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How do ya choose your watch(es)?

Discussion in 'Watches' started by oke, Sep 3, 2021.

  1. oke

    oke Loaded Pockets

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    So, I know it's different strokes for different folks, and there are a bunch o' factors one might value to help 'em decide what they want/like or are gonna get/use (like price, comfort, case size, weight, materials, reputation, braggin' rights, looks, functions, if it reminds 'em of someone they look up to, etc.), so what helps you pick out the watches you all are sharin' in the various threads?

    I mean, I've got mine and like 'em well enough, yet as one who's totally new to what's all "out there" w/ watches, what I like or why might be different than what floats your boat. I see a bunch of articles about various watches over at GearPatrol, yet really wanna read what y'all think. What makes a watch a good one to you?

    Well, just wanted to learn/understand what folks might value/like/look for in their watches.

    Thanks!
    :cool:
     
  2. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

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    1. Water resistance (at least 100m)
    2. Backlight
    3. Band must be metal or rubber-no leather or canvas or nylon.
    4. Face black with white hands for maximum visibility.
    5. Cost
     
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  3. oke

    oke Loaded Pockets

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    Oh, I forgot about a backlight - I remember that the Timex I had (r.i.p. :( ) had the Indiglo feature, which was cool/handy.

    For the water resistance depth, is 100m in case of any incidents when the watch just happens to get wet, so it'll still function/not be affected by any moisture?

    Are the metal or rubber bands chosen for durability? I think the Swatch I had was great till its rubber band broke (this was back in jh or hs, iirc), and then it sat unworn after that.

    Yeah, havin' the time be readable's a good thing. I was thinking this one blacked-out Citizen Eco-Drive Chandler Military watch was a decent price, size, and had features I thought I'd like, yet when the reviews said you could only tell the time under direct light, well, that's a deal-breaker. :rolleyes_revamped:

    Besides just a listing of whatcha look for in a watch, I suppose sometimes knowing the why (which helps one understand the subjective parts of a choice) would be cool to see/read (if it's not intuitively-obvious)...

    And small world (tangent), since I was mentioning how GearPatrol often posts articles about watches, just got an email with this GQ article, which is also sorta helpful to get a sampling understanding of what's out there: https://www.gq.com/story/best-watch-brands

    Thanks, @Tesla, for the response - was wondering if I asked a dumb line o' questions, when I genuinely want to learn more. I see a bunch of folks posting their watches, and others seem to just already get why they're good choices, yet I didn't/don't.

    I mean, y'all seem tolerant if folks don't have the same picks as you do, so that's cool to see; just wanted some more insight. :D

    :cool:
     
  4. MatBlack

    MatBlack Loaded Pockets

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    I like automatic dive watches. I have a Seiko monster (Dracula) & Hamilton Khaki King Scuba.

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    Last edited by MatBlack, Sep 7, 2021
    #4 MatBlack, Sep 4, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
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  5. Sentinel-14

    Sentinel-14 Loaded Pockets

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    I chose each of my watches for one reason or another, and tech specs were a pretty low (thought not disregarded) consideration.

    Antique Waltham mechanical: Bought this because my coworker was trying to get me into watches, as I had ceased wearing a the cheap Fossil I'd had for years due to the bracelet digging into my wrist while typing. I wanted something mechanical rather than quartz, and didn't want to pay for a new watch without knowing if I'd enjoy them or not. So, for less than $40 this little gem from 1925 arrived from Ebay. Keeps great time and is a great example of old-school manufacturing. Ended up spending 9 months at the watchmaker after the acrylic crystal fell out though: turns out finding shaped (not round) crystals for a nearly 100-year-old watch isn't easy. :p After that, and finding the antique a bit fragile for daily wear, I relegated it to Sunday/dress wear.

    Seiko 5 7009-8210: This one is a pretty standard, basic Seiko5 from the 80's and 90's. It was my first automatic watch, and I wanted something small and understated enough that I would be comfortable wearing it on Sundays. It was intended to replace the Waltham as my dress watch. I rather liked the silver dial, day/date, and small (37mm) size, and I chose Seiko because I knew it was a decent brand.

    Seiko 6139-6005 'Blue Pogue': This was my grandfather's watch, and I wanted to get it working again as something to remember him by. Not to mention it's rather pretty. It needed a lot of work though, and spent the better part of a year at the watch repair place while the watchmaker and I both worked to track down parts. The 6139-6005 is an incredibly popular Seiko, so even junk donor watches are hard to come by and pricey when you find them. And, due to the popularity, any part associated with them costs more than the same part for a less popular watch. This watch also made me think that vintage watches are perhaps not the best thing for the casual collector/user. It is currently one of my EDC watches.

    Heimdallr Sharkey 6105-8110 homage: I bought this one because I wanted a dive watch (every collection should have a dive watch) and I really wanted a Capt. Willard watch; not because I like Apocalypse Now (never seen it actually) but because I like the way the watch itself looks. It's just pretty to me. But, originals aren't entirely cheap, usually need work, and no new parts means they get more expensive to work on with every passing year. As the Pogue taught me, older isnt usually better with these watches, and typically means more money to get them working again. So, a clone made more sense: I get a newer movement with better access to repair parts while retaining the look I love. It is currently one of my EDC watches.

    Casio M5610. I bought this watch because I wanted a G-Shock, and because the solar and multi-band-6 appealed to me. It presently serves as my hard-use, getting-dirty manual labor watch. So far it's shrugged off all the abuse that gets thrown at it, including repeated submersion when I was at the lake a few years ago. It's my go-to watch if I know I'm going to be on the water. I know my Sharkey can handle water too, being a dive watch, but I just feel better about a quartz surviving water than a mechanical.

    So that's why I chose my watches. Mostly for looks, but also somewhat for their tech specs and capabilities.
     
  6. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

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    They are chosen because they don't retain water. I wear a watch 24/7, including in the shower or swimming, so I need the band to repel water. I have never had any issues with metal or rubber watch bands' durability in my 70 years. I think the fact that dive watches typically have some sort of rubber band speaks to their durability.
     
  7. MatBlack

    MatBlack Loaded Pockets

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    FWIW the rubber watch band that came with my Seiko developed cracks after only 3 or 4 years. Fortunately I noticed before it broke apart. I now only use nylon Zulu straps.
     
  8. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    This isn't easy.
    My philosophy regarding watches has changes many times since going down the rabbit hole some 4-5 years ago.
    My initial plan was 3 watches; something outdoorsy like a Casio Pro-trek, Something causal and low maintenance with solar and atomic and something classic with a mechanical movement like a Hamilton Khaki.

    A great plan, but turns out it isn't easy to find that perfect watch in each category so you get a little scope creep along the way.
    It eventually evolved into a kind of collection, but I learned that you have to be a really dedicated collector for a collection to return a kind of enjoyment that can justify the investments that goes into it. I like a lot of watches and the history behind them, but I really only enjoy wearing them and I can only wear one watch at the time.
    Some 25 watches later I'm now downsizing again. A lot.

    The initial plan was actually pretty good, but I've learned a few things along the way, so I'll adjust accordingly and give it another go.
    My current goal is to slim it down to two watches I really like, that summarize my watch enthusiasm and taste in two watches that will cover 90% of my watch "needs".
    Another two, or possibly just one, will cover some practical situations that isn't practically covered by classically styled analogue watches.
    Four watches in total
    1) Grab and go. A Causal watch that is nice enough for most situations and tough enough for most situations. Must have a good quality quartz movement, but no need for fancy features like atomic or solar. Decent WR and lume is a must, but nothing extreme is required. I must like the the design and fit. Would most likely be mid sized case in brushed steel or titanium, either field or dive inspired.
    2) A nice mechanical watch. Something that can work well in both causal situations and more dressed up. Leaning toward a classic (or classically inspired) dive watch.
    3) Smart / fitness ---This is a big maybe--- but I'm considering an apple watch with cellular. I absolutely hate anything resembling a wrist computer, but I also don't like to always have to drag my phone along when I want to go light and fast. I'm already deep in the apple ecosystem so it's the obvious choice if I want to go this route. It's a little counter intuitive to get a new digital device to become less dependent on another, but I think it could turn out to be the more comfortable and less distracting solution. It also allows me to ease up on the lume fixation. I live in a place that's almost totally dark for large parts if the year so I really like a good lume and my fixation on this preference has really been limiting my choices and made me give in on other preferences. Being able to fall back to this one when lume is required makes it a slightly less important feature on my other watches.
    4) Beater. Like number 3 this is a purely practical watch with no feelings involved. I'll just keep one of my G-shocks to fill this position.

    There will probably be some of my current watches that has very little resale value. I'm a bit undecided on what to do with them. Might keep them as backups or give them away as gifts. Just have to wait and see what the market says and which ones I get stuck with.
     
  9. demPho

    demPho Loaded Pockets

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    Though I’ve always liked and worn watches, I’m just recently “getting into it.” I view wrist watches as a tool since that is technically what they are but also as a “fashion” item despite the negative connotation. The latter being a problem for my wallet since there’s far more ways to employ a watch as a wardrobe accessory, which leads invariably to more pieces in the collection than are truly necessary.

    My primary criteria is that each piece needs to fit my style both in look and application relative to my lifestyle. I run a residential construction company, shoot guns, bike, fish, and boat. I run heavy equipment, work on my property, and chase around a very spirited two and a half year old. Everything needs to tolerate those environments. Not surprisingly, my personal style is rather utilitarian, hard use, military style which leads me to divers, G Shocks and field watches.

    I have already, and plan to stack those categories in my collection. I used to be heavily into menswear but it doesn’t fit my lifestyle much anymore so I don’t need anything major in the dress category, although one or two wouldn’t hurt for nice dinners and church.

    Specs wise, sapphire, mech/auto, and of course the more WR, lume, and general :censored:ery the better. Next up on my lists is the Hamilton Khaki Field 42mm polar and the Marathon Arctic GSAR 41mm. I am experiencing a bit of the G Shock square bug at the moment, so we’ll see where that leads lol.


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  10. oke

    oke Loaded Pockets

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    Wow, was offline for a bit this weekend; cool to see some more responses!
    Whoa, nice! Don't think I need a dive watch, yet that Seiko sure looks capable (& the Hamilton doesn't seem bad, either)!

    @Sentinel-14 - Thanks for the insights into whatcha get - seems like you've got a lotta experience along the way. Had to use Elgoog for the models to see what you were talkin' about; cool to learn more from what you've already figured out.
    Well, maybe as a kiddo, I was extra rough on the bands, or, back then, maybe Swatch's bands weren't the best quality?!? Good to know yours have held up! Oh man, just remembered another watch I miss. One time at the lake, I decided I was gonna test out a watch's WR, so I kept it on while swimming. Never figured out how well it did, though. Why? 'Cuz, somehow, when I was drying off, it wasn't on the wrist; I guess some sorta movement or action popped open the watch clasp and it fell off. Ugh. I attempted to dive around and look at the bottom near where we had been, figuring that the metal might be shiny and I'd see it, yet I never found it...

    @MatBlack - That's awesome you noticed the band was gettin' cracked - for mine, it seemed like a surprise when it snapped... Kinda wish I had that one still, and maybe with a replacement band, it'd be fun to wear again.

    @aicolainen - Thanks for the insight about your "plan", and funny about the scope creep! Wild that you've gotten 25 so far! I've gotten that way with writing instruments, and I've attempted not to do so with watches, yet I figure it'd be difficult to really boil down one's "needs" for a watch into just one end-all-be-all, if a person really starts looking for the "best"/optimal one... That's a good idea to have one depending on the activity. What's sorta sad to see is this article of 5 items which have outlived their usefulness, and seein' "conventional wristwatches" makin' the list... :( Anyway, I do like that you've narrowed down, or have been able to outline, what you want to use and why - that's nifty!

    @demPho - I've gotten to browse the Watcha wearin' thread, and it's neat to see y'all's shots of the watches and also a glimpse of the occasions/activities in which they're worn. I have no idea if my Relic and Seiko'll be sufficient for my needs, and much less what folks think of 'em, yet it's cool to see and learn more about the various watches out there.

    Well, I guess I'll invite the criticisms, yet what do y'all think of the old Relic and the Seiko which I like/have? Yeah, just curious.

    :cool:
     
  11. Sentinel-14

    Sentinel-14 Loaded Pockets

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    I'd say what we think of your Relic and Seiko Chrono are immaterial: if you like them, that's all that matters. It's your man-jewelry, not ours. ;) Personally, I don't care for either of them as they're just not my style, but that's fine: they're not mine.

    And that article can claim all it wants that conventional wristwatches have outlived their usefulness, but they're wrong. In the city-dwelling, subway-riding, clean and quiet office working environment the writer (probably) lives in, yeah, perhaps a wristwatch isn't needed. In this day and age it's all too common for people to use their phones for everything, including as a timepiece. But, in the early 20th century we moved away from pocket watches because they were big, bulky and you had to fish them out of your pocket whenever you wanted to check the time. Sound familiar? Wrist watches were and are much more convenient. Further, there are plenty of occasions where pulling out your phone might be impractical or even outright rude. My brother once worked for a company that made all employees lock their phones in a locker upon entering the building: they were prohibited from having them out on the floor. Most hospitals prohibit employees from having cellphones while on shift, and even discourage visitors from having them. An office meeting, at church, or at a high-brow party, it'd be rude to pull out your phone to check the time. A wristwatch provides a convenient way to discreetly check the time and it's always with you. Furthermore, there are plenty of manual-labor-type jobs where grabbing a phone to check the time would be more hassle than turning your wrist a bit. Say, farmer, carpenter, pipe-layer, electrician.... So yeah, that article is dead wrong, and the author is clearly showing his ignorance and tiny bubble of experience.

    I'd post pictures of my meager watch collection, but I don't have any to upload nor do I have a host. Ever since Photobucket went to crap I've not bothered getting set up somewhere else.

    Something I'd like to add: I prefer mechanical watches over quartz. I appreciate the precision with which quartz can keep time and acknowledge it's superior to any mechanical movement for that purpose, but as an engineer I appreciate the level of precision and brainpower it takes to design and manufacture a mechanical watch that can keep time down to an accuracy of plus or minus 3 seconds a day. So, that informs my watch buying: quartz just doesn't interest me the way mechanical does, unless there are other features that mechanicals don't have, like solar-charging and atomic time.

    I'd say the smallest collection I would want to have would probably be this:
    • a hard-use, beat-it-like-a-rented-mule working watch that isn't too expensive to replace if/when it gets damaged
      • My Casio GWM5610 fits this slot for me, but the DW5600 is what I recommend to most men for this job if they need one, and as their "one and only" watch if they're not interested in anything nicer.
    • a somewhat nicer, casual, everyday watch like a diver or chrono
      • my Sharkey and Pogue fit this bill for me, but I could also see a Rolex Submariner, a Seiko SKX, Monster, Urchin, Tuna or Turtle, a Hamilton Khaki field watch, or a Citizen BM8180.
    • and a classy understated dress watch for formal and semi-formal occasions. Do make sure your dress watch is on a leather band, and that your band matches your belt and shoes. For formal occasions fashion does matter, after all. ;)
      • a Stuhrling Maestro 849 or an Orient Bambino would do here with excellent economy. Alternatively, a Nomos Orion 309 or a Patek Philippe Calatrava, though you're looking at "real money" now. The Patek is (or at least can be) up in mortgage-the-house territory, while the Nomos is at least attainable at around $2500.
     
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  12. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, the writer's opinion may have outlived it's usefulness...:bounce:
     
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  13. MatBlack

    MatBlack Loaded Pockets

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    I'd argue the "Saturday Evening Post" has outlived its usefulness. I didn't even know it still existed.
     
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  14. smokingfish

    smokingfish Loaded Pockets

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    I'm picky.
    No dates, auto, and simple.

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  15. RogerStenning

    RogerStenning EDC Junkie

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    My current watch was a specific decision to get away from batteries. So, an automatic wrist watch with a day/date function, and a second hand. A 'hack' feature would have been nice, but I ended up with a Seiko5 series watch (a 7S36-03J0) without the hack function. It's got the 22mm band width, so I've stuck a Zulu strap on it, which is an improved NATO format of strap. I'm reasonably satisfied :)
     
  16. oke

    oke Loaded Pockets

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    Good points, and thanks for the open-minded viewpoint.

    I think another thing I wanna understand better is why some "flavors" are faves in the watch world, even if what I might like (and one's preferences may be subjective and transient) doesn't 'xactly follow the crowds (however big of a following some watches may have). Although, if I happen to choose something that's a total lemon (and folks are aware of that), I would want to know that kind of info.
    Yeah, it's sometimes interesting to see folks who publish stuff as if they're some "expert" and it just shows their point of view, which may or may not be out of touch with a majority of folks' experiences. It's probably a deal where, in his circle of acquaintances, he's in an echo chamber of folks who see/think things exactly as he does, so he didn't find anyone to give a counterpoint and help him see things another way, so he thought he figured out something profound enough to share with the world, or somethin'... :rolleyes_revamped:
    Yeah, it took me a bit, and I really don't know how long this other image host'll be around or offer free hosting and hotlinking, yet usin' imgbb at the moment seems to work decently. And I think that folks who use tapatalk to access the forum can upload images w/ that app as well. Although, yeah, ya probably would need to get some pics first. :D
    I concur with all the points ya made here (and hey, what's your engineering discipline?)! Aside - for the Relic, it was a thoughtful gift, and I appreciate the thought that went into picking it out, so that's what I've used & liked for ~ 13 years. And I thought a solar-powered watch would be sort of an upgrade (baby steps over here, lol), so I looked at a few Citizen and Seiko offerings until I narrowed down what I think I'd like within my lowly price range (& relyin' on online info; also, this one'll sorta be a reward for studyin' for and soon passin' the PE exam).

    So, even though I do appreciate the level of effort, design, and workmanship put into creating mechanical watches, and think it'd be nice to wear one, currently, I feel like there can be a lotta passion, care, and maintenance involved when getting into mechanical watches (as well as fountain pens), & there are other priorities which take precedence for my time and resources, which means I'm mainly usin' the usually dependable ballpoints and wearing quartz watches, for the time being. Someday, though...
    That's cool to see whatcha think is a good selection of watches. Had to use Elgoog some more to figure out what all ya were referencing. Just wonderin' - in the list you made, does @demPho's G-Shock fit in one of the categories? Don't know a lot about it, yet it definitely seems capable enough. Not sure how much it costs, either, or if it makes "sense" to get one like it, yet really diggin' the well-built/tough look of it. Just curious. Probably something I don't need or need to look for (or need to spend time looking for something similar), but still...
    I think that, maybe at some point, I'd like to get an automatic, yet haven't started that journey yet. & boy, there sure are a bunch from which to choose!

    :cool:
     
    #16 oke, Sep 17, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
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  17. adnj

    adnj Loaded Pockets

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    Legibility
    Features
    Water resistance
    Design
    Style
    Etc.

    I have bought a lot of watches. I still have a bunch. I have cheap digitalis for cutting the grass through to 18k automatics for getting dressier. I rotate them and may wear four or five watches in a day.

    If I look at it and like it, that's enough.

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  18. demPho

    demPho Loaded Pockets

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    [​IMG]
    If you’re talking about this one, it’s the GSTB 100D-1A and as much as I like it, I absolutely would not recommend this if you’re just first venturing into the hobby. There are better, more well rounded options for the money in the “beater” category. I do LOVE me some G Shocks tho. There’s almost too many G Shock options. You could get one of the many resin options AND a decent automatic watch, say from the Seiko 5 line, or even Orient for the same price, for example.


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  19. Sentinel-14

    Sentinel-14 Loaded Pockets

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    Technically I'm not an engineer: I have an AS in Drafting and Design and over a decade of experience. But these days most people don't know what a 'drafter' is so I just tell them I'm an engineer to get the general idea across. Though, one of my professors in college called drafters "spatial engineers" becasue we engineer empty space into something useful, so there's that. :p My education is in manufacturing engineering, while my experience is in civil and structural engineering. Did a fair bit of wastewater work before moving into foundation design. What's your discipline?

    not a lot of care or maintenance needed, really. There can be, if you want to be, or you can be a casual buyer/user like me. My sharkey is built around Seiko's bombproof NH35 movement and, as a dive watch, is rated down to 200 meters or so. It can take a hit, take pressure and water, and still not care. It's a true dive watch, not just a look-alike poser. And it only cost me around $200. For reference, my Casio GWM5610 was $100. The SKX has been discontinued and replaced by the Seiko 5 Sport line, I believe. Or you can get custom homages to the SKX from LongIslandWatch and have the same reliability. The point is, you can get into mechanical/automatic watches for not a lot of money. More than a cheap quartz, yes, but you're paying for the work it took to develop and manufacture all the tiny parts that make the timepiece work.

    demPho's photos show the Casio GWM5610, same watch I have. It's a solar watch with mutli-band 6 atomic timekeeping. The DW5600 is the same watch, only without solar or atomic, and at half the price.
     
  20. TheGremlin

    TheGremlin Loaded Pockets

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    My preference kind of runs the range. I usually prefer small cases, around 38mm, with a field watch style. That said I do have a Michael Kors dress watch that is pretty massive (I think around 44mm), and a Gshock that I wear for work which is about the same size. I have 2 Citizen Eco Drive watches, one being the Chandler. FWIW, I've never had trouble reading the time from any angle. For the most part I've settled on the Gshock for work, and the Chandler for personal time, the others being situational. I also have a FitBit Charge4 that I've been wearing a lot, but that's for purely practical reasons. I don't really care for it, and always prefer a regular analog watch.
    The only thing I would add to my collection at this point would be a decent automatic. I'm thinking the Seiko 5 right now.

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