You'd have to have been living under a rock for the last few months to have not got caught up in the Omega MoonSwatch hype. The humble – and widely unattainable – collaboration between Omega and Swatch has been one of the most talked about watch releases ever.
At just £228, this quartz-powered chronograph offers a colourful, affordable option for watch fans looking to scratch the Omega Speedmaster itch, without breaking the bank. It's not without controversy, though.
There are a few reasons for that. First is the marketing and sales strategy. Only a handful of stores around the world get stock, and they aren't sold online. That can make it tough for some to get hold of them, and has led to insane grey market prices.
There's also the construction. While Swatch and Omega glam up the Bioceramic case, to most people it is plastic. Many have even compared them to McDonalds Happy Meal toys, while others have found them to be especially fragile.
Personally, I'm not a fan. In fact, I think there are loads of better watches out there for less than the MoonSwatch. These are three of my top picks.
1. Casio GW-M5610U
Far from just being a great alternative to the MoonSwatch, I think this is an under-the-radar pick for best watch ever. Bold claim, I know, but there is a whole lot of tech crammed into this iconic chassis.
Multi-band 6 support means that this watch will sync with the atomic clock each night for ultra-accurate timekeeping. Couple that with solar charging – which could mean an infinite battery life – and it's not at all hyperbolic to call this the ultimate doomsday watch.
There are a few different variants on offer, mostly making subtle changes to the colour of the text on the watch face. Whichever option you go for, you're going to get a great deal – this iconic design can regularly be found for a little over £100.
Plus, if you really have a hankering for a plastic watch, this will still fit the bill.
2. Seiko 5
Ah, the Seiko 5. This range of watches is one of the most iconic on the market, first hitting shelves in 1963. It's been slightly re-worked since then, but still represents phenomenal value for money.
It also comes in a wide range of styles. You can find sport watches, flieger watches and dress watches in the range. There really is something to suit everyone.
My top pick right now is the gorgeous orange dial sports variant linked above. It's certainly not for everyone with that loud dial, but other colours are available. If you aren't put off though, the orange is something of a cult classic in Seiko circles.
And at less than £200, you'd still have enough change from your MoonSwatch savings to buy a nice dinner – score!
3. Dan Henry 1970
This one might be a controversial pick. At $290, it's a whisker more expensive than the MoonSwatch when directly converted. If you're getting it sent to the UK, though, you'll need to pay for import, too.
I'm letting it slide though, because the Dan Henry 1970 is honestly one of the best affordable watches I've ever tested. You'll get a reliable Seiko movement inside, 200m of water resistance with a screw down crown, and an inner rotating bezel.
That's a lot of watch for not much money. Plus, if you're hankering for the MoonSwatch for its chronograph capabilities, I'd take a look at the rest of the Dan Henry range.
They have a whole host of vintage-inspired chronographs which look fantastic. And, assuming they have a similar build quality to the 1970, they'll likely be a much better watch to boot.