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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been wearing by grandfathers Russian watch last weekend and love the small size and domed acrylic. Would love to get a modern watch w a nice domed crystal and conservative size 36-38mm ideally. The thing is I have this very specific image stuck in my mind, and nothing is quite measuring up to it.
Want - white dial, leather strap, clean face (date only or no complications), straight thin lugs. Price range is kind of wide - but up to $1K is preferred.
My Chr Ward Malvern is 38mm, but is not quite it - the case shape is too boxy and crystal is not as domed. SARB035 lugs are also too thick.
Looked at Nomos Ludwig and while it's nice - the design is a bit too austere

Essentially Seiko SARB031 is what I'm looking for, but they are now discontinued and impossible to find.


Is there anything that's going to meet my needs, or should I just keep looking and hope someone flips a used SARB031?
Only other one that comes to mind w a lot of similarity is Orient Star Classic - but it seems kind of bulky. Alternatively Orient Bambino almost meets my criteria - but at 40mm I'm afraid it will look like a dinner plate on my wrist.
Thoughts?
 
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I think Orient makes at least one model like that. The Bambino line, for one.
 

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+1 on the Max Bill - although if Nomoses are too "austere" maybe they're a bit plain also?

The look you describe is very Orient, a Royal orient WE0031 has an adjusted, beautiful handwind movement, solid silver (Ag 925) case and can be had around $1200. Very unique and a something I'd love to own. 18mm lugs, 35mm case, 10mm thick, 41mm L2L.

WE0031EG?Royal Orient?????????????



Or available in very classy two-tone

WE0021EG?Royal Orient?????????????



 

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The SARB 065 is about 40mm, has a silvery dial that shimmers and picks up reflected colors, has only a date complication, has a wildly domed hardlex crystal and costs about $400. However, the lugs are not entirely straight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone who replied.
- looked at Junghans. I've mostly seen their Max Bill offerings before and they did nto appeal to me based on dial\hands, but the Meister handwound at 38mm is great looking. The dome is a bit smaller than what I was looking for and it's a bit dressy (I want dress\casual versatility), but a great watch and will go on my short list
- The bambino I looked at extensively online. The issue is size - 40mm that's all dial and my puny wrists may not mix well. I'm thinking of getting a Bamino anyway though - at $125 it can't hurt even if not a fit, but may look at new Roman numeral bambino and if it doesn't work out - flip or give it to someone.
- SARB065 is a fine watch and may take it's place in my collection one-day on it's own merit, but not what I'm looking for here. It's pretty large and thick (I've handled it in person). I don't know what it is but the whole SARB line is just singing to me - own SARB033, plan to get SARB064 and 017 (alpinist). And would pay over new price for SARB031, but can't find the damn thing anywhere.
- The Royal Orient is the closest to what I'm looking for. Not sure about Royal orient logo, but case dimensions are great. Still, after looking at more pictures online, I'm now leaning back to orient Star Classic. It's bulky, but seems most of it is from crystal thickness rather than the case. Which narrows down my choice to 2 for now:

So with orient Star classic:
- I like the dial on WZ0251EL (although 60th anniversary is even nicer - but again discontinued LE). It's Auto so a bit thick.
- But WZ0011DD has better dimensions - 1mm smaller diameter, 2mm less thick, and has a sapphire glass. It's a handwound, so thinner. What I don't like is the 6 and 12 markers on the dial.

Does anyone have one of these 2 and can comment on your experience w them. Or comment on these 2 choices in general (unless someone has SARB031, which I'll take off your hands with pleasure):
 

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So with orient Star classic:
- I like the dial on WZ0251EL (although 60th anniversary is even nicer - but again discontinued LE). It's Auto so a bit thick.
- But WZ0011DD has better dimensions - 1mm smaller diameter, 2mm less thick, and has a sapphire glass. It's a handwound, so thinner. What I don't like is the 6 and 12 markers on the dial. Does anyone have one of these 2 and can comment on your experience w them. Or comment on these 2 choices in general (unless someone has SARB031, which I'll take off your hands with pleasure):
Visually I prefer the WZ0011DD. I think it looks better without the date and has a more discreet PR indicator. The tiny deeply set dates on many of these Orients are a minor drawback for me. But I think you're right about the WZ0251EL - alot of the stated thickness is due to the crystal and I wouldn't describe the case as bulky. If you prefer its looks its probably the way to go. I think it's also a fair bit cheaper than the manual wind.
 

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I'm just gonna put this out there - Have you thought of a vintage Grand/King Seiko? They're right on your budget, many are hand-wind, small sizes, no-date/date/day/date options, absolutely gigantic box crystals...
 

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I've the black dial version of the WZ0251EL, and it doesn't wear bulky at all, even at my tiny 6,25" wrist, because as stated, a lot of the thickness comes from the domed crystal. Also, the case is 38,5mm but the bezel is 37mm in diameter, so I guess the WZ0011DD doesn't wear much smaller, apart from the thickness. Anyway, is a beautiful watch that looks the part, and the half polished-half brushed hands are gorgeous.
Don't discard the Hamilton Intramatic though, is just as beautiful!
 

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I had a SARB031. It was beautiful but a little too small for my taste. You should put out a WTB. Also, Hamilton has some nice 38s. If you really want 36, I'd look hard at vintage. Can get a nice King Seiko, Omega, etc. for less than 1K at 36. Maybe even a Datejust for a little over, which wouldn't lose value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just a quick updated. After much looking, SARB031 remains elusive. Considered Beijing Beihai for a while - very hard to find them as well.
So when an Orient Star Classic came up for sale on WUS few days go at a great price - I pulled the trigger. WZ0251EL arrived from a WUS memebr - in like new condition and at a great price.

Initial impressions very positive (relative to pricepoint). It's dressy without being overly dressy - will easily wear w jeans and dark tshirt.
+ Watch is super comfortable on the wrist and is big enough to feel modern, but not so big that it looks silly. Dial has some subtlety - a bit of sunburst in certain light. Hands are quite beautiful - half polished, half brushed. Dome is great - nice and tall - exactly what I wanted. Strap is nice and soft w a logo on tang buckle. Crown well designed and easy to grip\wind.

- The crystal is mineral, and while not as nice as acrylic or sapphire, I can live w it. Date window I'm still conflicted on - would probably prefer not to have it, but can live w it. Movement is undecorated and rotor is quite loud.

Overall pretty happy w it thus far, but a future upgrade is possible. Thanks to all for suggestions.
Some pics to close loop....
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Wrist
 
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