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Any watch nerds on Icrontic?

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Comments

  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC Icrontian
    I don't want to speak for Thrax, but IMHO the Jaragar watches offer good value for the money. For $30, it's either this or a Timex from Wal Mart. The Timex will probably last longer and will be more accurate, but it doesn't have the style or the interesting movement.

    It's a crapshoot as to the quality of these things. The accuracy of the movement varies, as does the fit and finish of the watch. Some are very good. Many are hit-and-miss. But Jaragar and Parnis seem to have better odds at getting a decent one.

    I just cant bring myself to buy most of these Chinese watches. So many of the designs are knock offs homages to better-known classic designs from the fancy brands; I don't want to support fakes. I'd rather support long-established brands with in-house movements, or brands like G. Gerlatch, TWCO, or Strela who build on quality movements using their own designed cases, faces, and bands.

    When it comes to cheap watches, there are several companies still making their own watches with in-house movements. Vostok (Russia), HMT (India), Sea-Gull (China), and Orient (Japan) come to mind. You can get a Vostok or HMT for the cost of two of the Chinese eBay specials.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Nov 2012
    The brand blacklist is not definitive, but it is a good list of potential and certain landmines to avoid when a beginner is buying their first mechanical watch. I took a video of my first Jaragar, which explains much of why I like it.

    I think with Jaragar, AK Homme or Kronen & Söhne, you have to set your expectations to the right level. This is a $30 watch that could run the spectrum from great to broken right out of the box, often with no recourse to get it replaced. The cautious should always buy with PayPal, so you have their buyer's protection on your side, so at least you could get your cash back if you get screwed.

    This one is not from the same buyer as my last watch, but the movement appears to be of a similar quality, materially speaking. Just by looking at the visual quality of the metal, you can begin to gauge what the quality might be like. Cheap-ass watches will have a very dull/burred/scratched/rough appearance (example), typical of crap metal and shit machining. Mid-range watches will have dull metal (example), but it generally won't look scratched or fibrous; it'll appear as though it's just unpolished. Going up from there, the quality of the movement starts becoming polished/brushed to a mirror shine (example), or even decorated with engravings (example).

    Now, this won't tell you how well the gears fit together, how well the watch has been regulated (adjusted to keep accurate time), how good the jewel bearings are, etc. But it is indicative of the quality you can expect, all things being equal.

    I know that I could get a lemon, but I'm 2:2 on my cheap Chinese mechanicals, and it's fun to gamble on something that looks pretty and could be very functional.

    //EDIT: Just saw Pete's post, as it didn't appear when I replied with my own, and I didn't check back to the thread.

    He's right, too. I'm tooling around with the cheapo Chinese watches because they're a lot more fun to look at than a Timex, Casio or any other department store brand. At worst, I get my money back. At best, I own a good watch for $30.

    It's important to me to have a diverse collection, and I will soon be offsetting my cheapos with some better models. I already have an Orient, and I'm looking for a good price on several SeaGulls (M171S, M182sk, etc.), a Poljot 3101.1, and so on. If you're truly interested in watches, you should balance the average with the good.
    BuddyJ
  • RyanFodderRyanFodder Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Request skeleton watches less than $100 ?
  • dodge_ram401dodge_ram401 Goshen, IN Member
    edited Nov 2012
    I always hold buy breath when I need a new battery for my watch. It has scratches, the dial is yellowed but I'm still wearing it. The watch is a 1971 Bulova Accutron with a twin coil tuning fork. Vibrating at 360 times per second, it has a sweep second hand, and hums as it runs. I got it as a gift and it was purchased at C. N. Hetzner Jewelers in Peru, IN. The cost at the time was discounted to $150 since my then father-in-law was a watch maker there. I was told today that he see less and less of these every year because the repair if the tuning fork goes out is around $300. It's still my favorite watch. Not bad for a watch that is 41 years old.

    image
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Nov 2012
    You won't really find a skeleton watch for SeaGull M182SK ($135 new, never on sale, VERY GOOD)

    Armitron 20-4406SVSV ($90 from WalMart, known watchmaker with a good warranty)

    Swatch Body & Soul ($136, maybe on sale, very good Swiss ETA movement from the largest watch conglomerate on the planet, plus a warranty)

    Akribos XXIV DaVinci ($149 new, <$100 on sale, above average)

    Adee Kaye AK4005 ($139 new, <$100 on sale, above average)

    MZI Corinth ($100, good Hangzhou movement but unknown QC)

    Parnis marina militare skeleton ($90, good movement, above average quality, known good customer service, 44mm case is large)

    Rotary GS02518 (Multiple vendors, prices all over the map, excellent quality control)

    Then several Stuhrling watches.

    Stuhrling, Adee Kaye and Akribos all present themselves as "luxury" brands with inflated MSRPs that don't in any way match the material or personnel cost. At the very least, however, they offer a warranty with reasonable customer service and decent quality control on the movements.

    Sea-Gull & Swatch are by far the best choice, with premium movements built in-house, backed by excellent quality control. Armitron would probably be your second bet, but some (incl. me) don't like the diver/military case.

    The rest will be hit-or-miss, caveat emptor.

  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    If you're set on a Stuhrling, here's what you need to know:

    1) Stuhrling is a dishonest company. They're owned by a Las Vegas couple with head office in Miami, and everything is made in China. Despite this, they've frequently claimed Swiss origins, Swiss components, Swiss manufacturing, Swiss this-that-or-other to piggyback on the reputation of Swiss watchmaking.

    2) Quality control has been an issue for Stuhrling in the past. Large batches of watches emerged from the box with broken geartrains, dislodged hands or unable to keep anything remotely resembling accurate time. More recent reports have indicated that this has improved, but it's still a skeleton (haHA) in the closet.

    3) You will at least get a warranty and the right to return the product in the event of a dud if you buy from Amazon.

    4) Customer service for Stuhrling is historically mediocre, but again, this has been reported to be improved as of late.

    If you are comfortable with all of the above, then I can recommend Stuhrling.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Nov 2012
    Groupon is running some really great deals on totally classic Timex quartz watches today. Max of $25 for these watches, most of which are $75+ retail.

    http://www.groupon.com/deals/gg-timex-digital-analog-watches?utm_medium=afl&utm_campaign=1225267&utm_source=rvs

    Great way to start a collection! I bought the T2N301.
  • BasilBasil Nubcaek England Icrontian
    Cracked; got a lil' Seiko 5.
    image
    Simple but functional and there is something oddly intriguing about a mechanical movement.
    UPSLynxBuddyJ
  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC Icrontian
    @dodge_ram401 Love the Bulova. The tuning fork system in those is so cool. My barber has one and I've always found it to be intriguing. Cool!

    @Basil Nice Seiko! That's a great purchase. Well done sir.

    I received in the mail my Bergeon 6767-F spring bar fork tool today and used it to swap bands on my Orient. Totally worth the $25. If you plan on changing bands on your dress watches, this is THE TOOL to have for spring bars and bracelet pins. Highly recommended.

    image
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    I secured an HMT Jhalak last night! Worried about a 35mm watch (small), but it's so pretty!
  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC Icrontian
    @Thrax eBay, private seller, or other?
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
  • IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy Canadian Toronto, Ontario Icrontian
    edited Nov 2012
    My Seiko watch arrived the other day, I love it, it fits great and it looks amazing!
    image
    (Apologize for the glare, my phone camera is crap and I had to use a desk lamp for it to even show up properly)
    Basil
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Pokémaster, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    A beauty! Great-looking watch, @Ilriyas!
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian
    edited Nov 2012
    What an awesome background too ;D
    primesuspectUPSLynxThrax
  • IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy Canadian Toronto, Ontario Icrontian
    The size of my dormroom desk ensures that my OCZ mousepad takes up at least 50% of the available space at any one time. :/
  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC Icrontian
    edited Nov 2012
    Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

    Like that @Ryder?
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian
    Hahaha :)
  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja I don't know how to not Icrontian
    I'm without a watch, but here is one of my favorite collectible commodities on a neat background.
    image
  • RyderRyder Kalamazoo, Mi Icrontian
    Oh my, I have derailed the thread :rockon:
  • This is now a thread about trains:

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  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC Icrontian
    Actually, railroad watches were one of the big deals in the history of time keeping.
  • TeramonaTeramona Baroness von Puttenham In a cute little love nest with Mymidan. Icrontian
    edited Nov 2012

    This is now a thread about trains:

    image



    image
  • TeramonaTeramona Baroness von Puttenham In a cute little love nest with Mymidan. Icrontian
    Also, holy crap... that's a painting. 0_0

    Also, also, I got one of my pocket watches working. It was just the battery. You will now hear me call out "all aboard" every time we're trying to rally the troops for dinner or whatnot at the next few IC events I attend.
  • BasilBasil Nubcaek England Icrontian
    Smoke deflectors are smalltime.
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    CHOO CHOO
  • ardichokeardichoke Buttes Master B Lansing, MI Icrontian
    Old timey trains are nice and all, but light rail is baller. The US needs to get on it.
    image
  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ @TheButterflyman Icrontian
    If that high-speed rail had gone in that was to run along 75, I would visit detroit much more frequently.
    ardichoke
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Got a video from Solidworks PR today, showing how Solidworks is used to design watches. REALLY cool video, worth watching:

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