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What should I buy?

  • Seiko 5

    Votes: 13 72.2%
  • Vintage Russian/Soviet manual wind

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other vintage manual wind

    Votes: 4 22.2%
  • Something else (share your opinion)

    Votes: 1 5.6%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I plan to expand my small budget friendly watch collection a bit and I am exploring the Seiko 5's in the $50 - $135 range. A competing idea is to buy a slightly dressier manual-wind vintage watch, perhaps a Russian model. I have a preference for a white or cream dial, and a 34-38mm case (I have small wrists). Until recently, I was stalking the snkl17 on longislandwatch; unhappily it has since sold out. I would appreciate all recommendations - including ideas about the best places/sellers to patronize.
 

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I personally would go for the 5 rather than a vintage piece. The vintage owner is enough trouble without adding a watch to the mix.
 

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My personal preference would be a Vintage Seiko 5... Beautiful craftsmanship and history with an extremely reliable movement. Clean examples can be had on eBay for $50 or less. Perfectly clean and "recently serviced" pieces can be had for around the same $50 to $100. I feel they have much more character than any new watch and the amount of watch you get for the money is unmatched! Obviously this is just my personal opinion but I have 6 different vintage Seiko 5's from 60's to 70's and none have disapointed all purchased right off the bay. Just like anything however buy the seller not the watch! If it doesn't feel right, it isn't.
 

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It depends -- are you going to be wearing this watch as your primary watch? Will you care about it keeping decent time over a couple of days? Will you be putting it to any strenuous work (i.e. any time when it might be subjected to shock or moisture)? Will it be absolutely essential that this watch tell the time when you look at it (i.e. your only way of telling the time, and knowing the exact time is critical for you)?

If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," then go with the Seiko 5. If the answer to all questions is "no," then go with the Russian vintage.

All in all, the Russian vintage watch will probably be nicer looking, thinner, and better finished than a cheap Seiko 5. Poljot de Luxe, certain Raketas, and others are really sharp, look like german watches that can cost thousands, and have the potential of keeping really good time. If you're careful, you'll be able to get a very nice watch for not a lot of money. But, a vintage Russian watch is much more likely to run very fast or slow, conk out (even if the eBay seller promised it was "recently serviced"), or be susceptible to shock or moisture intrusion.

I've had a number of Russian dress watches. They were sharp. But I wouldn't rely on them as a primary timekeeping device (just like I wouldn't rely on any vintage watch that hasn't been fully serviced and vetted. And even then, the advances we've had in watchmaking technology in the past 40-50 years would still lead me to trust a modern Seiko 5 more than just about any affordable vintage watch).
 

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I would also consider:
- New Chinese watch, either manual wind or automatic. There's a whole Chinese watch forum to peruse...
- Orient Bambino. Unless you need or prefer a bracelet, I'm seeing all kinds of under-$150 deals on these watches in any number of styles, and you could probably find them <$135 with a bit of dilligence and/or help from the Bargain thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Some good questions! The watches represent different philosophies: my present "dress watch" is an Orient on a colareb (a Orient FGW0100HW0), and hence it straddles the dress / casual divide. Consequently, I can either buy a dress watch (Russian) or a casual / business casual watch (Seiko 5). In any event I won't be beating it up much - I have a g shock & an armitron durasteel for tougher situations.
 

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Some good questions! The watches represent different philosophies: my present "dress watch" is an Orient on a colareb (a Orient FGW0100HW0), and hence it straddles the dress / casual divide. Consequently, I can either buy a dress watch (Russian) or a casual / business casual watch (Seiko 5). In any event I won't be beating it up much - I have a g shock & an armitron durasteel for tougher situations.
Then I'd buy both. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If I go the Seiko 5 route, what (in your opinion) are the best Seiko 5 models available (particularly those w/white dials) - I wouldn't want to overlook any nice pieces ;)
 

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Unfortunately, there’s not so much crossover on here with the Vintage, Chinese and Russian forums as there was, say five years ago

So, people’s opinions on such a dilemma are much more uniform, and pro-new watches, either mainstream or micro

Personally I’d go vintage
They are more varied, you get better quality for your money, and they’re fascinating to learn about

I’ve owned over 100 mainly Russian vintage watches, and have received maybe two that weren’t wearably accurate off the bat

For Russian, Poljot and Raketa were great makers, and Zim/ Pobeda made some stylish gems too


Zim, £13


Got this Zim for a friend’s 40th

The ultimate dressy Soviet for me uses the Luch 2209 movement - search for Poljot 2209, Luch ultra slim, Poljot deluxe:





Chinese vintage: look out for Sea-Gull and Shanghai

Sea-Gull ST5

Nearer home:

Timex


Smiths, £8

All of these watches were under £40, some considerably so. Most 34mm
Check out the other forums mentioned above for more info
Happy hunting!
 

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For more familiar names, there’s some fab vintage Seiko about with a bit of hunting

faceted Seiko 5606-8130
- dressy or funky? you decide


60s Benrus

And for Swiss, Certina made classy clean watches which are still affordable: check out the Bristol, New Art and Blue Ribbon lines
 

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My suggestion for vintage seiko if going the office/classy route would be a SeaLion M330. 25 jewel 37mm and a timeless face with very unique day/date complication. All with a unique square case. These can be found on Ebay around $100 in good order. Below is a Google picture not mine.


Sent from my SM-J727T1 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've seen the Classica and really like it, however, i think it might be a little too big on my arm (I just sold a 40mm x 12mm for precisely that reason).
 
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