It’s the day before Thanksgiving which means businesses all across the country (U.S.) are getting ready to slash prices. For my international readers, Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving where businesses offer massive discounts across the board. For many of us, these sales mark the beginning of Christmas shopping and for others, just another chance to scoop up some great buys before the new year. Watch enthusiasts the world over know that on this day, months of research and patience can pay off big time (depending on the watch and the price point). Last year I did a similar piece and it was a tremendous hit so hopefully this time around with a bigger audience, more people can benefit from the knowledge.
Before I delve into the deals and watches that I think are great buys on Black Friday, I want to say that this list is in no way exhaustive. As you know there is no right and wrong in matters of taste. This list is made up of pieces that have caught my eye for whatever reason and while I try to offer a pretty expansive view of the entry-level market ($250-$2,500 USD) I simply can’t cover it all but I welcome your feedback. The more options you have the happier I am.
Nixon Sentry SS
Let’s kick this off the right way with the Nixon Sentry SS. This watch is awesome. Coming in at a bold 42mm, the Sentry SS is a watch that I have flirted with for a few years now. A number of my friends love Nixon watches and while they fall into the fashion watch category in my mind, I can still appreciate the styling and general craftsmanship that makes their watches a cut above the rest. The Sentry SS is offered in 14 different colors! Can you believe that? The various models of the Sentry SS include different bracelet, dial combinations. I won’t explore them all but I will say that the watch in general is very durable and comfortable on the wrist. If you have been itching for a stylish daily wear, I think you found your watch. The Sentry SS is listed at $200 on Nixon’s website, not sure if they will have a last minute deal.
I know I may catch some heat for this next watch but I truly believe this piece deserves our attention. The folks over at Casio and more specifically the designers of the G-Shock product line continue to outdo themselves year in and year out. This year they have released a number of new models which have caught my eye but I am really drawn to the wild patterns they put on these bad boys. For that reason, the GDX6900BW-1 made the list. The tried and true nature of G-Shock makes them a fan-favorite among many watch lovers, even mechanical watch guys can appreciate their appeal. What they did with this particular model is pretty sweet, the pattern is somewhere between Siberian tiger stripes and arctic military camo. At a price of $150 USD and an average battery life of 10 years, G-Shocks make great beater watches. If you are in the greater NYC area I encourage you to visit their boutique in SoHo, you’re in for a treat. This watch is relatively new so you will be hard pressed to find deals online.
Tissot Chemin Des Tourelles Powermatic 80
You can’t escape the Swatch Group, they continue to produce quality timepieces at an affordable price that makes sense to the mass market. I have to acknowledge that some niché collectors give the Swatch Group a bad wrap because they use ETA movements. For those that care enough to only buy in-house this probably isn’t the watch for you. For the rest of you, let’s take a look at a really strong value proposition with the Chemin Des Tourelles Powermatic 80. This is a new release from Tissot, a brand that has made big moves this year in the entry-level space by cementing partnerships with sports leagues and teams the world over but I digress. The reason why I am drawn to this watch is two-fold, the styling is super attractive (available in 9 different variations) but also the movement is something special. For under $1000 USD you are getting an 80 hour power reserve. Let that soak in for a moment, I won’t get too cerebral with you about the benefits of an 80 hour power reserve but just recognize that most automatics have nearly half of that capability. It will keep accurate time for days, literally. Tissot has done some impressive things recently and the Chemin Des Tourelles should be added to that list. While Tissot carries this watch on their website you can also swing by Macy’s.com to follow up about availability and discounts. Macy’s is notorious for having sweet Black Friday sales so keep your eyes open.
As shown $795 USD
Autodromo Group B Automatic
This is the second year an Autodromo watch has made the cut. After meeting Bradley Price at Wind-Up NYC, I realized why I liked the brand so much. There is a purity in the design of everything they make. This purity is derived from the inspiration behind the brand---automobiles. Autodromo awakens the motor enthusiast in all of us and they do so time and time again with great designs. The newest member of the Autodromo family is the Group B Automatic. As of now this watch is available for pre-order and the first batch of watches should be shipped any day now. The Group B is attractive for so many reasons, the movement, the size at 40mm, the case a combination of titanium and stainless steel, the list could go on. Currently available in 4 variations I think this watch will sell out sooner rather than later. Autodromo participated in limited sales events last year but with this watch being so new I doubt any discount is in the pipeline. The watch is priced at $925 USD. On the bright side, there may be a discount or two available for some of the older models- the Prototipo and Veloce.
Shinola Brakeman Chronograph 40mm
The last watch on the list for now (I may add more watches if I see deals/pieces that have great value) is the Shinola Brakeman Chrono 40mm. This is a really attractive watch from one of the rising stars in the watch world. For avid blog readers you know I have covered Shinola many times in the past but never given any coverage to the Brakeman collection. In truth, I have always enjoyed the cushion case design of the Brakeman collection I just didn’t find anything about the watch truly special but this chrono variant is a little different. As with all Shinola products, you are buying into a brand that is a disruptor in the market place. Shinola is actively trying to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. and for that they have my respect. I won’t go into detail about the whole “Made in America” versus “Assembled in America” controversy but I will say their products and packaging are really spot on for the price. These watches aren’t cheap at all but the whole presentation of a Shinola watch makes you feel something special. At 40mm with a chronograph and date indicator, the dial is truly well-done. Some of the other features include a curved sapphire crystal and a premium leather strap. Shinola knows what they are doing in the leather department so they got you covered when it comes to straps. For $825 USD the watch isn’t a steal by any means but once again look out for sales at Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s that could save you a few bills.
That is all for now folks. In all likelihood, I will return to this piece tomorrow evening after I scour the internet for more great deals. My last piece of advice is to search through jomashop.com. These guys have great inventory and a solid customer service staff to ease you through the buying process. As always, if you have any questions feel free to comment or send me direct emails. I hope this piece was just as insightful as last year’s. Happy Thanksgiving!!