Hand-Wound Watch: Three Under $700

Hamilton hand-wound Khaki Field Mechanical

Commenting on our post Self-Winding Watches – Don’t Do It!, reader Mark D. Stroyer admits he’s not averse to a hand-wound watch. And then raises the thorny issue of money. “What would one recommend for manual winding at budget pricing?” As Mr. Stroyer is a pioneer in the windswept environs of our comments section, challenge accepted!

There are some tasty AF hand-wound choices just above the $1k mark, including the Stowa Antea Klassik KS silver. Sniffing around the sub-$2k price point, NOMOS is heaven scent, offering ten superb choices. At $10k and up, a collector could spend hours, days researching the choices. (Don’t ask me how I know.) And . . . here are three affordable hand-wound watches.

Marloe Coniston Bluebird - a hand-wound watch with a clear caseback

Marloe Coniston Bluebird – $340

Marloe is a misspelling of the posh Buckinghamshire town near the English watchmaker’s digs. Coniston refers to Coniston Water, the lake where Donald Campbell set water speed records with his jet-engined hydroplane (and met his grisly end). The Bluebird denotes his Bluebird K7. Clear? Marloe’s hand-wound watch is.

Coniston Bluebird Miyota movement - on display in a hand-wound watch

You’re looking at the Japanese Miyota 8N33 hand-wound movement, “selected not only for its reliability but also its delicate and eye-catching decorations.” Delicate? Decorations? Anyway, the Coniston Bluebird is as cheap as chips, handsome and evocative of a British icon, whose engraved advice is kinda frightening.

Hamilton hand-wound watch on hand

Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical – Around $500

The American-born Swiss behemoth sells 16 pieces powered by their H-50 handwinding movement – the fifty indicating the engine’s 50-hour power reserve. Most of Hamilton’s DIY movements take the form of the wildly popular nouveau vintage Khaki Field Mechanical.

The KFMs all come on military-style straps. Swap out the strap for something more elegant and you have a horological horse of a different color. The only potential downside: some people consider a 38mm watch too small. But then they’re small-minded.

Junghans max bill Max Bill Hand-Winding Watch

Junghans max bill Hand-Winding Watch – $695

Swiss architect, artist, painter, typeface designer, industrial designer, graphic designer and accomplished xylophonist (JK) max bill was such a minimalist he refused to capitalize his name (no caps lock for you!). It’s only fitting, then, that his stark timepiece is hand-wound. And says so right there, in the name.

The 34mm mbHWW wears bigger, thanks to a bezel thinner than my bankroll. It’s powered by Junghans’ J805.1 movement, based on ye olde ETA 2801-2. A member of my cigar hurfing watchfam warns that scratches seriously wound the watch’s SICRALAN-coated plexiglass. And I’m warning you that hand-wound watches are addictive (see: bankroll comment above). That is all.

[Why a hand-wound watch? Click here for Self-Winding Watches – Don’t Do It!]

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