First time watch buyer - help!

Thread: First time watch buyer - help!

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  1. #1
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    First time watch buyer - help!

    Hi everyone,

    I'm 20 years old, male, and hoping to buy my first watch. Budget around 1500. I want something that I can wear to class, with a sweater or a t-shirt, and could even dress up with. Definitely want a leather strap. I don't know a ton about watches (actually, I know little) and was hoping for some help from the amazing people on here. If I could afford any watch, it would probably be a IWC Portuguse (see below) but that watch will have to wait a few years at least. I'm thinking brown strap, black face or black strap, white face. Thoughts?

    Attachment 1013988

  2. #2
    Member ayhc's Avatar
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    Re: First time watch buyer - help!

    Have you looked at the Christopher Ward Harrison Chronograph?

  3. #3
    Member Noobheure's Avatar
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    Re: First time watch buyer - help!

    Hamilton Watch · Auto Chrono Hamilton Autochrono models would fit the bill, they are eround 1.5k retail, you can find cheaper online (amazon / jomashop)

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    Member geoffbot's Avatar
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    Re: First time watch buyer - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Noobheure View Post
    Hamilton Watch · Auto Chrono Hamilton Autochrono models would fit the bill, they are eround 1.5k retail, you can find cheaper online (amazon / jomashop)
    That was my thought

  6. #5
    Member geoffbot's Avatar
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    Re: First time watch buyer - help!

    Quote Originally Posted by ayhc View Post
    Have you looked at the Christopher Ward Harrison Chronograph?
    That's a pretty good suggestion too


  7. #6
    Member scottjc's Avatar
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    Re: First time watch buyer - help!

    Have you considered Zeno Watch Basel? I think they use ETA movements so are reliable and they retail around $1200 in the US.


  8. #7
    Member Nokie's Avatar
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    Re: First time watch buyer - help!

    All of those are excellent suggestions. I would consider trying to stick to a well known and respected brand so you get the reliability and service support if needed as opposed to some of the lesser-know brands, at least for your first nice watch and your price range. Lots to choose from out there.

    You might also get a few more suggestions if you could list a few more of your preferences- white dial only? leather strap only? diver or dress watch?...you get the idea. The more specific you get with your shopping list, the more suggestions you will get as well.

    Something else that helps me decide on a direction when I am watch shopping is to check the daily threads here on the Public Forum and other sub-forums called "WRUW" where members post pix of the watch they are wearing that day.

    It really helps to get ideas on what you might like as well as gives you tons of examples of what is out there that might meet your needs in terms of a good watch.
    "Either he's dead or my watch has stopped"
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  9. #8
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    Re: First time watch buyer - help!

    You might try Chris at Wilson Watch Works. He can make ( assemble, actually) you a watch for less than $1,000 that could last you a lifetime. For about $500, you can get a decent one, too. I'm a fan of Unitas, hand wind movements, and he uses various grades of these.

  10. #9
    Member Perdendosi's Avatar
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    Re: First time watch buyer - help!

    First, welcome to the forum! If you lurk around, try out some of the other forums, and check out the "what are you wearing" threads, you'll see a whole bunch of ideas and learn about new brands you may have never considered.

    I really like the Portuguese too, and Hamilton and CW both make a pretty good homage. I think you've made a pretty good balance here -- both on price and on style. I could see either the CW or the Hammy being an every day sort of watch. Probably not the best for super formal, and I wouldn't want to wear it while canoeing down Class 3 rapids or fighting a bear (or maybe even overnight camping), but it would work with jeans and a sweater, a button down and khakis, and many suits. At that price point, you'll get nicely finished watches with reliable movements.

    On the plus side with the Hammy is that there are tons of jewelry stores you can go to to look at one, try one on, get some firsthand experience. A couple other Hamilton models to consider
    Jazzmaster White Dial H32576515

    Jazzmaster Maestro H32716839


    Silver Jazzmaster H32656853




    There are a few other chronos that should also fit the bill, though would not be a Portuguese homage. I like the Steinhart Marine Office Chronos, which can be had for about $800.

    It's a little more casual than you may be looking for, though.

    The Tissot PRC200 has that sporty edge to an otherwise pretty formal look. It's also only about $600 grey market-- certainly in your price rage.







    If you're willing to forego the chronograph (a complication that adds significant $$ to the price of any mechanical watch), there are thousands of options that open themselves up. I started to make some recommendations, but then I realized that my comments were so far afield that they probably wouldn't be helpful, and I was just starting to recount my wishlist at that price range. :)

    Check out the Hammy in-store, and in the meantime check out the what are you wearing threads (WRUW) in different subforums, and here in the Public Forum, to get ideas of other watches that are out there.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by Perdendosi; March 20th, 2013 at 01:40.


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  11. #10
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    Re: First time watch buyer - help!

    You guys are awesome. Thanks for all the advice. The Hamiltons (especially the jazzmaster) have been at the top of my list. I hadn't heard of the Christopher Ward but I really like it. I think that, for my first watch, I'd like a brown leather strap with a white face. I'd like to add a nice black strap, black face in a year or two but for now I want something more casual. So these are all great suggestions. Anyone have an opinion between the ward and the hamilton? Two other questions: on the Christopher Ward website they offer "Alligator upgrade." What does that mean? Also, which of the two below do you all prefer? I guess it's the silver numbers or the gold. Thanks again for all the help! I'd welcome lots more!

    Attachment 1015018Attachment 1015019

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