Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12653
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by jacob »

There's absolutely no reason to buy a luxury or a nice watch or even an ugly watch in this day and age. Telling the time or as an investment are mostly poor reasons for owning a watch. To me they're a kind of jewelry but not in a way that makes me look/feel great but rather as a mechanically nice or technologically interesting thing I can carry around using the excuse that it incidentally tells time. This means that I own watches for the same reasons that some people might put pictures or paintings on the wall or knick-knack on their shelves. The only difference is that I put it on my wrist. Some watch lovers go so far as to put one on each wrist. I don't go that far, but I do have more watches, namely five, than what makes sense rationally, which is more like one or none.

You might compare watches with classic cars or motorcycles. There's no reason to own or invest in those either. They cost a lot but can be sold to a greater fool for even more if your timing is good. You worry about scratching them and maintenance is a hassle but then you don't mind that because the joy of driving or even just looking at one is worth it. Still it is mostly an act of consumption that is only confused with investing because sometimes demand exceeds supply and prices go up.

prognastat
Posts: 997
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by prognastat »

I have an Apple Watch. Still the very first model and haven't felt the need to upgrade and not sure if I would buy another if this one broke.

Honestly the only reason I wear it every day is the health/fitness tracking ability as I tend to use my phone/computer for telling the time the vast majority of the time. Not sure even with the added functionality of fitness tracking whether I can recommend it though.

I used to own a skeleton style watch a long time ago because I like the watch mechanism and being able to see it, but that broke and I never replaced it.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12653
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by jacob »

@Bankai - You should also know that watches need maintenance just like cars or any other mechanical object. If it's a mechanical, a cleaning with a complete disassembly/assembly+lubrication (the oil dries out) can cost ~$200 for a regular watch (7 or 11 jewels typically) and $300+ for a chronograph if you pay a professional(*). If you defer it, the gears will grind down quicker and the watch will lose value/accuracy. Quartz watches are notably cheaper and you can skip the oil since friction plays no role in the time keeping. Battery changes are easy ... except if you leave the battery for years to corrode, something that has sealed the fate of many neglected quartz watches.

(*) This is roughly the same as the cost of a good set of tools (Bergeon) for DIY maintenance.

Campitor
Posts: 1026
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by Campitor »

I use a G-SHOCK. I find it uber convenient to glance quickly at my watch than pulling my iphone out of my pocket. I have fancier watches but they don't match the practicality of the G-SHOCK .

suomalainen
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by suomalainen »

My initial reaction when I saw the topic title was "Who the f*ck owns a watch?" But, you know, to each his own. Most people probably don't carry hiking boots, 4 racquetball racquets (and balls), 2 tennis racquets (and balls), disc golf discs, mountain bike shoes and helmet and bike pump, and various bike parts in the trunk of their car at all times. You know, just in case.

OTCW
Posts: 430
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:55 am

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by OTCW »

I have a lot of watches. Vintage mechanical Hamiltons are what I enjoy most. Also quite a few Seikos. Timex. Casio. Ben Russ. Bulova. 1 vintage Rolex.

I don't buy the fashion brands like Fossil or Geneva. Just don't care for the flashy look of most of them.

I just like them.

Nomad
Posts: 320
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 5:23 pm
Location: UK

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by Nomad »

I have owned a couple of watches, they always broke.
Like most people these days I use my mobile phone as a watch, plus camera, etc. plus phone.
Also, I have a heart beat monitor, I think that tells the time too.

sarger17
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:23 pm

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by sarger17 »

I own a simple fossil watch (got it as a gift). It's a $50 watch. People always comment how nice it is, I think they think it's expensive at a glance lol. It's been about two years, no maintenance yet.

Freedom_2018
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:10 am

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by Freedom_2018 »

Casio GShock GW300 bought from Costco in 2003.

Since then the elements have eaten the outside shell (I wore it all the time including showers) and the 10 yr solar battery has given out. I ripped out the rest if the outer shell exposing the red inner shell and replaced the worn straps for $11. Replacement cost of similar solar battery costs $35ish...so I was almost ready to buy another watch.

But poked around the web a bit and found a similar battery but non solar chargeable at about $2 for a 5 pack...so replaced the solar battery with those and so far so good. Also watch looks kinda unusual with the red body and black straps.

The only thing I now own that predates my relationship :-)

Seppia
Posts: 1467
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by Seppia »

Watches are my #1 weakness, and my attitude towards them is exactly the same as Jacob’s.
I see them as mechanically interesting man jewelry.

I own a couple cheap seikos, an Omega (gift from the wife) and a couple older (five digit) Rolex.
Buying used is the best way to insure against loss of money, depreciation on watches is similar to cars: he/she who buys new takes the biggest hit (Rolex and a couple other very scarcely available brands being perhaps the exception).

If you know what you are doing you can buy used and eventually flip losing only the cost of shipping, a few times I’ve even made some (small) amount of money.
Tag depreciates quite a bit so if you are looking for a modern model you can probably buy it well.


Watchuseek is the biggest forum and the place where I buy/sell my stuff.
If I combine the last three-four years my watch budget has been very low (if I want something I sell something else).
Feel free to PM me if you need any assistance.

Freedom_2018
Posts: 449
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 12:10 am

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by Freedom_2018 »

Also while I have cell phone (Lumia 640) to tell time...it sometimes has to be in off mode to conserve battery on some trips.

Seppia
Posts: 1467
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by Seppia »

jacob wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:58 pm
(*) This is roughly the same as the cost of a good set of tools (Bergeon) for DIY maintenance.
I always wanted to dabble in this, but I’m scared.
I know I could “train” on some very cheap mechanical movements (a seiko with 7s26 movement can be bought new for $50), but how long do you think it would take for an average person to learn how to service a simple three hander?
Thanks

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 1993
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by Sclass »

I own a dozen or so watches. Mostly ETA Longines. An ETA Omega. Retail value of the collection is about $20,000. I paid about $2000 for all of them. Bought used on EBay. I buy a scratched up one, swap in a new crystal, polish the case and add a band. Looks like new. ETA watches (TAG Heuer group luxury watches) depreciate really fast as Seppia said.

So that brings us to the next sad point, these watches depreciate quickly because they contain dressed up cheap movements made by ETA.

TAG is basically a fancy swatch group polished piece of mass produced Swiss material. I think Longines and Omega are too. So you get kind of a nice case and dial over a mass produced movement.

I used to repair and clean my watches like Jacob. I still have the tools. It is actually a pretty easy skill to pick up. I learned in bits and pieces from my neighbor who repaired watches. Then YouTube really helped me master subtle tricks a few years ago. It actually is pretty boring to me now because most of the movements are pretty much the same (I haven’t played with Chronographs). Just a bunch of gears, springs, latches, levers, ratcheting pawls held together by flat plates and screws. Once you clean a dozen you get the T-shirt and never look back. Didn’t Jacob try to sell off his tools at one point?

To learn I bought twenty cheap manual wind watches (no date) for $5 each at a closeout sale when I was 14. I destroyed three. I acquired an old book called Watch Repair by Henry Fried in college. This and watching the neighbor helped me successfully tear down the remainder of the $5 watches and reassemble them.

Recently I’ve gotten really lazy and I just buy ETA movements when I need to fix one of my watches. As I said, even my Longines and Omega automatics contain an ETA movement that can be bought for $100 online. You can swap out the plates in the movement that say “Omega” in gold and you have a brand new movement to drop into your sick watch. Like a heart transplant.

I forgot the ETA numbers but I found out that most of my collection have the same two ETA movements. I have the manuals in iBooks. Ah yes, ETA 7001 and ETA 2824. As common as a VW Golf.

So it is kind of a ripoff I guess. I mean a VW golf is a wonderful car but don’t just wrap it up in a shiny package and sell the same thing for an exorbitant price...Wait I guess that’s an Audi. Anyhow, Swatch owns almost everything now. So 9 times out of 10 you’re getting an inexpensive mass produced watch even when you pay thousands.

There are exceptions of course like Rolex and Patek that still make their own movements.

I used to want one of those but I’ve since lost interest. In retrospect I realize buying that garbage was a form of signaling. For what? I dunno. Maybe I wanted to look distinguished or maybe I wanted to show people I liked Swiss mechanics. At the end I no longer need to show anyone I’m rich. Nothing to prove anymore. No one worth proving anything to. And worst of all, the affluent people I socialize with wear real Swatch watches, the plastic ones! :lol:

This year I’ve stopped wearing a watch. I’ve been doing car restoration daily and I’m sick of taking off my watch and putting it safely in my tool box drawer to avoid scratches. I use a wall clock in the garage and an iPhone when I go out.

Not my best investment by a long shot. At least I no longer need them

Image

Seppia
Posts: 1467
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by Seppia »

I see we have more watch nerds than I thought LOL.
In fairness, ETA movements (owned by swatch group) come in different grades and quality levels.
An ETA 2892 top grade is a pretty excellent movement, well regulated and nicely decorated, and is kinda night and day VS the workhorse, lower level 2824.
Both are much more reliable than the infinitely more expensive Pateks.
Rolex movements aren’t particularly nice either, they are also mass produced and even more reliable as ETA.

This thread needs more pics, so here is my current favorite, it’s a recent re-edition of seiko first “tuna can” diver, a very historically important watch for saturation divers.
While not exactly a beautiful/elegant watch, I love its quirkiness and uniqueness. $230 used

Image

Here’s my five digit no date sub

Image

And my five digit explorer II

Image

Solvent
Posts: 219
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2015 3:04 pm
Location: กรุงเทพมหานคร
Contact:

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by Solvent »

I like wearing a watch, but haven't for some time. My last nice-ish one was lost at some point while traveling. Then I got a knock-off Longines imitation as a gift, but it didn't last long before it stopped working.

One reason to consider wearing a watch is that smartphones are highly effective distraction machines. Granted, not all of us suffer from this problem, but when I get out my phone to check the time I'm fairly likely to start fiddling with it and lose focus on what I'm doing.

Hence, I'm in the market for a watch again, but Addis Ababa is a shitty place to look for one (tariffs + lack of choice, no Amazon delivery) so I'm biding my time until I get to a suitable market.

I'm leaning towards a quartz movement, perhaps a Seiko. Nothing special.

From my time spent in Geneva I know that if money were truly no object, I'd own a Zenith. Those are beautiful pieces.

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 1993
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by Sclass »

Seppia wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:16 pm

Both are much more reliable than the infinitely more expensive Pateks.
That’s like saying a Honda Civic is better than a Rolls Royce. Yeah, no argument there. The problem is the majority of watches sold by Swatch Group, LVMH or Richemont are decorated Civics. It’s really funny when I open a Longines watch and it says something like L369 which sounds unique when it is just really an ETA 7001 found in several other luxury watches with varying gold plating, engravings etc. on the plates to disguise its origin. Nowhere it says 7001 but it is just that. Worse, it is sold up in the brochure as a Linge 369 hand crafted in Switzerland by master watchmakers.

I actually find the Rolex movements unique in some ways. The gear trains are backwards compared to the ETA layouts. I guess I’m snookered into thinking Rolex is unique. They seem to hold some of their value better than other luxury watches.

I had a friend who collected seiko dive watches. Automatics. He liked them because they were bomb proof.

User avatar
Ego
Posts: 4813
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by Ego »

Back when i was buying broken watches, repairing them and reselling them, I would regularly own five or six relatively nice watches at any one time that I would wear until they sold. Around that time (10-12 years ago) I had a friend who bought bins full of Costco returns. He would bring me the Suunto watches that were returned and I would resell them. I kept one, a Suunto Vector, that is still going strong. Amazing for a digital watch. I've used it on three long trips. I like the altimeter and barometer functions which are both accurate but the stopwatch function is terrible.

User avatar
Ego
Posts: 4813
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by Ego »

BTW, one of the things that Sclass and Seppia have not yet mentioned is that their level of knowledge is a requirement for those who wish to purchase a high end second-hand watch and not get ripped off. It is fairly easy to modify a cheap watch with a counterfeit dial and other external parts. Also, it is hard to spot "genuine fakes".

https://www-forbes-com.cdn.ampproject.o ... -turkey%2F

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12653
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by jacob »

@Seppia - I see Sclass already answered. Also, I haven't advanced as far as he has (yet?) but basically followed the same approach sans the neighbor. I learned from an old watch course I bought on a DVD on eBay and took apart/reassembled a movement (Longines) I bought on eBay. I haven't destroyed anything yet but that might just be because I move overly slowly (same with everything technical). My watchmaker hobby is kinda dormant. I wanted to see if I could turn it into something profitable, but I found eBay to be fairly efficient marketwise. Thus, I'm currently sitting on my tools wondering whether to go further again or sell them. Fortunately, they take up very little space. I would be open to selling them if you're ever in Chicago.

@Sclass - BTW, what do you use as/for a staking tool? I was wondering whether you might be using something clever.

Seppia
Posts: 1467
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: Poll: What kind of watch do you own?

Post by Seppia »

@Sclass: I wasn’t implying that ETA-powered watches are “better” than Pateks, just that they are more reliable (in the same way as a Civic is much more reliable than a Ferrari).
The quality on Patek is real
Sorry for the confusion :)

Luxury watches today are all extremely overpriced (but so are all luxury goods - the actual cost of an Armani suit is around 7-10% of the retail price) but in fairness:
1- ETA movements are great movements, reliable, time tested and easy/cheap to service as any watchmaker has seen them millions of times
2- they are “just” the engine. Many other things go into the quality of a watch. Same comparison that you made with cars, many Audi run on the same engines as Skodas, yet the cars are very different in many aspects.

@Ego: aside from Rolex which is a completely different story*, I would not hesitate to say that even a complete newcomer can buy with confidence on Watchuseek provided they a) buy from sellers that have lots of positive feedback b) do their research on market prices

*there are just too many excellent quality Rolex fakes, which is not the case for other brands. Google “TC Sub V7 extreme” and you will NEVER buy a five digit sub online again :)

@jacob: you could turn in a decent profit servicing watches in my opinion. With the recent massive increase in prices of luxury watches, all brands have jacked up service costs as well. Omega will not charge less than $600 for a service for example. For ETA powered watches it’s cheaper to buy a new movement and just swap it
Unfortunately I don’t come to the states for work any more, I only take care of the APAC area now. But if the current pricing trend persists I will definitely start training as I sense an opportunity for some real side income: today $150 for a basic ETA 2824 service is considered cheap.

Post Reply