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Your favourite 300-500$ quartz chrono (which was mentioned in the post).

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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm a new member myself, but have been lurking around WUS for over 5 years.

This is the story of the first "nice" watch I purchased with my own hard earnt money
b-).

My objective was to get a nice upper-mid watch which I could wear everyday. Over my last few days researching and searching
o|, this is what I learnt, hopefully my story will be helpful for others come to decision;-).

First my criteria (not in any particular order):

1. Watch face must be scratch proof. Sapphire glass compulsory.

2. Bigger faces (40 mm) preferred, no dress watches. If you are looking for a dress watch in this range, stop reading further and just get the Tissot Visodate. It has a domed Sapphire crystal, instant date change and looks amazing in real life (you have to see it personally, pictures don't do it justice).

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3. Won't buy PVD coated cases, straps (they look horrible after a while), PVD coated bezels etc. Won't buy leather straps (they degrade with sweat and time). Titanium is a good option (only the oxidizing layer gets scratched) but not compulsory as S.S can be buffed if the scratches aren't too deep.

4. Chronos preferred, as long as it doesn't look too cluttered.

5. Good WR >200m (I swim often), divers preferred. Despite the chronos I love using the analog divers bezels for timing food, meetings etc. I feel its something I would use everyday.

6. The watch must be easily readable and the same goes for the lume.

7. Minimum amount of maintenance, service costs and something which lasts for a long time. At this price range the service costs on automatics after 5 years or so would amount to ard 200$ ie. the price of the watch upon reselling them after that period. Quartz preferred.

8. The watch must have a good finish, look bold and must be preferably unique/uncommon.

9. Lastly it should hold a reasonable resale value.

I've looked into 100's of Orients, Seikos, Citizens, Bulova, Swiss Eagle, Fossil, Calvin Klein, Skagen, Victorinox, HMT etc.

Initially I wanted to go with a Skyhawk/Nighthawk from Citizen but I already have an Ecodrive and I felt that the dials of the Skyhawk were too cluttered (besides having black PVD coating). The Ecodrives are sun-driven and a solid option for a first watch. I would love to have a watch with a slide rule and the Nighthawk sports an interesting blue tinted lume.
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The Citizen Nighthawk

I was really impressed with the Orient Automatics, it is a Japanese company with links to Citizen and produces some truly lovely Automatics for sub 200$ (such as the Sun and Moon). Within my budget range they produce a few beautiful pieces such as the Orient Star Automatics, but though beautiful, I wanted to go Swiss and a lot of their models looked like ripoff's from higher end brands such as Rolex etc.

Orient Sun and Moon

Skeleton automatics from Fossil, Kenneth Cole etc caught my eye (but they are fashion brands, don't hold value and held in low esteem). Further they don't come with Sapphire glass.

Calvin Klein (part of the Swatch group) produces some stunning bold looking steel chronographs but again they are a fashion brand etc etc. I might have bought one of their models, but they didn't come in Sapphire. Diesel and Police produce some truly "monstrous" looking watches.

Calvin Klein Post Minimal- What caught my eye was the glass bet. the case and the display, so you can actually look horizontally through the entire watch, and it makes it look like the top part is hovering above the actual watch. Mineral Glass:rodekaart

Skagen makes very thin classic watches and some cool chronos (none in Sapphire though). Hamilton, Swiss Eagle and Victorinox are reputable Swiss mid-upper brands and again have a lot of good pieces but the ones I really liked where beyond my budget of 500$.

Skagen Balder Titanium, scratch resistant strap with a mineral glass display. :-d

Regarding Seikos, the Lord, Sportura series were within my budget and caught my eye but lot of people (the average Joe) consider Seikos and Citizens to be "mall brands" and I thought I would go for a brand which doesn't make lower priced watches. Another "problem" was that a lot of Seikos come with hardlex glass (which are supposed to be a compromise between the scratch resistance of a Sapphire glass and anti shatter properties) but I would rather take a near-impossible to scratch Sapphire glass as I would go crazy if I found a scratch on my watch face and never had problems with shattering Sapphire glass.


Seiko Prospex Solar SSC349P1. This one comes in Sapphire, no bezel, has a slide rule (I really want one of those) and lovely red accents. This is going to be the next watch I buy, but not this time. :)

And so finally comes Tissot, a upper-mid Swiss brand with "heritage", not considered "mall" and which also hold good resale value (compared to Victorinox, Citizen, Seiko, and many others) owing to its brand name.

I decided to go for Quartz as I'm not willing to bear the 200$ maintenance costs associated with Tissot automatic's (I looked into Le Locle and Visodate) which are supposed to be serviced every 5 years or so.

Also no PVD coating (because of chipping issues), so black bezels are out (and so out went PRS 516). The Tissot couturier, V8 and the PRX also comes within this range and look good but after a lot of
:think: I ruled them out.

My choices were- the Tissot best seller PRC 200 (old model), they are hard to find and look like this:

A very good looker, ticks all my boxes (except the diving bezel) and worth it if you can get one for around 250$, my AD offered me 400$ for it and was not worth it at that price.

The PRS 200- now this comes with a diving bezel (but is in S.S), a tachy but can be hard to read.
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery


Some diver options were Victorinox Maverick (PVD bezel, low resale), longines hydroconquest.
Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Jewellery
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Drool :p but was offered 800$ new and was thus out of my range (you could get it second hand for under though).

So comes the watch I went with- the Tissot Seastar 1000 quartz.

Analog watch Watch Fashion accessory Font Watch accessory
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This thing costed exactly 500$ from an AD (its selling for 440$ at Amazon) and comes with a-
http://www.amazon.com/Tissot-T0664171104700-Seastar-Stainless-Bracelet/dp/B00LUPHAOS
1. Ceramic divers bezel! Coupled with Sapphire glass on the front, you can say bye to scratches on the front face.
2. 300m water resistance.
3. Good size about 44mm or so.
4. Engraved caseback (most other Quartz Tissots in this range have a plain back or come with Exhibition displays with plain movements).
5. Easy to read face and blue tinted lume :)
6. Has a good heft to it, very well finished.

IMHO this is among the best (new) watches you could procure in this price range. Its going to keep having that new look unless you shatter it and thus you probably can sell it for a reasonable amount after good use. You could get the automatic version (non chrono 40mm for about 600$) and that comes with an 80 hour reserve + a helium valve (can you believe that!).

I've spent countless hours over the last 2 weekends looking, searching, reading forums etc mulling over this purchase. I have purchased it and got what I expected. I'll link my full review about the watch (with lots of pics) soon in the Tissot forums.
 

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brilliant post. i have trouble deciding on a sub 500$ watch especially on Swiss. but no problems on Japs. this surely add in to my deciding factor if i were to ever buy Swiss again at that budget. thanks!


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Thanks for sharing your thought process. I am in a similar situation also looking to spend around $500, which will be my most serious purchase yet. Your search criteria and process is very similar to mine which will help me.

Enjoy your well-researched purchase... That Tissot looks great.



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