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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
just curious about people's opinions on the matter.

what's the most well-made watch you've seen for less than $2000, or a price point of your choosing that is less than $2k? (2k new is where i draw the line for affordability - can be grey market pricing, doesn't have to be retail)

talking about the precision and finishing quality on things like the case, dial, indices, hands, etc. can include the movement but doesn't have to.

bonus points if they take advantage of their fit and finish quality and show it off with the design (omega style lugs, knurling, etc).

for me, the best fit and finish I've seen for under 200 dollars has to be the Orient Bambino.
i've never even gotten to see a watch over 2k outside of an AD, and i couldn't really get close enough to admire them.

ORIENT_BAMBINO_DIAL8-1024x682.jpg


basically i just want some eye candy, f71 style :-d
 

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Seiko monsters on bracelets. For under $200 I don't think you can beat it.
 

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I like citizens in terms of price/finish ratio
seems like in every price category there's a citizen or two to be unbeatable by that ratio
citizen supertitanium line, citizen marinaut line, citizen 8700 caliber line, nighthawk, blue angels, signature grand complication et c.
 

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Steinhart OceanBlack DLC for me. If the regular Ocean1 is good enough to make this list - the DLC coating ensures it stays that way for a long, long time!
 

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Of the watches I've had/tried..
Well, I like(d) my Orient guitar-watch, but it was quite pricey, so not a "value" deal - the design was def. adding a cost premium.


Value-wise, I think I was most impressed with the (asia version) Citizen Nighthawk. The pvd coating - even though not 'dlc' - was very strong, the finishing felt even and smooth all-round, case parts fitted together very well, and it just felt rock-solid. Considering the price it was available for, it's definitely a very strong contender.

Another one that really surprised me, was an Orient Rally semi-skeleton (cft 00004B model) - looking back on it now (sold long ago), it's case finishing was on par with orient star and above any microbrand/seiko I've had. Thing is, it's discontinued now, and really hard to get. But, if you don't mind lack of handwinding, it's (I think) the best thing you can get for $300ish.

As for the others...
Bernhardt Binnacle: okay for the price, but hooded lug-ends on the case had some non-crisp edges.
Aevig Corvid: just got it. Seems good, but very harsh brushing. Need to wait to tell more, too early so far.
L&H Orthos: bezel lift/wobble at 6 o'clock and way too tight to turn.
Seiko 5 (some sports model): eh. It's a seiko 5 - cheap, but also rough around the edges.
Seiko Stargate gen2: horrible QC problems (though I blame creationwatches in that case).
rest are not worth mentioning.
 

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Laugh if you want. But IMO the best fit/finish watch I've seen for under $50 is the Casio MDV-106. It punches well above it's weight for a 200m diver.
 

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My Marc and Sons diver. Same case and bracelet as the Davosa Argonautic, but with a more economical dial and movement for $240. It really has surprised me, and I'm very pleased that I took a chance on it. The crown action alone puts most other micro brand divers to shame.
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I have limited experience with many watches other than what I have. No one I know is really a WIS and I don't look at many watches in the stores. So these are all the watches I have, because I've kept them and I think highly of them. The latest ones - autos - are all watches I've extensively researched and discussed on here to the point of being absolutely certain I'd like them. And I have not been disappointed.

$300 to $400: I don't think Steinhart can be beat. My OVM2 is really well done. The bracelet really sets it apart - I can't resize mine the screws are so tight though - but the heft of the bracelet, solid end links, a nice movement, sapphire, 300M WR, and the attention to detail is just really nice. At $350, I don't think you can beat the SARBs available. I have the Alpinist and am really impressed. I have to get a different bracelet for it and got it secondhand, but it's really good looking. For what you get - Sapphire, in house 6R15, 200M WR, Compass inner bezel, gorgeous green dial, the best gold plating under $1,000 I've seen, screw down crown and good lume - I don't think there's a better watch out there.
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$200 to $300: I have Seiko solar and Bulova Precisionist at this price range. Both are anywhere from $205 to $250 depending on discounts and where you buy them. For what it's worth, I just wrote a thread about Bulova and not seeing them much on here. The precisionist line is in this area, and some sub $200, and it's amazing. The movement is really something and most of the designs, at least the dressy ones, are top notch. The finish on these is something to behold and you really have to look closely to see all the details. All the way down to the minute and hour hands having texture. The dials on the one I have an others in the lineup are really something you'd expect on higher priced offerings. The finish on the polish is great and the leather butterfly type strap I have is really great - head and shoulders above the Alpinist's. Oh and it's accurate to within 3 seconds...a YEAR. The Seiko I have just has really good heft. The solar keeps a charge and I have never had it run down. The tachymeter works great and is high beat. As I mentioned before, the gold plating is the best - I have a two tone. Good detail on the dial and a readable layout.
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Under $200: I think there's really only two options here - The Orient Mako and the Seiko SKX, in terms of auto divers. I have another Bulova here too that's my largest watch and hasn't been my favorite, but is really finished well - I don't think you can go wrong with these unless you pick a big, bulky, ugly one! ha. I have the Mako and from when I've received it to now I'm always impressed with it. The Bezel at 12 is slightly off, but doesn't ruin the watch for me. The blue dial and the elegant layout redeems it and then some. It's about the most versatile watch I've handled, especially when you throw in its price on the grey market, oftentimes hovering just over $100 depending on the color and strap options. The bracelet's not nearly as bad as people claim and works at this price range. The day crown is easy to change the day and doesn't get in the way or throw off the look in my opinion. The numbers on the dial and the bezel are really well done and make it look much less sporty. The raised indices and finish on the hands always make me stare. These catch the light quite a bit and just looks like a high quality piece. Ability to accept NATOs easily, go into the water, be dressed up or down, and the affordability make it a can't miss.

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Under $100: Limited experience here. I bought too many watches as I tend to get carried away when I first get into something. Happened with clothes, happened with watches. You get what you pay for and I've decided I want my collection to be high quality. But, that doesn't mean you can't get some good value below $100 depending on what you want. In my opinion, you're going to get the best types of active/tool watches in this price range. The Casio MDV106 is probably the best value and I've handled it. It's a great watch at $50 on Amazon. I have a G Shock that's MRSP is $150, but snagged it for $90 online. Atomic time, radio controlled, world time, timer, stopwatch, solar, alarm, digital readout plus analog hands, anti shock, 200M WR, and in this case, pretty subdued looks. I don't know what other watch under $200 even that you'll find all that tech in other than a Casio. Pretty awesome stuff. Not a looker, but it's not supposed to be. I can appreciate the looks though as an active watch and the bang for buck factor is an 11/10.
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Yep both said above already; seiko monster on bracelet (solid end links, brushing/polishing of case and bezel, knurled crown, domed crystal) and casio MDV106 (subtle sunburst dial, polished hands, applied markers) are outstanding quality for the price.
 

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Under 1K$, a Seiko Shogun SBDC007.....amazing the level of details and casework on a modestly prized watch. Brushed parts, polished angles, incredible curves that transform in subtle changes on the case sides.

I don't know how they can mass produce and deliver this for under 1K$. Check my watch collection on my profile, this is my best finished piece, I'm still impressed a year later when I handle it.

S.
 

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$38! The NATO is a premium from Crown & Buckle. Not a speck of paint where it ought not be, perfectly applied numbers and indices, strangely, it is a flawless dial. I love my Komandirskie hand-wind.

 
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