I'll put my vote in for a Seiko too. So much to choose from, so many styles and sizes. You're not going to get a chronometer at that price, but Seikos are pretty darned good, and besides, checking/setting the time once a week is part of the charm.
Does he want new, or used? Perhaps you guys could search the sales forum together for Seiko just to see what's going around second hand.
Why only one watch? He needs a tough-looking, unbreakable reliable sports watch. This means quartz with sapphire glass. Seiko or Citizen will get respect in his age group. Then add…his first collectable watch, such as a Vostok Precision, 1960’s Waltham wrist watch, Tressa, or other affordable collectables for about $100. He’ll wear it when dragged along to formal functions. Total budget, around $250.
My 17 year old has a G-Shock for backpacking and other outdoors activities, and a Citizen Corso for "dressy" occasions. With the solar power both are maintenance free and ready to go whenever he decides to wear a watch.
My 15 year old has recently expressed interest in getting a watch. We are having fun looking at the options.
Why not just a vintage omega? One of the cheap ones going for about $500aud. If he can keep that in good nick you can get him something nicer. He will always treasure it too as it was his first good brand Swiss watch and if I had an omega at 13 I would be ecstatic.
I just got this snk809 in the mail last week and I love it. I know that when I was a kid I thought anything with a utilitarian military look was cool and I would have thought this watch looked really cool (I still do). It’s 37mm which is perfect for a kid and it’s got a display case back which my 13 year old self would have loved looking at.
Obviously quartz would be more durable and accurate though so it really matters if he wants to deal with an automatic movement.
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