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I have always been fairly practical when it comes to investing in a watch. The thing that has changed that is now having two sons that I would love to pass down one day. I have a long time, as they are 7 and 4 years old. I would be looking a watches in the 5-10K range, but I am not wanting to do that just yet. I am planning on getting an everyday watch in the less than $600 range and then a simple dress watch like a vintage Omega Seamaster or something similar.
I have had a Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance(40mm with black dial on a bracelet) for 4-5 years. I have run into a few blocks. One is I have been drawn to the Tissot Visodate in white, Stowa, Seiko Sarb065 cocktail time, a new Omega Seamaster or Omega Speedmaster(I know more expensive) and have finally landed upon the Seiko Sarb 035 with a brown leather/suede looking strap. I am looking for some input from those of you that are more knowledgeable and that might even own the sarb035.
1. Is the sarb035 on brown leather or my current Victorinox Alliance with the steel bracelet dressier? I wear Orvis Khakis or Patagonia pants with a knit shirt or button down Orvis shirt 90% of the time, but I wear a sportcoat or suit for church and woud like something that is dressier than my current watch. I plan on getting a vintage Omega or something similar next year, but until then I am hoping the Sarb035 will suffice.
2. Is a 38mm watch going to seem way smaller than my 40mm Alliance. Also, I am weary of the color being too yelllow versus cream. It seems to vary based on light, but if it has any yellow I don I guess I might just order one from Amazon and send it back if it isn't too my liking.
3. Where are good places to order straps, as i would definitely be taking it off of the bracelet to differeniate it from my current watch.
Also, I am open to any other watches that I should check out. I really wanted to like the Cocktail for a dress watch, but it was too thick and it wasn't versatile enough for my liking. The Tissot Visodate I believe was 42mm and I also didn't like the way the word Tissot looked on the dial. Thanks in advance.
 

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To my way of thinking the 035 is just right as it's just at home with a suit as it is with a pair of jeans. It can be regarded as fairly small but only feels that way for a short while when I've been toting round something a heck of a lot bigger for the last few days.
 

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I don't have either the Alliance or the Sarb035, but these are my thoughts:

1) I would say the Sarb on leather looks a little dressier, but they both are versatile enough to wear in any situation in my opinion.
2) The general consensus seems to be that light dials look a little larger than a dark dial of the same model. I wouldn't think 2mm will be a glaring difference, but dimensions don't always reflect real world feel about how a given watch wears on any given wrist.
3) I haven't ordered from enough different strap places to feel good about recommending one over another yet. I'm sure you'll get plenty of recommendations here, or check out the straps & bracelets sub-forum (so much info and sources listed there that it can be overwhelming at first).
 

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1) the 035 on bracelet would have been dressier but it's so close it probably comes down to strap type.

2) It's a noticeable size class difference. The only thing working in your favor is that while the VSA Alliance 'wears large' the black dial will make that feel a little less large in relation, and the lighter dial helps the Seiko wear larger. I will say that for my preferences, the VSA Alliance would be fine, but the Seiko is just that little bit too small. Your preferences will certainly vary.

3) It's hard to give one simple suggestion, but try out Panatime and Crown & Buckle. Also Hirsch branded straps from any vendor are good and Hadley Roma are usually OK (some only OK, some a little better than OK.) Beyond that, you can really spend and spend on straps, so I'd say get 1-2 to try out and go from there. Definitely buy a strap change tool if you haven't already.

Good luck!
 
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