Went shopping for HAQ and saw all relevant models...
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  1. #1
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    Went shopping for HAQ and saw all relevant models...

    Today I went shopping for HAQ watches and I have to say the more I look into quartz watches, the more interesting they become.

    First I went to the official Citizen boutique. There I tried on the Signature AQ3001-54A. What a beautiful watch. I heard that Citizen can't be compared to GS in terms of finish and quality, but I couldn't see that.
    The watch looked gorgeous. The applied markers made the watch sparkle and the white dial had a really nice presence to it.
    I was especially surprised how the power reserve indicator added to the overall look and did not come across as distraction.
    Then the lady showed me the Eco-drive One
    AR5030-59L. That's definitely a watch one has to see in the flesh. It looked stunning.
    The Signature looked beautiful, but the Eco-drive One looked next level, the thinness was much more impressive than I had thought and it wore fantastic.
    However, it isn't technically HAQ, so that's a drawback. When I mentioned it, the sales staff immediately mentioned the caliber 0100, and confirmed
    that they still had allotment, which was also very tempting.

    Next stop was Longines where I tried the Conquest V.H.P. line and was rather disappointed. It is super big and chunky, yet not very distinct.
    I hope they will design some smaller version at some point until then I would not consider them, especially in comparison to Citizen.
    Even though they were of course a lot cheaper.

    Then I went to Grand Seiko. I'm not a huge fan of the fact that most of their HAQ watches have a non-perpetual calendar function. The only model without a date window was an old model still with Seiko at the top and in comparison the Citizen watches looked so much more appealing. I like the branding behind GS, but after the visit to Citizen the watches themselves lost a lot of their appeal and the GS watches were more expensive.

    The last stop was Omega and their Z-33. One of the chunkiest watches I have ever seen, but so unique and cool looking. I didn't find its chunkiness as annoying as Longines`, simply because it is so over the top that it would look huge on everybody. Having only 30 meters water resistance in such a huge watch is pretty disappointing, though. Not very practical.

    After today it has become more unlikely that I will buy a mechanical watch. What really appealed to me was that within my budget I could shop for the best quality and accuracy out there and would not have to compromise. What is your favorite and would you spend a couple of thousand dollars on a HAQ and have ease of mind, knowing you got the best thing out there?

  2. #2
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    Re: Went shopping for HAQ and saw all relevant models...

    GS quartz has tended to be fairly one-dimensional. Plain dials; almost always bracelet other than the LEs. I do see a new Sports line, which is a bit different, but the dials are still quite conservative. OK, most of The Citizens are as well...but they do have some interesting ones too, like the washi dials. Seiko makes, IMO, a significant mistake by splitting their top cases and finishes...Credor...and their top movements.

    I'm trying to focus on technically interesting now, with anything new. That means it'll be a cal 0100 or nothing, most likely. But if I change my mind, it'll be a Chronomaster. Or, if they can pull off a TC Eco Drive One...I could get tempted.....
    The truth is rarely pure and never simple.

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    Re: Went shopping for HAQ and saw all relevant models...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakaro View Post
    Today I went shopping for HAQ watches and I have to say the more I look into quartz watches, the more interesting they become.

    . . .

    After today it has become more unlikely that I will buy a mechanical watch. What really appealed to me was that within my budget I could shop for the best quality and accuracy out there and would not have to compromise. What is your favorite and would you spend a couple of thousand dollars on a HAQ and have ease of mind, knowing you got the best thing out there?
    I still like mechanical watches, but after having to get several serviced, I was looking to add something low-maintenance & "set & forget" for travel, etc., & on those criteria, it's hard to beat HAQ, especially when it's solar-powered. Despite Citizen's limited presence in the U.S. (& even the flagship store in NYC doesn't get many of the JDM models), I went w/the AQ4020-03E based on web photos/videos only & have been very happy.
    ------------------------------------

    (Almost) every watch a tool watch.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Went shopping for HAQ and saw all relevant models...

    Quote Originally Posted by gangrel View Post
    GS quartz has tended to be fairly one-dimensional. Plain dials; almost always bracelet other than the LEs. I do see a new Sports line, which is a bit different, but the dials are still quite conservative. OK, most of The Citizens are as well...but they do have some interesting ones too, like the washi dials. Seiko makes, IMO, a significant mistake by splitting their top cases and finishes...Credor...and their top movements.

    I'm trying to focus on technically interesting now, with anything new. That means it'll be a cal 0100 or nothing, most likely. But if I change my mind, it'll be a Chronomaster. Or, if they can pull off a TC Eco Drive One...I could get tempted.....
    A TC Eco Drive One would be a dream. If they already had a caliber 0100 Eco Drive One, I would have paid the deposit right there. Even a normal TC Eco Drive One +-10 per year would probably hook me. The question is how much space is needed for the temperature control to work. What also impressed me was the evolution from first generation Eco Drive One to the second generation. There was one watch from the first generation left and the case was significantly less sleek than the new watches. So Citizen is still working on it! The caliber 0100 is tempting but would probably have a similar appearance to the Signature. Visually less impressive, but then the hunt would be over, it can't get any more accurate than the 0100, but then again it could still get thinner.... Tough choices!!!

  6. #5
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    Re: Went shopping for HAQ and saw all relevant models...

    Quote Originally Posted by stolen-gmt-master View Post
    I still like mechanical watches, but after having to get several serviced, I was looking to add something low-maintenance & "set & forget" for travel, etc., & on those criteria, it's hard to beat HAQ, especially when it's solar-powered. Despite Citizen's limited presence in the U.S. (& even the flagship store in NYC doesn't get many of the JDM models), I went w/the AQ4020-03E based on web photos/videos only & have been very happy.
    Strangely enough there are no Chronomaster models on sale here, only the 3 watch Signature line which is +-10 and not +-5, but they also had allotment for the caliber 0100, so I'm not sure how Citizen allocates their watches.

  7. #6
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    Yes I would and yes I did... but that’s in addition to my mechanicals. I like the idea of a grab and go watch. Went with the GS SBGV025... blue dial with old Seiko on top. Adjusting the date few times a year does not bother me at all.

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    Re: Went shopping for HAQ and saw all relevant models...

    Any interest in the Breitling Aerospace? HAQ, water resistance, super light titanium, fairly thin (10mm), 4-year calendar (almost perpetual), chronograph/timer/alarm. It ticks a lot of boxes for me and that's the direction I ended up going.

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    Re: Went shopping for HAQ and saw all relevant models...

    Quote Originally Posted by kplam View Post
    Any interest in the Breitling Aerospace? HAQ, water resistance, super light titanium, fairly thin (10mm), 4-year calendar (almost perpetual), chronograph/timer/alarm. It ticks a lot of boxes for me and that's the direction I ended up going.
    I have had a look online now. I think the case diameter will be to large. The Z-33 has the novelty look, but the Aerospace looks like a big conventional watch, a lot closer to the Longines than the Z-33, but next time I am in town I will try one on. That watch hadn't been on my radar.

  10. #9
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    Re: Went shopping for HAQ and saw all relevant models...

    I have the previous gen 42mm Aerospace Advantage, which is slightly smaller than the current 43mm Aerospace Evo. 48mm lug-to-lug.

    But given its 10mm height and lightweight titanium case (and bracelet) it wears remarkably easy as you can imagine. There is an earlier 40mm version as well.

  11. #10
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    Re: Went shopping for HAQ and saw all relevant models...

    Ok not really trolling, but to answer your question, yes



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