I'm planning to buy my wife a timepiece to last a lifetime (for her 40th), and struggling to reconcile pros and cons of auto v quartz. Some background:
* She hates anything too showy, expensive looking, 'Gucci' branded or anything like that - she is modest and frugal
* ... but that's not to say she doesn't admire quality or like being treated to something really nice once in her life!
* She's quite an outdoorsy-type, a teacher, goes swimming a lot with her pupils, needs a reliable and easy-to-read watch to time activities etc.
* Not generally into fashion or fancy jewellery, more the practical type
* She is sometimes prone to forgetting and neglecting things - watch should be realatively easy to live with
* Price range £1500 / $2000
Now personally, I *love* automatic movements, and like nothing better than a clear back to watch the beautiful thing beating away. I think she'd like that too, but it wouldn't be something she'd obsess about.
Two watches have jumped out at me.
1. The Omega Seamaster 300m 28mm with blue or maybe black dial, quartz (126.96.36.199.01.001):
2. Longines Master Collection 29mm with diamond hour markers, automatic, sapphire back (L2.2188.8.131.52):
So here's the thing:
The Omega is going to be very reliable and live-with-able. Accurate, very water proof, nice lume for night visibility, bezel for timing things with her kids. But is it just a bit too ostentatious/flashy for her..? Would she dare wearing in on days out with the kids? And could you ever fall in love with a quartz watch?
The Longines is absolutely gorgeous, really understated style. The picture doesn't do it justice; on the wrist, it just quietly oozes quality and beauty. And Oh! the movement when you take it off and look at the back! But it's only splash proof (30m), no lume, no bezel, needs to be worn to be kept wound, and needs expensive servicing every (?) 6 or 7 years. (But the jeweller is giving away a free auto-winder at the moment, which sweetens the deal somewhat.) And she could always use a cheap waterproof Casio or something on swimming days, right?
You see my dilemma. My heart says go for the Longines, my head the Omega. I'm sure she'll love both, and never complain about the downsides of either - but which will she love more for the next 40 years??
By the way, would you ever wear a 30m auto watch paddling in a pool? Given no electronics, even if a little bit of moisture did ever get in, would it really cause any damage after drying out in the airing cupboard?
Thanks for any advice!