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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I am new to the forum, so if this isn't the correct location for this kind of post then please let me know!


For the last few years I have wanted to find a mechanical chronograph under $1000. I have found this is a pretty tall order. At the moment I would like to stay under the $600-700 range, but I have been having some trouble deciding.
This is where I'm hoping you guys can help!

There are several models to consider:
-The ?????? ?????? (Strela Cosmos).
-Seagull 1963
-Tissot PRC-200 range auto chrono
-Victorinox Infantry auto chrono (241520)

Each has its strengths and weaknesses. I like the look of the Tissot the most, plus it's a Swiss auto for a good price, but apparently it's movement contains plastic parts and will not be serviced by the manufacturer - a problem. The Strela looks amazing but I don't know anything about Russian movements, plus I can't seem to find it anywhere but German websites. The victorinox looks great and supposedly has a 7750, but I can't find much information on it. Everything I find is related to an $1800 watch that looks identical to the $700 watch I have found (241520), surely they must be different somehow? And finally the Seagull. Looks good, don't mind that it's handwind, just was hoping I could get a Swiss or Euro watch rather than one with Chinese writing all over the dial.


Thanks in advance for any input or suggestions! Please include a link if you have another watch to recommend!
 

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The Strela I think is a manual wind not auto. It is actually an old Swiss design produced under license by the Russians.

My advice is to stretch a little and get a top of the line Orient Star chronograph. In its price range is unbeatable from all aspects (case, dial and hands and movement). The movement in particular is a Seiko with column wheel and vertical clutch. You cannot find a Swiss equivalent at its price. Actually a variant of this movement is manufactured under license by TAG Hewer for its higher end chronos. So you could say that your movement is also produced and used in Swiss watches ;-)

Here is a link to a picture:

http://image.rakuten.co.jp/aaa-corp/cabinet/78/wz0011dy-1.jpg
 

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You might want to take a look in the affordables forum and check the Bundeswehr project. It is a forum project watch styled after a classic Heuer chrono. It uses a Sea-Gull ST1901 handwinding movement. It is a very nice looking piece which I think you can still get in on. The cost is under $500.

Here is a link to the page.
Bundeswehr Project
 

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Ever consider vintage? I have a large collection of vintage mechanical chronos most had for well under your budget










Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have consider used or vintage, but as a first time buyer of a watch over $500 it kind of makes me nervous. No warranty, the fact that an online transaction could be a gamble on quality, not to mention I have no clue where to begin looking. I have checked out some of the results after searching for used Swiss watches, but the savings seemed somewhat negligible to me, or the watches were still out of my range.

I will have to look into all of the other brands suggested, I don't know much about those!

Does anyone know anything about the victorinox I mentioned? I found it for $550, but retail is almost $2k, for all I know I'm looking at two similar-looking watches.

Thanks to all the replies!
 

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I think the Victorinox you're looking at is an older, last generation model, and they may be reducing the price to try to sell it off. Doesn't look half bad, probably running a 7750 movement which is a pretty good chronograph movement at this price range.

Are you sold on the looks though? I personally think the colour scheme is a little off, but if you like it then go for it.

I'd personally choose the Airboss Chrono as suggested by another member above. Looks much better to my eyes, a little more classy and versatile looking.

At the end of they day, it's your choice, but my advice is that if you find another piece that you love and it costs a little bit more than your budget, save up and get that. If you compromise, you'll just risk getting a watch that you'll pay less for but regret a few months later. And then you might end up buying the one you preferred anyway, which will really burn a hole in your pocket.

Happy choosing!

I have consider used or vintage, but as a first time buyer of a watch over $500 it kind of makes me nervous. No warranty, the fact that an online transaction could be a gamble on quality, not to mention I have no clue where to begin looking. I have checked out some of the results after searching for used Swiss watches, but the savings seemed somewhat negligible to me, or the watches were still out of my range.

I will have to look into all of the other brands suggested, I don't know much about those!

Does anyone know anything about the victorinox I mentioned? I found it for $550, but retail is almost $2k, for all I know I'm looking at two similar-looking watches.

Thanks to all the replies!
 

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I have a Strela (with the Cyrillic lettering), I have a PRC200 (in Quartz and the previous generation). Looks wise, I like the Strela a lot more and it is a manual wind movement, Poljot 3133 movement to be exact. Yes, the only dealer I found was from Germany, Julian at Poljot24, and you shouldn't be afraid to deal with him if you do decide to get the Strela. He even sent me three extra letter bands to go with my watch and a bag of cookies. I live in the Los Angeles area and the watch reached me in 4 days from the moment I ordered it. He upgraded me to expedited shipment thought DHL for free. The Strela I got is the 42 mm version in black, but there are 38 mm versions available in black or white dials.

The new PRC200 is 42 mm while the previous generation is 40.5 mm if that makes a difference to you. I cannot speak for the movement with plastic parts, I know that is something Tissot and other Swatch brands in the same tier are doing to maintain those watches at a more affordable price. I guess it's a matter of which parts are plastic.

The Sea Gull is a watch I like and would like to get in the future, but I don't like it more than the Strela or the PRC.

I find the Victorinox the least attractive out of the 4 you mentioned. If it uses the Valjoux movement it is also going to be thicker than the others. The Strela is 13 mm thick and I haven't seen a watch that uses a Valjoux movement come in under 15 mm thick, something to consider about the Victorinox.
 
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