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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to invest in my first high-quality timepiece over the next few months. Ive done some research and found few watches I like, but I'm looking for more options as this is a big investment and I don't want to regret a purchase because I didn't do my homework!
Budget: $1500 Movement: Mechanical (prefer automatic, hand wind okay) Style: Dress, but can be dressed down. I typically wear jeans/chinos with light wool sweaters or OCBD shirts, but this would also be a watch I would wear with a suit (which is rarely). Wrist size: 7.25" (my daily wearer right now is a Timex Weekender, which I find a little small on my wrist) New or used in good condition.
I really love the look of German timepieces, and think they provide fantastic value based on my research. Movement isn't critical (I'd be unlikely to inflate my budget to move into the in-house Nomos movement, for instance) but I want something that has some craftsmanship behind it, and that will last a lifetime if serviced properly. I have done some research and really like what Junghans (Max Bill) and Stowa (Antea, Marine) have to offer at this price point. I guess what I'm really after is advice if there are other watchmakers that hew to a similar (bauhaus) aesthetic that I should be looking at. If I could go out and try on the Stowa Antea line right now, I would probably settle on whichever one I like the most. Since this isn't possible, I'd love some additional input on what else I should be considering.
Thanks in advance!
 

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A manual, you quickly get into a routine that you wind it up it the morning. It takes all of 10 seconds & you don't really notice anymore.
 

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Both Junghans and Stowa are great watches. I have my eye on a Nivrel: Coeur de la Sarre. I really like the blue one (Sarreguemines), but there are 4 different combinations to choose from. For $1500 you could almost buy two. I have not seen one in person, but have read some good things about them.
 

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Both Junghans and Stowa are great watches. I have my eye on a Nivrel: Coeur de la Sarre. I really like the blue one (Sarreguemines), but there are 4 different combinations to choose from. For $1500 you could almost buy two. I have not seen one in person, but have read some good things about them.
Ooh ooh oooh! This question is for me! I've the Coeur de la Sarre! What would you like to know?
 

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I adore my Nivrel and spent quite a while choosing it. However, I know that it isnt the last word in horology, so here are some thoughts:

  • the Coeur de la Sarre is 42mm, which is pretty large for a retro design. Your wrist, tho, is half an inch bigger than mine
  • I've the black dial, which was because I was after a black faced watch. The blue one probably displays the sunburst finish of the dial better than the black version, on which the change in texture can be almost too subtle. I believe there are wrist shots of the blue version on WUS somewhere. [EDIT: here]
  • The movement is a totally standard 2824. Other German manufacturers will decorate and regulate their ETAs. This is, I think, Nivrel's cheapest watch, and they haven't spent any money in that deparment. The watch gains about 10 seconds a day - not much of an issue with a watch that has hacking seconds but I think other German watches with a 2824 will be doing better than this out of the box
  • The fit and finish is truly lovely - I love looking this watch for ages, it has a really poetic feel to it - but there are two tiny faults I can find: one with the application of the "12" numerals, and one with a bit lume on a stick index.
  • The strap though is beyond delicious, but the glass is only mineral, not sapphire
  • You can get the watch for less than their e-boutique price (nice Watchma introduced me to a flexible AD - PM me if interested)
Hope that's a useful start....

If you want a German watch at this kind of price which is more dressy than the CdlS the only other option I could find was the Dugena Premiums, which have gold feuille hands etc
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A manual, you quickly get into a routine that you wind it up it the morning. It takes all of 10 seconds & you don't really notice anymore.
Generally speaking, are manual watches less expensive to acquire/maintain and service than automatics?
 

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I think the Stowa MO would be right up your alley. No reason to be afraid of a manual movement (I think they are more durable and prefer them). The Unitas is a legendary pocket watch movement and fits you wanting a movement with some "craftsmanship" to it. Stowa beautifies it nicely as well.

The Marine watch style has a history in and of itself. Although it definitely has a dress watch look to it, it's background and how it was initially used as a timepiece counters that somewhat, so it has merits as a casual piece as well as a dressy one (especially more casual in brushed-case form instead of the polished). Good luck with your search and report back with whatever you decide on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would look into Muhle Glashutte. Great watches for the price and very well made.
Indeed they are. I did have my heart set on a German watch, but I'll look again at these. The moonphase complications, while not at all what I came in thinking of, are beauties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I adore my Nivrel and spent quite a while choosing it. However, I know that it isnt the last word in horology, so here are some thoughts:

  • the Coeur de la Sarre is 42mm, which is pretty large for a retro design. Your wrist, tho, is half an inch bigger than mine
  • I've the black dial, which was because I was after a black faced watch. The blue one probably displays the sunburst finish of the dial better than the black version, on which the change in texture can be almost too subtle. I believe there are wrist shots of the blue version on WUS somewhere. [EDIT: here]
  • The movement is a totally standard 2824. Other German manufacturers will decorate and regulate their ETAs. This is, I think, Nivrel's cheapest watch, and they haven't spent any money in that deparment. The watch gains about 10 seconds a day - not much of an issue with a watch that has hacking seconds but I think other German watches with a 2824 will be doing better than this out of the box
  • The fit and finish is truly lovely - I love looking this watch for ages, it has a really poetic feel to it - but there are two tiny faults I can find: one with the application of the "12" numerals, and one with a bit lume on a stick index.
  • The strap though is beyond delicious, but the glass is only mineral, not sapphire
  • You can get the watch for less than their e-boutique price (nice Watchma introduced me to a flexible AD - PM me if interested)
Hope that's a useful start....

If you want a German watch at this kind of price which is more dressy than the CdlS the only other option I could find was the Dugena Premiums, which have gold feuille hands etc
Thank you for all the information. I haven't looked into Nivrel before, so this is exactly the type of response I was looking for. The CdlS is indeed a very nice dress watch. It reminds me a lot of the Orient Bambino/Symphony, which I really like (I received the Symphony as a gift from my wife last year). The more I look at alternatives, the more I see that the Max Bill/Antea/Nomos aesthetic is what I want to spend (for me) serious money on, though. I will definitely, however give the Nivrel a try on in person before I rule them out all together. They look really beautiful and I'm having a hard time ruling them out. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think the Stowa MO would be right up your alley. No reason to be afraid of a manual movement (I think they are more durable and prefer them). The Unitas is a legendary pocket watch movement and fits you wanting a movement with some "craftsmanship" to it. Stowa beautifies it nicely as well.

The Marine watch style has a history in and of itself. Although it definitely has a dress watch look to it, it's background and how it was initially used as a timepiece counters that somewhat, so it has merits as a casual piece as well as a dressy one (especially more casual in brushed-case form instead of the polished). Good luck with your search and report back with whatever you decide on.
The Marine Original is a gorgeous watch. I'm very tempted, especially since I think it would dress down nicely with a NATO band (a sort of high-end of my daily Timex Weekender…). I'm especially attracted to the Small Seconds version.

I will be sure to chime in once a decision has been made!
 

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From Stowa FAQ
What happens if I do not like the watch I got?

Of course all our customers have the right to return unworn watches within 14 days.
As soon as we have checked the watch we will refund the money. This happens rarely as normally all our customers are convinced of the quality delivered. In case of return we kindly ask our customer to cover the costs for the reshipment.
No big risk to order an Antea. Ok you have to take the costs for sending back but that's it.
 
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