Last edited by g-shockbilly; January 4th, 2015 at 16:46.
My first thought was the Omega First One In Space but the JLC Reverso is a good shout and would be a great dressy option.
I have small wrists - a little over 6 inches - and the Speedy Pro sits fine so I don't think you need to worry about that.
My advice tends to be the same for someone in the situation you're describing-- get the Rolex you like best for your budget. If you want a watch to last a lifetime (think 50 years, not 20), it can only happen if you have service and parts available.
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119J; Vacheron Constantin Overseas; Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Duo; Rolex Submariner 114060; Omega Seamaster 300; Montblanc Heritage Dual Time; Tudor Black Bay.
Armida A12; Borealis Estoril; Bulova Accutron II Alpha, Moonwatch; Casio GMW-B5000D, GW-5000, GST-W310; Certina DS-2; Coach Fulton; Hamilton Khaki Field; Helson Skindiver; Orient 60th Anniversary; Seagull Tourbillon, 1963 Air Force; Seiko SNA089P, SUN025P1; Steinhart OVM; Swatch Body and Soul, Heracles, Sistem51, Uncle Charly; Victorinox Alliance, Infantry Vintage.
I'm in the same boat. I think I will defend sometime in 2016. It will be either a sub nd or a go pml for me.
Swiss: Omega Speedmaster Professional (3573.50), Rolex Air King (114200), Rolex Submariner ND (114060)
Russian: Vostok Amphibian
German: Nomos Club Automat, Nomos Tangente Datum
Japanese: Grand Seiko (SBGR051), Seiko Presage Urushi (SARW013), Seiko Orange Monster
It does not matter where you go and what you study, what matters most is what you share with yourself and the world.
― Santosh Kalwar
Wow. I would have thought having earned the privilege to be called "doctor," and putting "PhD" after one's name where it's written in a professional context would make for a lifetime's worth of commemorations of one's achievement. <wink> Kudos to you for all your hard work, BTW.
Now that my joshing you is out of the way...a few on-topic thoughts:
- Go try on the watches -- any watch, even the ones you "sorta" like, but about which you are unsure -- before making any size-related decisions. You'd be surprised how differently some watches wear even though they have the same dimensions on paper. Truly, I'd say the same thing re: styling.
- Any of the watches you proposed in your OP would make a fine milestone marker. I can state which of them I'd choose in your situation, but that is nothing more than a statement of personal preference. I'd pick the Sub. That said, when it comes to "big name" allure and money spent, I think it's pretty hard for the other major "fancy brand" watches to best Omega's comparable offerings on points of substance or performance. Of course, personal preference doesn't have to have much to do with substance.
- In what general area will you earn your PhD? Perhaps there's a watch made that has some sort of connection with the general theme of your field of study, or even that has an arcane connection to some bit of minutia that captured your interest during the course of your study...I don't know what that might be...maybe if you study frogs, getting a green Sub (Kermit), or perhaps a watch with a hand painted or engraved frog on it, would add that novel touch that gives it greater personal significance than would have been the staid alternatives you may instead have chosen.
- You seem to desire a sport watch more so than a dress (dressier) watch. Were I suggesting something, it'd be something that is a bit dressier than all the ones you identified, but not quite as dressy as, say a PP 5120 or Piaget Altiplano. The JLC Reverso (Classique, Duo, Grand UT, Night & Day or Squadra HT), AP Royal Oak, Breguet Marine (silver center), Cartier Tank (Franc., Amer., or Angl.) or PP Nautilus are the sorts of things that come to mind. Mind you, I'm suggesting watches that have that dressy sport look to them, more so than specifically the watches cited.
Of the ones I cited, the Reversos and Cartiers are the ones that can be had new and at a price you'd be willing to pay; however, the Reverso is the more "important" watch of those two, so that's the one I'd suggest for you. Given the event you seek to commemorate, I'd suggest one of the Reverso models that has a solid back -- the Classique -- so you can avail yourself of the personalization options. Indeed, I'd suggest a sold back for whatever you get for that very same reason. Even with engraving, the Reverso Classique will come in well below the $8K+ for the Rolexes at ~ $6500. One other thing that comes to mind is that the tank watch shape tends to be visually "kind" to small wrists.
The other thing I like about the Reverso as a milestone marker is that it has a wealth of personalization options and one need not remove the watch to see whatever one had engraved/painted on the back of the case. Indeed, given the nature of why you are buying the watch, I'd suggest getting a solid case back no matter what you choose so that you can have it engraved with something meaningful to you. I suppose Einstein would have had "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content? E=mc^2 1905" engraved there, the "E" being relevant not only to his equation, but also to his name. (I suppose Olinto De Pretto would have engraved "Hypothesis of Aether in the Life of the Universe E=mc^2 1903" engraved on his...LOL)
Of course there are scores of other makers whose watches would make just as fine a complimentary present to oneself. IWC, Panerai, Habring, Grand Seiko/Credor, Montblanc, and Zenith are a few that come readily to mind.
- As Speedy models go, I am keen on the Project Alaska one. (Patent: Omega Speedmaster Alaska Project - Speedy Watches) It comes with an OEM bracelet and it's got a unique look as go Speedmasters. You would have to buy it as a pre-owned watch.
- Yes, the Cyclops will be useful once your vision begins to falter. Of course, corrective glasses will allow you to see the dial's contents just fine. As one whose sight has in the past two or three years (I'm 56) just begun to fade, I can attest to how getting used to wearing glasses all the time takes a while. Also, my experience has been that while my vision held out far longer than it was predicted to do, now that it's weakening, it seems on a race to catch up with where it should be. LOL At any rate, over the past several years, I've largely not seen the date on the vast majority of my watches that have dates. I can see the date on my Sub and Breguet Marine just fine, but without my glasses, the rest of them may as well not have dates. That said, if you don't mind the Cyclops magnifier, you can always have an aftermarket one added to any watch.
All the best.
If a person studies too much and exhausts his reflective powers, he will be confused, and will not be able to apprehend even that which had been within the power of his apprehension. For the powers of the body are all alike in this respect.
Good judgment comes from experience, and experience - well, that comes from poor judgment.
― A.A. Milne
SubC no date and a Speedmaster Pro are my two favorites. It might be out of the budget, but I've always admired the gold Speedmaster Pro on a leather strap. It would look like a million bucks on your wrist. But maybe you're an archeologist and need something more scratch resistant ?
If you want iconic timeles watch get Speedmaster Moonwatch.
If you want bezel, Rolex (5 digits ref number, I dont think that curent line of 114060/116100 will be considered as "classic", maybe Seadweler?)
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From your shortlist it would be a Rolex and out of those two I would pick the Sub.
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