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Features of a 'good' watch?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by christian, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. christian

    christian Senior member

    Sep 22, 2004
    On the recent thread about the 5 things what every man needed, almost everybody agreed about the importance of a quality watch.

    I'm confused about what everybody means when they say a 'good watch.' What are the features that separates a good watch from a ordinary watch?

    When I think of something 'good' for clothing, I think of something that will have specs that will make it last longer. For example, how a canvased suit will not bubble like a fused suit. Yet, it seems with watches, this idea is inverted. Its the more expensive watches which lose seconds every month or year.

    I'm just trying to understand why my Timex watch wouldn't be considered a 'good' watch, other than the fact it costs less than $30. It will be less likely to lose time. And, the style is classical and clean.
  2. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

    Apr 19, 2004
    New York City / Buenos Aires
  3. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

    Jul 19, 2004
    Burlingame, CA
    Or, put negatively, check out what former President Clinton has on his wrist. That's not a good watch.
  4. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

    Jan 29, 2003
    Los Angeles
    what did/does clinton wear? an ironman watch (timex)?
  5. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

    Sep 28, 2004
    greater chicago
    actually, I think he now wears a bell and ross.
  6. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Senior member

    Sep 28, 2004
    It's ironic that windup and automatic watches don't keep as accurate time as a $30 Timex. But personal style involves arational components like working sleeve buttons, antique finished shoes, hand-sewn button-holes, etc. They provide aesthetic satisfaction and pleasure just as a $30 Timex can.

    Why did I patiently reset an automatic watch today when I could have gotten 600 Timex watches that I would not have to reset except this coming Sunday morning? Why do I have a manual transmission, manual top convertible with the engine in the middle and not place to put suitcase? If you have an answer to that one please tell my wife, as I can't explain it to her (who only has quartz watches thank you).
  7. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Why, it's simple. Â The mid-engine arrangement offers a lower polar moment of inertia which provides for smoother weight transfer when cornering. Â Adding a suitcase would only throw off the balance of the car. Â [​IMG] dan (ever appreciative of proper sports cars)
  8. auto90403

    auto90403 Senior member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Santa Monica, California/McLean, Virginia
    "good watch" means dressy and expensive. without being dandy-ish.

    if you came into my office with a $10k watch on your wrist, i'd think you were a fop.
  9. Kai

    Kai Senior member

    Aug 16, 2003
    I own a number of watches.
    For me, a "good" watch meets certain criteria:

    I never need to change the battery, which means it is mechanical (automatic or manual winding) or else the movement is one of the new-fangled Seiko Kinetics or Citizen Eco-Drives

    I never have to worry about the metal tarnishing or the finish wearing off, which means that it is either stainless steel or gold (not plated)

    I have a good chance of handing the watch down to one of my sons because of the watch's high-quality manufacture.

    "Good" watches which meet these criteria can be had for less than $100 to over $100,000.
  10. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

    Sep 28, 2004
    greater chicago
    I agree with kai,and would add 2 things - I like a classic watch face, simple but pleasant to look at and easy to understand, and forsome reason I find that the quality of the glass, the thickness with a certain distrortion of light when viewed from an angle, is very attractive.
  11. JohnR

    JohnR Member

    Oct 25, 2004
    Pres. Clinton wore a Timex Ironman runners watch to his televised innaugural ball. Shortly after this event, he was sent many more appropriate watches to wear from designers all over the world.
  12. raley

    raley Senior member

    May 22, 2004
    Sounds like a smart move and good strategy from the President to me.
  13. MilanoStyle

    MilanoStyle Senior member

    Apr 22, 2004
    I say good watch is one that is constructed sturdy. The casing of the watch should be constructed from solid block of metal (steel or precious metal) not plating.

    I say excellent watch is one that has mechanical movemement and also has sturdy casing & bracelet.
  14. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

    Mar 7, 2002
    Washington, D.C.
    I define a good watch as a mechanical watch, either handwound or automatic.  After that, everything is left up to the wearer's taste, be it trendy, timeless, or somewhere in between.  Quartz watches, like fused suits and corrected-grain shoes, are perfectly acceptable for the masses but not desirable for a stylish man.
    That's part of their charm.  Mechanical watches are powered by human ingenuity alone, and therefore are as imperfect as their human creators.  (Think about it this way: a photograph will capture an image much more accurately than a painting, but no one's paying $40 million for a photograph of a vase with flowers.)  While a watch should possess a minimum amount of accuracy, without which it becomes an expensive bracelet, losing or gaining a few seconds a day is nothing to sweat.  After all, how often is the rest of the world running precisely on time, as measured by the atomic clock in Colorado?
  15. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

    Sep 28, 2004
    When the shadow of the sash appeared on the curtains it was between seven and eight oclock and then I was in time again, hearing the watch. It was Grandfather's and when Father gave it to me he said I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire; it's rather excruciating-ly apt that you will use it to gain the reducto absurdum of all human experience which can fit your individual needs no better than it fitted his or his father's. I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools. (Faulkner, S&F)
  16. gamelan

    gamelan Senior member

    Jan 29, 2004
                            This watch I got here was first
                            purchased by your great-granddaddy.
                            It was bought during the First World
                            War in a little general store in
                            Knoxville, Tennessee. It was bought
                            by private Doughboy Ernie Coolidge
                            the day he set sail for Paris. It
                            was your great-granddaddy's war watch,
                            made by the first company to ever
                            make wrist watches. You see, up until
                            then, people just carried pocket
                            watches. Your great-granddaddy wore
                            that watch every day he was in the
                            war. Then when he had done his duty,
                            he went home to your great-
                            grandmother, took the watch off his
                            wrist and put it in an ol' coffee
                            can. And in that can it stayed 'til
                            your grandfather Dane Coolidge was
                            called upon by his country to go
                            overseas and fight the Germans once
                            again. This time they called it World
                            War Two. Your great-granddaddy gave
                            it to your granddad for good luck.  
                            Unfortunately, Dane's luck wasn't as
                            good as his old man's. Your granddad
                            was a Marine and he was killed with
                            all the other Marines at the battle
                            of Wake Island. Your granddad was
                            facing death and he knew it. None of
                            those boys had any illusions about
                            ever leavin' that island alive. So
                            three days before the Japanese took
                            the island, your 22-year old
                            grandfather asked a gunner on an Air
                            Force transport named Winocki, a man
                            he had never met before in his life,
                            to deliver to his infant son, who he
                            had never seen in the flesh, his
                            gold watch. Three days later, your
                            grandfather was dead. But Winocki
                            kept his word. After the war was
                            over, he paid a visit to your
                            grandmother, delivering to your infant
                            father, his Dad's gold watch. This
                            watch. This watch was on your Daddy's
                            wrist when he was shot down over
                            Hanoi. He was captured and put in a
                            Vietnamese prison camp. Now he knew
                            if the ever saw the watch it'd
                            be confiscated. The way your Daddy
                            looked at it, that watch was your
                            birthright. And he'd be damned if
                            and were gonna put their
                            greasy hands on his boy's
                            birthright. So he hid it in the one
                            place he knew he could hide somethin'.
                            His ass. Five long years, he wore
                            this watch up his ass. Then when he
                            died of dysentery, he gave me the
                            watch. I hid with uncomfortable hunk
                            of metal up my ass for two years.
                            Then, after seven years, I was sent
                            home to my family. And now, little
                            man, I give the watch to you.

    (Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction)
  17. mylesmyles

    mylesmyles Senior member

    Oct 9, 2004
    The one thing that i know makes a difference for me when it comes to automatic movements is the actual movment of the second hand. Rather than the "tick tick" of a quartz watch there is a very elegant and smooth movement to an automatic or hand wound watch, and i know that makes a difference to me. As for materials and style (sport vs. classic) that is up to the wearer, and also remember this, an automatic watch takes months to assemble. when you wear a watch like that you do feel like you are wearing something special, something i definitely do not feel when i go running in my timex ironman watch - even if it does keep better time...
  18. Brian SD

    Brian SD Senior member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Perfect analogy. Hats off to you for that.
  19. christian

    christian Senior member

    Sep 22, 2004

    What $100 watch has all the features you mentioned?

    I agree that those ironman watches really don't coordinate well with a suit. But, the watch I have, I think its dressy enough. I'd rather wear something as simple as this than one of those gaudy Rolexes.
  20. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

    Jul 19, 2004
    Burlingame, CA
    "I'll have you know that my grandfather, on his deathbed . . . sold me this watch." --Woody Allen

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