Best Value Automatic Watches

Desirable Watch features:
– A good movement. Automatic (winded by wrist-movement) and Manual (winded manually) types are considered “mechanical” and charges last ~40 hours. Quartz is most accurate, powered by battery (lifetime ~2 years). Some Quartz types self-recharge battery (hold ~6 months charge, lifetime ~10-20 years), ie Kinetic (Seiko) recharges with wrist movement, and Solar (Seiko Solar, Citizen Eco-Drive, Casio Tough Solar) recharges with light. Kinetic is not recommended, have to worry about wearing on a weekly basis (if batteries fully discharge they get weaker). Watchphiles most recommend Automatic: no battery replacement required, seconds hand moves more smoothly (higher bpm – beats per minute), and holds value due to the craftsmanship and tradition of a complicated movement. Automatic movement brands – ETA or Valjoux (highest quality Swiss-made but watches $400+), Miyota (Japanese substitute but still great/reliable, watches $250+), Seagull (okay quality Chinese), followed by cheap unnamed Chinese movements. Seiko movements are made in-house varying from low to premium quality, while premium brands ie Rolex make movements in-house for their top models.
– Hacking is a movement feature that allows the user to stop the seconds hand for better time setting
– Quality of the finish, Quality of [metal] bracelet. Bracelets usually worth more than a leather band/strap
– Sapphire Crystal glass (scratch resistant and prettier than Mineral), Seiko uses Hardlex which is decent
– Brand: Don’t buy a fashion-brand watch (ie Michael Kors, Kenneth Cole): usually quartz and overpriced for their contracted-out quality. Buy from a watch-maker for better quality/price and resale value.

Note: Watches aren’t investments; don’t buy watches priced such that you’re scared of scratches causing loss of value. High prices also carry high maintenance. Take your time shopping as there are many watches and your tastes will change over time. For more “lifelike” pics, look them up on Google Images or Youtube. ~38mm size is more classic while 42mm+ is more sporty.
 
Watch Diagram:
rolex Watch Diagram
 

Best Value Automatics

Budget Automatic: ~$80-130 Orient Bambino
Chinese homages: Parnis (Seagull movements, Panerai / IWC homages), Getat, Tiger Concept (Divers), or Alpha are decent cheap chinese brands, but hit or a miss (good fit and finish or totally opposite). Parnis bracelets > Alpha
Amphibia Vostok (Russian) ~$80 from either Smirs, eBay), Meranom, Chistopolcity, Julian Kampmann Poljot24 Russia, Vostok USA]. If you find one with the new 22m lug width (like the sold out Amphibia Ministry), a nice Nato or Zulu from [CheapestNatoStraps] looks/fits well. Another Russian watch, only cheap if bought used is Sekonda ~$80 [eBay]
HMT (Indian) – $30-$80 NASL or ADSL models, or Secondarily: Sona, find them on Ebay. HMT Pilot is not as great
Seiko 5 (SNK series, smaller classic size ~38mm) $70-$100 ie SNK795 (modern) [black Amazon, white SNK789, blue SNK793] OR SNKL [black SNKL45, white SNKL41, blue SNKL43] (like those one better than [SNKK71 black/white SNKK65] or classic [SNK361 black/SNK355 white] or models with different day/date color as dial like SNK793 / SNE093). For more pilot style, instead of the Hamilton Khaki King or Khaki Field, get a Seiko Pilot ie SNZG13 [Amazon, eBay] or smaller SNK809K [Amazon] / SNK803 [Amazon]. Patek Philippe Nautilus homages $60: [Silver SNKK41, Silver/Black SNKK47, Silver/Blue SNKK45, Gold SNKK52, Gold/Black SNKK54]
Orient $130-$190 [Amazon All Models], some classy models are: Orient Goldeneye [Amazon White dial, Amazon Black dial], Orient Bambino [Amazon], or Orient Symphony [Amazon] (but many people prefer Bambino’s more unique domed crystal)
Citizen Eco-Drive, ie: AU1040-08E $120 [Amazon]
Bauhaus style: Rodina (sapphire, seagull movement) $120 [eBay]
Cartier Tank homage: Seiko SUP880 Solar $100 [Amazon]
Rolex Oyster Day Date II or Datejust homage: Seiko SNXJ series [Amazon] or Orient Day Date [Amazon, 2]


Women’s / Ladies Watches Seiko SSC893 Solar
Note: Women wear men’s sizes now (not just younger ladies). But here are smaller-sized fashion-styled watches
Bauhaus style: Rodina (sapphire, seagull movement) $120 [eBay]
Orient Ladies (many styles) [Amazon]
Seiko 5 Ladies [Amazon] or Seiko Solar Ladies [Amazon] or Seiko SNK Unisex [Amazon], Seiko Solar Examples: Chronograph SSC893 $290 [Amazon], Baguette SUP044 [Amazon], SUT128 [Amazon], SUT015 [Amazon],
Citizen Women’s “Eco-Drive” (solar) [Amazon] ie EW1264-50A Silhouette Two-Tone [Amazon], minimalist – Eco-Drive “Axiom” [1Amazon, 2], Chronograph $200 FB1360-54D [Amazon], Diver EM0030-59A $270 [Amazon]
Cartier Tank homage: Seiko SUP237 Solar $100 [Amazon], (for women the first looks more iconic than the men’s vertical rectangle) Seiko SUP250 Solar $100 (smaller than the Men’s SUP880) [Amazon]


Flieger Watch (WWII pilot watch) / Aviator Watch:Flieger B Dial and A Dial
Real pilots wear titanium because it’s lighter! (but in all seriousness, titanium isn’t worth the extra money and is more prone to scratches). A dial is the more historically common variant (B dial was produced in small quantities), some say B dial is too busy (especially for the smaller <42mm models) but more interesting than A dial. Also, you may request a rivetless strap
Poljot $100-$200 Russian aviators [eBay]
Ticino $180 Miyota, both retailers at [TicinoWatches], ie [Ticino Type A] (Ticino is better than Parnis)
Maratac $280 [Maratac’s Only Retailer] a little more modern, Miyota movement
Laco Augsberg: Miyota $370, sapphire glass, 100% true to history. [Amazon A-Dial, Amazon A-Dial] or to order directly from Germany: [Laco A-Dial, Laco B-Dial]
Uhren von Uhr (great value ETA) $310 (newer company) A dial 40mm, A dial 42mm, B dial 40mm, B dial 42mm
Steinhart $455 ETA [A dial 44mm, B dial 44mm, B dial 47mm] (note the titanium ones not listed here are $469 with vintage-yellow font).
Best: A Flieger is more casual than classy with its classic brown strap. Because of its simplicity go only budget ie an Orient/Ticino for $150. For more, go authentic with ETA movement, ie: Steinhart $455 [SteinhartWatches], Laco for its historical significance ie Augsberg $370 (albeit miyota) [Amazon], Aristo for ~$400 at [LongIslandWatch Discount] (can maybe also find a Laco ETA on sale there), Archimede ~$500 [ArchimedeWatches]. Note: Laco, Stowa, IWC, Wempe, and A. Lange & Söhne were the original 5 manufacturers for the German WWII Luftwaffe (Air Force) but other than Laco are expensive $700+.


Diver Watch, including Rolex Submariner homages (classic James Bond 007 style):Steinhart Ocean 1 Black Submariner homage James Bond
Orient: Orient Ray $140 [Amazon] (classic round hour markers), Orient Mako XL (aka Mako II, Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean homage, markered dial / bigger size / worse lume than Mako) $140 [Amazon, Orange bezel (classic Planet Ocean style)], albeit these aren’t sapphire glass
Blancpain 50 Fathoms homage: Seiko SNZH57 $150 (black, gold trim) [Amazon, eBay] with FiftyFive Fathoms dial $35 (50 Fathoms + Seiko 5 = 55), or to go high end get the MKII Stingray II $600 [MKIIWatches] (dressier than the Precista 50B), Other Seiko 5 Sports SNZH series: [eBay, Black SNZH55, Blue SNZH53, PVC All Black SNZH59 (these are also similar to the Breitling SuperOcean, especially if adding a numberless bezel insert)
Seiko SKX007 $170 [Amazon SKX007K2, Ebay] or for more retro squarish hour markers: [Amazon SKX173]. Better quality than SNZF17 / SNZF15 / SRP553. Add the superb Super Oyster bracelet: Evo S (solid end links) $70 from (email yobokies@yahoo.com.hk), Secondarily: Type 2 from [WJean eBay], or a Snapcode [Amazon]
Poor Man’s Marine Master (PMMM): For a Seiko MM300 ($2,000) homage, have yobokies@yahoo.com.hk make it for you: the SKX171 [Amazon] (black date better than SKX007 white date) and add the bezel/insert of the SKX007, Type S hands, either his Marine Master dial (or authentic MM300 Dial), his Super Oyster Evo S bracelet, his Sapphire (ie AR-coated domed)
Seiko Used Classic 6309-7040: $150-$300 [eBay, eBay reputable seller Loyswatch] is better than the 6306. Unless you spend bigger bucks for a fully restored and pressure tested one you can’t trust the watertight integrity. Otherwise you might end up with a “restored” watch that leaks while washing your hands and it’ll be pricey just to clean up the gaskets.
Squale 20 ATMOS Classic (200 m) ETA $490 from [GnomonWatches Black, or Vintage Off-black, or Amazon Search]. It’s slightly smaller than the Steinharts (40mm vs 42mm). Squale is a micro-watchmaker with a solid history from the 1950s.
Steinhart Ocean ETA [Ocean 1 Black] $400 with Ceramic Option (homage to Rolex Submariner 16610, most famous dive watch), or bigger [Ocean 44] $440 (Rolex Deepsea Sea Dweller 116660 homage, flat bezel), or for more sporty color [Ocean 1 Vintage Red] $400 (Rolex 1680 Red homage), or [Ocean Vintage Military (OVM)] $400 (Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner 5513 homage, most famous military-issued dive watch, as seen in the James Bond 007 movies) or [Ocean One Vintage] $470 (homage to Rolex 6200), Also note: [Ocean Two Yellow] is an IWC Aquatimer homage, and [Aviation] is a Bell & Ross BR01 homage
Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro – best Omega Seamaster Professional homage (Currently Sold Out) $500 [Christopher Ward]
Note: there are some more traditional divers in the more expensive categories below (ie Longines, Certina)


Non-Traditional Styled Diver Watch: Irreantum Magellan
Seiko Monster – (better than Marathon Sar) Black Monster $160 [Amazon SRP307 2nd gen, SRP313 “Bloody Tooth”, eBay], (1st gen SKX779 & SKX781 had square hour indices). The original Monsters (particularly Orange Monster [SRP309]) are more popular, but there is also the Seiko 5 Mini / Neo / Baby Monster (similar size but not as rugged looking and crown isn’t screw down) $140 [SRP599, SNZF49, SNZF47, SNZF45]
Seiko Solar Chronographs: SSC015 $205 [Amazon], SSC017 $205 [Amazon], SBDL005 $350 [Amazon], SBDL013 $205 [Amazon], Seiko Fieldmaster SBDL021 [Amazon
Misc Seiko: Baby Tuna SRP637 (just launched) [AZFineTime], Seiko SRP357 [Amazon], SSC223 (solar) [Amazon]
Citizen Ecozilla $200 (Solar) [Amazon, eBay], Other Citizen Eco-drives: (solar, chronographs) AO9003-08E [Amazon], AO9003-16A [Amazon]
Tauchmeister $200 sea-gulls / miyotas ex: Tuna Can Divers: T0256MIL XXL [Tauchmeister, Amazon] or T0251M [Tauchmeister], Rolex Submariner-like Divers: T0006 [Amazon, Tauchmeister]
Bronze Diver: Makara is a great value bronze $300 (usually bronze have high premiums for no reason, albeit Seiko auto) [Makara Sea Turtle, Makara Hawksbill Sea Turtle]
Borealis – has a Tudor Snowflake homages: Sea Hawk 1500m $350 (albeit Seiko auto) [BorealisWatch] (not Pelagos homage, more like vintage Tudo). Another snowflake: Dagaz Ultra-Flake SKX Mod $300 (seiko auto, sapphire) [10watches], or just Seiko SKX173 [Amazon]. Borealis other great value unique divers: Sea Diver 300m – a good value for a Miyota $200 (Kobold homage) [BorealisWatch], Sea Dragon (not an homage) $290 [BorealisWatch], Tudor Black Bay homage: Francis Drake 300m $349 [BorealisWatch] and Seafarer [BorealisWatch], and Scorpionfish (in the works)
Irreantum Magellan $545 (Doxa 5000t homage, currently sold out) [Irreantum]


Sporty Chronograph homages (note: automatic chronograph is hard to find affordable) Rotary Breitling Navitimer homage
Navitimers have the slide-rule bezel, which allows for metric to standard conversions, fuel consumption, air speed and distance calculations, etc. Tachymeter on “racer” watches is solely for speed.
Breitling Navitimer homages:
Quartz: Seiko SNA413 [Amazon], Casio Edifice EF-527 $87 [Amazon, 2, 3], Parnis $95 [ParnisWatch], Rotary Chronospeed Chronograph $100 [eBay1, eBay2]
Solar $200: Seiko [SSC009 black, SSC007 black-red, SSC013 white], Seiko SSC289 [Amazon, eBay metal bracelet], more contemporary Citizen Nighthawk (GMT but no chrono) [Amazon], Citizen chrono $300 [BL5400-52A Silver/White, BL5403-03X Gold/Black] Citizen Skyhawk A-T [Amazon BL5400-52A Silver/White, Blue Angels World A-T, Other Promaster Sky eBay]
Automatic: Seiko SSA Series no chrono $200 [Amazon SSA005, SSA003, Amazon SSA001]
Rolex Daytona / Paul Newman / Speedmaster Professional homages
Quartz: Casio Edifice $60 [Amazon1, 2, 3], Seiko SSB Series $120 [Amazon SSB073, SSB033, SSB031, SSB025, SSB029], Also Invicta Speedway (many models) [Amazon] ie Speedway 9211 [Amazon]
Solar: Seiko SSC243 (no tachymeter) [Amazon], Seiko Speedmaster SBDM013 $900 [Amazon], Citizen AT0810-12E [Amazon], BL5470-06A [Amazon], BL5250-02L [Amazon]
Automatic: Alpha – chronograph automatic Seagull mvmt $215 [Alpha]
Russian Auto Sporty Chronographs: Seagull 1963 $300 [Amazon, eBay], Strela $600 or other 3133 models [eBay (best value), Julian Kampmann Poljot24 Russia, Vostok USA] Note: 3 similar quality Strela brands: Strela, Poljot International, Sturmanskie. Make sure to get only Poljot 3133 movements (3017 redesign made by MakTime, faithful copy of swiss Valjoux 7734)
Summary: For Navitimer homage, I’d get the Citizen BL-5400 or Russian Poljot Chronograph “Blue Angels”. For Daytona homage, I’d get a Russian Poljot Chronograph “Classic” or Seiko Quartz 7a28 [eBay] or 7a38 [eBay] (hard to find).


Active Duty Military Watches G-Shock Rangeman
Note: ABC watch means Altimeter (altitude tracking), Barometer (predict rain), Compass. Atomic means its time is corrected by radio tower
Cheap Beater: Casio G-Shock DW-5600E $41 [Amazon] – digital/quartz
Most Iconic G-Shock: Casio G-Shock GW-5000 $320 solar [Amazon] (the modern version of the older DW-5000C)
Size/Some Features/Mudproof Combo: Casio G-Shock G-9300 “Mudman” $129 [Amazon or Yellow – Amazon] is more mud/dirt/dust resistant, big and mudproof like GX-56 King (not quite as big but easier to press buttons), compass, has moonphase (Rangeman doesn’t), No altimeter/barometer/sunrise-sunset/atomic
Feature Rich / Bang-ability: Casio G-Shock G-9400 “Rangeman” $180 [Amazon GW94001CR rubber strap, GW9400J-1JF more durable/expensive resin strap, GW9400BJ-1JF black] Newer version of the GW-9200 Riseman. Solar, ABC, temp sensor, auto light by turning your wrist towards your face, but no mud-resist (can take mud but not operate buttons). Compared to Riseman, the Rangeman is larger, newer sensor/module, added compass, while the Riseman is smaller, more comfortable, lighter, illuminated by the better EL instead of LED (LED is uneven and too bright)
Most Features Suunto Core All Black $260 [Amazon], Alu (aluminum) Deep Black $280 [Amazon], Brushed Steel (Stainless Steel model with sapphire glass) $350 [Amazon]. All the features and most precise sensors (ABC, storm alarm, sunrise/sunset indicator). Quartz – battery lasts 1 year but easy battery hatch only takes 2mins to change battery and weather-seal yourself
Best: Casio G-Shock Rangeman $180 for lots of bang-ability or Suunto Core for higher sensor precision and less rugged/bulky. DON’T get Casio Protrek (new version of Casio Pathfinder): bigger screens but not as resistant to bumps and scratches (you can actually replace the bezel on G-shocks). Seiko (ie SBEB001) and Tissot may be working on ABCs.


Mid-level Classy Automatic ~$200-~$600Steinhart Marine Chronometer II Roman
Android (Seiko $140 and Miyota $240 is well priced but ETA expensive at $600+) [Amazon, Amazon miyota, Amazon ETA, eBay], ie Divemaster 200, Octopus, Mechanical Chrono
Bernhardt Binnacle Anchor Miyota movement $259 [Bernhardt Anchor Black, Bernhardt Anchor II]
Tissot PR 516 GL (old world sporty feel) $415 [Ebay] or Tissot Visodate $375 [Amazon, eBay] (albeit black has a white day/date). Other popular models: PRC 200, Seastar 1000, Powermatic 80
Hamilton popular solid American brand and great value ETAs (however sometimes known for poor lume and strap/band quality and no anti-reflective coating) Note that they are on sale often. Classier models include Jazzmaster Viewmatic $500 [Amazon, eBay], Intra-Matic $600 (best value Bauhaus style) [Amazon, eBay], Thin-O-Matic $600 [Amazon, eBay]
Steinhart Marine $460 [Marine Chronometer II Roman, Marine Chronometer II Arabic, Marine Chronometer, Marine Chronometer Vintage] Super classy and great value for the quality (IWC Portuguese homage), only gripe is that they might be too classy for everyday watch
Seiko Spirit (SARB) $390 iconic green Alpinist SARB017 [Amazon], the classy SARB033 [Amazon, eBay] or SARB035 [Amazon], SARB065 Shinobu Ishigaki “Cocktail Time” [Amazon, eBay]. Don’t believe the extra $200 is worth it for the $570 SARB021 [Amazon, eBay] or SARB023 [Amazon, eBay], Secondarily: Orient Vintage Power Reserve $200 [Amazon] or Orient Star Classic $400 [Amazon]
Seiko SSA (skeleton eye) [Amazon] or Coutura [Amazon]
Steinhart Triton 40 ATM $485 [SteinhartWatches]
Vintage Watches: Buran (Russian, made by Poljot ex-employees) good deal depends on the movement and condition $200-$500 [eBay] ie the Buran Sibiria / Siberia [eBay]
Perpetual Watches: Superb beautiful watches at good prices (albeit Seagull movement). Currently sold out mid to late 2015 :( [Perpetual-Watch]. Models include: Regulator R-01 $170, Chronograph C-01 $380, Chronograph C-05 $500 (Patek Philippe 3970P homage)
Rolex Explorer homage: Smiths Everest $400 [Timefactors], Orient Chicane [Amazon] + explorer hands from yobokies@yahoo.com.hk and add a better Oyster bracelet, Seiko SNKM77 [Amazon] (other models may work) + $50 worth of dagaz parts (dial and hands)


High-Level Classy Automatic $600+ (all ETA movements)Stowa Marine Chrono
Precista PRS-20 $580 is a good value Panerai Radiomir homage [Timefactors]
Certina DS-1 Powermatic 80 (ie 3 hands) $655 [Amazon], DS Action Diver $700 [Amazon] (Note: little hard to find even though big brand in Swatch group) [eBay]
Christopher Ward C65 ~$750 tad expensive [Christopher Ward USA]
Squale 50 ATMOS (500 m) Shiny and beautiful, coin edge bezel [Amazon]
Stowa Antea $850 beautiful Bauhaus [StowaShop], Stowa Marine Original [StowaShop], Stowa Chronograph $1500 [StowaShop]
Oris and Glycine $800+ both widely known to be great quality/resale value, but I don’t find their lower-end watches awe-inspiring. Oris uses Sellita movements (just as good as ETA), Aquis Date $1k [Amazon] or Diver Date $1k [Amazon] (Diver Date nicer with wave dial and nicer hour markers). Glycine Stratoforte chronograph $1.2k [Glycine, eBay]
Mido Multifort $800 [eBay, Amazon Multiforts, Amazon BlackDial/GoldTrim/PVD], or Mido All Dial $800 [eBay, Amazon All Dial], or Mido Baroncelli Chronograph [eBay, Amazon]
Longines Hydroconquest (diver) ~$900 A modern take on the submariner, 80 years of horse racing history [eBay, Amazon]
Steinhart Marine-Officer Bronze chronograph $900 [Steinhart]


GMT / World Time Watches (In Progress)
Citizen AT9010-52E [Amazon]
Steinhart: [GMT-Ocean 1 Black] (Rolex GMT Master homage), Steinhart Vintage GMT $440 [SteinhartWatches]


Beautiful but slightly overpriced or expensive:Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope
Magrette Regattare $545 beautiful but Miyota movement [Magrette] or Vantage Bronze [Magrette]
Halios unique divers made by a small Canadian company, beautiful but Miyota movement like Magrette, but I’d be more inclined to get a Halios, current models are Halios Delfin $745 at [Halios], or Halios Tropik SS $675 [Halios], order with metal bracelet
MKII [MKIIWatches] great but $800+ (and the Vantage or Kingston are no longer for sale)
Sinn ie 556 $1.1k [SinnWatches]
Prometheus from [PrometheusWatch] (not sure of quality, and overpriced even with lower quality seagull/sellita movements, Baiji and CR1 models look good)
Seiko Prospex Marine Master Professional 300m Diver SBDX001 (MM300) the ultimate diver $1800, with a movement at in-house Swiss movements / Grand Seiko level. Might be too high profile to fit under dress shirts. [Amazon, eBay]. If you like the “Tuna Can” diver look, the Seiko Tuna and Baby / Mini Tuna are other good Seiko models
Seiko Tuna “Tuna Can” diver look (albeit quartz) $900 [Black Bezel Amazon, SS Bezel Amazon], Baby Tuna $500 [Amazon] (you can buy a SS – Stainless Steel shroud to replace the black)
Junghans Max Bill Automatic (classic Bauhaus, but plexiglass, $850, $1800 for chronograph “Chronoscope”) [eBay]
Longines Column Wheel Chronograph L688 (inhouse) movement [eBay]
Other Value In-house Movement Watches: Nomos, vintage Rolex Datejust / Oyster Perpetual / Airking, vintage hand wind Hamiltons 770
 

Conclusions & Favorites

After all the research, concluded: get an automatic watch, don’t spend more than $300 on a non-ETA movement (unless it’s a Seiko). Personal opinion is only get one or two watches, preferably versatile (both professional and casual), and don’t spend much more than $500 each, unless it is gold (as decent-condition gold watches sometimes go for ~$500-$600 on eBay). Regarding homages, I would rather get one by a decent company (that looks a little different) instead of a cheap Chinese copy that looks the same as the real thing.
For ultra-budget $60: SNK795 (modern) [black Amazon, white SNK789]
For ~$200, a favorite budget tool watch is the classic diver Seiko SKX007 $140 [SKX007K2] then add Super Oyster bracelet $80 (see above for sellers). For a favorite budget classy watch, the Perpetual Regulator R-01 $170 (currently sold out).
For best value high quality ETA movement diver / submariner at ~$400, Steinhart Ocean 1 Black $400 [SteinhartWatches] with Ceramic Option.
For best value high quality classiness at ~$200-400, Seiko SARB035 or SARB033 at ~$380 [035 Amazon, eBay] [033 Amazon, eBay], or Steinhart Marine ie $480 [Marine Chronometer II Roman]. A great-quality value chronograph option is the Perpetual Chronograph C-01 $380 (currently sold out). A great classy budget option is the Orient Vintage Power Reserve $200 [Amazon]
 
 
 
 
 
 


Watch Straps/Bracelets:
Metal Bracelet Types:
Watch Bracelet Types
Oyster (the classic submariner), Jubilee bracelet (dressy), President bracelet (popping/unique), or Engineer (less classy, more “tool”)
Straps: Leather, Zulu, Nato

Brands: Da Luca – highest quality leather (shell cordovan) but expensive $100+)
Don’t get: Hadley Roma (doesn’t seem like high quality)

Best Watch Spring Bar Tool: Bergeon 6767-F Watch Spring Bar Tool (F-tool) $25 [Amazon], this F-tool is for metal bracelets. The Bergeon 6767-S (S-tool) [Amazon] is for leather and rubber bands (the F tool is too easy to accidentally damage a leather strap because it is more fine). You either need to purchase both tools or buy the other tip at $8-15. Bergeon is much better than the cheaper non-branded Spring Bar Tools ie the popular [Amazon]

Watches I’m Not Recommending
Good Value But Don’t Like Design: (under non-traditional diver watch) Bernhardt Binnacle $270 [BernhardtWatches] (not as classic but good value for a Miyota movement)
Poor Design: Skagen, Uniformwares, Citizen JP2000 Aqualand (the protruding part is a depth sensor, iconic Citizen like Nighthawk/Ecozilla but don’t personally like digital/analog hybrid), Casio G-Shock Aviator GW-A1000-1A $420 (solar & analog but analog defeats the precision purpose of a G-Shock), Croton, Sturhling, Accurist (British version of Citizen), Tech4o traileader only 10m, Movado (expensive, mostly quartz, and don’t dig the “museum”-style), dislike the dark bezel Seiko styles – new 3rd gen 5 mini monster – SRP603K SRP605K SRP608K or Recraft series – weird colors except for the SNKN02, Rockx (RXW) look like great homages but the name is horrible!, Kadloo, Seiko SSC229 (sadly numbered markers)
Horrible Quality: Jaragar, Timex, Kienzle, Lucien Piccard, Lorus and Pulsar (both owned by Seiko, okay quality but Seiko is better), CWC G10 is just quartz, Ingersoll Houston (chronograph auto but mineral glass) [Amazon White Dial, Amazon Gold, Amazon Black Dial] (unsure of quality), Rossling & Co. $170 quartz, Davosa $500 quartz, Rotary Aquaspeed quartz Omega Seamaster homage, Kadloo
Overly-Expensive and Poor Quality/Price (ie very expensive and just quartz or bad finish quality): Nixon, Tag Heuer (quartz), Chase Durer ($500 quartz), Autodromo (quartz), G Gerlach ($300+ watches, cheapish seagull movement and the good styles are $400+ and extra $40 for bracelet), Invicta (also not great quality), Ocean7 overpriced & bad customer service & misaligned bezels, Victorinox (ie Dive Master 500, quartz), Panerai (super expensive and not in-house movement), RXW?, Hager $600 miyota
Overly-Expensive but still Good Quality: Breitling, Jean Marcel, Omega (many don’t have rotating bezel but the iconic ones are Speedmaster Professional and Bond Seamaster), Edox, Vulcain (ie Cricket), Orient Star Classic ($400 for Orient), Vollmer is a semi-expensive flieger ~$500, many people say Stowa is a good value with high finish but pricey $790 for a [flieger] (on smaller side, more contemporary/flashy than authentic/military Laco) and Damasko also expensive for a flieger ie DA36 $1125, Dievas watches (ie Vortex) $900+, Ollech & Wajs pilot or diver with ETA movement $450+ from [Chronotime to check models, to buy WestCoastTime, WestCoastTime or eBay] not great selection or good models sold out and a little too expensive for the lack of a strong name/quality but good price for ETA, Deep Blue ($450 for miyota, $1k ETA), Lew & Huey (L&H) ie Riccardo, Hamilton Khaki Officer and Khaki Pilot – little expensive for fliegers, Maranez – expensive for the movements (Seiko auto or Miyota) but they make Panerai homages such as the Bangla (Mille Metri homage), Armida divers some brass/bronze expensive for the movements ($350+ Seiko auto, $450+ miyota) Unfortunately the old A5 is discontinued (homage to the official Navy Seal watch by Kobold Watches, Kobold even more expensive), Olivier bronze expensive, Gruppo Gamma $350 Panerai homages (similar prices/mvmts as Armida): Ascent (brass, but Seiko auto) [Gruppo Gamma] Vanguard (miyota therefore best value) [Gruppo Gamma] Vanguard bronze $530 [GruppoGamma] Genesis (seiko auto) [Gruppo Gamma], Zelos, Cobra de Calibre, Helberg, Helson great new company but super expensive $600 miyota and $1k+ swiss, Ancon $600+ miyota, Kazimon $2k, Junkers Bauhaus 6060 (mineral glass, better to get real deal Junghans), Frederique Constant ($600 quartz), Doxa, Ball
Super Expensive Brands: Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet (AP, ie Royal Oak, unfortunately can’t find an homage), Vacheron Constantin, (these three are closely followed by Jaeger LeCoultre, A. Lange & Sohne), Ulysses Nardin, IWC and A. Lange & Söhne are the expensive fliegers followed by Wempe and Tourby (~$1k), Richard Mille RM11 (skeleton watch, can’t find a decent quality homage online), Bremont (ie Supermarine), Tudor (ie Black Bay or Pelagos), Rolex (small/common/expensive but in-house movements and hold value very well), High quality micro-brands (Laurent Ferrier, F.P. Journe), Eterna (ie Kontiki), Anstead Oceanis $500 Miyota
Other Models I don’t prefer: Seiko Prospex Sumo $500 Great value for the quality, but I don’t like the big lugs [SBDC001 Amazon, Blue SBDC003 Amazon, Orange SBDC005 Amazon, eBay], Stealth / Black Ops / Ninja G-Shock: GD-350-1B $87 (better larger negative display than GW-7900B “Rescue” $100), Best Collectable G-Shock: [GWF-1000 “Frogman” $580] bigger than “Rangeman” but less comfortable / expensive / not many add’l features, Simple / Tough / Cartoonishly Big G-Shock: GX-56 King $153], [Seiko SRP353 (not chrono)], Seiko solar chronographs (not enough good feedback on these) SSC087 [Amazon] and SSC001 [Amazon] and SSC141 blue [Amazon], tiny hands – [SNE327] Seiko Spirits (SBPX) – White: $225 [SBPX045] [SBPX021], Seiko Bullhead SCEB009 (don’t like top crown / quartz but good-looking Omega Speedmaster Professional homage), [Panzera Breuer 44] (bauhaus but miyota, would get ETA Hamilton Intra-Matic over it), Seiko SSC275 don’t like design, Mido Baroncelli ~$500, highly regarded brand but not well-known [Amazon] (due to its simplicity, would rather get an Orient Symphony)
Unavailable: Sea-Gull M187s $120 [Ebay], Obris Morgan Branco $229 – was a great budget watch, Orient Sparta, Halios Holotype and Bluering and Stainless Steel 1000M (Puck), Artego 300M or 500M, Seiko Premier with 6R20 or 6R15 movement (expensive $1.3k), Seiko Frankenmonster
Custom-made / Single Person Producer: [Davidsen] – Panerai homages, [Helenarou] – Panerai homages, same guy Panerai homages [Dajiwatch] and [Manbushijie]

Note: Much of the research gathered here thanks to the watchaholics on reddit/r/watches and watchuseek.com forums (ie reviews, comparisons, “best value” lists)

Todo list: find Omega Ploprof homage, Jaeger-lecoultre reverso homage, tissot t touch?, tag heuer monaco homage, hamilton electric 500 ventura homage, blu tourbillon mt3 homage, IWC big pilot homage, lanhge & sohne zeitwerk homage

Comments

  1. Paul Schneider says:
  2. Jared Steadman says:

    Hey. Like the article. I agree with most of your conclusions. I own a Steinhart GMT with ceramic bezel and and a CW C60. Future purchases will be Steinhart OMV, Hamilton Lord Jazzmaster. Also like the look of Sekio SKX007, great value.
    I know what you mean about Rolexs, but that GMT II keeps calling :)
    I’m also keeping my eyes open for a new dress watch. Top of the list so far are either a new Tissot or Hamilton, or a second hand Omega from eBay. Just not sure on automatic movements that are 40 years old.
    Cheers.
    Ps. I also looked at the Prometheus dress watches – also very nice.

    • examinedliving says:

      Wow you have two amazing watches already! Not sure if I would need the OVM or Jazzmaster after those :) Yes I like the Tissots for a dress watch (maybe Le Locle or Visodate) or for a better “investment” a used solid gold Omega De Ville on eBay. You’re right the Prometheus Dress Watch looks amazing!!! I’m too much of an ETA or upscale Seiko movement fanboy to accept the Sellita movement in it though :( But I didn’t know that was out there, thanks for mentioning it :)

      Thank you for commenting!

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