Watches: limited editions with limited prices, CAR+ October 2015

Published: 16 September 2015

► Limited editions watches
► Limited prices as well
► This month's watch section 

If you thought that fancy limited editions or new watches for which you need to put your money down months in advance were the preserve of the high-price Swiss brands, think again. Three of our favourite good-value, no-bullshit watchmakers have just launched eagerly-anticipated new watches in limited editions, or which you’ll need to pre-order, or both. Two are British-designed with Swiss movements and the other is more Swiss than a cuckoo clock, yet they all cost well under a grand.

Elliot Brown Canford Clipper Race: £395

Looks like a Bremont, bar the price tag

Elliot Brown watches are designed in the UK, use Swiss movements, and with their unique shock-proofing and triple-sealed cases, offer Rolex toughness at a tenth of the price. This special edition of the Canford model has been made for the crews on the eleven-month, 40,000-mile Clipper round-the-world yacht race, with 1000 being offered for sale. With two straps (canvas and oiled leather), a strap-changing tool and a fancy box, this is extraordinarily good value at £395, and can be pre-ordered now.

Mondaine Helvetica: from £220

Not just for typography geeks

Mondaine makes the famous Swiss railway watch, and last year launched a second range inspired by another exemplar of Swiss coolness and efficiency, the Helvetica typeface. Now there’s a limited-edition smart-watch version available to pre-order. It’s still fine value at £540, but if a simple three-handed watch is all the ‘wearable tech’ you need, we’d steer you back to the standard Helvetica range. It starts from just £220 but this big, all-black version on a canvas strap at £325 is our pick.

Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro Vintage: from £660

Embarrasses the big Swiss brands for value

Christopher Ward’s diving watches have a specification almost identical to a Rolex Submariner’s: a Swiss automatic movement, super-high grade 316L stainless-steel case and bracelet, water resistance to 600 metres and an indestructible ceramic bezel. When CW first launched, a few watch geeks thought they must be lying, bought the watches, disassembled them and found they were exactly what they claimed to be. The cynicism then turned into a cult-like following. You can pre-order the hotly anticpated new Trident now.

By Ben Oliver

Contributing editor, watch connoisseur, purveyor of fine features