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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.
     
  16. RogerP

    RogerP Senior member

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    I don't believe in getting a lower end watch in an 18k case. "Lipstick on a pig" would be the unkind way of expressing it - and the Tissot is certainly not a pig - but you likely have my point.

    I'd sooner purchase a gold vintage IWC, Omega or Longines than a gold Tissot. Of course you can't just pop into your nearest mall and get one, I do understand.

    There's not a thing wrong with a steel case and an ETA movement - the latter offer proven reliability on comparative ease of service when the time comes.

    What do you think of this Hamilton?

    [​IMG]



    Nomos is also a brand worth considering - I used to own this one:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  17. katastrofa

    katastrofa Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion, but i just don't like the Rolex design.
     
  18. katastrofa

    katastrofa Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, this is valuable info. Do you know of any place in the City where I could see this FC? I work such hours that travelling to West End during the week is not an option :(
     
  19. katastrofa

    katastrofa Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, but I don't like the Rolex design (I guess it's a "love it or hate it" thing) and it's got a steel bracelet anyway.

    I like the design of the Hamilton's dials and numerals, but the inner small dial reminds me of a sports watch a bit. When I look at the watch, I see the dashboard of a vintage racing car ;-) The Nomos is also VERY pretty and quite distinctive, but a bit too modern-looking for the intended use (and there is the same small dial issue as with the Hamilton). If I were to buy a second steel watch, it'd likely be Nomos or some other German brand (Stowa? similar design, don't know about they quality - they are cheaper than Nomos).
     
  20. Cant kill da Rooster

    Cant kill da Rooster Senior member

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