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I'm about to buy my first decent watch. But I cannot decide between an Archimede pilot watch and the Citizen eco drive promaster sky (BY0085-53E).

Archimede:
- I like the fact that it's automatic because i think the movement is amazing.
- Maybe a problem if i don't wear it for longer periods from time to time (weeks?) because of my job?
- I like the fact that with proper maintenance this watch wil in theory last forever.

Citizen:
- Radio contolled, so never have to worry about it showing the right time.
- a lot of cool futures (that you'll never use ;) )

At the moment I have a cheap automatic watch that doesn't keep time at all,. And it annoys the .... out of me. But I've heard that a good one keeps good time.
How often do you have to reset an automatic watch? once a month?
How bad do I have to worry about shocks and automatic watches? can I skydive with them?

Which one would you buy and why?

Hopefully someone can give me some insight in this and help me decide.
 

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Welcome!

Right. The archimede uses an eta 2824 movement [edit actually depends which one you're looking at but the below broadly applies to automatic mechanical movements, specs give or take] - not sure which grade (probably standard as its not specified otherwise) which has specified daily accuracy of +/- 12 seconds a day. But one day it might be 12s + and the next 12s - so after 2 days it's bang on. Or just 12 seconds fast every day so 1 minute out a week. Or it might run perfectly - pot luck. If this isn't good enough its possible to get a watchmaker to regulate it and attempt to improve on this, for maybe £40. The very best mechanicals are chronometer-certified and are spec'd to about 5spd, fyi.

It has a power reserve of about 38 hours so when fully wound (after a day of reasonable activity) it will go that long sitting on a desk until it stops. Stopping is just fine, but you'll need to reset the time when you pick it up again, which takes 30 seconds. Doesn't bother lots of us.

[Edit: unless you're looking at the handwind with the 6498 movement in; this isn't auto and must be wound every 2 days or so]

Shocks are fine - it can take them. Our grandfathers wore mechanical watches in the war before they even had shock protection. No problem skydiving, unless it falls off your wrist at 15k, in which case it will probably need a polish ;-)

I'd buy the mechanical but that's because I prefer them to quartz and don't care about accuracy. But the quartz is technically superior in pretty much every way, except perhaps that it may not last 200 years with regular servicing like the archimede will.
 

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If you want accuracy capable of timing the eclipses of Jupiter's moons, go with the Citizen eco-drive by all means. Otherwise, the Archimedes will be accurate enough for regular use. If you don't wear it for protracted periods of time, and it stays in the drawer for several days or several weeks, wind it up before you wear it. 10 times should do it so it has a bit of a power reserve before you put it on your wrist. then as you wear it, it will gradually wind itself up.

As for it theoretically lasting forever if it has proper maintenance, it's something like all the 1950s and 1960s American cars still on the road in Cuba. Yes, it will last, but it's a machine, so no, it won't last until the furthest generations of mankind.
 

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Both quartz and mechanical have their place. I like to have both TBH.

If you get a watch with the 2824 movement just take it gentle with the winding. It doesn't need much, if any, but it is the movement's Achilles heel.
 

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Both quartz and mechanical have their place. I like to have both TBH.

If you get a watch with the 2824 movement just take it gentle with the winding. It doesn't need much, if any, but it is the movement's Achilles heel.
I've just discovered that. I've got one that needs to go to a watchmaker to fix the winding gear. Dammit!!
 

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I think you've summarised the pros and cons of each watch quite neatly. If one calls to you more than the other that is the one you should go for IMO.
 

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So, you're comparing two very different animals there.

The promaster sky is an awesome watch, pretty much right at the top of the list of useful features you'll find on any watch, and accurate as well. Citizen RC movements have a specification of a few seconds a month, and routinely beat it, without synchronising. When they sync, of course, they're within a fraction of a second every time. But this is a modern international airline pilot's watch, optimised for the sort of things you do when flying around the world all the time.

An Archimede or Orient pilot watch, on the other hand, is hearking back to classic wartime pilot watches, which were more about readability.

If you're after accuracy, there is no comparision, the Citizen is going to be vastly better than any mechanical watch, and it's a technological marvel of its own. It should also be more reliable, eco-drives tend to run for at least a couple of decades with no maintenance.

Some say mechanicals have more 'soul', I think that's bunk because quartz took more and better engineering... it's just a bit harder to understand. But there's nothing wrong with appreciating mechanical movements, I have a couple myself... I just don't rely on them for critical applications.

As for style, your call. Citizen have classic style pilot watches as well, and other brands do them in quartz too.
 

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Yeah, what Andrew ^^^ said.

The Archimede is inspired by a German WWII pilot watch worn by combat pilots. It's strictly a mission timer and was meant to be legible when you were being shot at.

The Citizen is inspired by a post-war 'calculator' pilot watch that gives an abbreviated slide rule to estimate fuel usage and airspeed and other things. IIRC (someone please correct me if I'm wrong) it's meant to be a tool for a solo pilot who flies between time zones. Look at Breitling for an earlier mechanical version of this watch.

I've heard of people using the rotating bezel of the Citizen-style watch to do things like act as a tip calculator. If you like to geek out like that, you'll definitely have fun with a watch with that amount of detail. Otherwise, I'd think it over - I've seen people get sick of that much stuff on the dial pretty quickly. Citizen does make cleaner watches that still have the solar and even atomic features, so keep looking.
 

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Thanks for the reply's
I'm looking at the archimede pilot 45
That's a good looking legible watch if you've got the wrist for it. The Orient would be good buy too, one is just more upmarket than the other, with the Archimede providing a double AR coated sapphire and a more upscale SW200 movement and likely a more solid and better finished case. Probably a better strap too, but whether the price difference is worth it is up to you.
 

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Autos are great, but mine came after my Eco-Drive. The reliability of an Eco-Drive is just outstanding when you need it.
 

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I always had cheap Casios/Timex strapped to my wrist back in my non watch days. They were accurate, robust, took a beating and just went on and on. But I never looked at them like my offspring either.

My first 'real' watch was a Seiko black monster. I wore the heck out of it and it took some serious beating. Coincidently, that was what started off my hobby as when the time came to replace it, it also kick started my watch fetish.

It's just me...if I have to spend $500, I'll never spend it on a quartz...I need an automatic. If I want accuracy, even a $50 Timex will easily suffice.
 

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I went through a similar decision recently as well. I had an automatic that kept horrible time (lost 3-5 minutes per day) and went back and forth between a Citizen radio controlled watch, a quartz and some sort of automatic. I ended up with the Citizen. For me it came down to which one I liked the looks of the best.

I see both solar powered and radio controlled as being plusses. Not worrying if my watch is off at all or is displaying the correct date is nice. Not having to worry about batteries or winding is really nice, too. It's just easier. You also get more useful features for way less money. You can get a chronograph and a perpetual calendar without spending thousands up front and having to spend thousands more in upkeep over the next 20 years.

Automatics are definitely cool and seen as more "legit" by many watch enthusiasts, and there is some merit to that. Electronic devices are ubiquitous anymore, so having a purely mechanical device is a bit more unique and interesting. Setting them periodically isn't a huge deal, either. I wouldn't worry about that. Some people actually enjoy interacting with their watches. FWIW, I still plan on getting an automatic eventually.

The theoretical life of an automatic is longer but unless you have a watch that you know will hold it's value really well, or there's some sentimental attachment other than "I bought it a long time ago," it's hard to say whether or not you'll actually get more than a couple decades out of it. Even with future generations, when the only story behind the watch is, "My grandpa bought it on Amazon 50 years ago," it's probably better to leave a heirloom that doesn't require maintenance and has a better chance of appreciating in value. YMMV on all of that, though. It's impossible to tell someone else what is and isn't sentimental. I'm just going through the thought process I went through when making the same decision.
 
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