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January 30, 2013

Comments

Doug T.

For me, the most important feature is ruggedness -- I've simply damaged too many watches doing hiking, working on machinery, etc. I also like not having to replace batteries and automatic coordination with WWV ("atomic time"). My favorite is the MR-G series from Casio -- I've been wearing it for years and have not damaged either the band or the dial.

jonnybardo

I'm not sure who is asking the question, but they might also want to begin by just browsing around - seeing what's out there, what styles they're attracted to. Obviously you can't go wrong with Seiko, but there are tons of brands to check out.

Another good watch to look at is the Seiko SSC015 - a great all-purpose watch with excellent lume and solar powered, and it fits the ~$200 price range.

But if someone is really just starting and has limited funds, there are some excellent Seikos for around $150, like the SNZF1 or SNAD61. For a bit less than that, Pulsar is worth checking out or some of the Casio Edifices.

herculodge

Actually, the question comes from me and is rather rhetorical based on a fantasy of having no watches and having to start from scratch.

Those Casio MR-Gs are nice but very pricey.

jonnybardo

Ah, OK. I suppose the first watch I'd buy if I was starting from scratch would either be the SSC015 or Black Monster, or maybe the SKA427. But the SSC015 is just a great "all-purpose" watch.

On a different note, that blue Orient Revolver on Ebay - the one with the missing bezel screw - is now at about $230 with 10 hours to go. Even thought it is in otherwise excellent condition, that screw is not replaceable without spending a couple hundred on a new case and repair (I emailed Orient)...I might have bid on it in the $150-200 range, but if I'm going to spend over $200 I don't want a damaged watch, even something so minor. Call my anal retentive, but I'd rather sell a bunch of watches and buy one new for $612 than buy one used without a screw for $250-300ish.

jonnybardo

Whoops...that should read "call ME anal retentive"...

herculodge

My liking for the SKA427 continues to grow. I have never liked a watch this much. There's something about the way the lume contrasts with the dial that makes it feel more expensive than it is.

Gary

Jonny - Why can't Orient supply the missing screw if they use them when building new watches? This sounds like either laziness or greed on their part.

jonnybardo

Jeff - When you say that, it makes me want to get one.

Gary - I don't know. I contacted Orient USA and they said that Japan could only send them the case which, with servicing and shipping would cost me $225. No thanks. The Revolver is OOP, so maybe they don't make the screws and only have them attached to cases. Or maybe it is similar to what a lot of manufacturers do: make a product difficult to fix a small part so that they can charge bigger bucks on replacing a larger part.

herculodge

Jonny, you had the 427's stainless steel clone, the 371, and returned it, so maybe it won't be as compelling for you as for me or maybe the gunmetal makes all the difference.

jonnybardo

That could be, although the main reason I returned the 371 is that it was too close to a couple other watches - particularly the SSC015 - so it didn't really have a "way in" to regular wrist time. The 427 is a big step removed in that it is gunmetal (plus I really like the yellow accent - little touches like that turn a really nice watch into a great one).

That said, I will probably hold off on it because looking at my current Sextet, I don't see a lot of wrist time for the 371. For a bit there I was wondering if I was going to have to return or sell the SKZ267 as that wasn't getting much wrist time, but then I wore it a couple times and started enjoying it - and then my 7-year old said "That's my favorite watch, daddy" and my wife also voiced her approval so the SKZ267 stays.

Anyhow, I feel that purchasing a new watch requires a certain kind of "placement" - it has to bring something new the mix and offer me a reason to wear it instead of one of my current rotation. If I didn't already own the SSC015, I probably would have kept and grown to love the SKA371 for its "everyday feel." But with the SSC015 and SKX779, there was just no reason to have the SKA371 as well. The closest thing I have to the SKA427 is either SKZ267 or the SKA425, both of which are quite different.

Angelo

Have you guys purged your collection of cheap watches? I still have a variety of watches that are real cheapies----I've reviewed some of them here. I hesitate to get rid of them because I find they are good for wearing when I expect potential damage to the crystal or even possible loss. Some of them----I will probably get rid of when the batteries die. I've even given a couple watches to my eight year old for him to play around with. But lately----it seems as though you've been going up in price and haven't mentioned "garbage time" watches to wear while washing the car, doing other risky work----that sort of thing.

jonnybardo

Angelo - if you look on my blog, I did a post on my entire collection (not including a few junkers). There are a few relatively cheap watches in there - if you call ~$100 cheap. But yeah, its nice to have a gardening/heavy labor watch - a watch that you don't care if it gets dirty or scratched. I have one or two of those.

Jeff - when are you going to take pictures of your entire collection? I'm waiting.

Angelo

I think it's high time we come clean with the no-name watches we're holding (if any). That would make for a few interesting photos. And actually---south of $100.00 is probably way too generous. As people who routinely spend over $150-200 for a watch, you and Jeff (and apparently to a greater extent, Ulysses) are detached from the mass market. Millions of people buy watches from drug stores or deep discounters like K-Mart. Many times, these watches are under thirty dollars. Then, a step below that (in price, though not necessarily quality) is when you look at foreign sellers (from Hong Kong, China, etc.) on E-Bay---selling watches for pennies----and maybe making back a few bucks on shipping. I think the problem is that once you get accustomed to wearing a $200.00 watch----even in higher risk activities, you're almost unable to strap a $20.00 rubber watch on your wrist. You might even just go without. But I'm in a situation where I almost feel naked without SOME watch on. One aspect of my job is inspecting equipment (the guy who reports to me does most of it----but when we're together, I don't just "supervise" I get in and help the best I could)---and I can't wear one of my nice watches for fear of a scratched or broken crystal or major ding on the band. But I hate not having a watch on. So I go with one of the "garbage time" watches. It's an interesting challenge to find watches like this that you really don't mind wearing---for so little money. When I have a minute, I'll take a "group picture" and send to Jeff. I think a true collector might just spend eighty bucks or so on a Casio G-Shock and be done with it---a permanent "call of duty" watch for the tough stuff. But I have fun at the low end having a few choices in my cigar box too.

jonnybardo

I do own two watches that cost me less than $50 - one a Chinese brand "Jaragar" - it is seemingly modeled after a Breitling; I bought it a couple years ago and never wore it. The second is a used older Nautica I bought maybe a year ago, which I also never wore. My older Pulsar was about $50, if I remember correctly.

My Seiko SNAD61 cost me $75, but that is usually $150. Then I have a few Invictas that cost between $90-$125 or so - the Speedway 9223, the Sea Spider, Ocean Reefs (both $110 on the Sunday Run).

I just purchased a used Seiko Land Monster for $125 last night. Now I find that the only time I spend less than $150 is when it is used. There are just no watches below $150 that I'm interested in. Well, there are a few that I'm mildly interested in - some Pulsars, cheaper Seikos, Alba, but for the most part all of the watches I like cost $200+.

Angelo

Funny Jonny---I also like buying "better" watches used. Sometimes, you get an incredible deal---for whatever reason, the E-Bay auction doesn't generate enough interest or bids, and suddenly, you have a great watch for a very low bid. But then---when the watch arrives and is in superb condition----a really nice timepiece----even if the cost was $40.00, the VALUE is more than that. And I get that feeling that I don't want to "ding it up" by wearing it in at-risk situations, even though it was inexpensive. So I turn to a watch I don't care about cracking or losing. But again---even these low end throwaways must have "personality" for me to own or wear them.

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