Watch the matter

One of my hobbies besides photography is wrist watches. I have a very modest collection of wrist watches and I like to read and learn about them. I have been thinking my next possible watch purchase quite a lot during the Christmas vacation. There are few possibilities what I could buy in the near future:

1. Basic (and cheap) automatic watch for everyday use: this could be a Seiko 5 for example. You can get them between 250-300 euros. Seiko manufactures all their movement calibers which is quite cool in such a cheap category.

2. If I choose quartz watch (which is quite unlikely) I would go for Seiko Kinetic (I have one with the first Kinetic movements) or for some vintage model like Seiko Twin Quartz (from 1970’s).

3. A vintage watch. Preferably from 1968 which is my birth year. Zenith would be a nice one as they have their own movements (not e.g. ETA based). You can get a nice one with 500-700 euros.

4. The most likely option would be to buy a watch from a small manufacturer like Stowa or Nomos (both German manufacturers). You can get a very nice watch from them with about 600-1000 euros. I would prefer hand-winding movement from both of them. Stowa uses nice Unitas movements and Nomos have their in-house movements.

So there you go. I think one of the above options will come true in the future. I also think that I would get a nice addition to my present collection by choosing any of those options.

Here is a short list of my present mechanical watches:

– Omega Speedmaster Professional (The Moonwatch)

– Omega Seamaster Professional Chronometer

– Omega Speedmaster Automatic

– Zenith Automatic Elite 670

– Revue Thommen Airspeed Automatic

– Mido Commander Ocean Star Datoday

– Swatch Body & Soul Automatic

– Phenix Vibroschock (from 1952; Phenix 130SC movement)

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7 comments

  1. Maybe consider pictures of your various watches in a new category of post here? I’m considering one of a few Seiko automatics. My problem is I don’t wear a watch daily so might run into issues of having to set it too often.

  2. Good idea, Richard. I think I will write short presentations of my watches here.

    If you want to buy an automatic watch you have to take into account the fact which you mentioned. Automatic watches need to be worn regularly (preferably daily basis) or you can hand-wind them every day 15-20 turns. That keeps them going. Another possibility is to buy a watch winder (there are battery and mains versions).

    I would recommend a Seiko Kinetic watch for you. These watches combine the good things from quartz and mechanical world. You will get the accuracy of a quartz watch and use of your kinetic energy (movement of your hand) to charge the capacitor (battery) by the rotor of the watch in a similar manner as with a mechanical watch. I have a 20-year old Seiko Kinetic and it is still working. Full charge of the capacitor will provide power reserve for 4-6 months. Another possibility is a solar powered watch (Citizen and Seiko produce them) but I do not like them because they will stop if there is not enough light (dark days and jacket sleeves etc.). I have two Citizen Eco-Drives and have had quite much problems with them (but some people really love them).

      1. Yes, that’s Seiko 5 (mechanical watch, not a Kinetic) and with a very nice discount. I would go for a metal bracelet, however. Much more durable than a canvas one.

  3. I’ve never had that problem with 904L steel bracelet / casing. Taken the watch to sauna and to -40°C outside temperatures on Finnish winters. Skin temperature balances the fluctuations, and beats outside temperature on the inside of the bracelet. Of course, if you put a watch on outside, that might be different. The problem with metal bracelets usually is, that they might pinch or stick to arm hairs if they’re not designed well enough 🙂 It makes sense buying the watch with a metal bracelet anyway, as they tend to be hideously overpriced as an accessory, and you can get leather/rubber/cloth band for peanuts in comparison. Selling the watch is easier, if it’s accompanied with the original metal bracelet.

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