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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hoping to benefit from the forum's collective wisdom again. Since getting (and loving!) my first nice watch a couple of months ago (a silver Baume & Mercier Hampton 10026 small seconds) with the help of many of you, I've been finding myself wanting something nice to wear with my brown suits/khakis and on weekends, and to help kick off my collection. I figured the solution would be a blue dial, steel bracelet automatic diver (well, a "desk" diver, really, since it wouldn't be doing any diving on my wrist other than into our pool). I did my research, and went and tried on a few (including the Tag Heuer Aquaracer and the Longines HydroConquest). Omega and up are out of my price range, and although I see that the Oris Aquis is beloved by many on this forum, I'm not a fan of its particular shade of blue or the overall look (and it's also a bit more expensive). I watched helpful reviews of the Certina Action Diver and the Christopher Ward Trident, but they didn't do it for me, either.

I was surprised to find that, on the wrist, I much preferred the HydroConquest to the Aquaracer, and actually preferred the 39mm version to the 41mm version (despite having 7-7 1/4" wrists). I didn't have a chance to try on the full Arabic-numeral Hydro versus the 6-9-12 version, but that debate has been covered before (and I like both).

Instead, as Sean Pizzle predicted in my prior thread, I found myself thinking about the Hamilton Navy Pioneer again, and the fact that, for the same price as the Hydro (currently $875 for the 6-9-12 version or around $925 for the full Arabic-numeral version), I could get both the Hamilton and, say, the last affordable Seiko Monster available (the orange/black one) or a Seiko SKX013K2 (which actually is close to the size of the 39mm Hydro that I liked). I'd have the Hamilton for my brown suits, and both that and whichever Seiko I'd pick for weekend wear.

Thoughts on the relative value/versatility/collection-building aspects of these alternatives? Would I be getting two for the price of one, or passing up a truly quality piece (i.e., the Hydro) for two nice, but more ephemeral, substitutes?

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Tough call. That 6-9-12 HydroConquest looks outstanding. But so the Hamilton Pioneer and the Seiko Monster. I am biased as I already own the Seiko Orange Monster. The Hammy would be a nice add on.

For your decision, I think would be good to clarify better the purpose for your next watch(es). If you prefer a fancy (read "dressy") diver for weekend and occasional office, HydroConquest would do. If you prefer a more utilitarian approach, the Hammy (marine deck)/Seiko Diver combo would be better.
 

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Longines Hydro Conquest, without a doubt.
I have the 41mm Automatic in blue dial.
I have owned many watches and I feel that this is real quality at an affordable price.
Only other recommendations I would say are Oris or Certina, but you have ruled them out.

When I purchased the Longines HC I also tried the Hamilton Khaki Officer, and although a fine watch, it felt it just seemed boring and not quite the quality of the HC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, guys! Still have some thinking to do. I'm also going to need to learn to post questions like this at more normal hours of the day...
 

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If you like it, then get the Longines. I don't particularly like that Hamilton, and either of the Seikos will be pretty easy to get down the road. Too bad that you didn't like the Aquis.
 

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I'm a pretty big Hamilton fan, but here I would go with the 6-9-12 Hydroconquest.
 
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Personally, I think you'd be hard pressed to argue a differerence in quality between the Hamilton and the Longines. The Navy Pioneer is stunning in person, although I prefer the blue-dial version. All I'm really trying to say is don't feel like you'd be passing up "a true-quality piece" if you decide to go with the Hamilton/Seiko combination. It's easy to start believing that the grass is always a bit greener in the next pricing-pasture. But when you take of your sunglasses, and really start to look at the two fields side by side, I think you'll start to see the grass an even shade throughout. It's not until we drive a few miles down the road to the next county over...that we begin to see they're putting a touch more "umph" in the fertilizer.

Hope that makes some sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks again for all the perspectives. I find myself wondering if I was too quick to cross the Oris Aquis off my list. I realize most consider it to be a step above the Longines HC in terms of quality (and puts the HC's lume to shame), and it'd only be a couple hundred bucks more than the HC. I just don't love the shade of blue of the Aquis; it looks flat compared with the HC's dial (at least in the pics; the nearest Oris dealer is a couple hours away from me). The proprietary lugs don't bother me, since I probably would never switch out the bracelet.

The reason I'm considering the alternative Hamilton/Seiko combination is mainly that I worry that I'll be more hesitant to actually wear the HC (or an Aquis) at the pool, beach, etc. than I would a couple hundred dollar Seiko, and the Hamilton would work for my brown suits or a dressier weekend look. Decisions, decisions.
 
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I'll make this easy for ya'. See, here's the problem; you're thinking that if you buy one of the pricier options it's gonna be your last watch purchase for a long, long time...so you'll feel compelled to baby the watch. That thinking has you convinced that you won't feel comfortable wearing the watch at the pool, to the beach...or during a weekend bender in Vegas.

It's an understandable approach. It's also a common rookie mistake. The reality is that 8 weeks after purchase, you're already gonna be looking ahead toward the next piece that's captured your heart. That shiny new Longines on your wrist is gonna have a scratch or two that you can't explain, because despite having babied it, crap happens. You'll be wearing it everywhere, without a care in the world...because your minds going to be preoccupied with saving for the SMP, or the Black Bay, or the Explorer. Or maybe you'll simply convince yourself that you still need the Seiko anyway.

Simply put, buy the watch you want. It ain't gonna be the last one. The "newness" will wear off, and you'll be asking "Which one should I get next?" in no time. Don't over-think it, and don't let fear guide your decision...just get the watch that speaks to you now and enjoy the crap out of it.
 

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Thanks again for all the perspectives. I find myself wondering if I was too quick to cross the Oris Aquis off my list. I realize most consider it to be a step above the Longines HC in terms of quality (and puts the HC's lume to shame), and it'd only be a couple hundred bucks more than the HC. I just don't love the shade of blue of the Aquis; it looks flat compared with the HC's dial (at least in the pics; the nearest Oris dealer is a couple hours away from me). The proprietary lugs don't bother me, since I probably would never switch out the bracelet.

The reason I'm considering the alternative Hamilton/Seiko combination is mainly that I worry that I'll be more hesitant to actually wear the HC (or an Aquis) at the pool, beach, etc. than I would a couple hundred dollar Seiko, and the Hamilton would work for my brown suits or a dressier weekend look. Decisions, decisions.
I wouldn't worry about that. The Hydroconquest will be able to take whatever you throw at it. But if the Oris Aquis is on the table, I'd get that. I think Oris puts out a great product for the price.

However, I personally like to change straps a lot (on most of my watches, though some have found permanent homes), so the Oris's proprietary lugs would bug me. For only like $200 more than the Aquis, you can get the achingly lovely Oris Sixty-Five, with a conventional (but so vintage-y 20mm-to-16mm tapered bracelet for the 40mm version, 21-16 for the 42mm). That would be my choice of the bunch, even if I had to smash all my piggy banks (and/or save up a little bit longer).

Here's my choice, the 42mm:


$1395 at Jomashop.

And this is the 40mm, about $1200 on Jomashop depending on what color dial you want. Black is $1195.



The Aquis looks quite a bit chunkier, whereas the Sixty-Five looks like something out of an old Bond film, with its vintage style and bracelet. The Aquis is 13.5mm thick, which isn't the end of the world, but the Sixty-Five is is only 12.8mm. Doesn't seem like a lot, but the three watches I wear most are 14.3, 12.7, and 12.2, and you can feel the difference between all of them. 13mm and under is a good thinness for a diver (my 12.7mm thick watch is a diver).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So I went back to try on the Longines and Hamilton again, as well as some others. Didn't even realize before that they actually had both versions of the HC in the case. Upon close inspection, I definitely prefer the 6-9-12 dial to the full Arabic-numeral dial, and didn't feel strongly about the polished center link versus the all-brushed bracelet on the latter. Also still preferring the 39mm to the 41.

The Hamilton, it turns out, was already gone, but I also took the opportunity to re-confirm that the Tag Heuer Aquaracer is not my cup of tea, and tried on a Tudor Black Bay, which was clearly a cut above, but didn't really grab me.

Then I made the (happy?) mistake of trying on a blue 39mm Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra. Wow. Just...wow. Never really inspired by Omegas before, either online or looking at them in the display case, but on the wrist...wow. Should have kept my eyes on more immediately feasible targets!

Given my re-confirmed preference for 40mm or less, I'm also thinking I may not have to bother to make the two-hour trek to try on an Oris--if 41mm seems too big for me, I can't imagine 43mm will appeal to me more, no matter how great the fit and finish is.

Dealer didn't have an auto 39mm HC in stock, but already started coming down in price from list to encourage me to order one. Unlike with my B&M, which was substantially discounted on Jomashop, the price spread on the HC is small enough that I'm thinking I should negotiate a bit more with the AD and buy from them. Any advice on that? My impulse would be to split the difference between GM (currently $875) and MSRP ($1275) and ask for $1075 out the door (i.e., including tax). Any guidance on that? Thanks again, all!
 

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Which Aquaracer?

I have an Aqua Terra and find myself looking at these



as "companion" watches; very similar in styling but with the dive watch twist without over-lapping into Seamaster territory.

The grey/anthracite looks better in the metal than in photos and the blue is very similar to the Aqua Terra (not as green so a little more blue-pop).
 
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