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Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking at a ton of watches over the last few months - so thank you all WUSers for the hours of entertainment looking at brands I've never heard of and learning a ton about watches. I've finally found a watch that I liked, and keep coming back to.

The Alpina Alpiner Manufacture AL-710S4E6 is awesome. I love the idea of an in house movement, reviews rate them as being rugged, it would look good with both a brown and black strap, and at 41.5 mm, I don't worry about it fitting my 6 3/4 inch wrist. The display back, saphire glass, and crown with logo are all items checked off my "wants" list. The raised numbers just look amazing (to me). The problem is - at $2,700 its just out of what I want to spend on this watch. However, on Joma Shop its listed at $1399 - which is well inside my budget.

An alternative would be the Startimer Classic
Startimer Classic (ref. AL-525SC4S6) – The Official Alpina Web Store
Its much cheaper - but has the ETA movement (modified by Alpina) and at 44mm I'm guessing would appear large on my hand.

My question - is Jomashop/Unauthorized dealer worth the cost, or does anyone have any alternative ideas for watches that fall below 1500 dollars that are similar to the Alpiner, or a suggestion of a watch that might wear similar to the Startimer Classic that would be readily available at most jewelry/watch stores to know if it will fit my wrist?

Thanks!
 

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One things I've learned with all the Jomashop/grey dealer questions is, where are you? If you are in the country of the dealer and it is a reputable dealer (I think the general consensus here is they are for sales, but questionable for service and repairs) then it is fine. Out of country you may have to deal with customs, which may eat into your savings. Since you like the Alpina AND spent a lot of time looking into it AND it is a reasonable price, I would recommend getting the Alpina over a similar watch as you'll just end up buying the Alpina for Christmas and then be stuck with two watches.

Personally, I've no issues in my dealings with Jomashop. Though I've only dealt with buying, not returning or repairs, where the bulk of the negative stories are from. However the odds a new watch will need repairs are pretty low.
 
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I think you have to ask yourself whether a mamufacturers warranty is worth the premium you pay for it. Only you know that answer. I have yet to use a makers warranty and I've owned a lot of watches. Joma provides a longer in house warranty FWIW.

I've bought from Joma and got exsctly what I ordered in perfect condition.
 

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If feel you must have the factory warranty - Give Marc a call for a quote at Leslie Gold Watch in Los Angeles. I've dealt with him in the past, got excellent prices quoted and service. If he doesn't have the watch you like in stock, he'll order it in.

Leslie Gold Watch Co. - Retailer of Fine Watches
 
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In any purchase there is always associated risks, but to minimize risks I always buy from reputable authorized dealers. I've had a bad experience with Jomashop (which was when I began buying from dealers only) but I've a close friend who has had a positive experience (search the board and you'll see similar, some people have complaints and others compliments).

I think you're eyeing a great piece in the Alpina, and if the piece with the AL-710 is currently just outside of your budget why not just wait a couple weeks/ months etc. until you can save up the difference? Get the watch you really want, even if you have to wait a bit longer, it'll be worth it in the long run (IMO).
 

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Purchased from Jomashop 2 weeks ago.


No problems and they offer an in house warranty for what that's worth. Also I purchased another watch from Jomashop a few months ago, ended up returning it with no hassel. Just followed their requirements for returns.
My wrist size is 7 1/4 and I find the Startimer fits perfect. Would not want it any larger, the lugs and bracelet are designed to taper around the wrist. The first center link although it looks like all the others is actualy fixed in place. I find this creates a nice taper on the wrist, great attention to detail in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for your input - incredibly helpful: I've gone ahead with Jomashop, and am eagerly awaiting confirmation that my order is done being processed.

I'm in the US (east coast) so shipping is cheap and fast if anything goes wrong with Jomashop. The price is low enough, I can get it serviced rather than use the Joma warantee - and hopefully I won't need it. I've read up on the complaints that people have had and know to thoroughly check out the watch for a few days before taking off any of the tags (that will take some serious self restraint). Otherwise, that watch is mine and I'm stuck either paying for repairs or dealing with the very slow Jomashop repair service. I can live with that.

I checked out Eterna and FC - and there are some incredible watches, but none of them "connected" with me in the same way.
I don't view the date function as being useful - but I like how it mimics the look of many other inhouse movement watches (RGM being my favorite) - but instead of a small second I get a sweeping second (which I love to watch on an automatic).

My price point isn't based on what I can afford right now, but more along the lines of what I can rationalize spending on a watch considering I'm planning a wedding and a honeymoon and would rather put extra money towards either of those two (honeymoon more so). I don't have a strong desire to buy authorized dealer when the manufacturer has a 2 year guarantee, the odds of something going wrong that early are small - though present - but not enough to be worth the money to me.

EROC - Thank you for the photos you posted and wrist measurements. You're right, that watch fits you perfectly. Knowing my wrist is a half inch smaller, it convinced me 44mm is going to be really on the borderline of how big a watch I can wear. That isa nice looking watch though.

I'll update with photos once the watch comes in (... or if... since I've heard its not uncommon for Joma to cancel orders)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks again - so I'll be getting the watch this week (according to the shipper) and it occurred to me - I know that with any Gra(e)y market dealer you should thoroughly test out the watch before taking any stickers or tags off and to be very careful with the packaging.

I'll be using a macro lens (or lupe if I get my hands on one this week) to look for any defects on the watch face, movement, crown, case and strap. This will include anything askew, scratches, or just doesn't look right.
I'll be winding up the watch by rocking it back and forth and hand winding it (how long does it take to get a full wind?) and letting it sit to run down to make sure it has a good reserve.
I'll check the movement for anything that seems off/unbalanced once it starts going.
Before setting the time, I'll spin the hour, minute and date hands a full rotation each to make sure they don't catch and are properly aligned.
I'll be setting the time as close as possible (not sure if the watch has hacking seconds or not) and checking for time loss after 24 hours.
Before going to bed, after the watch has had some time to sit out, I'll check the Lume.

I don't have any other complications to check, and I know not to bend the straps, or do anything that could prevent me from returning it. Does anyone have any other suggestions for checks I should do or things I should avoid that could result in me being stuck with a defective watch?
 

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I think you covered your bases. Just be sure to not size the watch or remove any of the protective stickers. Basically anything that would indicate your wore the watch or tried to wear it, once removed the watch is yours and they will not take the watch back, any defects become a warranty issue. Return shipping cost will be on you. Alpina makes a quality time piece I'm sure you will be as happy with yours as I'am with mine.


Thanks again - so I'll be getting the watch this week (according to the shipper) and it occurred to me - I know that with any Gra(e)y market dealer you should thoroughly test out the watch before taking any stickers or tags off and to be very careful with the packaging.

I'll be using a macro lens (or lupe if I get my hands on one this week) to look for any defects on the watch face, movement, crown, case and strap. This will include anything askew, scratches, or just doesn't look right.
I'll be winding up the watch by rocking it back and forth and hand winding it (how long does it take to get a full wind?) and letting it sit to run down to make sure it has a good reserve.
I'll check the movement for anything that seems off/unbalanced once it starts going.
Before setting the time, I'll spin the hour, minute and date hands a full rotation each to make sure they don't catch and are properly aligned.
I'll be setting the time as close as possible (not sure if the watch has hacking seconds or not) and checking for time loss after 24 hours.
Before going to bed, after the watch has had some time to sit out, I'll check the Lume.

I don't have any other complications to check, and I know not to bend the straps, or do anything that could prevent me from returning it. Does anyone have any other suggestions for checks I should do or things I should avoid that could result in me being stuck with a defective watch?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Agreed 100%
Thanks - I decided it wasn't worth the premium (50% discount) so I'll be going sans Manufacturer warranty via Jomashop.

That said, if you have any suggestions (in addition to what I listed above) for things to check for on the watch to minimize my chances of running into problems with it later on, I'd appreciate it.
 

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Great looking watch!

Lol, I gotta laugh a little because it sounds/looks like you jumped right in and tore all the tags off, strapped her on? If so, what happened to self restraint? Haha
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Great looking watch!

Lol, I gotta laugh a little because it sounds/looks like you jumped right in and tore all the tags off, strapped her on? If so, what happened to self restraint? Haha
Hah - yeah... I probably shouldn't have taken it out for the better part of a week.. but I got the watch Monday night, wound it up, made sure all the hands could do a full sweep, set the time to the second, put it back in the box, checked it 8 hours later then a full 24 hours later to make sure it was running. The watch gains about 5 seconds per day, which is fine by me.

However - one thing to say about Jomashop - the watch came with a tyvek tag on it. When I went to take the tag off, part of the tag, where the adhesive wasn't perfectly lined up with itself, touched the strap and left a mark. I can live with it though, - but just a word of warning.
 
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