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I'm trying to find a new beater or daily wear watch. I was kind of set on Invicta until after I did some searching and reading on them here. I don't really want to put my money in something like that if I don't have fiull confidence in the brand; and I don't. So far, I have been recommended Seiko, Citizen, and a smaller company called NFW. I'm trying to narrow my search but everytime I gain a little ground something happens and I feel like I must start over again. The watch will be worn pretty much every day. I have a nicer Rolex GMT II with pepsi dial, but I only wear it for special occasions. I'm looking for something of similar build and features, but not the same kind of watch. I don't want another submariner look watch, especially with a red and blue bezel because I already have it. This, as we all know, seems to be the most commonly copied watch stylewise. I don't dive, so a watch that is capable of going 500ft deep isn't a necessity. Seems alot of emphasis is put on dive watches. I would like for it to be water resistant though. Some things I'm looking for--Stainless construction throughout and solid construction throughout (links and all). I don't wan't another watch with "stainless wrapped" links and a potmetal case that is plated. No gold - I don't like yellow gold at all. That has seemed to be kind of a barrier in my search. I'm not really crazy about other colors either, like gunmetal or else. I do like the occasional black watch, but only if it is a stainless that has been plated with some tough form of black that won't wear off easily. -Automatic mechanical movement. I think this is neat, and would prefer it over a battery or quartz watch. In my mind, if I am going to pay the kind of money I'm willing to pay for a watch, I'd like for it to be a mechanical. I want it to be the best I can get for the money though, because I need it to work. It's hard to justify the money for something like this if it will quit a year or two down the road and not be reliable. Losing a little time either way each day is not a huge issue either. -Can be a chronograph. I don't necessarily need this, I'm just interested in it. I have no idea what chronograph really means. All I know is that most watches that have it feature three smaller dials. What those dials do seems to vary from watch to watch. I also like the plain dials just fine, but I like for there to be something of substance there. I like the mother of pearl dials and also the more exotic stuff like meteorite, but I know I probably can't afford it in a better name brand watch. Still doesn't hurt to search for it and maybe find it. -I'm not against buying used. As long as the watch is in decent condition and not showing deep gouge marks from wear / scratches and chips on the crystal, I'm good. Also being a mechaincal, I don't think it would be wise to buy one ten years old...I feel like the movement may start to wear over time. -I don't need an exibition caseback. While neat to look at, I don't have to have it. -I like the GMT stuff because of the 24 hour read. I don't have to have it but I think it's neat.Mainly I'm just looking for comapnies or brands I should look at. I relaize there are a gazillion different watches out there that fit the bill, but I would like to know what my options are before I purchase and regret my decision. Thanks for the help.
 

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Just for the record, I had spaces and paragraphs in the post, but for some reason my posts get all crammed together on this forum. I don't know if it is my browser or a setting here. Sorry for the inconvenience.
 

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Check out Victorinox for a mechanical under $400.
Who actually makes the Victorinox watches? They look like decent deals, but the last thing I want to do is put a good bit of money into somehting that was probably made in a sweatshop in China, not saying they are, but I know there are some that are, and I want to avoid that kind of product.
 

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It may be hard to find a highly regarded automatic that meets all your criteria for <$400.00. So maybe try buying used or maybe spend more time perusing WUS and you'll decide differently? You may want to try an all-Russian automatic watch like the highly regarded Vostok Amphibia, for <$100.00 as a start. Lots more on those in the WUS Russian forum.
 

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You've got a few choices here, none will light your world on fire, be mindful of that.

The Seiko SKX007--Well regarded dive watch, less than half your budget.


Then there's the Bernhardt Binnacle Anchor--another well regarded, albeit microbrand. Not a dive watch, but 200m water resistant, as I recall. Again, about half your budget.



And there's one of my personal favorites in this budget, the Hamilton King Scuba Day/Date Automatic--fair warning, it's about $50 over budget.



I'm sure there are others, but this is what I've got off the top of my head. All photos borrowed.
 
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Who actually makes the Victorinox watches? They look like decent deals, but the last thing I want to do is put a good bit of money into somehting that was probably made in a sweatshop in China, not saying they are, but I know there are some that are, and I want to avoid that kind of product.
About the term "Swiss Army"
There is sometimes confusion about the term "Swiss Army" as it applies to knives and watches. The Swiss Army in Switzerland (meaning the actual country of Switzerland's army) licenses and procures their "Swiss Army" knives from two companies, Victorinox and Wenger (now both under the same ownership) and has for over a century, so they are both legally and commonly called "Swiss Army" knives. However, only Victorinox Swiss Army Watches can say "Swiss Army" on the dial, they are the only "real" Swiss Army Watches. Also, originally the watches made by Victorinox were made with only "Swiss Army" on the dial. In the last few years, the watches have been produced with the "Victorinox Swiss Army" designation on the label, as Victorinox emphasizes and celebrates its brand heritage The transition between the two designations was not done overnight, but gradually as the company and its retailers sold the inventory with the old brand designation. Both Victorinox Swiss Army and Swiss Army watches are made by the same company and are the same watch. Many styles (over 100) were made using both designations on the label. As of 2009, it is less common to encounter a new watch that simply says Swiss Army on the dial.


The above info presented by Princeton Watches. Not sure if it is verified.

In addition. You like him or not, here is his response about Victorinox Swiss Army. Of course, his opinion is his opinion.

http://www.askmen.com/fashion/mens-watches_500/599_swiss-army-watches-watch-snob.html
 

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Pre-owned will get you more watch. Though to be honest at $400 I'm not sure what you'll get pre-owned that'll be much better than new stuff; it's at the higher price points that you get much more pre-owned. Someone else will know more about this than me.

Chronograph - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - have a read. I don't think you'll get a decent mechanical auto for $400 though - stick with 3 hands.

I'd recommend something by Seiko if you want mechanical - have a look at one of the sponsors here Seiko Watches - Hard to find Seiko Automatic Watches

Small, minor point: it's easier to read posts if they're in smaller paragraphs; even if you haven't arranged all of your points into them. Sorry - I'm pernickety, I know :-d Anyway - happy hunting!
 

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So a chronograph is basically a timer. Wow, I never knew that. Intersting also is the fact that chonometers have to be cerified by the swiss testing place. Must be the reason we see "officially certified chronometer" on some of the expensive watches. I really like the Hamilton from above. I read up on the company in general, and those seem like a great choice. Are they produced in the USA, or somewhere else since they are owned by The Swatch Group?? Again I am sorry for the lack of paragraph spacing. I space my paragraphs fine when I initially type them, but for some reason the site or my browser is jamming everything all together. If I try to fix this, there is no "edit" button at the bottom of my posts. I also haven't seen a person yet with a pm link in their profile where I can PM them..Is this something about the fact that I am new (according to post count)??
 

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I'm Suprised no one mentioned the Seiko Monster, $200, 7S26 Mov. Tough as nails, and Stock bracelet is most comfortable I own. although some can't handle the Orange lol (I didn't like the all white hands on the black so i went with orange faced Monster)
 
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Check out Bernhardt, Seiko and Orient.

Bob
 
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Start hitting the internet sites. Chrono 24 seems like a good place to start. Start checking out all the companies mentioned above. Once you find something you really want, even if it's more expensive, post an image so we can suggest cheaper alternatives. You are right, there are so many models out there it's not feasible to help much apart from to mention a few names, But when you say affordable automatic, you always get Seiko and Orient. This is a good thing! So if you stick to these two companies, you've got, oh I dunno, >500 models to choose from? That should be a start. Most models at your pricepoint for both of these companies, unless otherwise specified on each individual model, will be made in an Asian country which is not Japan. If you're worried about the "ethical" implications of this, make a list of every single thing you own and where it's been made. Then work out how much it'll cost to replace everything with EU/US equivalents. Then think of what everyone in Asia would be doing without a job making cool stuff for us rich Westerners. A sobering exercise. If it's to do with quality, you don't need to worry about Seiko or Orient.
 

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I highly recommend Orient for entry level autos. Great craftsmanship and accuracy for your money. Good dial work too. Reliable movements.

If that Victorinox is using an ETA for under 400, I think that'd be pretty awesome too. Would be a great deal.
 

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You can get good mecanicals from Seiko and Orient. I was on the same quest, but my limit was 500$. I ended up with this Certina First. Could not be happier. Fits as well as a bad beater as a more formal watch. In the same pricerange you have many to choose from in the Hamiliton line, and I would advice you to add the extra 50-100$ to ensure you get a watch you are happy with.
Some pics of my Certina:

038.jpg

032.jpg
 

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Seiko, Steinhart, Timefactors if you want to stay under 400.

If you want to up the ante SIGNIFICANTLY and still stay under 500, get a Mido Commander with COSC certified ETA 2836. It is THE hottest recommendation in that class if quality is what you're after. The design is a classic and I like it a lot but many young people would probably prefer a diver of flieger watch. Their loss. ;)
 

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Pre-owned will get you more watch. Though to be honest at $400 I'm not sure what you'll get pre-owned that'll be much better than new stuff; it's at the higher price points that you get much more pre-owned. Someone else will know more about this than me.

Chronograph - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - have a read. I don't think you'll get a decent mechanical auto for $400 though - stick with 3 hands.

I'd recommend something by Seiko if you want mechanical - have a look at one of the sponsors here Seiko Watches - Hard to find Seiko Automatic Watches

Small, minor point: it's easier to read posts if they're in smaller paragraphs; even if you haven't arranged all of your points into them. Sorry - I'm pernickety, I know :-d Anyway - happy hunting!
You can do a mechanical chronograph for $400, if you go used. I went through a long search and bought a Revue Thommen for much more than that; then just a few days ago I bought an Accutron Gemini for that price. It should arrive today.
 
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I think swatch sells a swatch branded chronograph for like 300
The price on that mido commander is epic. Never noticed it before, or at least that's it's cosc
 
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