my in-laws (to be, at the time) offered to buy me a watch for my wedding a few years ago, it took months of research and obsessing to finally pick out the wathc I own today and love, my Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Reserve de Marche .
If you don't want to go through that process or are trying to get the best upfront price possible, this is where the grey market retailers come in. The term sounds shady, I know, but grey market shops sell genuine watches for larger discounted prices as a trade off for not qualifying for manufacturer's warranty. The most notable of these is probably Jomashop, which usually has some of the most rock-bottom prices out there.
Well, lately I've been noticing group-buy specialist Massdrop has been on a roll with its watch selection, recently featuring the gorgeous Bauhaus classic Junghans Max Bill line to my surprise. Back in the day, one of my friends was telling me people were voting to get Nomos watches onto the site, and I said it would never happen. Well, I'm happy to say I was dead wrong. They're here and they're fantastic.
German brand Nomos is a relative newcomer to the scene but have quickly become a prominent name in the industry, producing beautiful Bauhaus-style watches with in-house movements at an affordable price point (...for luxury watches - they're still brutally expensive for the average guy). They are minimally designed, yet still managed to have their own aesthetic voice, well-balanced aesthetically, and beautifully manufactured. When I was trying to decide on my watch (the JLC), Nomos was in my top three (the last being the Omega Speedmaster Professional with Hesalite crystal).
The price is $1770 from MSRP $2360, which is a bigger discount than Jomashop at $1888 and a great deal overall, even for grey market. Now I'm not expecting anyone to buy the watch on impulse - in fact, if you're not all that familiar or versed in mechanical watches I would actually advise against it until you get your bearings and develop your own sense of what interests you - but that is a solid price on an outstanding timepiece your unborn child will likely never deserve to inherit. I'd also be on the lookout for the Nomos Metro, which is a little quirkier but amazing in its own right, and the Tangente model, which is probably their most popular model.
If you're not into watches but would like to be, check out Hodinkee or Worn and Wound for starters. But a year from now, you may find yourself sitting around writing a post about how a $2000 watch is "pretty affordable" while eating ramen out of a plastic cup to save money. Don't say I didn't warn you.
If you are already into the watch scene, though...Nomos Orion for $1770! I know, pretty affordable, right?