£500 to spend on new watch: Cheap Swiss or (relatively) expensive Japanese?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015

    £500 to spend on new watch: Cheap Swiss or (relatively) expensive Japanese?

    Hi all,

    My first time posting, having found these forums through browsing watch brand names online!

    I've unexpectedly found myself with £500 to spend on a new watch, the most I've ever had to spend on one. I do like my watches despite not having lots to spend on them - my collection consists generally of a Citizen diver's chronograph I was given for my 18th birthday (sadly has a slightly dicky chronograph fuction now...), a couple of £50-£100 dress watches, a G-Shock and a number of Casio digital watches which I like for day to day practicality.

    As I cycle to work, I mainly seem to live in digital watches, but would like to buy a new one more in the vein of my existing Citizen - sporty/hardy enough to wear whilst cycling, but a bit smarter for the office and general smarter dress. I'd also like to be something to last me through the years, maybe even long enough for my son to have one day.

    When I thought I was going to have a little less than that to spend, I was looking at Seiko and Citizen, but when the budget rose to £500, a browse in the watch shops I know of led to some of the more affordable Swiss watches catching my eye - namely Tissot, Hamilton and oddly, one model from Longines.

    My question is, what are people's thoughts on a relatively cheap Swiss watch vs a relatively expensive option from one of those big Japanese brands? Would a £500 Longines quartz watch be any better a choice than a similar priced Seiko? Would a Tissot automatic watch be hardwearing enough for my daily cycle in all weather, the way a Citizen divers watch perhaps would?

    Thanks in advance for any tips or thoughts, and apologies for rambling slightly in the name of introduction!

  2. #2
    Member MisterHo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Mi Costa es su Costa

    Re: £500 to spend on new watch: Cheap Swiss or (relatively) expensive Japanese?

    I think at your pricepoint of 500UKP there is not much difference in quality.
    It`s what you really like.
    There are some quality built "smaller" brands with either quartz or automatic movement:

    Chris. Ward which happens to be British.
    Steinhart affordable Swiss brand.
    Archimede& Laco Germans

    If you stretch you budget to 650UKP take a look at Stowa!
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    #14 and D10S Forever. Gràcies and R.I.P Johan.

  3. #3
    Member imaCoolRobot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Vancouver, BC

    Re: £500 to spend on new watch: Cheap Swiss or (relatively) expensive Japanese?

    a £500 Japanese watch is not a relatively expensive Japanese watch.
    It's exactly that - a £500 watch.
    That being said...for that kind of money : Stowa Partitio.
    “If we could be satisfied with anything, we should have been satisfied long ago.”
    ― Seneca

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2015

    Re: £500 to spend on new watch: Cheap Swiss or (relatively) expensive Japanese?

    Stowa for sure. They are well made, and have many different styles. Look in the sales forum or watchrecon.com for used at a (sometimes) good price.
    Omega wavy dial Seamaster 300m (my engagment ring circa 2004)
    Stowa Ikarus Blue hands/onion dial

    Next up:
    Datejust 16234

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Re: £500 to spend on new watch: Cheap Swiss or (relatively) expensive Japanese?

    I'd suggest a mechanical movement if you are looking to pass it down in the future.

    When quartz movements go bad I find it harder to find replacement parts than for a mechanical. Particularly if the quartz does anything more than standard time, day, and date.

    Sent from my LGLS660 using Tapatalk

  7. #6
    Member luth_ukail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014

    Re: £500 to spend on new watch: Cheap Swiss or (relatively) expensive Japanese?

    u already start the path with Citizen. Why not up the game with Seiko.

    That money, you can get the decent SDGM003. With balance to play with the band.
    Domo likes this.
    i have many many memory with many watches, but the only one that is worthy is my all time favorite - the Tudor Submariner 79090.

  8. #7
    Member Domo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Re: £500 to spend on new watch: Cheap Swiss or (relatively) expensive Japanese?

    Always go for the better efforts of a cheaper brand than the entry point of a better brand, IMO of course!
    vba likes this.

  9. #8
    Member Likestheshiny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Re: £500 to spend on new watch: Cheap Swiss or (relatively) expensive Japanese?

    I think if that were me I'd save just a little more and get a Chr Ward Trident. But barring that, I'd personally be looking at Seiko or Orient.

  10. #9
    Member MediumRB's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015

    Re: £500 to spend on new watch: Cheap Swiss or (relatively) expensive Japanese?

    Steinhart handwound or the most attractive Seiko with the 6r15 movement. I say the former because as a cyclist, taking the rotor out of play may be a good move to protect the movement from shock damages. But the Seiko is a pretty robust and "beatable" watch that is high quality for the money, more so than a $500 luxury quartz, in my opinion.
    Tick-tock in RoK GMT+9, no DST
    Not Seiko: Parmigiania Tonda 1950, Zenith El Primero Chronomaster, Piaget Upstream, Muhle Glashutte Seebataillon GMT, Eterna Madison Spherodrive, Vulcain Cricket 1951 Classic, Bell & Ross Space 3 GMT, Bulova Accutron Astronaut (c. 1966), Omega Speedmaster triple date, Sinn 556 Anniversary LE, IWC Cal. 89 (c. 1957), Glycine Airman SST-12, Pulsar Date II (c. 1971), Scurfa Diver One, G-Shock Rangeman 9400, Vostok Classica
    Seiko: Grand Seiko SBGT035, Credor Node GCAT996, Grand Seiko 5641-7000 (1972), "Ashtray Tuna" 7C46-6009 (1987), 6139-7069 "Blue Eye" chrono (1974), Bell-Matic 4006-7012 (1971), King Quartz 9223-5000 (1981), Seikomatic J13044 (1963), 6119-6400 UFO (1974), King Quartz 5855-5000 (1977), Silverwave 8221-5020 (1980), Majesta 9063-5020 (1984), SKX399K "Philippines"

  11. #10
    Member obomomomo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Re: £500 to spend on new watch: Cheap Swiss or (relatively) expensive Japanese?

    Six of one and half a dozen of other. Intuition says Japanese at lower price points but at 500 GBP there are plenty of Swiss options that are equally good like Hamilton, Victorinox, Certina, Mido, Epos. Then its all about aesthetics because all can withstand the small shocks and weather when cycling. Quartz is a lot more practical being slightly cheaper, more accurate day-to-day and ultimately tougher shock-wise than mechanical watches due to overall less moving parts. But mechanicals will still serve you well provided you take reasonable care and don't make a habit of dropping your watch onto hard surfaces. Most people here will steer you to mechanical/auto because they love watches, mechanicals have a 'feel' and romance about them that will likely make you grow to love your watch in a way quartz rarely does. My personal recommendation (Swiss) is Hamilton Khaki Field or Victorinox Alliance. For Japanese there's the Seiko SARB, SARG or SARG lines which are all well within your budget and their Prospex line if you prefer the diver aesthetic. Not forgetting Orient watches and the other brands mentioned by others here. Its entirely up to you. Good luck with your choice!
    Last edited by obomomomo; October 22nd, 2015 at 06:16.
    CristobalGordo likes this.
    Bulova> 96B251. Casio> 5600E. Damasko> DS30. GrandSeiko> SBGH205. Rolex> 114060, 16710. Seiko> SARB017, SARB033, SBDX017, SLA017.

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