Need suggestions for first quality wristwatch - birthday gift for my 21 yr old stepson
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  1. #1
    Member dbakiva's Avatar
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    Need suggestions for first quality wristwatch - birthday gift for my 21 yr old stepson

    My stepson is turning 21 shortly, and I would like to get him a good quality wristwatch. He has worn a watch ever since I've known him as a 12 year old, and currently has a Timex Expedition with a steel bracelet (am I assuming too much in saying it's steel?) which he bought for himself some time ago. He is also a big hefty guy and likes tool stuff, though I don't know if he'd be described as a techie. He is generally pretty casual.

    I'd like to spend somewhere in the $500 or a bit upward range.

    I have a strong preference for manuals and automatics, but the gift is for HIM, not for me, so I won't hold too strongly to that. I do think that it's possible that the idea of a wearing a real clockwork mechanism would appeal to him, and I'd like to encourage that.

    So I am soliciting suggestions from you folks out there.

    I have looked at a nice Swiss Army Infantry 241375 Day/Date, which is available at discount for about $525 with a black dial and SS bracelet (Strangely, with a green dial, or with a leather band, it's almost $200 more -- MSRP is $925) I like this idea because or its size (44mm) , and the fact that it's a day/date. From what I read, Victorinox makes a pretty good product at a very reasonable price. Movement is a 2834-2 (with Rolex-style day at 12 o' clock). Exhibition caseback.

    I think Hamilton might have something that would work. The Jazzmasters seem a bit dressier than he'd wear day to day, but maybe something in the Khaki line.

    I think some of the Ball watches would be great, but much too pricey.

    I'll step back now, and look forward to your thoughts. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: Need suggestions for first quality wristwatch - birthday gift for my 21 yr old stepson

    I think the first big question, seeing as this is going to be a gift, is if you're willing to consider LNIB or lightly used watches for sale in the forums. You'll definitely get more bang for your buck this way and many of these watches will still come with all the goodies (box, tags, manual, etc.) plus a carry over of the warranty.

  3. #3
    Member ljb187's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for first quality wristwatch - birthday gift for my 21 yr old stepson

    My brother-in-law fits your son's description more or less in spirit. We chipped in and got him this Hamilton ETO for just a bit over $500.

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    At 43mm it's a pretty good size and it's quartz so it's easier to use and much less costly to maintain. This watch has probably been recently discontinued, but is easily found in several configurations online and at dealers. It's billed as an aviation watch so in addition to using the chronograph to calculate speed, you can also calculate "distance to cover" and the "estimated time over". Here's a link to the manual which explains how theese functions work:
    http://lib.hamiltonwatch.com/pdf/cus...l_hamilton.pdf
    Last edited by ljb187; November 28th, 2011 at 18:48.
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    Member dbakiva's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for first quality wristwatch - birthday gift for my 21 yr old stepson

    Thanks for the response. In this case, I'd rather go for new, particularly inasmuch as it's a gift, and could be returned or exchanged if it doesn't suit his taste. I have no problem with buying used for myself, but in this case, no.

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    Member Raza's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for first quality wristwatch - birthday gift for my 21 yr old stepson

    Quote Originally Posted by dbakiva View Post
    Thanks for the response. In this case, I'd rather go for new, particularly inasmuch as it's a gift, and could be returned or exchanged if it doesn't suit his taste. I have no problem with buying used for myself, but in this case, no.
    I say go to the closest place that sells Hamilton and buy the one you think he'll like best; you're going to get good quality at a great price with Hamilton. Non-US market Seikos are also a good choice, as are Victorinox (though I find them to be slightly overpriced), and Tissot.
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  7. #6
    Moderator Public Forum bacari's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for first quality wristwatch - birthday gift for my 21 yr old stepson

    Hamilton is great bang for buck. You may also want to look at Oris. You also can't lose with Seiko and Orient. I'm a big guy and I love my Seiko Black Monster, my Orient Mako XL, and my Citizen Ecozilla. Also G-Shock Military. Almost all of these come in well under budget with great value.
    Rolex Submariner
    Zenith Chronomaster XT Open El Primero

    Omega Seamaster James Bond 007 Limited Edition
    Kobold Comanche
    Helson Sharkmaster
    Sinn U1
    Alpina Extreme Diver

    Maurice Lacroix Miros
    Ball B&O First Mile

    Edox Classe Royale Open Heart Automatic
    Shinola Brakeman 46

    Luminox 3000 Navy Seal Diver
    Hamilton Khaki Navy Sub
    Seiko Black Monster
    Citizen Ecozilla
    Deep Blue Sunray Diver 1k
    and various other makes and models

  8. #7
    Member DPflaumer's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for first quality wristwatch - birthday gift for my 21 yr old stepson

    For reference, I'm 22 and my wrist is 6.5" in diameter.

    Get him something that will look as good when his kids are 21 as it does now. I am a huge fan of Seiko's Japan Domestic Market watches, particularly the SARB line. I recommend the SARB017, which can be hard to find as demand seems to hugely exceed supply, and the SARB035. I wore the 017 on my wedding two weeks ago and I should have the 035 in my mailbox this week.

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  9. #8
    Member Blue bird's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for first quality wristwatch - birthday gift for my 21 yr old stepson

    If you're planning to keep it around the $500 range new, I'd say Tissot and Hamilton. I would suggest Seiko as well but most of the North American models aren't worth the retail price IMHO. If you're willing to order online, then the Seiko SUMO sounds ideal, but it might run you about $100-$150 over your budget for new.

  10. #9
    Member CitizenM's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for first quality wristwatch - birthday gift for my 21 yr old stepson

    Definitely have a look at Orient's watches as well. Great automatics for the money. And a lot of sporty models. I also like the Hamilton options. They're very youthful in appearance and are a good value. Might look at Mido as well.

    If you don't mind quartz, there are some amazing options from Citizen and Seiko in your price range.

  11. #10
    Member ljb187's Avatar
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    Re: Need suggestions for first quality wristwatch - birthday gift for my 21 yr old stepson

    Quote Originally Posted by DPflaumer View Post
    For reference, I'm 22 and my wrist is 6.5" in diameter...I recommend the SARB017, which can be hard to find as demand seems to hugely exceed supply.

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    That is a fun watch! I have it and it's one of my favorites. Alas, it's 38mm so while it's great for guys like you and me (6.75" wrist), a "big, hefty guy" might think it wears a bit small in this day and age.

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