Looking to purchase for husband, need advice.
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Thread: Looking to purchase for husband, need advice.

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016

    Looking to purchase for husband, need advice.

    Hi there, I am new to the community and I need of advice. My husband has admired pocket watches, specifically skeleton style, since he was a kid. I would like to give him one for his birthday but don't know where to start! What would a good beginner brand be? I would like to keep it under $250. I was looking at JeanPierre (the Double Hunter G250 CM Skeleton Pocket Watch). Is this a good starter option? Thanks in advance for any advice you can give!

  2. #2
    Member mkws's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Re: Looking to purchase for husband, need advice.

    When you're looking at modern pocket watches, almost all of them (excluding the high-end stuff like Patek Philippe or Vacheron Constantin) have a generic Unitas movement. Truth be told, the ones from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s usually had Unitas as well.
    Skeleton PWs... Well, that's the same case with them. I'd be especially careful with these things though, there's a lot of Chinese stuff with French-sounding names. If a modern PW, then I'd advise to stick with the reputable brands, like Tissot. Yeah, they use Unitas as well, but they really mind the quality of what they make.
    When someone asks for advice regarding a pocket watch, my main suggestion remains unchanged- go vintage. There are no skeleton watches from the heyday of PWs, maybe except semi-skeleton stuff like Hebdomas 8 Days watches. But there's a large choice of watches that fit in the budget you've mentioned. I'd recommend Zenith, Omega and Longines. But should you want to go vintage, I'd suggest asking for advice on a specific watch here in the forum, so that a birthday gift doesn't turn into an unpleasant surprise (watchmaker's intervention necessary, fake, franken, or whatnot).
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  3. #3
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Re: Looking to purchase for husband, need advice.

    Welcome to Watchuseek! The sad truth is that most of the skeletised stuff is modern and Chinese. On top of that, a fair number actually have wrist watch calibres that normally look a little forlorn inside such a big watch but the watch style actually turns this into an advantage (you get to see the entire skeletised movement and have space for a white ring with the numerals round the outside). On the whole, in that segment of the watch world, you really have to know your stuff to avoid overpaying. If possible, I would therefore advise you to stick to the more conventional stuff. When it comes to that, older PWs tend to be larger and more modern (post WWII) ones smaller. Having said that, you also get small old PWs but these were usually intended as ladies' pendant or lapel watches.

    Hartmut Richter

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Re: Looking to purchase for husband, need advice.

    The Swiss brand Davosa has pocket watches with skeleton versions of the Unitas movement. They will be above your budget. If your budget is not flexible find the Long Island Watch co. web page (forum sponsor). They have watches with Chinese skeleton movements that are within your budget.

  6. #5
    Member german's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Bristol / Moscow

    Re: Looking to purchase for husband, need advice.

    1. For new watch - you can purchase any brand with skeletonized Unitas movement. If you focused on the movement, those all are absolutely the same.

    2. Vintage Hebdomas, Bonheur, Valor Watch - three early 20th century mass-production brands for skeletons. Those all are not very reliable timekeepers though...

    3. Antique 1860-90's skeletons with cylinder-type movements are way lower quality as timekeepers, but often very nice to enjoy seeing gravers work.

    4. More older antiques with verge/cylinder skeletons.. some of them are a work of art, but not easy to find in good condition.

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