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      08-13-2013, 02:22 PM   #17
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Drives: BMW 335i - Coupe
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Washington, DC

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Originally Posted by Delta0311 View Post
Can't go wrong with a Patek Philippe, just make sure you have very deep pockets.
And to just what garage sale do you recommend he go find an affordable one?

OP, I have no idea what affordable means to you, but I'm assuming it means $1000 give or take. I would recommend you avoid most watched priced between $1500 and $2000 because in that price range, very few are actually of note, but most are trying to be grander than they are, speaking loudly (marketing) and carrying a small stick (generic in movement, materials, manufacture, and pedigree). Some brands/watches I'd suggest you look at for a variety of reasons and in no particular order:
  • Hamilton Jazzmaster - A fine watch, but a bit pricier than what I suspect you are seeking. ($1600) (
  • Red8 - fun style and you can custom design the watch yourself. ($600-$900) These watches are very sporty looking, so while they are fine for business casual, they won't do for dressier situations, unless your personal style is just quirky that way. (
  • Glashütte - Tangente - a watch from a serious watch maker and simple enough that it can be worn anywhere and be appropriate ($1200-$1400 or so). Elegant looking. (
  • Vintage watches -- you may have to go this route if you want the big names in horology. Most will still run well over $1000, however, especially if you are buying from the big vintage retailers like Tourneau on whom you can rely that what you buy will be authentic and in good condition. You'll have to put some legwork into finding something of high quality and low price. The trick here is that, for the most part, you'll need to be somewhat watch savvy yourself so you don't get taken as you try to buy a grand watch at a miniscule price. And, of course, what's available varies constantly. Here's one you can reasonably expect to find without too much effort.
    • Seiko - Seiko 5! - has the characteristics of a "watch that matters," but being available for less than $100 (and more likely less than $75), nearly anyone can have what would can yet be called a "watch guy's watch." Its styling won't draw attention to itself, but those in the know will know. Nobody else will bother to mention it, yet they will recognize the brand. It's not made of gold or some exotic material -- it's steel -- so it can't be called a luxury watch, but as a timepiece of note, it ticks all the right boxes, including having an in-house, mechanical movement, and a pedigree beyond reproach, which is isn't something most folks commonly think of with Seiko.
  • Other vintage watch suggestions:
    • Heuer, but probably not Tag Heuer, unless, of course, you just see a used Tag that you like and just want it. Otherwise, Tag makes plenty of new watches that are affordable, and Lord knows Tag is popular among the masses.
    • Movado -- 1940s-1950s museum watch.
    • The 1950s and 1960s were great decades for watches. There're a lot to choose from this era. I suggest checking out some watch forums to get better sense of some good ways to direct your resources.
  • Reactor -- Military watch priced so any private can afford it. ($400) (
Well there you go. A small listing of notable watches at least one of which can fit into just anyone's budget. All are examples of good watches that watch people will appreciate, but the masses may or may not even know much about. Of the options suggested above, had I just graduated from college, I'd pick the Glashütte, or if I didn't want so staid a watch, and I intend to have more than one watch, Red8.

Lastly, you may want to check out some watch forums. Just as I wouldn't go to a watch forum and ask what German sport sedan is worth considering, I wouldn't come here to ask about a watch. You may find some good input that is offered with knowledge, objectivity and integrity, but you'll do better on a forum devoted to watches. Even though I know a little something about watches, that's a result of research into specific brands and items, having the means to choose brands long known for their quality, and being slightly remorseful upon learning I essentially wasted money on watches that fell into that $1500-$2500 category I mentioned above. What I have to offer is not the result of my having a broad general knowledge of the subject.

All the best and good luck.

'07, e92 335i, Sparkling Graphite, Coral Leather, Aluminum, 6-speed