We in the press do our fair share of reporting on luxury watches, many of which come with price tags upwards of five, six, or even seven figures. Of course that is only one - seemingly shrinking - segment of the watch market.
But there is also plenty of creativity and good value to be found in the entry-level market. Whether it’s someone buying their very first watch, or buying their second, third, or even tenth (yes, some of us have problems), it’s not all to difficult to justify spending a couple hundred dollars or Swiss francs on a new timepiece.
- The latest ICE collection in steel
That slice of the market is precisely where you’ll find Ice-Watch. The Belgian fashion watchmaker is known for producing bold and highly affordable watches for over a decade now, and their growth curve seems to be going in the right direction.
Now, I can already hear some of you say that Ice watches are usually worn by twenty-something females that care more about accessorizing than they do about watch mechanics.
And I would say that you’d be partly right. Yes, Ice-Watch is one of the main competitors to the ubiquitous plastic watch offerings by Swatch. But the brand is increasingly appealing to a broader demographic by diversifying its product offering.
Take, for example, the new ICE steel collection. The name alone already indicates the brand’s intentions: make a powerful looking watch, target the male demographic.
I would actually argue that the ICE steel works as a unisex watch, since it is also offered in a “medium” sized case of 43mm in diameter, along with the “large” 48mm case. Nevertheless, the brand has gone to lengths to appeal to the male demographic with this release.
- The new ICE steel in green
Case in point is the fact that the ICE steel is made of steel, which adds to the durability. Brushed or polished, the case comes with a screw-down back and a graduated rotating bezel, making it look like a proper diving watch. Water resistance is 100m, which is decent all things considered.
As always with this affordable brand, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to colours. Iridescent or matte dials are available in black, navy blue, grey or forest green. Some of them have an additional pop of colour with a red seconds hand, and all sport a date function thanks to the quartz movement inside.
- Ice-Watch seems to be chanelling the “pepsi” look of classic divers
But the best part is probably the price of the ICE steel collection, which ranges between 119€ -149€ (roughly 139 - 179 Swiss francs). At that price, what you get is essentially a more durable version of the ICE sixty nine - which retailed for, you guessed it 69€ - but was not available in steel.
The question still remains whether to opt for one of these stylish ICE steel models, or something like a Seiko SKX009. The latter is a bit more expensive, it’s true, but it comes with the tried and tested Seiko automatic engine inside.
But for those simply looking for a nearly guilt-free purchase of an affordable and sporty-chic watch for the summer, the ICE steel could be a fine option.