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Which automatic chronograph watch should I purchase?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by hal_jordan View Post

    Personally, I think the $1000-$4000 range doesn't hold much that is interesting outside of some Seiko dive watches maybe.
    Whoooa. Ground Control to Major Tom...

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    • #17
      Originally posted by frost View Post
      Whoooa. Ground Control to Major Tom...
      I second that I got a 1989 speedmaster professional for $1900, datejust, omeg planet ocean. I agree if you want a watch for the look get something cheap that looks how you want it to. If you want heritage and craftsmanship then buy that. Hamilton now a days doesn't do much for me. Same with Tag who I admit never like any of their junk.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by frost View Post
        Whoooa. Ground Control to Major Tom...
        If you have any mechanically interesting suggestions in that price range, I'm interested in hearing them. Maybe a Sinn for a bit over $3000?

        Otherwise, in that range, what would you be paying for besides a pretty face?

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        • #19
          Okay, a couple of things.

          1. I'd favor this Hamilton: same one as the classic, but all silver face. I love this one, though it's too big for my wrist, like all valjoux chronos
          http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Jazzm.../dp/B00AASL03I

          2. Ignore the strap. You can change it out. If you want to pay $200, you can get a perfect matching one, or a super high quality one from a third party manufacturer. The strap is absolutely a HUGE part of the watch from the wearer's perspective, but as a buyer, it's basically like a belt or a pocket square to go with your watch - no need for it to be from the original provider. The exception is stainless bracelets - those should match. If you care about resale, get the version of your watch with the stainless bracelet, and also order a strap (in whichever color you want). Save the bracelet for resale / when you change your mind. Easy to swap them out.

          3. Pretty much every auto chrono in this price range has the same movement, as everyone's said. They're also basically made by the same mother-master-corp (swatch group), so the differences are level of finish e.t.c. Basically, they're all the same on the inside, and while the tag will be nicer by some metrics, it's a diminishing returns thing, like most luxury. Which is fine, just be aware.

          4. exceptions to 3 are Lemania movements in omega speedmasters (first watch on the moon, different movement, nifty, if you care), and the crazy-cool-for-watch-dorks seiko chronograph in their promaster flight master.

          5. How do you feel about used wristwatches? Ick? ok. not ick? then go to the watch forums and get yourself one of these for MUCH cheaper (ballpark is about half the retail you showed, give or take). Something to think about.

          6. These things break / have issues more often than simpler mechanicals, so be aware you're signing up for some annoyance in terms of maintenance (and some expense - watchmaking isn't exactly a growth industry, while mech watches seem to be getting more popular, so I'd assume you'll pay a premium for an expert's time).

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          • #20
            Originally posted by hal_jordan View Post
            If you have any mechanically interesting suggestions in that price range, I'm interested in hearing them. Maybe a Sinn for a bit over $3000?

            Otherwise, in that range, what would you be paying for besides a pretty face?
            1. This is Dappered, not Watchuseek. I think that most would agree that ANY watch in the 4 figure range is considered 'splurge' territory here. The comment you made regarding price strikes me as a little bit coarse, as if someone just told me my new BMW was garbage, and I should be driving an Alfa Romeo.

            2. "Mechanically Interesting" is a term that strikes me as rather subjective, though as a buyer I don't think I would personally spend a lot of time studying the slight nuances between different movements (ETA vs Valjoux, etc). I think there's a fairly large degree of separation between casual enthusiasts and watch makers, though I do my best to admire the history behind the design.

            3. I like the fancy name engraved on that rotor thingy that no one sees ever.
            Last edited by frost; January 25th, 2014, 12:33 PM.

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            • #21
              The higher the price bracket of the watch you buy, the greater proportion of that price is spent on intangibles like brand prestige, history, aesthetics, and so on. "What you get" in a $1500 watch vs a $500 watch is really the same as what you get in a $150 watch vs a $50 one. The watch is probably built a little better, the brand might be a little more well-known or reputable, the movement is probably slightly more reliable or advanced, and the fit, finish, and overall aesthetic appeal is probably better. 3x better? Probably not, but that's simply how it works. If function is your only concern, buy a $50 G-Shock and be done with it. But most of us who call ourselves "watch guys" believe there is a lot more to a watch than its plain functionality. Things like prestige and sentimentality may be intangible, but that does not mean they are not real.

              There is plenty in the $1000-4000 range that is worthy of interest. You've got Nomos, offering entirely in-house movements produced in factories next to A. Lange & Sohne and Glashutte Original for only a tiny fraction of the price of those haute horologie manufacturers. You've got Omega, which offers the venerable Speedmaster Professional as well as new watches like the Speedmaster Racing, equipped with a modern coaxial, chronometer-certified chronograph movement with silicone hairspring. Most of Ball's watches fall in this price range, and their watches are the only luxury watches equipped with radioactive tritium tube illumination for constant luminescence. Not to mention Grand Seiko, which produces some of the finest and most accurate in-house movements in the world.

              Plus there are tons of vintage pieces available in this price range, including from well-known brands like Rolex.

              If you can't find something to interest you in the $1-4k range, it's certainly not for lack of options.
              Ben

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