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Am I ready for an automatic?

Discussion in 'Watches' started by pduds, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. Brangdon

    Brangdon Loaded Pockets

    Apr 9, 2006
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    The feature you want is called "hacking". It stops the second hand. You wait until it's at the 12 position, then pull the crown, and it stops. Then you adjust the minute and hour hands. Then when your time source hits the full minute, push in the crown.

    You can also pay to have an automatic watch made more accurate. Mine gains about 10 seconds a day. If I cared enough, it could probably be got to within a second a day. It needs a skilled craftsman to open it up, adjust it, put it back together, let it run for a while (days?) then repeat.

    You can sometimes improve the accuracy by how you store it overnight when you're not wearing it. I gather crown-up tends to run slower, crown-down tends to be faster.
  2. MKram

    MKram Loaded Pockets

    Jan 11, 2009
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    Sure you are...with caveats. I have a Seiko 5s that is NOT certified as a chronograph but stays within +- 18 seconds each month, provided I wear / wind it a couple times a week. Back in the day, the shipboard clocks had to stay within 15 seconds of local noon, in order to establish the "local" longitude and provide a close to correct distance from Greenwich. You can always cross-check with an established time / location hack, that reassures your timepiece is close to the standard.
    Moshe ben David likes this.
  3. ac7ss
    • In Omnia Paratus

    ac7ss Loaded Pockets

    Aug 25, 2012
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    I have also been bitten by the bug recently, It all started when I decided to put a band on a watch that had been floating around the drawer for a decade or so.

    I like the smoother movement of the automatic/mechanical watches over quartz.

    I now have 2 automatics in regular rotation, a Seiko SRP715 from Costco, and a Parnis GMT from Amazon. Both keep at about +5 seconds per day after using them for a week. Both have a 40+ hour reserve (measured by me).

    Now if you want a smooth movement, I also have a Bulova Accutron II Moonview, that sweep is smooth as silk and within 1 second per week. It is battery powered though and will run down eventually. The price is decent as well.

    Other than that, I have a few other quartz based watches that are atomic set or "smart".

    I guess what I am trying to say is, "Do what feels right", A cheap Seiko 5 will run you about $50 and will keep decent time if you wear it regularly (You cannot just hand wind them) and can fit into many social situations easily. If you are rough on watches think about that as well.
  4. Dingle1911

    Dingle1911 Loaded Pockets

    Jan 6, 2016
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    This is an interesting thread. When I purchased my first watch over $30 it happened to be an automatic movement. I was constantly checking time.gov to see the accuracy. It was not accurate, it would loose or gain a few seconds per day. Then I learned that this was common and to be expected. I love the ticking of the movement and I have learned to deal with the watch loosing or gaining time depending on my activity.

    I have been researching and coveting a Grand Seiko Spring Drive for more accuracy, but I cannot justify the cost to myself yet.

    I would say if you want absolute accuracy it is best to stick with quartz. If you enjoy mechanical things and are ready to deal with setting your watch every few weeks then go with an automatic movement.
  5. bj warkentin

    bj warkentin Loaded Pockets

    Jan 8, 2014
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    I have A Seiko SKX007K2 (the classic dive watch). It gets worn every day, rain or shine. I work in home renovations and it only comes off when I am working with concrete. For the first year it was always fast (~5 minutes a week). This was not a big deal as it was fast, I had no issues adjusting it every week or so, and I have a cell phone if I desperately need to know exactly what time it is. As a somewhat OCD person it was very liberating to switch to a watch that kinda right (I used to wear high end digitals with auto syncing) and to learn to deal with not knowing exactly what time it is. I really enjoy the thought of all those tiny gears and springs working away. Interestingly enough it is almost 2 years old and has stabilised down to around two minutes a month. To me that is amazing and the joy I get out of having a completely mechanical watch far outweighs adjusting it now and then.
    Moshe ben David and keycutter like this.
  6. Pilot

    Pilot Empty Pockets

    Apr 15, 2011
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    I only wear mechanical, or self winding, mechanical (automatics) except for one Marathon quartz Navigators watch. They are not as accurate as a quartz watch, but that doesn't mean they are very inaccurate. My $70 Russian Vostok Amphibian automatic is within 5 seconds per day, and my Bombfrog with Seiko NH35 movement is within a second or two per day, and that is another inexpensive "workhorse" movement. My more expensive Swis made mechanicals are actually a bit less accurate at +- ten - fifteen seconds or so per day, but still plenty accurate.

    Get a Seiko, Orient, Vostok, or microbrand with a Miyota, or Seiko movement, and have fun! .
    Moshe ben David likes this.