Advice for a potential watch collector
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  1. #1
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    Advice for a potential watch collector

    Hello everyone,

    So I did it, I quit smoking after 25 years. My wife told me to get a hobby to fill the void of my former habit. So, I agreed, and started looking for a watch. I guess I did this so I could see the time pass since my last cigarette.

    Anyway, it hit me the other day, I remembered my Father giving me a wind up watch when I was a kid. I loved that watch. I would wake up every morning, and make sure it was still ticking away. I am sure I broke it at some stage, I don't remember.

    I guess I am looking for advice to start my collection. Nothing fancy, just stuff the Average Joe would wear.

    I have a few odd things going on. I only like leather bands, and I like plain watches. Man, when I see 5 sets of hands I get confused lol.

    Thanks for any advice.
    Perdendosi likes this.

  2. #2
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    Re: Advice for a potential watch collector

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander1970 View Post
    I guess I am looking for advice to start my collection. Nothing fancy, just stuff the Average Joe would wear.

    I have a few odd things going on. I only like leather bands, and I like plain watches. Man, when I see 5 sets of hands I get confused lol.

    Thanks for any advice.
    Key question: How much money are you thinking of spending on this first one ?

    £50 ? £100? £200 ? £400 ? or more ?

    Welcome BTW :)

  3. #3
    Moderator Public Forum bacari's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a potential watch collector

    Congrats and welcome aboard! Be very careful here.... this can be more addictive than nicotine. Best advice for starting a collection... take your time, look around, and, most importantly, buy what you like.
    ciccio_started_it likes this.
    Rolex Submariner
    Zenith Chronomaster XT Open El Primero

    Omega Seamaster James Bond 007 Limited Edition
    Kobold Comanche
    Helson Sharkmaster
    Sinn U1
    Alpina Extreme Diver

    Maurice Lacroix Miros
    Ball B&O First Mile

    Edox Classe Royale Open Heart Automatic
    Shinola Brakeman 46

    Luminox 3000 Navy Seal Diver
    Hamilton Khaki Navy Sub
    Seiko Black Monster
    Citizen Ecozilla
    Deep Blue Sunray Diver 1k
    and various other makes and models

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  5. #4
    Member movet22's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a potential watch collector

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander1970 View Post
    Hello everyone,

    So I did it, I quit smoking after 25 years. My wife told me to get a hobby to fill the void of my former habit. So, I agreed, and started looking for a watch. I guess I did this so I could see the time pass since my last cigarette.

    Anyway, it hit me the other day, I remembered my Father giving me a wind up watch when I was a kid. I loved that watch. I would wake up every morning, and make sure it was still ticking away. I am sure I broke it at some stage, I don't remember.

    I guess I am looking for advice to start my collection. Nothing fancy, just stuff the Average Joe would wear.

    I have a few odd things going on. I only like leather bands, and I like plain watches. Man, when I see 5 sets of hands I get confused lol.

    Thanks for any advice.
    Mazel tov on your smoking cessation! I would celebrate with a Lange ab/auf!

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    Just kidding (unless you are one of those gents that has saved 10's of thousands of quid since quitting that is).

    In my opinion, a great starter watch, that is unique and great value is the Orient Esteem

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    you can get 30% off of the 280 USD MSRP with the code summer2013 (can I get a confirmation that code is still active?)

    Great size at 41mm, leather band, gorgeous blued steel hands and an open heart to see that baby tick.

    Good luck in your search and congratulations again on your accomplishment.
    rfortson likes this.
    Außerordentliche übel erfordern außerordentliche Mittel.


    Rolex - Jaeger LeCoultre - Nomos - v. Seiko - Burberry

  6. #5
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    Re: Advice for a potential watch collector

    I placed a few bids for Bulova watches on eBay.

    Bulova Caravelle Watch New 43A105 3 Day Auction | eBay

    Not sure how much I should offer though.

  7. #6
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    Re: Advice for a potential watch collector

    If you have fond memories of your old wind up watch, why don't you consider going vintage? Those are usually fitted on leather straps, pretty simple. Plus vintage timepieces usually have a lot of history.

    I got my first vintage soon after I started my "proper" collection. Haven't stopped since - they are my absolute favorites nowadays.

  8. #7
    Member cprrckwlf's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a potential watch collector

    Hamilton Khaki Mechanical, is a no-nonsense military inspired hand wind, available with a couple of different face color and band options, including leather. I think it falls pretty nicely in-line with an "average joe" ideal.
    shemp55 likes this.

  9. #8
    Member sticky's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a potential watch collector

    Welcome to the forum Alexander. You are best setting yourself a budget and using a combination of the WRUW threads here and online sellers you can get a feel for what is available. By looking at the WRIUW threads you can get an idea of what style of watch you like best. Be warned though you will see a lot of eye candy there and you could end up spending a small fortune in your mind.

  10. #9
    Member SkiBum's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a potential watch collector

    Quote Originally Posted by sticky View Post
    Welcome to the forum Alexander. You are best setting yourself a budget and using a combination of the WRUW threads here and online sellers you can get a feel for what is available. By looking at the WRIUW threads you can get an idea of what style of watch you like best. Be warned though you will see a lot of eye candy there and you could end up spending a small fortune in your mind.
    My mind collection is really something to behold! My real "collection" is somewhat less impressive...LOL

    Listen to this man, good advice. Since you said you like hand wound mechanicals, I have to plug the watch I'm wearing right now! The Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 4 Mechanical - paid around $500 for it about 9 months ago, still going strong.

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    Victorinox AirBoss Mach 4
    Orient Star Standard Date
    Seiko SSC021
    Timex Expedition

  11. #10
    Member Perdendosi's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for a potential watch collector

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexander1970 View Post
    Hello everyone,



    I guess I am looking for advice to start my collection. Nothing fancy, just stuff the Average Joe would wear.


    Thanks for any advice.
    Hi Alexander, and welcome!
    Your question is a little tough, because the "Average Joe" does not wear a mechanical watch. :) You're moving into a select (I nearly said "elite" but the more time you spend here the more you'll see that's the WRONG word to use) group of people who have a strange interest in 200 year old technology that's been easily replaced with a $3 battery operated machine, or a $1 app on a smart phone.

    That said, I'm thinking your "Average Joe" comment relates to price.

    There was the suggestion to check out the "what are you wearing" threads to see what you like... that's a great idea, but if you do it in the public forum, you'll see watches that cost thousands of dollars and more. The Affordables forum might give you a better idea of watches costing on average less than $1,000.

    That said, here are 5 "Average Joe/First Time" watches.

    1. Seiko 5 -- There are literally hundreds of options. They generally don't come on leather -- either bracelets or nylon -- but on many of the watches, that's easily changed (you can get a good leather strap for $20 easily). They're simple; they're affordable; they have quality movements (though they are automatic, meaning they charge on the movement on your wrist... they don't handwind). Seiko is also a name that people know, and a watch a lot of people wear. Very "Average Joe." Just go to Amazon and search "Seiko 5". Here are a few examples:


    2. Orient Mako/Ray/Bambino/Esteem/Symphony
    A lesser known brand, but a common "go-to" here, is Orient. They work with Citizen but have in house, affordable, Japanese movements. Their "Ray" and "Mako" line of dive watches are extremely popular and affordable. (You should be able to get them for less than $200). Once again no leather on the dive watches, but that's easily changeable, and very common.
    Diver - Men's Watches - Watch Collections | Orient Watch USA


    Their more traditional watches, the Bambino, Esteem, and Symphony, get similarly good reviews. Like the Seiko 5, no handwinding, but they are automatic.
    Classic - Men's Watches - Watch Collections | Orient Watch USA


    3. Vostok Komandirskie
    These are Russian watches (yes, there's a Russian watch industry -- and they still make mechanical watches!). Vostok is mostly known for its divers, the very rugged, retro styled and affordable Amphibians. But the Komandirskies (originally made for sale in soviet military stores) Might be right up your aisle. They are not automatic -- they're handwind only. Very basic (chrome plated brass cases, 50m of water resistance, smaller case sizes) and come on leather (though the quality of the strap is pretty low). But you can't beat the price -- about $40. They come in all sorts of styles -- militaristic and not so much.
    21 Meranom.com



    4. Rodina Automatic
    This is a Chinese watch, made by one of the better Chinese manufacturers, Sea-Gull. Lots of threads around here discussing it. It's got a very modern, clean, Bauhaus styling to it, and a pretty impressive handwinding and automatic movement inside it for its $120 price. A little on the small side, but quite nice. Comes in black, white, and blue, with roman or arabic numerals.
    Classic Rodina automatic wrist watch OEM by Sea-Gull ST17
    5. Hamilton Khaki
    Hamilton was one of the big American brands, but is now Swiss. The Khaki line, however, is one of the best deals -- easy to wear, everyday watches, with Swiss automatic movements, for less than $500 online. The movement is automatic but handwinds, and "hacks" (meaning that when you pull the crown out to set the time, the second hand stops. Easier to sync / check accuracy with)
    Hamilton Men's H70455733 Khaki King Watch: Watches: Amazon.com

    There are dozens of smaller makers creating watches in the under $1000 range, but we'd need to know what you like to even begin to guide you in recommendations (two particular favorites right now are Hong Kong-based Obris Morgan and Poland-based G.Gerlach -- you can check out their websites to see if you like anything).

    Welcome again, and best of luck!


    - Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

    Current collection:
    Oris Big Crown Pointer Date (in red!) | Oris Artix Date | Glycine Airman DC-4 GMT | Christopher Ward C60 600 White Trident | Poljot Journey Chronograph | Bernhardt Corsair GMT | Nth Naken Renegade | Hamilton Jazzmaster Square | Citizen Grand Classic | Kronaby Apex | Seiko Save-the-Ocean Samurai | Prometheus Jellyfish Yellow | Spinnaker Bradner | Heimdallr Bronze Turtle (6309 Homage) | Seiko SSC509 Solar World Time Quartz Chronograph | Undone Modern Chrono | Bulova UHF Military 96B229 | Raketa "Big Zero" |

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