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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm looking for a midsize automatic or solar, and by midsize I mean 32mm-36mm. Seiko has a lot of automatics that are a little larger than this. I'd pick a 37mm Seiko if I could find one that is otherwise perfect, but I haven't found one.

Here's what perfect means:

White or black dial, maybe silver - I also like yellow but they are hard to find

Military or very sporty in men's, or sporty or dressy in women's - I'm not looking for a dressy men's watch

No lume or far-from-white lume - I don't like off-white lume, though it's not horrible if the numbers are the same color

High contrast between hands and dial (white on black, or black, red or blue on white)
I like red seconds hands (on white or black dial) but that's not required
Hour and Minute hands should be the same color
Simple hand style, preferably aircraft gauge shaped or sword-shaped
No date or date the same color as the dial
Simple bezel - at this size a diver is right out
Stainless or black or maybe titanium case
Standard lugs preferred
Slim case preferred

My budget is $400, preferably under $300.

Any ideas?

I may post pics of watches I like but are otherwise too big or have some other thing I don't like.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here are some that I like, and what I like and don't like about each.

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Seiko 5 military style. Almost perfect in style, but a little too big. If it wasn't also kind of thick at 13mm I'd forgive its 37mm. I might get this one, anyway. I do wish the large numbers were 1-12, but that's a small nit. The hands are perfect, though the lume is probably off-white. And is the outer non-lumed part white or silver? I like the red tip on the seconds hand. I'd probably put this on black leather.

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Citizen eco military style. This one has a lot going for it, too. It's also 37mm, a big large, but its thinner than the Seiko automatic. I also like the numbering on the dial better, but the hands have less reflective area than the Seiko. And they are definitely lumed silver. I'm hoping the Seiko hands are really white. Also on the down side the day/date is white. And I'd kinda prefer the automatic to the solar, all else equal. I'd probably put this one on black leather, too.

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Black Strap
Wenger Chorono. It's too big and it's quartz. Including because I like the style.

Watch Analog watch Yellow Watch accessory Strap
Seiko 5 sports. I love the style and the yellow face, but this is way too big at 41mm and 14mm thick. I'd prefer the hands be all black, or lumed in white, but they work okay. The white day/date isn't ideal but is balanced by large numbers on the dial. I really like this watch but it's too big. I'd probably put it on a different rubber strap, like the one on the Wenger.

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A Luminox I like, but it's too big and it's quartz.

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Seiko solar women's. This is a strong contender despite being a bit small at 30mm and not having standard lugs. I'd better like the metal bracelet. Also of concern is the white solar face looks like plastic and doesn't quite match the white along the inside of the bezel. I don't know how that'd look in-the-flesh. But very much on the plus side is its slimness at 7mm.

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Hamilton military style. I like it a lot but it's big at 38mm. Otherwise pretty much ideal. The white date is small and perfectly balanced by the numbers on the dial, so here's one where a white date works well. Hands and numbering are great, and I'd even leave it on the stock strap. It's more costly than the others, though.

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Seiko solar. Too big at 40mm. I also like numbers on the dial, but I do like the all-black and I'd leave it on this strap. Note the day/date matches the dial color, as I like.

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Product Fashion accessory Watch Analog watch Black Strap Product
Citizen eco in the perfect size (36mm *and* slim) but not particularly the right style. It's nice and simple, though, so it's on the list. It'd put it on leather. The Bulova is quartz and the wrong color, and also not the optimal style, but it's white-faced and also the perfect size (34mm *and* slim).

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Tissot quartz. Another that isn't the optimal style, and it's quartz, but I do like the white face and it's the perfect size (34mm *and* slim).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I also like the Seiko 5 Sports with white face, but they are too large.

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I would recommend either the Smiths PRS-29A or the CWC G10. I think they meet most of your requirements.
Both are 36mm and meet most of your requirements. The Smiths is a bit over budget but can be picked up for $300 used. The CWC is quartz, but has a battery hatch which makes changing batteries a breeze.



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I would recommend either the Smiths PRS-29A or the CWC G10.
Unfortunately both of those have fixed pins and I'm not crazy about NATO or ZULU.

I'm looking for automatic or solar not because I don't like quartz or because the battery is a pain (though it is); it's because I already have a lot of quartz watches. I'm looking for something different for the sake of being different. I'd prefer automatic because it will also work and look differently.

Those are two nice-looking watches, though, and perfect in size. No date window a bonus.
 

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I know it seems to violate nearly all of your rules, but I have a SKX013 and love it. Wears very small for the size (literally dwarfed by myAlpinist), sits a lot lower than the thickness would have you believe, and is a very legible watch.

Unfortunately, there are not a lot of watches available in this size range, particularly in the lower price ranges. Apparently those of us who live on affordables demand 44mm wide, 18mm thick, 55mm lug-to-lug watches that look more at home on the side of a building than a wrist.

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You might like this little gem:



dia 36 mm: check
automatik: nope ...it's handwind
sporty/military: check
different: oh yeah ;-)

and the best thing ...its only 60 dollars !

"STORM" SLAVA MECHANICAL WATCH !!!NEW!!! | eBay

My wife has one and it's great, works well, keeps the time.
I was looking at that one a while ago (in fact it might have been you who recommended it). I'd forgotten about it but you've prompted me to look again!
Back to the OP - have you looked at Explorer homages? The Alpha if you can get it is a pretty nice watch and meets most of your requirements.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·


34 mm diameter (advertised as ladies watch), automatic, 200 m water resist, full lume dial, only 75 Euro

Kienzle V81311140025 Automatik Damen-Taucheruhr NEU! | eBay
I like it, though I hope I could find another strap to fit. I like the color, the dial and the hands. I'm not too crazy about black diver bezels, but it's my only nit. And it's the right size. My German is a bit rusty, though :) I'll check it out with a translator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
have you looked at Explorer homages? The Alpha if you can get it is a pretty nice watch and meets most of your requirements.
The Alpha Explorer homages are 44mm, aren't they? I see an Alpha military homage I like, but it's also large.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I know it seems to violate nearly all of your rules, but I have a SKX013 and love it.

View attachment 539363
Two votes for a SKX013 :) I do like the dial on this and similar Seikos. The white day/date is reasonably balanced by the size of the other markers, and the lume is excellent and matched. I prefer this style hour markers to the monsters and similar. If I extend my size range I'll definitely include the 013.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You might like this little gem:

dia 36 mm: check
automatik: nope ...it's handwind
sporty/military: check
different: oh yeah ;-)

and the best thing ...its only 60 dollars !

"STORM" SLAVA MECHANICAL WATCH !!!NEW!!! | eBay
I do like the style, but not the case color. I'm open to manual winding, and it's the right size. I do plan to get a Russian watch. I'll check back and see if the color grows on me :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If I expand my size range to include men's divers, here's one that I like that is reportedly only 39mm, though I'd have to research more to be sure. SBDN001.

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery

I prefer the stainless bezel to the black (or blue) and I like this hour marker style better than the monsters and similar, though I'd rather an automatic than a solar. This one is actually on my purchase list. I'd probably put it on black rubber.

Trying to keep it to 36mm, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Maybe an automatic Citizen NH6440-59E would fit the bill. 33.5mm diameter, and less than 70$.
I don't like that one at all, but looking for other Citizen automatics I found one I like a lot:

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34mm, white face, standard lugs (looks like it, anyway, of unknown size), nothing at all I dislike, though I suspect the hands and hour markers are reflective and not as contrasty as pictured. I'd take one now if I could find a place to buy it that I trust.

Citizen isn't making automatics anymore, focusing on the eco drives. Finding an automatic involves visiting a bunch of sketchy websites, dead links, etc.
 

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Citizen isn't making automatics anymore, focusing on the eco drives. Finding an automatic involves visiting a bunch of sketchy websites, dead links, etc.
I have been watching your thread but I haven't thought of the right watch to suggest. (My wife usually likes tiny dressy watches, so different tastes from yours.) I understand your hesitation with Citizen autos, in particular because some of these "vintage" Citizens with the Eagle/Phoenix logo have been discovered to be fake. However you should know that Citizen does make automatic watches still, and in fact their Miyota movements are some of the best selling auto movements in the world. So you should not be scared away from Citizen autos, but it is smart to check the sellers. These smaller watches may be less likely to be fakes as these sizes are less popular. I'll keep thinking about your quest in case I come up with anything. Good luck with it!
 
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