Author Topic: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch  (Read 6889 times)

mustache brony

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Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« on: June 06, 2015, 03:40:33 AM »
Hello all,

It's been a while since I've posted on the forums and I have a need for some good mustachian advice on a men's watch. Let me start with the background:

I'm here in Japan, I'm now engaged. Much to my surprise, the Japanese custom for engagement, is when the man gives the woman a ring, the woman gives the man a watch or something similar. So now my fiance wants to buy me a watch (and the ring is out of the scope of this question, I exercised all mustacian frugality before making the purchase; after much consideration I determined the one time ring purchase was outweighed by longer term benefits of marrying my so).

Currently my watch is a beat up old digital Timex Expedition, which I've had for about 10 years, through many battery and watchband changes. When it stops working, I throw a few more dollars (like 5-10) into it, and it keeps going again. However, it's not very fancy. I get the impression that the watch she would like to get me is going to be more of an analog fancy men's watch. This is particularly important for balance and harmony (the idea is the reciprocation of accessorial gifts). So the watch should be reasonably fancy.

I've been doing some research, and I'm looking for advice on a good quality watch which will have low maintenance costs. I was all set to close on a mechanical Seiko SARB watch, when I learned that it needs maintenance every 5 years, the cost of 40% of the watch's initial price. That was a huge turn off.

My criteria:
Men's watch
Somewhat dressy
Japanese maker (this is important to me)

My preferences:
Simpler is better, I'm not looking for a watch that's very “busy” I just want it to tell time.
Low maintenance costs, and very durable. I'd like this watch to last as long as the engagement ring if possible.
Less than $500 USD would be best, any more would make me feel very selfish (already the whole process hurts my inner mustache, but I'm going through it for the end result).

Thank you all ahead of time!

Hamster

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2015, 04:00:53 AM »
Is that maintenance every 5 years really necessary?

lhamo

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2015, 05:44:55 AM »
My DS has developed a passion for watches and he has bought a couple of Seikos.  He likes them very much. 

SurlyTroll

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2015, 05:55:04 AM »
I second the Seiko recommendation. I wear a cloth band automatic that I picked up for about 65 USD. It has proven to be more durable than any other watch I have owned. There are fancier looking Seiko watches available on Amazon for under 400 USD that are fantastic, heirloom quality timepieces. Best of luck on your search and congratulations!

tarheeldan

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2015, 05:57:37 AM »
Here are some ideas. I like the Seikos, but also especially the Tissot and the Citizen watches all the way at the end of the list. Many of the other brands I don't know about durability.

http://manofmany.com/fashion/50-best-watches-500/


LalsConstant

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2015, 06:34:31 AM »
It's funny, although I'm not an expert on them like people who know the Japanese exclusive models and stuff like that, I'm a little bit of a watch lover and my poison is Japanense automatic movements.  For what it's worth my watch "collection" is only 4 pieces, none of them terribly expensive, two Seikos, a Maratac with a Miyota movement, and a Casio.  The irony of "collecting" these styles of watch is they're so durable once you have yours (as I do) and are happy with them, there's no reason to keep buying other pieces unless you just want them.

I too am going to point to Seiko.  Their automatic watches will generally need one servicing every other decade or so (think 15-20 years).  However I'm not going to be terribly specific as I don't know what complications (date display, day of the week display, chronograph, etc.) are desired if any, but you don't seem to want very many.  I'm the same way, I like a seconds hand and a date display and maybe one more thing but that's as far as I like it to go.  The quartz movements, well you will probably never have to service the movement just change the batteries.

A close second is Citizen watches, or really any other watch that uses a Miyota movement.   I don't think Seiko is "better" it's just watches are subjective as all get out, different aesthetic tastes etc.

I mention this because I'm not sure you intend to wear a watch every day.  For me the self winding mechanical watches are great because I do wear my watch everyday so it keeps "charged".  If you don't wear  yours daily it might not be the best thing.

I personally prefer a hacking movement with a self wind option, but that's not really necessary, my Orange Monster isn't a hand wind and it keeps going just fine if you regularly wear it.

My daily wearer is a Seiko SSA187K1, for me it's perfect because it has the timing bezel, a hacking movement, exhibition back, date display but not day of the week display, and I believe it's a 4R37 24 jewel movement.  I even like the faux retrograde, it's useful as an AM/PM tracker for me.  It's also about as much as I was willing to pay for a watch personally and I don't anticipate getting another watch for quite some time now unless my Mudman XXL gives up the ghost.  This is technically a "casual" watch but I wear it in an office environment and it blends right in, I've even had people wearing more expensive "jewelry" type watches compliment it.

I like the "diving watches" too but I found wearing one of with office clothes to be somewhat problematic, though the black divers would probably do all right.

mustache brony

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2015, 07:15:51 AM »
Thank you everyone who responded!

I was at the Ginza store for Seiko today (Wako), and was learning about watches from them. I too had thought about getting a seiko watch, but I wasn't sure if there were other brands that were more suited to a mustachian lifestyle.

I like the idea of an automatic mechanical watch, which has appeal to me. I like the idea of no batteries (althougha solar would also have this benefit).

As far as the maintenance, this was what the store clerk told me at Seiko. They needed to open the watch up, clean some of the parts, reoil it, and such. The maintenance would take 1 month every 5 years at their store in NJ (The closest to where I live in America) and cost about $150 USD. That's what got me, was this regular maintenance. The solar watches apparently have a more optional maintenance schedule.

I do intend to wear the watch everyday (except maybe on camping trips). The watch I was eyeing before I heard about the maintenance was a SARB 035.

Does anyone have experience with the maintenance on Seiko mechanical watches?

お願いいたします!

Clean Shaven

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2015, 07:27:17 AM »
The "fancy" watches I have are all Seiko, all battery powered, and none were more than about $125 each. Batteries are cheap and easy to replace yourself every couple years, or pay a battery shop $5 to do it for you.

IMHO the self winding ones are not as accurate and are much more complex than the battery ones. There's no cost savings based on going self winding vs battery, if you have to get it serviced.

Amazon and slickdeals.net will show you some realistic sale prices for Seikos. I've never been to a Seiko store, but I have to think they would sell for higher prices ("list") than other retailers, especially non watch specialty or non jewelers.

KungfuRabbit

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2015, 07:44:53 AM »
i love my Fossil watch, they are an awesome price for value with great warranty and service.  though not Japanese. 

LalsConstant

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2015, 08:17:56 AM »
I think they're overstating the service requirements.  Unless you are getting a lot of dust and residue inside the case somehow, I can't fathom doing it every 5 years.  It's more like every 10 if it's a dress watch that doesn't have a tight seal, and any jeweler should be able to do it.  If you have a dive watch it's more like 20.  There's accounts of Seiko watches not serviced for 30 years that were messy inside but still running.  5 years was true before modern lubricants I suppose.

The SARB035 is a good choice, I like a chunkier more industrial look in a watch, but for a more refined look I think that's a great pick.  It's dressy but you could wear it with anything and it would look good.  The 6R15 hand winding, hacking 23 jewel Seiko made movement is a great movement.

And yes the mechanical self winding watches will be bit less accurate than a quartz movement, you're going to lose a few minutes over the course of a month.  However, if you have a date function you'll need to manually correct that every so often anyway, so what I do is correct the watch at that time.  It's an analog watch display anyway, the whole point of it is to get a general notion of the time at a glance.  If you wanted high precision time keeping you'd use something else.

Incidentally the only "maintenance free" watch may be a Tough Solar Casio G-Shock. XD   I like G shocks too, but again the problem is they're so tough once you have one you're happy with there's not a lot of reason to have others unless you just want them.

LalsConstant

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2015, 08:26:55 AM »
Oh, apologies for the double post but I think the SARB035 is one of those domestic models (intended for Japan only), but I know a lot of people get them from exporters like Moondog, I'm guessing you're not in the US if you saw it in a store?

Do bear in mind it's probably a smaller bezel and bracelet, I have to keep away from these type models because my wrists are pretty good sized and getting links, etc. to make it fit me is something of a hassle.  I think that's part of the reason I like the larger, chunkier styles it's easier to find one that fits me better.

StockBeard

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2015, 11:01:50 AM »
Much to my surprise, the Japanese custom for engagement, is when the man gives the woman a ring, the woman gives the man a watch or something similar.
Never heard of that.
I've lived in Japan for 10 years, my wife is Japanese, and so are pretty much all the wives of all my friends in Japan. I proposed and married in Japan.
I swear this is the first time I've heard of that.

Edit: well, my bad. My wife tells me it's indeed a thing. Not that you "have" to do it though.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2015, 11:08:20 AM by wololo »

MsPeacock

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2015, 01:31:08 PM »


As far as the maintenance, this was what the store clerk told me at Seiko. They needed to open the watch up, clean some of the parts, reoil it, and such. The maintenance would take 1 month every 5 years at their store in NJ (The closest to where I live in America) and cost about $150 USD. That's what got me, was this regular maintenance. The solar watches apparently have a more optional maintenance schedule.

?

お願いいたします!

I can't speak to Sieko - but I have had the same mechanical (I guess - runs w/a battery) Citizen watch and other than replacing the band twice and battery a few times, I have never had it serviced and it continues to run fine. I have a Citizen "eco-motion" watch that runs on solar for the last 10 years or so - never had anything done to it.

$150 maintenance every 5 years sounds like a way for the company to hook you into something and unnecessary. And a month? You can take a watch to a local repair shop for work (e.g. where they typically charge $10 or so for a battery and replace it while you wait).

Congratulations on your engagement!

mustache brony

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2015, 05:35:59 PM »
Thank you everyone who replied!

It sounds like they are both overstating the maintenance from what I'm hearing here, and that a battery powered watch are both good directions to move in.

LalsConstant: I really like the notion that a wrist watch is for a general idea of time, I think that helped me formulate some of my thoughts on mechanical vs. quarts movement. And yes I am currently in Japan.

Wololo: I'm not sure what to tell you. I don't have any data, since I only have one anecdotal story. For Japanese, my fiance seems fairly traditional, so maybe it's an older custom? By “have to do” I mean, a social function that would result in a large movement of happiness or unhappiness by the fiance. I felt the same way about the ring, but she said it was important to her, and since she is going to give up her career and move to America with me, it seemed like a small non-mustachian object in exchange for a larger mustacian one. I feel the same way about the watch itself, which is why I'm trying to minimize the purchase, rather than just blowing it off.

I don't mean that if I do not do it, I will suffer adverse physical consequences, in the same way I have to take medicine.

Ms. Peacock: Thank you for the wellwishes

LalsConstant

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2015, 05:54:19 PM »
It depends on what you want.  A battery powered quartz movement from any Japanese watch maker will be very accurate and will last forever.  There's a reason they're so popular.

Automatic (what some people call mechanical) movements lose a few minutes here and there and yes will require an occasional cleaning, but no batteries are consumed.

The Seiko kinetic movement may be an option for somebody who really wants to combine the two.

Epry123

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2015, 07:30:25 PM »
Casio gshock not too expensive and practical and I had to check Wikipedia that Casio is a Japanese company

neo von retorch

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2015, 02:38:22 PM »
Here's an idea I'll throw out - http://www.amazon.com/Citizen-BL8000-54L-Eco-Drive-Perpetual-Calendar/dp/B00074HDAO

I like "busier" watches" though, so it might not suit you. I've had mine for two years. I'm pretty active and wear it when I probably shouldn't, but it has held up without issue and zero maintenance so far.

There are really simple varieties - http://www.citizenwatch.com/en-us/watches/watch-detail/?model=BM7330-59L
And this is kind of slick in all black - http://www.citizenwatch.com/en-us/watches/watch-detail/?model=AT2245-57E

I got mine when it was around $250.

bigalsmith101

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2015, 04:03:37 PM »
I have some experience with Seiko Watches, and currently own three of them. I have three conditions the watch must meet in order to consider justifying the purchase. A) It has the Day/Date function B) Waterproof rating of 100m or higher C) No battery to replace.

The factory recommendations for service are just that. Recommendations. They do need to be cleaned, but depending on your usage, and the environments you use your watch in, will determine the frequency of a service. See below for more info on my watches.

My watches in order of purchase:

#1. Seiko Diver 200m Automatic. $165 on eBay from a Singapore dealer. New at a Seiko/Watch shop is ~$300, regularly found online for $200. This watch has an automatic movement that is powered by the motion of your arm, and stores energy in a spring.When not worn, the watch movement will stop after about 24-36hrs, requiring you to reset the time/date. Very easy.  I wore this watch every day for 4 years, and 5 days a week currently. I bought it in preparation for an 8 month motorcycle journey from Seattle to Buenos Aires as I didn't carry a phone, and it told me the time, day of the week, and date of the month. Automatic movements are not as accurate as battery powered quartz movements, and mine loses about 2 minutes a week. I set it 2 minutes ahead, every two weeks. It survived 2 HARD crashes, and has been from 0-14,500ft elevation, and -102ft underwater on my wrist. With a screw down crown, it's legitimately waterproof. 4 years after my trip, the interior watch face started to fog a bit. Having spent a summer in Australia at 100*F, jumping in and out of the surf, the rubber gaskets started to fail. Too much sand! I took it to my local watch shop, and he serviced my watch for $45. This watch is a tool as well as a piece of jewelry,  and the service put the watch back to spec and included new gaskets. The photo of my watch below shows a nylon watch band. The original is a rubber strap, but a stainless steel jubilee band is easily interchangeable (see third watch).

A fun side note: While I was riding my motorcycle south through the Altiplano of Northern Argentina, I met a German bicyclist headed north. We stopped to chat. I noticed that he had the same exact watch as I did, except his was 25 years old (my age at the time). His father bought him a swiss watch when he graduated college. It failed the first time he went in the ocean. He replaced it with the Seiko and hadn't bought another watch since that day, having worn the Seiko for 25 years. BULLETPROOF.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA0M60NV1268&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleMKP-PC-_-pla-_-Watches-_-9SIA0M60NV1268&gclid=Cj0KEQjw-tSrBRCk8bzDiO__gbwBEiQAk-D31SIzRwOaOilayeXu5qtbP3DHmrxAX5whSFRyBhHzGyMaAoqu8P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

#2. Seiko Solar 100m. Wifey bought this for me for my birthday this past year. It was on sale at Macy's. It was $115 after tax. It's solar powered, and aside from setting the time, should never need opening. It's service interval will be in the realm of a decade easily. It's much more streamlined then my Seiko Diver and keeps perfect time as it uses a quartz movement and is essentially battery powered but solar charged. Again, the watch band can be changed to suit.



#3. Seiko Kinetic Sports 200. I bought this 12 year old watch for $150 from a member of a website I frequent. This watch converts kinetic mechanical energy into electrical energy and stores it in a capacitor. This watch worked as designed after 12 years of ownership when it arrived at my house in the mail. It's crown (how you set the time/date) was gummed up, so I had the watch cleaned/serviced and had a new lithium-ion capacitor installed at the same time. It cost me $60 (same local watch guy). It will hold a charge for 6 months on it's new capacitor without being worn, and keeps perfect time as well. It's my new favorite.



Seiko makes a FANTASTIC watch. You can easily find something in your price range, with your style and size requirements.  And the fact that you're in Japan means you can get a watch not offered in the US, but that is still easily serviceable in the US. ANY reputable watch shop can service a Seiko. There is no need to take it to a Seiko shop.

Have fun choosing a watch!
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 04:05:13 PM by bigalsmith101 »

magnuminator

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2015, 11:27:44 AM »
Your instincts on the SARB were on the mark, I think.  Yes, it will require maintenance from time to time but it is a relatively simple and robust movement and in all likelihood you can stretch that 5-year service interval by a few years without much trouble.  Also, the service cost will be more reasonable than with many mechanical watches as it doesn't have a lot of complicated functions and it's not a Swiss luxury brand.

Kinetics and even solar watches won't require as much attention, but the kinetics are somewhat unreliable and both types will eventually need new batteries and possible solar cells or kinetic bits, which will be more complicated to fix than replacing a button cell battery.  Someday, the parts may not be available.  They will undeniably be less expensive to operate over the next 10 (perhaps 15) years (barring catastrophic failure) but don't expect them to soldier on for 40 years without help. 

I have no statistics to back this up, but by reputation Citizen Eco Drives are more reliable than Seiko Solars which in turn are more reliable than the Seiko Kinetics.  The Citizen EDs are good machines but you may need to look a while to find one you like at the SARB size.  Make of that what you will.  Unfortunately, Seiko doesn't invest much in its lines of traditional battery-powered quartz models anymore (except for the expensive Grand Seikos) but you could look at the SGEH and SGEE lines if that appeals and you don't mind taking it in for battery changes.

bigalsmith101

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2015, 12:59:01 PM »
Your instincts on the SARB were on the mark, I think.  Yes, it will require maintenance from time to time but it is a relatively simple and robust movement and in all likelihood you can stretch that 5-year service interval by a few years without much trouble.  Also, the service cost will be more reasonable than with many mechanical watches as it doesn't have a lot of complicated functions and it's not a Swiss luxury brand.

Kinetics and even solar watches won't require as much attention, but the kinetics are somewhat unreliable and both types will eventually need new batteries and possible solar cells or kinetic bits, which will be more complicated to fix than replacing a button cell battery.  Someday, the parts may not be available.  They will undeniably be less expensive to operate over the next 10 (perhaps 15) years (barring catastrophic failure) but don't expect them to soldier on for 40 years without help. 


In my opinion, all of this is spot on. I love my kinetic, as it keeps better time than my automatic, but in terms of longevity, and class, you can't loose with an Automatic.

That being said, a quartz battery powered watch is a very efficient option. I personally like the SARB as well.

Bob W

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2015, 01:32:38 PM »
You might convince her that a very cool antique sun dial is where it is at for you?

You should also do your research on collectable watches.   There are some very cool ones in the 5-10K range.    You could wear it once per year on your anniversary and the keep it in the safe.

In 50 years when you die and leave it to your descendants it will have appreciated by damn near what the stock market did or even more.

If not that route you could go with a numismatic coin of rarity and value.   Those will appreciate above the stock market.   

A 1964 Toyota in mint condition would be very cool as well. 

magnuminator

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Re: Mustache Purchase Advice: Watch
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2015, 02:17:44 PM »
Heh.  Well spoken, Bob.  And I definitely take your point.   But I personally can't give the OP too much guff for a few hundred bucks worth of wedding present, especially if he didn't ask for it.

Whatever you end up with Brony, wear it in good health.  And congratulations on your engagement.