The Citizen of the Swiss Watch Industry (one of a few watch threads you'll be seeing)

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kbrouwer
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The Citizen of the Swiss Watch Industry (one of a few watch threads you'll be seeing)

Postby kbrouwer » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:40 pm

A while ago I posted a thread about a luxury watch. As you may have noted, I said I liked Omega watches. I also said my dad has on Omega constellation that he doesn't really wear and I might be able to get it fit for me. It turns out, a few days later, I realized it was actually a birthday gift from his mom (my grandma.) Soooo, it's kinda special so the chances of that happening are slim.

My "dream" watch which as crazy as it sounds, I may try to save up money for is an Omega Speedmaster Day-Date. http://www.omegawatches.com/gents/speed ... e/32205000
I've seen it go for as low as $2900 and as high as $4100, average about $3000-3750. Pretty steep price huh? (I'm starting to realize but still kind of find it hard to believe that that's actually considered cheap when it comes to high end watches) While trying to save up for that, I'm looking for a good watch to hold me over. I actually looked at the company called Rado, one of the many companies run by Omega's parent company, The Swatch Group but their prices are pretty up there as well. and I can't seem to find one that I really like. I know for a fact that I will never be totally happy with any other watch besides that Omega but I need to settle for something for now. The Swatch Group is a parent company to many other brands but Rado is one of the only ones I really liked.

I may very well go with one of the Swiss Movement offerings from Jorg Gray (President Obama wears a Jorg Gray 6500 series, I like that one but it has Japanese internals)

There's something about Japanese watches that bugs me, yeah, yeah, I know AT ONE TIME that Japanese had higher precision standards than the Swiss but still, something just bugs me about a "high end" (we'll call the Omega Prestige, Rolex and Petek and stuff would be like Luxury) watch coming from anywhere other than Switzerland or MAYBE Germany, which is a good segway into my question.

As you may know, a step or two below Omega are watch makers like Seiko and Citizen. However, Seico, Citizen (and Bulova for that matter) are purely Japanese companies, not even with Swiss routes (if my thinking is correct.) I was wondering if anyone could give some examples of higher end companies like Citizen but that have Swiss made products. I know someone's going to go into detail about the whole criteria thing and how a company only has to make a certain percentage of their parts in Switzerland in order to call a watch Swiss made, I really don't care about things that technical but as long as there's a Swiss movement and the watch is considered Swiss made, I'm pretty much okay.

As I said, as of now, the only companies in the running are Jorg Gray and Rado and maybe a few others from Omega's parent company but your input would really help.

I may post other questions like these while in the decision making process. Planning to purchase by the end of February unless of course I end up getting my dad's Constellation fitted and fixed up. I also need to save $100 for my Para2 fund, the seller that I plan to buy one is expecting them in mid-february but that's for another post.

Have a good one. Thanks a lot!!!
:spyder: :spyder: Kirk Brouwer :spyder: :spyder:

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Postby The Mastiff » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:27 am

I like several watches and came very close to the "moon watch" as one that suited me and I could afford.

I don't know what happened to me but I ended up getting a couple of Seiko Kinetics. The watches varied in how much of a charge they could hold and even how quiet the mechanism was. The heavy stainless model was good for 2 weeks without moving ( will call it winding for ease). My very nice Titanium was my perfect watch, but it was only good for a week on a full charge.

It took a couple to a few years before I noticed that week/two weeks became 2 days, then one day. Next came no charge at all at about the 5 year mark.

Checking into it Seiko told me I needed to return it for an $80.00 or more rebuild. They did state that the battery life would be from 2 weeks to two months depending on model. So far they sit in a box. I'll get them someday. I have returned to the Seiko automatics which I used before, and still get excellent time keeping.

They are quieter winding, smooth, very accurate and vary between one half to one fourth of the Kinetic price. In face my cheapest one costs less than the fix/upgrade on my kinetic. They are difficult to find here in stores and I have to order them through websites like knives.

They must still be selling well still as a recent check had more models available than 3 years ago.

I'm back to my Seiko autos w/23 & 24 jewel movements. I grew up with wind ups and recall my first auto. I was impressed. Now I look at some of the watches and get confused. I do like the inexpensive 10 year Casios but the plastic watches cause itchiness. I noticed that "base metal bezels" ( pot metal, zinc) not only inch, but they irritate my skin to the point I lose the top few layers. It even dissolves the zinc after a while and causes sores that don't go away. Good quality stainless that leaves no zinc contacting me, and better yet Titanium.

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Postby kbrouwer » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:09 am

The Mastiff wrote:I like several watches and came very close to the "moon watch" as one that suited me and I could afford.

I don't know what happened to me but I ended up getting a couple of Seiko Kinetics. The watches varied in how much of a charge they could hold and even how quiet the mechanism was. The heavy stainless model was good for 2 weeks without moving ( will call it winding for ease). My very nice Titanium was my perfect watch, but it was only good for a week on a full charge.

It took a couple to a few years before I noticed that week/two weeks became 2 days, then one day. Next came no charge at all at about the 5 year mark.

Checking into it Seiko told me I needed to return it for an $80.00 or more rebuild. They did state that the battery life would be from 2 weeks to two months depending on model. So far they sit in a box. I'll get them someday. I have returned to the Seiko automatics which I used before, and still get excellent time keeping.

They are quieter winding, smooth, very accurate and vary between one half to one fourth of the Kinetic price. In face my cheapest one costs less than the fix/upgrade on my kinetic. They are difficult to find here in stores and I have to order them through websites like knives.

They must still be selling well still as a recent check had more models available than 3 years ago.

I'm back to my Seiko autos w/23 & 24 jewel movements. I grew up with wind ups and recall my first auto. I was impressed. Now I look at some of the watches and get confused. I do like the inexpensive 10 year Casios but the plastic watches cause itchiness. I noticed that "base metal bezels" ( pot metal, zinc) not only inch, but they irritate my skin to the point I lose the top few layers. It even dissolves the zinc after a while and causes sores that don't go away. Good quality stainless that leaves no zinc contacting me, and better yet Titanium.

Joe
Don't get me wrong, I do like (not love) some of the seikos but they're a full blown japanese company. I'd like AT LEASE a swiss movement for the money you're paying for s Seiko.
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Postby Clip » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:16 pm

Joe, been wearing a Seiko Ti Kinetic for four years now, and still holds 6 mo+ charge. Interesting how they vary. Mine keeps excellent time too.
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Postby Blerv » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:45 pm

kbrouwer wrote:Don't get me wrong, I do like (now love) some of the seikos but they're a full blown japanese company. I'd like AT LEASE a swiss movement for the money you're paying for s Seiko.
What do you mean by "Swiss Movement"? I understand this to be over 50% Swiss parts made in a Swiss factory.
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Postby bdblue » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:21 pm

Since you are worried about cost, be sure to buy your watches properly. If you went to the local large sporting goods store to buy a new Spyderco you would be paying very much more for it than if you buy from good online retailers or from online forums. The same is true for watches. Watch collectors know how to buy the watches and a lot of watch collectors buy and sell among each other for a lot less than what you would spend at a jewelry store in your mall.

As for brands, there are a lot of German and Swiss brands that use Swiss movements and make quality products at a lot less price than even Omega prices. Look at Stowa, Hamilton, Titoni, Archimede, Steinhart (and not any other "Stein..." name), Fortis. There are some TAG models that people like but that brand is usually priced a little too high for what you get.

Mechanical chronographs can be relatively expensive because of the complexity, but you can find models from the brands above for possibly between $600 and $1200. I had a Hamilton mechanical chrono with the V7750 movement, not too far from the quality level of the Omega but for a lot less money. When I sold it a few years ago its price was about $600.

There is nothing wrong with Seiko watches, and they have many different quality and price levels, but of course they aren't Swiss brands. Similarly a lot of people like Citizen and Orient watches. I have read a lot about the problems with Seiko Kinetics, and there are similar problems with the Citizen Eco-drives. I have a Citizen Eco-drive and its battery failed after about 4 years of age, I just mailed it back to Citizen to be repaired for $90.

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Postby lbwheat » Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:41 am

I'm great fan of Omega watches. When I got my first full time job in 1958 I purchased an Omega Seamaster stainless with 14kt bezel for 125.00 and I still wear it and it keeps perfect time since I had it cleaned and oiled. In 1983 I purchased an Omega Constellation stainless and 18kt bezel and trim. I still wear it but, I still really like the automatic movements over the quartz. I have both in several watches including a Seiko but I prefer the Swiss movements. I also have my first automatic 1954 which is a Swiss made Gruen auto wind (2) and Bulova Sea King Blue dial whale logo automatics 1969 and 1970
. Both also Swiss movements.

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Postby JNewell » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:02 pm

I've owned a number of Omegas and Rolexes. One suggestion I'd offer you is to consider buying used watches from a reputable dealer, ideally a local dealer. Watches, like almost everything else, depreciate once they're out of the door with the first buyer, but a good watch is hard to damage, and good watches are more often pre-owned than used, if you get the distinction. You can save a lot of money buying, and if you decide to sell it you should be able to avoid losing much, if any.

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Postby Paull874 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:05 pm

I'm saving for a luxury watch as well. I'm torn between the Omega Planet Ocean and The Rolex Submariner. I'm leaning more towards the Submariner because it has an in house movement. I thought about getting a cheaper watch for the time being but decided to just save my money for the real thing. But I know a few people that have a Seiko and like it.

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Postby kbrouwer » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:30 pm

Thank you everyone who gave mew some ideas. As I continue to say, Im looking for a swiss made watch. I don't really like the semi-high end Japanese brands such as citizen. If you would, please continue to give me input.
:spyder: :spyder: Kirk Brouwer :spyder: :spyder:

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Postby Paull874 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:45 am

Check out Oris watches.

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Postby xceptnl » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:39 am

kbrouwer wrote:Thank you everyone who gave mew some ideas. As I continue to say, Im looking for a swiss made watch. I don't really like the semi-high end Japanese brands such as citizen. If you would, please continue to give me input.
Have you looked into Xetum watches? I don't know about the hidden origins, but their product looks to be what you are asking for.
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Postby kbuzbee » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:36 pm

Everyone has their own needs, desires and requirements. For me, I just want a watch to be accurate. GShock solar/atomic makes that easy. They aren't for everyone, but I like them.

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Sorry, no input on the luxury brands.

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Postby psimonl » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:17 pm

I love suuntos....
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Postby defenestrate » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:46 am

psimonl, I really like the hiking/mountain climbing-oriented Suuntos - It's hard to complain about the feature sets. Might look into getting one later this year. I don't think I could get one of the fancy ones without really digging into my knife budget, but the vector series is reasonably priced with similar features to some of the fancier models.
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