It's been awhile since I've posted, but I've got the itch and I think it's about time I scratch it. I'm hoping the forum can help.
I'm in the market for a timepiece that is close to the ol' go anywhere, do anything. But it's not my only watch, so it doesn't have to truly fit that bill. Right now I generally alternate between a black Christoper Ward C61 on a leather NATO and a Breitling Colt on the standard black leather. I've also got a white CW Malvern chronograph and a Seiko SNZH53 that occasionally get wrist time.
For my next watch, I'm looking for something different from what I have that will work — to a varying extent — dressed up or dressed down. I don't often wear a suit, but when I do I like to look as sharp as possible. I would say my style is fairly classic, maybe New England like upscale rugged? I want whatever I get to be able to work with that aesthetic. If it helps, I'm in my early 30s. I was initially set on a field watch, though I've diverged a bit from that. So after much looking and thought, I've narrowed my choices to a few watches. I'm by no means set on getting one of these, but it's where I am at the moment. So feel free to throw out other suggestions. I would say my budget is $2,500. I don't *need* to spend that much, but I would for the right watch. I want decent water resistance and something versatile enough to swap out straps. I would like to stay at 40mm or below. I'm not looking for something in-your-face blingy but I do like a little bit of polish.
So, here we go, in order of my current thinking.
Ball Fireman Enterprise.
I really like Ball, in part because it's a little less common but still has a nice pedigree, even if it does have new owners (what company doesn't?) The Fireman Enterprise has a classic design that I think would work well dressed up or on a NATO in a t-shirt and shorts, and I love the small details like the RR on the counterweight for the seconds hand. I can see this working on the beach or under the cuff of a suit. It's a nice size at 40 mm and just over 11mm thick. I also like the idea of the tritium tubes. It's also reasonably priced at under $1000. Added bonus, I've got a Ball AD here in town. I don't generally love the cyclops, but I think it works OK on this watch. It sort of has that vibe of a dressy sports watch to me. Some might say it's more dressy than sport? Still, this is a narrow leader at the moment.
Sinn 104 St Sa 1
Like the Ball, Sinn is a little under-the-radar. Again, I feel it's a classic design. I don't have a pilot watch in my collection at the moment, so it would tick that box. I really like the understated style, the black day/date wheel, and the wife is a big fan of this one, which makes it all the more appealing. Besides me, she's gonna see it more than anyone else. It's a little larger than my target, but I assume it would wear a big smaller because of the bezel. That said, I have more watches with chunky bezels and I'm looking for something a little different.
I initially started my search for a field watch, as I don't have one. I considered the Rolex Explorer, but I'm afraid it's too expensive and too polished. I know a lot of people like the Hamiltons, but they don't really do it for me. I like the idea of a watch that I can wear on vacation when I'm out hiking or kayaking and then keep it on my wrist at a nice restaurant. That said, it's the most expensive watch on my list and I don't know if I really would wear it in some of those more active situations that normally my CW61 serves. I do, though, think it's a versatile watch for strap options and I love the retro look. I'm also a big fan of what Tudor is doing right now and very much like the idea of having one. Will it look right with a suit though? It seems a mostly casual watch.
Steinhart Ocean vintage GMT
So this one is a bit of a wildcard here, because it's larger than what I'm looking for. But I just love the look of it and I don't have a GMT. Price is hard to beat and it has a retro cool vibe. If I were to go with one of the cheaper watches on my list, this could also find its way into my collection. I don't generally love things that are really, really similar homages, but in this case, with the 1655 being WAY out of my price range and long discontinued, it doesn't bother me. This would not be a watch I would regularly dress up. But at the price point, I'm OK with that.
Other watches I've considered but am leaning against are the Longines Conquest 38, which I think is a little too tall for me, the Junghans Max Bill, which I love but I don't know that I'd wear it enough to make it worth the purchase, and the Tudor Black Bay 41, which I tried on and liked but I'm not sure I can get past the snowflake hand. I love it on the diver, not so much on the field watch.
I appreciate any thoughts or observations based on your own ownership and/or wild speculation. And if you have any other suggestions, feel free to share!