What should I buy. Please help a noob
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013

    What should I buy. Please help a noob

    Hello everyone,
    I will start off by saying this is a great forum and there seem to be a lot of information here.
    Background on me: I am a professional engineer working in New Zealand in an office and have recently started the obsession with watches. I have been doing a bit of reading on here and watchsob. I am not sure what people think about him but he seems to know what he is talking about and now I feel like I can only buy something he approves.
    I bought a Seiko 5 automatic for less than $100 as my first watch. I also bought a Tissot PRC 200 with black leather strap and the one with the yellow on black chrono worth 300USD (from Amazon) . It hasn’t arrived yet.
    Being in NZ makes it very hard for me to buy or look at anything. The market is very small and we don’t have much choice. Both my purchases have been from America (ebay and Amazon). The prices are very different here in NZ compare to America. E.g. the PRC 200 I bought cost me 400 NZD after shipping forex etc. Here in NZ the cheapest quote I got was 825 NZD. So in general its about double the price here. I know the two I bought probably aren’t from an AD and the shop would most likely have been an AD.

    Anyway that’s the background. Now I want to buy my next watch. This is where you guys come in.
    I apologize in advance if this question has been asked numerous times but bear with me till the end for my requirements or wish list items.
    I have seen watchsnobs post on under $1000 watches. I really like the Hamilton Khaki and the xentum. But the only problem with both of those is that they are American (no offence to anybody)

    So heres what I am looking for:

    -Good brand – a brand that’s been around for a long time. 100+ years. Brand that is reputable. Brand with history, possibly awards etc. Brand that is preferably swiss but can be European but definitely not American. I don’t have anything against American brand its just that if I am spending so much then I want to get a swiss. And Watchsnob should like it. (probably be very hard)
    - budget – approx. $1000 USD. Now I realize I am not going to get much for $1000 with all the requirements I have. So that’s fine if its over $1000. It can be upto $2000 USD. Don’t forget the $2000 USD watch will cost me close to $4000 NZD.
    -Must be Automatic
    -all the bells and whistles of a luxury watch as per watchsnob.
    -Must be round ( I don’t like rectangular or square watches)
    -Can be chrono or pilot
    -40mm minimum diameter. (not very important)

    I am guessing I have annoyed a lot of people by praising watchsnob so much. I apologize again. I have no intentions on doing that. I feel with my very little to no knowledge he feels like he knows what he is talking about with all the history etc. By all means recommend me a watch that he doesn’t like for whatever reason but meets all other criteria. If I was in America I would have bought an IWC. But its double the price here so I can’t afford it.
    The problems is I saw a few watches online that I like. And then I go and read about it on watchsnob or Wikipedia. I then get put off. E.g I like the Baume Mercier Capeland. I read one article on Baume Mercier by Watchsnob and he says they are not very different from Tag Huers.
    Am I listening to Watchsnob too much? I think I know the answer to that.
    Feel free to provide feedback advice.

    Another random question. Whats the deal with Bulova. They seem to fit my requirements and they look great but why are they so cheap??

    Again, I can’t stress enough that I admit I know nothing about watches and I have no intentions on offending anybody. So please forgive me if I have.
    Your help, time and advise is much appreciated and won’t be taken lightly.
    I realize using words like “my requirements” can come off strong and arrogant. But I couldn’t think of another word. Go easy on me

    New Enthusiast from NZ

  2. #2
    Member Rusty427's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Re: What should I buy. Please help a noob

    Hi and welcome.
    I would check the sales forum for some omega's, there are many that come up for less than 2k. There is a nice GMT on there at the moment that you would get for under 2000nzd. Omega has good history and street cred.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Some colour between waking and dreaming

    Re: What should I buy. Please help a noob

    Welcome to the forum.
    My attitude to the WatchSnob is that he is foremostly there for entertainment value. Sure he knows a thing about (mostly high end watches), but his tastes (stuck in the 70s, Royal Oak and Nautilus, FGS) and opinions is not the gospel and are often not true for everyone. So forget about the WatchSnob, he's a [email protected]@k.
    As for recommendations, do a search - this question has been asked many, many times.
    watchma likes this.

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Re: What should I buy. Please help a noob

    There is an excellent Kiwi watch company - Magrette. They don't have a 100 year history, but the quality and reviews of their timepieces have been very positive. Everyone else has to pay to have them shipped from NZ to the US or Europe so it's the one instance where your location is an advantage =)

    As per your requirements....since you seem to emphasize brand = quality, and you're not willing to consider Hamilton* I would get Longines Legend Diver and call it a day.

    * just so you're aware, Hamilton is American in name only. The company is owned by Swatch and uses ETA movements just like every other generic Swiss brand
    Last edited by LosTresGatos; October 21st, 2013 at 10:42.
    Perdendosi likes this.
    Consolidation complete! Down from 17 watches to 2 grails + 3 support
    Rolex Seadweller 16600 / ALS Saxonia / Casio Edifice (travel) / Hamilton Intramatic (ultra-thin dress) / Kadloo Match Race (tool)

  6. #5
    Member eschantra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Brookline, MA

    Re: What should I buy. Please help a noob

    Pretty new here myself, but I might as well jump on the bandwagon and suggest an Omega also, if you don't mind used. Love my Speedy Pro, right now it's my favorite in my meager collection. I also picked up a Chopard Mille Miglia for about your budget used, and if you like cars you might enjoy one.

    As for Bulova, I actually own two. One is a Spaceview with the 214 tuning fork movement from the early 70s, and one was an impulse buy at a mall jewelry shop while I was picking up cookies (my wife loves Great American Cookie, what can I say). Case quality is decent and dial looks okay, but they are cheap because they use Japanese movements that aren't particularly well decorated, mineral crystals, and the bracelet is kinda chintzy. But it felt good on my wrist and for $300 with an automatic movement, I took it home. Wore it for two days straight just to make sure I liked it, and it's still in my watch box.
    Last edited by eschantra; October 21st, 2013 at 10:55.

  7. #6
    Member sticky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    South Yorkshire

    Re: What should I buy. Please help a noob

    Welcome to the forum. As far as I'm concerned you're off to a flying start because you've bought a Tissot. Back before when I was a lad (long ago) Hamilton were an American brand but are now Swiss and truly international. I point this out because:
    1/ You like the Khaki.
    2/ Along with Tissot and Seiko, Hamilton was the other brand I thought of recommending to you.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Sydney, Australia

    Re: What should I buy. Please help a noob

    Magrette has been mentioned... you need to own one, they're awesome and (all but the movement) made in Auckland.

    Personally, I believe the Swiss have been totally over-rated, and that Japanese watches are on the whole objectively better and much better value. So, consider a high-end Seiko or Citizen; you'll save a ton of money, and get a more practical and at least as well made watch.

  9. #8
    Member Perdendosi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Salt Lake City, UT

    Re: What should I buy. Please help a noob

    Pardon me, but...
    Screw the watchsnob. There's "snob" in his name, and while he has a little horological knowledge, he is absolutely blind to the amazing watches out there for less than his arbitrary dollar value. There are so many amazing pieces from big names like Certina, Mido, Longines, Hamilton, Raymond Weil, Seiko (yes, they make really good watches) and others, and from small shops like Steinhart, Magrttte, Christopher Ward, Lum-Tec, the list could go on and on. Finish close to the "luxury" brands, interesting design, quality long lasting pieces. You're being totally myopic if you ignore them-- particularly in your price range. The fact that you would discount the B&M just because it was "not very different' from a TAG? Whatever.

    The answer to your question is Stowa. German, historic watches (using well decorated ETA movements). One of the original manufacturers of the pilot's watch, so there's the history. 40mm-- perfect size. And prices range from $1K to $2K, depending on the movement and strap you choose.

    And trust me, if you walk into a room of watch lovers wearing the Stowa Flieger Baumeister B, they'll know it. And you'll certainly get respect.
    Flieger - STOWA GmbH & Co.KG

    Done and done.

    (oh, the deal with Bulova? It was an American company (GASP!) that was bought by Citizen (Japan) (SHRIEK!) about a decade ago. Some OK stuff, but generally not up to the quality standards of the other recs we've given)
    Last edited by Perdendosi; October 22nd, 2013 at 02:49.

    - Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

    Current collection:
    Oris Big Crown Pointer Date (in red!) | Oris Artix Date | Glycine Airman DC-4 GMT | Christopher Ward C60 600 White Trident | Poljot Journey Chronograph | Bernhardt Corsair GMT | Nth Naken Renegade | Hamilton Jazzmaster Square | Citizen Grand Classic | Kronaby Apex | Seiko Save-the-Ocean Samurai | Prometheus Jellyfish Yellow | Spinnaker Bradner | Heimdallr Bronze Turtle (6309 Homage) | Seiko SSC509 Solar World Time Quartz Chronograph | Undone Modern Chrono | Bulova UHF Military 96B229 | Raketa "Big Zero" |

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Re: What should I buy. Please help a noob

    I would probably say a chrono automatic from tissot, certina, hamilton, and or steinhart. All swiss brands, that have been around since the 1900s. These cost about 1000 usd if im not wrong, or I at least hope so. Lets take a look:

    Tissot Couturier Chronograph Valjoux Mens Watch T035.614.16.051.01

    Tissot T-Sport PRS 516 Automatic Chronograph Mens Watch T044.614.21.051.00

    Tissot PRS 516 Chronograph Mens Watch T044.614.26.031.00

    Hamilton American Classic Jazzmaster Chronograph Automatic Black Dial Mens Watch H32606735
    Hamilton Jazzmaster Automatic Chronograph Black Dial Mens Watch H32596731

    I dont know, there may be some more swiss automatic chronos for sub 1000:- dollars.
    Last edited by WatchUlooking; October 22nd, 2013 at 02:55.

  11. #10
    Member mpalmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Middle of the Middle West

    Re: What should I buy. Please help a noob

    If you want the best quality you can get for 1k and some interesting history, look at the Stowa Flieger. Otherwise, if you want history in a Swiss watch, triple or quadruple your budget.
    Perdendosi likes this.
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