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I'm getting my first real luxury watch and I'm more or less set on getting a Fifty Fathoms (original, not Bathyscaphe) in black. But I keep flip-flopping between the 3-hand version and the flyback chrono. I prefer the aesthetics of the chrono version but I can't help but wonder if I'll end up regretting going this route. The watch's history is one of the major appeals for me and, in that regard, I understand that the 3-hand version is the choice of "purists."

Thoughts? Anyone own either version and regret their decision?

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Don't own either, I would go for the three hander because to me it looks better + a chronograph in my opinion doesn't belong on a diver watch.
 

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Welcome to the forums! I would opt for the chronograph. I agree with you that the chronograph version is more attractive. And that is saying a lot about how right they got this design because it rarely happens where a chronograph diver looks better than the three hand version.

The history of this watch (and brand for that matter) are already mottle so I wouldn't be let this factor in. I also wiouldn't be worried about any allegiance to the purity of dive watches (besides are you really going to dive with a 10k+ watch anyway?). What you are really buying here is a high qualty luxury sportswatch. Both are great in this regard, so I would buy the one you deem to be the best looking.
 

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I agree with you completely: I prefer the look of the Flyback Chrono and the history of the three hander. I honestly don't know which I would choose. It's such a problem for me that I've shied away from considering the Fifty Fathoms because of it.

My strategy would be to find a dealer who has both in stock, try them both on and pick the one that made me feel happiest in that moment. Then I'd never look back. If you do go this route please try to post some pictures.

Either way, you're ending up with a fantastic watch.
 

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I have the three-hand and and prefer it over the chrono. It's a beautiful, clean and classic looking watch... and as others have stated, a chrono complication has little place on a dive watch.

You will also need to be comfortable wearing a large watch, as this one wears big. It looks as big on my wrist as my 49mm Oris Prodiver.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the responses so far, guys! UberDave, I've actually tried both on a couple of times and those experiences only made this decision more difficult. o|

I know a lot of people think that chronos don't belong on divers but when done right, I think they look great (the JLC Deep Sea Diver is another example). I definitely won't be using this watch while diving but if I did, I can see the chrono function being useful in various situations. Historically, I believe that dive watches didn't have chronographs because of water seal issues related to the pushers, not so much because they wouldn't be of value... but this could just be my bias talking!
 

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I doubt anyone will be able to push you to either side of this particular fence. You clearly prefer the flyback chrono, so just do it.

Come back with pictures.
 

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The three hander FF is as classic and versatile as a submariner without being... yet another submariner.

To me the dial and bezel on the three hander are like peanut butter and jelly, but the dial doesn't seem to go well with the bezel on the flyback. That's just me though.
 

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My taste has evolved and I have moved on from my chronograph phase. I now prefer simpler, cleaner dials.

You need to think about where your taste lies.
 

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I have the three-hand and and prefer it over the chrono. It's a beautiful, clean and classic looking watch... and as others have stated, a chrono complication has little place on a dive watch. You will also need to be comfortable wearing a large watch, as this one wears big. It looks as big on my wrist as my 49mm Oris Prodiver.
That's interesting; I've always found the FF to wear smaller than the 45mm suggests. Fwiw, I don't own one, but have strapped a few on over the years.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My taste has evolved and I have moved on from my chronograph phase. I now prefer simpler, cleaner dials.
This is one of my other concerns. I'm just starting my collection so I'm wondering if I'm just in a chrono phase. I'm sure I'll get other chronos later and at that point I might look back and wish I got the three-hander.
 

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This is one of my other concerns. I'm just starting my collection so I'm wondering if I'm just in a chrono phase. I'm sure I'll get other chronos later and at that point I might look back and wish I got the three-hander.
If you think you'll be adding more watches in the future, I would definitely be thinking the three hander. When the time comes, get a chrono that was always intended to be a chrono such as a Speedy, Daytona, Zenith, etc.
 

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If you think you'll be adding more watches in the future, I would definitely be thinking the three hander. When the time comes, get a chrono that was always intended to be a chrono such as a Speedy, Daytona, Zenith, etc.
This is very good advice. There wasn't mention of future watches, so I assumed you were a one watch kinda guy.
 
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