5 watches that look like Rolex for under $1000

Owning a Rolex is the dream of many. 

When you buy a Rolex, you are not just buying a watch ; you are sending a message.

Rolex watches, like it or not, are a symbol of luxury and success.

And you need to be very successful to afford them!

A typical Rolex is in excess of $5000.

But there are watches that look like Rolex, the same elegance and class, but for under a $1000!

And i managed to find 5 of them for you.

Glycine airman

A pilot’s watch steeped in tradition, having been founded in 1914.

The first ever multi- time zone watch too.

Rugged yet sophisticated design.

The rotating bezel is a showstopper.

Huge variety of bases and colours.  

Our take

A watch with undoubted history and class. I actually think it looks better than most Rolex watches!
It boasts a rich military history from as early as the first world war.
The fact that you can pick one of these up for under $800 is remarkable.

Marathon watch

Long military history having made its debut in the second world war.

Company now operates out of Canada

Popular with astronauts and pilots due to its extremely tough design.

Elegant no nonsense design will please the purists. Love the sword-like hands.

Extremely affordable for the quality and history.

No GMT hand though

Our take

If you are looking for toughness, you can't get tougher than this beauty.

The Marathon delivers a gorgeous minimalist design with remarkable ruggedness. It remains incredibly affordable. You can pick one up from as little as $300.
The lack of GMT may be a downside for watch geeks. But for those who Rolex-style elegance, this won't be an issue.

Swiss engineering since 1860

This edition is a nod to Tag Heuer’s Formula one heyday of the 60s and 70s,

Stainless steel throughout with synthetic sapphire glass for superb scratch resistance

The revving engine-style bezel is a nice touch – although hard to find.

Luminous hands for night use is a useful feature

Our take

The Tag Heuer formula 1 watch comes right at the top of our $1000 cap; but it’s worth every penny and cent.

A rich sports heritage, eye-catching classic design and superb features – what more could you want? And off course it’s a dead-ringer for a Rolex!
We recommend you shop around even more for this one because there are so many variety in colours and designs. But our favourite design is the one below.

Certina DS action Watch

Probably the least rolex-like watch on our list! but i genuinely think it looks even better than a Rolex!

Eye-catching interface.  Those increment markings on the bezel are gorgeous

Marketed as a diver’s watch with a 300m water resistance credentials.

Sapphire crystal glass for supreme scratch resistance

Quartz movement

Rotating Bezel

Our take

The centrina is probably the most eye-catching watch on the list. That round and beautifully patterned bezel is breath-taking. It almost looks like a dial you would find on a submarine!
And all that beauty comes in a surprisingly reasonable price of around $600.
Yes, the leather strap is not very Rolex-like, but we actually think this watch looks better with it.

Seiko Prospex - Sumo

This automatic diver’s watch is last, but by no means least, on our list.

There are blue and black design options, but my favourite is the blue – simply stunning.

44mm in diameter so this is a big dominant watch

Luminous face – the hands have been treated with a special glowing substance for excellent low light visibility

200mm water resistance

Our take

The Sumo is a watch for those who appreciate classic elegant design, combined with rugged practicality.
It is a chunky masculine watch. If it was a person it would have a handlebar moustache and sideburns! But beneath the robustness is an air of dignified class.
The deep blue design option is stunning. A new Sumo will cost you somewhere around $500. There are some used versions around but we recommend going for a brand new one. The value of owning a brand new Sumo far outweighs the benefit of saving a $100 dollars here and there.


So which of these watches is the most “Rolex-like”?

Well, that’s down to individual taste.

But we would go for the Glycine airman.

Your wrist will be a magnet for eyes.

Everything about it, from the crisp rotating bezel to the perfectly round case, oozes class.

And when people ask about it, you can sit back and tell them about it’s wonderful war-time history.

If that doesn’t impress them, nothing will!

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