Titanium is by no means a new material in the watch industry. In fact, it’s been used on a commercial level in case construction for over 50 years. Titanium in its raw form as a structural metal is 40% lighter than stainless steel while still just as hard. For watchmaking purposes, it’s also highly resistant to corrosion to the elements as well as being hypo-allergenic.
There are different grades of titanium as well, which offer different characteristics based on how it’s alloyed with other metals. It also ranges in color from dark gunmetal grey to a steel silver which gives it versatility in different applications. Perhaps the best part of titanium, particularly from the consumer side, is that despite it’s high quality characteristics, there isn’t a massive discrepancy between its price versus stainless steel. So with that, here are 17 outstanding titanium watches to own, under $15,000.
Citizen Promaster Super Titanium Armor
In 1970, Citizen launched the very first titanium wrist watch called the X-8 Cosmotron Chronometer. Today, Citizen uses what they call Super Titanium, where the titanium is coated with a proprietary hardening agent that increases the hardness of the metal five times that of stainless steel. Super Titanium is used for the entire case and bracelet and the dial has been designed to embody the Armor theme with a shield-like aesthetic. The Promaster Super Titanium Armor is a moderately sized at 41mm, which actually wears slightly smaller than that, everyday wearer that exudes some of the 1970s vintage characteristics as well as modern technology with the Eco-Drive movement.
Case Size: 41 mm, Integrated 23.5 mm Bracelet, Thickness: 10.5 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 43.7 mm, Water Resistance: 100 m, Movement: Eco Drive J810, Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $550
Victorinox I.N.O.X Titanium
The I.N.O.X. Titanium by Victorinox is designed to take on extreme circumstances and it’s been placed through a battery of brutal tests to ensure high-level performance when it matters most. For most of us, knowing it can withstand such situations is reassuring, even if it won’t be exposed to anything more extreme than a day at an amusement park. A masculine case design with a smooth sandblasted finish is paired with a classic matte black dial. Powered by a quartz movement, the I.N.O.X. is a true set-it-and-forget-it type of watch that can be used every day.
Case Size: 43 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Water Resistance: 200 m, Movement: Ronda 715 Quartz, Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $625
It’s no secret that the Black Bay collection draws a lion’s share of the attention when it comes to Tudor sports models, but the Pelagos happens to be more focused and purpose built as a tool watch. The Pelagos comes equipped with the in-house MT5612 movement and boasts the same 70 hour power reserve as the Black Bay, but brings a bit more to the table for diving where the Pelagos is rated for 660m of water resistance versus the 200m of the Black Bay. The titanium case is a large but wearable 42mm and the dial indices are big, bold, and easy to read.
Case Size: 42 mm, Thickness: 14.3 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 50 mm, Water Resistance: 500 m, Movement: Automatic MT5612, Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $4575
Seiko SARX055 “Baby Snowflake”
Known as the Baby Snowflake, the Seiko Presage SARX055 is a more affordable option than it’s big brother, the Grand Seiko Snowflake, which has also made this list (see number 11). Impressive mirror-like finishing to the case and sharp angles are ample on this piece and the bracelet contours to the wrist nicely given the reasonable 41mm case size. The dial highlights the SARX055 with a fine snow-like texture that gives the piece its “Baby Snowflake” nickname and the automatic 6R15 movement is accurate between -25/+15 seconds a day.
Case Size: 41 mm, Thickness: 11.5 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 46 mm, Water Resistance: 100 m, Movement: Automatic 6R15, Crystal: Sapphire
Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto
The Khaki Field Titanium automatic is a piece that’s packed with value with the military inspired design of the dial and case, the H-10 automatic movement which provides 80 hours of power reserve, exhibition case back, and 100m of water resistance. While this series of titanium models are on the larger side of the field watch spectrum, they make up that size by being lighter by comparison, which enhances wearability, especially on smaller wrist sizes. The “all-around watch” moniker gets tossed around a lot to describe certain pieces, but make no mistake about it, the Khaki Field Titanium Automatic is just that.
Case Size: 42 mm, Thickness: 11.5 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 52 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Water Resistance: 100 m, Movement: Automatic H-10 (ETA C07.111), Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $925
Oris Aquis Titanium Date
Built with both value and performance in mind, the Aquis collection has been a pillar of the Oris brand for years. The Aquis Titanium Date offers all of the same qualities as its steel counterparts - the automatic Swiss Sellita movement, ceramic bezel insert, clean legible dial, and true diving capabilities, in a lightweight package, particularly when supplied with the titanium bracelet. Measuring 43.5mm across and 49mm from lug to lug, it’s large but not overwhelming. Currently the Aquis Titanium date is a standalone, sunburst grey dial option on your choice of either a rubber strap and buckle combination or the aforementioned titanium bracelet.
Case Size: 43.5 mm, Thickness: 12 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 50 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Water Resistance: 300 m, Movement: Automatic Oris 733 (Sellita SW200-1), Crystal: Sapphire, Price: Starting at $2200
Mido Ocean Star 200 Titanium
Mido’s Ocean Star 200 Titanium is executed alongside a popular range of stainless steel models, and offers the same level of value when it comes to versatility as its steel counterparts. The 42.5mm case with its short lugs wears smaller than the size suggests, making it suitable for a wide range of wrist sizes. A charcoal grey dial with the burnt orange accent color works well against the grey tones of the titanium. Everyday practicality is apparent with the 200m of water resistance, a rotating dive bezel, and 80 hours of power reserve from the automatic ETA C07.671 inside.
Case Size: 42.5 mm, Thickness: 11.8 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 48 mm, Lug Width: 22 mm, Water Resistance: 200 m, Movement: Automatic ETA C07.671, Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $1040
Longines Aviation BigEye
The idea of a titanium aviation watch makes quite a bit of sense from a practical standpoint, but it's only been within the last few years that we’ve seen the metal being used by some of the large, upmarket brands. Longines use of titanium for their Aviation BigEye is a handsome execution of a pilot watch with it’s black-eyed-blue dial configuration. As aviation watches tend to be larger than average by design, this piece is actually reasonably sized at 41mm and 14.5mm thick to house the L688 automatic, column wheel chronograph movement. The addition of beige lume and clean dial layout gives the BigEye some vintage flair to go along with it’s modern specs.
Case Size: 41 mm, Thickness: 14.5 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 50 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Automatic L688, Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $3225
The Sinn T1 is a no-nonsense mechanical dive watch packed with clever technology and detail. It’s a substantial tonneau shaped case with clear legibility both for everyday use and, of course, for diving. Over-engineered with impressive technology from the TEGIMENT surface hardening application, to the Captive Safety Diver’s Bezel, and the AR-Dehumidifying Technology, Sinn’s priorities are clear: reliability and security. Powering the T1 is the robust automatic ETA 2892-2A for top-notch reliability in harsh conditions. The end result is a hardcore, DVN GL certified dive watch that leaves nothing to chance.
Reference: T1 (EZM 14)
Case Size: 45 mm, Thickness: 12.5 mm, Lug-to-Lug: Approx. 48 mm, Lug Width: 22 mm, Water Resistance: 1000 m, Movement: Automatic ETA 2892-2A, Crystal: Sapphire
Tag Heuer Aquaracer Green Titanium
Titanium is highly resistant to the elements, making it an excellent choice for general watch construction, but specifically its use for submersible watches takes full advantage of its properties. Like many brands that offer a titanium dive watch, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer embrace of titanium is put to good use not only as a practical matter but from a design standpoint as well. The 43mm case is matte bead blasted and that look carries on to the well-appointed titanium bracelet and the rugged look pairs well with the green dial and green ceramic bezel insert. Readability should not be an issue with the large dial indices and lume filled hands.
Case Size: 43 mm, Thickness: 12.1 mm, Lug Width: 21 mm, Water Resistance: 300 m, Movement: Automatic Caliber-5, Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $4200
Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA211
The Grand Seiko Snowflake is a standard bearer for luxury titanium watches in a lot of ways. The finishing of the “high-intensity” titanium is among the best in the world and so too is the finely textured white “snowflake” dial. When you couple the design with the technology of the 9R65 Spring Drive movement, you have the recipe for one of the most desirable titanium watches on the luxury watch market today. The Spring Drive movement is going to provide three days worth of power reserve with precision within just a 1 second a day and 15 seconds a month.
Case Size: 41 mm, Thickness: 12.5 mm, Lug-to-Lug: Approx. 48 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Water Resistance: 100 m, Movement: Spring Drive 9R65, Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $5800
IWC Mark XVIII Heritage Titanium
Like Longines, IWC is one of just a few large luxury brands that have utilized titanium for their aviation collection. The IWC Mark XVIII Heritage Titanium is a classic take on a pilot watch, with a moderate 40mm case at just 10.8mm thick and traditional matte black dial and bold dial indices and hands treated with luminous material - and this design language has some real everyday appeal. While IWC does offer an in-house movement for the Big Pilot, for the IW3270, you’ll be getting the Sellita based Caliber 35111, which provides 38 hours of power reserve and solid reliability.
Case Size: 40 mm, Thickness: 10.8 mm, Lug-to-Lug: Approx. 50 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Water Resistance: 60 m, Movement: Automatic 35111 Caliber, Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $4450
Zenith Defy Classic
Perhaps no brand has embraced the use of titanium over the past five years to reboot a lineup quite like Zenith has. The Zenith Defy Classic is an entry into the Defy collection, which is made up of predominantly sporty, modern titanium watches that have helped redefine the brand. The tonneau shaped case of the Defy Classic is moderately sized by comparison to other Defy models and therefore suitable for average wrist sizes. While the Defy doesn’t use the iconic El Primero movement, it does come equipped with Zenith’s Elite family of movements for both the standard dial options as well as the openworked variants.
Case Size: 41 mm, Thickness: 10.9 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 44.9 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Water Resistance: 100 m, Movement: Automatic Elite 670 SK, Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $6300 on the strap, $7300 on the bracelet
OMEGA Aqua Terra GoodPlanet
The Aqua Terra collection has long been overshadowed by the more prominent Seamaster and Speedmaster lines, but as a whole, it offers some of the best everyday value in its price category. For the Aqua Terra GoodPlanet, Omega utilizes grade 5 titanium, which is more silvery in color than most titanium used in the industry, for the 38.5mm case and bracelet. It’s then finished with both brush and polish surfaces which gives it everyday versatility. Additionally, the Aqua Terra is fitted with the chronometer certified Caliber 8500.
Case Size: 38.5 mm, Thickness: 13 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 45.5 mm, Lug Width: 19 mm, Water Resistance: 150 m, Movement: Automatic Caliber 8500, Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $8400
Grand Seiko SBGA231
Much like the Snowflake SBGA211, the SBGA231 offers a level of craftsmanship and value that’s hard to ignore, this time packaged in a larger, sporty dive watch. A rotating bezel, water resistance to 200m, and LumiBrite applied to the hands and dial give the SBGA231 real underwater chops to go with the high-intensity titanium case and bracelet. As with the Snowflake, it’s the quality of finishing that separates it from the pack with mirror-polish surfaces created with traditional Zaratsu polishing techniques. Powering this model is the same Spring Drive 9R65 movement, providing impressive performance including that full day power reserve, one-second-a-day accuracy and Grand Seiko’s signature smooth sweep second hand.
Case Size: 44.2 mm, Thickness: 14 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 50.5 mm, Lug Width: 22 mm, Water Resistance: 200 m, Movement: Spring Drive 9S65, Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $7100
OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M “No Time to Die”
Worn by Daniel Craig in the James Bond film “No Time to Die”, the Omega Seamaster 300M Co-Axial Chronometer 42mm 007 Edition has both cinematic credits to its name and bonafide everyday utility, even if you aren’t trying to save the world. Grade 2 titanium is used for the case, which is slightly thinner than the typical Diver 300M, as well as the milanese bracelet. Vintage inspiration is found when looking at the bezel and dial with Omega’s choice of a tropical brown color for the bezel text and dial elements. Inside, the METAS certified chronometer Caliber 8806 powers this piece.
Case Size: 42 mm, Thickness: 13.2 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 50 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm,Water Resistance: 300 m, Movement: Automatic Caliber 8806, Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $9200
Bulgari Octo Finissimo
One of the most interesting and exciting titanium watches to be released over the past handful of years has to be the Bulgari Octo Finissimo. Much like the Zenith Defy, it has been a breath of fresh air in a saturated luxury sports watch market. The stepped, octagonal case design is unlike anything else available and the 5.15mm thin profile is equally as impressive. Inside the Octo Finissimo is powered by the razor thin, self-winding BVL 128 Finissimo which is finished to the highest order. Matte finishes dominate the case, bracelet and dial for a distinct, uniform design. The Octo Finissimo can be picked up on either an integrated bracelet or an alligator strap and buckle combo.
Reference: 102713 & 10
Case Size: 40 mm, Thickness: 5.15 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 45 mm, Lug Width: 30 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Automatic BVL 128 Finissimo, Crystal: Sapphire, Price: $14,700 on the bracelet, $13,800 on the strap