On stepping things up

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Noush
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On stepping things up

Post by Noush » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:58 am

A glance at my signature reveals The Elephant In My Room. I'm addicted to the concept of good quality at a reasonable price. I even drive a Volkswagen...
And I see a lot of members here with collections that span quite the range. My mini-collection doesn't. And there's plenty of folks here who've stepped things up.

When I came to CW I had 2 itches to scratch. First was for a "Desk Diver" (I don't dive, but I swim and go out in a boat - river, occasionally). My new (Clearance NN) C65 Trident Diver manual more than scratches that itch. Sean Connery's James Bond would be delighted with it and so am I.

The second itch is for a Flieger with a proper historical connection. The short-list is Laco and Stowa, 2 original suppliers.
Laco has a "basic" offering that looks well-made/finished and fits my normal criteria for price/quality but a non-hacking Miyota movement, whilst not a deal-breaker, is a bit disappointing. Reliable beasties though, I've had similar in an old Citizen for 20 years. Prefer Type B with this watch.

Stowa though, steps it up. A lot. The new-ish Ikarus is a modernisation of Type A. It's the dial Nomos would do and I believe is from the same supplier. They will also do blued hands and a Top Spec 2824 with full decoration, up-spec parts, blued screws and all that stuff.
But the at-my-door price is two and a half times the Laco. It will interest Aussie customs in a way the Laco won't.

So guys, talk to me about the ups and downs, the regrets and satisfactions of "biting the bullet"....and not.
Thanks in advance. The last feed-back I got here served me well.
Chris
CW C65 Trident Diver, Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic 38, Tissot Carson Premium, Junghans Form C Chronoscope, Seiko SNK809

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Thermexman
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Re: On stepping things up

Post by Thermexman » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:32 am

I had an unexpected opportunity, back in 2017, to purchase a brand new Omega “Moonwatch” from an AD, for the princely sum of £2500. It wasn’t planned and came out of the blue. I dithered and missed it. They’re now £4000 for an identical watch. Huge regret.

I went on to buy a Tudor Heritage Black Bay Red and have no regrets whatsoever. It was an awful lot of money to spend on a single watch, which is why I struggled to get my mind around spending such a large sum for the Omega. The £2000 price point was just some sort of barrier for me. After all, I’ve owned cars that were cheaper than that.

It was my regret over missing the “bargain” Omega that helped me to have the courage to raise my sights & go for the BBR.

Also, the principal of “more is less” can come into play too. For example, I have, on occasion, gone for the cheap option, to scratch an itch, only to end up getting what I really wanted in the first place and having to take a loss when flipping the “pale imitation” of my desire!
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Re: On stepping things up

Post by H0rati0 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:52 am

It really depends on how weighted you are towards the "quality" side of your equation. I have no personal experience of Stowa or Laco but the original pieces fetch high prices in both cases. I would suspect that Laco have lowered their game in their modern iteration while Stowa have remained true to their heritage. If you want quality I think Stowa will have the edge.

The other issue is price vs good value. Stowa are not expensive in the scheme of things - try IWC for example.

Just a thought, have you looked at Steinhart as a compromise?
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Re: On stepping things up

Post by Soporsche » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:12 am

Its a funny one and im sure a dilemma a lot of us have faced.
My experience was striving for value/quality/unique.. but not wanting to stretch to big sums. I loved the vintage automotive/racing watches of the 60s/70s but found myself buying quantities of 'similar' styles from modern era at much lower budgets (£2-300)... It didn't scratch the itch!!
I then happened to be in a very fortunate position when 2 big bargain came along and I pulled the trigger on an original Heuer Silverstone at c.£X and an original Heuer Monaco at the same sort or budget.... 2 of my then grail watches in months. They were lovely, I looked at them a lot, admired them and enjoyed owning them... However, I wasn't comfortable wearing them, just couldn't be that relaxed with so much money on my wrist. So they stayed in the box and i didnt get to really interact, I continued wearing the £2-300 watches. When i needed the funds for other stuff, I sold the 2 grails.
Skip forward a few years and i have steadily got more used to wearing a bit more value but even so think CWs have appealed because they are great quality but not ridiculous £ and are wearers not watch box queens.
Its a journey and a personal one that a forum like this can only help guide and inform (and has/does very well) but you have to be happy with the expenditure and relative value.
The one takeaway I would say is, if you compromise too much you will potentially end up with more watches but less satisfaction, if you aspire to value/quality and acquire more carefully/sparingly then possibly less watches in the collection but greater satisfaction.
I still struggle with the last bit and despite trying to rationalise for logic/financial reasons have bought 4 in 3 months, its a compulsion 🙄😬😁
P.S. I think Stowa or Steinhart could both be decent bets from 2 of the bigger brands
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Various others: Heuer, Tudor, Dan Henry, Seiko,..

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Re: On stepping things up

Post by PaulJS » Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:34 am

I concur with a lot of what Soporsche has said - it is easy to spend quite a lot of money ( either individually or cumulatively) while not achieving the objective of having a watch that meets the technical criteria and the emotional ones.

Equally, there is always the risk of ending up with something that is too precious to wear on a regular basis.

My own experience is of getting a Speedmaster II re-issue as my first expensive ( to me ) watch. I loved it so much that it rarely left the house and I got very little use from it. Then, one day I went to open our glass sliding door and accidentally caught it on the metal handle putting a little nick on the case top. It is hardly visible unless you know its there but it was enough to make me realise that I either needed to get rid of it or just get on and wear it!

I did the latter and now use it when ever I feel like it unless doing something like building work or working on a vehicle. Perversely it has not picked up a single further mark!

I then went on to buy a second Speedmaster ( from sales corner and from your side of the world ) and I treat this exactly the same, again without any damage - I am now looking around for large pieces of wood to touch as I type :lol:

So my view is....step up to what you really want or you will forever be dissatisfied with the near miss compromises.

As long as you are certain that you will be able to wear it without over worrying.

Oh, and if it is a really significant cash outlay then insure it so that if the worst happens all is not lost.

Cheers,

Paul
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Re: On stepping things up

Post by Caller » Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:33 pm

I don't think Laco have lowered their game by using myota. What they have done is made themselves more accessible in other markets, such as here in Thailand. Smaller wrist sizes can help as well. I have tried the cheaper Laco range and I thought they were great. For the price they're a bit of a no brainer really.
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Re: On stepping things up

Post by Noush » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:31 am

I'm loving this commentary, just what I was looking for.
In this moment I'm going to enjoy my new C65 Trident and the time will come organically for that next watch. Pleased to say I really like all four of the watches I currently have in their own ways. The Hamilton currently does the work/tool watch duty but in fact has its own charm and I think I might grab a "beater" watch for work (Hamilton occasionally) and put the Hamilton into "leisure rotation" and see how that plays out for wrist time. I wore it Saturday just because I like it.

Yesterday a public holiday here and I spent quality time with my daughter, her husband and my 3 year old grandson. I have quite the bromance with the little guy. He loves my watches, especially the (under-appreciated!) Junghans Chronoscope which does cool things when you re-set the chronograph. Can't get enough of it. His parents own fine Baume & Mercier watches but hardly wear them. Fitness (cycling) fanatics they have smart things that do all sorts of performance measuring. Analog is so much more fascinating at 3! "Do it again Noush!"
I'm saying this because as a new-ish grandfather I have this romantic idea of passing something significant on to him when he comes of a suitable age like my own grandfather did. You feel you want to make that happen somehow but in reality he must do that choosing. The choice of a 3 year old quite different to say an 18 year old!

Quite by accident I discover that Marc of Long Island Watches has established his own micro-brand. He's done a Seiko NH35 (hacking) based Flieger Type B for USD199. 100m WR and sapphire crystal too. Perfect "beater"? Things like the Stowa Ikarus and Steinhart are very different animals so no "conflict"....hmmm.

Chris
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Re: On stepping things up

Post by albionphoto » Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:53 pm

You might enjoy reading Downer's rules

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=33126&p=477407&hili ... es#p477407

Somewhere on this forum is a seven stages of watch collecting thread but I can't find it right now.

Mark from Long Island Watch has indeed started making his own watches. They are made in small batches and are supposed to be fully interchangeable with Seiko SKX watches.

If you want a watch that you may be able to leave to your grandson in a few years time (congratulations on your young family btw) then you might find one watch that you'll wear every time you see the young fellow and it will, hopefully, become a watch and brand that he will follow and enjoy later in life. It seems that your Chronoscope might already be fulfilling that role. This approach worked on me (I'm sure inadvertently) as my father always wore an Omega Geneve when I was growing up. I still have it and wear it occasionally. It helps explain, I think, my love of Omega watches now.
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Re: On stepping things up

Post by Amor Vincit Omnia » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:06 pm

albionphoto wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:53 pm

Somewhere on this forum is a seven stages of watch collecting thread but I can't find it right now.
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Re: On stepping things up

Post by albionphoto » Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:53 pm

Thank you Steve. I will bookmark this right away. :clap: :clap:
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Re: On stepping things up

Post by Noush » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:45 am

Well, Mark and Steve, those were good links/threads to read. Ta.

Today I learned a good lesson about how I feel about the watches I have. A bit more "precious" (me) than I had admitted to myself perhaps :)
The Hamilton has been my work/tool watch and today copped a fair accidental "whack!". It is place where those things can and do happen and my previous work watch (Citizen) has the scars to prove it. It does look better than it has any right to, but it's no beauty....

The good news is for now, no harm done (relief!). It's a no-nonsense field watch but I do enjoy it for that. Clever details, much to appreciate. And I don't like the idea of bashing it up.
I think I need a "beater" but it does need to be at least interesting. Long Island's "SKX Improved" are all well and good but not cheap enough. His Flieger styles are all sold out almost as soon as they arrived. Email from Marc says more will be "a few months". They do tick all the boxes. But I think I need to do this before contemplating whatever might take my fancy in the future. For sure I discover that high-end (Rolex, Omega etc) in a watch is not in my comfort zone.

Chris
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Re: On stepping things up

Post by albionphoto » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:55 pm

Hi Chris
I wear a $12 USD Casio or a G-Shock as my beater watches if I think I'm going to be working in a way where they could be significantly damaged. That said, I'm not kind to any of my regular wear watches and now I look at the scars on my "luxury" watches as signs that they are mine. That attitude does take a bit of time to develop though. It might help if you look at you Hamilton as having been personalised by life. It's now a unique watch and you'll be able to look back and say, "I remember the day it got that scar, that scar, that scar, etc." At least a work scar is better than the excuse I have to use of "the cat knocked it off the bathroom cabinet..." Which is actually true, but not very romantic.
There may be some good Orient watches that meet your needs too.
Mark
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Re: On stepping things up

Post by Lavaine » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:57 pm

Sounds like you are having a fun journey Chris. One of the great things about this hobby is that the search can be as enjoyable as the ownership. I find the watches that I've spent a lot of time finding are some of the most interesting ones, because they have a good back story.
I would have to echo your comments on the Hamilton Khaki Field. It's meant to be a rough and tumble field watch, but it has a certain subtle charm that makes you want to protect it just a little more. They are beautiful watches when you start looking at the details, and wear well with so many different straps. The good thing about the Khaki is that the style also lends itself to a little wear and tear. I certainly don't want mine getting too beaten up, but I don't worry about the small marks and dings. They fit right in with the style of the watch, and become almost invisible in daily wear.
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Re: On stepping things up

Post by Dancematt » Thu Jan 30, 2020 12:11 am

Just follow your gut, if it doesnt think its a good idea then its not.
I miss all the great things that may never be.

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Re: On stepping things up

Post by Noush » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:47 am

For those following the story....
A "beater watch" has been found and ordered. Seiko SKX809. It's actually been tracking down the right thing.
WR not ideal but shouldn't cop more than the odd splash at work. At least it's interesting, has a story, in-house movement, looks good with flieger-style dial and cost all of 20% of the Hamilton. I will see bangs and scrapes as life-patina, not disaster, so happy with this.

i have indeed learned much from the commentary on this thread, useful going forward. Thanks all.
Chris
CW C65 Trident Diver, Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic 38, Tissot Carson Premium, Junghans Form C Chronoscope, Seiko SNK809

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