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Top 5 sports watches under $1000 - a contest!

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by LA Guy, Apr 24, 2014.

Who has the best list of sports watches under $1K?

Poll closed May 6, 2014.
  1. MZHammer

    1 vote(s)
    5.0%
  2. kulata

    1 vote(s)
    5.0%
  3. Hayward

    4 vote(s)
    20.0%
  4. CMT1

    1 vote(s)
    5.0%
  5. Tsujigiri

    4 vote(s)
    20.0%
  6. Wes Bourne

    2 vote(s)
    10.0%
  7. johanm

    1 vote(s)
    5.0%
  8. Keith T

    6 vote(s)
    30.0%
  1. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    POLL NOW UP! VOTE AWAY (ONLY ONE VOTE PER MEMBER)

    Hi guys,

    This is how this works. For the next week, you guys get to make your lists, and post them here. After the week has ended, there will be 2 days for voting. A poll will be either added to this thread, or we will start a new thread, depending on what I find it be logistically better. The contest criteria:

    1) All watches recommended must under $1000 retail, and they must be purchaseable right now (in other words, that really cool watch that was available only in 1998, no can do)
    2) Sports watches only. There will be a separate category for dress watches.
    3) You need to give at least a few sentences justification for each watch included in your list.

    Cheers,

    Fok.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2014


  2. MZhammer

    MZhammer Senior member

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    Clarification, does MSRP have to be 1K? Or can we suggest New watches from reputable grey dealers like jomashop and Amazon?

    My list (in no particular order)
    1. Marathon Divers Automatic - $961.30
    It's tough, rugged, has tritium lume and is the U.S. Government issued model. If it's sturdy enough for combat it's sturdy enough for you.
    [​IMG]

    2. Hamilton King Auto (H64455133) - $595
    A day/date function from the Classic American brand. 50m water resistance combined with a sapphire crystal make this a hardy little watch that can take a beating and sneak beneath a shirt sleeve for covert dress duty too. You even get a GD display back!
    [​IMG]

    3. Christopher Ward C60 Trident GMT Automatic - $860
    Christopher Ward has made some great unique designs but the trident is the best. An original dive watch design with a date and added GMT function. 300M water resistance, anti reflective coating on the sapphire crystal and superluminova markers.
    [​IMG]

    4. Glycine Combat Sub Auto - $974
    Glycine makes a tough durable watch with a swiss auto movement, sapphire glass and 200M water resistance. Add to it the various color combos and decent SS bracelet, this watch is a great take on the classic Rolex diver silhouette without being a copy.
    [​IMG]

    5. Stowa Flieger B - Approx $823
    Stowa makes high quality watches using basic ETA movements. They pay special attention to the cases and dials, offer sapphire crystal and have the history of actually making pilot watches for WWII fighters. This is the best sports watch with a classic unbranded dial and blued hands.
    [​IMG]

    Honorable Mentions
    6. Christopher Ward Chronograph - $825
    It's a funky chrono that would fit right in at the Goodwood Revival. Sporty and awesome.
    [​IMG]

    7. SeaGull 1963 Re-issue - $389-$469
    The only reason this didn't make the cut is the movement. I owned one and the chrono hand slipped on it's pinion and didn't seem as robust as a "sports watch" should be but the styling is on point. This pic made me have to own one.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2014


  3. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I'm going to say MSRP, just so that things are transparent.
     


  4. mebiuspower

    mebiuspower Senior member

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  5. kulata

    kulata Senior member

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    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014


  6. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    These are not lists, guys. I want options!
     


  7. Tsujigiri

    Tsujigiri Senior member

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    Are you looking more for the most impressive watches that happen to be under $1000, or the best watches you can buy if you have exactly $1000 sitting around? I can think of a few that are much less than $1000 and worthy of mention for being exceptional at their price points, but I wouldn't put them against a $1000 watch that is just average in terms of value.

    Edit: Also, I think most sport watches don't really go with "classic menswear." G-Shock with a suit? Maybe SW&D would be a better place for this thread?
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014


  8. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I'm looking for a good combination of quality of value. You've got five choices, and a few sentences of explanation, so you can explain why you chose a specific watch, and let the community decide whether that was a good choice.

    I think that the distinction between CM and SWD is mostly artificial, but I put the contest here because I think that more CM people are into watches than SWD people. There are sporty watches that would not go with some SWD either. Gshock with goth Ninja?
     


  9. Hayward

    Hayward Senior member

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    1) SEIKO Prospex diver SBDC001 ("Sumo") - $600ish
    [​IMG]
    Best value for money, available in different configurations

    2) Steinhart Ocean Vintage Military - $400ish
    [​IMG]
    A modern homage to Rolex 5517, high quality, ridiculously low price

    3) Stowa Seatime and ProDiver - $700ish
    [​IMG]
    In my opinion the best on the list, high quality, some customization available

    4) ORIENT DIVER 300M WV0101EL - $950ish
    [​IMG]
    Good quality, in-house movement

    5) CWC RN Diver Auto Date - $925
    [​IMG]
    Good quality, basic watch with a genuine military pedigree; fixed bars limit strap choices.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2014


  10. CMT1

    CMT1 Senior member

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    Great thread, here are my choices:

    Seiko 5, $50.

    Very little explanation required for the world's best bargain for quality watchmaking.

    http://www.amazon.com/Seiko-SNK807-...76941&sr=1-3&keywords=seiko+5+automatic+watch

    [​IMG]

    Maratac Large Pilot, $279

    Large, robust, classic flieger aesthetic and rock solid reliability.

    http://www.countycomm.com/maratacpilotlarge.html

    [​IMG]

    UNIQ P47, $450

    Another large case, a robust sporty option that I personally find very handsome.

    http://www.uniqwatches.com/index.php?task=page&id=4&lang=eng&imgid=79

    [​IMG]

    Hamilton Khaki Navy Pioneer Automatic, $719


    Helson Shark Diver Ti/Bronze, Black Dial, $999

    Big, bad, tank-like titanium diving watch with 2000m/6.600ft water resistance and antimagnetic to 70.000 A/m

    http://www.helsonwatch.com/shark-diver-45.php

    [​IMG]
     


  11. Patek14

    Patek14 Senior member

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    Pick up a used Omega seamaster. A new $1,000 sportwatch is likely to be a foolish purchase. That is unlikely enough to get you a top end new watch but it is still a chunk of money and there really isn't much in the middle range that is worthwhile

    you MIGHT be OK with some Tag Heuer model, but that's mostly name rather than quality
     


  12. Tsujigiri

    Tsujigiri Senior member

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    Alright, I'll play. Keeping in mind that these are sport watches, a lot of my choices are more on the functional side. They're also widely variant in price, because there aren't many standout great values just under the $1000 mark. No particular order to my choices.

    1. Luminox Colormark. If all you want is to tell the time, this is one of the most utilitarian watches out there. There are a lot of models under $1000, but for pure utilitarian appeal I'd go with the base model resin case with a NATO strap. Here's why. The fiberglass reinforced nylon body is light as a feather, but more durable than something like Swatch's ABS plastic. It's about as comfortable to wear as you can get. It also doesn't show scratches easily. The dial is laid out legibly without a lot of confusing stylistic choices. It's water resistant to 200 meters, enough to serve most people's purposes, but you don't have to fiddle with a screw down crown due to the double gasket. The bezel clicks securely, and overall the watch has the quality that you would expect from a Swiss-made product. The movement is a standard no-frills unit, but it's proven and does its job competently. If it ever fails, replacements are widely available and cost about $10. The NATO strap is also very comfortable, won't be damaged by water, and will retain the watch even if one of the lugs bends or breaks. And of course the most distinctive feature is its use of tritium tubes to light the hands and markers, so that they can always be read in all brightness levels, whether they've been exposed to the light recently or not.

    [​IMG]

    2. Bulova Precisionist Wilton. At a time when high accuracy quartz watches are becoming rarer, Citizen has released a new offering through Bulova that offers a feature set suggesting a much more expensive watch. With the discontinuation of Seiko's cheaper high frequency quartz watches, this might be the only option readily available under $1000. Some people say that quartz watches are all the same, but watches like these that are built to be accurate within 10 seconds a year as opposed to the typical +/-30 seconds a month that works fine for most people show that horology is not dead in the world of quartz watches. The sweep second hand is also a really cool feature (no fretting over the second hand hitting the marks accurately) reminiscent of high quality mechanicals and uncommon with quartz watches. Even some of the finest quartzes in the world like the Grand Seiko 9F series or Citizen Chronomaster do not have sweep second hands. Construction of these watches is also above average, with features like solid end links on the bracelet models.

    [​IMG]

    3. Casio G-Shock Rangeman. The G-Shock and Pathfinder lines have been staples for function first watch collectors, and now there's a watch that has the best features of both. The Rangeman has every feature you would expect from a multifunction watch, as well as quite a few that you wouldn't. It adjusts its time automatically with atomic radio reception, needs no batteries since it's solar powered, and has the barometer/altimeter/thermometer/compass triple sensor the Pathfinders are known for. It also has Casio-specific features like the backlight that can be set to turn on whenever an accelerometer detects that you've turned your wrist, and has the famous G-Shock toughness and 200m water resistance. It's a watch that does as much as possible with as little maintenance and care as possible.

    [​IMG]

    4. Seiko Sumo. This watch has become an icon of the budget sport watches. It may seem nondescript, but it endures because it does everything well. It's a well-made dive watch with a good bracelet and good lume. The movement is proven and reliable, and has the handwinding and hacking features that many cheaper mechanicals lack. It's also common enough that it's not difficult to find watchmakers with the ability to service it or replacement parts. It's hard to fault a full-featured mechanical diver that's offered at a reasonable price and doesn't have a lot of glaring issues. But what really makes the Sumo stand out is the aftermarket that has developed behind it. Customization options abound to alter the watch to suit any user's preferences. What Seiko offers is a solid base on which to build whatever sport watch you really want. And if you get bored of it, you can always change it again.

    [​IMG]

    5. Vostok Amphibia. This one is significantly cheaper than the other watches I've listed, but it really is exceptional what they deliver for the price. The Amphibia was first made in the 60's, and hasn't changed significantly since then. It's offered in a wide range of cases and dials, and really epitomizes the utilitarian sports watch. The in-house movement has a higher jewel count than most others in its price range, and features springs behind some of the jewels to offer shock protection. It also has a bidirectional winding rotor and a slower than average beat rate that helps to minimize the rate of wear in the components. It's an excellent movement all around, and has proven its durability and reliability over decades of service. What really impresses me about the Amphibia is how well it is designed to be high functioning for a low price. For an example, to achieve the 200m water resistance without making the tolerances so fine that the cost would be greatly increased, the engineers chose to use a non-rotating caseback secured with a rotating ring. This allowed them to press the back against a much thicker o-ring that seals water better. For the crystal, they used acrylic, which doesn't break as easily as glass and can be polished to remove scratches. Under water pressure, the acrylic flexes and flattens, pressing itself harder against the case and making a tighter seal. The Amphibia is kind of like the AK-47 of watches. Born of Soviet utilitarian necessity, designed efficiently to be as effective as possible for the price, and proven to work well over a large number of units and many years of service. The one caveat is that the stock bands and bracelets are terrible, but you can switch out a much better one and still come out with a watch that offers function, design, and history unparalleled by others in its price range.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014


  13. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Maybe, but mostly, you are just refusing to play the game. Clearly, there are going to be better options as you go up in price. However, there have got to be better or worse values at any price range, as for anything else. We can do this for suits, shoes, etc... Certainly we should be able to do this for watches.
     


  14. Patek14

    Patek14 Senior member

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    I'll play your game, but it is also a silly game that demonstrates a lack of knowledge about wristwatches.

    you are probably stuck with a icky quartz movement like this TAG - http://www.prestigetime.com/item/Tag-Heuer/Formula-1---Mens/wau1114.ba0858.html

    Your last stop if you want an auto would be something like this Longines - http://www.prestigetime.com/item/Longines/HydroConquest-Automatic-39mm/L3.694.4.03.6.html

    you *might* find something OK from Seiko or Hamilton in a sport/diver auto form, but for well less than $1k. Again, the ~1,000 range is dominated by really awful, overpriced mainstream "name brand" crap that isn't any better made than a Seiko or Hamilton 1/3 its price
     


  15. Hayward

    Hayward Senior member

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    Well, give that my list originally had ten watches on it before I read the rules more carefully, I'd say you're wrong.

    You obviously aren't going to find a watch with a haute-level in-house movement under $1000. But there are some functional, well made choices out there from independent makes. A number of these are small manufactures that sell direct. They may go away in a few years, but any good watchmaker can service a stock movement. At this price point you can get a reliable stock movement and well-made good looking casework.
     


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