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expensive vs. inexpensive watches

Discussion in 'Watches' started by Froley, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. powerring
    • In Omnia Paratus

    powerring Loaded Pockets

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    My approach is to have three watches: a tough beater watch, a nicer everyday watch and a dress watch. I don't collect watches although I appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of some of the more expensive ones. I do want the ones I have to be reliable and well designed. As with anything EDC, I recommend saving for the ones you really want, rather than buying a bunch of "sorta" wants.

    That said, I'll recommend the less expensive Casio G-shocks to anyone as the "beater" watch (and I don't mean "beater" in an insulting sense at all). I've had several. They're tough as nails and have survived everything I've ever put them through.
     
  2. chris 223

    chris 223 Loaded Pockets

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    I collected watches for awhile sold a bunch and still have some left. But the nicest one I have is a Breitling Vitessse that I purchased used afew years back . it was for quiet some time an edc . In my opinion everyone should be allowed to have afew super nice toys
    Yes my cell keeps time too but when you put a Rolex or other hi end watch on and feel the difference its like taking an Amg for a ride around the block and getting back in a cobalt. Were only here once I wanna enjoy the ride...
     
  3. Narcosynthesis

    Narcosynthesis Loaded Pockets

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    I have a few 'inexpensive' watches I swap between when mood/activity dictates - by inexpensive I am generally taking about the £80-£150 range. Enough that I feel I am wearing a nice quality, reliable and good looking watch, but also cheap enough that I don't feel worried about wearing an item of such a high value on my wrist.

    The big reasoning is really just that I can afford and justify this price range - while I may need to save up my spending money for a £130 watch, I can afford to do it. A £3000 watch on the other hand is a significant amount of money that I can't really justify spending on a luxury like a watch when it could go towards many, many other things instead. I guess this range is just my logical place - a cheaper watch is just not going to feel as nice, while a more expensive model won't really net me that much extra to justify the extra cost.
    This way over the last few years I have bought a few different watches, so now I have a few options to cater for different situations - a Casio for going camping/outdoors, my dive watch for everyday life or a slightly smarter looking watch for when I need to dress up, and all of those added up still come to a fraction of a high end watches price.
     
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  4. sungame

    sungame Loaded Pockets

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    Just as with knives and flashlights, I go for the middle ground here. I would rather fork out a little bit more for a decent watch that will last for decades, than buying a new cheap one every other year. On the other hand, I could never justify spending thousands of dollars on a watch.

    I really need an analogue watch, as I have never been able to adjust to only using digital ones. Also, I like having a watch at my wrist, available at a literal glance. Last, but not least, a watch is one of the few pieces of "jewelry" a gentleman can get away with wearing, and I have to admit that I like a nice, stylish piece of engineering on my wrist.

    I have never owned more than one watch at a time. Therefore, the one I own must be solid enough for hiking and skiing, waterproof enough for sailing, canoeing or even swimming, and stylish enough for formal occasions. Also,I am nickel intolerant, and rubber straps also make me break out in a rash, so my choices are rather limited.

    My current watch is a Citizen Marinaut. I don't know the exact model, but it is titanium, and it is equipped with Citizen's Eco-Drive, which means it is solar powered - no batteries to change! It is a nice, clean design, with no frills, and it is waterproof down to 10 atmospheres. The only thing I don't like about it, is that the digits don't glow very brightly in the dark.

    This watch cost me the equivalent of about $300. While that is a lot of money, and might be seen as a steep price for a watch, I have worn it for every single day of the last five years. So far, it has cost me about $ 0.16 per day I have worn it, and I hope to cut that number in half before I have to buy a new watch.
     
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  5. Six String

    Six String Loaded Pockets

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    I started out several years ago with watches in the range of $500 to $1800 and had a dozen or so. Then, I decided to move up a notch and now have a half dozen in the $5000 to $10,000 range. Believe it or not, these are still at the budget end of watch collecting for serious collectors. Check out Patek, AP, VC and others. Anyway, I really miss some of the less expensive watches I sold. Just buy what you like and can afford and you'll be happy.
     
  6. Brangdon

    Brangdon Loaded Pockets

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    I guess I'm mid-range. I wear a Pathfinder 1500. For a gadget watch it was high-end when I bought it, but it's not dress or show-off watch. I don't expect it to last forever. It's solar powered, and I don't expect the battery to last forever either, but I am hoping it will last 10+ years. Whether I replace it in that time will depend on whether there's anything better available. Currently I don't think there is.
     
  7. thatotherguy

    thatotherguy EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I don't neccesarily like high end watches or low end watches, I like high value. If a watch has all of the functions I want with the style I enjoy for a reasonable price I'll buy it. For me that means a lot of Japanese and Russian watches- they have everything I want functionally, are high quality, and don't cost an arm and a leg. Anybody that wears a Rolex can keep it- I'll take Soviet/Russian any day. YMMV.
     
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  8. Merrib64

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    The least expensive watch I have is a Smith & Wesson w/tritium lumes then to a couple of Citizen Navihawks and finiallymy
    trusted Chase Durer.
     
  9. defuse kit

    defuse kit Loaded Pockets

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    I'm leery or expensive watches these days. I'm taking the train a lot due to it being an awesome way of getting around, and I have a somewhat unreasonably fear of someone taking a less than wholesome interest in my watch. So most days I stick to a inexpensive Casio. I do have my snazzy watches though :) I don't think I can wear a stainless bracelet again. Titanium is just too amazing for watches :D
     
  10. Racer

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    In my younger days, having an expensive watch or two helped me visualize success. I was always taught that perception is reality, and part of being successful is being perceived as being successful. It's self-fulfilling.

    Now I'm older. The kids are grown. Not so much to prove any more. I still like anything shiny, but I've slimmed my watches down to a Tag, Movado, Casio and Timex. And the Citizen Eco drive titanium that I can't bring myself to throw away. I think I melted some of the internals (or at least the o-rings) when I had the bright idea of setting it on a 100 watt bulb to "quick charge". Oops. But my EDC needs are covered for now.

    These days I still value perception when necessary -a brother's gotta eat- but when I'm off the clock I'm usually in sweats with a $5 watch on. If I'm at a wedding or something, and someone needs me to dress up or look nice, then I'll put on a nice watch. Dinner with the wife? Nice watch. Dinner at home? Timex. So, if no one needs me to look good, well ... I'm older, and I'd rather be comfortable. Take a number ;)

    And man, I'm sure enjoying seeing everyone's watches here. I like 'em all - every single one.
     
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  11. Chris_Himself

    Chris_Himself Empty Pockets

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    My expensive watch is both my beater, dress, and casual watch.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Jailer

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    When I started buying watches 4-5 years ago I gobbled up affordable watches, including several Seiko Auto Divers and G-Shocks. Over time I've boiled the rotation back down to one Marathon TSAR and a G-Shock GW-5600 (for when a lightweight watch is preferred). I definitely prefer quality, durability and accuracy all combined in one watch versus having each aspect installed in seperate time pieces.

    ETA: It's the 5600 that's in my rotation, the GW-300 is in my B.O.B.
     
    Last edited by Jailer, Aug 2, 2012
  13. Sriracha

    Sriracha Loaded Pockets

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    I never thought about it that way. I wear G-Shocks almost exclusively. I like the weight, price, function and reliability. Style is an afterthought. This is how I make most of my gear purchases. However, being a gear freak, I notice others watches! And when I read your post, I realized I have sized people up before, partially because of the timepiece on their wrist! Now I wonder what people think when they see my Mudman! I really dont care so much, but I wonder if I borrowed a Rolex for a few days if people would treat me ... differently? And I love the visualization of success via timepiece choice. Its interesting. It is also another check in the column for "BUY NEW WATCH" .
     
  14. powerring
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    powerring Loaded Pockets

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    I would wear my Casio Pathfinder exclusively if I could. It does look a little weird with a suit but it's my favorite watch for sure.
     
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  15. AnObfuscator

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    For me, if I can't afford to walk into a store and replace an item after it breaks, gets lost, or is stolen, I don't have a use for it. Also, I don't like gear that makes me feel like a target, and I don't think I could wear a watch that someone would be willing to hatchet off my wrist... ;)

    So, I'm pretty much a Casio, Timex, and Citizen watch kind of guy.
     
  16. sbillard

    sbillard Loaded Pockets

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    Expensive watches don't give a better time than affordable watches. I tend to favor watches that are inexpensive (by my standards, which is between $30 and $150) but are quality. A decent quartz watch will last dozen of years.
     
  17. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    I've also considered the prospect of a "Lifetime Watch."

    Generally, it doesn't work; for a variety of reasons.

    You're limited to certain models from certain brands, with certain movements inside. I have my eye on a Damasko DA34. It is an unbelievable modern-day automatic watch packed with a ton of technology. It's a watch that should cost thousands more than it does. Even the case isn't some off the shelf item from China. Damasko makes their own cases. Ice-hardened custom cases. Anti-shock, anti-magnetic. Run by a gentleman who himself is a huge watch enthusiast. Some Damasko models even feature a genuine in-house movement. That's unheard of in such a small brand that isn't a high-end (5 or 6 figures per watch) brand.

    And it is highly unlikely that a Damasko is going to last a lifetime.

    Custom case? If it gets damaged, there's only one place you can get it fixed. Ship it back to Damasko in Germany. That's an option now. 30 or 40 years down the road? . . . The watch side of the business only exists because of Konrad Damasko. When he passes away, no clue if any of his children will take over the company or simply sell the watch tooling equipment for scrap. Not just the case itself. Certain parts of the watch used inside the case are specialized items. While the DA34 uses an ETA movement that any decent independent watchmaker can service, if one of specialized parts needs fixing; then back to Germany it goes. Am I still planning on buying a Damasko? Absolutely! Considering the technology in it, it's an absolutely amazing value.

    There's also no such thing as buying an expensive watch and realistically having it last for decades or even a few years without maintenance. Just not how watches work. Watches that last several decades are the ones that have been faithfully maintained over the years, and often, not worn everyday.

    Wear a watch everyday, and you increase the chances it'll get banged up, scratched up, lost, or yes; even stolen.

    Having said that, there are certain ways to try to maximize a watch's longevity.

    1) Buy a Rolex. Yes, obscenely over-priced. (Going by the current rate of inflation, a brand new Rolex Submariner should cost $2,000. Instead, the price is closer to $9,000.) But Rolex can service modern Rolex watches, as well as vintage ones. Your 1960's Submariner not working properly? Does it need a new part? Rolex will fix it. It'll cost an obscene premium, but your Rolex will get repaired.

    2) Buy a Swatch Group brand watch (not to be confused with buying a Swatch) that runs off of an ETA 2824 movement. I'm not going to get into the ridiculous politics involved in the Swiss watch industry. Suffice it to say, if you want your watch to last a long time, that's the best combination of watch models + movement.

    3) Buy a Seiko automatic or a watch containing Citizen's Miyota automatic movement inside. Unlike the Swatch Group, the Japanese brands are happy to supply independent watchmakers with all the parts needed to service their timepieces.
     
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  18. xtrajack

    xtrajack Loaded Pockets

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    I generally own one watch at a time, usually something that I like. For about the last fifteen years I have been carrying a Colibri 17 jewel skeleton watch.
     
  19. thatotherguy

    thatotherguy EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I'm gonna be a bit of a buzzkill here and point out that although an in-house movement is almost impossible to find outside of very high priced luxury watch, it's not impossible to find. It is almost unheard of in a small brand. I'll make the point that Vostok makes all of their mechanical movements in house and many (if not most) of their watches cost less than $100 shipped to your door directly from Russia.
     
  20. amacman
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    Vostok, is kind of a unique situation. They are a survivor of the USSR when getting a movement from somewhere else was out of the question. Also, Vostok is not exactly a small brand. Not a huge name over here, but big nonetheless. Lost of their under $100 watches are also hand wind movements that were developed decades ago, not exactly heavily jeweled, high BPH movements.