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  1. #1
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    Question Long-time Browser, First-time Poster

    As a man with a relatively narrow wrist (a hair over 7"), I've always expected that watches weren't mean to be a part of my attire. After seeing some photos on this site I'm reevaluating that conclusion. I'm a little fascinated by skeleton watches and I'm wondering if some of you ridiculously knowledgeable folk could recommend one for me. I'm looking for something with a relatively small face (42-48mm?) that I can be proud to own for (preferably) less than $500.

    My big sticking point is that I don't know what's a good deal and the only place I've shopped to any extent is Amazon. I get that this is a "do your research" kind of question, but there's such a wealth of knowledge and experience on this forum.

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    Member dbakiva's Avatar
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    Re: Long-time Browser, First-time Poster

    Umm ... a 7" + wrist is not a small wrist, and a 42 - 48 mm watch is not a small watch.
    Over a half century of "just the right amount of odd."


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    Member Drop of a Hat's Avatar
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    Re: Long-time Browser, First-time Poster

    48mm is "relatively small" to you? Yikes.

    Look at Invicta and Welder I suppose.

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  4. #4
    Member Roller.959's Avatar
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    Re: Long-time Browser, First-time Poster

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexGunship View Post
    As a man with a relatively narrow wrist (a hair over 7"), I've always expected that watches weren't mean to be a part of my attire. After seeing some photos on this site I'm reevaluating that conclusion. I'm a little fascinated by skeleton watches and I'm wondering if some of you ridiculously knowledgeable folk could recommend one for me. I'm looking for something with a relatively small face (42-48mm?) that I can be proud to own for (preferably) less than $500.

    My big sticking point is that I don't know what's a good deal and the only place I've shopped to any extent is Amazon. I get that this is a "do your research" kind of question, but there's such a wealth of knowledge and experience on this forum.
    Welcome! Few things. At a tick over 7 inches, I'd recommend topping out at about 43mm. 45mm+ are very big watches. I have a relatively flat wrist, 7.25 inches, and I hang out in the 40mm-43mm range with three watches as low as 36mm.

    Skeleton watches. While skeleton watches can be neat, at the $500 range, some are disappointed in their skeleton watches because you get either: a higher quality movement with non-descript finishing, or a lesser quality movement with more but poor quality finishing. You might consider an open heart instead of a skeleton. Further, I'd also submit that the skeletonization or open heart novelty will run dry quickly. Just my $.02.

    For open hearts and skeletons in your price range I'd stick to these brands for the most part:

    Hamilton (Swiss Mvmt)
    Tissot (Swiss Mvmt)
    Orient (Japan Mvmt)
    Bulova (Japan Mvmt)

    You MIGHT find a Frederique Constant at your price, in which case it would be a great option too.

    I'd steer clear of Invicta, Stuhrling, and the likes. The QC is just too hit or miss.

    Good Luck!
    Last edited by Roller.959; January 22nd, 2013 at 18:36.

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    Re: Long-time Browser, First-time Poster

    Quote Originally Posted by dbakiva View Post
    Umm ... a 7" + wrist is not a small wrist, and a 42 - 48 mm watch is not a small watch.
    Fair enough. My understanding of current watch trends is that everything is getting bigger. The Amazon size breakdown seems to put put the dividing line at 49mm... so, wrongly, I considered 42mm to be on the small end. I appreciated the assistance in adjusting my expectations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drop of a Hat View Post
    48mm is "relatively small" to you? Yikes.

    Look at Invicta and Welder I suppose.

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    Well, like I said above, I only have Amazon to go off of. I think I feel sufficiently silly, now. I was gauging the trend by the "small wrists" thread which seems to show everyone with incredibly large watch faces. (Show off your small wrist! (with watch!))

    Quote Originally Posted by Roller.959 View Post
    Welcome! Few things. At a tick over 7 inches, I'd recommend topping out at about 43mm. 45mm+ are very big watches. I have a relatively flat wrist, 7.25 inches, and I hang out in the 40mm-43mm range with three watches as low as 36mm.

    Skeleton watches. While skeleton watches can be neat, at the $500 range, some are disappointed in their skeleton watches because you get either: a higher quality movement with non-descript finishing, or a lesser quality movement with more but poor quality finishing. You might consider an open heart instead of a skeleton. Further, I'd also submit that the skeletonization or open heart novelty will run dry quickly. Just my $.02.

    For open hearts and skeletons in your price range I'd stick to these brands for the most part:

    Hamilton (Swiss Mvmt)
    Tissot (Swiss Mvmt)
    Orient (Japan Mvmt)
    Bulova (Japan Mvmt)

    You MIGHT find a Frederique Constant at your price, in which case it would be a great option too.

    I'd steer clear of Invicta, Stuhrling, and the likes. The QC is just too hit or miss.

    Good Luck!
    Thanks for the great info! Stuhrling is what seems to keep popping up in search engines (and on Amazon). As a bit of a gadget nut (and engineer) the "inner workings" of something always interest me, but I can appreciate that the newness of the idea might be part of the attraction... and that paying more money for, what is fundamentally, a novelty could decrease my satisfaction with the purchase.

    I assume the term "open heart" indicates a minimal number of exposed innards.

  6. #6
    Member various121's Avatar
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    Re: Long-time Browser, First-time Poster

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexGunship View Post
    Fair enough. My understanding of current watch trends is that everything is getting bigger. The Amazon size breakdown seems to put put the dividing line at 49mm... so, wrongly, I considered 42mm to be on the small end. I appreciated the assistance in adjusting my expectations.
    Trends and fashion are cyclical. Rather big watches are a trend, but the sizing for what is average has definitely gone up over the past few decades. My own rough estimation for the age we live in:

    35mm and below: Vintage
    36mm – 38mm: Dress Size
    39mm – 42mm: Average Size
    43mm – 46mm: Large
    47mm and above: X-Large

    Keep in mind that wrist size, personal style and bezel thickness have to be taken into account and all estimations are based on personal experience and my own prejudice.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexGunship View Post
    I assume the term "open heart" indicates a minimal number of exposed innards.
    Correct. Also, when people refer to QC, they are referring to quality control.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roller.959 View Post
    While skeleton watches can be neat, at the $500 range, some are disappointed in their skeleton watches because you get either: a higher quality movement with non-descript finishing or a lesser quality movement with more but poor quality finishing...

    …I'd steer clear of Invicta, Stuhrling, and the likes. The QC is just too hit or miss.
    This. If quality isn’t a major concern and you’re more into the style and fashion rather than the workmanship, disregard the last line.
    "I only want to know people who are dynamic, intelligent and totally insane"

  7. #7
    Member Roller.959's Avatar
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    Re: Long-time Browser, First-time Poster

    OP:

    Skeleton:



    Partial Skeleton:


    Open Heart:




    Full disclosure, Hamilton calls that partial skeleton an "Open Heart"

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  8. #8
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    Re: Long-time Browser, First-time Poster

    Quote Originally Posted by FlexGunship View Post
    As a man with a relatively narrow wrist (a hair over 7"), I've always expected that watches weren't mean to be a part of my attire. After seeing some photos on this site I'm reevaluating that conclusion. I'm a little fascinated by skeleton watches and I'm wondering if some of you ridiculously knowledgeable folk could recommend one for me. I'm looking for something with a relatively small face (42-48mm?) that I can be proud to own for (preferably) less than $500.

    My big sticking point is that I don't know what's a good deal and the only place I've shopped to any extent is Amazon. I get that this is a "do your research" kind of question, but there's such a wealth of knowledge and experience on this forum.
    Welcome to our fine forum! May god have mercy on your wallet. I know of a few skeleton watches that would fit in your description, but before I link pics of them I have to echo the sentiments of Roller... Are you sure you need a skeleton watch? Or are you just looking for a way to view and appreciate the mechanical workings when the mood strikes. I've found having a display back satisfies that desire for me, I think you'll find it probably does for you as well.

    I think a great starting place for you would be Orient Watch. Lots of well done mechanical watches in your price range and size range.

    But be warned.... 3 months from now you will be posting pics of whatever new watch you end up buying long after this purchase. This is the WUSWISitis you're about to become infected with.

    -Max

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  9. #9
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    Re: Long-time Browser, First-time Poster

    Quote Originally Posted by various121 View Post
    Trends and fashion are cyclical. Rather big watches are a trend, but the sizing for what is average has definitely gone up over the past few decades. My own rough estimation for the age we live in:

    35mm and below: Vintage
    36mm – 38mm: Dress Size
    39mm – 42mm: Average Size
    43mm – 46mm: Large
    47mm and above: X-Large

    Keep in mind that wrist size, personal style and bezel thickness have to be taken into account and all estimations are based on personal experience and my own prejudice.
    That's a helpful breakdown. After recent suggestions, I'm looking at the Bulova 96A135 as seen here:




    That being said, it doesn't quite capture my mind the same way a full skeleton seems to... and more importantly, I really don't have much interested in the secondary dials.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roller.959 View Post
    OP:

    Skeleton:


    Partial Skeleton:


    Open Heart:


    Full disclosure, Hamilton calls that partial skeleton an "Open Heart"
    Thanks for the reference. I believe your "partial skeleton" image link isn't working. But I was able to find other examples.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doboji View Post
    Welcome to our fine forum! May god have mercy on your wallet. I know of a few skeleton watches that would fit in your description, but before I link pics of them I have to echo the sentiments of Roller... Are you sure you need a skeleton watch? Or are you just looking for a way to view and appreciate the mechanical workings when the mood strikes. I've found having a display back satisfies that desire for me, I think you'll find it probably does for you as well.
    Yes, thank you. God has long since forsaken my wallet (Paradigm/Velodyne 5.1, one my second Subaru STi, Oakleys for my eyes only); fortunately my investments and savings see their share of my paycheck long before my wallet does.

    That being said, I'm going to purchase ONE watch and a MODERATE price and thus my addiction to watch shopping will be ended!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doboji View Post
    I think a great starting place for you would be Orient Watch. Lots of well done mechanical watches in your price range and size range.

    But be warned.... 3 months from now you will be posting pics of whatever new watch you end up buying long after this purchase. This is the WUSWISitis you're about to become infected with.

    -Max
    Max, thanks for the advice, and the warning. I'm not sure I know what "WUSWIS" is. But I'm up to date on all of my vaccinations, so I should be fine.

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    Re: Long-time Browser, First-time Poster

    I'm quoting this for future reference:

    That being said, I'm going to purchase ONE watch and a MODERATE price and thus my addiction to watch shopping will be ended!
    That being said, Perhaps a sea-gull? They have a few lovely skeletons for a reasonable price (under 400 dollars on the american website), and you definately can be proud to wear them:

    Last edited by Astragoth; January 22nd, 2013 at 22:04.
    Bernhardt Sea Shark; Tissot le Locle

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