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Features of a 'good' watch?

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

  1. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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  2. kenneth

    kenneth Member

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    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.
    I would agree, there is nothing wrong with a Times watch and if it is quartz it will keep better time than my JLC Reverso. But it is all about soul. A hand made mechanical watch has a soul and a heartbeat. It has been carefully assembled by a highly trained watchmaker who has put some of his personality into it. It is all about what feel right for you and not what other people think. By the way does Mr Clinton not wear a Kolbold?
     
  3. trajan

    trajan Senior member

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    I would agree, there is nothing wrong with a Times watch and if it is quartz it will keep better time than my JLC Reverso. But it is all about soul. A hand made mechanical watch has a soul and a heartbeat. It has been carefully assembled by a highly trained watchmaker who has put some of his personality into it. It is all about what feel right for you and not what other people think. By the way does Mr Clinton not wear a Kolbold?
    hmm, soul? really? They make a nice sound, but still... I think mechanical watches are superior to quartz watches for 2 reasons. First, they are more traditional, they stand for years and years of small improvements, and not to mention they may come with a story. Second, the fact that they cannot be 100% precise is a good thing: it sends the message that you don't really care about what the exact time really is. Why would you care? Are you in a hurry? It sends the message that you're your own boss... you don't have meetings to go to, you don't have appointments, etc. So in my opinion, a good watch is a mechanical watch that's esthetically pleasing and fits your personality. (Would you wear a Panerai if you're 130lbs?) A really good watch is a watch that comes with a story... my grand father bought it before the war, or I was passing through this little village in Austria and I met this watchmaker, or my first girlfriend's father always wanted to have a son..., etc. It took me a long time to find a good watch to fit my personality. I found it in the form of Nomos (Ludwig model). It's beautifully understated. The white dial is not really white and the hands are blue-flamed, but really hard to notice. Most people wouldn't give it a second look. Next my eyes are on a Reverso Duo, but I'm not 100% sure. --trajan
     
  4. bmulford

    bmulford Senior member

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    While its subjective what one consider's "good"; I believe there are a number of common "desireable" traits.

    1) Swiss movement (the internals of the timepiece). This is a generalization, as German, American and Japanese movements all have followers. Regardless, choose a watch that's COSC certified ( this will limit your choices dramatically).

    2) Mechanical in power - e.g., automatic via a inertia powered swing arm, or manual wind.

    3) All steel or metal construction. Most sub-$1000 watches will have a plastic outer ring than holds the movement in the frame. Plastic = bad.

    4) Sapphire Crystal. That's the glass part - sapphire is about has hard of a mineral as you can get besides diamond. It won't scratch or break without major force.

    5) High Quality Band/Braclet. Either solid metal (stainless steel is common) or calf-skin leather with silver/stainless clasp.

    6) One or more "complications". Adding a date, day of week, chronometer, etc all add value to a timepiece. Some prefer a simpler design of just the hour and second hands, but most contemporary pieces have at least one complication.
     
  5. ms244

    ms244 Senior member

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    Not to hijack a topic, but could some of the more knowledgeble people out there recommend some tips for checking out a used mechanical watch and possibly some good watches to look for.

    Browsing around on ebay, I see there are several Omega Geneve watches that can be had for under $200. Any thoughts on this item?
     
  6. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    Is there such a term as "zombie thread?" If not, then I have just coined it, and so I shall forever have the glory that is connected to the term "zombie thread." All hail me!
     
  7. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Is there such a term as "zombie thread?" If not, then I have just coined it, and so I shall forever have the glory that is connected to the term "zombie thread." All hail me!

    [​IMG]

    Jon.
     
  8. xkmasada

    xkmasada Active Member

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    Accuracy is one thing, long-term reliability is another.

    If you leave a mechanical watch in a drawer for 50 years, you will still be able to put it on your wrist and expect it to keep good enough time. Watches hundreds of years old routinely get auctioned off in perfect working condition.

    If you leave a quartz watch in a drawer for 10 years, the battery will most probably have leaked, completely destroying the internal mechanism. Unfortunately, even solar-powered or motion-powered quartz watches contain a battery.

    That being said, I commonly use a hand-wound Patek Phillipe Calatrava in steel with a black dial and small seconds hand at 6:00 (elegant), a quartz Seiko SNA411 slide-rule chronometer with alarm (useful), and a quartz Timex Expedition watch with fabric band and analog dial (durable). Elegant, useful, and durable are three characteristics of any good watch.
     
  9. emperor3d

    emperor3d Well-Known Member

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    For me it's: Size and weight.
    It can't be too "blingy", either, because that's really telling.

    Sean
     
  10. skalogre

    skalogre Senior member

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    Is there such a term as "zombie thread?" If not, then I have just coined it, and so I shall forever have the glory that is connected to the term "zombie thread." All hail me!

    [​IMG]
     
  11. caelte

    caelte Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    "Good watch" reminds me of good china, or good rugs or a good car...It all sounds so middle class and lacklustre..so conventional and styleless.

    It's not what you wear it's how you wear it.
     
  12. Coho

    Coho Senior member

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    1. Mechanical movement, Swiss, American, or German--will keep good time 2. Sapphire Crystal 3. Relatively Water Proof 4. Small ( 33-35mm) I personally hate big watches like Panerai but it's purely personal preference 5. Clean and Beautiful Dial 6. Hands are beautifully aligned. 7. High Quality Bracelet (only matters in the +1000 USD) Keep in mind that anything above 500 dollars is really entering the realm of good watch + some brand name My daily wearer is a Ulysse Nardin 1846...good size, keeps good time, and definitely stylish for those in the know. If you're new to watches, I suggest you buy a new Movado Kingmatic (the best price/quality ratio) I've found, even better than the Omega Dynamic that's floating around on ebay for 600-800 dollars. Otherwise, go Vintage--I suggest Vintage American Hamilton watches esp. their masterpiece. You won't be disappointed. [​IMG]
     
  13. whacked

    whacked Senior member

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    "Good belt buckle" reminds me of good china, or good rugs or a good car...It all sounds so middle class and lacklustre..so conventional and styleless.

    It's not what you wear it's how you wear it.


    Fixed. [​IMG]
     
  14. raphael

    raphael Senior member

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    what did/does clinton wear? an ironman watch (timex)?

    Clinton wore different watches for different events. That is, he knew when wearing a timex watch would be appropriate - such as when he was hobnobbing with donors.

    At one of his last press conferences as president, he was clearly wearing a Patek Philippe Calatrava, a modest-looking gold watch on a leather strap that goes for about $15,000 on the white market.
     
  15. Coho

    Coho Senior member

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    "white market" pricing is just ridiculous. I know a buddy who got one for 3500 USD a few years back.

    Clinton wore different watches for different events. That is, he knew when wearing a timex watch would be appropriate - such as when he was hobnobbing with donors.

    At one of his last press conferences as president, he was clearly wearing a Patek Philippe Calatrava, a modest-looking gold watch on a leather strap that goes for about $15,000 on the white market.
     
  16. caelte

    caelte Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Fixed. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. SoCal2NYC

    SoCal2NYC Senior member

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    Now Clinton has some special thing going on with AP and joked about being the "poorest President" and never having thought in his life he would have such a watch.
     
  18. raphael

    raphael Senior member

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    Now Clinton has some special thing going on with AP and joked about being the "poorest President" and never having thought in his life he would have such a watch.

    AP makes great sports watches and passable tourbillon movements but "presidential"? I don't see it. He should have stuck with the classic Calatrava.
     
  19. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff Senior member

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    a good watch got to have one of those state-of-the-art unidirectional moving bezels.
     

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