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aren't mechanical watches wonderful

Discussion in 'Watches' started by Angry Scientist, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. Angry Scientist

    Angry Scientist Empty Pockets

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    This is a cross post from another forum entirely, but its applicable here too:

    i must be the only person in my office to use a ceramic coffee mug - everyone else uses styrofoam, the trash can is overflowing with emptys.

    it blows my mind

    isn't it wonderful in todays "throw away" society that a select few of us find joy, and beauty, and elegance in mechanical watches. i feel like they are symbolic of perfect efficiency. turning the otherwise wasted motion of my wrist into energy. so simple, but so perfect.

    clearly my neighbor, who wears a quartz digital, leases a car every two years, has a garbage bin full of poland spring bottles, and has gaping holes in his house's siding (must do wonders for his heating bill) just doesn't get it.

    in some small way my rolex embodies all that is right about the world, perpetual power, nothing to "dispose" of.

    mind you, i'm not a total hippie - i'm not out to save the world, but this morning - staring at the full trash can of empty foam cups, hearing my co-workers talk about how great it is that the price of gas is down so now it "only" costs him 60 dollars to fill his navigator just throws me over the edge sometimes.

    then there's my oyster perpetual, quietly tick tick ticking away the seconds, and that keeps me smiling.

    just a morning thought (rambling thought, i know)
     
  2. Himbo

    Himbo Loaded Pockets

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    I don't know about perpetual. First most of them stop after two days of inactivity. Second, they eventually stop ticking without costly service. Third, if you own more than one and want all of them to be ready to wear, one will have to invest in winders that requires electricity.

    As for being green, it costs more to make, adjust and maintain a mechanical movement. Their superlative performance today is a function of modern technology, including atomic clocks, cnc, cad design etc. A quartz movement is definitely greener by virtue of being simpler to make and install. Most mechanical watches in the under $1000 band are also not cost-effective to maintain (imagine 10-20% of purchase price every 5 years or so).

    About the only clear advantage they have is retain value.

    I'm one of the rare few who don't think they're wonderful, if at all.
     
  3. adimag

    adimag Loaded Pockets

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    I think they are wonderful in as far as the elegance of the mechanics involved to make them work.  All of the tiny parts that go into making a quality auto is truly remarkable.  I agree that they will not work forever without costly maintainance.  But, quartz watches are not perfect either.  In my opinion, the Seiko kinetics or the Citizen Eco drives are about the best when it comes to longevity and cost over the long run.  Still, you cannot argue with the craftsmanship and beauty of a mechanical watch.  There is just something about the ticking movement of a mechanical that makes me smile.
     
  4. stockae92

    stockae92 Loaded Pockets

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    i like my mechanicals because i like starring at the running second hands :D
     
  5. shrap

    shrap Loaded Pockets

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    The comparison between coffee cups and watches is pretty silly. Perhaps if you purchased a gold-encrusted coffee mug that leaks coffee and costs $200, that would be more apt.

    I think it's kind of silly for people who own a watch that costs more than a car, to look down on others for being "wasteful".
     
  6. Mister Scribble

    Mister Scribble Loaded Pockets

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    I have a Seiko auto-winder that I wore for many years,
    with an all-stainless case and strap. It needs a good cleaning,
    but I don't think there are any jewelers around who would
    do a reliable job at a decent price anymore.

    I haven't asked Seiko yet. Don't know if they offer that
    service. If they do, it will probably be expensive, I would guess.

    I llike old-style things, especially the ones I've used. But I have to
    admit that the digital watches can do a lot more, less expensively than
    the analog mechanical ones ever could.

    On the other hand, my Seiko has lasted for more than 20 years,
    I think. I've never had a digital watch that has lasted even a
    fraction of that time.

    The last one I bought--a cheap Sharp digital with an analog face--
    requires you send it back to the factory when you want to replace
    the battery. To be polite: that stinks! :rant:

    I don't think the really expensive digital watches are that much
    better than the cheap ones--correct me if I'm wrong! At least,
    the "brains" (microchip) is probably not that much better.

    Maybe it's cultural, but I find the sound of a ticking grandfather
    clock (or any good clock) quite relaxing. The silence of a digital
    timepiece doesn't do anything for me.

    So the digital timepieces are more functional, but they don't
    have the same charm. But that may change in a few generations,
    when they remember digital as "antique"........

    :idiot2:
     
  7. choubbi

    choubbi Loaded Pockets

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    :iagree:
    I love my automatic watch, I only wear this one now, but quartz watches are such a small ecologic threat... you buy one and keep it for several years, and it will have been responsible of less pollution than one month worth of food packaging or something like that... (I don't have the numbers, that's just a guess)
    A quartz solar watch may be less polluting and have a better lifetime if you just wear it (without watchmaker's service every 5 years)

    I don't get the ecology factor of buying an automatic watch.
     
  8. greenstuffs

    greenstuffs Empty Pockets

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    For me quartz all the way, i can leave them in my drawer for months and they will keep the time. I'm not a watch guy but i like my watches to work and don't like having to buy a watch winder to keep the watch running :D then adjust the time every time you swap watches. We throw more lithium batters from our flashlights or cellphones...
    I may get a eco drive or a kinetic but pure mechanical is just beyond me, i own a Tag Auto Chrono, that thing just sits in my drawer because i like quartz better. I've tried it but is not for me. At first was great you could hear it ticking and the thing seemed alive but after few weeks and beyond the cool factor it started to peeve me off cuz my watch never had the right time as my computer always couple secs off and that peeved me off (yes i am that anal). Then i was asked $300 for a service... so that did it for me. I will probably never own another mechanical watch.
     
  9. goingyard

    goingyard Loaded Pockets

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    I love them. I switched over about 10 years ago and I won't ever go back.
     
  10. SF1

    SF1 Banned

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    I have some of each. I several Rolexs, as well as my digital collection from 1975 thru 1983. In 83 when I bought my first Rolex Date-Just, I put the digitals away, however, recently I have taken them out, and once in a while I wear them.

    The quality of my Seiko quartz digital watches from that era is amazing, and remarkable. It is a shame that digitals' turned into cheap watches in the early to mid 1980s.

    Sometimes they wake my up in the morning. After 30 years, they still work like new.

    Best, SF1
     
  11. Stelth

    Stelth Banned

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    Great analogy!
     
  12. Gatsby

    Gatsby Loaded Pockets

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    I've gone through my fair share of automatic and hand wind watches over the years. I do like the intricate technology as well as a simpler way of measuring time. I've culled my collection a bit and now only have two mechanical watches - an auto chrono (which I lusted after for years) and a classic Seiko diver. Around the house I've always worn an Ironman or GShock while doing yard work, home improvement projects, etc... and have upgraded that to a solar/atomic GShock which I love (a Casio Mudman).

    However, I purchased a Citizen Skyhawk AT a little while ago - and the exact time, no winding and multiple features have sort of sold me a bit on the technology. It's just so easy to put it on every day and not worry about if it's accurate or still running ... and it should last a very long time with no batteries to dispose of (at least it better since it cost as much as my auto chrono did - more actually since I bought my auto chrono used)...
     
  13. DrSpeed

    DrSpeed Loaded Pockets

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    It's not about facts, it's about feeling. Mechanical watches have a soul. And of course, the batteries won't run out at the wrong moment. I wear a Seiko 5 auto at the moment that is cheaper then a lot of quartz watches, and is very reliable.
    I don't have a watch winder although I own several mechanical watches. If I put a watch back on after is has run out of power, I adjust the time, give it a shake and presto... no energy is used when it is not needed. Call it ecological if you like.
    But if I'm honest, I wear them just because I like them, just as I would prefer an old MG to a modern sportscar (wouldn't be able to afford either of them btw).
     
  14. Angry Scientist

    Angry Scientist Empty Pockets

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    seiko is by far one of the best watch manufacturers out there. wear that seiko with pride my friend!
     
  15. nuphoria

    nuphoria Loaded Pockets

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    Big fan of autos here too. Seiko 5's are just about the best value watches you can buy IMHO, but I'm also very fond of the SKX007 I'm wearing a lot these days. Covers all the bases I need in an every day kinda watch and looks lovely on a big fat leather strap from Paul at Orb straps - whom I highly recommend ;)
     
  16. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I've been using this Seiko Automatic since 1976. My other timepiece is a Citizen Auto Pro-Master.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Crocodilo

    Crocodilo Loaded Pockets

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    While I do love mechanical watches, for the art and engineering involved, their performance is simply obsolete and unnaceptable for EDC. They're very nice for a dress-up occasion, fantastic for collecting and admiring, but that's about it.

    Citizen's Ecodrive, Casio's Tough Solar and Seiko's Kinetic movements are the way to go. Their reliability and performance is fantastic. Even classic battery quartz watches are now a very mature technology.
     
  18. hatchetjack

    hatchetjack EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I can't agree that they are obsolete and unacceptable for EDC. I was able to get to work on time and meet all my appointments for the last 30 plus years with a mechanical watch. I never needed to buy batteries and they have served me well. Yes, they do decorate well like my 1932 Hamilton but for the most part, no one seems to notice except for a few who still appreciate old school technology.
     
  19. Crocodilo

    Crocodilo Loaded Pockets

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    Hatchet, you're right, I should have added "for me". I need accuracy. Having to constantly set the time by my GPS is a pain. With mechanical watches I have to do it constantly. Each procedure involves at the very least a couple of minutes, to get the seconds hand to zero, wait for the minute to change... and a couple of days after that, the watch will need it again. That's why I find it unnaceptable. YMMV.
     
  20. carrot

    carrot Loaded Pockets

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    Honestly it has become a point of pride with me that I wear a watch, since so few people in my generation do now. And the fact that it's automatic... well, I love the sound it makes when I listen to it, I love the movement of the seconds hand and in this day and age where almost everything that does anything on its own is electric-powered, the automatic seems almost magical.