Is the quality of watches slipping?
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  1. #1
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    Is the quality of watches slipping?

    just asking, because recently, I bought a new Citizen automatic watch and a new Ball Engineer Master II Diver, both made from stainless steel.. within days, both of these watches have noticeable marks on the stainless steel without doing much.. yet, I have a Seiko that I bought new a decade ago, it has been my daily wearer and has took some serious abuse, it has taken hard knocks where I thought surely it would have broken, but no, not even a mark on it.. and to this day, after all the abuse it has had, the Seiko stainless steel looks great with only a couple of minor marks, I wore the Seiko for kayaking, hunting, off road mountain biking, building, car repairs, etc.....

    The Ball watch on the other hand is desperate, after the first day of wearing it around the house, I noticed scuffing on the watch case and the bracelet... and it was the same story with the Citizen...

    Has the quality of watches dropped over time?

    The Seiko cost me €120 new and that was over 10 years ago... the Ball.... €1600
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    Member Tseg's Avatar
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    Re: Is the quality of watches slipping?

    It sounds like you have had extraordinary luck with your Seiko.

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  3. #3
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    Re: Is the quality of watches slipping?

    I can't specifically say that I see a decrease in quality of the years but............... I can agree with you about the stainless steel on a couple of my new watches.

    The SS seems "softer" to me. Not to the touch but recent watches have marked up more easily that anything that I have ever had prior.
    I have no explanation. Zero.
    I have not inflicted *any* significant trauma, or actually anything at all yet, I see marks on the case and bracelet. I baby my watches to the Nth degree as well and I sized the watches myself and even wrapped the watch heads in protective plastic to do so, as well as using all of the proper tools and a soft case holder, all done on a plush microfiber towel. (I'm down with OCD.)

    My initial response is to blame it on stainless steel obtained from another country that is known for producing inferior stainless steel but I absolutely cannot confirm that. One of the watches is Swiss made and the other, all Asian sourced with a Japanese movement, (though, the movement is made in China as well).

    This is all subjective on my part but I can say that I somehow agree with you. ???!

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  5. #4
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    Re: Is the quality of watches slipping?

    Some companies still value high quality:

    "FYI – Grand Seiko SS cases go through 10 to 12 times of forging (at least twice the peers) with 250 tonnes of pressure and about 1100 Celsius of heat, and then cut and polish (see the difference between forging and cutting in my recent post here: patek.watchprosite.com =). This is how and why Grand Seiko cases have mirror-like reflection and there are probably only a few other manufacturers in Switzerland who do cases at this level. Grand Seiko cases are polished by special machine – Sallaz polisher (originally imported from Germany in late 50s, polishing company called Sallaz) – the surface of the case becomes truly like mirror. Mr. Hayashi wanted to make 130th Anniversary models just like the original Grand Seiko in 1960, inside out."

    http://seiko.watchprosite.com/show-f.../ti-756433/t-/
    Have a nice day.

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    Re: Is the quality of watches slipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by CamperMan View Post
    just asking, because recently, I bought a new Citizen automatic watch and a new Ball Engineer Master II Diver, both made from stainless steel.. within days, both of these watches have noticeable marks on the stainless steel without doing much.. yet, I have a Seiko that I bought new a decade ago, it has been my daily wearer and has took some serious abuse, it has taken hard knocks where I thought surely it would have broken, but no, not even a mark on it.. and to this day, after all the abuse it has had, the Seiko stainless steel looks great with only a couple of minor marks, I wore the Seiko for kayaking, hunting, off road mountain biking, building, car repairs, etc.....

    The Ball watch on the other hand is desperate, after the first day of wearing it around the house, I noticed scuffing on the watch case and the bracelet... and it was the same story with the Citizen...

    Has the quality of watches dropped over time?

    The Seiko cost me €120 new and that was over 10 years ago... the Ball.... €1600

    Can you post a picture of the Ball please?

    Does the Ball look worse than the Rolex posted by member Tseg? I write 'worse' in relation 'after wearing it for 1 day' other than that I do not see anything problematic with wear on the Rolex; I mean those wee nicks, scratches and gouges is what you get after wearing a watch.

    Just for reference: people claim - I have heard - Rolex uses one of the better steel grades.

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    Re: Is the quality of watches slipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seibei View Post
    Some companies still value high quality:

    "FYI – Grand Seiko SS cases go through 10 to 12 times of forging (at least twice the peers) with 250 tonnes of pressure and about 1100 Celsius of heat, and then cut and polish (see the difference between forging and cutting in my recent post here: patek.watchprosite.com =). This is how and why Grand Seiko cases have mirror-like reflection and there are probably only a few other manufacturers in Switzerland who do cases at this level. Grand Seiko cases are polished by special machine – Sallaz polisher (originally imported from Germany in late 50s, polishing company called Sallaz) – the surface of the case becomes truly like mirror. Mr. Hayashi wanted to make 130th Anniversary models just like the original Grand Seiko in 1960, inside out."

    http://seiko.watchprosite.com/show-f.../ti-756433/t-/
    People claim if the surface is 'mirror like' one will even attract more scratches. I dunno if this rings true or not.

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    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Is the quality of watches slipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by CamperMan View Post
    just asking, because recently, I bought a new Citizen automatic watch and a new Ball Engineer Master II Diver, both made from stainless steel.. within days, both of these watches have noticeable marks on the stainless steel without doing much.. yet, I have a Seiko that I bought new a decade ago, it has been my daily wearer and has took some serious abuse, it has taken hard knocks where I thought surely it would have broken, but no, not even a mark on it.. and to this day, after all the abuse it has had, the Seiko stainless steel looks great with only a couple of minor marks, I wore the Seiko for kayaking, hunting, off road mountain biking, building, car repairs, etc.....

    The Ball watch on the other hand is desperate, after the first day of wearing it around the house, I noticed scuffing on the watch case and the bracelet... and it was the same story with the Citizen...

    Has the quality of watches dropped over time?

    The Seiko cost me €120 new and that was over 10 years ago... the Ball.... €1600
    It's difficult to reconstruct what actually happened over the life of a watch to cause scratches, scuffs and dings. There are endless possibilities. The steel alloys used to manufacture watches really have not changed and in my experience the newer ones are as susceptible to dings and surface scratches as the older ones. From companies like those I would expect consistency. I'm looking at a 12 year old Titoni and on close inspection it has a fine patina of scratches. My 42 year old Omega Seamaster has accumulated more. And yet both are still very attractive. I suspect the differences in wear you are seeing are the result of different things colliding with your watches. And different design and size of watches. Not a difference in stainless steel alloy quality.

  9. #8
    Member morris1500m's Avatar
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    Re: Is the quality of watches slipping?

    Do you think maybe you are more sensitive to wear on the Ball than the Seiko because it cost more?
    And then noticed the same thing on the Citizen? I know I'm much more sensitive with my more precious watches.
    Possibly the Ball case is machined and the Seiko one is pressed because of higher production volume, apparently 316 stainless steel does work harden, possibly making the Seiko have higher scratch resistance.
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    Re: Is the quality of watches slipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Uhrentraeger View Post
    People claim if the surface is 'mirror like' one will even attract more scratches. I dunno if this rings true or not.
    As usual, people are right. People also claim that one mirror like surface will look worse for wear than another. Also true in my experience.
    Have a nice day.

  11. #10
    Member Norm S's Avatar
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    Re: Is the quality of watches slipping?

    Well the fancier steel that rolex uses, 904L i think, is supposed to be nicer than the standard one everyone else uses. Heck their quality control should make sure of that considering they have an in house foundry. But rolexes still scratch like everybody else. I just think thats part of life.
    Too much headache looking too far into it. Unless youre convinced theres some conspiracy to make you service your watch more often haha.
    If these scratches really bother you next time try some of the new technology stuff. Bremont supposedly has nicer treated steel to make it harder, as does damasko.


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