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July 09, 2013

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jonnybardo

While I agree with the logic behind Ulysses' words, my short response is: "So what? Why do I need a watch that will last 100 years?"

Fashion watches ARE disposable, and I think that's the point. Now certainly that makes for an expensive, wasteful hobby, but that's where personal responsibility and moderation come in - and simply knowing how to live within one's means.

I mean I hear you (Ulysses) that most Invicta, for instance, are dated when you take them out of the box. Certainly I have a hard time imagining people wearing Venoms and Capsules 20 years from now, except as a retro thing. But again, so what?

But there's a balance. I don't think anyone wants to buy a watch and be done with it after two weeks. And, to be honest, that has happened with me - especially with Invictas. But I've also found that style preferences come and go. Right now I'm wearing my Seiko SKA425, which is quite outrageous - even ugly - in styling. When I first saw it back in November I loved it and ordered it almost immediately from Italy. When I got it I liked it a bit less than the image in my mind (which is usually the case), but still loved it. Then I found myself wearing it less and less, preferring the more classic Black Monster or SSC015. Then I discovered Orient and my SKA425 was left unworn for a few months.

A few weeks ago I noticed that the SKA425 had stopped (its kinetic). In order to get it going again I wore it once a week or so, but that didn't do the trick, so a few days ago I decided to give it some real love and have been wearing it ever since. I had resigned myself to the idea that while I loved the look of it, I just wasn't going to wear it much. But since putting it on - and the point of this detour - is that I've rediscovered my love for this watch.

And here's the real point: What we feed will grow. If we feed the idea that we like this or that style, that notion will grow and we'll like this or that style. A few months ago I was feeding the notion that the more expensive the watch, the better my enjoyment of it. I realized that this was a bad direction to take, or at least one that I personally couldn't go on with my limited finances (being a teacher). So I took a step back and weened myself off watch-buying, at least for a few months.

While everyone has their own individual sweetspot, I think, as a general rule, that the optimum place to be is being able to enjoy what you have, but also willing and able to take in newness, but in a sustainable way. This is different for everyone. For me what it means is (re)learning how to like <$300 watches and buying one every few months, selling older ones off as I go. Anything more than that and I'll both go bankrupt and not truly enjoy what I have. Anything much less and, well, it stops being a hobby and a means of enjoyment.

Someone over at Watchlords advised me to sell all of my cheap watches and keep my very best one or two, then gradually work my way up the ladder, sort of like starting at a company and working your way up, position by position. The idea being, "quality over quantity." But the problem there is that it doesn't allow for diversity (and it focuses on the monetary aspect of "quality"). So my personal philosophy is, yes, quality over quantity, but in the context of diversity.

I think where Herculodge is coming from, or at least where I feel the same way (so will speak for myself), is that Invicta scratches a certain itch that other companies don't. Seiko doesn't make Venoms or Capsules or Subaqua Specialty Reserves. Now maybe those are all gaudy, even a bit silly, and none will be true and certified classics, but they're outrageous, unique and FUN. And I think that's all a "fashion watch" needs to be.

Oh yeah, and they tell time just fine - even without the spring drive!

Angelo

Actually, I thought those smart phones (like my Blackberry) were/are tied to the atomic clock or some other "home" that almost guarantees exact time, if they are working correctly. It's interesting that they might not be as accurate as I thought. But Ulysses----don't you think as a hobbyist, it's okay to have some of both? Watches that are lifetime investments----the ones you favor----but also, watches that are trendy? It's not like a new car purchase that you have to live with for years. If you don't spend too much----and you end up not loving a watch, you can re-sell it or give it away and life goes on. I know that technically you are right---go for quality over quantity, buy investment grade "stuff" whether it's watches or something else. But for some of us----the random collections that include cheaper watches fill the need for a lot less money.

Ulysses

I didn't say there was anything "wrong" in collecting fashion watches, nor did I say that "expensive" watches were better than cheaper ones (I deliberately used the term "high-end") because you can get fine watches at reasonable prices. I was trying to point out what I considered the difference was between high-end and fashion watches.

The response "so what?" is a perfectly valid one, because I am not trying to change the values other people have - everyone is going to have differences of opinion on what the most important values are to them. For me, the fragile, the fleeting, the poorly constructed nature of many fashion watches doesn't reflect my personal values so I am not too crazy about them as you can obviously tell. There are others who want the variety and don't mind what their possessions say about them, only that they look good and are cheap. That's fine too. There are probably some good ones out there but it's a gamble. I don't like gambling, even if it's a small sum, and I would feel bad if I bought a watch that fell apart after a year even if it were a bargain purchase. I'm more of a quality AND value guy, which is why I think the more popular Japanese brands (and to a lesser extent the smaller Swiss brands) offer so much, with well-built, durable, handsome and great value watches to choose from.

Those are just my tastes and preferences. After hearing from so many angry customers and crappy servicing nightmares from Invicta customers I wouldn't go near them. If you've been lucky, that's great but I wouldn't chance it even if some of their designs do look good. Maybe i'm just a tight-wad but I won't accept that kind of risk when I can get something better around the same price even if it isn't quite as trendy. The only Invicta watches that will remain fashionable in the coming decades (if they haven't already turned to dust) will be the numerous ones that are cloned designs of other major brands.

herculodge

Here's what I like about Invicta: Exciting designs and high quality parts like 316L grade steel at a low price. Compare the superior clasp of the 160 dollar Ocean Reef with the cheap clasp on the 550 dollar Seiko Sumo.

Here's what I don't like about Invicta: Quality control is lacking and they don't have customer service support. Also their lume is generally horrible, an insult on many of their watches called "diver."

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