Blowing it all on one watch. Chrono or Dress?

Thread: Blowing it all on one watch. Chrono or Dress?

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  1. #1
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    Blowing it all on one watch. Chrono or Dress?

    So here's the story. While always a big fan of clocks, I hadn't worn a watch in 15 years (always remembered it being uncomfortable as a kid, and there wasn't any need, so I always passed at the opportunity). Then I caught the bug. Now here I sit about to turn 30, in a financial position to afford myself something decent, and having convinced myself that I need to buy myself a nice watch to commemorate my entry into the new decade!

    And yet, I'm having a dilemma. What do I buy….a solid chrono that I can wear day to day, or a dress watch for special occassions and business meetings?

    My budget is about $3500-$5000. I'm more of go-big-or-go-home kind of guy, so I'd rather buy one great watch with a bit of wow-factor (if only for myself), rather than two ok ones. but if it can spend this money and satisfy both needs, who am i to say no! Here are my current contenders, but I'd love to get an opinion from all you fine people, and some recommendations if there's something else I'm missing.

    Chrono/Sporty Watches:
    I like simple and elegant watches that aren't too trendy, but don't mind a bit of a twist. I dislike big thick watches (and have a fairly small wrist), so I doubt anything over 41/42" would sufice.

    - Omega Speedmaster Pro - Can't go wrong with the classic, but I wonder if it's too common? It feels like every chrono looks more or less like this Omega.


    - Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern L
    MAURICE DE MAURIAC // SWISS WATCHES // CHRONOGRAPH MODERN -X 12 X-
    I love the look of this watch, and it fits the idea of something that feels sporty and classic, but with an interesting black band. Being a custom shop in Zurich, I'm not really sure how I'd go about buying this one though….I wrote an email inquiry a few days ago, and got back a 3 letter response…"thx". Not sure what to do with that, ha.

    - Tag Heuer Monaco

    Like the look...but is it worth the money, or am I just paying for the name.

    - Maurice Lacroix Master Collection Chrono
    Love the look of this watch, and it seems like a very solid brand, but at 43mm I fear it's going to be too big.

    Dress Watch:
    I work in a creative environment, so I'm not looking for anything stuffy, but I've always loved the look of a simple Vacheron Constantin (but then, who doesnt?). I'd love to find something of this nature….VC is of course a little bit outside of my price range!


    I've always loved the look of IWC watches, especially the Portuguese/Portofino lines. They seem a little pricey for what you get though considering the non in-house movements.

    This George Jensen watch epitomizes what I like about a dress watch. It falls a little out of my price range though, and I'm not sure is worth the price considering it's more of a fashion label.


    The Nomos Orion is a great looking watch as well, and much cheaper then the others too. It might not have the wow-factor as the others though.


    I also like the Zenith Class and Chronomaster watches, but they appear to be a bit out of my price range.

    So there we have it….some of the options out there that I've found. Three questions remain:

    1) If you were to only get ONE style of watch, what type would you go for…dress or chrono?
    2) Out of these options, anyone have any past experience or thoughts?
    3)If not these, is there anything else that I should be looking at?

    Any feedback is appreciated, as I feel stuck. Too many options...not enough decision making!
    Last edited by Nostrathomas; December 30th, 2010 at 04:17.

  2. #2
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    Re: Blowing it all on one watch. Chrono or Dress?

    1) Dress
    2) I would go with the Speedmaster or Nomos. For me, Speedmaster would be it if I had a bigger wrist, but I don't so I tend to stick to smaller "dress" type watches
    3) Yes, Omega Aqua Terra. Seems fitting as either a dress watch or an everyday watch

  3. #3
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    Re: Blowing it all on one watch. Chrono or Dress?

    Great suggestion with the Aqua Terra.....solid looking watch at a pretty good price.

    Only one issue....it's a quartz movement. I love the ability to see this stuff in action via the back glass....watching the mechanical dials in action is one of those things that makes mechanical watch ownership worth it to me.

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    Re: Blowing it all on one watch. Chrono or Dress?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nostrathomas View Post
    Great suggestion with the Aqua Terra.....solid looking watch at a pretty good price.

    Only one issue....it's a quartz movement. I love the ability to see this stuff in action via the back glass....watching the mechanical dials in action is one of those things that makes mechanical watch ownership worth it to me.
    Aqua Terra isn't just quartz, they do make it in quartz, but they also are automatics. 8500 Co-Axial movements. Pure awesomeness. Comes in a full size and mid-size. With a transparent case back as well.

  6. #5
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    Re: Blowing it all on one watch. Chrono or Dress?

    While the Aqua Terra is a great watch, the smallest it comes in is 39 mm and it is fairly thick. You should look at the Zenith Elite Series with the automatic caliber 681. 37 mm is a great size for a dress watch for a person who doesn't have large wrists. It's also pretty slim so it would fit under a cuff easily, and there are several dial options. The simple 3 had with subdial seconds at 9 can be bought for under $3,000 and the power reserve version is under $5,000. The JLC Master Ultra Thin comes in a few different sizes under 40 mm also, and will be inside your price range too. Both the JLC and Zenith have true in-house movements inside. Another good option would be an IWC Portofino, probably the mid-size version.

    You can get that VC for less than $5,000 - if you go with the original reference 6099 from the 50's or 60's. But if vintage isn't your thing, I'll stop now because you have a world of excellent watches in your budget..... and I mean ones you wouldn't be able to even dream about buying their modern counterparts.

  7. #6
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    Re: Blowing it all on one watch. Chrono or Dress?

    Dress watch, of course

    Let me get this straight - you have small wrists, and you posted pics of some mighty thick boxes? Hmm....

    If I were you, I'd take ulackfocus on his offer and run like the wind to get some timeless vintages... I am shocked how many (lucky) small wrist people lust monster boxes that look like grandma's clock taped to their wrists LOL
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  8. #7
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    Re: Blowing it all on one watch. Chrono or Dress?

    You should really consider buying two watches. . .with that budget you can easily fund a used modern high quality sport chrono (Speedy, Monaco, Navitimer) and a classic dress watch, precious metal if you'd like, from the 50s-60s.
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    Member brandon\'s Avatar
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    Re: Blowing it all on one watch. Chrono or Dress?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nostrathomas View Post
    My budget is about $3500-$5000. I'm more of go-big-or-go-home kind of guy, so I'd rather buy one great watch with a bit of wow-factor (if only for myself), rather than two ok ones.


    If you were to buy two watches with your budget, they would be $1,750 - $2,500 a piece.

    To each his own, but you could get a couple mighty fine watches at those price points, in my opinion.
    "Oh, nice. So now we're quoting other people to sound deep." -alx007

  10. #9
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    Re: Blowing it all on one watch. Chrono or Dress?

    I agree with Dennis , about the vintage watches.

    I usually wear vintage watches as dress watches. I don't have any ultra thins but they are on my radar. Why go for the remakes when you can wear the original ?

    I usually wear divers as my work watch.
    Dee & Ricky G-shock, Dornbluth 99.1 IWC Big Pilot, Selvin, JLC Memovox, Omega Speedy Pro, Vintage Seamaster,PAM 243 Rolex 1675, 16600, 16610, 16610LV, 114300, Slava Big Zero, Tudor Snowflake Vostok 2013 WUS Amphibia

  11. #10
    Member GX9901's Avatar
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    Re: Blowing it all on one watch. Chrono or Dress?

    In my opinion:
    1) I would get a chrono if I can only choose between chrono and dress watch. I think chronos are more versatile.

    2) My brother have a Speedmaster Broad Arrow. It's a nice chronograph, although I personally would probably get something else (personal taste). I've never handled a regular Speedmaster, but the crown on the Broad Arrow is really hard to turn (too small), so if the regular Speedmaster has the same crown, then I'd definitely pass since it's a hand-winder.

    3) The Aqua Terra 8500 should really be on your short list, and also check out the Omega Deville Hour Vision with the same movement. Pretty awesome watches. I'd love to own one of them someday.
    Current Collection (reverse order of acquisition):
    BREITLING Galactic 41|PROMETHEUS Poseidon|BULOVA Moonwatch|SEIKO Tuna SBBN033|BREITLING SO Abyss|SEIKO Pepsi Turtle-X|GRUPPO GAMMA Vanguard|OMEGA PO 8500|ORIS BC4-DM|JEANRICHARD Terrascope|JEANRICHARD Aeroscope|PERPETUAL T-04|BENARUS Moray Vintage|PANERAI 560|LONGINES Heritage 1973|SWATCH Sistem 51|TUDOR Black Bay|BENARUS Moray 42|Ocean7 LM-7PVD|STOWA Antea KS|SEIKO GS SBGR051|G-Shock GS1050B|G-Shock GW7900RD-4|SEIKO SDGA001 EPD|PANERAI 312|BALL EMII DLC|BREITLING Airwolf (circa 2009)|BATHYS HAWAII AquaCulture Rose Ti|SEIKO Ananta SD GMT|BREITLING SuperOcean(circa 2007)|G-Shock Riseman|SEA-GULL M185SP|ORIS F1 Chrono '08



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