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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I started my personal search for a sub-$1k hand wind watch, but found something against most that I found so I'm pushing it up to sub-$2k. I'm not looking for a dress watch, so it needs to be everyday wear capable. Should be a three hander so it can be set to current time without much fuss in a multiple watch rotation.

I'd considered the limited Stowa Antea back to Bauhaus, but I prefer central seconds hand and not small seconds. At 35.5mm, this is also pretty small, I wouldn't rule out on that alone but I do like 38-42mm range a bit better. It's a shame, the larger versions of these limited Anteas have central seconds but then switch to ETA 2824-2 movement with no hand wind option.


The Stowa Flieger I also like the look of, but here I'm not crazy about the ETA 2804-2 which is the one with a date wheel so they just deactivate it. Plus I'd like to steer away from ETA movements since they're so ubiquitous. If it had a different movement, this would probably win for me.


Laco does better with the movement using a 2801-2 which doesn't have a date wheel, but again, would rather not an ETA movement. Also, don't care for the more blocky lugs on the Laco. Laco also loses some cred with me for making low end versions of their watches with Miyota movements (How can a German watch have a Japanese movement?)



Seems Nomos does better with their in house movements for me, but as someone who does not like sub-seconds dials that kind of ruins Nomos for me...I also kind of don't like how much the lugs stick out and leave such a big gap between the band and the case (on the Club). I like the white with blue hands like the Nomos below, but I generally find the Stowa Antea more attractive than the Nomos if I were to get over the sub-seconds with the way they did their font.


I kind of feel like there's just nothing to be found in this range that doesn't end up with one of the things I don't care for (sub-seconds dial or an ETA movement). A Speedmaster Moonwatch was on my eventual wants, though I'd like one of the references with hesalite crystal and a display caseback (e.g. 345.0808) which goes well above this price point. I love my Sinn 104, but hand winding the SW220-1 is not particularly satisfying. Then again I've heard the Speedy is not necessarily the most satisfying to hand wind either...so kind of at a general loss on what hand wind watch I'd like.
 

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There are some ETA options other than the hand winding 280X series. The 6497/6498 moments are quite nice, but the vast majority have a small seconds hand with very few exceptions. There’s a few watches that use the ETA 7001 which is far less common, but it too has the sub dial for seconds. Some versions of the Valjoux 77XX series are hand winding.

There’s not too many other options outside of ETA and clones in your price range as most are going to be more pricey in-house movements. Christopher Ward offers in-house hand wind options on their C1 series that seem to meet all your criteria.

C1 Morgan Classic Chronometer - New Wings | Christopher Ward
 

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Eterna Madison! The non spherodrive versions can meet your budget if you buy used. Not an easy watch to find, though.

Many variations available. Powered by a fantastic in house movement packed with technology and developments. I highly recommend you to read up on these watches. I'd consider them myself but they're too big for me, should be just perfect for you.



 
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Discussion Starter #4
Is there any particular reason why so many hand wind watches have the sub-seconds? Is it due to some basis off pocket watches where that was the norm? I don't know what it is about them that I don't like, maybe the extra visual clutter they put on the dial? They kind of ruin the symmetry I guess, and that seems like one of the nice things about a three hander is the ability to have more symmetry.
 

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Is there any particular reason why so many hand wind watches have the sub-seconds? Is it due to some basis off pocket watches where that was the norm? I don't know what it is about them that I don't like, maybe the extra visual clutter they put on the dial? They kind of ruin the symmetry I guess, and that seems like one of the nice things about a three hander is the ability to have more symmetry.
Well, hand winding watches are more or less antiquate, or at least more so than automatics at the eyes of the majority of the watch world. Most hand winding movements used in this price bracket are old designs, like the ETA 649x and 7001. Sub seconds are just an elongation of the axis of the fourth wheel with a hand applied at the end, it's nothing too complex. Centre seconds is actually a complication, and requires a few more wheels to take the 1 rpm motion of the fourth wheel to the centre stack. You can see this in watches like Stowa, Steinhart and Dornbluth where the manufacturers add a new bridge and wheels to enable centre seconds. The ETA 2801 is based on the same architecture of the automatic 2824, without the automatic bridges and gears and, as far as I know, some differences in the winding mechanism as well (I'd wager the 2801's got a click and click spring substantially different from those of the 2824). Anyway, it's a newer movement and as such they are more complex and have features like centre seconds and hacking.

Here's a modified 6497. The extra plate with Steinhart's name and the bottom left golden wheel are add-ons.

 

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I've heard Stowa can be quite accommodating when it comes to customer requests. I suggest reaching out and asking whether they'd be willing to make a specific watch for you.
 

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If you like the antea, I would say that it might be worth giving it a try. The long lugs and all dial design make them wear a notch higher than their specs suggest. E.g. 38.5mm would wear closer to 40mm. Same goes for the club (36mm -> 38mm).

Alternatively, I would throw out the Weiss standard issue field watch. Great option for a GADA. It’s also at the low end of your budget.


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German based Circula has hand wind and automatic. The hand wound is an in-house movement. Check them out.
 

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Shouldn't be hand winding the SW220-1 that often, never mind routinely. IMO at this price tier Nomos eats everything alive and then some. Just a matter of picking the right model for you, e.g. Tangente, Ludwig, Orion, Club, etc. Of the pack the Tangente would be my choice, especially if you really dislike long lugs because of lug gap, the Club will drive you nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've heard Stowa can be quite accommodating when it comes to customer requests. I suggest reaching out and asking whether they'd be willing to make a specific watch for you.
I guess the problem is, I'm not sure what I'd ask them to use for a movement. I would guess it would have to be one they list on their FAQ, which at best means a Unitas 6498 or Peseux 7001 on either the Antea or Flieger, but with that being a numbered limited edition on the Antea it seems doubtable they'd do that.

I guess here's my thing with ETA, they keep seeming like more and more they want to keep them within Swatch group. Yet I still see lots of non-Swatch group brands selling watches with ETA movements. So let's say it's 5-7 years down the line, it needs servicing. What really happens? Is it going to cost more because they have to get parts from someone other than Swatch for the ETA, or will the manufacturer themselves no longer be able to service it and I'll have to use an independent watchmaker who would just source the ETA parts from somewhere?

I still have a real dislike that they keep the date wheel on the watches and just don't show it for the Stowas, but aesthetically they speak the most to me.

Shouldn't be hand winding the SW220-1 that often, never mind routinely. IMO at this price tier Nomos eats everything alive and then some. Just a matter of picking the right model for you, e.g. Tangente, Ludwig, Orion, Club, etc. Of the pack the Tangente would be my choice, especially if you really dislike long lugs because of lug gap, the Club will drive you nuts.
I only did a few times at the very beginning of getting it, since it always felt unsatisfying I didn't really have much desire to keep doing it. I agree about Nomos in the sense of the in house movements and everything, but is it just a trademark of theirs to always use sub seconds? The Reference 164 with display caseback seems the most appealing to me at a quick look, which is just over $2k. Though looking at their actual movements, they don't look super impressive? At least not visually to me. I know it's an apples to oranges comparsion putting a chrono against a three hand, but the complexity seen on like the displayback Speedy is the best and immensely more satisfying to look at to me than what little you see going on with the Nomos.



I think I'd rather increase my budget than to settle for a movement that just isn't as interesting looking to me (regardless of its actual quality, which I'm sure is still great). Are there three hand calibers that show off much more than like the Nomos Alpha, or is it simply due to the fact there isn't anything more to show off when it's just a three hander?
 

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I’m quite happy with my recently purchased Stowa white flieger with hand-winding movement. I find it classic yet modern-sporty while still being very subtle and conservative. I think it’s very versatile and could probably wear it to any occasion that might come my way.

I also think it’s pretty unique compared to most of the other offerings. That said, Bauhaus and black Flieger watches are also very cool and I’d love to eventually get them in my collection.
40mm does wear larger than I imagined on my 7 3/8th” wrist and I wouldn’t want to go any larger.

Why would a modification to the date bother you?
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Any of the Nomos would be my first choice.

No wrong answer here, just get what you like best and enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I’m quite happy with my recently purchased Stowa white flieger with hand-winding movement. I find it classic yet modern-sporty while still being very subtle and conservative. I think it’s very versatile and could probably wear it to any occasion that might come my way.

I also think it’s pretty unique compared to most of the other offerings. That said, Bauhaus and black Flieger watches are also very cool and I’d love to eventually get them in my collection.
40mm does wear larger than I imagined on my 7 3/8th” wrist and I wouldn’t want to go any larger.

Why would a modification to the date bother you?
View attachment 15332598
Well I don't want a date period on a handwind, and it seems in being most Bauhaus it would be about minimalism. Seems not with the ethos to have a date wheel present but just hidden behind the dial and disabled. It's nitpicky, I'll admit, but just kind of bothers me.

I like the ethos behind Nomos more since it's all in house, but I guess I'll keep looking at sub seconds and seeing if I can make myself like them. I saw an F.P. Journe the other day with sub seconds and it didn't bother me in the slightest, but perhaps it was the amazing dial that had me overlook it.

Otherwise, I think I'll just start looking for a hesalite Speedy with the exhibition caseback (3592.50, 3572.50, or 3573.50). Not really a three hander like I started out wanting, but it at least does not have a date complication.
 

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I guess here's my thing with ETA, they keep seeming like more and more they want to keep them within Swatch group. Yet I still see lots of non-Swatch group brands selling watches with ETA movements. So let's say it's 5-7 years down the line, it needs servicing. What really happens? Is it going to cost more because they have to get parts from someone other than Swatch for the ETA, or will the manufacturer themselves no longer be able to service it and I'll have to use an independent watchmaker who would just source the ETA parts from somewhere?
Those are valid questions (and I have them myself), but you can do the same for every single watch brand. Imagine you get a Nomos (in house movement that no one else can make) and 7 years down the line the brand is gone (not likely, I know). What would you do then?

I still have a real dislike that they keep the date wheel on the watches and just don't show it for the Stowas, but aesthetically they speak the most to me.
Are you sure they don't use the dateless 2801?

I think I'd rather increase my budget than to settle for a movement that just isn't as interesting looking to me (regardless of its actual quality, which I'm sure is still great). Are there three hand calibers that show off much more than like the Nomos Alpha, or is it simply due to the fact there isn't anything more to show off when it's just a three hander?
That sounds like a good idea, settling is never a good thing. How high would you want to go with your budget? Under 5k you have options like the Omega De Ville Tresor, Grand Seiko SBGW231 and Ophion Velos.

15334159


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If you can stomach the ETA base, the premium movements from Tourby are a sight to behold. Look at that finishing!

 

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Let's get cheeky. Stretch the budget a teeny tiny weeny tinzy wee bit more to ~$30k and there's the Journe Chronometre Bleu.

15334176
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Those are valid questions (and I have them myself), but you can do the same for every single watch brand. Imagine you get a Nomos (in house movement that no one else can make) and 7 years down the line the brand is gone (not likely, I know). What would you do then?



Are you sure they don't use the dateless 2801?



That sounds like a good idea, settling is never a good thing. How high would you want to go with your budget? Under 5k you have options like the Omega De Ville Tresor, Grand Seiko SBGW231 and Ophion Velos.







If you can stomach the ETA base, the premium movements from Tourby are a sight to behold. Look at that finishing!
I suppose that's true. Ubiquitousness has its pros while lacking originality it's certainly easier to keep going due to popularity.

As far as the movement, yes. I have looked through Stowa's FAQ and they don't have the 2801 listed, it's the 2804-2. Seems odd on one hand, but considering on many of their watches they give you the choice of date or no date, I suppose it makes sense to reuse the 2804-2 rather than have a bunch of 2801's around just for the no date ones.

Interesting suggestions, I'll take a look. I know the trend usually with hand winds though is to be a bit more on the dress side so I have that to contend with. I'd like an every day wear, without it having to be a field watch a la Hamilton Khaki. Under $5k would be peak, preferably lower than that though. Those hesalite sandwich speedys seem to be $3,500-4,500 which is about where I'd cap out.


Let's get cheeky. Stretch the budget a teeny tiny weeny tinzy wee bit more to ~$30k and there's the Journe Chronometre Bleu.

View attachment 15334176
lol, it's funny you mention this exact FP Journe, this is the reference I saw a few days ago. That would certainly be lovely, and I do not mind the sub seconds on that one :)
 
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