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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good evening,

I've decided that I want to start collecting watches. I'm looking over the beginner's threads and learning as I go. Just recently my fiance bought me a Seiko Kinetic watch. I always wanted one of these since my mom bought one for my father some years ago. Love it! Also saw some other watches on amazon.com that seem interesting as well. I was wondering about two manufacturers....Valentino and Stuhrling Original. They seem to have some interesting designs....especially the Stuhrling Originals and the prices are marked down dramatically from their suggested retail prices. Are these legitimate companies? Are these good for collecting? Are these Swiss Made? Valentino sounds Italian (I'm Italian/New York heritage). What would be a nice Swiss made piece to start a collection with? I'm looking at a price ceiling of about $500 for this first piece.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Henry
 

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Hi Penna,

First and foremost, welcome to our family! Bill the moderator in the Beginners Watch Forum is very helpful and will be here shortly to help you. I modified the links in your post to be more cohesive with our sponsor rules.

Of the companies the ones you're looking at have chinese movements, are likely poorly made, and they invent MSRP number to make it look like a better deal. You can always check out chronoshark, they always run specials on Stuhrling.

If I can give you any recommendation, if you're shopping on Amazon like I do frequently, stay in the Seiko, Orient, Citizen. Japanese made watches are a million times better than Chinese ones like Adee Kaye, Stuhrling Original, Akribos, Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole etcetera. If you don't mind another recommendation, avoid Invicta if you can. Most of their inflated entry level stuff is a bad deal. Check out Orient, they have very unique designs!

I did have a chance to look at your Seiko, its quite nice! Congratulations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, sorry about the links.....obviously I need to read those rules. But I won't let it happen again! :blushing: Thanks for the info and the welcome.

Henry
 

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Yes, first and foremost...Welcome!

You'll find we're a pretty nice bunch of guys and gals. We care more about collecting, as opposed to bashing, watches here. As long as you're serious too, we'll do whatever we can whenever we can to help you out with collecting instead of just amassing watches.
Be prepared to do some homework. I highly recommend you get to know where to find reading material about watches. You know, libraries, book stores, magazine stands, flea markets...that sort of thing. Become familiar with the manufacturers and their brands. It will help greatly if you know how to differentiate between the quality pieces and the "fashion watch" fluff.

You're right- Valentino and Stuhrling DO have interesting designs (and, yes, they're legitimate). But that's not the same as being good watches to buy. Why do you want one? Is it because you just like the way it looks? Or will it be an important anchor piece in your collection? There is no bad or wrong answer, BTW. It will, however, get you started in thinking what you want out of your collection...which direction you want to take it.It is alright to buy a watch just because of the way it looks. You'll wear it a lot and get tons of enjoyment out of it. It just might not be worth fixing if and when something happens to it.

Some Beginner's advice: Brand names can be misleading when it comes to a watch's heritage. Two great examples are (Bell & Ross) and (Swanson). Good American-sounding companies, right? Bell & Ross is a quality Swiss watch (the very first B&Rs were German and made by Sinn), the two guys that started the company are named Bruno Belamich and Carlo Rosillo, and the company headquarters is in France!
Swanson watches are EXTREMELY inexpensive (prices start around $40) and are actually made by a Japanese company.
And just so you know... Valentino watches is a subsidiary of Timex.

With the economy the way it is, choices for a genuine Swiss watch with a max. budget of $500 are severely limited. But if I were looking for one right now, I'd consider (along with any recommendations Valtyr might make) Christopher Ward of London. It is a relatively new company that is just starting to be "discovered". Several of our members are happy owners of Christopher ward watches. The cases are of high quality. They pay good attention to details in the watches and their customer service. Their pieces are powered by Swiss movements. And their prices start at just under four hundred bucks. Their website is worth checking out!

OK.
That's it.
End of lecture (for now).
We eagerly await further comments or questions. And if you feel up to it, we'd love to see some pix of the pieces you already have!

Take care-- Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You've given me a lot to ponder. I think I still need to figure out what I really want. That might take a few years! LOL! Right now, what I'm looking for is both function AND style. I'm patient, I'm talking about acquiring watches slowly as I can afford them.....perhaps one or two a year. I would like to eventually have one or two nice Omegas, Rolex's or Breitlings in my collection to anchor it. The others can be nice Swiss made watches that look nice and are interesting in design. I also like the Japanese Seikos as well. I guess what I'm looking for is something nice that I can pass down to my grand sons (I have 3 daughters!) one day. I have time since my oldest is in middle school. After initially looking at the watch makers I mentioned in my first post, I checked out Bulova, Raymond Weil, Victorinox Swiss Army, Tag Heuer and Hamilton. A few of THESE brands I've seen on amazon retailing in the low $1000s and on sale for around $300 - $600s. The Christopher Wards checked out very nice as well, I'll keep an eye out for them. I still don't know how to do all this....especially trying to figure out what they are worth vs what they retail for.....how well they hold their worth. where to buy and so on, but I'm reading the threads on this forum so I am learning more and more. I'm very thankful to have found you guys. Thank you so much for your help!

Henry
 

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Hi Henry,

I always forget to mention Swiss brands (even though I only buy Swiss and American now) but that is why Bill is such a good guy to have here. He remembesr the stuff I can't remember and vice versa.

If you're looking for Swiss quality you'll be looking at different variations of ETA movements. The ETA 2824 has a date complication and 25,500 beats per hour, it is the same sweep on a $300 Swiss watch as it is a Rolex for $5000. There are different fit, finishes, and qualities that make up the price difference but here is how my collection has gone. I started off on my own without the forum buying an Orient Multi eyes:


Then I got involved with Adam, my great friend from Spain that I met here. He helped me get my first Swiss watch which is from a great company called Gevril. They have a more affordable brand called GV2 that you can usually find between 5 - 9 hundred depending where you shop:



Then my first "higher" end quality watch was a Breitling Colt Chronometer.


At that point I wanted to try one of my favorite brands Maurice Lacroix, they're very easy to acquire under MSRP but hard to sell if you ever intend to sell.
Jours Retrograde and a Peseux 7046

Better view of the retrograde:

7046:


Tired of the same Ol' Eta movements just modified slightly for each company, I wanted an in house movement. If you're not sure what that is, it means the company is responsible for making their own movements, they're in control of quality and regulation, and gives you a more unique watch. Seiko and Orient are in house, and one of my favorite brands Nomos is probably the most affordable in house movement you can get. I'll show you my Club Datum after. For Swiss in house, look at Zenith, their el primero movement is one of the most amazing watches in the world. I love them, but haven't been able to acquire yet.

Nomos as promised (Very hard watch to take pictures of).

Movement:

And now, all I do is collect vintage American and Swiss pieces. Here is my favorite brand Illinois, followed by a much easier and less expensive brand to collect Gruen.



I hope my path gives you some insight as to how my collection is being built. I wanted to try a lower end Orient that is awesome looking until I was sure I liked it. I would recommend CW and Orient a million times before any Chinese companies, but you get what you like. Let us know what other questions arise! If I ever had a child, no doubt I would pass on my entire collection, but the ones I would be most proud to share would be my vintage collection and the Swiss pieces. Orient is nice to wear every once in a while, but I can't see it being exceptionally important to hold onto for 80 years.
 

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Hi Henry, welcome to Watch Talk Forums. Don't be intimidated by the vast amount of information to process - just do it one brand at a time if necessary. Have fun while you're new and try a handful of different styles. You'll make a few mistakes along the way as part of the learning process. Hopefully we'll help as much as possible to eliminate some.

I've heard mixed reviews on Stuhrling Original and know nothing of Valentino although CH covered the basics. If you have questions about a specific watch then post them along with some specs and a model number. You'll get plenty of answers and opinions within a day or two.
 

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Yes, it's a lot to ponder, but have patience. I've been on WTF for close to 2 years, the hobby for 5 or 6, and I'm not sure yet what direction I want MY collection to go in (but I do have a few ideas). :laugh:
Keep a pen and paper (do people even use pencils anymore?) by the PC and jot down possible questions as they pop up.

At first, try not to fixate too much on worth. Look for honest quality. Yes, worth is important, but it's not everything. Often, our most treasured heirlooms are cherished not because of who manufactured it or how much the jeweler down the street would offer for it. It is because of the ancestor who loved it and passed it down to us.

Yes, it's a lot to ponder, but it doesn't have to be overwhelming.
We're open 24/ 7/ 365.242. We're ready for questions, comments, worries, opinions, ideas, confusion, anything. And we'll try to make it a fun process as well.

-CH
 

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I see a lot of people don't talk highly of Invicta watches. Why is that? I am also starting out watch collecting but my beer budget don't allow me to drop $400 or more on a watch. I do enjoy Invicta style. They literally have thousands of different watch designs. Some I like, and some I don't. So what would be a good alternative? I have been searching this forum for about 3 weeks now, looking at all of the watches. I have not come across watches that I like in my price point. I did go check out Orient and Christopher Ward watches. Orient is close, as Chris Ward is not. As I mentioned, my pockets are not deep, they are full of lint. Thanks for everyones help.
 

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Welcome to the forum,

I came to this forum after buying an Invicta from one of our sponsors. It was a $59.99 daily deal quartz and while I sure enjoyed wearing it for a couple of months, after lurking on this forum for a while my interests expanded to other watches. Was it a mistake to buy the $59.99 watch? Absolutely not. I feel I got my moneys worth out of the watch (still works great) and more because of the interest cultivated. You will get a lot of encouragement from the members of this forum as your interests develop.

As for Invicta, they are what they are and distribute some nice watches. If this forum was not the only one supportive of Invicta fans, I would not have the interrest I do now in watches. My 3 Invicta's work great. They look great. They have garnered some casual compliments from casual observers. It seems that Invicta's criticisms are usually about the company more than the watches. They are usually pretty affordable so I don't mind taking the chance on one if I like it and would recomend anyone else do the same. I wouldn't give a dollar amount not to surpass as whats affordable to me may not be for someone else. What I would say is to buy with enjoyment rather than investment in mind.
 

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Quite a level-headed assessmant of the hobby as well as for Invictas, and one I subscribe to as well.
 
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