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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to find a sporty, race-inspired chronograph to replace my 20 year old daily watch. My three essential criteria are (1) an automatic or solar, (2) a sapphire crystal, and (3) around $3k or less (new or used). The two other options I'd like to have are an exhibition case back and a perpetual calendar.

So here's what I've come up with so far and my thoughts on each one:

Tag Carrera Cal 16 Day Date.
Carrera_Cal_16.jpg
I think this is a beautiful watch. I like both the stainless and the titanium models. Although it's priced a little outside of my budget, I can find a used one very easily. It uses the same ETA-7750 movement that some of my other choices use. It does not have a perpetual calendar, and I have read that the lettering can come off the dial over time.

Tag Monaco Cal 12.
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I love the blue Steve McQueen version of this watch. It does not have the perpetual calendar, but it satisfies all of my other criteria. There are lots of these on the new and used market. This watch, because of it's unique shape and popularity, is one of the only watches that I might spend more than my budget to acquire.

Tag Grand Carrera Cal 17 RS2.
Tag GC 17 RS2.jpg
This is a very unique looking watch. I actually didn't really consider this watch until I had seen it several times. After looking for three or four months, I have really come to appreciate it more and more. My one very big concern with this watch is the longevity of it's titanium carbide coating. I have had my current daily watch for 20 years. It has scratches all over it by now. But I could have it polished tomorrow and it would look fantastic again. This watch would be a nightmare to preserve that black coating over many years. Perhaps it's a good thing that this watch is the biggest stretch for my budget and would be the hardest to acquire.

Omega Speedmaster Co-Axial "Legend".
Omega Speedmaster Legend.jpg
In all honesty, I'm not a very big fan of Omega. I respect them as fantastic, quality timepieces, but I have never warmed up to their style. But I happen to see this watch at a my AD and I was really impressed. I can't remember if this one had the exhibition case back or not, but it's a sharp watch.

Christopher Ward C40 Speedhawk.
Speedhawk.jpg
What can I say about this watch? It's an attractive timepiece that meets almost all of my requirements, and is VERY reasonably priced. That being said, I have never seen one "in the wild". I've also noticed that they come up for sale fairly often. Without the ability to try one on and inspect the fit and finish, I'm just a little reluctant to buy this watch or this brand. That could change if I ever find one.

Tissot PRS 516 (T044.614.26.051).
tissot prs 516.jpg
Tissot was actually at the top of my list when I first started looking for a new watch and my budget was only $1k. I think this watch, along with the Speedhawk, represents a huge bargain for the money. Unfortunately, it seems that over time, this watch's appeal has softened. First of all, I don't think Tissot uses an anti-reflective coating on both sides of the crystal (just from my personal inspections). Also, compared to the others, it just lacks some of the that sporty character I'm looking for. If my budget were back to $1k, it would really be a toss up over the last three watches on my short list.

Citizen Signature Grand Complication.
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For some, this watch may not be in the same class as the others on my list. It fits all of my requirements EXCEPT it's not really race-inspired. My current 20 year old daily watch is a Citizen, and it has been extremely durable and reliable. However, I have a hard time justifying $1k on a Citizen. I realize that their signature line represents their best fit and finish. And all the complications include a perpetual calendar. But compared to some of the other watches on this list, this watch seems a bit more formal and not necessarily in the same class as Tag, Omega, and Tudor. But if Citizen made a Signature watch in a racier design, I would probably have stopped looking and bought it already.

Tudor Fastrider.
tudor_fastrider_chronograph_bvgsh.jpg
I love this watch with the red face and the black racing stripes. I'm typically not a big fan of Rolex for the same reason that I don't usually care for Omega. But knowing that this watch is made by the people that make Rolex pleases me a great deal. Aside from the Citizen, this is the only watch on my short list that doesn't have an exhibition case back. But I can overlook that due to the wonderful look of this watch. This watch would be more difficult to acquire form here in the U.S., but it's also appealing that I probably won't see one on any one else's wrist.

I know I've probably left off quite a few watches that you think might fit my criteria. And there are certainly a lot of great brands out there. I found a lot of watches that were just simply outside my budget (like the Chopard Superfast Split Second :p). If you think of one, please share it. And if you have any comments on my choices, I'd like to read those as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The Longines looks like a very nice watch. I didn't see it on their website. Does it have an exhibition case back?
 

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The Longines looks like a very nice watch. I didn't see it on their website. Does it have an exhibition case back?
That it does. Do a google shopping search for it and you will see the sales options. The movement is the L688.2...a swatch group movement designed specifically for Longines...a close to an in-house movement as you'll get. There is also a white dial:






Here is what you can expect the caseback to look like. This is the column wheel chrono movement in the non-record format. Still the L688.2 movement.




Good Luck!
 

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For reasonably priced complication have a look at Citizen Campanola. Quartz movement, very well made and amazing complications.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I like this over the aforementioned choices. This watch looks very versatile for daily wear: a good mixture of sportiness and class.
I agree that it has a good mixture of sportiness and class. But it's a little too refined for what I'm looking for. I'll definitely keep a lookout on this company in the future, though. Thanks.

I really like the Maurice de Mauriac modern chronograph. Interesting designs and very customizable.
The prices seem reasonable as well. I like the racing striped version. Thanks.

The Citizen Signature line has some interesting watches you may like if you are ok with the brand and Eco-drive. Worth checking out.
I know...there's already one on my list. Thanks.

For reasonably priced complication have a look at Citizen Campanola. Quartz movement, very well made and amazing complications.
I really like Citizen, and I have one on my list. But I won't do a quartz for this purchase. I have others. Thanks.

Of your choices I like the Monaco.
Thank you. It's going to be tough to decide.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
OK, I showed my wife this thread. Though I get to pick the watch, it's technically a gift from her. She told me that I should give my definition of a daily wear watch because not everyone's idea will be the same. I work from home, so I spend 7 days a week in jeans, khakies, or shorts. I rarely wear a suit or tie, and when I do, I wear one of my dress watches. If I'm going to be doing something that might endanger the watch, like play sports with my kids or going to the beach, I wear a G-Shock. For everything else, I wear my daily wear watch.

So the watch I'm looking for doesn't need to pull double duty for sportiness and class. I won't be wearing it in a business setting.
 

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It would have to be between the Tag Monaco and the Grand Carrera. The Monaco is an iconic watch that will never go out of style so I think it has an edge although the Grand Carrera has a COSC movement. I would also consider the calibre 1887 Carrera.
 

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I went through a similar dilemma last week. The Carrera was high on my list as I wanted sporty and didn't have to worry about business casual as that isn't part of my work attire. But at the end of the day, numerous people have Tags and Omegas, not to mention a lot of fake ones out there. For me the Tudor was something more special and seemed to fit the bill quite nicely. I ended up with the hydronaut Chrono model though, although the Fastrider looks great too. Just another $.02...
 

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That Tudor looks sweet....and is a bit different to the run of the mill stuff like Tag/Omega - although I have a Speedmaster day/date and love it to bits as a daily wearer. Also maybe look at the Chopard Mille Miglia - you may get one in that price range and they are smart designs that aren't too common.

Good hunting!
 

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It's about $1000 out of your price range, but the Tudor Heritage Chrono is one of the best looking watches going:

blog_images_1295053534-tudor.jpg

Now to the point of my post. You might want to pop over to Oris' website or visit one of their dealers, because they've got a wide range of watches in their Motor Sport collection - from ultra-modern to retro:

Oris TT3 Chronograph Black:

black.jpg

Oris F1 Chronograph:

oris-williams-f1-chronograph.jpg

Oris Chronoris 70s Limited:

f1_chronoris_1280x1024.jpg

Oris Chronoris:

Oris Chronoris.JPG

67275644154-c.jpg

Oris RAID 2010:

Oris-RAID-Chronograph-3.jpg
 

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from your list the Monaco, hands down. Classic
 
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