Engineering Student - First "Real" Watch </= $250
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  1. #1
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    Engineering Student - First "Real" Watch </= $250

    I'm 24 years old, and I haven't worn a watch since my obligatory Fossil back in high school. My new interest in watches was first piqued by this article I read last week.

    Autodromo Monoposto Watches put Vintage Tachometers on Your Wrist

    Very cool designs that the gearhead inside me loves, although out of my price range. Now, I've been looking around the past several days and have found a few designs that I really like. I most definitely want an automatic movement. The clear back with the rotor and ratchet/clutch mechanism......just too cool for me not to own! As you might have guessed, I also enjoy the look of a skeleton watch. Now, I am a car nut through-and-through and would love to have a watch with a dial inspired by something such as the Lamborghini Miura, although there doesn't seem to be much of a market for that; especially for $250 or less.

    I was looking at Stuhrling watches until I read a few horror stories on here about them. However, I've picked out 3 designs that I really like and I was hoping someone might be able to advise me how to best spend my money in this price range for something similar in design and, perhaps, more robust and respected in build quality.

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    I really like the red/carbon fiber combo on the 2nd watch. Not a huge fan of the color on the third choice but the physical design is pretty interesting.

    Thanks for the reading material so far guys. Hopefully, I can become more educated on these things here before I lay down some cash for one.

    Happy Holidays!

  2. #2
    Member ShaggyDog's Avatar
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    Re: Engineering Student - First "Real" Watch </= $250

    At your price range I'd go for a Seiko SKX007. It's a 200 meter dive spec watch with a tried and tested automatic movement. It's tough enough to take a few knocks, has good lume and can easily be dressed up on a leather strap, or go onto a rubber strap sporty look. It's regarded as an affordable classic here on WUS, and many people here that have higher end watches also have a Seiko SKX diver in their collections.
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    You can also get the SKX009 model that has a 'Pepsi' red and blue bezel. The other option is a Seiko Monster diver. You can't really go wrong with either choice though!

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  3. #3
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    Re: Engineering Student - First "Real" Watch </= $250

    Personally, I would probably stay away from Stuhrling as you can buy a Seagull for not much more and get a greater heritage and better reputation for not a lot more cost. Sturling simply recases lower grade Chinese movements with unique styles. However, if you are a bit more persistent in your search you can go straight to the movement manufacturer and buy a nice looking timepiece with an a manufacture movement. I suggest looking at Sea-Gull and I will suggest two reasonably priced options that are fitting of your engineer status as an burgeoning engineer.
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    The first option is a '1963' column wheel chronograph reissue. This is a modern version of the first Chinese chronograph, which was developed by Tianjin Watch Company (now known as Sea-Gull). The display back allows you to view the beautiful movement which an engineer should appreciate. You can wear a piece of horological history too, which is rare for something that is this affordable. This runs approximately $300 with a sapphire crystal (what I paid for mine shipped) or a bit over $200 with a mineral crystal.

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    A second option is a Sea-Gull skeleton watch. Unlike a lot of Swiss skeletons, Chinese skeletons movements are reengineered for aesthetics so they appear more attractive when viewed from the front in a skeleton. A Sea-Gull skeleton will run you around $200.

    Either of these options ought to satisfy both the engineering and the watch nerd sides of your personality for a price you can afford.
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    Re: Engineering Student - First "Real" Watch </= $250

    Do not get the Seagull '63. Terrible recommendation. I had one, and it broke down soon thereafter. The movement is known to overload during hand-winding. I still have my broken one sitting in a box somewhere.

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    Re: Engineering Student - First "Real" Watch </= $250

    Thanks for the information! I do like the SKX007 you mentioned. It looks as though I could afford a second strap at that price, as well. I have noticed a lot of Seiko talk on this site so I'm assuming it is one of the more respected Japanese brands?

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    Member Metlin's Avatar
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    Re: Engineering Student - First "Real" Watch </= $250

    Quote Originally Posted by GrantHWorth View Post
    Thanks for the information! I do like the SKX007 you mentioned. It looks as though I could afford a second strap at that price, as well. I have noticed a lot of Seiko talk on this site so I'm assuming it is one of the more respected Japanese brands?
    It is one of the better brands out there, period. At your price point, I'd get a Seiko over pretty much most alternatives.

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    Engineering Student - First "Real" Watch </= $250

    Where would one go about trying to find a skx007?

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    Re: Engineering Student - First "Real" Watch </= $250

    The Sea-Gull skeleton mpalmer posted....how interesting! The '63 is beautiful as well. Too bad they have issues, apparently.

  10. #9
    Member mpalmer's Avatar
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    Re: Engineering Student - First "Real" Watch </= $250

    Quote Originally Posted by Metlin View Post
    Do not get the Seagull '63. Terrible recommendation. I had one, and it broke down soon thereafter. The movement is known to overload during hand-winding. I still have my broken one sitting in a box somewhere.
    While I do not doubt that your '1963' broke shortly after buying it, nor would I claim that the quality control is on par with a Swiss maker, I think it is somewhat shortsighted to presume that because yours broke that this is an experience likely to be experienced by others in most cases. Even if you added up all the people you have heard of with an issue how many is that really and what percentage do you think that accounts for of production. While risk is of defect may be statistically greater than a Seiko, realistically it is still relatively small. Additionally, the watch would be warranted if this happened soon after purchase, and likely if you chose not to send it back to Seagull your seller would likely just ship you another one.
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  11. #10
    Member mpalmer's Avatar
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    Re: Engineering Student - First "Real" Watch </= $250

    Quote Originally Posted by Metlin View Post
    It is one of the better brands out there, period. At your price point, I'd get a Seiko over pretty much most alternatives.
    This I would agree with. If the thread description was which rock solid mechanical watch should I buy for 200 bucks, I would have suggested Seiko as you did. Perhaps, this is still the best choice for him. The reason I suggested Seagull, is it has some interesting complications that an engineering student would appreciate, available at a price he can afford.
    "The stuff that dreams are made of…" - RGM ‘801 EE Motor Barrel’

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