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Discussion Starter #1
First of all, just wanted to say hi to everybody here at WUS! I'm an engineer living in the Salt Lake City, UT area with a newly developed interest in horology, and I've been lurking for some time now trying to research my first mechanical watch purchase; finally decided to stop creeping and join in! Many thanks for all the information this forum has provided me in the last few months, and I'm looking forward to interacting with all of you in the future.

Now on to my question. After a month or so of research I've narrowed my aforementioned first mechanical purchase down to the Victorinox AirBoss Mach 4 handwinder (here) and the (black face) Boschett Ocean Mariner (here). I've found a deal where I can get the Vic (a $1350 list watch) for just under $600, roughly the same as the OM, but Boschett has a deal going on where I can get a free winder if I buy an OM from them. So both are IMO great deals.

Summary of specs:
Airboss Mach 4
Handwinding, not sure of movt (says automatic on macy's website for some reason, this is wrong)
100m WR
45mm diam, 12.5mm thickness
Sapphire crystal with AR coating
Exhibition caseback
Leather strap with standard buckle
Small seconds display
Internal bidirectional bezel

Ocean Mariner
Automatic ETA 2824-2 gold plated
300m WR w/ screw down crown
42mm diam, 13mm thickness
Sapphire crystal
316L stainless steel bracelet with solid end links
Date window (w/o magnifier for me)
Unidirectional diving bezel

I understand they are totally different style watches, but I'd like some input on the choice you all would make (which one would be more versatile to wear in different settings, movement concerns and preferences, etc.) Thanks in advance for your help!

PS I have a smaller wrist, about 6.25" - 6.5"
 

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Two completly different watches for sure! I have quite a few divers and also a first generation Mach IV. That said the Mach IV is one of my absolute favorites. The movement is a 6498-2 by the way. The Mach IV on leather seems to me to be the more versatile choice, I've worn mine for all types of occasions. Plus it is just one great looking watch in my opinion!

Unless you are planning on swimming or diving with your choice, my vote goes to the Mach IV. They are both good choices though.
 

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The Mach IV is certainly a great looking watch and perhaps a bit more wearable in a suit and tie scenario, but my choice would be the Boschett hands down.
Well respected micro brand, outstanding customer service, bulletproof construction, very nice diver style (my favourite), very comfortable on the wrist and lots of bang for your buck.
 

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Both nice watches. Vicky gets my vote. Can't stand the markers on the Boshett. It ruins what is otherwise a good looking diver. BTW, the Vicky is on sale at Ashford for just over $500. Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies everyone! Any opinions on the 45mm, 12.5mm thick Vic being too big for my wrist or not? Went to try it on the other day at a store that allegedly carried VSA, but that turned out to be a lie and I tried on another roughly 45mm watch, and it was large but didn't seem like too [email protected], how big is your wrist, if you don't mind me asking?

Both nice watches. Vicky gets my vote. Can't stand the markers on the Boshett. It ruins what is otherwise a good looking diver. BTW, the Vicky is on sale at Ashford for just over $500. Good Luck!
Thanks for the tip! Do you know what Ashford's CS and warranty coverage is like? I'm not familiar with them.
 

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Thanks for the replies everyone! Any opinions on the 45mm, 12.5mm thick Vic being too big for my wrist or not? Went to try it on the other day at a store that allegedly carried VSA, but that turned out to be a lie and I tried on another roughly 45mm watch, and it was large but didn't seem like too [email protected], how big is your wrist, if you don't mind me asking?



Thanks for the tip! Do you know what Ashford's CS and warranty coverage is like? I'm not familiar with them.
Just noted your wrist size. That Vicky is going to be big, unless you have flat wrists. As far as Ashford goes...I have ordered from them a couple times. Very happy. Easy to work with, purchasing CS was easy to work with. They kindly refunded me a price difference when I noted one between their Ashford.com price and their Amazon.com price. Have not needed to use their warranty service, but my understanding is it is a bit better than average. There was one WUS'er who had an issue with a watch he received, and rather than send him through the service department, they just refunded the purchase. Hope this helps.
 

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[email protected], how big is your wrist, if you don't mind me asking?
.[/QUOTE]

Skibum. it is pretty big, but not overly so in my opinion. Here's a pic of mine on my 7.25" wrist. Keep in mind Iphone shots always make the watch look huge.
IMG_0933.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #11
[email protected], how big is your wrist, if you don't mind me asking?
.
Skibum. it is pretty big, but not overly so in my opinion. Here's a pic of mine on my 7.25" wrist. Keep in mind Iphone shots always make the watch look huge.
View attachment 929997 [/QUOTE]

Thanks for the pic! My wrists are smaller than yours, but relatively flattish, so it will probably turn out ok. Looks like Ashford does free returns too as long as you pick the free shipping option, so there won't be anything lost if I get it and it looks silly on me.

Also, interesting to see the design changes that have occurred, particularly the newer seconds hand layout, which I think is an improvement in clarity (though nothing against yours, it's a great looking watch!).
 

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Yeah, I've considered the new dial layout a couple of times, but I just like the yellow accents on the old dial. Either way its a fantastic looking watch in person, one of their best IMHO. The movement looks great and fills up the entire back, no spacers to look at! Plus I've had mine for several years with zero problems, easy movement for service at a reasonable cost also. Good luck and enjoy it!
 

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Welcome to the forum SkiBum -- the wife and I will be up this weekend taking beginner's ski lessons (we've both been out on the slopes a few times before, but we're both pretty bad...)!

Both are versatile -- some people think that leather "dresses" up a watch, and while I agree that SS probably doesn't go with a tux, I've worn plenty of steel bracelets with ties, and it certainly works for me.

The Borchett doesn't do a whole lot for me -- it looks like a lot of divers I've seen before. I do like the spots of red, though, as a unique feature. It's versatile, just in my wheelhouse for size (I have ~ 7 inch wrists and really like 40-43 mm) but it's just kind of ho-hum to me. But it will be a unique micro brand that not a lot of people will have heard of.

The VSA is cool. I would worry about not only the size of the watch, but also the size of those two crowns protruding out. And, of course, if you're going to wear it to work, the Borchett will probably be a bit more durable, at least in the snow and in the hot tub (with the 300m water resistance). I feel like the VSA brand is good, well known, but perhaps too much so (you see VSA watches at Costco all the time, for example).

I'm not going to play the "well, if you're going to spend $600, you should get..." game, as tempting as it might be, because it seems like you've already narrowed down your choices to two watches you like (good for you! I struggle with decision fatigue every day). So overall, I think I'd go with the VSA if you think it fits, for uniqueness and style, even in a brand slightly more well known for knives and quartz Costco watches. :)

Best of luck, and welcome again!
Kyle.
 

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I owned a VSA Mach 4. I enjoyed it while I had it, but a few factors lead me to sell it. First, it wears large. The 6497 / 8 handwinding movements are big, plus the watch had added height because of the internal rotating bezel. That internal rotating bezel has to sit a bit higher because the seconds hand actually passes underneath as it sweeps around. The 12.5mm figure listed for height is likely understated. At least if felt taller than that when I had mine. Part of it is also the fact that the bezel around the dial doesn't slope down at all. At times it felt like a cylinder / top hat on my wrist. It does have odd 23mm lug spacing, but you can fit in 24mm leather straps fairly easily. The leather strap it came on was OK, but certainly nothing special.

The movement itself is bulletproof, and I swear the Swiss keep the best for themselves - the power reserve on that watch was the longest of any ETA 6497 / 98 watch that I've had. Very accurate as well. Lume was marginal at best, if that's a factor for you.

I can't comment at all about the Boschett as I haven't seen one of those in person.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the input Perdendosi! I'm sure you will enjoy the ski lessons, this weekend should be awesome snow; I know I'm looking forward to a possible 20"+ of powder! As far as the "for $600 you should get..." game, if you have any suggestions feel free to throw them out there, maybe I haven't seen them before.

Dre, how big is your wrist, out of curiosity? I really wish I could put it on my wrist before I buy it, but I don't know of somewhere near me than stocks it...
 

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Dre, how big is your wrist, out of curiosity? I really wish I could put it on my wrist before I buy it, but I don't know of somewhere near me than stocks it...
My wrist is right around 7.25", but it's more rounded than it is flat. The lug to lug length of the watch was fine, it's just the height of it that bugged me.

Hopefully y'all are getting some good freshies this year, we came out to SLC for a long weekend last year (before my first kid was born), and didn't get a whole lot. Was still good to ski though. You know what they say - a bad day of skiing is still better than the best day of work!
 

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Another vote for the VSA. I have a VSA Ambassador with the same hand winding movement that is about the same size and I love it. I've also been tempted by the Mach 4 you're looking at recently. The Boschett is ok but it's just another dive watch with a different twist on the indices. It wouldn't be my first choice for a dive watch based strictly on aesthetics. Welcome to the forum and good luck with whichever one you choose.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My wrist is right around 7.25", but it's more rounded than it is flat. The lug to lug length of the watch was fine, it's just the height of it that bugged me.

Hopefully y'all are getting some good freshies this year, we came out to SLC for a long weekend last year (before my first kid was born), and didn't get a whole lot. Was still good to ski though. You know what they say - a bad day of skiing is still better than the best day of work!
Mine is more flattish, so it's probably OK lug to lug for me. I suppose we'll see...and yeah, the freshies are MUCH better this year than last...we had 100+" of snow up in LCC in December, and its been so cold that most of it was low density and has stayed good for a while. Whole mountain at Snowbird was open by mid December when last year that didn't happen till mid January or so. Hopefully you get a chance to come out again and maybe get some more, but you're definitely right - I'd always rather be skiing, even on a bad snow day! And congrats on the new addition BTW!
 

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The VSA Ambasador models always looked interesting to me, more of a straight-forward handwinder without that internal rotating bezel. Same movement though. Those are worth looking at as well. They are all going to be big watches though, the smallest watch with a 6497 / 98 movement is 41mm or so, most of them are bigger. A lot depends on the case design. I have a Bernhardt Officer's watch, a 44mm watch with the 6497 movement as well. It's lugs are really short and curve down very sharply, so it sits nicely on the wrist:


Unfortunately so much of this really can't be judged until the watch gets on your wrist, and even then it takes some time to see if it works or not. It took a bit of time before I realized the height of the Mach 4 bugged me.

Cool that you're getting good snow this year. Hit that awesome back bowl at the Bird for me. And Solitude as well, love that place. It'll be a bit before we're back, but likely we'll be back with a little one to teach how to ski.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks so much to everyone for the great input. I've decided to go with the Mach 4...the Boschett or another dive watch will probably be next on my list once I've got some more disposable income (tax return baby! :D ). Will post pics once I receive...super excited!

Thanks again!
 
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