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Advice on Picking a Watch

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  • frankinaug
    replied
    I spent 10 years selling watches of all sorts of price ranges. The Bulova you linked is a solid watch. The Seiko is part of their entry level collection and not as nicely finished as a lot of their other offerings. The Orient is a little nicer looking to me than the other two and a little better quality. It as others have noted an auto which is a different animal.

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  • LosRockets
    replied
    @BenR: Well said. Strangely enough I spent a good hour last night looking up threads on watch forums regarding expensive quartz watches and the sentiment there was not nearly as snobby as I expected. A lot of people said the same thing you did about a good quartz watch (this was inspired by me looking into the Omega Seamaster on Ebay and noticing that the quartz versions were also quite expensive). As much as I'd like a nice automatic, I almost feel like if I'm going to plunk down a hefty sum of cash for a nice watch, it'd be preferable that it isn't so temperamental and expensive to maintain. I will definitely own an automatic or two in the future, but reading those posts and yours made me change my perspective on quartz watches. My current watch is a Citizen Eco Drive that I've happily owned for almost 6 years now. Will probably get a new watch when I enter residency in a few more years.

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  • frost
    replied
    @LBD: well said. Don't believe the hype.

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  • Mike W
    replied
    _Sam,
    Between the Seiko and the Bulova I like the Seiko. I believe the indexes(hour markers) and hands look amazing, though they could come off as being a little cheap. The Bulova branding at the 12 hour throws me off. That being said, I think the Bulova may bring more attention(if that's what you're into)
    EDIT: Looking back, I really like the blue on the Bulova watch. Also, if you're looking for a diver, a lot of people rave about Orient, their watches often keep really good time.
    Ben,
    Now I know where I recognize your new name, when I hound(no pun) WUS for some watch advice/reference, I'll see your name pop up from time to time. You know what you're talking about when it comes to time pieces and I'm glad we have an 'in house' watch guy.
    Last edited by Mike W; November 25, 2012, 01:54 PM.

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  • LesserBlackDog
    replied
    Just a few comments in response to some things that have been said here:

    I'd caution anyone taking too seriously a proclamation that Orient is "superior" simply by virtue of using an automatic movement. The "superiority" of automatic/mechanical movements over quartz is a pure marketing gimmick. Quartz is cheaper, more accurate, more reliable, less prone to failure, and much cheaper to fix and/or replace if it does fail. Automatics are more expensive, less accurate (an auto that gains/loses less than 10 seconds per day is considered highly accurate... a $15 quartz watch will keep within 15 seconds per month), so mechanically complex that they are prone to failure, and quite expensive to diagnose and repair when (not if) they do fail or need servicing.

    There is also a myth (happily encouraged by the luxury watch industry) that quartz watches are "disposable" while automatic watches are built to be heirlooms. That's simply not true. Obviously, you can't compare a $15 Wal-Mart quartz to a Patek or a JLC in terms of heirloom-worthiness. But a higher-end quartz watch is far more likely to survive to the next generation than a low-end automatic like a Seiko 5. Good quality quartz watches are built to last just as long as there are batteries made for them. I have a 40-year-old quartz Seiko I found in a thrift shop. It was dead when I bought it, but has been ticking away and keeping perfect time ever since I popped in a new battery. Personally, I would take a quartz Grand Seiko over most luxury Swiss automatics any day.

    That's not to say there's NOTHING good about mechanical watches. There are aesthetic and sentimental reasons people may prefer mechanical movements over quartz. I like a little variety in my life, so I own a couple automatic watches even though I generally prefer and buy quartz.

    As far as size goes, I don't agree with very much of what AskMen.com's Watch Snob writes, but I do agree with him that unless you're a Sumo wrestler, 40mm is probably as big as you want to go with a watch. You can probably get away with a slightly larger sport watch (diver, chronograph, etc.) but 36-40mm is ideal for any kind of simple 3-hand watch, dressy or not. Take my brother for instance - I am a petite 5'9" and 145 lbs, but he is 6'4" and probably 200 lbs. He wears a 36mm Citizen Stiletto and it does not look small or feminine on him. To the contrary, it looks elegant and understated, rather than clownishly huge and garish like some of the 45mm+ dishplates that are fashionable these days. If you want your watch to look stylish and distinguished rather than trendy and gaudy, I'd advise sticking somewhere around the classic size range of 36-40mm, plus or minus a couple milimeters depending on your size and the style of watch. Contrary to what seems to be a prevailing view among watch enthusiasts, a watch isn't "too small" simply because there are larger watches that could theoretically fit onto your wrist.

    That's my $.02 on the subject, anyway.
    Last edited by LesserBlackDog; November 25, 2012, 12:29 PM.

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  • frost
    replied
    If you want to save a little more, I consider the Tissot PRC 200 an excellent entry-level watch.

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  • Mike W
    replied
    Also the Ray is ~113 right now on amazon, ships free(at least for my Prime account). I believe you don't even have to pay tax depending on where it's shipping from.

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  • FraserCA
    replied
    Perhaps in the total spectrum of watches, yes it's more toward the middle. And I agree there is some stuff out there that is comically large. But I think that when it comes to diver styles, the mako still trends small (hence the reason they came out with a larger version of it). Compared to most of the other divers that compete at that price point--seikos, alphas, etc., it trends smaller. The only diver I currently own is a Casio MDV-306, which definitely looks larger than the mako. I've had a mako in the past and really liked it...definitely not knocking the brand.

    Right now I have an Orient Hammerhead in black which is really growing on me.

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  • mdwsta4
    replied
    Agreed. 40-42 is the sweet spot for most wrists. 45mm+ only looks good if you're an NFL player or rapper.

    Originally posted by MikeAD91 View Post
    The Orient is 41mm... I generally wouldn't consider that to be on the small side. Right in the middle.

    Of those watches, I'd go for the Orient, for the movement. But I also would prefer the simpler classic styling over a dive watch.

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  • JoshuaNY
    replied
    Originally posted by MikeAD91 View Post
    The Orient is 41mm... I generally wouldn't consider that to be on the small side. Right in the middle.

    Of those watches, I'd go for the Orient, for the movement. But I also would prefer the simpler classic styling over a dive watch.
    I agree, 41 is only on the small side because companies are making ginormous watches now a days. Anything over 42 looks too big on most dudes to me. The Diver may be bit busy, but still a classic look. Plus the automatic movement is nice.

    I also like the orient dark blue, at time it looks so deep it seems black, other times its bright blue. A lot of character.

    I had a lower end Bulova with a blue dial for many years and it was a good watch.
    Last edited by JoshuaNY; November 21, 2012, 11:53 PM.

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  • MikeAD91
    replied
    The Orient is 41mm... I generally wouldn't consider that to be on the small side. Right in the middle.

    Of those watches, I'd go for the Orient, for the movement. But I also would prefer the simpler classic styling over a dive watch.

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  • FraserCA
    replied
    Oh and that cheaper quartz watch promo that Orient USA does, I've never known anyone to get a watch through that deal that they have liked and kept. It's usually a womens watch.

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  • FraserCA
    replied
    My thoughts:

    All three of those watches are, in my personal opinion, on the small side of the spectrum for mens watches. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just something to be mindful of. The Orient would wear the biggest, but it's still a smaller watch by diver standards.

    Do you want something blue? The blue on the Orient is very dark. It can often look black or grey in dim or indirect lighting. Again, not a bad thing, just don't expect it to always be visible as a brilliant blue.

    The diver is really in a different category, so it's kind of an apples/oranges comparison. If you want something similar in the Orient family, you could go with the Orient Symphony. That's a pretty minimalist dress watch at around the same price point.

    Lower end Seikos can be really good quality, but people tend to go for the automatic "Seiko 5"s...Look for those, they probably have something similar to that one. I don't like the stock metal bands on the Seikos though. I think they're better with an after-market strap.

    Orients in general are hugely popular watches among watch enthusiasts. I don't know as much about Bulova. Seiko has great quality.

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  • fornio
    replied
    Based on those looks, I'd likely consider this one as well. Orient makes a nice watch and this one seems simpler than the other Orient you highlighted. This with a leather band would do nicely:

    http://orientwatchusa.com/cex05003d

    Plus, with their 30% off code you get a cheaper quartz watch as an addition.

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  • tomservo
    replied
    That's fair, it is a nice clean look, I just don't think the Bulova is worth is at that price. How about this one this one? Virtually the same watch for $100 less.

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