The Watch Appreciation Thread (Reviews and Photos of Men's Timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Brei

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by gdl203, May 20, 2007.

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  1. CornToast

    CornToast Active Member

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    As I'll be applying to college soon, I think it's about time I get myself a watch. However, with my budget, I'm willing to go maybe $250 max for a watch. I don't want anything too extravagant, if there are any in this price range, but nothing cheap like a swatch watch. Does anyone have a recommendation of a good watch that might fit my needs?
     


  2. Hayward

    Hayward Senior member

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  3. Belligero

    Belligero Senior member

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    Only some automatic versions of the Speedmaster use ETA movements. The proper manually-wound ones use a Lemania-based movement; Lemania and Omega have been associated to varying degrees since 1932. Although Lemania is within Swatch Group today (and Swatch Group has essentially decided to kill the Lemania name), its rich history is distinct from ETA and its predecessors. A large factor in the real Speedy getting a lot of love is that it doesn't use an ETA movement!

    The Speedmaster originally used the Lemania 2310 base, which Omega referred to as the c.321. The movement was modified to be easier/cheaper to produce by getting rid of the column wheel in favour of a shuttle and cam system, thus becoming the Lemania 1873/Omega 861 used in the Speedmaster starting in 1968. It was slightly modified again with a plastic brake in 1996 when it became known as the 1861. While it's not easy or cheap to service, it's a seriously good movement in any version.

    The Lemania 2310 ébauche and its derivatives have been used by (among others) Breguet, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe; it's been finished to extremely high grades, and it was arguably the top chronograph ébauche of its time. Compared to something like the 7750, for which low production cost was one of the main design goals, it's far more refined and visually appealing. I'm not saying that the 7750 is bad by any means, and its performance and reliability are remarkable, but there's no question that it was explicitly designed to be inherently cheap. That's not an entirely bad thing; the practical 7750 is fantastic in its own ways, and without it, there would be a lot fewer affordable mechanical chronographs around. It's also a fair bit easier to service than a 2310-based movement, despite the additional complexity of automatic winding.

    But the non-ETA engine is a big part of the watch-nerd appeal of the Speedmaster compared to 7750-based chronographs; you get an old-school high-quality movement in a reasonably-priced watch instead the nowadays far more common scenario of a utility-grade movement in a luxury-priced watch.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013


  4. Stefan88

    Stefan88 Senior member

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  5. apropos

    apropos Senior member

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    ^ Have you handled these watches in real life? Do you know what they look like on your wrist?

    Take a step back, you don't have to get a watch right now.

    You're making just about every single mistake a beginner can make - settling, buying online, rushing into a purchase, buying in/from a country that is not exactly known for giving good prices with watches, basing your decision on reading spec lists (mineral glass vs non mineral glass??), etc.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013


  6. Stefan88

    Stefan88 Senior member

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    Those are all true. I personally think the prices are rather low, but yes, there is not a single store in my city dealing in these brands. I thought the design of the Flieger was great though, but yeah, I'll take a step back until I get to try it on. Thanks!
     


  7. AriGold

    AriGold Senior member

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    Wow, thanks for the insights! I never thought so highly of the movement in my Omega Speedmaster Pro Sapphire Sandwhich. And damn I've dropped it so many times. i've dented the damn case. Luckily omega service has been good to me in helping me regulate it under warranty. I love the hardiness of this watch, being a tool watch and all.

     


  8. rnguy001

    rnguy001 Senior member

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    I'm not a huge fan of EBEL, not sure why, but the Fortis is nice. Something about paying over $1200 for mineral glass irks me. I can understand buying a watch with plexi/hesalite if it's true to history such as the Speedy though

    although Apropos has a good point - very dangerous to buy sight unseen, it is sometimes extremely hard to try on the exact model you're looking for. In some regions of the States, there are just no AD's that stock the models you may want..

    It's actually common to buy something without ever trying it on, though the chances of your not liking it and being disappointed with it are understandably higher . So it is a riskier bet.

    If you can't at least try something from the same brand (if not model), then you should definitely research the specific model you're looking for - find as many real-world pics, wrist pics from owners, and posts about how owners feel the watch wears for them. You'll often find comparisons between other watches that you may know or have already tried on - anything is good research and is going to better than shooting from the hip.

    Sometimes you see a watch, and it's love at first sight and you don't even have to try it on. But that's usually the rarity.

    BTW - for a LITTLE more, have you considered SINN? Handsome, well made and still a good value IMO. You can get it brand new as well..

    http://www.watchbuys.com/store/pc/Sinn-103-St-Sa-on-Strap-4p322.htm

    [​IMG]

     


  9. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    See below.
    +1

    Scott, I like the design, but I agree with Newcomer. Parts on indy watches can be an issue down the road. A friend of mine spent about $2K on an Eterna, which had relatively limited distribution here in the states. About 6-8 years after the purchase the bezel got damaged and when he brought it to Kenjo in NYC, where he bought it they told him parts are nearly impossible to get. IIRC, he was never able to replace the bezel.

    While I think the design of the single pusher chronograph is interesting, and would work with a suit, I just don't see it as a watch that would work well with casual clothing, or a T-shirt and jeans. I find it a bit dressy for that. I don't own a Speedmaster, so no bias here, but I think its a bit more versatile even if its on the sportier side. If the watch does not have to be new, perhaps you should consider a pre-owned Rolex, IWC, or JLC?
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013


  10. Stefan88

    Stefan88 Senior member

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    Yes, I tried on a couple of Sinns today.
    Found the model you listed for about 1800 USD. It looks really good, kinda similar to the Fortis I´d say. (probably just the flieger design though)
    It seems that some of the models made for the Japanese market has some weird glass. The catalogue for the flieger states sapphire in the English version, and mineral glass in the Japanese.
    I did actually finally find a store that had the b-42 professional flieger model today. It was very nice, but I think the classic flieger model looks better in pictures. I really do think the Ebel seem like a very good value for the money though, and one of the internet stores stated that there was 2 years of manufacturers guarantee. I may very well have misunderstood the chinese signs though.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013


  11. DLJr

    DLJr TWAT Master.

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    I think this a problem with just about every "one watch", especially when on a budget. I think you are better off getting 2 watches, or even 3. I guess the question becomes, would you rather have a "nicer" one watch that will be a compromise with certain looks, or would you rather own a few watches that will cover every occasion but compromise on "quality".

    As far as Habring2, I don't care for them, so I can't offer an opinion. Dino brings up an excellent point about service down the road, and also about preowned watches.
     


  12. rnguy001

    rnguy001 Senior member

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    I think the OP said his budget is around 3-4k?

    I think this is a good price point for one 'solid' watch, as opposed to 3 lower tier watches..

    Now If you were talking maybe 10-12k, then you could make the argument about getting 3 solid watches to fit all your needs as opposed to one 'high end' watch..



     


  13. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    i actually prefer the EBEL of the 2. i had one and was very happy with it. would agree that tying on is optimal if possible.
     


  14. DLJr

    DLJr TWAT Master.

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    I know what his budget is, I just disagree that it is enough to get a one watch that won't be a compromise at either the dressier end of the spectrum or the casual end of the spectrum for him (I'm guessing here based on his comments and the pictures he has posted of watches he's considering). Going used might be a solution. There are plenty of solid watches out there around the $1K-2K price point to make up a 2 or 3 watch rotation if you don't mind ETA movements, which he may not mind.
     


  15. Newcomer

    Newcomer Senior member

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    Hayward gave you an excellent suggestion. Also, I think some other good options include: (1) the Orient Bambino, (2) the Orient Mako, (3) Seiko SKX007 (I think that is the number).

    Check out Long Island Watch Co., they have a great selection of inexpensive but excellent choices. Also, there are plenty of budget watch forums around.
     


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