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Poor man's watch thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by SirGrotius, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. ShawnBC

    ShawnBC Senior member

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    The interview went really well - I actually got admitted in the Master's degree! That decision should make me happy, but speaking with the professors during an hour an a half made me realize that this line's work may not be all that I want to do in life.

    I'm actually debating wether I should pursue in the degree or wait another year, get my thinking straight, think about what I want to do with my future and my life, and see next year where I'm at.

    Now onto the topic!
     
    4 people like this.
  2. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    Well, now that @ShawnBC has built it up, I'd better deliver! Chronographs under $1000, for wearing everywhere. Mechanical, of course, because...mechanical. And this puts us firmly in the domain of the Swatch Group: they own the ETA/Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement that's powered millions of great watches for about forty years in one guise or another, and their accessible brands (Hamilton, Tissot, and Certina in this case), have some really pleasing designs. I seem to have missed out Mido from that group, but another one to look at perhaps. Also five "independents" listed, and you might also take a look at Seiko and Orient, though actually they don't make many mechanical chronos to choose from. So I've stuck with Swiss snobbery for your purposes, especially give the budget. And this is Styleforum - maximum brand flash always has an appeal.

    I'm not sure whether you prefer a strap or a bracelet, or how sporty you think you can get away with for "suits and formal occasions". A lot of guys these days wear all kinds of things with a suit..Panerais, chunky divers, whatever. So I've spread the definitions pretty broadly, and I think particularly if you're a young guy, you've quite a bit of freedom.

    One more note: many of these come in a lot of different colour and strap/bracelet options. They all cost about the $1k mark, they're all made in Switzerland (bar the last), and they're all powered by Swiss ETA movements at present.


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    I think any of these would fly just fine with a suit - even the pilot. The second one is probably my pick for subtle versatility.


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    The Le Locle is very expensive-looking for the money, with the T-Lord option on the bracelet looking good too. The Seastar is a big diver, so depends on your style (and size!) if you can wear it, it's just good value. My personal favourite is the second - the T-Classic with that gorgeous tonneau case. Not for everyone, but very classy in my book.


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    42mm so on the larger side for suit wear and sporty too, but not crazy by modern standards. Again, looks a big deal for the money.


    Beyond Swatch Group!

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    Jean Richard is the more accessible brand of Girard Perregaux, and seems to share that houses's quirky individuality. Ignore the camp white strap on the first - other straps and dial colours are available. But it looks pretty exotic in a Frank Muller kind of way. The Chronoscope is pretty obviously a sports watch, but if they suit your personality they both look special. And the guy next to you on the bus won't be wearing one.


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    Raymond Weil is a relatively young company by Swiss standards - started in the mid seventies - but has a clear design aesthetic. They actually have a few mechanical chronos in this price range, at least if you shop around the discounters, but some of them look a bit feeble to me. This one, like the JR's above, stands out as something pretty special: distinctive, large, and unusually for this price, that's a real crocodile strap too.


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    A bit of a monster at 44mm, but Glycine have a proud history of distinctive chunky pilot watches. It's your thing or it ain't.

    [​IMG] An old name owned by a young company - Frederique Constant - with some very decent stuff for the money. I love this case shape, it's a nice size at 39mm to slide under a dress shirt, but very cool and distinctive with jeans and a polo.


    [​IMG]I have a thing about German watches; they tend to have a very particular style and great quality control for a decent price. Junghans is best known for its understated "Max Bill" Bauhaus-style designs, though the automatic chronograph version is a little above your price range. If you can go to nearer $1500, check it out - along with fellow Germans like Stowa, Sinn and Archimede, all of whom offer an ETA-powered chrono in that price bracket with their own house styles.

    This one's an outlier - a monster 44mm knuckleduster of a thing. But it's great-looking, isn't it?


    So that's all the $1000 Swiss chronos for now. If you want to go subtle, the Hamiltons and Tissots are probably your first port of call. Hamilton has the biggest variety of dressy chronos in the range, Tissot I think has the edge on brand image - for me - as a dress watch. But check out those funky independents: some real character there if it appeals, or shop around for a more understated model from the likes of Raymond Weil - a lot of brand recognition and clean design for not a lot of money.

    But that's all based on the narrow criteria I've taken from your post. If you're willing to go used, the world is a myriad of wonders: how about a used Tag Heuer? Easy to find a tidy auto chrono for that price. If you're more interested in the brand and the looks than the watch nerd cred of a proper movement, then $1k buys a lot of label if there's a battery behind it - this Longines new. Or if used quartz is OK, how about a Breitling for a grand? And if the chronograph isn't that big a deal, you can pretty much find any style you want. Here's a wild card from one of my favourite Germans - a new automatic Bauhaus classic for just the right price.

    I bet you could spend that grand several times now, right? Yeah, that's where the pain starts...

    (All pics and prices from Chrono24, except the last link from Stowa's own site)
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
    3 people like this.
  3. Brenner

    Brenner Senior member

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    The hamilton chrono is nice in my opinion, great buy for the money
     
  4. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    Definitely, and so many variants to choose from - all within budget. Pretty good selection at Jomashop, and it's one of many.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
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  5. TtownMD

    TtownMD Senior member

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    Mimo, first of all thank you for your input & help. I all ready like three watches that you posted above. Very nice & elegant look. I would not say I am watch nerd but definitely want quality watch that is also stylish & elegant looking. So the question comes in. We're would you recommend I should go to check them out in real life? Would you say they be available at local mall stores etc? Or any good online retailer that you have shopped & had personal experience.
     
  6. TtownMD

    TtownMD Senior member

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    Thank you for your input also.
     
  7. TtownMD

    TtownMD Senior member

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    Raymond Well Parsifal chrono & junghan willy bonner chrono both of them are very very nice.
     
  8. ShawnBC

    ShawnBC Senior member

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    @mimo I knew you wouldn't disappoint, and I'm pretty pleased by the choices you proposed! A lot of variety!

    For an automatic chrono near or under 1K$, I would probably go with the Hamilton Jazzmaster Maestro. I know someone in this thread (I think it was mimo) mentioned his disapproval because of the strong IWC Portuguese resemblance, but it would still be my choice. Or I would try to stretch the budget to 1400-1500$ (US) and go for a used Omega Speedmaster Reduced. Doesn't have the same panache as the original manual wind moonwatch, but it's a close call, given the price.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  9. mimo

    mimo Senior member

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    There is no substitute for trying things on in person. Where are you based? I'd say definitely go to the mall and try a load of stuff on. One issue with the watches above as that a lot of the specific models will be discontinued, hence the price, so you won't find all of them. But if you're in the US, it's easy to send things back to Jomashop, Long Island Watches or Ashford (I'm sure there are others) if they don't sit right. I've used Jomashop myself and no complaints, also Creation Watches from Singapore.

    Shawn, the great thing about the Jazzmasters etc. is how many variants there are. Even some I do like! And I agree about the Omega - but "just another $500" is a slippery slope, and not everyone is happy to spend their hard earned dough on a used watch. Anyway, it seems our friend, suit or not, is drawn to the chunky and bold end of the spectrum, so let's see where he ends up. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  10. ShawnBC

    ShawnBC Senior member

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    The Tissot PRS-516 automatic would be a pretty nice watch if you're into sportier watches, but I don't think it would be at home with a suit. Way too sporty.
     
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  11. TtownMD

    TtownMD Senior member

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    USA Ohio I will check them out at local watch stores. I don't mind, the new model or some thing similar. Like shawnbc said if you increase the budget little you can also increase quality & style. I am open to that also.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
  12. Ace_Face

    Ace_Face Senior member

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    You must be in Toledo (they don't call Tiffin T-town do they?). I'm a TtownJD, lol.
     
  13. TtownMD

    TtownMD Senior member

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    Lol nice nice, it's nice to know and meet fellow TtownJD lol
     
  14. Thrift Vader

    Thrift Vader Forum Mechanic

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    These, and Tag chrono's are about. mostly around $800 with boxes and papers. i can snap some pics later if interested.and yes, do try on plenty of watches. to narrow down what works for you.
     
  15. Brenner

    Brenner Senior member

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    I agree, the chrono version is one of the nicest models at this price, in my opinion
     
  16. ShawnBC

    ShawnBC Senior member

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    Especially with the metal rally bracelet!
     
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  17. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    If you end up wanting to go the preowned Tag Heuer chrono route, shoot me a pm. I picked up a new watch this week, which means its time to part ways with mine. I'm probably going to take pictures and list it in the next few weeks.
     
  18. TtownMD

    TtownMD Senior member

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    I am going to check out the watches today. But please do put pic up & I would like to see them & check it out.
     
  19. New Shoes1

    New Shoes1 Senior member

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    Okay, I'll take some pictures this weekend and pm them to you. I don't want to clog this thread with the pictures.
     
  20. TtownMD

    TtownMD Senior member

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    All right thank you.
     

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