Classic dress watch for £2-3k

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by katastrofa, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. katastrofa

    katastrofa Well-Known Member

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    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.
     


  2. Concub1ne

    Concub1ne Senior member

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    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.
     


  3. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    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.
     


  4. Twotone

    Twotone Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013


  5. Balfour

    Balfour Senior member

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    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).
     


  6. Balfour

    Balfour Senior member

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    ,,, [Double post]
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013


  7. minervau

    minervau Senior member

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    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).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     


  8. jshastings

    jshastings Well-Known Member

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    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.
     


  9. katastrofa

    katastrofa Well-Known Member

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    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.
     


  10. katastrofa

    katastrofa Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013


  11. katastrofa

    katastrofa Well-Known Member

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  12. Macallan

    Macallan Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013


  13. katastrofa

    katastrofa Well-Known Member

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    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.
     


  14. VicEnriq

    VicEnriq Member

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    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.
     


  15. minervau

    minervau Senior member

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    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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