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You'll be surprised when you see the Best Value Swiss-Made watch!

Posted on March 11 2021

Best Value Swiss-Made Watch

Have you ever bought a watch that you knew you didn't like?

I've bought a lot of watches over the years - many on a whim or for strange reasons.

But this is the first time that I deliberately bought a watch that I didn't like.

I bought this Calvin Klein watch for three reasons.

It says Swiss-made on the dial. It has an ETA automatic movement. And it was ridiculously cheap.

Let me sum that up. I grabbed a brand new Swiss-made automatic watch for less than the cost of the movement inside.

Let me tell you the story of this watch.

Calvin Klein Swiss-Made Automatic Watch


Calvin Klein ETA Watch
We buy watches for a variety of reasons. Anything from the design, to the brand or to flex in front of strangers on Instagram. At the nerdier end of the watch collecting spectrum, people buy watches for the specifications. They buy watches for features that they'll never use.

I sometimes struggle to identify with these guys.

It's not that's there is anything wrong with this part of the hobby. But it's not me. I don't take my watches diving so I don't like to pay extra for ISO certification.

I don't need awesome accuracy. A few seconds here or there isn't a big deal to me.

I'm into watches because I love the designs. I'm a fan of stories about watches. I want a watch that was worn on the moon or was on the wrists of GI's in Vietnam.

I suspect you're the same.

But then I bought this watch. I'm not a fan of the brand and I didn't find much appealing about the design. There's no exciting back story either.

I did what the true watch nerds do. I bought a watch because of what's inside. I bought this watch for no other reason than it seemed like a lot of watch for the money.

There's one thing that does matter to me when I buy a watch. I'll always favour a mechanical movement over quartz. That's the best I can come up with here. This watch has a smooth second hand.



A Closer Look at the Calvin Klein Infinite


There's a bit of speculation about this watch. The consensus seems to be straightforward.

Calvin Klein had Swatch Group manufacture an automatic watch for them. It would be a Swiss-made watch, with excellent build quality. As Swatch Group own Swiss movement maker ETA the watch would be powered by one of their movements.

That would all appear to make sense.

There's only one problem. Who is the customer?

Who wants a £600-700 high-quality Swiss watch branded with the name of a company that makes underwear?

I don't.

Calvin Klein Automatic Watch

The Swiss-Made ETA 2824-2 Movement


Calvin Klein seems to have worked from a simple assumption. That they could charge a premium for a Swiss-made watch with an ETA automatic movement.

It's a valid assumption. The ETA movement in this watch is also used in some stunning watches. Several Tudor models have the same engine. It's also used by Hamilton, Glycine and Victorinox.

German brands like Sinn and Stowa equip their watches with this movement. They'll charge £1000 for those watches.

And that is cheap compared to a Tudor model with this movement.

Calvin Klein ETA Movement

I don't want to overstate my case, but this movement is £200-250 to buy on its own.

This is where my watch nerd personality and Calvin Klein's watch cross paths. Their customers don't care about any of this. They are unwilling to pay extra for this movement and those two words at the foot of the dial.

And you can guess the next bit, right?

Watch fans wouldn't pay £700 for a watch that has Calvin Klein on the dial!

This story is writing itself.

Calvin Klein had to drastically reduce the price of these watches. And suddenly watch geeks were interested.

I said that the ETA movement costs over £200 on its own? I picked this watch up new, with a warranty for £120!

That's the starting point for this post. Nothing else matters.

How good is this watch for £120? That question changes everything.

Calvin Klein Infinite Watch

Calvin Klein Infinite K5S34B

  • 42mm Diameter
  • 10mm Thick
  • 20mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • ETA Automatic Movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance

 


First Impressions of this Affordable Swiss Watch


So what did I get for £120?

I'd argue that I got the best quality watch that you can get for that money. It's a big claim but bear with me.

  • Swiss-Made
  • ETA Swiss Automatic Movement
  • High-Quality Manufacturing
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • Heavy Five-link Bracelet

Read that list again. That is a hell of a lot of watch for the money.

Calvin Klein Swiss-Made Watch

And my first impression? It's actually a nice watch. The style isn't one I'd normally go for. But it's tasteful and refined. While I can't get too excited about it, there's nothing that I dislike about it either.

The Best Value Swiss-Made Watch in Detail


At 42mm it's larger than you might have thought. I'd worried that the design was unisex. But the size and weight put paid to that. It doesn't feel effeminate.

The dial is sophisticated and eye-catching. The variation that I bought has rose gold accents that make it more distinctive than the black model.

There's an inner and outer dial. The inner has an attractive sunburst effect and a neat date window. The outer dial has plain indices and a minute track.

Overall, it's formal and classically styled. And it's growing on me.

The case has rounded edges which are a nice touch, and there's a mixture of finishes. Polished sides and brushed lugs. When looking at the case in detail, you can appreciate the build quality.

Calvin Klein Infinite Watch
That continues on the rear of the watch. Although the case back is a press-on style, I've no problem with that. If it was a dive watch? Of course, that would be a negative. But it's not a dive watch.

There has to be an exhibition back. The watch is built around the ETA movement. I wouldn't be asking if this was the best budget automatic watch, if it wasn't for the movement.

So you can see the movement. And as expected the rotor has the Calvin Klein logo. That could be a disadvantage if you plan to take the movement out to use elsewhere. Otherwise, it's a net gain.

Clavin Klein Automatic Dress Watch

The bracelet is a strength on this watch. It's a substantial piece with a five-link design. It's appealing, adds a little masculinity to the watch and has a high-quality butterfly clasp.

It's a nice finish to the watch.

Conclusion


To be honest I'm not sure how much wrist time that this watch will get. It's not to my tastes. But it's a lot of watch for the money. And you can only buy it so cheaply because of the brand's miscalculation.

But if we change the question to, what is the best Swiss-made budget watch?

Then we have a winner. We have a watch being sold for a fraction of the intended price. And that won't be the case forever.



It's a bold claim to say that this is the best affordable Swiss-made watch. So prove me wrong.

What better watch can you get for 150 bucks? Is there a comparable Swiss-made watch that ticks the boxes that the Calvin Klein Infinite does?

Let me know if there is because I want one.

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