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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello awesome folk,

Yes, I have gone quiet in the past weeks - many changes on the work front, busy times, not to bore you too much...

I catch myself obsessing over my ultimo-primo-uber-dress watch and history tells me that talking to WUS fellow members is good, adds options, broadens horizons, etc.

WUS has always helped me, and I wish to compare notes with you on the Dress Watch Paradigm (queue in music from The Big Bang Theory)...

So, here's the deal - in stubborn but irrevocable steps I am moving closer to buying my dress grail, the Zenith Elite Ultra Thin.

To date, I have been unable to find anything which can challenge it against those combined criteria:

  • 40 mm
  • thin bezel
  • classic, clean dress
  • in-house movement
  • under $3,000 BNIB + factory warranty/papers

I want to make sure that I explore as much alternatives. If none measure up, fine - the Zenith is awesome enough. If there are worthy contenders however, I want to know about them.

So, let's share notes - Germans, Japanese, Swiss, steel or not, BNIB or vintage NOS, whatever dress watches you have on short list in your little black books matching or beating above criteria, please share them.

Here is my current yardstick:

 

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The stickler to your criteria is the combination of in-house and under $3000. The Zenith might be the only one to fit the bill. Nomos makes a few pieces in manual and automatic but they're all under 40mm - usually 36 to 38-ish mm. Maybe you'd get lucky and catch a pre-owned 40 mm JLC MUT in stainless if you keep your eyes peeled. Modern is tough within your parameters so vintage might be the way to go. $3000 is a very generous budget in that market.... however you won't find 40 mm, maybe 37 or 38 at the most.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If only NOMOS made a 40mm Zurich version... then it would have made things considerably easier, I agree.

I like the JLC but in my case, it would have to be the Grande Ultra Thin = 40mm, else the 38mm MUT is too small... Best price I could find around here for the 40mm JLC was little over $5k, which compared to the $2,700 Zenith is almost double if both are new. Now, I don't know how easy it is to find a Grande MUT in good condition these days, let alone close to $3k. My guess would be - not easy at all...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Nomos Club Automat has 40 and 41.5 mm versions in black and white dials. Looks like they're available in the neighborhood of $2500. They might be the only competitor to the Zenith.
The NOMOS Club is sportier - the color, the numbers... slightly off the strict clean lines of the Zenith. Sorry, not trying to be difficult playing "purist" - out of the NOMOS line, I think the Zurich is closest competitor... Priced new is above Zenith, pre-owned not easy to find...
 

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The stickler to your criteria is the combination of in-house and under $3000. The Zenith might be the only one to fit the bill.
I have to agree with ULF. Nothing that matches all those criteria comes to my mind; the in-house movement factor is obviously the hardest part. If we move that aside for a moment, there might be some candidates worth checking out.

I'm thinking about Union Glashütte Noramis. Union in its current form doesn't get that much respect around here, but this is a model I really like. Usually I'm not a fan of golden hands/indexes/numerals with a stainless steel case, but this one really melts my heart. There is also a version that has a silver dial with silver numerals and hands. It has an ETA movement with cosmetic modifications, but otherwise it ticks all the other boxes (diameter is exactly 40mm). And it's cheaper than the Zenith.



If you want to see some live pictures, check out this thread at the Nomos Forum: Privates Forum über NOMOS Uhren • Thema anzeigen - Noramis - Union Glashütte.
 

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Funny I was going to suggest a Zenith Ultra Thin Roman:



My other suggestion if you can add 1mm is the Ball Trainmaster Power Reserve:

 
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If only NOMOS made a 40mm Zurich version... then it would have made things considerably easier, I agree.

I like the JLC but in my case, it would have to be the Grande Ultra Thin = 40mm, else the 38mm MUT is too small... Best price I could find around here for the 40mm JLC was little over $5k, which compared to the $2,700 Zenith is almost double if both are new. Now, I don't know how easy it is to find a Grande MUT in good condition these days, let alone close to $3k. My guess would be - not easy at all...
Nomos Zurich is 40mm but slightly more than 3K. What about the Nomos Ludwig?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The Roman (or any other for that matter) numbers are very delicate topic in dress watch context - at least in my head this is ;)

Nomos are good but perhaps not as good... (not trying to start a flame war here, just MHO)

The biggest issue I have with Nomos is a very practical one - they do not have a retailer/sale point in Geneva. I should drive to Lausanne just to try them on. If all goes to plan, I'll try some of them in Basel end of this month. Until then they are a possible but not tested candidate.

Bring in the other contestants LOL
 

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Here's my present "dress watch." It fit all the criteria mentioned by the OP except it's 41mm. However if I had it to do over again and could have found the UT Zenith under 3K I would have bought the Zenith.
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Strap

N
 

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I'm going to color outside the lines.

Seiko SARB065: Seiko Cocktail Time - SARB065 « Yeoman's Watch Review
Well, that one actually ticks all the boxes: 40 mm diameter, classic dressy appearance, thin bezel, in-house movement and way undes 3,000 bucks! IMO a different but great approach, tyler! I absolutely love this watch and I wonder why it didn't even cross my mind... Maybe I got blinded by the big budget or the beauty of the Zenith.

I just have to add a picture here so that everybody can see it (pic borrowed from Seiya):

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Strap
 

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I strongly applaud this consideration. I ordered mine and it shipped this past Monday.

I'm going to proffer up some VERY bad form, and quote myself from another thread:

Cocktail time. I want one very badly but am overbudget on the year already lol, it can't possibly be only 2/14!

it has spectacular
-dial, which appears to have a subtle blue tint that makes it all the more interesting
-hands, including that very sexy blue sweep seconds
-spear indices
-crown looks substantial but not overbearing..and it's signed!
-simple elegant lines, excellent blending to the lugs, great polished look
-applied SEIKO
-great font on 'Automatic'
-perfect size for me, 40mm is big enough to be modern but not going to fade from fashionable at least due to being oversize.
-I'm a sucker for exhibition back.
-even the blue stitching on the strap, which I would normally abhor. It ties in so nicely with the rest /sigh

My one and only criticism is the sub-indices are a bit busy but they are so fine and short that I can easily overlook this 'flaw'.

There isn't a single dressy watch I've seen under about $3000 that I'd rather have. I could write a novel about it just staring at that one picture. Oh wait, I just did /embarrassed
With apologies, but with cheers encouraging you in this direction!

I will add though one other possible item that could be taken a negative: this watch is NOT a very thin beast. I don't believe I've read the actual height in mm, but make sure and look at some side-on shots. Non-factor for me but I did notice and dismiss, not without consideration.
 

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Well, shucks, I was keeping my mouth shut so I could learn something; but since we're going downstream where I'm familiar... the Orient 60th Anniversary also ticks those boxes, although I don't think the dial complications help it to compete in the "simplicity" department. If I could afford Zenith, Nomos or JLC ... yummy!

 
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
tyler durden - this was a class punch! I cannot remember how many times I myself have recommended the SARB065 and to completely forget about it... THANK YOU for that. The one thing which is not on the list but probably should be noted here is the Seiko comes with hardlex, not sapphire glass. But then, the question is - is a sapphire glass worth the extra moolah? The other point which holds me back now is thickness: 13,1mm (almost as thick as my Longines Legend Diver).
Great pitch, tyler, great.

skywatch - as much as I am tempted to dip toes in the Orient catalogue, I'll pass. Like the brand, like it all but at the end of the day, I see myself going Seiko before I consider an Orient. As you said yourself - the complication on the dial is the tripping point here. Otherwise a very, very good looking watch! Kudos for chiming in

NWP627 - I am very, very sceptical if Martin Brown will survive as a single brand. The craftsmanship and people skill behind it are impressive but my gut tells me they will not be around in 5 years as we know them today. I agree with you, next to the Zenith this is no match. Regardless, thank you for posting it - exactly what I need, fresh outside perspective to flush out the nirvana chanting before I purchase.

So, from where I stand, we now have the following list of contenders:

- Zenith Elite Ultra Thin @ $ 2,700
- NOMOS Zurich/Ludwig @ $ 3,000-ish
- Seiko SARB065 + $ 2,000 cash to the side
- JLC Master Grande Ultra Thin pre-owned (price to be investigated)

Love your input guys, keep it coming!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I stumbled across this one by pure coincidence and immediately realized who is missing from this thread... v76 would have probably suggested something like this Portofino:



Available at roughly Zenith's price point... :think:
 

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...exactly what I need, fresh outside perspective to flush out the nirvana chanting before I purchase.
You know, Kalin, with watches like the Zenith Elite and Nomos Zurich bouncing around in your head, I doubt that anyone here is likely to come up with a big upset. Time to start your Nirvana Chanting! b-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Time to start your Nirvana Chanting! b-)
Who ever said I stopped chanting??? I am chanting, because I find myself in the hardest of all stages now - the one where you think "maybe I should save some more expensive one"...

I didn't think anyone could suggest *anything* for that matter and then, you see, those chaps throw in the NOMOS... so I wouldn't be so sure there are no other contestants just yet ;) Plus, I am in no rush whatsoever. Basel is in 3 weeks, I'll be seeing a lot of folk there, talking to some contacts who dish discounts, so... no stress

Huuummmmmmmmm, Zeeeeeeeniiiiiiith, Suuuuunshiiiiiiiiine, Huuuuuuuuummmmmmmmm


Sorry, could not resist this
 
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