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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Edited on 7/27/15 to account for advice I've received, my learning curve, and to clarify some things... changes in red)

(This is my first post, and the reason I joined the Forum, so please go easy on me if I mess up on this forum's brand of netiquette).

I'm looking for a watch to use for my duties with the National Ski Patrol, but I have a limited budget (have to spend the money on skis!). I have some specific requirements and I can't bring myself to strap a G-shock to my wrist for two reasons, one being aesthetics and the second is difficulty reading an LCD through polarized goggles:

+able to take a good shock from a fall now and then, and withstand some rough use (bashing into rescue toboggan handle, etc)
+water resistant (but will not be submerged, so no ATM limit)
+cold resistant (wont be directly against skin) (likely worn on Nato strap over parka in temperature range of 30F down to -20F, with 90% of use in 20F to 10F range).
+smooth second hand and I highly prefer red or very high visibility, for ease of use in taking vital signs (AUTOMATIC highly preferred)*
+white face, or very light face (again for contrast with second hand and high visibility) HIGH legibility/visibility is the key here, so really high contrast hands (particularly second hand) on a black face could work
+date window
+prefer chronograph but not necessary (No longer needed, I realize now it just adds some visual clutter for my particular needs for this watch)
+prefer clearly labeled hours if possible
+less than $150 USD

* So this might seem odd, but when you're taking vital signs, particularly a pulse, you're counting a rhythm. It might be 60 beats per minute, or 72, or 90, or 140... and you're doing it via palpation which makes it harder to keep track of... so if you're looking at the steady tick tick at 60 bpm of a quartz, it can make you loose count of the bpm rhythm you're feeling in your fingers. The smooth sweep of an automatic reduces that problem, and it's why so many medical folks used to prefer it. Recently we use a pulse oximeter which reads pulse rate and blood oxygenation for us, but I won't have access to one on the mountain, so it'll be the old fashioned way for me.

It can be larger than the watches I normally wear or even oversize because it will be used with a Nato strap over a base layer and mid layer and glove liner... or maybe even over the mitten or parka.. depends on what I prefer. I love Seiko 5's and the 38-40mm cases are perfect for my small wrist... so I'm actually kind of excited to have a way to wear something much larger or bulkier than normal day-to-day. No real preference between automatic and quartz.

Here are some options that have some of the features I'm looking for:

http://www.amazon.com/Precimax-PX13202-Vintage-Automatic-Stainless-Steel/dp/B00EQM1S5E/ref=sr_1_35?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1437674088&sr=1-35&refinements=p_4:Precimax

Amazon.com: Precimax Men's PX14003 Guardian Pro Analog Display Japanese Quartz Silver Watch: Precimax: Watches

Amazon.com: Seiko Men's SNZH09 Seiko 5 Automatic White Dial Stainless-Steel Bracelet Watch: Watches

Amazon.com: Seiko Men's SNKK25 "Seiko 5" White Dial Stainless Steel Automatic Watch: Watches
(this with a black face is my everyday watch, full time military duty, takes a beating with no problems)

Amazon.com: Seiko Men's SKZ323 Superior Stainless Steel White Dial Watch: Seiko: Watches

Thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions.

-Ken
 

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Citizen Eco Drive? Lots of different models, sizes, water resistance. The current model A1410 is 44mm diameter (may be too wide) 200M WR, screw down crown. The recently discontinued BM6400 is 41mm, 200M WR, screw down crown. Both have very good lume.
 

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I know you want a smooth seconds hand, but everything else on this list says "quartz" to me, and quartz is generally going to mean a ticking seconds hand (I don't think you can get into the Bulova Precionist line at this price point, but someone will CMIIW). Shock and cold resistance, in particular. And if you want a chrono under $150, quartz is the only game in town.

How about this Seiko?



Or this one:


Or, if blue might be your thing:
 

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If your going to be wearing this watch on the outside, I would suggest you avoid quartz. While I don't know exactly how cold it will be where you'll be working, extreme cold can throw off a quartz watch and even cause it to stop. I once had to change a tire in the cold and took off a quartz watch since I didn't want to bang it. It was in my pocket for all of 5 maybe 10 minutes and in that time it had stopped. Once I got back in the car and everything warmed up, it started working again.

Now, as for your list of requirements, I'm going to assume the white face and red seconds hand is the most important feature as it could be used determine someone's vitals, what about a Seiko SRP413?

Can be hand for around your budget of $150, although you can find it for less if you do some digging. Has everything you want except for a chronograph (which can't be had in mechanical form in this price range anyway).

Lume is pretty darn bright on it as well.
 

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This doesn't "tick all your boxes", but it may serve your needs. Didn't miss a beat all winter. Very inexpensive (<$20) to replace. takes standard straps. Available in white (I think.)
casiobike.jpg
 

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Here is an idea :) Doesn't hit a few areas like date etc but just an idea

image.jpg
 

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I also think you should go with quartz

Momentum M50 Mark II
- 500m water resistance
- VERY legible
- Clearly marked hours
- High contrast
- 45mm
- Sapphire crystal

IMAG1797 copy 2.jpg
IMGP2432.JPG
 

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I am a nursing home nurse. I don't deal with the temperature extremes, but routine turning/positioning of residents is physically hard on my watch. I also bang my watch around on equipment, especially during emergencies. I need good night visibility for night shifts, and a watch that can tolerate being wiped down with cleansers and splashed a lot. I prefer nylon straps that I can boil or replace easily. I alternate between a Traser(YAY for tritium!), a vostok, and sometimes an SKX007.
I prefer a watch that has an offset crown, so that I don't dig into my or my resident's tissue.

I realize that our needs are different- I would be looking at a Seiko monster if I were working out in the cold. Mine are indestructible.
 

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I think a Seiko monster is a great choice for your needs. However, missing the contrast.

Momentum is a good place to look.

Seiko Stargate might be within your range, however, the piece on the bezel had been known to fall off.

Deep Blue Sea Ram Quartz, non-chrono and chrono can be found in your range, offers white with high contrast accent colors. Bigger size, 45mm

Seiko Solar Diver, no white


As stated before, even a Casio MRW series watch would probably work great.


If you could find a way to spend more, jomashop has Victorinox Inox for under 300. That should definitely hold up
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you very much for all the suggestions so far, they've all been great (even that Momentum that is twice my budget!).

I read this thread on quartz in extreme temperatures: https://www.watchuseek.com/f9/quartz-watch-operation-extreme-cold-other-extreme-environments-768957.html and decided that for my purposes either should work.

However, I am just now realizing that a lot of chronographs have a tiny inset dial for seconds, and I would much rather have a full length second hand. So that's a new "must have" and will rule out a lot of chronographs:

+ full length/size second hand

My front runner right now is that Seiko SRP413... checks all my boxes so far. With two exceptions: price and availability. I can come up a bit, if I could find one...
 

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Or, you could set aside a little bit to mod the seconds hand. $15 tops for the part, and it's a quick and inexpensive job. If you go with a Seiko SKX diver, you would also have the option of upgrading to sapphire (~$50) when the hardlex has gotten a few bad bruises. SKX parts are abundant.

Would you consider big, white hands on a black dial? I find the combo just as legible. For instance, compare the siblings below. Seiko makes a LOT of 'em. You'd have a lot more options, including many with the newer cal. 4R that hacks and handwinds.


 
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This is more like $300 to $400 depending on strap option. And as he stated, way above his stated budget.

The Casio MRW line is extremely robust and very accurate for a cheapie quartz, as is the Casio MDV-106. Those can be found from time to time with a white face.

An M1 with a white face and full lume dial and black hands could work.
Here is mine I picked up here on the sales forum for $30USD


Whatever you choose it is yours and you will be the one to wear it so obviously buy what you like and that fits your needs. Hopefully you will not need to check anyone's vitals on the slopes.


I also think you should go with quartz

Momentum M50 Mark II
- 500m water resistance
- VERY legible
- Clearly marked hours
- High contrast
- 45mm
- Sapphire crystal

View attachment 4752474
View attachment 4752482
 

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Scurfa? Doesn't hit all of your points but it gets close. It's not a white face for instance but it's extremely legible.

Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks again for the continued help. I've learned a lot (thanks to your suggestions) and have edited my original post and I'll re-post my "new and improved" list of requirements below along with a few of my front runners. The good news is that I have until the snow flies to find something that meets my needs so I can afford to be patient and watch the forums, because I think I'm going to need to find a used and/or mod to get what I want within my budget.

Revised list of needs:

+able to take a good shock from a fall now and then, and withstand some rough use (bashing into rescue toboggan handle, etc)
+water resistant (but will not be submerged, so no ATM limit)
+cold resistant (likely worn on Nato strap over parka in temperature range of 30F down to -20F, with 90% of use in 20F to 10F range).
+smooth second hand and I highly prefer red or very high visibility, for ease of use in taking vital signs (AUTOMATIC highly preferred, see first post for explanation of taking a pulse with quartz)
+white face, or HIGH legibility/visibility is the key here, so really high contrast hands (particularly second hand) on a black face could work
+date window
+prefer clearly labeled hours if possible
+less than $150 USD

Contenders:

SKX-007 and $15 mod for red second hand or more expensive mod for white face and red second hand (Yobokies maybe?) hard to hit $150 though unless I can find a beat up SKX (and I'm fine with a beater)
IMG_9382.jpg

SKZ-211K1 "Land Shark" (love the legibility, might be a bit too small)
skz211k1_2_1.jpg

I still love this Momentum M50 Mark II, It's SO close (tough, super-legible, love the clean look...if only it were automatic) Somebody has to make something very similar in automatic?
maxresdefault.jpg

This CEM65004B Black Mako is highly legible and the price is definitely right at around $125... not sure about Orient reputation?
maxresdefault.jpg
 

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Have a look at the aptly named Snow Monster ($125) too. It has black hands on a light dial and strong lume. The seconds hand is also moddable to red. Bonus: cal. 4R! They are built to take a beating, with safety clasp, crown guards that actually protect the crown and oversized bezel. The textured crown would be easier to grip with gloves on. The SS bezel won't wear like aluminium bezels.



SKX-007 and $15 mod for red second hand or more expensive mod for white face and red second hand (Yobokies maybe?) hard to hit $150 though unless I can find a beat up SKX (and I'm fine with a beater)
Thanks to the low Yen, the SKX007 is $112-121 on Rakuten, which would leave you a little wiggle room to pay for modding.
 
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Discussion Starter #18
Have a look at the aptly named Snow Monster ($125) too. It has black hands on a light dial and strong lume. The seconds hand is also moddable to red. Bonus: cal. 4R! They are built to take a beating, with safety clasp, crown guards that actually protect the crown and oversized bezel. The textured crown would be easier to grip with gloves on. The SS bezel won't wear like aluminium bezels.
Beautiful, but a bit out of my price range.... I didn't find anything close to $125... all north of of $200?



Thanks to the low Yen, the SKX007 is $112-121 on Rakuten, which would leave you a little wiggle room to pay for modding.
When you're right, you're right. I now have an SKX007K coming via Rakuten (Seiko3s shop which seems to have good reputation here on WUS). Who knows how long the USD will trump the Yen, and from everything I've read, no one ever regrets an SKX007 so I decided to pull the trigger on it.

My plan is to order this second hand from Dagaz and have it installed by local watch shop:

Single Ball-End RD-3.jpg

If visibility isn't where I want it, I'll look for new hours/minutes dials in black and a white face to go with it.

(But it still won't be that Momentum M50 Mark II white face with an automatic movement. I would love that!)
 

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PM sent re Snow Monster.
 
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