~$2k choice, requesting opinions.
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  1. #1
    JJP is offline
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    Feb 2012

    ~$2k choice, requesting opinions.


    First post on WUS, probably a bad one considering these questions about watch decisions are probably popping up every 5 minutes. Also, I know this decision is fully mine and I should 'listen to my heart'.

    But, here we go:
    I'm in the market for buying my first proper watch. Well, not buying, rather receiving, as it will be the main present for my high school graduation from my parents. My simple requirements:
    1. Has to be versatile to some extent, as in wearing daily (with boots&jeans), and going with a 'business casual' attire, while being able to take the occasional swim and enduring our normal winters with -20 to -40 degrees celsius. The aftermentioned is what has drawn me slightly to divers, as they seem to be able to cope with a lot of stuff. Also, I plan on having this watch forever as a memory from high school, so divers seem like a good choice.
    2. Second requirement has to do with, of course, money. Budget is up to 2000€, which according to the rate as of right now, equals 2600$. Prices might be a bit higher in Finland than in the US, mind you. But feel free to suggest.
    3. Has to be from AD, because a) I'd like to get the service and possible warranty issues handled with pleasure, and the jeweller my family has been buying from for years is friendly and helpful, and b) I have to try the watch on my wrist before purchasing.

    What I've narrowed my choices down to is basically two watches:
    -Breitling Colt Chronograph II, with a black dial and a stainless steel bracelet (haven't asked for a final quote, guessing somewhere between 1700-2000€)
    -TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500m, ref. no WAJ2110.BA0870. (Got quoted 1600€, pretty nice.)

    Opinions? Any info I should be aware of (TAGs crown issues are familiar to me, been discussed with an AD). Yes, I know the other one is quartz and the other automatic, and would like your opinion on this too. I'm not too fussed about it, the Breit's Superquartz seems accurate enough but I have to admit, the sweeping second dial and see-through sapphire case back of the TAG please me :)

    Now, without even having a crystal ball, I'm feeling safe to assume that the TAG will be bashed, but I like the brand, the movements (even ETA) and specifically the Aquaracer 500, not so much the other models. I also have the feeling that Omega will be suggested instead. Yes, I tried on the Omega SMP and even Planet Ocean, and they were very, very nice. However, getting them to fit my budget (which was originally 1000€) seems impossible, so consider it like this: if I decide that I like the Omega SMP or PO enough to really fork out the cash for it, I will. Planet Ocean 2500 will be my decision if my gut feeling and heart tells me to. I would NOT buy the cheapest one of my options only because it's the cheapest, because I know from the experience of buying other stuff, it would be nagging in the back of my head until I got rid of the "meh, I'll buy this because it's cheaper"-product and get the one I really lust for. It's just that I'm not too sure whether Omega is THE watch for me, and I'm glad I have about 4-5 months to decide. Of course, you can try to convince me to get it ;)

    As for other brands, feel free to suggest. I want to declare that I know I'm the one who decides which watch I take, so, feel free to just get your opinion out there and be a part of the debate that is already going on in my head. Looking forward to getting new views and opinions, to help me make my own decision. I will get the one that makes me tingle the most, the one I can't get out of my head.

    Sorry for the rambling, I never were good at saying things in short :)

    Thank you in advance!
    Last edited by JJP; February 6th, 2012 at 17:56.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Praha, Česká republika

    Re: ~$2k choice, requesting opinions.

    Im a fan of the Aquaracer.
    Tag Heuer Aquaracer WAP1110
    Tag heuer Carrera WV211B
    Hamilton Khaki king Auto Chrono H64616131
    Vostok Europe N1 GMT

  3. #3
    Member Roller.959's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Re: ~$2k choice, requesting opinions.


    Welcome to WUS! Having spent some time in Vaasa, and sometime north of the Arctic Circle, I understand your concerns watch wise. Keep in mind your body heat while wearing the watch should mitigate some of the temperature issue. Between the two you have identified, I'd go with the Breitling. That said, have you checked out Ball watches? Many of them are designed for cold weather abuse. A $2500 budget should give you a pretty good selection of Ball watches from which to choose from.and I find most if not all Ball watches very versatile, in that they can be dressed up or dressed down. Topper Jewelers is a site sponsor, an Authorized Dealer, would likely give you a good price as a site sponsor, and has a very good selection of Ball watches. Not too long ago, I recommended a a Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Thermometric (TMT) to someone looking for a skiing watch. It is pictured below. It may be a little industiral for what you are looking for...or maybe not...but Ball has many that have similar capabilities but are less busy. Good Luck!

    Automatic BALL calibre 9018
    Cold temperature endurance to - 40°C
    Thermometric indicator ranges from -35°C to 45°C
    Functions: Hours, minutes, sweep seconds, date
    31 micro gas tubes on hour, minute, second hands and dial for night reading capability
    Shock resistance: 7,500Gs
    Anti-magnetic to 12,000A/m
    Unidirectional rotating bezel
    Anti-reflective convex sapphire crystal
    Screwed-in crown
    Water Resistance 300m
    Last edited by Roller.959; February 7th, 2012 at 06:00. Reason: Stupid error.

    Status: Watch Wallet On Boat Time
    Grail: Montblanc Villeret Tachydate Monopusher

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  5. #4
    Member porschefan's Avatar
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    Jun 2009

    Re: ~$2k choice, requesting opinions.

    The one you like best.
    A firm believer in - and enjoying a personal relationship with my wife.
    "Travel makes a wise man better, and a fool worse."Thomas Fuller

  6. #5
    Member RTea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd personally go with the Omega SMP or PO and I've been quoted very slightly over your budget for a brand new wave dial SMP from an AD here in the US.

    I've been through too many watches to count from most of the entry level to mid tier brands (Seiko, Ball, Breitling, Omega, Hamilton, Bremont, Tissot, Oris, Tag Heuer, Sinn, Longines, etc) and I've been by far happiest with my Omegas.

    In my opinion, the Omega fit and finish is the best in its class and their bracelets and clasps are solid and beautiful. I had a Tag Heuer Aquaracer 500M Chrono which looked nice but it felt "cheaper" overall to me but it was still a very nice watch. Omega also has the pedigree and designs that won't look outdated in a few years (the Speedmaster looks more or less exactly the same since the 1960s and is still one of the nicest chronos out on the market).

    Breitling is probably my second favorite brand although many of their models are really blingy. But I still drool over the Steelfish, Chronomat Evolution, and Blackbird. Breitling's fit and finish is up there with Omega and their bracelets are some of the best in the industry. However, I'm a fan of mechanical watches and can't justify spending any more than $1,000 on a nice quartz watch even if it's a superquartz.

    Longines also makes really nice mechanical timepieces in your price range and I highly recommend checking out their Heritage collection (Legend Diver and the column wheel chronos are my favorites).

    In the end just try all of them on at one time if possible and hopefully 'the one' will sing to you. Report back with what you decide!
    Current Arsenal:
    HMT Pilot | Casio G-Shock Riseman | Seiko SNZH57 | Baume et Mercier Capeland S Chronograph | Omega Seamaster Professional Chronograph
    Purchase free since: 4/1/15 (subject to change)

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Re: ~$2k choice, requesting opinions.

    Breitling, Tag & Omega might be a little too flashy/bling for a high school grad. I'd look at some German brands like UTS, SINN etc with brushed or sand blasted surface. Not to mention that they are tough as nail with amazing specs.

  8. #7
    Member Raza's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Re: ~$2k choice, requesting opinions.

    I really like the Aquaracer 500m. I have two Heuers, including an Aquaracer model, and they're both great watches.

    However, the stem issues do worry me on the 500m, as cool of a watch that is. I'd probably go for the Breitling in this case, even though it's a quartz--I don't have any problem with quartzes, personally, but I do prefer mechanical watches.

    Have you looked at Longines?
    TAG Heuer Monaco LE|Omega Speedmaster|Seamaster 300MC|Rolex Submariner|Tudor Ranger

    How did it get so late so soon?

  9. #8
    v76 is offline
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    Dec 2009
    MO, USA

    Re: ~$2k choice, requesting opinions.

    How about a Speedbird GMT: PRS-22GMT from Timefactors UK?

    (borrowed image)

    Specifications (from the site):
    316L stainless steel, brushed finish
    39mm, 42.6mm including crown
    Lug to lug height
    Thickness 11.9mm
    80000 A/m with anti-magnetic movement cover and movement retaining ring
    Water resistance
    100 metres, also negative pressure tested to 0.4 ATM
    175 grammes including steel bracelet
    Screw back, crown tube screwed into case (not pressed), unique serial number
    Semi-matte black soft iron anti-magnetic, white painted numbers and triangle
    Hour markers blue Super Luminova
    Date at 3 o'clock (quick-set)
    Frosted silver minute & hour hands, orange GMT hand, all luminous filled. White seconds hand.
    Super Luminova C3
    Domed sapphire with anti-reflective on underside
    ETA2893-2, 21 jewel automatic elaborée version (Swiss)
    Stainless steel bracelet with custom fitted solid end links and centre clasp;screwed links for adjustment.

    And, you can get three or four other reasonable priced watches (more, if basic Seiko/Orient) with what you save
    cadomniel likes this.
    A few of this and some of the other ...

    "I worked my way up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty" - Groucho Marx

  10. #9
    Member JarrodS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Southeastern USA

    Re: ~$2k choice, requesting opinions.

    IMO Breitling and TAG are likely to look "dated" in a handful of years. Omega less so. As far as the SMP/PO/500m go, I've lived with all three for quite awhile. They are all very nice - so nice that so far I have kept them all. But the TAG is not as versatile as the other two. Nor is it as nice, from a fit, finish, or timekeeping standpoint. It is also the largest and least comfortable of the three. If I needed the cash, it would be the first of the three to go.

    The PO is my favorite of the three, but for versatility, the SMP is tough to beat. The PO looks really nice but I feel the SMP is a little more "dressy" if you can use that word to describe a dive watch. I have the quartz version and it's my "goto" watch when I need to grab something in a hurry.

    Last edited by JarrodS; February 6th, 2012 at 20:17.
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  11. #10
    Member Caraptor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    North Carolina

    Re: ~$2k choice, requesting opinions.

    Personally, I think you're getting a better watch with the Breitling. However, better in general doesn't always mean better for you personally. My reasons for favoring the Breitling are Breitling's excellent build quality and their thermocompensated quartz movement strikes me as a little more special than the common ETA automatic movement in the TAG. But like I said, better isn't always better, and aesthetics and other intangibles are a big part of choosing a watch, and if the TAG sings to you, that's the one for you--after all, there absolutely nothing wrong with a common ETA automatic movement.
    If it were me, I would first realize (as I'm sure you have) that 2000 Euros is a lot of money to spend on a watch for a man your age. Second, in light of this I would pick the watch that strikes the best balance for you between classic good looks, and gotta-have-it awesomeness. Ask yourself, "Can I see myself wearing this watch when I'm 30? How about 50?" When you're building a collection you can buy whatever suits your fancy at the time, but when a rare opportunity like this comes up for a nice gift, choose carefully and choose for the long term. Hopefully you'll end up with a watch to enjoy long after your memories of high school have faded.
    Last edited by Caraptor; February 6th, 2012 at 21:41.

    The man who buys a particular watch to feel smarter or better than other people and the man who avoids a particular watch to feel smarter or better than other people are brothers.

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