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I would like to purchase a nicer watch than my budget allows for my husband for xmas. I really need to keep it in the $2500 range. Is it possible to get anything interesting at that price range? I am attracted to the chrono look. He is not (yet) a collector, so I am reluctant to go vintage not knowing what he would think of that. Can anyone recommend some brands & specific styles that I should consider?
Thank you for any assistance you can provide.
 

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OK, chrono look then. Try to google "Valjoux 7750". You will get tons of possible watches. Narrow it down to some of them in your price range and come back with "your" pre-selection to discuss with our members.
 

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Hi and welcome, lucky guy you have...Have you any idea what your looking for such as quartz / battery or mechanical and finish such as stainless, black, goldtone?
For the amount you want to spend, you have several possibilities, the more you give us the better we can suggest to you.
 

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Take a look at the website Omega watches, Tag Heuer watches, Breitling Watches, Longines watches, Baume & Mercier watches. They are a grey dealer. It is a good repository of retail and grey prices. And it is great to do window shopping. You can choose the chronograph filter. That will show you only watches with that function in order of price. Exactly what you need.

Keep two things in mind. Chrono movements are more complicated and thus more expensive. The two most expensive things in a watch are the case and the movement. If the movement takes the lion's share of the budget there is not much left for the case. Being more complicated means that they are also more expensive (double) to maintain. A mechanical watch needs a maintenance service about every 7 years (some sooner) with daily wear. This will usually cost between $200 and $700. On the higher end with chronos.

That said, I second Mikes recommendation of a 7750. It is an excellent movement and the go to choice in this price class. As brands you can look at Mido, TAG and Hamilton. Perhaps also Damasko and Sinn from Germany, as well as Stowa for their 1938 dress chrono. All of these combine the famous 7750 with cases that are really very good. Perhaps Tissot, too.

Don't go vintage on your first buy. You can get amazing deals going vintage but you can also get royally screwed if you don't know what you're doing.

If this is his first watch, I'd perhaps rather go with a simple three-hand watch with date for starters. OTOH, the $2500 price point is kind of a dead price point in terms of price/value relation. You can get watches at or around 2k or even $600 that are not worse than what you get at $2500. That's when talking three-hand. When talking chrono, there are indeed a couple of deals to be had, basically those are in the brands I listed above. These brands generally offer excellent value for money and are well respected. But besides Tag, Tissot and Hamilton you won't find them in the mall or even in boutique stores because they are small brands.

Sidenote: Purchasing a nicer watch than your budget allows might be your way of saying you want a particularly good deal. If so, see above. If it means you really shouldn't spend that much, then you REALLY shouldn't. Watches in this price class have terrible value retention.

I'd seriously consider something like a Mido Commander COSC or a Seiko SARB. Both will be in the $5-600 range and are wonderful watches that have strictly nothing to envy to watches in the $2500 category.
 

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I thought Tag's were a no-no based on other threads I was reading? What about Longines?
 

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You've already received some good advice...browse online to get a better sense of what it is you are looking for. Is this to be a dress watch, casual, worn at the office? Note that even within the chrono category, there is dressy chrono and sporty chrono.

If your husband is not a watch guy, would he care if it is a mechanical watch vs. quartz?

Also, I would recommend sticking to "name" brands, by which I mean ones that most people know of, like Tag Heuer, etc. as he may not appreciate an unknown to the masses brand like Stowa or Sinn.

Finally, how flexible are you on price (is $2,500 the most you can spend or do you have some give (say +/- $300)? As Watchalex mentioned, the $2,500 price point is neither here nor there. However for a few hundred more (after AD discount), best watch i can think in your price range would be this:



Omega Seamaster 300m Chronograph. Priced at $4,100, but could be had for under $2,900 after AD discount. Well known brand, chrono, can be dressed up or down, COSC chronometer certified, and beautiful.
 

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I thought Tag's were a no-no based on other threads I was reading? What about Longines?
You read the wrong threads. There is no "no no". However that's what I was afraid of. What about Oris, what about Longines, what about Victorinox, what about Steinhart, what about Certina, what about Raymond Weil, what about Hamilton, what about Zeno, what about Mido, what about those 100000000 other brands.
Make a pre-selection by using google pics and let us discuss further then.

Flick through Watchuseek, lots op pics here........

Here's just one thread....https://www.watchuseek.com/f7/recommend-some-valjoux-7750-chrono-watches-159106.html...and there are more.
 

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I LOVE that Omega & yes, I have a little wiggle room. I told you I was clueless - have no idea what "AD" discount is and best place to look -
 

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Mike, I understand what you are saying. I am trying to narrow it down - but it's hard.
 

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AD is an authorized dealer. As opposed to a grey dealer. Look at prestigetime for the initial selection. Where you buy is up to you. I just use it to quickly look up prices and specs.

Difference between AD and grey dealer is that grey in the US typically does not provide a mfr warranty but replace it with their own. If the mfr warranty for two years is worth several hundred dollars (or thousands) to you, then buy at an AD. That's what it boils down to. But there are many threads on that to read up on.

I also think biddub's Omega suggestion is very good.

Tag is not a "no-no". They do make good watches. It's just that many here are so snobby now, they wouldn't consider a Tag based on snob appeal for themselves. I count myself among those people. Yet I know they make good watches and that many like them. They are also in your price range. That's why I can recommend them.

Basically, a 7750 movement is a 7750 movement. There are some varying degrees/versions of it but in the same price class they most all will have the same degree of 7750 in them. So in terms of quality of movement there won't be a difference. Difference will be in looks, prestige and brand. In some cases also in fit and finish. I'd say Tag is as good as Omega in that regard. And Oris is very, very, very close to the two but much more affordable. Thus probably the better deal.

Look at this:
movadobaby_2186_2404622.jpg

It has a 7750, is 300m water-resistant, has sapphire. Just like the Omega. But it adds a Titanium case. Usually much more expensive, lighter and anti-allergic, as well as even more rust-proof. Cost is $2500 grey. It does not quite have the prestige of Omega but otherwise is just as good or better a choice. Still, I like the rec bigdubs gave you.
 

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Tag Heuer Monaco Chronograph - some dedicated searching may make it stay in your price range.
Maybe he'd be into Bell and Ross? Again, a bit over the price range but you can make it happen...
Baume et Mercier - a number of their models.
 

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I agree that $2500 is an odd zone. You have many terrific choices under $1200 (Revue Thommen, Oris, Hamilton Tachymiler, Mido, etc) and maybe slightly cooler looking ones for around/under $1800 (Longines, Oris, Louis Erard, etc).
Otherwise, you gotta go to 3500~4000+ to get an entirely different grade.
At $2,500, you're probably wasting 700-800 just to see a name.

If you are "clueless," what about your husband? Is he knowledgeable about watches?
The maybe your best bet would be to just get him a gift certificate so he can choose for himself.

Otherwise, if you are both equally "clueless," then I'd suggest holding off altogether till one of you gets some clues together.
It'd be a shame if he didn't like it, and felt he had to keep it for memory's sake; or to later sell on eBay for much less than its value.
 

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Mike, I understand what you are saying. I am trying to narrow it down - but it's hard.
Can only imagine - given that most of us buy watches that "speak to us"..............ones we really like & that is quite different for everyone. I realize xmas is really fun when there's a suprise under the tree, especially this one..........but......given the level of $$$ involved & making certain he really likes it - what I might do is put a box with picture/carboard cut out under the tree & a note saying we're going watch shopping. It might not have quite the "ooh & aahh" factor but he might have fun shopping for one that jumps out at him.

My wife bought my SMP for xmas one year & that was great but she already knew that was my favorite watch of all time......................unless you know the same?

My wife has taken my shopping for my xmas presents before (& I for her) - doesn't make them any less memorable, in fact the shopping has sometimes been better than just tearing open a package as you're quite certain that's the one they really, really want.

That's a really nice budget you have many choices in your range.
 

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I thought Tag's were a no-no based on other threads I was reading? What about Longines?

Heuers are absolutely not a no-no. Some people are quite snobbish about them, but I think that is a result of Tag Heuer's success; no one hates a loser, but the vitriol for winners is unbelievable at times. Everyone loves to see someone knocked off a pedestal. I have a Monaco and I wouldn't trade it for any watch in the world, at any price point. Now, Tag Heuer may not always offer the greatest value at any given price point, but that's just a dash of realism in the shiny Tag-Hate parade.

Longines is a great choice; they have lots of cool looking chronographs at reasonable prices with good build quality and proven movements. Personally, I think Longines represents a very good value at this time, as Omega is raising its prices (they're both owned by the Swatch Group). I'd also look at Hamilton; only the top of the line models will really come close to your budget; you get a good name, very good build quality, and proven, if not fancy, movements. I have three myself and I think they're fantastic.

One thing to consider is your husband's wrist size. If it's rather large (around 8" in circumference or larger) then I would look exclusively at watches with a 44mm case diameter (not including the width of the crown) or larger (though I'd personally draw the line at 48mm). If it's between 7 and 8 inches, I'd go with 42-44mm. 40-42mm is what I'd call a safe bet for most wrists. My wrist is 7.75" or so and I wear watches from 40mm to 47mm.

Check out Hamilton, Longines, Oris, and on the higher end of your budget, Omega, and see if there's anything there you think he'd like.
 

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Do you know what kind of style chrono he would like (diver, pilot, etc)?

That Omega Seamaster above is excellent choice and will easily last a few lifetimes :).

Longines has several nice chronos as well. If you have time, I would stop by a Tourneau, Ben Bridge, Omega Boutique, etc. to narrow down what you like and then you can start hunting for the best price.

Also, do not pay retail if you buy from a store, there is plenty of room for bargaining and in most cases you can get a discount of 10-25%.
 

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I say go thru his web history and see what type of brand and/or watches he looks at the most
 

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Tag Heuer, Oris, Raymond Weil, Longines, Baume and Mercier, and Hamilton are all very good brands in your price range.

Specifically take a look at the Tag Heuer Link Chronograph models, as well as the Tag Aqua Racer Chronos. They might fit the bill.

Tag makes a good watch, plus the name evokes a known status. The watches are sold at many of the better department stores and jewelers, so it should be easy for you to find a seller and check some of them out.
 

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If he prefers big/chunky watches, the Seiko Velatura automatic chronograph SRQ001 (cal. 8R28) can be had for about $2500. It's a solid watch with a great movement, if he has big wrists he can definitely pull it off.

(borrowed image)

For something a little more discreet, the Longines Column-wheel chronograph (ref. L2.733.4.72.2) from its Heritage model line ...

(borrowed image)

This one's a little over $2500 after an AD discount ...
 
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