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Thread: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    I ran across the Timex "American Documents" collection. Everything but the movement(Swiss Ronda 4000) is made in the USA and assembled in Connecticut. The crystal is Gorilla Glass® 3 and the back is PVD coated so your wrist doesn't turn green. At $500, the competition is fierce but the "made in USA" carries some weight for some. Timex has had to do a lot of ground level work to get this project going so I'd expect improvements to be forthcoming.

    Does anyone have one of these? I like the simple looks but the hands in the pictures on this blog seemed a bit rough.

    American Documents™ 41mm Leather Strap Watch - Timex US
    TW2R82900.jpg

    Meanwhile, I've gotten used to wearing the two Citizens I recently bought; so far, no complaints. I prefer my Elliot Brown Page and Cooper collaboration on the Holton Professional even though it is HEAVY. I need to get back to the gym.
     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    I ran across the Timex "American Documents" collection. Everything but the movement(Swiss Ronda 4000) is made in the USA and assembled in Connecticut. The crystal is Gorilla Glass® 3 and the back is PVD coated so your wrist doesn't turn green. At $500, the competition is fierce but the "made in USA" carries some weight for some. Timex has had to do a lot of ground level work to get this project going so I'd expect improvements to be forthcoming.

    Does anyone have one of these? I like the simple looks but the hands in the pictures on this blog seemed a bit rough.

    1 - I am not sure a "quartz" watch belongs in this thread.
    2 - If I am going to spend more than $50 on a quartz, it is going to be one of these:

    Grand Seiko SBGN005
    Amazing build quality
    Top tier finishing and craftsmanship
    ±10 seconds per year accuracy
    (but ignore the blatant ripoff of the Rolex Explorer II bezel style)


     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    What's the point of a high accuracy quartz watch when radio controlled movements are a thing? Isn't that kinda like getting a really nice VCR even though BluRay is available?
    Dustin Gaddis
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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis View Post
    What's the point of a high accuracy quartz watch when radio controlled movements are a thing? Isn't that kinda like getting a really nice VCR even though LaserDisc is available?
    First of all, I fixed it for you.

    Second, the USA has been wishy-washy about keeping those towers funded/going.

    And last, quoting someone I can't remember "any watch more than $50 these days is just for fun as there is no practical value since we all have highly accurate timepieces in our pockets known as smartphones". So, whether $51, $3200 (as above), $100,000, or whatever amount, there is not practical need for a wristwatch these days.
     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Sorry, I missed the first part of the title of the thread and saw "watches on a budget".

    To make amends, I bought one of these:

    sarb035__18089.1542997542.jpg
     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    The SARB035 is great. I want to get one and have it modded (with a new bezel, new sapphire with date bubble, and leather strap) so it will look like this one (which is not mine):

     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    I like that bezel but not a fan of the date bubble. And I don't like the hands with the tips cut off.

    My SARB035 just got here. It looks amazing! I love the look of the hands and the bracelet is very comfortable. The watch came with a 2019 Seiko catalog but the prices are all in yen. The price tag on my watch said 45,000 yen.
     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    I like that bezel but not a fan of the date bubble. And I don't like the hands with the tips cut off.

    My SARB035 just got here. It looks amazing! I love the look of the hands and the bracelet is very comfortable. The watch came with a 2019 Seiko catalog but the prices are all in yen. The price tag on my watch said 45,000 yen.
    I "need" the date bubble because I refuse to always have my reading glasses with me.

    I think this is a better conversion because they leave all stock parts (i.e hands) alone and only replace the crystal and bezel.

     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Yes! I like that bezel, very Rolex.

    I've been looking at this Brathwait brand: Black top grain Italian leather strap: The Swiss made automatic wrist watch – Brathwait

    The-Black-Swiss-made-front-rosegold-1.jpeg

    Sellita Cal SW260-1 movement and sapphire crystal .

    Price is $595 which gives me pause. Lots of competition at that point but am I comparing apples to oranges?

    I'm looking for something more dressy than my Seiko. (SARB035)
     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    Yes! I like that bezel, very Rolex.

    I've been looking at this Brathwait brand: Black top grain Italian leather strap: The Swiss made automatic wrist watch – Brathwait

    Sellita Cal SW260-1 movement and sapphire crystal .

    Price is $595 which gives me pause. Lots of competition at that point but am I comparing apples to oranges?

    I'm looking for something more dressy than my Seiko. (SARB035)
    Never heard of that brand.

    Here is an option:
    Hamilton AMERICAN CLASSIC INTRA-MATIC AUTO 38mm

     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Okie dokie, I think my time with my Seiko Sea Urchin may be coming to a close. I have been infatuated for a long time with a Squale Blue Ray, a Submariner look alike with a gorgeous blue dial and bezel. It's a shade over 5 hundy. Never spent that kinda scratch on a watch, but it's a beaut. Sapphire crystal, ETA movement, very stylish and Italian looking with a cool, vintage looking shark logo on the dial. 200m resustance.

    Bu-ut, the Seiko Prospex Samurai Save the Ocean just came across my radar. It is extremely cool/sick/ gnarly looking and 200m resistance. The blue dial looks beaucoup a cool and it's 200$ cheaper. Cons: hardlex face not Sapphire crystal and not the subdued Italian sex appeal of the Squale. But it still has a certain jay-nay-say-quois.

    What you watch monsters think?

    Other difference between the two is the Seiko has a big 43.x mm case and the Squale is only 40mm in diameter. My Sea Urchin is almost exactly in the middle between them. Don't know my wrist circumference but I am neither dainty nor portly.
    Last edited by zambenini; 1 Week Ago at 02:47 PM.
     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Ol' Shabazz just posted this about the Samurai ::



    EDIT to add - Long Island Watch offers it with an upgraded sapphire crystal for just under $500. You can also get the extension clasp mentioned in the review above from them.

    Custom Modded Seiko Automatic Dive Watch SRPB51
    Strapcode Stainless Steel Bracelet Wetsuit Extension Diver Clasp #NT-CLASP18-17B (18mm)
    Last edited by dgaddis; 1 Week Ago at 02:59 PM.
    Dustin Gaddis
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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    The Samurai is a beautiful thing.
    steve cortez

    FNG

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Thanks, Dustin, that was helpful. Hearing him talk about the size of the Samurai makes me think the Squale might look like a ladies watch on me. :( Sad face.

    Yes, it seems like sapphires are available aftermarket. I wonder if leaving the hardlex (which I managed to trash pretty quickly on my Sea Urchin immediately after I got it three and a half years ago) and then, in time, spending $100 on a sapphire will get me the mileage I want out of a watch like this. I should mention I wear one watch 24/7 and MTB, swim, do everything, etc. in them. So while I would love a pricey kids will inherit type watch, that's just not the way I use them and this price point is probably upper limit for what's reasonable. Lest I come into mas mullah.
    Last edited by zambenini; 1 Week Ago at 03:36 PM.
     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by zambenini View Post
    Thanks, Dustin, that was helpful. Hearing him talk about the size of the Samurai makes me think the Squale might look like a ladies watch on me. :( Sad face.

    Yes, it seems like sapphires are available aftermarket. I wonder if leaving the hardlex (which I managed to trash pretty quickly on my Sea Urchin immediately after I got it three and a half years ago) and then, in time, spending $100 on a sapphire will get me the mileage I want out of a watch like this. I should mention I wear one watch 24/7 and MTB, swim, do everything, etc. in them. So while I would love a pricey kids will inherit type watch, that's just not the way I use them and this price point is probably upper limit for what's reasonable. Lest I come into mas mullah.
    I've had my Citizen w/a sapphire crystal for a few months now and not managed to scratch it, but I don't wear it riding, and I work at a desk, so..... By my previous Citizen w/a mineral crystal I scratched within weeks and I don't even know how I did it, I don't remember hitting it on anything, and I've definitely whacked my sapphire crystal on a few things so far. So, I'm a big fan of sapphire.

    Obviously tho the answer is get two watches, one 'nice' watch (like the Samurai) and a 'beater' like a G Shock. You can get a Samurai + a radio controlled solar powered G Shock for a few bucks less than the Samurai + sapphire crystal. And, you can use the radio controlled G Shock as a reference to keep the Samurai accurate. And, if you kinda like the G Shock you can modify it into something you really like.

    That's the path down the rabbit hole I took anyways lol.
    Dustin Gaddis
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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by zambenini View Post
    Okie dokie, I think my time with my Seiko Sea Urchin may be coming to a close. I have been infatuated for a long time with a Squale Blue Ray, a Submariner look alike with a gorgeous blue dial and bezel. It's a shade over 5 hundy. Never spent that kinda scratch on a watch, but it's a beaut. Sapphire crystal, ETA movement, very stylish and Italian looking with a cool, vintage looking shark logo on the dial. 200m resustance.

    Bu-ut, the Seiko Prospex Samurai Save the Ocean just came across my radar. It is extremely cool/sick/ gnarly looking and 200m resistance. The blue dial looks beaucoup a cool and it's 200$ cheaper. Cons: hardlex face not Sapphire crystal and not the subdued Italian sex appeal of the Squale. But it still has a certain jay-nay-say-quois.

    What you watch monsters think?

    Other difference between the two is the Seiko has a big 43.x mm case and the Squale is only 40mm in diameter. My Sea Urchin is almost exactly in the middle between them. Don't know my wrist circumference but I am neither dainty nor portly.
    I prefer the SKX's to the Monsters personally, just find the case shape more comfortable and less brutalist. And the Monster is a big case.

    I'd lean towards the Squale personally.
     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by theflashunc View Post
    I prefer the SKX's to the Monsters personally, just find the case shape more comfortable and less brutalist. And the Monster is a big case.

    I'd lean towards the Squale personally.
    Yeah, I think 40mm is gonna be too small after almost four years liking 42mm ok. :( I want it though.

    And no 007s because I am committed to a blue dial and bezel. It's my favorite color. Cain't hep it. Hmm, I think I'm talking myself out of Submariner copies and into a Samurai. Found a new one for circa 300 on fleabay from a dealer. Now, to run this by mi esposa.
    Last edited by zambenini; 1 Week Ago at 04:41 PM.
     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by zambenini View Post
    Okie dokie, I think my time with my Seiko Sea Urchin may be coming to a close. I have been infatuated for a long time with a Squale Blue Ray, a Submariner look alike with a gorgeous blue dial and bezel. It's a shade over 5 hundy. Never spent that kinda scratch on a watch, but it's a beaut. Sapphire crystal, ETA movement, very stylish and Italian looking with a cool, vintage looking shark logo on the dial. 200m resustance.

    Bu-ut, the Seiko Prospex Samurai Save the Ocean just came across my radar. It is extremely cool/sick/ gnarly looking and 200m resistance. The blue dial looks beaucoup a cool and it's 200$ cheaper. Cons: hardlex face not Sapphire crystal and not the subdued Italian sex appeal of the Squale. But it still has a certain jay-nay-say-quois.

    What you watch monsters think?

    Other difference between the two is the Seiko has a big 43.x mm case and the Squale is only 40mm in diameter. My Sea Urchin is almost exactly in the middle between them. Don't know my wrist circumference but I am neither dainty nor portly.

    Having spent too much money on modding Seiko's recently, and some with just a sapphire crystal upgrade, I vote for the Squale: better movement, better looking, and ready to go. Squale is simply a better watch and Seiko's have been increasing in price for the same watch/parts so now you pay more for the same Samurai that you did not pay as much for not that long ago.

    You also cannot judge a watch by the stated size. It is just like tires. What the sidewall says is not how it is going to sit on different sized rims. The samurai is a BIG wearing watch. I have 7.25 wrists and like the SKX (42mm), am okay with the Turtle (45mm), but think the Samurai (44mm) is just too big (see picture below).

    *** I also own and wear a 40mm Explorer II, 36mm DateJust, and 40mm Submariner Date ceramic maxi-case which wears "smaller" than the Samurai


    Quote Originally Posted by zambenini View Post
    Thanks, Dustin, that was helpful. Hearing him talk about the size of the Samurai makes me think the Squale might look like a ladies watch on me. :( Sad face.

    Yes, it seems like sapphires are available aftermarket. I wonder if leaving the hardlex (which I managed to trash pretty quickly on my Sea Urchin immediately after I got it three and a half years ago) and then, in time, spending $100 on a sapphire will get me the mileage I want out of a watch like this. I should mention I wear one watch 24/7 and MTB, swim, do everything, etc. in them. So while I would love a pricey kids will inherit type watch, that's just not the way I use them and this price point is probably upper limit for what's reasonable. Lest I come into mas mullah.
    Hardlex will scratch. Replace it now or replace it later, your choice but you are not going to be happy as you suggested with the Sea Urchin.

    Another option is to update the Sea Urchin with a new crystal (also about $100 for parts and labor). An upgraded Seiko movement might run you about $150 (parts and labor).
    Maybe a new strap as well.



    Quote Originally Posted by zambenini View Post
    Yeah, I think 40mm is gonna be too small after almost four years liking 42mm ok. :( I want it though.

    And no 007s because I am committed to a blue dial and bezel. It's my favorite color. Cain't hep it. Hmm, I think I'm talking myself out of Submariner copies and into a Samurai. Found a new one for circa 300 on fleabay from a dealer. Now, to run this by mi esposa.
    Again, do not get hung up on stated size. Similar to bike tires, it rarely reflects real life (see pic below SKX011, Samurai SRPC07, Turtle SRP77)

    And last, and maybe most important, if I wanted a Seiko replacement today, the last thing I would get is a Seiko. I would be looking at this Orient Kamasu as it hacks, hand winds, has a sapphire, comes on bracelet or strap, and is everything a Seiko should be at 42mm and about $280. It might even be very similar to your Seiko Sea Urchin.



    SKX011 42mm - Samurai SRPC07 44mm - Turtle SRP777 45mm
    IMG_1378.jpg
    - Kept the SKX (upgraded sapphire crystal and lumed cermaic bezel indert via LI Watch)
    - Returned the Samurai
    - Sold the Turtle




     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYCfixie View Post
    Never heard of that brand.

    Here is an option:
    Hamilton AMERICAN CLASSIC INTRA-MATIC AUTO 38mm

    Dang! Now I've got another watch on the short list. Worse, it got me looking around and I've found these French watches with in-house movements (Yema) and then I read all about ETA and how they are slowly being able to not produce movements for other companies and in a couple more years everybody will have to make their own or buy elsewhere. And that makes me wonder; are we soon to be in a watch purgatory or watch heaven? Or will ETA still keep on making movements for everyone that wants them and it's business as usual.

    Getting back on track, my wife would like a gold watch with a black dial. She's flexible on the bracelet; it can be gold or gold/silver. I'll still order a black leather strap to swap out as needed. She wanted to go shopping in town but the only brands carried everywhere we went were Seiko, Bulova and those Justin Bieber brands like Diesel, Fossil, etc. And $400 for a Bulova quartz with mineral crystal is just not happening.

    I'm not sold on the black dial; white or white-ish is fine by me. The Hamilton doesn't come in gold but is still an intriguing watch with excellent styling.

    I'm tempted to go with a Seiko quartz that makes my wife happy and then grab that Hamilton.

    But that Yema Spacegraf or the Navygraf have got me thinking. Thinking is hard; it heats up my head and makes the fleas jump.

    Why can't buying a watch be as simple as buying a new bicycle?
     

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    Default Re: automatic/mechanical watches on a budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
    Dang! Now I've got another watch on the short list. Worse, it got me looking around and I've found these French watches with in-house movements (Yema) and then I read all about ETA and how they are slowly being able to not produce movements for other companies and in a couple more years everybody will have to make their own or buy elsewhere. And that makes me wonder; are we soon to be in a watch purgatory or watch heaven? Or will ETA still keep on making movements for everyone that wants them and it's business as usual.

    Getting back on track, my wife would like a gold watch with a black dial. She's flexible on the bracelet; it can be gold or gold/silver. I'll still order a black leather strap to swap out as needed. She wanted to go shopping in town but the only brands carried everywhere we went were Seiko, Bulova and those Justin Bieber brands like Diesel, Fossil, etc. And $400 for a Bulova quartz with mineral crystal is just not happening.

    I'm not sold on the black dial; white or white-ish is fine by me. The Hamilton doesn't come in gold but is still an intriguing watch with excellent styling.

    I'm tempted to go with a Seiko quartz that makes my wife happy and then grab that Hamilton.

    But that Yema Spacegraf or the Navygraf have got me thinking. Thinking is hard; it heats up my head and makes the fleas jump.

    Why can't buying a watch be as simple as buying a new bicycle?
    Never heard of Yema (but I do personally stick to well known brands).

    I have always been a fan of white dials for dress watches and black/blue/whatever for sports watches.

    Don't ever buy Fashion Watches as they are no different than fast fashion - you are overpaying for crap because it is trendy.

    Tissot, Longines, Bulova, and a few others are not fashion watches.

    Do not worry about any ETA movements as they have literally been around forever and you will be able to get parts for them long after you are dead.

    Most non-swatch-owned brands have moved over to Sellita which is an ETA clone and just as good (some might say better). Sellita too has been around forever.
    The ETA vs Sellita Story
    WATCH 101: ETA VS. SELLITA MOVEMENTS
    A Technical Perspective Alternatives to Off-the-Shelf Swiss ETA and Sellita Movements, with Seagull, Seiko and Miyota

    Really, do not worry about movements in an under $500 watch as they will usually be about the same (think bike group price points).

    Or think outside the box and go dressy-casual-do-all
    JAZZMASTER THINLINE AUTO 40mm



    ORIS BIG CROWN ORIGINAL POINTER DATE 40mm
     

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