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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I'm new to the forum and the world of watches. I've been looking around and trying to do research on the various automatic movements (I want to buy one for myself), but I'm not sure what to go with as an entry level. I don't have a thousands of dollars to throw down on my first automatic, but I'm willing to go up to about $500-$600.

Price aside, I'm also wondering if anybody could help me with the types of movements out there and the prices I should expect, like a Miyota 82S series or a 9015? There's just so many, and I don't really understand them all even after combing through articles on these movements :-s

So far I've been using solar watches (family loves solar energy)..

Thanks in advance for the help!

Zach
 

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First thing you need to do is completely forget about movements. Instead work out what type of watch you want. A dive watch, pilot watch, general sports watch, something dressier or casual etc? Then see what brands and models visually appeal to you. Check out the WRUW (What are you wearing) threads in the Affordable and Public forums. Then once you've got an idea for what you are after then you can think a little about movements but honestly when it comes to watches in that price bracket it's not really that important. Seiko do nice movements, so do ETA, so do Miyota and you'll get similar specs from all of them (except perhaps some of the lower end Seiko's that also forego handwinding. But like I say don't worry about it too much, pick your watch based on looks not movement specs.
 

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Like shaggy said, look for what type of watch you want to start with. Or you can do like many of us did, buy a little of everything as you can afford to, and decide/sell off whatever you don't like.

Personally I find I like divers. I also found I like 44-46mm, 9-14mm thick, depending on the brand. I also only buy watches with solid end links, no folding. And I like a good quality clasp, with a safety if possible. I found all that out by simply buying many watches in the 150-500 range (of course selling any I didn't like after I got them). Also, do not be afraid to buy used, as long as you do your research on both the watch and the seller.

After all that, you will begin to remember common movements. There are really only a handful of movements you will find in a watch under $600. You will find Seiko has two common movements (that have different names for different markets). One movement that is newer hacks and handwinds (4r36), one that does not. And if you are truly interested in watches your knowledge will grow from there.
 

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Welcome Zach111 to WUS
I would just add that, maybe you can walk into a store, and try a few on your wrist to feel the look, weight, size, thickness, color, finish, the type of band/clasp, etc. to narrow down your choices. Sometimes what looks good on paper in theory don't look great on your wrist, and vice versa. I am sure whatever style you settle on, there are many types of movements and manufacturers to choose from.
 

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Hi guys, I'm new to the forum and the world of watches. I've been looking around and trying to do research on the various automatic movements (I want to buy one for myself), but I'm not sure what to go with as an entry level. I don't have a thousands of dollars to throw down on my first automatic, but I'm willing to go up to about $500-$600.

Price aside, I'm also wondering if anybody could help me with the types of movements out there and the prices I should expect, like a Miyota 82S series or a 9015? There's just so many, and I don't really understand them all even after combing through articles on these movements :-s

So far I've been using solar watches (family loves solar energy)..

Thanks in advance for the help!

Zach

You can get a nice Tissot Seastar 1000 for about 650.

Tissot Seastar Blue Dial Mens Watch T0664071104700
 

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Welcome to the party.

If in-house movements is your thing, check out Orient Star line. It is a bit north of your budget (depending on the discount you get) and the finishing is very good for that price. With $700 or so, you should be able to get most of the Orient Stars.

For me, I love the chose the Retrograde when I was in your shoes 3 months ago. Love the perlage of its internals when seen from the caseback.

View attachment 3161698

Here's my piece:

View attachment 2478754


 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, thanks guys for the input! By the way, how would you normally assess the price of a watch?

Based on the movement, the material, the workmanship?

Like when I'm making my purchase, I hope to be able to have a better eye for details beyond just paying say $500 because I like the design that much. Perhaps something like a Miyota 9015 movement would be in the $400 range with a Sapphire Glass cover?

I'm really not sure so I'm just throwing numbers. Thanks a lot for your help guys!!

Zach
 

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Wow, thanks guys for the input! By the way, how would you normally assess the price of a watch?

Based on the movement, the material, the workmanship?

Like when I'm making my purchase, I hope to be able to have a better eye for details beyond just paying say $500 because I like the design that much. Perhaps something like a Miyota 9015 movement would be in the $400 range with a Sapphire Glass cover?

I'm really not sure so I'm just throwing numbers. Thanks a lot for your help guys!!

Zach
Again as I said earlier try not to focus on the movement yet. Get a feeling for what you like and what brands seem to be more appreciated in what different areas. For a guy coming into it like yourself thinking about the difference between X movement and Y movement in terms of specs or accuracy is practically irrelevant at this stage. Go figure out what you like the look of, what complications or design cues take your fancy and then all the other stuff will fall into line later on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Again as I said earlier try not to focus on the movement yet. Get a feeling for what you like and what brands seem to be more appreciated in what different areas. For a guy coming into it like yourself thinking about the difference between X movement and Y movement in terms of specs or accuracy is practically irrelevant at this stage. Go figure out what you like the look of, what complications or design cues take your fancy and then all the other stuff will fall into line later on.
I see, so usually a brand will have an attribute they are known like Orient with their in-house movements?

Thank you!
 

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I must say coming into the watch industry as a beginner can be a little intimidating due to the infinite number of watch brands with some having been around since the 1800s to the new start up companies. Then you have watches deriving from the big three Asia, Germany, and Switzerland. That's not considering regional watch makers in the U.S, Britain, Holand, Russia and from other corners of the world.

For your first watch do you want something functional, an everyday watch or one that you will wear on special occasions? I will say that the heart of most automatics will be either a Miyota, SeaGull, or an ETA movement. It can be broken down even further into other categories once considering the type of complication you want in a watch such as Date, Day & Date, GMT, Perpetual Calendar, Chronograph, Day & Night indicator, Moonphase, Retrograde, Power Reserve indicator and the list goes on. I would make a list of watches you like so far and show us images to help you narrow them down. Good hunting!
 

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Hi guys, I'm new to the forum and the world of watches. I've been looking around and trying to do research on the various automatic movements (I want to buy one for myself), but I'm not sure what to go with as an entry level. I don't have a thousands of dollars to throw down on my first automatic, but I'm willing to go up to about $500-$600.

Price aside, I'm also wondering if anybody could help me with the types of movements out there and the prices I should expect, like a Miyota 82S series or a 9015? There's just so many, and I don't really understand them all even after combing through articles on these movements :-s

So far I've been using solar watches (family loves solar energy)..

Thanks in advance for the help!

Zach
The first thing to know is that an automatic movement is just a manual one with a rotor connected to the spring so that the watch will wind itself as a result of the motion of your arm as you go about your business while wearing it.

Technologically speaking, in your price range, there isn't all that much that notably different and worth worrying about. They will all keep time more or less to the same levels of accuracy, and in that regard, you should expect something on the order of +/- 20-40 seconds a day. Some of them will have hacking seconds and some won't. In your price range, few, if any, will be decorated, but they will be abundant and they are easily serviced by just about any trained watchmaker.

No matter whether they are decorated ("finished" is the watchie term for it) or not, they are still the same movement and barring technical enhancements by a given watch company, will deliver the same performance and wear characteristics. Here's a fair illustration of the difference: ETA watch movements .


Two ETA 2824 movements

Here's a discussion of what one company has done to modify a base ETA movement to provide improved performance in at least one dimension: https://www.bernardwatch.com/blog/swatch-eta-movements-pushing-ahead-with-hamilton-h-21-h-31/ .

I know you've done some reading. Hopefully this was among the articles you read -- Watches in Depth - Movement Calibres - The Baily Blog -- for it is a great primer as is this: What Are The Best Watch Movements? - Ask Watch Experts Questions About Watches | aBlogtoWatch . If you just want some specs, this may help:
For more movements' specs, just use the search field at the top of the page on the site above.

Here are some comparisons:

Among movements -- automatic or manual -- up until recent years, ETA's were by far the most commonly found ones. In 2010, ETA announced that it was cutting back on ETA distribution to non-Swatch Group companies, with a few exceptions. In light of that, several companies have developed ETA clones. Among the clones, the ones from Sellita and Soporod are probably the two most often encountered Swiss ones. Here's a comparison of ETA's 2824 with Sellita's SW200: Clone Wars: Sellita SW200 Vs. ETA 2824 | Watch Flipr . I won't say it's impossible to find a Soporod A10 in a watch costing less than $600, but I don't know of any.

Here's a discussion of the impact of ETA's 2010 decision: Prometheus Watch Company | How ETA’s Decision to Stop Supplying Movements Affects Prometheus Watch Company and Watch Industry . Now whether read the article or just look at the chart, you'll see a pretty comprehensive list of who makes ETA alternatives and their delivery capabilities as it affects at least one watch company that purchases movements. More than much else other than pricing negotiations, the availability of alternatives will drive what movement you see in affordable watches.

There are of course other ETA watch movements, but in the sub-$3K or so price brackets, you won't see too many of them. The two you have any reliable chance of bumping into are the 2892 which is an uncomplicated movement and the 7750 which is a chronograph one.

Red:
So, to your question, you should expect, given your price range, to see Miyota, Seiko, ETA 2824, Seagull and Orient movements if a mechanical watch is what you intend to buy. You need not be too concerned with which one is in a watch you like, but all other things being equal, if you can get a watch with ETA-inside, there's little reason not to prefer it, but there's also little reason to require it. The reason for the latter is that ETA makes the same movement in varying grades of accuracy. The Standard grade will be about the same as the other movements you encounter. The grades that are a step up from Standard will have greater accuracy, but at best, you'll only see Elablore grade movements in the sub-$600 range. If you care, just ask the seller which grade is in the watch.
If there's something else specific you want to know, ask.

All the best.
 

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For $500-$600 you can get a very nice watch that will give you a lot of enjoyment. Of course, it can also be a gateway drug to many, many more watches. ;)

I'd recommend looking through the WRUW (what are you wearing) threads every day in the public forum and many of the subforums. This will help you define your interests. Find a style, then find the brands that offer it, and go from there.

Since someone mentioned Orient Star, here's a picture of the Star Seeker, well within your budget.

Orient Star Seeker-2 by fortsonre, on Flickr
 

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I second Dan_957. With that kind of budget, and for your first mechanical, you should be able to get a decent Swiss-made with genuine Swiss movement, sapphire crystal, etc., that will last a long, long time.
 

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Without knowing the style you are looking for it is hard to help. However, I see several people say "for that price get swiss..." I disagree. Yes you can get a nice low end swiss movment in that price, and get a mid level Hamilton, or Tissot...However in that price range you can get a very nice Japanese. Seiko, Orient. and end up getting much more for your money.
 

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My recommendation for automatics for the $500-$600 price range:

Seiko 007 or Monster
Victorinox Officer's Mechanical
Longines (Used)
Omega Seamaster (vintage - 70's)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow, really thanks for your help guys, by the way, this is the current watch I'm using, it's a Seiko Solar, love it a lot but I'm think it's time I explore a different type of watch too. I'm pretty much attracted to the metallic blue colours

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Silver
 

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Welcome to the forums! You're in the right place. Just hang around and do some reading before diving in...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Welcome to the forums! You're in the right place. Just hang around and do some reading before diving in...
Yeap, doing lots of reading but there is really a lot to absorb haha. I thought a good start for me would be to look at the movements of watches since that's the heart of the watch but there is really so much to know about!

I bought my current watch based on it's look, previous watches are for functionality (used a Pro-Trek with a titanium strap). And here I am realizing there may be more to a watch than how I used to shop hahaha
 
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