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January 03, 2014

Comments

jonnybardo

I really hear what you're saying about the predictable cliche of the Rolex, Breitling, Panerai, etc. I like the idea of the micro-brand - a small, boutique company that makes watches out of love, and also unfettered by tradition or expectation, and of course with the "name brand factor" that multiplies the price tag.

I've also found that micro-brand companies are very friendly; I had a back-and-forth email exchange with Ben, the owner of Tempest (can't remember his last name). He was very friendly and his love of his product quite

I have found that most of the watches I'm interested in are in the $500-$1500 range, which offers a lot of great watches and I can remain in that range for years to come. But there are a few watches in the $2-5000 range that I do want eventually, like an Omega Seamaster, Breitling Avenger or Chronomat, various Kobolds, and my all-time favorite, the Seiko SDBD001. I could see myself getting one in that range every few years, although not for some years yet (although a used Omega might be in my not-too-distant future).

In the Swiss world of watches, you've got the affordable Tissot and then a solid jump up to Oris and Tag Heuer, both of which make watches on the upper end of the range I like, around $1-2K. I think those offer a lot of the "Swiss appeal" and quality without the price and baggage of Rolex.

As for the last paragraph of your post, I think this is where its good to differentiate things a bit. If you can keep watch to a kind of play, then I don't think it will be more than what it needs to be. Find meaning through relationships, especially with your wife and daughters, and through some creative practice - like writing - and of course work. And even then, that should (in my opinion) be approached in the spirit of play. But if watches become a surrogate for other types of experience, well, we get the neurotic tinges that you and I are both prone to and have talked about.

Angelo

Among the more expensive brands, I like Rolex and Omega (The Seamaster is just classic). And I think the well known luxury brands, as cliché as they might be----are "safer" when you're spending in the thousands of dollars. I understand the allure of microbrands and I'm someone who loves being "different" in what I wear, what I drive, etc.----but I think there's an inherent risk in a microbrand that is simply not there with a prestige, well known watch----that can at times, gain value as oppose to losing it. A company like Rolex has spent generations building a reputation for excellence and the watches really are good----as are Breitling and Omega watches and the others you've mentioned. The factories are advanced---the suppliers are the best in the industry----the retail outlets will stand behind the product and so will Rolex (and the others) and it's doubtful that they are going anywhere, anytime soon (i.e. out of business, with no support or parts availability). That's the practical side of me speaking. I'll probably never buy a Rolex for myself----but who knows? I'm going to eventually sell my wife's Oyster and hope to get a couple thousand for that----but I don't think I'd plow it back into a watch purchase.

Gary

In the realm of more affordable watches, I just bought a Casio G-Shock GW2310-1.

http://gshock.com/watches/Classic/GW2310-1

This is my first G-Shock, and I like it quite a bit. It's solar powered and has atomic time setting. I like the layout of the display, which is sharp and contrasty. It wears a little smaller than the stated dimensions might suggest, because some of the width is due to the button guards and some of the thickness is due to the crystal guard. The strap is a little on the short side and is somewhat stiff, but it works fine for me (using the 4th hole). Those with large wrists, like Jeff, will likely find the strap too short.

I like that it takes just one button press to swap the Day and Date for the World Timezone and Time on the main timekeeping screen. The "power wheel" on the display looks cool. It shows if PowerSave mode is enabled, and also the level of battery charge.

It seems very well built and is light on the wrist. One downside is that the alarm is relatively quiet, but this seems to be a common issue with G-Shock models. Another issue is that the display is somewhat small compared to the width of the case, so the digits are on the small side for a watch this size.

Overall, I recommend it.

Here's a short YouTube review of the GW2310-1. There are more detailed reviews of the negative display version available on YouTube as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy4RsPBwXSY

Carlos Edwards

An English professor should know that the nation comprises states and the states compose the nation.

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