Automatic watches and helping me understand my addiction.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Automatic watches and helping me understand my addiction.

    Is the automatic watch thing all about pride in ownership? My question is why do we purchase these high end expensive watches that are said to gain/lose time and after only a few years require a service that can cost 5 times that of an entire quartz or digital model that is sure to be more durable and keep time more accurately. I apologize if this ruffles some feathers just trying to understand this that's all. I do admit, there are a few big dollar models on my radar as well, just trying to justify them that's all. If it's a pride in ownership thing then I guess I get it, I ride a Harley when I could ride a Japanese model or even a moped that would probably cost less, get better fuel economy and last longer.
    Juanjo_NY likes this.

  2. #2
    Member morris1500m's Avatar
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    Oct 2010

    Re: Automatic watches and helping me understand my addiction.

    I think mechanical watches feel alive, you can hear them ticking and see the balance swinging, where as quartz watches you can't see them working, they kind of seem dead by comparison.
    Then on the older/more expensive watches there is the craftsmanship of the movement, and the sense it has been created by human hands.

  3. #3
    Member BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Washington, DC

    Re: Automatic watches and helping me understand my addiction.

    Never mind the perfectly serviceable autos that can be had for less than a hundred bucks?
    EnderW, rfortson, mike4761 and 3 others like this.

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  5. #4
    Member Soh1982's Avatar
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    May 2013
    Columbia, MO, USA

    Re: Automatic watches and helping me understand my addiction.

    I personally buy the watches that I like. So I buy Quartz and automatics both. I do have more autos because I enjoy looking at the sweeping hand more, more movements to choose from (not that it makes a difference to me in a practical sense but still makes me feel good), decoration of movement and there seems to be more variety of automatics available for the watches that I like. An example would be, I actually wanted a Quartz tritium watch but there was not a single Quartz tritium watch that appealed to me more then the offerings from ball and hence I ended up with an automatic. There are some other factors as well but I don't think pride in owning an automatic is on my list because there are boat loads of automatics out there too at all the price points just like Quartz.

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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    New England

    Re: Automatic watches and helping me understand my addiction.

    it has mostly to do with your mind, whether you like mechanical engineering or electronic engineering. do you like a car engines or your iphone.

    i'm with Soh1982, i have a quartz seiko on right now (SSE007) and love the hell out of it!! as long as it looks good i don't mind if it's quartz or auto... i do love auto's because it's a freaking marvel of engineering how a 27mm by 3 or 4mm thick 300 parts or more movement can do what it does, never mind how accurate it is. but i also love quartz because just to think there's a tiny little fork that was laser layered etched in shape in order to get the right Hz, it's crazy to me, it's a rock that conducts electricity... just crazy! and now with solar panels and multiple step motors and gps instead of atomic, it just tickles my mind to think in a good way.
    mike4761 and Soh1982 like this.

  7. #6
    Sponsor watchvaultnyc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    New York & San Diego

    Re: Automatic watches and helping me understand my addiction.

    Based on my own experience, the "pride in owning an automatic" fades really quickly once you realize no one notices your watch. For me, its all about companionship. It's about having something on your wrist that needs to be taken care of (esp handwinds), and that has the potential to be with you for many years - someone in this forum called this the "tamagochi effect", which is quite accurate.

    I've noticed this in other things in my life other than watches - I have a nice couch (that cost me way more than what I should be paying for such things), and an old roadster with no trunk. I spend much time with my behind on a couch, and it feels good that it will be something I have with me for years to come. It needs very little maintenance (leather conditioning every 6 months) but still I need to sweat it out for about 15 minutes twice a year. The roadster is a garage queen, 13 years old with just 50k miles. I bet a big chunk of those miles is going to the dealership for maintenance. Yet, it was the car I took with me on an epic west coast - to east coast roadtrip. Faithful, memorable companion.

  8. #7
    Member EnderW's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
    New York City, USA

    Re: Automatic watches and helping me understand my addiction.

    Hmm, pride of ownership never really played into equation for me. But I can admit that it's certainly not the tool aspect of mechanical watches that appeals to me.
    Rather, I love the idea of mechanical watches as having a small mechanical marvel of art and engineering that is portable on my wrist. I like watching the movement and thinking about how there are hundreds of tiny parts that are moving in unison to deliver extremely precise time and how the technology involved is hundreds of years old.
    Finally, I like the idea of owning something that with proper service can last for a lifetime - I'm not a fan of disposable products\culture.

    That said - one can have a perfectly good mechanical watch at roughly same price as quartz. And precision of being within even 10 seconds per day is 99.988% accurate. Granted mechanicals lag quartz in accuracy, but considering # of parts involved they are still damn impressive.

    Finally, to me - mechanical watch vs quartz is kind of like a painting vs a photo. I like photographs and they serve a function, but looking at painted art solicits a reaction on a more emotional level - I often appreciate paintings in museums, rarely photo galleries...
    fld, Soh1982, mike4761 and 3 others like this.

  9. #8
    Member Nikoloz's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    Republic of Georgia

    Re: Automatic watches and helping me understand my addiction.

    why only automatics :) I would not count out the hand cranckers as well lol
    Drumguy4all and Juanjo_NY like this.

  10. #9
    Member SomeAssemblyRequired's Avatar
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    Jan 2015
    SW Colorado

    Re: Automatic watches and helping me understand my addiction.

    As an automatics-only owner, to me it's a connection to hundreds of years spent developing an accurate timepiece out of a miniaturized mechanical movement. If there was an epiphany for me, it occurred when touring the Greenwich Observatory and seeing the Harrison Clocks and how they (quickly) progressed to become a breakthrough tool that opened the world to efficient navigation in the late 18th Century. The technology continues to be refined by today's watchmakers, but it still relies on the same concepts invented 250 years ago.
    “I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.” Umberto Eco

    Panerai * Rolex * Omega * Ball * AEgir * Mühle-Glashütte * Oris * Archimede * Seiko * Magrette * Padron

  11. #10
    Member Everyworks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Re: Automatic watches and helping me understand my addiction.

    Mechanical watches are pieces of art, and amazing feats of engineering in one. At least that's how I rationalize my addiction.
    mike4761 and Drumguy4all like this.

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