First Watch - Omega, Zenith, IWC, or JLC?
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  1. #1
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    First Watch - Omega, Zenith, IWC, or JLC?

    Hi all, I am looking to buy my first watch. I asked for some advice on Reddit and was directed here to you experts, so I was wondering if ya'll had any thoughts.

    I'm not really interested in spending a few hundred bucks and getting a low-tier watch I will replace later, so I figured I will buy a nice one that I'll keep for at least a few years. My budget is around 6-8K. This watch would be my only watch, and while I probably won't wear it everyday it seems wasteful to only bring it out for very special occasions, so I suppose I'd wear it at least a few times a week. I came up with a few watches based on my stylistic preferences:

    1. Omega De Ville Hour Vision
    2. Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH
    3. IWC Portuguese
    4. Jaeger LeCoultre Master Calendar
    5. Zenith Class XXT Moonphase El Primero
    6. Jaeger LeCoultre Master Memovox

    Which would you get? Why?

    Personally I think the Zenith is a little clutter-y, and the Portuguese a little plain so the Master Calendar and Hour Vision are my top choices. However, I was told that the Hour Vision isn't really a watch that you wear too often due to how the sides are easily scratched up, and the JLC is a bit pricey. What do you guys think? Are there any other watches that fit my style (vintage-looking, white faces, leather bands, simple but not overly so)? Unfortunately I really don't like the look of diving watches. Something about the large bezels...

    Also - I am interested in buying a used watch, and I noticed that you guys have quite a large private sellers forum here. How does one go about buying a used watch without getting ripped off? How is the money transferred and how do you know you're getting the real deal?

    Thanks in advance!

    UPDATE - I went to check out these watches in person, and detailed my experience here. I would still very much appreciate any advice about how to go about buying used. The watches that are left standing are:

    1. Omega De Ville Hour Vision
    2. Jaeger LeCoultre Master Calendar
    3. Jaeger LeCoultre Master Memovox
    4. Jaeger LeCoultre Master HomeTime
    Last edited by ktzero3; November 26th, 2011 at 05:11. Reason: Visited stores and made a few eliminations
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  2. #2
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    Re: First Watch - Omega, Zenith, IWC, or JLC?

    For the Zenith, I'd choose the Captain chronograph for better readability
    http://www.prestigetime.com/item/Zenith/Captain-Chronograph/03.2110.400~21.m2110.html


    If you're going used, I have these 2 Zeniths, examples of both would be available at very reasonable prices in the wild ...

    I paid about $4000 combined, for both!

    A pre-owned JLC Master Calendar is a great idea, as is a pre-owned JLC Ultra Thin or Blancpain Villeret, maybe an IWC Mark XII or Inge. At a slightly higher price range, you could even get a Vacheron Constantin Overseas or AP Royal Oak, pre-owned.
    Last edited by v76; November 25th, 2011 at 07:18.
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    Re: First Watch - Omega, Zenith, IWC, or JLC?

    I don't have anything in that price range so take it for what its worth but I like the IWC then probably the Omega.

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    Re: First Watch - Omega, Zenith, IWC, or JLC?

    For watch taste, everyone has their opinion.

    I was at Tourneau and Omega store in NYC yesterday looking all the watches personally and most of your selections were in my mind. After 2 hrs of browsing, Omege Aqua Terra Silver dial was love of first sight. I have been flipping through Omega brochure over and over before store visit and this watch was never my pick. I asked the sales for your selection of de Ville, a Speedmaster Pro and a Aqua Terra Silver together. The Aqua Terra was striking in person. Simple, mature and elegant. It has very nice weight in hand. Dial design and light play made me look at it over and over. 8500 movement is very nice as well. There are a lot you cant see from official product photograph. Total knockout for me.

    Like I said, this taste is matter of one's opinion. A watch that was not my selection made an exceptional impression to my mind till today. Visit the store and handle these watches personally if you can. Watch presence may change your initial selection. Now I am a huge fan of this AT, if it never come across your mind. Sincerely.

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    Re: First Watch - Omega, Zenith, IWC, or JLC?

    Get the JLC Master Calendar, or any JLC over Omega or IWC, tossup with Zenith. Seriously, go to a store and put the Jaegar next to just about any Omega or IWC. The fit, finish, and presence of the JLC will stand out -- as will the feel on your wrist. JLCs have an understated sophistication (and quality internal movement) that makes them superior to the other watches in your list. Also, I've seen the Master Calendar in person, it is superb.

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    Re: First Watch - Omega, Zenith, IWC, or JLC?

    I have to be honest, none of your choices seem right to spend the kind of money you're talking about, but if you want a "lifetime purchase", I'd say go for a JLC. The Reverso range is far classier- check them out. Also, I think you might just be able to afford a Vacheron Constantin. Both JLC and VC are heirloom pieces, which ever one you pick. Don't get an Omega- they're graduation presents for rich kids compared to JLC and VC. In fact, if you want to choose from the Swiss Triumvirate, also check out Patek Philippe. JLC, VC and PP are just about the final word in globally-available Swissness....barring Toblerone of course, which is even more classic...and much more affordable!

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    Re: First Watch - Omega, Zenith, IWC, or JLC?

    From your Reddit post: "Ideally, the watch I buy will be appropriate for everyday wear as well as going out. Maybe it wouldn't be acceptable with a tux, but that's fine. I am not really into the sport watch look (Omega Planet Ocean) or an abundance of complications."

    Omega AT FTW. By far the best "one watch" choice in the marketplace.









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    Re: First Watch - Omega, Zenith, IWC, or JLC?

    If I had to spend $6-8k on a single semi-daily watch, it would be a JLC (although in my case a Master Compressor). Their watches are solidly built, I find their designs to be leaps and bounds above IWC and they're definitely considered more "exclusive" to the non-WIS crowd.

    Zenith makes amazing watches. The problem is their marketing budget is likely equivalent to the cost of a ham sandwich. Your money is being spent on the movement - Elite for 3 hands and El Primero for chrono. You get a ton of history as well - the El Primero is one of the pioneers in chronograph evolution (I think it was one of the earliest automatic chronos around because it was released in the early 70s or late 60s). And it's deadly accurate. But nobody hears of the brand and only a fellow WIS would be interested to know about your 36,000 vph compared to everyone else's 20-something thousand vph. Plus it's just not the type of watch I see used in everyday situations like taking to the pool or to a crowded place - I'd be scared to death knocking it around.

    Omega would work, but it's a lose-lose at $6-8k. If you're after quality watch movement, pick the other 3 choices. If you're going towards brand recognition, might was well spend the 6-8k on a used Rolex.
    Now if you're flexible with how much you wish to spend, the above recommendations of an Omega speedmaster or seamaster make a lot of sense. Then we're talking about just $2-3k which still buys you a great timepiece (and much more suited to daily wear IMO) and you'll still have enough left over for a nice pre-loved El Primero for special occasions
    Last edited by LosTresGatos; November 25th, 2011 at 17:55.

  10. #9
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    Re: First Watch - Omega, Zenith, IWC, or JLC?

    To add to the endorsements of the Omega cal. 8500, I'll chime in as well ... robustly designed movement which is very accurate as well, almost perfect for a "gentleman's watch". I have a silver dial Omega 8500AT (38.5mm) which sees a lot of wrist time. If I were you, I'd look for a pre-owned 8500AT and a pre-owned El Primero - 2 great watches for the price of one!
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  11. #10
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    Re: First Watch - Omega, Zenith, IWC, or JLC?

    many nice suggestions but pass over all of those and get this one

    231.13.44.52.06.001 Omega Aqua Terra Chronograph GMT Mens Watcht covers all of the bases and is seriously HOT!
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