Help a Newbie with a Daily Driver Watch with Versatility
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  1. #1
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    Help a Newbie with a Daily Driver Watch with Versatility

    Hi All. I'm new to this site and generally new to watches. I've had an older Breitling Chronomat A13050.1 that I've been wearing as my daily on a black leather strap for the past 3-4 years. I'm looking to get a new watch for my daily and probably unload the Breitling at some point. In looking around on this site and online in general, I have been looking at the Sinn 104 (both with indices and Arabic numerals with the latter slowly gaining momentum), as well as the Damasko DA46, but I would like to hear other suggestions from the more knowledgeable. Here are my criteria:

    1. The watch will be worn daily, so I need something that versatile enough that can be worn with shorts and t-shirt as well as a dress shirt and pants (with or without bracelet/strap change)
    2. Automatic movement - Not particular on the movement, but I would think a simpler/more standard movement (e.g. ETA and the like) would be ideal especially if it's a brand like Sinn where I probably wouldn't go to an AD for servicing if needed
    3. Good quality building, solid feel, and accurate time keeping
    4. No more than $1,500USD - I'm not opposed to second hand purchases assuming they're in excellent shape, but my apprehension is paying for a frankenstein or fake watch due to my lack of knowledge on a particular brand/model
    5. Size between 40-43mm
    6. Ideally, it would be on a bracelet and I would buy aftermarket straps to interchange them but if it's strap only, it's not a dealbreaker.
    7. Durable - Since it'll be worn daily, I'm not wanting something that will scratch too easily. I'm not hard on my watch, but at the same time, need something to withstand bumps and bruises along the way.
    8. Bezel is a must

    I'm sure there are other criteria but this is what I've come up with so far. If you make a recommendation on a watch or between two watches, can you please elaborate as to why so I can understand the logic and help with the decision making process?

    Here are the reasons why I've added the Sinn 104 and Damasko DA46 in my list and hopefully this helps my thought process in selecting a watch:

    Sinn 104 - both models

    Pros:

    1. Can be used with both bracelet and strap and would look good in any scenario
    2. Not a mainstream brand but has a long history
    3. Bi-directional bezel
    4. Build quality compared to higher dollar watch category, durable and great time keeping
    5. Understated yet captivating look

    Cons:

    1. Only one AD in the US, so price is not negotiable
    2. It's simplistic look that offers versatility can also be a con in that I may grow tired of it
    3. Cannot try it out locally, so would be buying it blindly

    Damasko DA46

    Pros:

    1. Can be used on bracelet and straps and versatile
    2. Small/relatively unknown family owned company that has limited number of watches released a year (i.e. no major production of watches)
    3. I'm drawn to the bezel and dial as it has a bit of character, but not overdone
    4. Multiple US ADs so could potentially negotiate a price that I'm comfortable with
    5. Build quality/time keeping is said to be on par or above Sinn (depending on which user posts you read on forums)

    Cons:

    1. Can't try one locally so would be buying blind
    2. Higher than my price range with a bracelet if new
    3. the dial/numbers seem a little "cartoonish" (not sure if that's the right word for it) for dressy occassions

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

    Tony

  2. #2
    Member mythless's Avatar
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    Re: Help a Newbie with a Daily Driver Watch with Versatility

    Are you opposed in getting a Seiko with diashield coating?
    -Are we having fun yet?
    https://audiolesswpg.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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    Re: Help a Newbie with a Daily Driver Watch with Versatility

    Not completely opposed to that, but have never really been drawn to the brand either. They seem more mass production and not the diamond in the rough kind of feel I'm looking for. If you have a suggestion though, I'll definitely look into it.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Help a Newbie with a Daily Driver Watch with Versatility

    The Seiko Shogun comes to mind but, I myself isn't drawn to the design. But, having owned a Citizen with their ion plating the coating is quite robust for daily abuse, I would suspect the Seiko to be similar. Granted, I am not too sure of it's availability or any Diashield watches in your region. But, like you mentioned in your first post, being a diamond in the rough makes it hard to service or having an AD near by to see the watch in person. Which is why I kind of held off the Steinhart watches as they're like Sinn and Damasko, based in the EU.

    But, between the brands that are mentioned I really like the Damasko, I find their website very easy to navigate and look up information with ease. Not to mention, their steel is very robust.
    -Are we having fun yet?
    https://audiolesswpg.blogspot.com/

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    Re: Help a Newbie with a Daily Driver Watch with Versatility

    Thanks mythless! I'm with you in that I'm not really drawn to anything in the design that makes me want to spend the money on it. The Sinn and Damasko definitely draw me in by quite a bit more. While I can't find a local AD to try on, I think any experienced watch repair shop can service the watch given their movements. The Sinn 104 doesn't have much of the gas and other techs that are found in other models that would require me to send it back to Sinn. Even if it did (say the 857 model which I also love and quite similar to DA46 and out of my price range), I would be sending it directly to Sinn anyway for those things, so that's not a deal breaker for me.

    As a side note. I was very interested in the Tag Aquaracer and all set to buy one as I was able to find an AD that I could get it from for half off, but when I tried in on at a store, the bracelet felt light and poorly made. That's the perception I got and was turned off quite a bit.

  7. #6
    Member mythless's Avatar
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    For the most part Damasko and Sinn uses swiss movements on their "lower" tier watches. So, by all means they can be serviced with ease without sending it to an AD.

    The steel might be more robust on the Damasko vs Sinn and at least for me the Damasko is nickel free.

    Take a look on watchrecon.com. I've spotted some nice Damasko for sale.

  8. #7
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    Re: Help a Newbie with a Daily Driver Watch with Versatility

    I've been looking on watchrecon.com as well. The problem is that the ones in my price range/taste are already sold. I'll have to be patient and keep looking but I was curious about other brands/models to look out for other than Sinn/Damasko as well. I'm open to suggestions from anyone who has an opinion...

  9. #8
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    Re: Help a Newbie with a Daily Driver Watch with Versatility

    ORISAquis Automatic Black Dial Stainless Steel Men's Watch 743-7673-4159MB, Stainless steel case with a stainless steel bracelet. Uni-directional rotating black ceramic bezel. Black dial with silver-tone hands and stick hour markers. Minute markers around the outer rim. Dial Type: Analog. Luminescent hands and markers. Date display at the 6 o'clock position. Small seconds sub-dial at the 9 o'clock position. Automatic movement with a 38 hour power reserve. Scratch resistant sapphire crystal. Solid case back. Case diameter: 46 mm. Case thickness: 17 mm. Round case shape. Band width: 22 mm. Fold over clasp. Water resistant at 500 meters / 1650 feet. Functions: date, hour, minute, second. Sport watch style. Watch label: Swiss Made. Oris Aquis Automatic Black Dial Stainless Steel Mens Watch 743-7673-4159MB.


  10. #9
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    Re: Help a Newbie with a Daily Driver Watch with Versatility

    Thanks cnorth! The one you suggested is a 46mm and rather thick at 17mm, but I definitely took a long, hard look at the Aquis and for some reason, I drifted away. In particular, I was looking at the black ceramic bezel with blue sunburst dial. The black on black is also nice. I'll have to take another look at those. I think the majority of the reason why I veered from it was that in reviews against one another (the other being the Sinn 104). Since Oris is more regularly available, I think I'll need to go to a store locally and see how it looks/feels in person. Thanks for bringing it back on my radar!

  11. #10
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    Re: Help a Newbie with a Daily Driver Watch with Versatility

    I think you should just go with either the Sinn and Damasko and get the one that is more readily available. They are both nice watches and you can't really go wrong with either one.
    -Are we having fun yet?
    https://audiolesswpg.blogspot.com/

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