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Hi all,

I've been lurking on this site and really enjoying so many threads here. I tried to find some advice posted for this question, but haven't really found an appropriate thread.

My 14 year old niece will be having her confirmation soon ( it's a Catholic rite where adolescents "confirm" their Catholic faith, a sort of growing up rite of passage). I'd like to buy her a special watch, something she can wear long into her 'womanhood'.

I'd like for it to be an automatic and the budget is $400-600ish. I've seen some really nice Tissot options, but I'd really love to get her something from a less ubiquitous brand - if it were a boy I'd be looking at Steinharts or G. Gerlachs. Are there any watchmakers of that ilk, but for ladies watches?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!



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Check out Christopher Ward. They have nice quality watches, alot of women's models, and they also have a sale going on right now on some of their women's watches.
 

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Are you sure you want it to be mechanical? Most women don't like mechanical watches -- the need for winding and servicing are too much. There are exceptions, but I feel like they prove the rule.
Additionally, teen-agers are really brand conscious. Getting a catholic girl a polish watch (or something the equivalent thereof) will probably send her into a state of confusion-- she won't know that it's expensive, or particularly nice, because she's not heard of the brand. She probably won't understand how much more craftsmanship goes into a mechanical watch (even a Chinese one).

And I appreciate that you want to buy her something that she can "grow into," but that means having to service a mechanical before it'll actually be most appropriate for her to wear!

I think I'd choose a nice Citizen Eco-Drive, or perhaps Bernhardt's Delphine if you want to be different.


Or a nice looking Chris Ward. Quartz, but you can tell it's got class to it. Plus it says "London" on the face!:
Victoria - Deco - Leather - S30-ROM-SWK - Quartz - Swiss Made

The other alternative is to go vintage. You'll be looking at handwinds, not automatics, but I'm sure you can find something really nice for a couple hundred bucks. Add in a service, and you're at your price point.

I always get mad at posters who don't listen to what the OP wants, but I think I'm being realistic here.

best of luck!
 
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Sigh... I hate being that guy who ignores the OP's request.
Okay, here are three options. As someone else said, there are a couple of nice Orient automatics that would work. (Would she like a watch that says "Orient" on it, though? For people not in the loop, that may sound like it's cheap Chinese.)

No. 2 -- Uhren von Uhr's 205. It's less than $350, has sapphire and an ETA movement, is 32mm in diameter (a presence without being manly) and is classy as classy can be.
Watches from UHR - Uhren von UHR - UHR-205
It's a shame is doesn't say "swiss movement" on the face, but oh well.


3. Vostok Lady First. Just the opposite -- colorful and fun. Less than $150, but pretty much only available on eBay (they're discontinued) and colors are limited.
Russian Women's Diver VOSTOK Amfibia Lady First Wristwatch 570068 New | eBay
 
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The Laco or Achimede pilots in 36mm might suit her
4919-a15-dia-gal.jpg 861798-4.jpg

Both are within your price range, are German made (cases + assembly), have display casebacks(a must for any mechanical watch), fit smaller wrists well and yet have a presence that is unlike any other blingy watches for women out there.
 

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Beats what I gave my niece for her FHC! (a cross from James Avery, and only silver at that- I feel so cheap now)

Since used has been raised as a possibility - there are a few nice appearing Cartier Tanks (of the "Must Du Cartier" variety) on the bay - saw 2 nice ones at 779 - 1 black, one cream, that looked like they had good gold coverage and dials. While both were manual winds I think that a Cartier would thrill any girl and would get lots of wear in the future.
 

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Most 14 year old girls will want a fashion brand. Gucci etc...
Again I think automatic is the wrong move... and limits your options.

Going by your specs I would try for:
Bulova BVA Series Diamond Automatic Ladies Watch 96R122 96R122.jpg

Or...

Tissot Le Loche Automatic Ladies Watch T41.1.183.53
 

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You can't go wrong with this Bulova imo, apart from...

Not sure why would you guys consider automatics as bad option. Only i can think of are slight accuracy problems and shock resistance. 14 years are very active and i'm not sure if they will babysit the watch like we do. But otherwise, most of mechanical watches don't really need the all glorified maintenance every 3 years or so. Most people send them to service (if at all) when they break down. And if all goes well, automatics can go without a service for decades even...

If you want durable watches that are accurate and trully maintenance free, what about these:
- Citizen Jolie
- Citizen BRT in white or pink (brand new series)
- Citizen Silhouette (mother of pearl dial model)
- Citizen Palidoro
- Citizen Bella

You may have noticed i've listed only Citizen models. The reason for this is the fact that they are accurate, maintenance free, shock resistant and generally durable and they come in very nice girly designs, yet they are classy and sporty enough not to be too serious looking. And it doesn't quite feel like some cheap chinese watch with its brand name. I was thinking to recommend a slightly more upmarket G-Shock class of watch, but that only comes as an option if she likes this sort of more sporty watches. There are some really nice looking Baby-G's you could consider. Very durable and since they mostly use casual button batteries anyone can buy them pretty much in any supermarket and i'm sure any dad could replace it at home. So, very low maintenance requirements. Or a solar and atomic G-Shock so it will always be accurate and she won't even have to adjust the time for DST changes. You can get them in various combinations of shapes and colors. Again, if she likes this kind of design, some girls do. The main issue i see with it are the materials used, plastic just doesn't feel like a material one should use for a watch that will be given for such special occasion. But realistically, it will be the most practical to live with it in her life.

The main problem with expensive branded automatics or even quartz is in the fact if she will even know to appreciate it properly. Maybe she has heard of Rolex, but i pretty much doubt she'll recognize any other brand. Maybe few fashion ones like Gucci, Bvlgari or Armani and that's it. If Tissot means something to you, it might not mean much to her and she could be much more happy with a kick ass looking Casio Baby-G. Just a thought. What's a shame is that Casio doesn't make Edifice models for girls. That would imo be a great option. Metal, more upmarket looking watch with sporty styling and durability...
 

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If you're willing to go quartz then the Meistersinger Neo is within budget;



One of the most beautiful womens watches on the market, it can also be had as an automatic but thats more around $1000.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow, really enjoying all the responses here, this community rocks!

So far, my contenders are Christopher Ward, Von Uhren, Bernhardt, Mondaine and Meistersinger (Quartz)

I hear where a lot of you are coming from with regards to auto, but I have to agree with Rejzor's point - autos can be very sturdy. My dad's newer (quartz) watch had an issue with its bracelet last week, so he pulled out his 1974 Seiko automatic which hadn't worn in years, gave it a couple of shakes and she's been running beautifully for him. That being said, I acknowledge that the significance of an automatic will be totally lost on a 14 year old.

I also hear and agree where a lot of you are coming from re brands, and how a 14 year old will be more excited at opening a Gucci, Burberry or (shudder) Fossil box... But you know how it is with kids when it comes to 'big occasion' gifts, you're also looking to buy something the child's parents will appreciate, as well.

Because of that, both Tissot and Bulova will be considered, as well. Because I'm starting to get into watch collecting, these brands might not get me as excited, but I know that my sister and her husband both consider Tissot and Bulova to be real "upmarket" brands.

It's a balancing act. Something she will open and like because it's pretty and 'cool', but also something where hopefully years down the road, if she ever really gets to know watches she'll know her uncle really put some thought into her gift.

BTW I already told my sister that when my daughters have their confirmation, to leave the watch buying to me LOL


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Wow, really enjoying all the responses here, this community rocks!

So far, my contenders are Christopher Ward, Von Uhren, Bernhardt, Mondaine and Meistersinger (Quartz)

I hear where a lot of you are coming from with regards to auto, but I have to agree with Rejzor's point - autos can be very sturdy. My dad's newer (quartz) watch had an issue with its bracelet last week, so he pulled out his 1974 Seiko automatic which hadn't worn in years, gave it a couple of shakes and she's been running beautifully for him. That being said, I acknowledge that the significance of an automatic will be totally lost on a 14 year old.

I also hear and agree where a lot of you are coming from re brands, and how a 14 year old will be more excited at opening a Gucci, Burberry or (shudder) Fossil box... But you know how it is with kids when it comes to 'big occasion' gifts, you're also looking to buy something the child's parents will appreciate, as well.

Because of that, both Tissot and Bulova will be considered, as well. Because I'm starting to get into watch collecting, these brands might not get me as excited, but I know that my sister and her husband both consider Tissot and Bulova to be real "upmarket" brands.

It's a balancing act. Something she will open and like because it's pretty and 'cool', but also something where hopefully years down the road, if she ever really gets to know watches she'll know her uncle really put some thought into her gift.

BTW I already told my sister that when my daughters have their confirmation, to leave the watch buying to me LOL


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In that case, go with the above Bulova 96R122. It is a well known brand with some pretty solid history, it looks really good (hell, even i like it and i'm not a girl :p ), automatic movement makes it maintenance free and maybe she will even like the open heart. The see through moving part will certainly be eye catching even if she doesn't really know what a mechanical movement is.
 

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I have to say I find that Bulova a bit tacky.
The open concept through a heart just appears quite cheesy to me.
This is the only one that manages to get away with it for me;



But it's super expensive.
In light of recent events, I hope I didn't offend anybody.
 

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You're in luck because while men tend to prefer autos ladies are more into quartz so the range of options is vastly increased. What sort of girl is your niece? I only ask this because if I had bought my daughters a girly watch when they were teenagers they would have been less than pleased. I know that me recommending the Tissot range is becoming a bit of a habit but they do make some very nice watches.
 

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Dont you people think some brands here are a little overkill in the price range? His best bet would be either quartz or some japanese/middle end swiss brands.
 

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she will even like the open heart. The see through moving part will certainly be eye catching even if she doesn't really know what a mechanical movement is.
I agree with this totally. The opening to the balance wheel gives a otherwise "princess" watch a little "steam punk" look...very in right now in some circles. Plus seeing what makes this watch different from boutique quartz offerings is a bonus.
 
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