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Discussion Starter #1
I've owned many quartz watches and even a few automatics over the years, none of which was very good and all of which were only a few hundred dollars at most. I'm looking to buy a decent watch that I can wear for years to come.

My criteria:
  • automatic
  • steel or ceramic case
  • steel bracelet
  • date
  • preferably chronograph, though not necessary
  • >= 40mm, <= 43mm case diameter
  • black or blue dial
  • reputable and Swiss brand with Swiss movement
  • <= $3,500
My top candidates right now are:

Omega Speedmaster 40mm Date $3,500
32105000-20.png

Longines Conquest L27434566 41mm $2,750
L2.743.4.56.6.jpg

Tag Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 16 Automatic Chronograph 42mm $3,200
Tag1.jpg

My favorite is definitely the Omega. What do you all think, and do you know of any other watches that fit all of my criteria?
 

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Omega, but not an auto, the real deal Speedy Pro.
 

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I would go for smp 300 41mm non chrono, the one you picked fits like 38mm looks like lady's speed master if your wrist is not tiny.





You can get about 25% on the smp 300 non chrono 41mm auto easily with cash payment from AD and will be little less than 3500.



SMP chrono looks ugly...




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Yeah, you seem to be quoting MSRP -- you can do much better from the grey market, or just by haggling with an AD. I've seen that Aquaracer for $1800, for example.

I'd actually suggest tossing the Aquaracer and putting a Tag Heuer "original-style" 1887 chrono in that list instead. The blue-dial one is gorgeous if you can find it in your price range, and the black dial one should definitely be available for $3500. Very nice in-house-ish Seiko-derived movement, see-through caseback, just a very nice watch overall. For me it'd be that or the Speedy.
 

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Yeah the 1887 is a great choice. Looks cool and the movement is both beautiful and Seiko designed. Hard to do better in that price range (even from Seiko). I guess might consider going to the source and trying a Flightmaster or one of the Brightz 6S chronographs though. I like the power reserves on the original.
 

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I would agree with everyone that has posted so far-Speedmaster. TAG, too trendy and they switch styles too often, obviously not a classic watch for long term enjoyment. No offense TAG guys, I own em too..And two, lol. I would do a mint preowned Speedy, therefore. Google the history of that Speedmaster and you will hopefully see the great badge that it has gone to and the honor it gives itself. But, then again, we all know what opinions are like. Good luck!
 

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Omega, but not an auto, the real deal Speedy Pro.
Completely agreed.


Longines also offers great value with their column wheel chronograph movement, in case you don't want to compromise on the self-winding movement.
 

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How about this one? Right on the dot, money wise. And very original / unique. OK, so it's not a Swiss Brand (American). But it does have a swiss movement. I think it's worth a shot.

I also noticed it doesn't have a bracelet. But I'm standing fast with my recommendation that only meets a portion of your requirements!

RGM Watch Company

rgm-model--ref-400-watch.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Before posting, I already favored Omega and most of your feedback reinforces that, so thanks. Many of you, however, seem to be pointing me to the Speedmaster Professional. It seems really nice with a better size and an incredible history, especially to a NASA fan like me, but I have a few concerns:

-hesalite crystal (much more scratch-prone than sapphire)
-I have heard that it is not very accurate and loses more than 10 seconds a day

I don't mind the fact that it costs a few hundred dollars more or that it is a manual winding movement- I can deal with those. However, the above items are of genuine concern. What do you think? Also, I head your feedback about the grey market. What are some good grey market deals on Omega SM's?
 

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Look to ZENITH.
Zenith el primero chronos cannot be found anywhere near 3.5k, even grey market.

for under 3.5k, you're looking at a valjoux7750 based chrono, so I would just look for the cheapest watch with that movement, as the quality isn't going to differ by too much. Anything over ~$800 will have a solid SS Steele case and sapphire crystal.

As everyone has already mentioned, get the speedmaster pro :) that is one watch that never gets old.
 

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I don't think grey market is good place to get Omega, most omega AD offer discount close to grey market price, mostly there's only 5% difference, well its about 300$ but i think the feeling of getting it from AD worth it, if you really want to save money buy used. I don't think hesalite is a problem, but if u really dont like it you could get the sapphire sandwich version, if i were you i would buy the hesalite though. Actually if you haven't see those watches in person you should do so as they sometimes looks very different from the picture. If you want to go with the speedy check out the numbered edition, i really dig the hands on that version.
 

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Before posting, I already favored Omega and most of your feedback reinforces that, so thanks. Many of you, however, seem to be pointing me to the Speedmaster Professional. It seems really nice with a better size and an incredible history, especially to a NASA fan like me, but I have a few concerns:

-hesalite crystal (much more scratch-prone than sapphire)
-I have heard that it is not very accurate and loses more than 10 seconds a day

I don't mind the fact that it costs a few hundred dollars more or that it is a manual winding movement- I can deal with those. However, the above items are of genuine concern. What do you think? Also, I head your feedback about the grey market. What are some good grey market deals on Omega SM's?
On the Hesalite question-- remember, the astronauts did pretty good with it. I really like sapphire but wore Rolex plastic crystals for 30 years with no complaints.
 

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Also, don't hesitate to buy used on these choices. You can usually get a lot more watch pre-owned.
 

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Just got mine two weeks ago, only $100 more then your limit, from AD. Brand new, obviously.



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Tag, the cleanest most balanced dial of the bunch (to me) . . .
 
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