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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey all im after a simple military style watch and havent found many under $300 that are clean looking.. here's two i like

SNX431


Marathon Basic Field Watch
 

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You'll never go wrong buying a Seiko! :-! Good luck with your search.
 

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You can buy seikos all day long for under 5 notes. Sounds like you're aiming for what would currently be considered a small watch (though normal man's size by historical standards).

The Seiko SNK series would get my nod ahead of the Marathons, just because of the case design and water resistance (Seiko is stronger in both regards). Plus, you get an automatic movement, which is infinitely cooler than a basic quartz movement, any day of the week. I've got one of the seikos now, and I've got a Yobokies modded SNK on its way. By the way, if you want a look different from the ones Seiko offers, contact Harold (Harold = yobokies, see posts on the sales forums here and at MWR). He's got gobs of dials and handset combinations. My incoming SNK is going to look sorta like a Sinn 656.

If you are not strictly looking for a watch in the +/- 35mm range, you could easily pick up a gently used SAR for less than 500 bucks. Take a look at the sales forums. Be a little patient, and you'll come across a really nice example for under $450, I'm sure. If you've not handled one of the SAR variations, they're champs! I've (currently) got two, and I love 'em.

ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I want something a bit different I find most seiko watches too busy. I like something simple like the Field Basic.
 

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Are you looking at the Maraglo version or the Tritium?
Tritium is well worth the extra $25. I own one and TBH it is probably the most reliable watch I own. I have a Seiko BM with a 7s26 but it just broke so I have lost a little faith in mechs... and I have been wearing my Marathon field for a while. It is very comfortable and light on a nylon strap and won't let you down. Mine has gone to Laos on a 2 week motorcycle trip, it has been through water, mud, asphalt, etc and has held up fine. More so it is much more accurate (as it is a quartz) than a mech mov't.
I do like mechanicals, I have to say that the Seiko is a good choice- I love the styling of the hands/dial (I would get the black though), and I have heard the seiko might have a see-through case back.

The marathon has fixed lugs (which can either be a deal maker or a deal breaker) compared to the Seiko's spring bars.

Either way you won't be disappointed. If I got either one of them though, I would probably buy a spare band from Maratac in a different color just to change it up. I got an OD 16mm for my Marathon and I like it much more than the black that came with it.

If it were me I would get the Marathon just because of the tritium, but if it were Maraglo vs the Seiko, I'd go seiko just because it is a mech. and has a steel case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks for that great reply but that watch looks too busy and not very pretty.. keep the recommendations coming please!
 

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here's my snk mod from Harol (Yobokies). This one's not too busy, eh?
(pic is Harold's....I don't have the watch, yet)



ben
 

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That's one sharp looking military/industrial watch! I like it a lot! And it's old school big! Just say no to tuna cans on wrists.
 

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First off, if you haven't bought a mechanical watch before, be aware that they need regular servicing - Seikos less so than anything else, maybe, but the need is still there. They might or might not be "cooler", according to taste - that's subjective; a $100 servicing bill every four years isn't!

A lot of real military service watches have user serviceable battery hatches, so you can just pop a battery in yourself. Beside the obvious example of Marathon, you might want to look at the British/Nato G10 spec watches. These are made by CWC, MWC, and Pulsar. CWC's are said to be much the best and Pulsars the worst. There are standard and trititm vial versions available. UK ebay might be a good place to look. They look like

 

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Oh - three other options:

- Chinese Alpha mechanicals, typically $50-80, lots of military style watches, and excellent reviews like https://www.watchuseek.com/showthread.php?t=214301. Poor lume, if that matters, but could be fixed by a re-lumer. The site is www.alpha-watch.com

- Very, very cheap, and might share the quality problems of the Pulsar G10, but a good match for your description otherwise, Lorus "Military" watches - again look on UK ebay.

- Not cheap, but probably good value if you want something really nice: Westcoast Time are an excellent military watch specialist.

http://www.westcoastime.com/milmilinwatp.html

eg

 

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i dont know if ebay links are allowed here if they are not allowed - sorry!

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CWC-G10-British-Military-Watch_W0QQitemZ290281887411QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Jewelery_Watches_Watches_MensWatches_GL?hash=item290281887411&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1298|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318

looks great.. if it's got markings does that mean that it was made for the sole purpose of military and that its just surplus?
Full information available all over the pil/mil (pilot and military) forum but... my understanding - no doubt will be corrected in the next few posts....

CWC is the Cabot Watch Company - official suppliers to UK armed forces - but, I've read, lower ranks do not buy them, preferring G-Shocks like the rest of the world, or MWC (Military Watch Company). CWC and MWC have a feud going on so this is my uninformed reading of the situation.
Precista was a supplier of watches to the UK military until it ceased trading a few years ago. The name was bought by a chap called Eddie who now has a line of good, plain watches, similar in look to classic UK military watches, albeit brought up to date with regard to movements, water resistance and bang-for-buck.
MWC have their own website.
CWC are sold out of Silvermans, a general military equipment company/website.
Precista are sold exclusively on the Timefactors website.

For what it's worth I'd go the Precista route (and I have - proud owner of a PRS-53).

Good watch hunting.
 
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