Any watch fans out there?
Hey all, I’m a bit of a watch enthusiast and am considering my next purchase. I’m conflicted on whether to go for a mid-tier timepiece like a Tudor (they now make their own in-house movements) or an Omega or go full out and get my dream watch - a Rolex Datejust (41mm) or a Submariner.
The prices of steel rolexes is keeping me away at the moment. I’m wondering if waiting for an economic downturn is the right move before buying a Rolex. As of this moment, you can’t walk in to an AD and buy a steel sports model because of the demand. A $9500 MSRP submariner w date is trading on the USED market for higher than new retail. I almost bought a new GMT Master II (Pepsi) in 2012 from the AD in a short hills. I believe the MSRP then was around $8900. That same watch is selling used for $14,000-16,000 today :/
I like the moon watch.
On the Tudor- I like the new black bay bronze with the slate face on the canvas strap.
Don't care for any Rolex, I put them in the same category as a modern Ferrari- someone with money and no imagination.
If you want to afford a Rolex, just avoid the gold bands. Gold price compared to 7-8 years ago is a big factor.
If I was going to pay $6000 for a large size Rolex, I'd be buying a Breitling instead.
A Tudor looks like a whole lot of others, I'd go for the Omega out of the given choices.
But personally I can't put $2000-$3000 into something and risk smashing it. I get a $150-$250 Bulova with the extra strong divers glass that looks just like an Omega. I smashed the glass on a half dozen supposedly unbreakable watches. Then I got the Bulova and in 25 years have managed to only partially damage the glass once.
I am a collector. My best suggestion is that you should really get a combination of what you really want and what you can really afford!
I collect across the board of the high end brands and other brands as well. Some of my most expensive watches are not the most comfortable. I purchased them as “enjoyable inheritance“ for my kids. There are some good watch groups on Facebook and other social media. Even though I have come across some jerky people on them they are a good place to make purchases without the retail mark up. You can get full sets-all paperwork, guarantees, and boxes.
“ I put them in the same category as a modern Ferrari- someone with money and no imagination.” ouch lol. I can’t say I agree with this statement but understand the sentiment. Lots of people just going after the branding have sort of ruined it for the enthusiast. One positive, in that regard, is its strong resale because of the popularity. Another reason for Rolex how tough of a watch they are. Both Rolex and Panerai (another great tool watch) use very robust movements.
I too really like the moon watch and the new Tudor Black Bay heritage series. I’m partial to the S&G personally. The bronze looks good but I heard people are having issues with it tarnishing easily. Maybe not the best material for those of us with sweaty wrists.
GC, I agree to a point. I’ve been wearing nice seikos, Hamiltons, Orients, Tissots etc for years and still have many of them. I’m just looking to step up my watch game a bit.
I think I’ll stay in the sub $5,000 range this time and avoid Rolex. I think the Omega Speedmaster Moon is a nice next step up without having the responsibility of a $10,000 watch on my wrist.
Thanks for all the feedback and if anyone has watch questions or comments, please feel free to post them here. Any makes and models welcome. I’m far from a watch snob and, as I type this, I’m wearing a quartz (the horror!!) a Seiko SNA-411 flighty on a leather strap. She’s a beaut!
I have numerous Seiko. Some beautiful watches at a good price point. Especially if you look into the JDM only options.
Hamilton has a few I like. I tend to like field/tool simple over busy and bling, but a few Breitling float my boat, just not at the cost I would lay out unless I won the lottery.
The speedy can be had with a sapphire lens which is more durable, but a different shape and rim clouding that disrupts the look in my opinion compared to the classic hesalite. Also costs a lot more. If you like seeing the internals though- it is lens on both the front and the back. Again I prefer the traditional solid back with the words.
Some Bell & Ross are cool.
I also like the Gulf Monaco since I am a car guy- https://www.tagheuer.com/en-us/news/tag-heuer-monaco-gulf-special-edition-50th-anniversary
There are a lot of 'replica' watches which are getting really good at dirt cheap prices.
Yeah I know a bit about reps. Noob factory and ARF are two Chinese companies that make some very hard to spot Submariner reps for around $500-$600 complete with sapphire crystal and even (so they claim) a copy of Rolex oyster steel which is 904L stainless. I just don’t know if I’d feel right wearing a fake. Homage watch, sure. But straight up replica? Idk. I e thought about and have done research but never pulled the trigger. At $500-$600 there are plenty of legit Submarimer homages like the Steinhart.
And yes, the Tag Monaco is a great watch and I love the case shape.
Just go for the Rolex, you won't regret it.
As far as TAG HEUER I liked the blue "Silverstone" which came out for the 150th anniversary of TAG HEUER. I like watches too but mainly just look.
Yeah one of my dream watches is an AP Royal Oak in rose gold.
Patek is the greatest watch company on the planet but, unfortunately for me, their prices reflect that.
My dream is to find a patek at a garage sale for like $10!! All you need is a dollar and a dream! Or $10 and some really big dreams!!!!
Breitlings are my favorites as well, just can’t justify spending $6k on a watch yet..
I like the simple beauty of a House Of Marley watch.
I have the one in the upper left corner.
It's interesting how many Horologists are popping up out of the woodwork.
I've always been interested in watches and watch movements because of the technical
sophistication and the art and science behind it. Watchmakers were pretty much the first and main automata/robot makers and you can see a collection of their efforts at the Morris Museum's Murtogh D. Guinness collection:
Unfortunately, as something to wear, watches and I do not particularly get along very well. Apparently I got that from my Dad who seems to have stopped every mechanical watch he's worn, so he finally gave up on wearing them altogether. I'm not quite as bad, but I'd hate to buy a nice watch and either not be able to wear it or end up stopping it. Personally, I also can't see just putting them in a display case to look at them. My only personal "collectible" is an original Tissot Rock Watch, which while it's quartz, the whole idea of a watch whose case was made of rock was an interesting idea for a former geology major. Being quartz-based, rather than mechanical I was able to actually wear it.
I do have some personal favorites, but they're out of most people's price range, including mine. On the cheaper side, Breitling, Bvlgari, Hamilton have made some nice models, but I LOVE the Breguet 7077BB, but hey, at nearly $80K suggested retail, that's a nice house down payment or a car:-) I really love the Bovet Grand Récital 22 is just amazing, but yeah, price again at what, 5 times the Breguet. The Patek Philippe's are lovely too. Now this Bovet... I just don't have words!
Yeah, I'll just keep watching watch repair and restoration videos on youtube thanks!
I have a Submariner, Navitimer, Omega Planet Ocean and a Panerai 111. I also have several Seiko's, Citizens and microbrands. My advice if you're going to spend hard earned dollars on an expensive watch, you really can't go wrong with Rolex. They hold their value and sometimes increase in value. That can't be said for most other brands. Most usually lose half their value instantly. This is realized if you ever try to trade in for something else. My other piece of advice, is to buy "used". For the same reason one buys high end cars used. Good bargains and you can take advantage of heavily depreciated pieces. Panerai is a good example of this. They were highly regarded in the 90's and the company has turned out dozens of special editions and boutique editions. But honestly, the price doesn't hold.
I've also handled my fair share of high end replicas. Not to try and pull them off, but really to see how much I like the watch. I can't tell you how many times I like something but after wearing it for a week i'm glad I didn't spend for the real thing.
Good luck, it's a fun hobby to discuss with other enthusiasts, especially in a no watch apple watch wearing world.
Thanks Steve! You have quite the collection! Do you have the older Sub or the newer “maxi-case” ceramic bezeled watch?
Phil D- Breuget is a super high-end timepiece that, in my opinion, doesn’t get its due as often as it should. The do however fall into that “loses half their value instantly” scenario Steve mentioned. Some of their solid gold offerings are absolute works of art.
I have the newer maxi-sub Ceramic. I sold an older version to help fund it. I like the newer style a little better.
If I can, I'd really recommend the microbrand Zelos. https://zeloswatches.com/.
They have a nice selection of dive watches and others. Also very good pricing on bronze cased watches, if that's your thing. I have 3 of their bronze editions. I wasn't going to even try to score a Bronzo Panerai. Way too much.
I'm a collector. Have a wide variety. Breitling, IWC Portofino, Omega Aqua Terra Seamaster. , Tissot, Citizen, Meistersinger, Tag, Fortis, etc. I like a little bit of everything. Well, everything except for Rolex. Just have never interested me. I I will own one at some point. Ultimate goal is an A Lange & Sohne.
Cheap or otherwise, my taste varies. I wear an Citizen eco drive as much as my Breitling or IWC. Breitling tends to be my favorite. Omegas are nice. Looking to add a Panerai 1392 next.
I second the notion of buying what interests you/ what you can afford.
Totally agree Meister buy what you like and can afford. If you like it, who cares what the value might be later on. Never buy watches for investment purposes. Fortunately or Unfortunately, depending on your point of view, Rolex does seem to hold it's value amongst it's high priced brethren. I won't try to justify their cost for a stainless steel watch. The sub is way overpriced for what it is. In some ways I like my planet ocean more. It's a better value for a watch that is very similar in spec. The added bonus is Omega has now gone back to in house movements.
This is nice-
Not that I'd spend that much.
Any opinions on the Omega speedmaster reduced? I like the idea of the 39mm case but I kind of have a feeling it wouldn’t scratch the itch like the regular full-sized moon watch. I’ve never owned a tool watch under 40mm so if anyone has any experience owning, or even handling one, please let me know your thoughts.
I haven't handled one, but anything under 40mm being a turnoff. Just my opinion. What's the traditional size of the speedmaster 42 or 44mm?
A normal speed master fit is fine for me, if anything I wouldn’t mind it being slightly larger, I would not want it to be any smaller.
Yeah, the more I think about it, that 39mm includes the bezel so the dial itself would look even smaller on my wrist. Speedy reduced-nixed!
Are there any used luxury watch dealers relatively local? Maybe an AD that also has a good pre owned selection? Would like to check out some Breitlings and Omegas.
I did a google search on it. Are you speaking about the Breitling outlet at Woodbury Common? What sort of discount would they offer compared to gray market pricing?
I think I found the watch I’ve been looking for. It’s not the moon watch at 42mm or the reduced at 39mm but the speedmaster racing 40mm co-axial. The two things I couldn’t get over with the moon watch was the hesalite crystal and the manual wind movement.
The 40mm racing has a sapphire crystal and an Omega caliber 3300 automatic movement. Although not a full in-house movement like its 9300 big brother (in the racing 44mm) , it’s an ETA Valjoux that’s highly modified by Omega and uses their co-axial system among other modifications both mechanical and decorative. The best part is that it’s COSC certified.
At the moment it’s at the top of my list. Two things for my HLifer watch peeps:
1. Don’t worry about bursting my bubble. If there’s a reason I shouldn’t get this particular watch, don’t hold back. Let me have it!
2. Retail is $4800. Gray market is $3000-$3200.
I have nothing but good experiences with gray dealers (Jonasshop, Ashford, Authentic Watches, etc.) But this would be 6x’s the money I’ve spent with them in the past. Thoughts on an Omega from a gray market dealer? I’ve heard some of them (somehow) still have the factory warranty intact.
The exact reference is: 3184.108.40.206.02.001
If I was buying that watch I'd have no problem with buying from one of the on line places. I've done the same as you, $200 items. (watchery.com for me) They guarantee never worn items, 30 no question return with no restocking fee. They have the original warranty because they've never been sold. They tend to be a lot of over stocks or discontinued items. With some bought from closed out dealers. Knowing their policy and reputation is the same as what you would do with a local jeweler.
The price you're quoting is what I see too. Although maybe not with the 02 all white face. Some 06's (white/black tach hands) and 11's.(red/black tach hands).
Thanks GC. Yes, it’s funny how some online retailers have the all white at $3000 but the red or black at $3500. Then, other dealers have the all white at $3500 and other colors at $3,000. Probably just the (over) stock they have on hand. I’m excited to be getting close to my first real luxury watch. Something I’ve wanted for 20 years or more.
In Princeton : https://www.h1912.com/ used watches (and jewelry) . I've seen interesting watches there, pricing might be high. I believe they are associated with Hamilton jewelers on the corner, a high end AD.
I know the speedmaster started with racing- but to me the moonwatch is the one to have.
So with that- the hesalite is not only the authentic look, but *much* cheaper to replace if broken (rare) and is scratched can be quickly and easily polished out at home in a few minutes.
The hesalite also has the metal case back with the words I like there.
But I guess if you want the white face you won't need to worry about the milky band.
I couldn't stand it on the moon watch- once you see it you can't unsee it.
Checked out the site above- this is nice.
I’m familiar with the complaints of the milky band on sapphire crystal but it doesn’t bother me in the least. I know it’s “traditional” but the thought of a plastic crystal on a $5,000 watch is a real turnoff. Heck, going north of, say, $500 should put you into sapphire territory. Certainly at 10xs that amount. Times change. Technology improves. Why it’s still on there, beyond telling your friends it’s the watch worn on the moon (and, it’s not. It’s a reproduction made 50 years later) makes little sense to me. In fact, Omega offered to update the crystal to sapphire while the watch was being trialed and NASA declined, not wanting the crystal to shatter in zero gravity.
The biggest sticking point for me on the moon watch is the manual wind. I really want an automatic and the thought of winding the watch every day...ugh.
that's funny... the "automatic" winding of my TAG Aquaracer Chrono was the main thing that eventually soured me somewhat on it.
Every time I would take it off on a Friday night and not wear it on Saturday, it would be 5 minutes slow on Sunday. If i didnt wear it at all over the weekend, it would be stopped completely by Monday morning and I'd have to wear it until it wound itself and then manually reset the time. Got to be a real pain in the ass...
And the WEIGHT of it. If it didn't weigh every ounce of a full pound, I'd be surprised. for the most part, it wasnt a big deal... but when I developed tendinosis in my left biceps tendon from golfing, having that extra pound on the wrist really made that dog bark.
I haven't had any problems with gray market. I have used watchmaxx to buy my omega aqua terra GMT. I bought it when it first came out. Took awhile (came from Italy), but was as described. It's one of my favorite watches. Here is one:
I just got notice of a new video from TheWATCHES.tv channel on Youtube about the Bovet Recital 26, full sapphire angled case with a chassis that takes 5 hours of CNC machining before the finisher even gets to it. WOW!
Very nice, Phil. Reminds me of the Jacob Astonomia but more beautiful.
That’s a real beaut MeisterNJ and the price is fair considering it has a lot left on the warranty.
I've been looking for this watch to add to my collection. Can't find one anywhere. This ad ran in 1969-1970 in Popular Mechanics and Popular Science. Used to have one but lost it over the years and for sentimental reasons am looking to replace it.
Watchman, I did some quick googling (I’m sure you have already) and was unable to find anything. What was the make? Protil Inc?
Now I'm off the speedy racing 40,Mm and looking hard at the 42mm planet ocean. Such a nice watch. I may go to the jeweler in Bernard's I'll who is an omega AD. I'll report back if I make my way out there.
If you want to drive- there are 2 Omega dealers in the Short Hills mall- you can walk in and price quote both.
Just ask to try on the watch, make small talk and casually drop into the conversation that you might head over to the other place 'since it is right here' and see what their best price is.
There is also another shop there that has Rolex, Tudor, Tag, etc
Did anyone besides me put any watches on your Christmas list?
2 dealers in one mall? Wow, I knew that mall was ritzy but sheesh :)
No watches on the Christmas list as I don’t trust Frau Consigliere to make the correct purchase on watches. “Wait so Tudor and Timex aren’t the same thing?”
I don't know the make of it, the company seems to have been a mail order firm that's no longer in business.
Holy cow! There are so many versions and variations of the planet ocean all with wildly different used market prices. I just read a 3 page article and the old adage holds true: The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.
Forget to ask, Josh: which timepiece is in your Christmas list?
As an aside, can anyone think of a better dive watch for $1500 than the Oris Aquas? The green dial/bezel is a real stunner and the fit and finish punch way above its weight.
Sydney Thomas is the jeweler that has Rolex, Breitling, Tudor, and a few others in the Short Hills mall. Omega has a very nice boutique as well. There used to be a third watch store there called Orologio, but it left about a year ago. My Breitling Superocean was purchased there, my first 'nice' watch.
Thanks Consigliere. That was just an example of the Omega, I paid a bit more because when I purchased it several years ago, it was brand new. Still paid a couple grand less than retail. It's one of my favorite watches.
Meister, I’ve been looking hard at that aqua terra and am wondering how the 17mm thickness works for you. Please let me know.
Thickness is fine. I don't notice, to be honest. I do have a pretty thick wrist. I've had 47mm Panerai's that look fine.
Good to know. Thanks!
Since we are talking about watches... I have an Omega Seamaster 300 with the non co-axial movement. Looking for a local place to have it serviced with original Omega parts without having to send it to Omega or Tourneau. Any recommendations?
I should clarify, I've tried on 47mm Panerais. Have never owned one or any Panerai. I am looking to change that soon. Don't know if I'll go with the PAM1392 or an Omega Planet Ocean.
I was reading a thread elsewhere that the Panerai brand has lost its luster and dealers are dropping the brand. I have no idea if that is true. I tried on a special edition titanium Panerai once that I really liked but it was more than I wanted to spend.
This is a quote from the thread: "you would be lucky to get 20-30% of original retail for a Panerai unless it was one of the few really collectible and very limited watches. Many authorized dealers can't get rid of them now and are offering at least 50% off on new ones and/or dropping the brand. Stallone and Arnold made them famous but even that did not last very long."
Ontheedge, was that a recent thread? I’m no expert but I thought Panerai was very popular these days.
Interesting. Thought they were still a hot item.
Hmmm. I haven't heard anything like that. I've always thought they were well regarded.
Omega fan, I have used Aires jewelers in parsippany to service my watches for at least 10 years. They always do a great job and have recommended for a few watches to send back to the manufacturer for warranty sake. Others they have serviced in shop while I wait, depending on the service issue. They are also authorized dealers for omega, tag, breitling, and a few others.
Nice, Josh! Somehow, I guess based on your previous posts, I pictured you liking those field/explorer style watches. I’m a big Hamilton fan and own a Khaki ETO on rubber strap. Great company. Wear it in good health!
I've used Aires to service two of my Breitlings. I have had a good experience both times. They came back looking like new.
How about a wrist-shot of the new Murph, Josh?
My phone doesn't take great pictures.
So here- https://picnano.com/p/the-murph+BwIIgTSHPhh
and more here- https://shop.hamiltonwatch.com/h70605731-khaki-field-murph-auto.html
I love how clean the design is. Especially that it doesn't have a date. Everything just works. The proportion, font, color, case shape, brushing,
It looks really nice in real life. Dress it up- or throw a canvas strap on it for field day. Versatile and handsome.
I like this also- just wish it was a little larger-
Definitely a nice piece, Josh. I’m generally not a fan of full 1-12 Arabic markers but they really work on this watch. Also, the brushing on the case looks very high level. A real beaut!
The more I think about spending $3500-$4500 on a used watch that’s not exactly what I want, when my dream watch is around $7500-$9000 used seems pretty dumb. I know I won’t be satisfied unless I get what I really want. I know this because I have two fully packed watch boxes filled with $150-$1000 watches. I think I’m going to say “F@?k it” and eBay 4 or 5 of my watches and get a Rolex Datejust II 41mm. It’s a big purchase but I’m looking at it as a sort of tangible inheritance for my kid. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it an investment but it’s kind of like parking some money on my wrist. I get to enjoy it and, even if someday I decide to sell it, I’ll most likely break even or even make a few bucks.
I’m thinking one of these:
1. the two tone (gold/steel) with fluted yellow gold bezel, champagne dial and stick markers
2. Two tone with fluted yellow gold bezel, slate grey dial and green roman markers
3. Stainless steel , fluted white gold bezel, black dial and stick markers
I have to “own” these virtually in my mind for a few weeks each. Then I’ll make the final decision on whether or not I should pull the trigger.
That gray face watch is different, looks terrific to me. In general, I like different.
Thanks for the opinions, fellas. I really like the two tones but I think the all silver one would be more versatile.
'The Watch, thoroughly Revised'. https://www.amazon.com/Watch-Thoroughly-Revised-Gene-Stone/dp/1419732609/ref=asc_df_1419732609/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312166025508&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=383917818447031487&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9058761&hvtargid=pla-562275492387&psc=1
I've been reading this the past few days. It's pretty good. I had no idea some of the history behind brands.
Josh, I work out of my home office except for a few days a year so, no suits for me. Usually a golf shirt, jeans and sneakers when I go anywhere. I also don’t wear any other gold jewelry. I see where you’re going here and I think I’m in agreement.
I'm considering this Longines :
Or a Baume & Mercier Capeland for my next purchase.
I'd want closeups of the "only a few dings on the stainless steel bezel and case".
That looks a lot like this watch- albeit a bit more cluttered-
Not surprising as they are made by the same company.
New "Batman" GMT Master appeals to me.
What's the purpose of a 24-hour bezel? Time zones? I've only ever been familiar with the 60-minute dive bezels..
That Hamilton is nice as well, I was just looking at the Heritage the other day.
I think I'm set on the Capeland.
I would NOT buy a GMT Batman unless you’ve been on the waiting list at an AD and can pick it up for list. There is a huge shortage of those and while msrp is (was last I checked) around $9000 they are selling gray market and used for around $14,000-$17,000. The steel sports rolex bubble will burst eventually. If wait for that to happen first. For that money you could buy a solid gold 36mm President.
I agree Consigliere. My BiL bought a Sea Dweller, anniversary edition, last year. Paid around 12k, I think? He is a Rolex guy. Has a bunch. He also thinks that they will never go down. I caution him. We shall see.
Rolex price increases:
Eric, I'm having trouble posting these watches I'm not tech saavy n working off my iPad if you want, you can email me @ Mtrain324pattismith@gmail.com I'll send you my number you can come by, I'm getting ready to move by end of month Thanks
Just a non-update, update :)
I haven’t pull the trigger in anything yet. I get close then find another reference I like better than the last. I really have my eye on the Wimbledon dial Datejust. If I go with a fluted bezel, I’d probably choose the oyster bracelet and if I went with the smooth bezel I’d probably go with the jubilee.
I’m honestly having fun just shopping. I know I’ll have the same feeling I had when I picked up a car last year that I lusted for going on 25 years. I Have the most “fun” when I’m shopping. Also, like the car, I know as soon as I obtain what I’m after, a new goal begins. For the cars, the goal is now a 911 within the next 15 years. (Side note: never been a fan of domestic cars but the new mid-engine corvette looks interesting—and I could buy 2 of them for the price of one 911. Heck, my daily driver-aforementioned dream car-cost $15k more than a base mid engine vette.)
Funny- I've also spent more time than I should on the 911 configurator lately.
I like what they've done with the 992- but am hoping they make a 992 911 T.
My luck it won't come out until the 992.1 or 992.2
If they throw the NA 4.0 out of the boxster in it, all the better.
You sound like my Brother and cars. Searches for them, loves the search and comparing them, but then leases them for 2 years or so, possibly knowing that it won't be anywhere near the perfection he expected and is looking for the next ride already;-)
Can you "lease" watches to wear for a while to see how you like them? If not. maybe a guy with enough money can start up a business doing that
Watch Antiques Road Show tomorrow:
Cars and watches, watches and cars. I just updated my daily driver. And I pulled the trigger on a Baume & Mercier Capeland. If I could get permission from the home office, I'd have a few more classic cars, and watches. But, alas, the home office won't approve. Some day.
I would love an early 70's 911 at some point.
If you missed Antiques Road show:
Just watched that ontheedge. Pretty amazing that the guy never wore it.
Pretty amazing on what you could buy a Rolex for back in the early 70's. While still a lot of money for the time, no way equivalent to the cost today.
I think it clashed with his overall fashion sense... nothing quite screams $500,000 Rolex like a camouflage do-rag, lol.
Lol, ianimal very true! Though the bandana does scream “Vietnam era vet.”
Does anyone know a local watchmaker that will service an automatic? Looking to keep it under $200 or so.
Unreal. I've seen a Rolex on Antique road show before, another guy in the service who bought it for something like $100 or so in the 60's. He wore it a lot, but still had all the papers, box, etc. That was 'only' 65K, IIRC.
New place in Fairfield. Haven't given then a try yet but looks promising.
I would take a Rolex to an authorized dealer like https://www.hamiltonjewelers.com/categories/Watches/Brand/Rolex/ in Princeton.
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