I began my watch journey a couple of years ago now, and have bought and sold quite a few watches. I still haven't quite found what I'm looking for!
Below are previous watches I've owned, and the reason I no longer have them:
- Seiko 5 pilot : Lovely little watch for the money, and was my first mechanical. I found the dial too busy, it was slightly too small for me (6.75" wrists) and I disliked the "5" logo
- Seiko 5 SNXS73K : Great looking dress watch but again, too small at 36mm
- Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic (40mm): Too big, too deep. Seemed unsure whether it was dress or casual and didn't really work as either, in my opinion.
- Tissot Visodate: Love retro stuff, but this failed to move me. Seemed a bit "cold" in spite of retro touches. Case quite deep, and large at 40mm, but face was a nice size. Hands seemed way too short.
- Tissot Le Locle: Very nice watch for the money. However, it was a bit too "old" for me (I'm 39) and didn't really feel "me". I'm unsure if I like Roman numerals
- Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm: Now this was a great everyday watch, and I loved the hand wind aspect and also the thin case. Not sure why I sold it, maybe I found the dial a bit busy, and maybe it was a bit too casual
- Hamilton Khaki Field Auto 38mm: Same as above, liked it but a bit too casual for me (I dress smart casual most days). Not sure military watches are "me"
- Orient Bambino (white and black versions): Love the domed crystal and retro style, but wore very large at 40mm
- Hamilton Thin-o-matic 38mm: I liked this one, but something wasn't quite right. The date window clashing with the "3" perhaps? Lovely size though.
- Seiko SARB031: Smaller version of the Bambino with a nicer movement. Trouble is, this looks too small on me, and is a bit too dressy for every day wear.
- Rodina "Nomos" clone: A bit "blah". I like Bauhaus and minimalism, but this seems too boring to me, in spite of the blued hands and seconds sub-dial. Case is also very clunky, and it wears very large for 38mm. My first watch with seconds subdial - always wanted one, now not sure I like them.
- Laco Vintage 38mm : Too dressy, too blingy, unreadable (silver on silver). I do like domed crystal though.
So, some things I've learned:
- My perfect size is around 37-39mm depending on the style of watch
- I don't want too dressy, or too casual
- I don't like divers or chronos, or bracelets. Too common, and I find them cheesy, especially with a suit, but that's another thread ()
- I don't like unnecessary wording on the dial. "Sports", "Automatic" and "Intra-matic" on same dial, etc
- I don't like badly positioned day windows or cut off numerals
- I don't think white faces are for me (too conservative?)
- I don't think pilots are for me (too tool-y) and not sure I like the bomber associations
- I find polished silver hands on black face hard to read, white on black much better
- I don't want anything cartoonish (Mondaine)
- I don't like gold or rose-gold
Here's a few watches I've looked at that seem right, but just aren't:
- Black Stowa Antea KS - Way over budget, too long a wait, too small at 35mm
- Max Bill Auto - Over budget, black Auto has white date wheel which spoils the symmetry, odd lozenge shape, and wears very large for 38mm
- Aristo Aristocrat - Right price and size, but white dial, and maybe too similar to Seiko SARB 031. Maybe too dressy for everyday.
- Steinhart Marine 38 - Now I like this one a lot, to look at and appreciate, but not sure it's quite "me"
I've recently been quite attracted to the one-handed watches, specifically black dial Botta UNO, but unfortunately the Auto version I like has a date window, the one I like is Quartz!
So, before I waste even more hours scouring the internet, I would love some suggestions from you wonderful people. I'm sure there are lots of brands I have missed.
My budget is around £400.