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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have a perfect excuse ( new baby, wife getting a Cartier) to buy a new watch and I am looking at a chrono.
I have some ideas but I’d like to have some recommendations.


Sorry for the thinking aloud… Here are the requirements:
· MUST be smaller than 42mm (wrist 17cm)
· three sub-dials is preferred
· If three sub dials 3-6-9 is preferred
· Classic – timeless design, at least in my opinion, to keep
· Something to make it special like the mvt for ex
· No gold whatever color, diamond and other Bling stuff
· Budget < JLC master chronograph but it doesn’t mean I absolutely want to spend that much

I own several watches but the two I will keep are:
JLC Master Memovox
Longines Legend Diver

Here is my short list (pics are from the Web thanks to them)

Omega Speedmaster, the “Basic” one. I love the Speedmaster but not sure if I could live with no date and a manual movement.
35705000-soldat-2-omega-speedmaster-moon-watch-35705000.jpg

Omega Speedmaster Racing black, Date, auto + co-axial, silicone hair spring, I am afraid that the Racing design will not age well as many other variations on the basic model
Omega-Speedmaster-Racing-watch-10.jpg

Maurice Lacroix Ponto s Auto, normal ETA mvt, maybe too busy - sporty, not sure how the design will age well…
$_57.JPG

Zenith El Primero Capitain, dressy?
1366025045-60749300.jpg

Zenith Pilot Big date, El primero mvt, only two sub dials but doubles as pilot…
zenipilot1.JPG

Zenith El Primero black, did not see it so it might over the top in the metal?
4760-4849-4-zenith-el-primero-36-000-vph-chronographe-bracelet-acier-zenith-03204040021m204.jpg

I quite like the Zeniths but I am worried about the mvt: from Service + Repair: Zenith El Primero calibre 400 | Watch Guy
[...]If this were a fluke, I wouldn’t say anything. But this is not the first Zenith I’ve had in here with the same damage,
and more often than not, these Zenith movements are subject to excessive wear.
Too much power, too fast beating…
I now understand why Rolex took this movement down to 8 b.p.s. when using it in the Daytona.
[...]

There are a couple of other candidates but they seem to no longer being produced. Is it worth trying to find one of them ?

Tag Heuer CS3111 maybe a bit too “24h of Le Mans”?
6sylw2n.jpg

Tag Heuer CW2111, the newer version are missing 9 o’clock dial
$_57.JPG


The ones I already don’t like:
Tudor Heritage chrono, it just looks weird to me (missing something on the lower part of the dial).
I tried a Daytona and well not for me.
Tried JLC master chronograph, too dressy and the date window is all wrong: Master Chronograph | Luxury watches | Jaeger-LeCoultre E-boutique

Sorry again for the thinking aloud…

M
 

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The speedy will win a popularity contest here I'm sure, but you have no slouches there; I like the carerra myself but the EP is nice too.
 

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I like the Zenith big date's design
 

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Speedy Pro, Zenith Captain or Heuer Carrera would be my preference.
The Monaco is nice too, but it wears much larger than a 39mm watch due to the square case. I have 6" wrists and it looks too big.
 

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For me it would be the Speedy Pro or this:

100110_breitling_navitimer_caliber_01_5.jpg

One of the Zeniths would do nicely also, I like the Monaco but it takes a backseat to the Speedy or Navitimer.
 

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My take on Chronos is that they are "tool watches". Like any other tool in my garage I want them functional and anything that interferes with that isn't the best tool for the job.
As such I have a place in my heart for the Speedy Pro - visible, tough, no extraneous little complications to interfere with it's job.
That Heurer (note the absence of the word TAG) is also a classic, and deservedly so. A close second due to being available only used.
I love the Racing but the hing is just a tad less legible than the "best in class. Super mvmt though.
The Pilot is nice, the date is extraneous, and I have no use at all for a Telemeter but prefer a Tachymetre.
4th place to the Monaco - it breaks several of my "Chrono rules" - BUT, it's a Monaco and I give it "icon points" like the Speedy Pro.
The Captain IS a bit too dressy for me and has no tachy.
The regular El Primero is - to my taste, and my taste only - a great body with a butt ugly face. Overlapping subdials?!?
The Ponto? Trys to hard to be noticed- illogical crown, funky pushers, useless but large bezel, and why the red? I'm warming to ML but can't see the love for this one.

That's my ranking - but it's only mine and many (maybe most) won't agree.
 

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I like all of your choices, but the Speedy Pro stands head and shoulders above, in my opinion.

Another one of my favorites is this Eterna Kontiki Chronograph:

kontiki chrono.jpg

It doesn't get nearly as much love on WUS as the Speedy or the Zeniths, though. The sub-dials aren't in your preferred configuration, either.
 

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Classic, timeless, special . . . kinda puts the Speedmaster heads over tails above the others. But the El Primero is pretty nice. A bit too busy for my tastes, but I like the design.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Hi,

Thanks everyone for the comments.
The Breitling is not my cup of tea I am afraid. IMO too showy despite obvious qualities (mvt).
I’m giving up on the second hand candidates (both Tags) for logistic reasons as I just don’t trust Chinese market.

The list is now narrowed down to Speedmaster and Zenith Big Date / EP after seeing the Speedmaster Racing.
I was underwhelmed by the Racing size as I felt it wears too small because of the short lugs (I guess), plus the color is not quite right.

Fun fact, I live in Shenzhen (P.R.C.) but I am an expat so I usually am not taken seriously in high end shops… even with a JLC on the wrist (copies are everywhere in SZ)
Anyways, when I went to the official Omega dealer (next to the Mixc for those who know the place) and asked for the manual Speedmaster the sales laughed at me...
They were like “we don’t sale this kind of watch who would wear this king of antiquities?”.
Plus they really thought I was making fun of them when I added that it had a plastic crystal.
Sad

Now I understand why the Racing was designed in the first place and sold at the same price than the Original version: it actually replaces it in some markets…
Could this means that either the Original is overpriced or the other auto versions are or more likely both are?


M
 

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I like the look of the Big Date Pilot but at 42mm it exceeds your <42mm criterion, also chrono counter is limited to 30min..
 

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Hi,

Thanks everyone for the comments.
The Breitling is not my cup of tea I am afraid. IMO too showy despite obvious qualities (mvt).
I’m giving up on the second hand candidates (both Tags) for logistic reasons as I just don’t trust Chinese market.

The list is now narrowed down to Speedmaster and Zenith Big Date / EP after seeing the Speedmaster Racing.
I was underwhelmed by the Racing size as I felt it wears too small because of the short lugs (I guess), plus the color is not quite right.

Fun fact, I live in Shenzhen (P.R.C.) but I am an expat so I usually am not taken seriously in high end shops… even with a JLC on the wrist (copies are everywhere in SZ)
Anyways, when I went to the official Omega dealer (next to the Mixc for those who know the place) and asked for the manual Speedmaster the sales laughed at me...
They were like “we don’t sale this kind of watch who would wear this king of antiquities?”.
Plus they really thought I was making fun of them when I added that it had a plastic crystal.
Sad

Now I understand why the Racing was designed in the first place and sold at the same price than the Original version: it actually replaces it in some markets…
Could this means that either the Original is overpriced or the other auto versions are or more likely both are?


M

I like the two that you have narrowed down! That would be my 2 choices as well..... For me the Zenith Big Date (42mm has great proportions for an average wrist size)
 
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