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  1. #1
    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Top watch brands in the $300-$450 range

    I'm looking to splurge on my first really nice watch. I've got my eye on some Tissot watches, but was wondering what some other brand options are. I'm not interested in Citizen, Invicta, Seiko or Nixon or any of the more common brands. Looking for something a little more exotic and unusual. My preferred style would be silver sport with a white face around 40-42mm case. Thoughts? What are some other good brands in the $300-450 range?
    Last edited by pgjackson; 07-19-14 at 08:31 PM.
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    i can charge u 450 for a timex if you like

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    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Hamilton.
    Orient.

  4. #4
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    $280 Orient, automatic, silver sport, white face, day/date--http://orientwatchusa.com/collection...sport/ev0n002w
    $400 Orient, quartz chronograph, silver/white--http://orientwatchusa.com/collection...sport/td0g002w

    $375 Hamilton quartz chronograph--http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Khaki...746546&sr=1-46

    $389 Hamilton auto, day/date--http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Khaki...746659&sr=1-69
    Last edited by Allen; 07-18-14 at 11:13 PM.

  5. #5
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Hamilton uses Swiss ETA movements, Orient uses Japanese Seiko movements.
    Orient is the more esoteric of the two. Hamilton has the more elegant movement (thiner).

  6. #6
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by windhchaser View Post
    i can charge u 450 for a Timex if you like
    How about a Ro1ex?
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  7. #7
    Curmudgeon in Training 20grit's Avatar
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    I have been wanting a mondaine Swiss railways watch.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Zedoo's Avatar
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    $400 bike with a $50 computer/clock on it. Between rides, wear it on a wristband.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Really like those Hamiltons. Thanks.
    "These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." - Khal Drogo
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  10. #10
    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zedoo View Post
    $400 bike with a $50 computer/clock on it. Between rides, wear it on a wristband.
    This has nothing to do with cycling. Some of us have other interests besides cycling.
    "These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." - Khal Drogo
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  11. #11
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
    Really like those Hamiltons. Thanks.
    Hamilton is the best value watch for a Swiss movement.

    Robot Check
    ^^^^^
    that Hamilton and

    GENESIS CLASSIC EDITION - Zeitlose Eleganz
    ^^^^^
    That Genesis

    L2.785.4.76.6 Longines Conquest Automatic 40mm Mens Watch
    ^^^^^
    That Longines

    a7438710/g743-1rt Breitling Colt 44 Mens Watch
    ^^^^^^
    That Breitling

    war211b.ba0782 Tag Heuer Carrera Caliber 5 Mens Watch
    ^^^^^
    That Tag-Heuer

    http://www.rgmwatches.com/collections/Classic/250.php
    That RGM

    http://www.prestigetime.com/item/Car.../w69006z2.html
    ^^^^
    That Cartier



    All of those watches use the exact same ETA 2671 movement. They purchase the movement from ETA Swatch and put their own face over it.
    They are all the same watch except for the design on the face and the price.

    They all cost less than $100 to manufacture. Except for the gold in the Cartier, but there is only about an ounce of gold in that watch.



    http://www.eta.ch/index.php?id=6&L=2 <---That is ETA. They produce almost all of the Swiss movements, and are owned by the Swatch group.

    http://www.eta.ch/index.php?id=31&L=2 <---this is the specific movement in all of the above.

    when buying a watch don't look at the watch, look at the movement.
    Hamilton roughly triples their manufacturing cost on their watches. A very reasonable markup for a manufacturer.
    The Swatch brand also tends to be reasonably priced.
    Last edited by Allen; 07-19-14 at 03:49 PM.

  12. #12
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
    This has nothing to do with cycling. Some of us have other interests besides cycling.
    And some like Zedoo have a sense of humor.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  13. #13
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Look at the placement of the complications of the movements on the ETA site, then look through the watches on Prestige Time. You'll find that brand after brand have the same layout, they all use ETA movements (if it says Swiss). Brands that make their movement in house tend to cost $10k+. Often $100k+.

    SeaGull is the big maker of Chinese movements, Timex uses them.
    Seiko for Japanese, ETA for Swiss.
    RGM is the only American maker of movements. Their in house movements are $20k-$90k.
    Last edited by Allen; 07-19-14 at 03:44 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Kactus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Look at the placement of the complications of the movements on the ETA site, then look through the watches on Prestige Time. You'll find that brand after brand have the same layout, they all use ETA movements (if it says Swiss). Brands that make their movement in house tend to cost $10k+. Often $100k+.
    Rolex and Zenith also make their own movements and are probably the most reasonably priced in-house movements. Many of the makers that use ETA movements do small modifications to them in order to make them "their own".
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  15. #15
    Senior Member linnefaulk's Avatar
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    Check out Dezeen Watch Store. They have some great looking watches.
    sharon

  16. #16
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kactus View Post
    Rolex and Zenith also make their own movements and are probably the most reasonably priced in-house movements. Many of the makers that use ETA movements do small modifications to them in order to make them "their own".
    They do make their own movements, although both companies buy components such as the mainspring from Swatch.

    Rolex does smelt their own proprietary gold alloys which is pretty cool.

  17. #17
    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Hamilton is the best value watch for a Swiss movement.

    Robot Check
    ^^^^^
    that Hamilton and

    GENESIS CLASSIC EDITION - Zeitlose Eleganz
    ^^^^^
    That Genesis

    L2.785.4.76.6 Longines Conquest Automatic 40mm Mens Watch
    ^^^^^
    That Longines

    a7438710/g743-1rt Breitling Colt 44 Mens Watch
    ^^^^^^
    That Breitling

    war211b.ba0782 Tag Heuer Carrera Caliber 5 Mens Watch
    ^^^^^
    That Tag-Heuer

    RGM Watch Company
    That RGM

    w69006z2 Cartier Ballon Bleu - Large Mens Watch
    ^^^^
    That Cartier



    All of those watches use the exact same ETA 2671 movement. They purchase the movement from ETA Swatch and put their own face over it.
    They are all the same watch except for the design on the face and the price.

    They all cost less than $100 to manufacture. Except for the gold in the Cartier, but there is only about an ounce of gold in that watch.



    ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse: Products <---That is ETA. They produce almost all of the Swiss movements, and are owned by the Swatch group.

    ETA SA Manufacture Horlogère Suisse: 2671 <---this is the specific movement in all of the above.

    when buying a watch don't look at the watch, look at the movement.
    Hamilton roughly triples their manufacturing cost on their watches. A very reasonable markup for a manufacturer.
    The Swatch brand also tends to be reasonably priced.
    Wow! Thanks for this information. At first I was wondering why you were showing me Breitling and Tag. Very interesting to know that they all have the same guts. Kind of puts things in perspective. I assume that Tissot also uses that ETA movement.
    "These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." - Khal Drogo
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  18. #18
    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Last edited by pgjackson; 07-19-14 at 04:27 PM.
    "These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." - Khal Drogo
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  19. #19
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    I have a Nice Omega Speedmaster my mother found (I was shocked when I found out the value) and a nice pocket watch (with a generic movement from the period) that has a custom face and casing given to my G'dad.

    I realized at some point emotionally what Allen has exposed. Most watches are outer bling. I bought a decent dress Seiko years ago that I quit wearing, except for a job interviews, when I started carrying a cell phone.

    I use a watch only as a first impression tool. And I make first impressions based on the use or wearing of a watch. It's not always pretty.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
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  20. #20
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
    Tissot is part of the Swatch Group. I believe that watch is fitted with an ETA 2894-2 chronograph.

  21. #21
    Administrator Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    I have a Nice Omega Speedmaster my mother found (I was shocked when I found out the value) and a nice pocket watch (with a generic movement from the period) that has a custom face and casing given to my G'dad.

    I realized at some point emotionally what Allen has exposed. Most watches are outer bling. I bought a decent dress Seiko years ago that I quit wearing, except for a job interviews, when I started carrying a cell phone.

    I use a watch only as a first impression tool. And I make first impressions based on the use or wearing of a watch. It's not always pretty.
    Before ETA was purchased by Swatch Group they sold movements directly to jewelers. One could pick through a selection of movements, casings, faces, and bands and have a simi-custom watch built up. Swatch now only sells movements to watch "makers" and effectively hold a monopoly on Swiss watches.

    The following are wholly owned by Swatch: Breguet, Harry Winston, Blancpain, Glashütte Original, Jaquet Droz, Léon Hatot, Omega, Longines, Rado, Union Glashütte, Tissot, Balmain, Certina, Mido, Hamilton, Calvin Klein watches + jewelry, Swatch, Flik Flak.

    Swatch, more than almost any other company, has mastered the art of selling a brand name.
    That's not saying ETA movements are crap, they are not, they are fantastic. But selling one watch for $300 and then selling the same watch with a new face for $30,000--that is art.
    Last edited by Allen; 07-19-14 at 06:56 PM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Tissot is part of the Swatch Group. I believe that watch is fitted with an ETA 2894-2 chronograph.
    Most likely a G10 quartz. There aren't any mechanical chrono movements with that dial arrangement. ETA does make mechanical chrono movements but watches using them are typically $1000 or more.

    The thing to watch out for with watches is this- there are lots of places that will sell you a $50 watch for $500, doesn't make it a $500 watch though. There are a lot of watch forums on the net where you can look at photos and read about different brands. You find out what the watches are actually worth and where to buy them.
    pmwf.com
    watchuseek.com
    timezone.com

    Nothing wrong with Seiko or Citizen. If you are looking at watches in stores in the US, you are only seeing "department store models". It is hard to find the real enthusiast models in US stores. I have a lot of watches but one of my favorites is my Seiko Sumo, almost available in the OP's price range.

    Last edited by bjtesch; 07-19-14 at 08:43 PM.

  23. #23
    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjtesch View Post
    Most likely a G10 quartz. There aren't any mechanical chrono movements with that dial arrangement. ETA does make mechanical chrono movements but watches using them are typically $1000 or more.

    The thing to watch out for with watches is this- there are lots of places that will sell you a $50 watch for $500, doesn't make it a $500 watch though. There are a lot of watch forums on the net where you can look at photos and read about different brands. You find out what the watches are actually worth and where to buy them.

    Nothing wrong with Seiko or Citizen. If you are looking at watches in stores in the US, you are only seeing "department store models". It is hard to find the real enthusiast models in US stores. I have a lot of watches but one of my favorites is my Seiko Sumo, almost available in the OP's price range.

    I already have three Seikos. There is a Seiko Outlet Store near where I used to work (Dedicated Seiko store...not a watch store that sells some Seikos). They had some really good sales from time to time. I loved walking around in that place. Anyway, don't really want another Seiko. My 20th wedding anniversary is coming up in November. My wife wants a new diamond ring set. I said fine as long as I can get a really nice watch. Of course, her ring will cost a lot more than a $400 watch...but you know how it goes. I've been looking at the Hamilton watches, but I think I prefer the style of the Tissot Couturier. I like Orient a lot as well, but I can't help thinking that it sounds like something sold at Word Market or the Bombay Company. Tissot is definitely in the lead. I want silver with a white face so I can wear it with anything.
    Last edited by pgjackson; 07-19-14 at 08:34 PM.
    "These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." - Khal Drogo
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  24. #24
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    Definitely a nice Seiko, bjtesch.

    what does everyone think of the Seiko 5 sports line, and in particular, the Seiko 50th anniversary lineup, introduced last year? A mechanical movement watch, with an accessible price.
    Potential problem: I have read that with the Seikos, there are a lot of "Grey Markets" around in the US. No US warranty with such a watch, and it might actually be a knock-off.
    The big chain jewelers in my area don't seem to keen on the Seiko brand, reason unknown.
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  25. #25
    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trackhub View Post
    Definitely a nice Seiko, bjtesch.

    what does everyone think of the Seiko 5 sports line, and in particular, the Seiko 50th anniversary lineup, introduced last year? A mechanical movement watch, with an accessible price.
    Potential problem: I have read that with the Seikos, there are a lot of "Grey Markets" around in the US. No US warranty with such a watch, and it might actually be a knock-off.
    The big chain jewelers in my area don't seem to keen on the Seiko brand, reason unknown.
    I have a Seiko 5. I like it a lot, but if you don't wear it every day it dies (no, I don't have a winder). My only complaint is that you can't wind it at all. It's a real pain to have to reset the time, day and date all the time. I pretty much don't wear it anymore for this reason and am moving away from automatic watches. I do, however, love my Seiko Kinetic. Automatic watch that can go months without wearing. Best of both worlds.
    "These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." - Khal Drogo
    2011 Rossetti Vertigo w/ SRAM Rival 16.1lbs

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