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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Short version: first watch, what should I know about having a mechanical watch vs a battery-powered watch?

Hey guys. Newbie here. First post. About to get my first mechanical watch. I'm a twenty year old electrician, and I never cared for watches until recently when I decided to get a "real" watch. I set off to do some research...

So I found about these amazingly cool thing called moonphase watches from a friend. The discussion revolved around women's menstrual cycles and how people would use moonphase clocks to expect the unexpected from their wives and/or mistresses by offsetting the date and phase to match "that time of the month". As an amateur astronomy geek I said "I'll get one! I can keep track of my girlfriend AND the moon." So I did some googling and found the Sparaneva Korona RG/WG[/url] online. Upon inquiry the site owner told me that the watch is right about 22500 euros, and assured me that there was not supposed to be a dot before the two zeros in the price tag. I was floored.

So after a weird three hour journey of learning about watches I found the more affordable Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase for around 2900 CAD and I'm ready to purchase the gorgeous blue piece and an additional metal bracelet in case the alligator leather doesn't jive with what I'm wearing. If I'm spending this much on a watch I should at least look good doing it. Right now I'm wearing a Timex Expedition WR100M quarts watch that shows significant signs of wear and has begun to fall apart mostly due to water, chemicals, and cold outdoor working environments. I will probably get another quartz watch for work.

Anyway you should now probably have an idea of where I'm coming from. I have no experience with "real" watches. This will be my first. I've gathered that this is the type I don't have to wind up. I know I should not set the date between 8pm and 4am, and move the hands to 6pm or am before doing so, and that I should move the hands forward and never set backward. I also have learned not to wear the watch while unworking frozen bolts, using a jackhammer, or swimming every morning with it. All of this from a night of the oracle Google.

Before I spend more than twenty dollars on a watch for the first time, what else should I know? How did you get into watches? Should I never let the watch run out of power? Why is the Frederique a good or not good choice for me? The way I treat my telescopes, I hope to pass them down to my grandchildren. I also hope to go the same way with my watch. I realize that this means I cannot wear it everywhere and anytime. Speaking of which, are there colour combinations to be avoided? I am a fan of browns, reds and blues. People say I dress smart but I guess most of my decision making is unconcsious... it makes sense because I don't have my coffee until after I dress.

Also pleasure to meet you all. If I'm in the wrong forum or doing noobie mistakes just let me know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
In face I found the same watch - at least I think it is the same - for 500 CAD cheaper. The difference is it has the metal strap instead of the leather. So I should get that and exchange it. Now as someone who's never changed a watch strap before, I shouldn't have to worry righ? Ill assume it's pretty easy and online tutorials can help me. I'm glad, then, to have found this watch for only 2400 CAD.
 

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It's a good watch. I hope you are buying from Authorized Retailer instead of online. It's less problematic i guess. I saw it in person in Aruba, handed it and felt just right. It was a little bit out of my budget so i went with the more affordable FC Classic Index. There is a lot to know, so don't hesitate to ask your dealer anything (that helps too, in giving you confidence buying the watch). Read the watch snob column in askmen.com, it will give you an idea (kind of partialized though) of what the world of high-end watches is about. Personally, i never held +8K $ watches until i went to Aruba a few days ago. Have fun!
 

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Welcome to the world of watches slankoe. As someone here once said 'watches are like women...you only need one but you're always lusting for another'. My advice, for what it's worth, is to slow down and learn as much as you can before jumping in and spending $2500 on your first watch. Many of us, certainly in my case, bought my first few watches without really knowing what I wanted. I ended up selling them and took a hit on each one. As you learn, you'll know what appeals to you. Also, I wouldn't buy new. Many great used watches out there for much less than new. Like automobiles, new watches usually lose quite a bit of value as soon as you buy them. Only Rolex and Patek Phillipe consistently hold their value. Check out Archie Luxury videos on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLOraHBBeXk

Good luck. And btw, Frederique Constants are a great watch for the price, you won't go wrong buying an FC, but again, I would buy used from a trusted seller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hey, how's it going?

I went to a watchshop yesterday and decided to go for a mid grade before jumping into a (quasi) luxury piece. Having a good job doesn't mean I have to spend my whole paycheque in one go. So I bought a Bulova 96A119 for 404.25 CAD and I am quite happy with it. I figure this will be the "learning" watch that I can enjoy and at the same time practice caring for so that if I do go for the Freddy C, I'll be in good shape to make it last for as long as possible.

Although the glass here is apparently very scratch resistant, the stainless steel already has a few minor nicks in it. This is a good time to practice cleaning and polishing and I'll be running some searches on the forums soon about this.

This one's a beauty, I can see the heart of the watch from the front face, and I can see the pendulous winding weight from the back. I definitely like the metal bracelet. In fact I am considering getting my FC slimline with the metal instead of the leather. ...I think I did mention I'd prefer to get both a leather and metal strap. I'll definitely email the manufacturer and see if it is changable.

Having said all of this, I think that starting a collection has become inevitable. I know that one my Frederique is on my wrist I'll have passed the point of no return. I'm quite alright with that, and trust myself to keep it within reason.

Happy to be here, folks. I'll update the thread once I get the next piece. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Good bloody ....in' video by that Archie Luxury. I'll definitely look into a used FC! Since it's a new line of watches I may have to dig. There is a retailer about fourty minutes from me so I'll see how far I can haggle it down if I have to resort to it. Maybe some minor scratches from clients handling would work in my favour, I don't know. What do you guys look for when handling a potential purchase?
 

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Hi Slankoe, and I'm glad you're considering an FC Slimline Moonphase. Here are my suggestions before you proceed:

1) Spend a lot of time doing research on your potential purchase. Visit dealers of FC and of different brands so you can see what your alternatives are, and make some decisions on what you like and don't like about the watches. It's a lot of money, so take your time and investigate.

2) When possible, if you have any expectation at all that you want a bracelet on the watch, then buy the watch WITH the bracelet. Don't buy leather and then buy a separate bracelet, because that will invariably cost more than if you bought the watch on the bracelet in the first place and bought the leather strap separately. I have both the bracelet and the leather for my Slimline Moonphase, and truth be told, I like it on the bracelet more because I don't have to match leathers. But you can easily swap the bracelet for a leather strap if you just have the right tool - it's not hard.

3) Be aware of the costs down the line. When you go for something with a proprietary movement, realize that in 5-7 years you will likely have to send the watch to FC or its authorized repair center for service. Your local watchmaker probably won't have the parts if any need to be replaced. The in-house movement adds prestige, but also costs more down the line compared to a fairly standard, widely available movement (i.e., anything from ETA).

4) Buy the seller. If you look online, look for someone who has a lot of feedback or references, or an authorized dealer. I use WUS all the time to find out who are the good sellers who will stand by their product and help out if something goes wrong.

5) Regarding never letting the watch wind down: don't worry about it. Nice thing about the FC is that the date and moonphase are quick-set through the crown, and since there is no seconds hand you don't have to try to perfectly synchronize it with atomic time. If it winds down, no problem, just wind it up, set it, and wear it. If you want to put it on a winder to avoid resetting the time and date, then put your winder on 650 turns per day, clockwise and counterclockwise, and it'll keep running.

Hope these bullet points help. Getting a "starter" watch like the Bulova can help you figure out whether mechanical watches are for you. You will have to accept that they are not going to be as accurate as the Timex you wore (frankly, you should get a Casio G-Shock for work if you are that hard on watches) and will require more maintenance than just a battery change every few years. But this hobby gets expensive fast, so make sure you know what you like and have spent your hard-earned money on something that you aren't just "settling for."
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's been a while since I fell in love with the watch. I went to the only local dealer and it costs 3475 dollars canadian to buy the watch. A little bit more than the online prices. The dealer was kind and knowledgable. I brought my loupe and I think that put him a little on edge. I inspected my options very carefully. That blue dial is gorgeous indeed... there was a micron-layered (i don't know how many microns) gold plated one with blue leather strap. I settled on the steel with metal bracelet ad thought I'd buy a delpoyant strap online since they only had the buckle type in the store.

I decided to go for it, since it was only a couple hundred dollars more than online (canadian dollars don't translate so well right now..). The guy wants me to pay it off within 2-3 months, I said okay, I can pinch my pennies and make it happen. The deal was made as hands were shaken. They will hold the watch until I pay for it. I assume this is the way business is typically done in boutiques. In the meantime I got a green Freddy C baseball cap. Didn't see tha coming. I didn't see anything to haggle about, and I don't know ettiquite in that regard, so I didn't try to get a lower price. Is that something people typically do?

The steel Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon was really looking at me funny but I think I'll wait until I can afford such a watch without missing out on a car. But damn is it a beauty. I can getit online for cheaper though. Almost cheaper by the price of the FC I've started financing. I put $500 on it and the salesperson didn't seem to think ot was very much. He seemed kind of keen on me paying it off ASAP.

Well that's a summary of my past hour.
 
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