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So I am getting married March 16th and am still in need of finding a gift for my groom. I know, bad bride :-(

I would like to get him something he wants but wouldn't buy for himself, and in my ideal fantasy version, could possibly pass on to a child. I know he would like to have a watch, something that has a classic look, nothing flashy or too trendy. He doesn't wear a watch daily and has no plans to start, but has mentioned he would like a watch that he could wear when the mood strikes or situation arises. Something nice enough he could wear with a suit (which he only wears to funerals and weddings) but casual enough to wear dressed down as well since he is really more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy. While we were ring shopping he took notice of some Bulova and Citizen (specifically the eco-drive) that were in the shops. He knows next to nothing about watches and I'm afraid my knowledge only extends to being able to tell time. I have been looking through the forums in the hopes of gathering more info before purchasing but I honestly had no idea there was so much out there and it has left me a bit overwhelmed. Obviously I have a serious time crunch here so not much time to narrow down my options but I'd like to at least make an attempt at an informed purchase!

I would really appreciate suggestions! It needs to be under $500 but it doesn't have to cost $500, I just don't know where price jumps are in watches to get the best bang for the buck in terms of what I'm wanting. I don't think he'll be hard on a watch in terms of wear, particularly since it isn't something he would wear daily, but quality and durability is still important as I want it to last. Classic styling would be great, nothing that he wouldn't want on his wrist in the years to come. While I typically favor vintage when it comes to jewelry, I want this to be new. From what I have seen, I can get a Bulova or Citizen in that price range without a problem, is that my best bet? Or is there a "can't go wrong" alternative that I should be aware of? I will happily accept nods towards specific brands or specific watches! I'm an equal opportunity advice seeker so feel free to provide suggestions for or against a watch/brand!
 

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Bang for buck under $500 is definitely going to be something Japanese (a good thing, my favorite watch is Japanese).

This is really kind of nice on a second note as they tend to be quite classically styled.

The SARB033(black dial)/SARB035(cream dial) spring to mind immediately for a couple of reasons.
1. They are available for the pricely sum of $380.
2. As a Japanese Domestic Market watch, your soon to be husband will probably never see one on anyone else.
3. You get all the bells and whistles. In-house mechanical movement, sapphire crystal, exhibition back, good solid bracelet, etc.

View attachment 987334

And then just for fun (and because it is my absolute favorite), here is the watch I bought/wore for my wedding in November of 2011. Seiko SARB017 (approx. $440 on the strap, a bit over budget on the bracelet).

View attachment 987335
 

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I like the Citizen Eco-Drive watches, and particularly the Stiletto line, in situations like the one you are describing. The Eco-Drive is a neat movement, and in the Stiletto line they go very thin, which makes for a nice look, and the designs are very clean and classy. I actually particularly like this rectangular one, but they have a bunch of different options in this line:



If you want to go just a bit more casual while still staying pretty dressy, I like their day/date subdial watches, like this one:

 

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First of all, congratulations.
Secondly, eco-drives are probably a great choice. Well made and should last. I would recommend getting on Amazon and searching all the eco-drives to see which ones you like (and think he'll like).
Thirdly, I'm not sure there will be much in this price range that could end-up being an heirloom watch, passed down for generations. Your budget is about the same as most of the watches in my collection, and while I love them I doubt any future offspring of mine would be thrilled to receive them in years to come. Who knows though.

My wife gave me a pocket watch on our wedding day. It's not the most practical of gifts, but I love it and I will probably end up passing that down. I don't get to wear it anywhere near as much as I would like, but when I do it feels special.
 

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Persi,

Two recent threads started here in the Affordables section by Docvail could be of great help. "Challenge!!!! - Most Bang for the Buck Contenders" and "Best way to spend $450 - Steinhart...".

Both of these threads have some great watches at great prices that should certainly fit the bill.

And congratulations!
 

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You will get a lot of suggestions for automatic watches. I love automatic watches, as do most watch nerds here. However... for someone that isn't into watches I would highly suggest a good quartz or solar watch. Much easier to grab and go, and less maintenance. With an automatic, if he doesn't wear it often and has to reset it every time he might not wear it at all. Automatic/mechanical is a very specific taste, and I wouldn't suggest forcing that on someone.

And there are plenty of good quartz watches. If he ends up liking the watch and wants to expand his collection, let him choose an auto if that is what he wants. As far as recommendations for brands, I think you are on the right track with Bulova and Citizen. Citizen's Eco Drive line has a lot of variety, and cool features (it is solar powered w/ battery reserve). I would look into Tissot as well. They have a lot of quartz options. You can limit your search by brand and movement on Amazon, so you can start there.

If you want something a little more obscure, I might recommend the
C3 Malvern Chronograph MK II
by Christopher Ward. It has nice upgraded features like Swiss quartz movement by Ronda, anti-reflective sapphire crystal (scratch-proofish). It is dressy enough for suit wear, and sporty enough with the chronograph for jeans and a tshirt. They also have a cool option in that for $40 they will engrave the back for you. A great way to personalize a wedding gift.

View attachment 988017
 

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Orient Symphony. ~$120 (discount codes can be used at orientwatchusa for 30% discount if you want to buy from an authorized dealer). Classy. Sophisticated. In-House Japanese mechanical movement (optimal for a "heritage" watch, due to history behind the watchmaking). This is the most bang for your buck when it comes to something you would REALLY want to pass down and would foot the bill for classy occasions. Much much more stunning in person, just don't get the version with the bracelet. The bracelet is junk.

View attachment 988024

View attachment 988025
 

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+1 on a Seiko SARB.

Also consider delivery time. You might need to expedite shipping to receive by your wedding day if you order online.

If you want him to wear it for the ceremony/reception, you will need to have the bracelet sized unless you buy one with a leather strap. Be careful to take it to a jeweller or watchmaker to resize the bracelet if you aren't comfortable DIYing it. I learned the hard way that mall kiosk folks (in the states) aren't always adept at handling watches.

Also take a look at the Hamilton Khaki King or Field. They should run you roughly $400 give or take from Amazon or ashford.com

Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk 2
 

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+1 on a Seiko SARB.

Also consider delivery time. You might need to expedite shipping to receive by your wedding day if you order online.

If you want him to wear it for the ceremony/reception, you will need to have the bracelet sized unless you buy one with a leather strap. Be careful to take it to a jeweller or watchmaker to resize the bracelet if you aren't comfortable DIYing it. I learned the hard way that mall kiosk folks (in the states) aren't always adept at handling watches.

Also take a look at the Hamilton Khaki King or Field. They should run you roughly $400 give or take from Amazon or ashford.com

Sent from my KFTT using Tapatalk 2
+1. I let someone else size my watches one time. Never again. Thank God it was an inexpensive Invicta.
 

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I am going to echo all of the posters recommending you go with the Citizen - especially since it is a brand he has already expressed interest in. Citizens are fantastically made watches, really look the part (versatile, too, can go with suit or jeans) and they are reliable! You really cannot go wrong.

Stay away from the automatics - if he wont be wearing it that much and doesn't really care about the mechanics of watches, it doesn't make much sense and isn't practical. Go for the Eco-Drive!

And congratulations:)
 

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Pay no attention to anybody but ME, they're are all thinking like "watch nuts".;-)

When a watch is passed down to a child it's value is priceless, regardless of cost.
BUT there really are some very good opinions & choices provided, so it is OK listen to those WUS-r's too.
:-d

Bulova Accutron, Seiko, Citizen Ecos and Hamilton Jazz and a few others all hit the mark.
 

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Pay no attention to anybody but ME, they're are all thinking like "watch nuts".;-)

When a watch is passed down to a child it's value is priceless, regardless of cost.
BUT there really are some very good opinions & choices provided, so it is OK listen to those WUS-r's too.
:-d

Bulova Accutron, Seiko, Citizen Ecos and Hamilton Jazz and a few others all hit the mark.
I agree with what you say about any watch being valued when passed down. However, will any of them be in a fit state?
I love and cherish any gift which my wife gives me, but are any likely to survive the next 10 or 20 years? It's only my opinion, but unless the watch is special to begin with then its unlikely to be treated as such and preserved so that it lasts to be handed down.
I have thought about this and the watch I wore in my wedding day is the one which (in my mind) could be handed down in years to come. However, I'm not treating it any differently to any other watches so who knows how it will fare between now and when my unborn child gets to a suitable age?
 

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I'll generally echo what's being recommended - although a lot of these watches are tending toward the dressier side and not the out-and-about. I would add that if you want an "Heirloom" watch, you might find something from a old-world brand with classic styling a bit more appealing. I'd specifically look at a Hamilton Khaki, like this Khaki IV Quartz watch.
View attachment 995828

Or on a stainless bracelet for about the same price.

I work in a law firm, and there are several Khakis and Khaki Kings floating around these halls. They are classic field watches that look great with jeans, but also are stylish enough that they look nice under a dress shirt sleeve.

Tissot would also be a great choice, and they have several nice models in quartz in your price range.

Just my $0.02. Good luck! :)
 

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You will get a lot of suggestions for automatic watches. I love automatic watches, as do most watch nerds here. However... for someone that isn't into watches I would highly suggest a good quartz or solar watch. Much easier to grab and go, and less maintenance. With an automatic, if he doesn't wear it often and has to reset it every time he might not wear it at all. Automatic/mechanical is a very specific taste, and I wouldn't suggest forcing that on someone.
The best advice on here so far IMO based on what OP is looking for. Automatics are definitely not for everyone, and if OP already knows it won't be worn on a regular basis, it doesn't seem to make sense here.

Also, I don't have first hand experience with them, but aren't Citizen Eco-Drives even worse than automatic winders if the watch will only be worn once in a while? From what I understand, the watch needs a good amount of charging before it is ready to be worn (without going into low-power 2 second tick mode).
 

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The best advice on here so far IMO based on what OP is looking for. Automatics are definitely not for everyone, and if OP already knows it won't be worn on a regular basis, it doesn't seem to make sense here.

Also, I don't have first hand experience with them, but aren't Citizen Eco-Drives even worse than automatic winders if the watch will only be worn once in a while? From what I understand, the watch needs a good amount of charging before it is ready to be worn (without going into low-power 2 second tick mode).
+1. Eco-Drives also probably aren't the best if you are looking for this to be an heirloom piece. The jury is out on how long the solar cell will actually last. Citizen says it will lose 20 percent of its capacity after 20 years, but it remains to be seen if it will just crap out entirely after another 10 or 20 -- and who knows if Citizen will be able to replace it at that point. Automatic is timeless, but if it is not preferred, then traditional quartz or a Seiko Kinetic are better choices to Eco-Drive, IMHO.
 
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