Features of a 'good' watch?

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

  1. gamelan

    gamelan Senior member

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    CAPT. KOONS
                            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)
     
  2. mylesmyles

    mylesmyles Senior member

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    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...
     
  3. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

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    Perfect analogy. Hats off to you for that.
     
  4. christian

    christian Senior member

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    Kai,

    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.
     
  5. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

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    "I'll have you know that my grandfather, on his deathbed . . . sold me this watch." --Woody Allen
     
  6. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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  7. 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?
     
  8. 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
     
  9. 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.
     
  10. 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?
     
  11. 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!
     
  12. 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.
     
  13. 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.
     
  14. 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
     
  15. 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]
     

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