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Discussion Starter #1
I use a pocket watch for a number of reasons (which is why for over 20 years I just put my wrist watch in my pocket), but perhaps the best is that it simply suits who I am (I still enjoy shooting film and printing in my own darkroom). This is why I have been so patient over the years with my pocket watches.

For some reason, pocket watches and I do not get along. They always remain in the little pocket in my jeans, so they do not get knocked around, but they just don't seem to last very long. I had a vintage watch for about six months before the mechanism that held the cover closed started to fail (I was told that it would be very expensive to fix), and I have had modern watches that have not lasted long either. The longest I have had one has been about two years, which is the one that most recently failed.

So I am trying to decide my next step. I am willing to pay up to $200 for a good pocket watch and was wondering if anyone might have a suggestion. I am not knowledgeable about pocket watches (other than wearing them) and am not looking for a long term investment, just a reliable and accurate pocket watch I can fit in the little pocket of my jeans.

Any recommendations? Best case scenario would be to have one that will last me the next 20 years and if there is a direction I can take to put me in the direction of that best scenario then I would appreciate knowing it.

Cheers -

george
 

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I am afraid Your requirements are too high for a vintage pocket watch :)
Maybe You should try modern quartz pocket watch or a not so modern pocket watch with small wristwatch movement with a popoff caseback?

Something like this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RAKETA-VINTAGE-Soviet-Pocket-Watch-17-Jewels-Open-Face-SHIP-Boat-WIND-UP-1-1-2-/191271720276?pt=Pocket_Watches&hash=item2c88aed554
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/RUSSIAN-pocket-watch-USSR-Raketa-12-hours-2609-H-movement-nice-condition-/161317896652?pt=Wristwatches&hash=item258f4bc1cc
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I actually looked specifically at Elgin watches because I have heard of them and have heard that they are good quality watches. Most of the ones I saw noted that they needed work, which made me shy away. If I can find one that is ready to go then perhaps that would be a possibility.

Cheers -

george
 

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If you search world wide on ebay for Waltham, Hamilton or Elgin, you will find great quality, hard wearing pieces.
I personally like Waltham for quality and strength.

No need to buy quartz.
I too wear a pocket watch, and have a number of basic Walthams, Hamiltons and Elgins.

adam
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I wonder if the thing to do would be to buy one of those inexpensively and then now worry about how long it will last.

Cheers -

george
 

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I wonder if the thing to do would be to buy one of those inexpensively and then now worry about how long it will last.

Cheers -

george
Hi George
It will last.
Servicing is also cheap and simple on them
adam
 
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I wear vintage pocket watches. The only one I "used-up" was by a friend a self served russian Molnija around 1950 for round about $ 20 after extensive wearing at work and parties for more than five years. The minutehand fether was gone weak and it could be fixed again in a service but I wanted a new one and the pocket watch fever still burns.

Therefore don't be afraid to wear a vintage watch. Buy a nice and running watch on the bay and ask your watchmaker before you buy for the price of a service. This is absolute nessesary. Take yourself time until you found your watch. I don't know a lot about american watches. Personally I like to wear my Hamilton with a 922 movement. It's a very good movement but not as special that many collectors are looking for. The price should match with your budget including service. I guess it's the same with Waltham and Elgin. If you wan't a very smal one for the smal fifth pocket maybe you should look for a gruen very thin.

Watches were build for wearing - just take care of them and don't forget service. Don't believe all ebay sellers if they write: serviced . Be careful and look for the pic's and the text of his rewies. Don't buy a vintage without pic's of the movement. This is lottery for collectors.

Kind regards Silke

Oh we forget Howard/ Keystone (the E.Howards are to special ):

howard.jpg

I've bought it because of the "drunken" numbers :). The movement is standart for them and very good. Made around 1910. I searched a while but this result match inclusive service with your budget.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The most recent one that died on me was very thin, which was nice because it slid into the fifth pocket very easily. The one I am using now, until I find a replacement, is a mostly plastic pocket watch that I got for under $10. <g> It actually runs quite well, so I am not in a hurry to make the right decision.

Cheers -

george
 

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Than think about Gruen:

Gruenfront.jpg

Size 43 mm in Diameter and with glas about 0,8 cm "thick" but only in the centre. Out of the Mid twentis. Of course its hand winding but a nice job while drinking the morning coffee. Here the top quality movement (incl. cathair :rodekaart ) nice and precisely:

grünwerk.jpg

It's swiss made but mostly made for and sold in america. Surely its much better and lives longer than everything you get nowadays for your budget if you don't forget service.

Kind regards
 

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George,

If you want a dependable robust P/W, I would suggest looking for a vintage quartz Swiss Army P/W. Many of us here are collectors of vintage MECHANICAL watches and are a bit prejudiced to these, but it does entail a bit of a learning curve. If you want a good rugged time keeper for everyday use start with a used Swiss Army quartz. I have two of which the time only (no date) is the most accurate. These can be found online for about $80 to $100 used. Once you learn more about mechanicals you can find very good vintage ones for about the same price. Some of the better inexpensive ones are Hamilton 956's, 974's, Illinois 706, and Elgins made after 1946 like the 575. The problem with these is that you learn through experience what are the good and the bad and it takes time. So it's a bit of a crap shoot. With a Swiss Army quartz you will get at least an accurate watch. BTW the most accurate watch in my collection is not the Swiss Armies; it's an 1923 Illinois 706 that had an avg. error of -0.12 sec over a period of wearing it for 55 days. Better than both of my Swiss Army quartz. But I was lucky with it.
 

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This is a true point. I'm definetly prejudiced to mechanical ones :) and Bezelbub might be right. You've to check it for yourself. I guess it will be a good idea to walk around watch and antique markets and take diffend watches in your hand to get a personal feeling. But as you see he also speaks for vintage ones. Usually the cases of the modern ones in you budget range are not robust and made for 100 years life. I personally would avoid everything with a chrome surface for daily use. In the vintage sector you usually get more for your money.
 
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