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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I have just recently started getting interested in horology and am about to purchase my first real watch.
I am currently serving in Afghanistan and when I get a spare moment I have been looking on the web at watches. I currently wear a Gshock due to the nature of my work and that it will take a beating but I want to treat myself to a proper watch for when I return home. At the moment I am considering the omega speedmaster professional 38735031. The more I read the more I want all in house movements and something with a bit of history or legacy behind it. Plus something I can wear on the weekend or when I go out, the zenith al primero is also one I have been looking at. I don't want to spend more then 5-6k, I know that seems a lot for a 27 year old but it's my treat for coming home in one piece.
This post is starting to get very lengthy but in wanted to provide some background as well. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated and much needed.

Thanks in advance.

V.
 

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Let the Hunt begin!

Hello Vince, and welcome! Thank you for for what you're doing over there on behalf of the U.S.A.

First things first. Does it have to be Swiss in manufacture? German watches are steeped in tradition just as much as some Swiss ones are, and Seiko has come a long way since the ones your dad and grandad saw for sale. Don't get me wrong- I'm not trying to steer you away from a Swiss watch. I just want to know what we can and cannot rule out! We want you to find a watch you'll appreciate for a long, long time.

Some more things to think about. Do you like a plain dial or one with a lot going on? Should we rule out real Diver's watches? Gold or goldplate, or stay with stainless steel? Do you prefer maintenance-free rugged quartz movements or will we go with something mechanical that gets cleaned and oiled every 5 years? Is there something I've forgotten?

We look forward to hearing from you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thoughts so far

Thanks for the reply,

Basically I am looking for a watch that I can wear smart casual on the weekends but it will still look good on the odd occasion I dress up. My budget is 5000 USD and I am only considering mechanical movements, resale value is not important to me as I plan this to be a watch to be the first in a (hopefully) large watch collection. For this reason and others I am not interested in the Rolex submariner. I don't want to get anyone offside as I know from reading the forums that people love, and rightly so, the ETA movement but for me personally I want something completely in house (yes I realise omega is part of swatch). The right diver would definitely be considered, like the new jaeger-LeCoultre master compressor but that's obviously way above my budget. I have been looking at a few German brands which match my criteria and NOMOS Glashutte make some great watches. While I appreciate seiko and their innovations and their all in house movements I wouldn't consider anything but the grand seiko or ananta which are both above my price range. When it comes to colour and metal I am not so particular but would prefer something that looks great in a black leather strap. I know it sounds like I am being picky and snobby (well to my ears anyway) its just that this is my first real watch after doing a lot of reading and I want something I can wear on my wrist for years to come.
Wow this has turned into a book. So if you managed to stomach your way to the end anymore advice would be sorely needed, thanks in advance.
V.
 

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Welcome to the forum and thank you very much for your service! There are Seiko Ananta Spring drives in your price range. Check out Arizona Fine time's website.


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Seiko v omega

Wow the seiko ananta spring is a great looking watch, I really like the 5R66 in house movement. Very cool.
The only thing which holds me back from the seiko is the brand name up against the omega, I feel that unless you re into horology the name seiko doesn't have the same weight.... Yet.
Can you please give me your honest opinion between the omega speedmaster professional and the seiko, I like the transparent back of the 38735031 model.
Could someone more knowledgable then myself list the advantages and disadvantages of both, just their personal thoughts would be great.

Thanks guys,

V.
 

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Yes, that is the problem with the high-end Seiko models - the brand name is diluted by the low end stuff.

The spring drive will be MUCH more accurate than the Omega, almost quartz level accuracy.

You need to determine how much the brand recognition matters - are you buying the watch for you, or for others' perception?

$5k for in-house movement is going to be a pretty limited selection, and the Seiko is probably the best of the lot. Alternatively, you could go with an ETA model in a historic brand like Ball, and get a lot more "bang for the buck"
 

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Vince, there are a lot of in house movements you can get for the price you're looking.

Orient and Seiko are both in that range and fully in house, though neither (IMHO) are as prestigious as a Swiss/American watch.

Your vintage in house options are in the thousands, while modern will limit it some.

Used JLC, Rolex, and new Zenith are the three best brands in that price range (I think JLC and Zenith are better; Zenith used to make movements for Rolex). The El Primero is the coolest movement in the world in my eyes, just ask LouS about his amazing collection! All will give you the best watches around.

If you're interested in Nomos, I love mine, but it doesn't see any wrist time so I have it listed in the sales forum. They really do awesome with their finishing and fit. The nicest strap I've ever felt for sure. We've got a guy in the German forum named John (or we used to anyway) that has one too if you need to verify. Check 'em out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
More unsure then ever

Thanks for all the advice so fair guys. Definitely more unsure then before of what I want. I found a zenith el primero 36,000 Vph new for 5600 which looking around seems to be a good price. The omega professional is only 4500 with the transparent back but seeing as all the replies have seemed to try to steer me away from the omega I am having my doubts about it.
While the watch is for me I still am influenced by others perceptions (aren't we all sometimes) so until the seiko or the other orient brand names are more widely known I am looking elsewhere even though I love what seiko are doing with their R&D and all in house movements and the look of the grand seiko and ananta, so call me vain if you want hahaha.
Well can I please get an honest opinion on the omega speedmaster professional. I have read its really the only omega worth owning in terms of a horology view.
I cant find any, even second hand, decent JLC's within my price range, basically I am looking at the el primero but I really want your opinions of the omega. Thanks guys.

V.
 

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What sets the Speedmaster apart from a lot of other chronographs is the dial. Many reviewers call it one of the most easy to read dials out there. And this is true. The matte white and matte black are easy on the eyes, as is the thinness of the lines. They don't make the dial look crowded. The 39mm diameter case is not small and ladylike, but not too big for average sized wrists. The lugs are 20mm apart which gives you an overwhelming choice of aftermarket straps and bracelets. The crown is very well proteted fron accidental bumps, as are the push-pieces.

However......
The automatic movements are not in-house. They are based on the Lemania movement with a chronograph module made by Dubois-Depraz. It is the opinion of some watch repairmen that this module is a royal P.I.T.A. They find it easier to send the old module back to Omega and replace it with a new one rather than disassemble and repair it (which means more money out of YOUR wallet). The crystal is acrylic rather than sapphire. And that nicely designed dial I mentioned? If you like dials that glow brightly in the dark, forget it! There is so little surface area to work with on a Speedmaster that there isn't really enough SuperLuminova available for the watch to be very visible to start with, and after a few hours it will fade to practically non-existant.

May I confuse you with some more choices? All these have your in-house movement and are within your budget...
Nomos is a good way to go. I see you've already mentioned them.
The Breitling Chronomat with in-house caliber
The Eterna Madison
Habring2 of Austria- a brand almost nobody has heard of
TAG Heuer Caliber 1887- several possibilities
Movado Sub Sea Series 800


And generally speaking: I'd go with Zenith's El Primero movement over Omega any day of the week!
 

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I think Zenith is the most under appreciated major brand in Horology (personally).

I would also get a Breitling over any of the others that Bill listed. They have a very nice presence on the wrist. I have a Colt GMT (while ETA movement) it has a great history and a very pronounced look. Their in house movement is absolutely amazing too!

Eterna is a great company but they do not have the appeal to the general public you seemed to be looking for earlier. Unlike with a Breitling with an awesome history and a well known brand that is competitive with some Rolex or Zenith that you can tell people "they made movements for Rolex and watches for Tiffany & Co."

I wouldn't necessarily put NOMOS in the same category as Zenith at all, because in my mind they're easily in the top 10 makers of all time; they're still a nice in house movement that you can get well under budget.
 

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In-house movement and under budget are precisely why in this particular instance Nomos IS in the same category as Zenith.

We can play 'Rank That Watch' after we have a complete list of candidates! :laugh:
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Decision

Thanks so much for all your replies,

After a lot of research and soul searching I believe I have made my decision with the zenith el primero 36'000 Vph 38mm.
Only thing to do know is to put my money where my mouth is and buy it. Can anyone recommend a reputable website to order the watch from?
Thanks again guys,

V.
 

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V.,
I was in your exact position 3 years ago: serving in A'stan and looking to get a fine watch. I actually chose the Speedmaster for various reasons, but I think you've made a great choice with the Zenith. The wonderful thing is that the watch was waiting for me when I got home, and it will always be a special item for me that I will pass on to my son one day with pride. Congratulations on your choice, now get home safely to enjoy it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Cheers guys

Thanks for all the advice, it has made me a lot more confident in my purchase. I won't be able to post a picture untill I get home. Only 85 days, but it's not like I am counting hahaha.
Will definitely puts pictures up.
See you all around the forum.

V.
 

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Drop in anytime- even if it's just to shoot the breeze. We even have a Community Forum for stuff not related to watches. :biggrin:
 
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