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I am an American in Germany looking for a replacement for my L.L. Bean field watch. I like smaller and simple watches preferably about 38mm-40mm. I'm a wildlife biologist by profession so it'll need to be a bit rugged. It appears that a lot of the watches available in America are more expensive here and having them sent out from an American retailer means paying import tax in addition to shipping. I'm open to any and all words of wisdom from you watch enthusiasts out there! Perhaps there are some European manufactured watches that fit the bill? With two young children I'm afraid my budget is very tight.

Apologies if I've run afoul of any forum etiquette.
 

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Plenty of choices within that budget. Obviously Seiko 5 has a bunch of field watch style watches. Snk807 for example. citizen also has some eco-drive models that fit the bill (BM8180-03E comes to mind).

If you want to go German, have a look at the offers from Junkers, Zeppelin, Laco, and Dugena to name a few. Especially the quartz pieces should fit within your budget.



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Classic, akin to your LLBean watch, might include Victorinox.
 

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Laco doesn't make a quartz fleiger/field style watch under 42mm. And they start well above $200, even in quartz.

Victorinox doesn't play in that price or size category, either. Wenger has some pieces in that price range, but not in that small a size.

In addition to the above Boldr, Citizen makes a smaller, solar field watch similar to LL Bean as part of their Chandler line. I believe you can get them from Citizen for around $150 and I've seen them on sites like Jomashop for under $100.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Gentlemen, thank you for the ideas. Some of these watches match what I am looking for. Your help is greatly appreciated.

As an aside for anyone interested in ordering watches in Germany. Ordering from American stores (or most places not in the EU) means that I will pay an additional 19% VAT in addition to shipping. This gets expensive fast!
 

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Gentlemen, thank you for the ideas. Some of these watches match what I am looking for. Your help is greatly appreciated.

As an aside for anyone interested in ordering watches in Germany. Ordering from American stores (or most places not in the EU) means that I will pay an additional 19% VAT in addition to shipping. This gets expensive fast!
Liv Morris is a German micro brand that makes very affordable Flieger style watches in 40mm:
https://watchner.com/produkt-kategorie/watches/liv-morris-watches/1966-hanse-en/

imageKVL9M5YZ.jpg


The guy running it, Max Bouaraba, is a great guy, super customer friendly and mainly distributes Parnis watches / parts in Germany. His own line of watches uses good quality Seagull movements and standard components otherwise. Max is a professional watchmaker and knows his products in and out. For 60€ it's worth a try if you like the design. b-)
 

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Ok check out some Germasian brands like Aristo, Messerschmidt, Aeromatic1812 and the like. They all make sub $200 flieger or the like
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Okay, I decided on a Citizen Eco-Drive BM8180-03E. Because I ordered from America I had to pay expensive shipping and also 19% VAT but even with all that the watch only cost $117. I like that I'll never need to change a battery, that it is a simple design (could do without the day of week but, ah well), is a size I like, and appears to be somewhat rugged.
Some of the other suggestions were very tempting, especially that Boldr venture, but I am comfortable with my decision on this one. Seems to be a good deal and a nice watch.

Thank you again for the erudite input gentleman.
 

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Days later the crystal already has scratches. I do not recommend. May look rugged, but rugged it is not.
What did you do to this poor watch to scratch it up that badly? Were you under the impression that it is saphire crystal? I have several watches, with plastic, hardlex, mineral crystal and saphire. Even my Casio Royal (AE-1200WHD-1AVEF) that has a permanent home in my gym bag and gets knocked around plenty doesn't show any noticeable scratches on the crystal.

Options are to either, put up with the scratches, replace the crystal (for mineral saphire or plastic), or buy another watch with either a plastic or saphire crystal. Plastic scratches up but can be easily buffed out using a bit of polywatch.


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Days later the crystal already has scratches. I do not recommend. May look rugged, but rugged it is not.
Most watches in your budget are fitted with mineral crystals, which are not all that difficult to scratch. If you want scratch resistance, you need to get a sapphire crystal and those cost more money. Outside of some Chinese watches of dubious quality, you would be extremely hard pressed to find sapphire crystal on a watch costing less than $200 (VAT inclusive). Even shopping grey market wholesale, you're looking at about $190 before taxes to get something with sapphire. At retail, you're typically looking at over $300 for something with a sapphire crystal.
 
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