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Classic dress watch for £2-3k

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

Can you advise me? I want to buy a classic mens watch. What I'm looking for is:

- circular case and display

- mechanical movement (prefer automatic)

- ca 40mm diameter

- max 10mm height

- classic design

- roman or arabic numerals are a must. with preference to roman

- I prefer (red)gold+brown to silver/platinum/steel+black combination

- I don't want a PVD coated watch, if I can't afford a real precious metal case, I'll go with a steel one

 

I was looking at Grand Seiko watches, but they fail the height requirement - they are quite bulky. I quite like the Tissot Le Locle and Visodate watches, but they're much cheaper than what I can afford to spend, so while I'm happy to settle on them if nothing better comes along, I'm still looking for alternatives.

post #2 of 38

Are you willing to buy used? If so this expands your options hugely.

 

How firm are you on the height btw? The rotor of any automatic is going to make it thick enough to take it over 10mm, unless you expand your budget. If say 12mm is still acceptable then it would be much cheaper to alter your shirtcuffs.

post #3 of 38

Good heavens, if you find Grand Seiko watches to be "bulky" then you really are after somehing quite delicate.

 

Any number of vintage hand-wind modles would suffice, though most would be in the 34-37mm range in terms of diameter.

 

You might also consider the Zenith Elite line - they are quite slim.

post #4 of 38
Baume Mercier has a good selection in your price range. You will not, however, find a gold or platinum watch for that price unless you go used or vintage.
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Concub1ne View Post

Are you willing to buy used? If so this expands your options hugely.

 

How firm are you on the height btw? The rotor of any automatic is going to make it thick enough to take it over 10mm, unless you expand your budget. If say 12mm is still acceptable then it would be much cheaper to alter your shirtcuffs.


Along these lines, I would have thought a slim vintage Omega manual would be a good dress watch option (although it would be smaller in diameter than you have stipulated, as is traditional for dress watches - I dislike the fad for oversized watches).

post #6 of 38

,,, [Double post]


Edited by Balfour - 2/13/13 at 2:56pm
post #7 of 38
I would recommend Frederique Constant. A relatively young brand but with tons of promise and a classical eye for design. The FC-710 has an in-house movement that's simply stunning and at a really reasonable price (~$2-2.5k).

It is not exactly what you asked for in one respect -- case size. It's 42mm rather than 40. If you'd prefer more classically sized, I think the FC-303 comes in 38 or 40mm sizes and are also considerably less expensive (<$1,000, they have standard ETA movements rather than the in-house calibre).



post #8 of 38

Frederique Constant looks like a great bet at your price point; I'm personally a big fan of JLC, but new they might be a little bit out of your price range. Even some very high end brands use ETA movements, but as I understand it, they modify them significantly, as may also be the case with Frederique Constant. I guess my point is that you shouldn't rule out F.C. for using an ETA mov't. IWC might also be a good bet. 

post #9 of 38
Thread Starter 

Thanks. I am willing to buy used. as long as it comes with a decent warranty. I don't think that buying an automatic means that I have to live with a watch as thick as Grand Seiko (13mm), as I've seen Tissot's automatic watches which are 8.5-9.5mm thick. That's the thickness I'm looking for.
 

post #10 of 38
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for replies. I am open to buying a used watch, but my recent visit to Watchclub in London resulted in just one watch fitting my criteria, and that was a Zenith with a bit rough, "Soviet" aesthetics. But I'm checking the websites.

 

What would you say about this one? It is very slim and not so wide: http://www.tissot.ch/?collections/products/925/lang/en/region/EN/n/TISSOT_CARSON_AUTOMATIC/T71.3.430.13/

post #11 of 38
Thread Starter 

From Frederique Constant, I like this one: http://www.frederique-constant.com/en/collections/96/fc-303mc4p6

post #12 of 38
If you are considering 2nd hand and do not mind a manual wind - JLC Ultra Master Thin (dateless) would be my choice; however, you if you want an automatic the Master version which has a date function
Zenith Elite as mentioned, basic models start at about £3k
You can get a new automatic Longines in rose gold for about £2k

With your budget, I would suggest a steel case watch with the focus being movement. If you went for a gold watch in the your budget, that leaves very little for other aspects of the watch especially the movement.

You could consider the vintage watch route; however, it is a market that you would need to know well and something I would personally avoid.
post #13 of 38
Thread Starter 
I am thinking now about the FC-303 mentioned above -I like the old fashioned style of the Roman numerals and dials. However, it is 10mm thick.
post #14 of 38

For that price range, you can still go for a classic: the Rolex Datejust. I think it checks all of your requirements. Not the best dress watch out there, but for that price range it's truly a classic.

post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by katastrofa View Post

I am thinking now about the FC-303 mentioned above -I like the old fashioned style of the Roman numerals and dials. However, it is 10mm thick.

10mm is really a pretty reasonable height for a dress watch. I have a JLC that's 39 mm x 10.9 mm tall and it fits perfectly under a shirt cuff.
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