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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A friend of mine was interested in Daniel Wellington watches, and asked my opinion because I am a fledgling watch snob :D

This is what I came up with after scouring the internet and watchuseek threads. I am posting it here so that all my hard work and research can help more than one person! And I wish that Brathwait made watches for women, because damn now I want one....

Daniel Wellington. Legit. Great style. If you like the NATO straps, buy a cheaper watch and get your strap from here... The NATO Strap Co. OR for so many straps of every type: http://www.crownandbuckle.com

dw.jpg
nato.jpg


DW is a nice fashionable minimalist watch. Might even be a recognizable brand (if you know any watch snobs ;)
After a bit of research, it would appear that DW watches are a tad overpriced. (http://www.watchfreeks.com/121-watch-review/117914-watch-review-daniel-wellington-classic-york.html)
That being said, I have a Coach watch that was definitely overpriced, but I bought it for the brand and style so whatever.


Other ideas:


Unique
Accurist (Vintage Shop - Mens) because I LOVE a good convex face and it just separates the watch from so many watches out there...

accurist.jpg


Good Value
Timex: Timex.ca | Dress | MEN'S DRESS LEATHER

timex.png


Technology meets Style
Orient: (because rose gold and black is so hot for guys right now!)
FER24001B0 FER24001B ER24001B | Orient Automatic Watches & Reviews | Orient Watch USA (use coupon code "memorial50" or "summer")
The cool thing about this brand is that you're getting a very affordable automatic watch which gives you a boost on the "cool" or "sciencey" or "watch nerd" factor. Automatics are just the next level. They run on the kinetic energy of your arm's movement, which is just plain cool. HOWEVER they will lose 1-5 min. per week (they are not as consistent as regular battery watches) and also repairs will tend to cost more ($100 every 10 years? maybe?) than a quartz battery costs ($15).

orient2.png


Brand Ubiquity (it's everywhere)
Bulova: Amazon.com: Bulova Men's 98H51 Leather Dress Watch: Bulova: Clothing
This is just an example of how you can get a similar look of the DW watch but for a better price.

bulova.jpg


The Higher Quality Twin
This watch looks similar to DW but is just better made (and better price!).
Brathwait: https://www.brathwait.com/product/the-classic-slim-wrist-watch-italian-leather-strap/
Very similar look, but slightly higher quality IMO. Sapphire crystal is better (light research showed that DW has mineral crystal) because it is more resistant to scratching. Crystal = "glass" on the face of the watch. Also, swiss movement (Brathwait) is better than japanese movement (DW) and chinese movement is considered lowest quality. Movement = inner workings.
Also, compare the straps closely. The Brathwait has a fancier/nicer clasp that is designed to protect and extend the life of the leather strap.
Super in-depth review: Brathwait Classic Slim Watch Review | Watch It All About

So now I really want to buy a Brathwait, lol.

brathwait.jpg
brathwait2.jpg


With watches, usually you're paying for the brand (is it a well-known fashion brand?) or the movement (automatic vs. quartz battery, and swiss vs. japanese) or the materials (sapphire crystal, leather strap, and gold plated goodness). Or a combo of the three. So... put your money where you want to! :)


I hope this helps!

------------

If you have anything to add, please let me know! Above is essentially the message I sent to my friend. I am super open to suggestions or edits. I'm still learning about watches.
 

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I like the Brathwait.

Lots of choices, but these seem like decent alternatives.
 
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All good but I must take issue with "Swiss is better than Japanese"

Swiss is different from Japanese, true. Swiss was there before Japanese *in the mechanical/automatic segment*. Having said that, the generic statement in the OP always provokes a rise in me.


Japanese were and still are segment leaders in quartz. Seiko introduced the quartz watch. EcoDrive/Solar - Japanese. Spring drive - Japanese. Largest manufacturer by volume, one could argue most experienced at making them with eye-watering parts per million error rate.

Before I come across as a biased Japanese fanboy, I hasten to add that the the Swiss are not slouching. The Tissot T-Touch is groundbreaking, and their ana-digi watches are good timepieces.


In the mechanical world, there is more to the movement than telling the time. One also considers the beats per hour (bph), accuracy and movement aesthetics as seen through the case back or an open heart. With quartz, which is what the Daniel Wellingtons sport, the bph is 3,600, there is no movement decoration and accuracy is a few seconds per month.

Build and materials are much more important in the DW range and type of watches. Country of origin, not so much.

Other than that, nice research and summary. I hope your efforts are appreciated :)
 

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What I don't get is why wear a dressy watch like the DW on a nato style strap?
Because you want to?

I don't love the ultra-thin aesthetic of Daniel Wellington and the inverted D is offensively bad. If I'm spending DW money, there are a lot of better minimalist watches out there. Maybe put in an extra $100 and get a Defakto?
 

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The whole reason for the existence of Daniel Wellington was the "vintage on NATO" look; its namesake was an elderly gentleman who wore a vintage dress watch on NATO; Accurist's Clerkenwell 1946 was created for that same reason. So if you ignore the NATO part of the equation, what you are talking about is merely a modern watch that has the "vintage look", and there are no shortage of those around.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All good but I must take issue with "Swiss is better than Japanese"

Swiss is different from Japanese, true. Swiss was there before Japanese *in the mechanical/automatic segment*. Having said that, the generic statement in the OP always provokes a rise in me.


Japanese were and still are segment leaders in quartz. Seiko introduced the quartz watch. EcoDrive/Solar - Japanese. Spring drive - Japanese. Largest manufacturer by volume, one could argue most experienced at making them with eye-watering parts per million error rate.

Before I come across as a biased Japanese fanboy, I hasten to add that the the Swiss are not slouching. The Tissot T-Touch is groundbreaking, and their ana-digi watches are good timepieces.


In the mechanical world, there is more to the movement than telling the time. One also considers the beats per hour (bph), accuracy and movement aesthetics as seen through the case back or an open heart. With quartz, which is what the Daniel Wellingtons sport, the bph is 3,600, there is no movement decoration and accuracy is a few seconds per month.

Build and materials are much more important in the DW range and type of watches. Country of origin, not so much.

Other than that, nice research and summary. I hope your efforts are appreciated :)
I love the world of watches because I am always learning! Thanks for clarifying :)
 
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I would take any of those over the DW. I don't have a problem that they are $200 Chinese quartz watches. I do have a problem that they didn't design them. Didn't change a thing from a Chinese white box watch that you can buy in lots of 1000 for $5 each. They simply added their logo to it.

I'm too lazy to find the links right now, but they were in another WUS thread from a few months back.

I don't begrudge anyone using Chinese manufacturers. I just can't buy a watch from someone who took an existing design and then created a backstory to make it sound original.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I would take any of those over the DW. I don't have a problem that they are $200 Chinese quartz watches. I do have a problem that they didn't design them. Didn't change a thing from a Chinese white box watch that you can buy in lots of 1000 for $5 each. They simply added their logo to it.

I'm too lazy to find the links right now, but they were in another WUS thread from a few months back.

I don't begrudge anyone using Chinese manufacturers. I just can't buy a watch from someone who took an existing design and then created a backstory to make it sound original.
Excellent points.

Question: why would someone pay $200-300 for a quartz watch? For example, Christopher Ward watches... People have told me that they're worth the price. But I can go to Walmart and get a $10 watch in a style I like that will be a good value (for what it is). Does the difference come down to preference? Style? Watch nerdness?

Honest question.
 

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At least to a point, with quartz, it's still very possible to see quality differences. Sometimes those are correlated with price.

I'd honestly say that I could find $100 watches all day long that equal or outclass the DW on timekeeping, ease/accuracy of setting/hits the markers accurately, etc. I'm not sure that a $10 wouldn't be nearly as good though...

Style is something that transcends price to a point, but for $250-300, I can find a pretty darn feature-rich quartz watch using a higher end Japanese or Swiss (or "Swiss") movement. The DW is mostly a style-based purchase. The only real selling point other than the brand/style is the thin case. That's worthwhile for some people, but I don't see it on that watch (and as much as I love NATOs, I don't see the point in trying to go *ultra* thin and then putting it on a NATO for extra thickness.

As you said yourself, a Coach watch may not be the most bang-for-buck, but it's a Coach and the style in your case was something that was a selling point. $300 is a lot more reasonable than some brands, and I don't buy watches solely for the feature set or technology. It's a package deal.
 

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$200 - $300 for a Quartz is quite a reasonable price. Usually $10 Quartz will have bad QC and non solid SS case. The most is plated.
 

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I'm fascinated by Christopher Ward and a number of similar watches. As far as I can see they offer nothing, and are very conventional. Add to which the seem to be Chinese watches which Ward and perhaps his colleagues have done a design tweak or two to but are substantially cookie cutter watch stamped out in Quandong, except for the name. I can't understand at all why Ward has such a cult following, and see this as a brilliant exercise in branding, albeit accidental. In a word, Christopher Ward was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time when people were looking for an internet brand that offer some pretence of design.

Technically Ward's watch are well below Accurist (the largest selling watch in the UK, and a brand in existence now for nearly 70 years, let alone Bulova, a storied brand that was never able to follow up on the brilliance of the Accutron and build a reputation for innovation.

In terms of design, all that I can say is "so what". I would never pick one off the rack if I had 300 dollars to spend on a wrist watch, but I can not presume to speak for UK tastes So I wonder...how did they manage to brand themselves so effectively, which I deeply and openly admire. They can sell their watches and keep on building new ones, which is a feat very few micro brands ever manage.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm fascinated by Christopher Ward and a number of similar watches. As far as I can see they offer nothing, and are very conventional. Add to which the seem to be Chinese watches which Ward and perhaps his colleagues have done a design tweak or two to but are substantially cookie cutter watch stamped out in Quandong, except for the name. I can't understand at all why Ward has such a cult following, and see this as a brilliant exercise in branding, albeit accidental. In a word, Christopher Ward was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time when people were looking for an internet brand that offer some pretence of design.

Technically Ward's watch are well below Accurist (the largest selling watch in the UK, and a brand in existence now for nearly 70 years, let alone Bulova, a storied brand that was never able to follow up on the brilliance of the Accutron and build a reputation for innovation.

In terms of design, all that I can say is "so what". I would never pick one off the rack if I had 300 dollars to spend on a wrist watch, but I can not presume to speak for UK tastes So I wonder...how did they manage to brand themselves so effectively, which I deeply and openly admire. They can sell their watches and keep on building new ones, which is a feat very few micro brands ever manage.
Like you say, I think branding and being in the right place at the right time was the key!

I think for quartz watches under $300 the value is a little subjective. Some people will think it's worth it and some people will think meh. I mean, apart from movement and crystal and case materials, what's the dif?
 
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