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Best watch you own less than $800

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    Best watch you own less than $800

    Just turned 40 and I'm treating myself to a nicer watch. I own some Orients, Citizens, Timex, etc - all that have been posted on here by Joe. However, I'd like to step up my next purchase. I know there's been tons posted by Joe, but wanted some personal input from the group, especially since some of your watches may not have ever been posted here.

    We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.” ― Charles Bukowski

    they're not widely beloved on here like a number of other watches that are frankly very similar or of the same quality, ie the seagull watches? but, i have been using a quartet of invicta watches for a number of years now and mostly had good results. i think most of mine are battery models too, and they've been reliable until i manage to abuse or destroy them, at least.


      Hamilton Field Khaki, 38mm. if I HAD to go to one watch, it would be this one.

      My Seiko Samurai Blue Lagoon is a darn fine watch too.


        To narrow the field a bit, what style of watch are you considering - dress, sport, hybrid...?
        Sent from my CONTROL shoe phone inside the Cone of Silence


          I think in that price range, I would look toward a Hamilton, Tissot, Chirstopher Ward, or Shinola (maybe on sale?) depending on your taste. Seems to me, that the over $500 under $1000 price range is a bit of a no man's land in the watch world. There are very nice watches spec wise in that $200-$500 range, and then I think a bit of a gap until you get to the big boy name recognition watches like your Tags, Tudors, Omegas, Rolexes and so forth but then you're talking over $1,000 up to multiple thousands. I still get tons of compliments on my extremely affordable Orient Ray that I got for less than $200, and have had people mistake it for a much more expensive watch (not that that's the point, but still).

          If it were me, with that price range, I would probably go one of two routes. The first is figure out exactly what your dream watch would be, and start scouring the eBay. Might sound like an odd suggestion, but there are bargains to be found. Once you buy, first thing you do is take it to a respectable watch repair shop and have them authenticate. eBay/Paypal gives you some flexibility in terms of canceling your payment in the rare case you get a scam watch. If I were set on brand new, I'd look to Hamilton personally. You might find one that you like well short of the $800 mark, but that's OK. Set aside some of the extra for service.

          A few years back I did the eBay route, and bought a vintage Omega DeVille on eBay. Had it authenticated and everything, and was really happy with it. I ended up selling it (again on eBay) as it was coming due for service because I couldn't stomach the $500+ service charge on something I bought for $400 just to keep it going. I ended up making money on it actually.

          I know this doesn't exactly run to your question...but if I ever venture into the more expensive watch brands again, I think I would set an account up to aside money each month until I got up to around the $2,000 mark and would look to eBay for an Omega Aqua Terra in good but used condition. To me that watch is as close to a do anything watch as there is out there. I'd also seriously consider quartz to keep the price and service costs down.

          I think once you accumulate the money into a separate account, it makes you really think, do I want to spend this $2,000 on a watch, or do I have something else I need or want to spend it on? And that's going to be a matter of personal preference and particular situation for everyone.


            If you are willing to be go the pre owned route and are patient, you could pick up a Sinn 556 for close to $800. I had one and would buy it again if I hadn’t picked up a Vintage Sinn 903. Sinn watches are one of my favorite values on the pre-owned market.

            I have also owned a Hamilton Intra-Matic that I really enjoyed as a dress watch. I have since replaced it with a Nomos Orion (which I would also recommend, but might be tough to find under $1,000).

            There are also a ton of micro brands making cool watches for $1,000 or less. Christopher Ward, Brew, Marathon, Lorier, Baltic and tons of others. Check out worn and Wound and read some of their articles/reviews for some of the smaller brands.

            If some of those are over $1,000, you can usually pick them up in good shape on the secondary market for close or under your price range. I use Watchrecon to look at what’s out there.

            Careful, the nice watch game can turn into an expensive obsession!


              Thanks a lot by the way, all I've been doing is scouring eBay for watch deals the last couple of days!


                I have this guy, pretty sweet watch. The numerals shine so nice in the light, and the 80 hour power reserve is super nice to have. For a more dressy watch, I would look at Seiko cocktail times which have beautiful dials, and Seiko quality.


                  I am a big fan of my Seiko SKX009. Build quality is great and the watch just works. No fuss no muss. I took the watch off the rubber band that it shipped with and put the watch on a NATO though.

                  Also, funny enough, this is the only watch beside my Speedy to get random comments. For example back when I was travelling for work (damn you Covid!) I was having a beer at the airport. This dude beside me saw my watch and started chatting with about the watch, how he wants to purchase one, etc. Aside from when I was reading Atlas Shrugged, that's pretty much the only time randoms have started chatting me up.


                    For an everyday watch, for a slight bit more, I'd get this:


                    Gets sooo much right


                      I have a Seiko SARX043 and it's really nice. Beautiful. The bracelet and face are soo nice.

                      I do wish it was tiny bit smaller though - it's not actually that large (40mm) but looks larger due to the design. So sometimes appears a bit blingy.

                      Lume would be nice. But it's gorgeous so I still love it.

                      Price is around $550-600 I think.

                      Here is a review by JOMW:

                      Last edited by JT10000; January 1, 2021, 06:45 PM.


                        My best watch under $800 would be the Evant Decodiver. I have it here on a miltat super engineer bracelet, but it comes with a couple of nice leather straps as well. They were $600 new, and pop up on the used market here and there for maybe $500.

                        You may want to look at watchrecon if you're looking for a used piece. eBay has a lot, but people selling on the watch forums are single-minded focus on watches, and there is a lot less counterfeit and junk to sift through vs. eBay.

                        If you're looking for a field watch, I'd look at used Sinn or Weiss; you can probably either for $800 - $1000.


                          Depends what style you want. I’ve got a mix of sub 500 buck automatics. My favorite is probably my Hamilton khaki with the big curved day on top. Orients are really nice as well. And I have multiple seikos, all pretty nice. I also recently picked up a spinnaker which I think is pretty cool, but doesn’t feel quite as refined as the others.


                            Seiko Spb143. Best watch I've ever owned. Sold almost (or am in the process of selling) everything else after I bought it. You might need to stretch the budget a tidge, or buy gently used (what I did.)



                              If I had $800 to buy a watch, I'd go for a Sinn.