Affordable, thin mechanical dress watch -- recommendations?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Affordable, thin mechanical dress watch -- recommendations?

    I'm looking for an affordable (less than $500) mechanical dress watch.

    Specs I am looking for:

    - 30 mm to 38 mm (could push to 40 mm, but the smaller the better; my preferred watch size is 33 mm)
    - no larger than 10 mm (prefer smaller than 8.5 mm)
    - thin bezel
    - dauphine hands (like Grand Seiko), but no lume
    - no date (that one's important)
    - line indices preferred (but Roman numerals ok; no arabic)

    I realize that this may be a tough order to fill, but I thought I'd put it out there to get some ideas. I already have some quartz watches that meet these criteria, but I wouldn't mind having a mechanical. I also have the HMT Sona (shown below), which meets these criteria, but I'm looking for some new ideas.

    This Seiko (SRP701) automatic would be great, except that it is way too thick for me (can't fit under shirt cuffs), and has a date:

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    HMT Sona (hands are kinda dauphine, but not as nice as Seiko):

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    Another watch that I like is this Grand Seiko Anniversary, but it is far too expensive for me (I found this picture on this forum; sorry for not remembering where I found it, so as to give credit):

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    I love this one, too, but it's too expensive, as well.

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    This is a quartz watch, but I do like the minimal dial and the hands:

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    Lastly, here are some of my wrist shots -- a 33 mm watch and a 35 mm watch:

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    Attached Images Attached Images

    Beach Hound and Domo like this.

  2. #2
    Member mpalmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Middle of the Middle West

    Re: Affordable, thin mechanical dress watch -- recommendations?

    Have a look at the Beijing Beihai...
    rfortson likes this.
    "The stuff that dreams are made of…" - RGM ‘801 EE Motor Barrel’

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    San Jose, California-USA

    Re: Affordable, thin mechanical dress watch -- recommendations?

    There's an old saying, "the thinner the watch, the higher the cost".

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  5. #4
    Member exxtinguishable's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014

    Re: Affordable, thin mechanical dress watch -- recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by mpalmer View Post
    Have a look at the Beijing Beihai...
    Or any other Chinese made watches, e.g. Rodina, Shanghai, Beijing, SeaGull
    Sinn 556I MWW Westminster Seiko Black Monster Tissot T-Race Chrono G Shock Mudman 3031
    The WIS bug runs in the family

  6. #5
    Member tsbphd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    United States

    Re: Affordable, thin mechanical dress watch -- recommendations?

    You have quite a few requirements, yet show watches that are well beyond the budget. If you have some patience, discipline and a little luck you may find the Longines Conquest Heritage without date complication. The size is 35mm with a thickness of 10mm and the no-date version was limited to 60-pieces each in gold and platinum as well as 600-pieces in stainless steel. I own one of the stainless steel pieces and it is a superb watch. You would have to expect to pay $1k or thereabouts for it, but it is a screaming steal at that price level. Below is a Hodinkee link-

    Here are some images of my watch-

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    rfortson likes this.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    Re: Affordable, thin mechanical dress watch -- recommendations?

    The above Longines 1954-2014 Reissue is long sold-out so your only option is to buy second hand, and I have a feeling that most owners won't be parting with them any time too soon. Go for a vintage Longines manual wind with a Calibre 30L or 280. They will have about the best thickness to price ratio you can find anywhere.
    Current Collection:
    Rotary, Adina, Emporio Armani, Loyal, Swatch, Ingersoll, Cyma and others...

    The Wanted List:
    Citizen NB0030-01A

    Realistically Achievable Grails:
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    Holy Grails:
    Breguet 5617 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

  8. #7
    Member MediumRB's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015

    Re: Affordable, thin mechanical dress watch -- recommendations?

    Junghans Max Bill? A little over your budget, but maybe can be had for $750.
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    ev13wt likes this.
    Tick-tock in RoK GMT+9, no DST
    Modern: 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, Ralf Tech WRV 1977, Bulova Accutron Astronaut (c. 1966), Omega Speedmaster triple date, Sinn 556 Anniversary LE, 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"

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Re: Affordable, thin mechanical dress watch -- recommendations?

    the max bill is a good recommendation. Manual or auto would be great, depending on size preference.

  10. #9
    Member DonQuixote's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    San Francisco

    Re: Affordable, thin mechanical dress watch -- recommendations?

    Maybe try out the Eterna Big Date?

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  11. #10
    Member kleinbus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    US / EU

    Re: Affordable, thin mechanical dress watch -- recommendations?

    38mm CERTINA DS Podium (has the date though...)

    Various case / dial / bracelet / strap combinations.

    Black on black shown...

    Last edited by kleinbus; January 4th, 2016 at 05:16.

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