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  1. #31
    Member J S Machine's Avatar
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    Re: Good Automatic mechanical for under $400

    Looks like the models of tissot I'm interested in are out of my range. There are some good looking ones though.

  2. #32
    Member J S Machine's Avatar
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    Re: Good Automatic mechanical for under $400

    Something that seems to be more and more apparent: I can get more watch if I go with a quartz movement. Seems the automatic movements run the price up a bit..

  3. #33
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    Re: Good Automatic mechanical for under $400

    Quote Originally Posted by J S Machine View Post
    Something that seems to be more and more apparent: I can get more watch if I go with a quartz movement. Seems the automatic movements run the price up a bit..
    More watch ? No. More quartz it is.
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  5. #34
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    You can buy a gshock at 100 that'll outperform all mechanical watches in the world. Assuming you live in a country with the atomic syncing radio signal anyway.

    But yes, cheaper mass produced movements allow the maker to spend your money on other things like dial work, sapphire and so on. So you do end of getting a really nice watch for relatively little money. You can even afford some of the fancy quartzes like citizens, seikos and the tissot t touch, but gshocks do fine as well. Definitely a visible fit and finish gap between gshock and the others brands though. Their edifice and Oceanus lines probably are closer in quality but also closer in price.

    I recommend a glance at the citizen cal 8700 and cal 2100 . Very good dial work and advanced movements for the price. Only down side is that entry level orients in America don't come with sapphire.

  6. #35
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    Re: Good Automatic mechanical for under $400

    On saphire..What exactly is the deal here? I noticed the Seikos that have been recommended all have a "scratch resistant hardlex crystal"Kinda like an Invicta with a "flame fusion crystal" Is this just a fancy way to say "we really want it to be a saphire, but it isn't" ??

  7. #36
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    Re: Good Automatic mechanical for under $400

    Quote Originally Posted by J S Machine View Post
    On saphire..What exactly is the deal here? I noticed the Seikos that have been recommended all have a "scratch resistant hardlex crystal"Kinda like an Invicta with a "flame fusion crystal" Is this just a fancy way to say "we really want it to be a saphire, but it isn't" ??
    I'm not an authority on this, but here's what I understand to be the case. Hardlex is somewhere in between the hardness of so-called mineral crystal and sapphire. Apparently, internally Seiko has two different variations on hardlex, with higher end watches receiving the harder version. Hardlex was designed to be more shock resistant than sapphire and cheaper, but clearly isn't as scratch resistant.

    I've heard a variety of different accounts regarding hardlex performance. There are a few explanations for this. For instance, if it's true that there are two or more different variations on hardlex, that'd have an impact. Furthermore, the shape of the crystal relative to the height of the bezel have important effects--crystals that are on the level or below the level of the bezel are much better protected by design, regardless of hardness.

    I can't speak to Invicta's crystal--it might be awesome for all I know, but I can tell you that Seiko is probably the most credible watchmaker in the world and Invicta is perhaps the least. Consequently, I'd be hesitant to trust Invicta's marketing claims and not Seiko's. But I just don't know--it could be great.

    Now, my personal take. Sapphire is generally irrelevant, because in the range of watches that generally have sapphire, they'll also have an anti-reflective coating that will scratch more easily than mineral crystal will in the first place. Thus, you give up the shock resistance AND the scratch resistance.

    Now, some makers, like Seiko, offer watches with AR just on the inside, which is a compromise between glare and scratch resistance. That's the way I prefer it, although you can easily tell the difference between a double sided AR coated crystal and a single sided when they're next to each other.

    Often people bring up shock resistance of softer crystals. I also find this to be irrelevant. A watch will never be dropped, for instance, because it's either on something or attached to your body. I will never drop a watch, so how the watch behaves on an impact is irrelevant to me.

    But supposing you're one of those mysterious types that drop things, it probably won't help you there either since your (mechanical for purposes of this thread) is going to be non-functional anyway.

    Personally, I definitely want and use sapphire, but ordinary cheap mineral crystal is INCREDIBLY hard to scratch. I took my cheap little $200 Fossil quartz to Vietnam and paid no attention to it at all, climbing mountains in the north, practicing thieu lam kung fu, kickboxing, scaling old temples, whatever, and at the end of it all, there were two tiny scratches on it. If I had actually cared about the watch, I would have had 0. I like the peace of mind of a non-AR coated sapphire and I'll pay for it, but if you use moderate care with your watch, it will never get a scratch on the crystal anyway. The bezel/case/bracelet is a different matter, since you'd have to be incredibly careful to avoid ever scratching those, but mineral crystal is tough enough to be unphased by most ordinary encounters.

  8. #37
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    Re: Good Automatic mechanical for under $400

    While I haven't scratched a mineral crystal since I was a little kid, my friend lent the SRP043K2 I sold him to his college aged brother for a weekend and the crystal came back scratched. It's definitely not a "wear it and forget it" type of crystal.
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  9. #38
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    Re: Good Automatic mechanical for under $400

    Quote Originally Posted by CitizenM View Post




    Now, my personal take. Sapphire is generally irrelevant, because in the range of watches that generally have sapphire, they'll also have an anti-reflective coating that will scratch more easily than mineral crystal will in the first place. Thus, you give up the shock resistance AND the scratch resistance.

    Now, some makers, like Seiko, offer watches with AR just on the inside, which is a compromise between glare and scratch resistance. That's the way I prefer it, although you can easily tell the difference between a double sided AR coated crystal and a single sided when they're next to each other.

    Often people bring up shock resistance of softer crystals. I also find this to be irrelevant. A watch will never be dropped, for instance, because it's either on something or attached to your body. I will never drop a watch, so how the watch behaves on an impact is irrelevant to me.

    For once, I feel compelled to offer a differing opinion, Citizen. :)

    Sapphire does matter. The scratch resistance is much superior in sapphire. It is bought with a very slight disadvantage only in terms of shocks. So you sacrifice a little bit in the shock department but you gain a lot in the scratch department, where in everyday life it matters most. Only in really confined spaces and spaces with a lot of action like rocket ships, sail boats etc. is a shock resistant crystal a real advantage because it's easy to hit the watch on a winch and bye, bye crystal.

    Dropping a watch can easily happen. Example. Put it on the bathroom counter. Get out of shower. Wipe watch off counter with towel when drying yourself after the shower. Watch falls on tile floor. Dang!

    Or shatter watch against a stone door jamb. Yes, those are not in normal residential houses. But public buildings often have them. However, in these cases, not even mineral crystal would help. Plastic would be the only survivor.

    As for AR. My oldest one with AR is from 1996. So far no scratches. And AR technology has progressed since then. Besides, you can take the outside coating off if and when it is scratched. Use Polywatch. Having the inside coating is better than having none. The crystal itself won't be scratched.

    If I have the choice between mineral and sapphire I take sapphire any day. But if the watch only comes with mineral crystal, then so be it. :)

    For the record, I have never scratched any crystal other than plastic. These just scratch super easily. But I have dropped a watch. No effect on the crystal but the watch had dings. Much worse than a shattered crystal, if you ask me.

    Tip. If ever you experience a shattered crystal pull the crown immediately to stop the movement. Shards can get into the movement and really mess things up. It will be worse if the movement is running. And store the watch crystal side down until you can get it repaired.
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  10. #39
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    Re: Good Automatic mechanical for under $400

    OK, I read your reqmts. So, Seiko and Citizen: fuggedouboudid.

    For $400? 3 words:
    Aristo, Aristo, Aristo
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  11. #40
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    Re: Good Automatic mechanical for under $400

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchalex View Post
    ..................Sapphire does matter. The scratch resistance is much superior in sapphire................................
    I'd agree. My .02 is that "Hardlex" is simply marketing - it scratches, about the same as mineral. They use it in cheaper watches to keep costs down. If I own a watch long enough odds are high I'll whack it against something. I've hit "hardlex" against a metal door jamb = scratch. I've hit sapphire against stone/concrete walls = nothing. Sapphire does shatter more easily...........but that's relative, I'd wager an impact that would shatter the sapphire will also shatter the mineral (i.e. hit right on a tile floor & both will fail). AR coatings? I guess, if it's on the outside - don't really see a reason for that, just on the inside seems the way to go.

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