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Discussion Starter #1
I used to be one of you. Four or five years ago I was a legit WIS, constantly buying and flipping anything that caught my eye. At the high water mark of my enthusiasm I owned a vintage 16220, after having been through a vintage Tudor Submariner, several Omegas (Speedy Pro, X-33, 2254.50, etc.), and dozens of dive watches (SKX007 through MM300, and many brands and models in between). At no point in my pursuit did I deal with more than $3K in a single transaction, which left the modern Rolex models I liked just a bit beyond my reach. I never really had the patience to properly save up for one. After a couple of years I decided to switch hobbies and purged my collection, which was never larger than a few watches at a time, and never more than one 'expensive' watch.

Flash forward to today and my only watch is a first-gen Apple Watch. I just turned 49 and my darling wife, who knows my all of my desires, asked if I'd like to commemorate next year's milestone birthday with a Rolex of my choosing (I said YES!). Because I've already had years to evaluate the line-up, the choice is easy: a 116234 with black stick dial, fluted bezel, and Oyster bracelet. It might not seem an exciting combination to some, but it's exactly what I want.

All that said, I'd like to turn off the Apple Watch and spend the next 11 months wearing a 'real watch' again. I'd like the stand-in to be close to the DJ in size and have some utility. I was thinking maybe a Seiko SKX013? Something in the $200-$400 range would be ideal, as it will largely go unused when I finally get my DJ. Just wondering what the hive would recommend.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions!

PS - Feel free to include pics of your own DJ 36 (any configuration) in your replies!
 

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My suggestion would be a Seiko SARB033 or SARB035.

JDM so made in Japan and of extremely high quality, 38mm case size, can be dressed up or worn more casually on leather also.

I own a DJ 1603 and a Seiko SARB035 and i find the Seiko wears fairly similar to the datejust with its curved case even though it's a little larger.

Congratulations on the milestone and good luck.



SARB033


SARB035

*Pictures borrow from Google


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My suggestion would be a Seiko SARB033 or SARB035.

JDM so made in Japan and of extremely high quality, 38mm case size, can be dressed up or worn more casually on leather also.

I own a DJ 1603 and a Seiko SARB035 and i find the Seiko wears fairly similar to the datejust with its curved case even though it's a little larger.

Congratulations on the milestone and good luck.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks! I actually had a SARB033 for about two days. I liked it, but it was too similar to others I had at the time. That SARB035, however, would give me a smooth bezel and white dial as a nice alternative to my DJ.
 

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Well, to be brutally honest: The only surrogate you would ever find for a Rolex would be another Rolex. And you can't afford that. There are many watch companies who make terrific watches at a fraction of the cost of a Rolex, but would you ever be satisfied? The only closely comparable watch to the quality and similar look of a Rolex is Grand Seiko. But most of those are close to the price of a Rolex. Even the excellent quartz watches are well over 2 grand.

Really none of my business, but since you asked: Why not suggest to your wife that she get you the Rolex now. You both already know what you are going to get, so it is not a surprise. Assuming, of course, she already has the funds earmarked for your 50th gift. Nothing better than the gift of time, in this case real time, as you will be able to enjoy the watch almost a year longer. Save the money you would spend on the surrogate for a lavish 50th celebration, which both you and your wife will enjoy.

We are not around that long, and you don't know what the next 11 mos. will bring. Hopefully, health and good fortune for you and your wife. Meanwhile, I would say get the most pleasure out of this 50th celebration by starting early!:-!

Cheers,
Carl
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, Carl, but I think I may need to clarify my original post a bit. I'm not looking for a watch that's anything like the Datejust in appearance...just in size. I've missed mechanical watches since I've been wearing my Apple Watch, and I thought it would be fun (and refreshing) to get back into one now. Whatever I get now will be used as a second/beater/spare for times when the DJ isn't appropriate later. That's why I was thinking of something tool-ish like the SKX013. I've been out of the hobby long enough that I'm not sure what mid-sized 'affordable' watches are currently on the market.

My wife is a CPA and manages our finances. She has started a fund for the DJ, and our plan is to purchase the watch during a special birthday trip next year. I like that plan.

So, to be clear, I like the DJ36 size (which is actually very close to my Apple Watch) and I'm simply looking for a mechanical watch to take its place for now for the fun of it. I'm using 'surrogate' to mean a temporary placeholder on my wrist...not a replica or homage in any way. I would be most interested in something like a mid-sized diver or field watch, but wanted to hear all ideas so I don't miss out on something fun.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We are not around that long, and you don't know what the next 11 mos. will bring. Hopefully, health and good fortune for you and your wife. Meanwhile, I would say get the most pleasure out of this 50th celebration by starting early!:-!
FWIW, I'm 49 and my wife is 33. We've been married 7 years and have a beautiful 4-year-old and a handsome 2-year-old together. Plus I'm finally finishing my college degree next month after a 27-year hiatus. I've got more than my fair share of pleasure these days! :-d
 

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FWIW, I'm 49 and my wife is 33. We've been married 7 years and have a beautiful 4-year-old and a handsome 2-year-old together. Plus I'm finally finishing my college degree next month after a 27-year hiatus. I've got more than my fair share of pleasure these days! :-d
That's great! Never too late to start, or finish, a college education. I took a two-year tech college course when I was 50, and no regrets at all. Sounds like you have a great family life there!
 

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Having a beater makes good sense if the main watch
is a Rolex.

I wouldn't recommend a black-dialed SARB or anything
similar because it'll put you at risk of bonding with it and
then being disappointed with the Datejust.

I'm generally negative on quartz, but for a second
watch it makes good sense because it'll always be
ready to go and is more robust, which matters in a
dedicated beater. I'd also recommend a different dial
color to provide some diversity in the line-up.

I'd recommend you consider something like this blue 38mm Hamilton Khaki:

https://www.jomashop.com/hamilton-watch-h68201143.html

I'm glad things are going so well for you. However there is some merit in
moving things forward. For example, if the watch was a gift to commemorate
your graduation you'd have it next month. Every time someone asks about the
watch you explain the reason, which you might be more comfortable with than
referring to your age.

All the best! John
 

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Thanks, Carl, but I think I may need to clarify my original post a bit. I'm not looking for a watch that's anything like the Datejust in appearance...just in size. I've missed mechanical watches since I've been wearing my Apple Watch, and I thought it would be fun (and refreshing) to get back into one now. Whatever I get now will be used as a second/beater/spare for times when the DJ isn't appropriate later. That's why I was thinking of something tool-ish like the SKX013. I've been out of the hobby long enough that I'm not sure what mid-sized 'affordable' watches are currently on the market.
An SKX013/007 would be a great pick. Entertaining to wear, won't step on a DJ36's style, and -- I'll dare say it -- almost Rolex-y in how the case is smoothly contoured.

I was going to say the same things that carlhaluss said -- there's no "surrogate" for a DJ36 (or, really, any other watch that you really want), only "something you spend money on that you'll just give up later and makes it harder to save up anyway".

I'll give one small caution, though. I wear my AW so often that my automatics are usually run down when I decide to wear them. Half the time, then, I end up wearing my solar-atomic quartz.

I'm not so much annoyed by resetting my mechanicals, but more concerned for the winding mechanisms. I'm a little nervous that I'll cross-thread my SKX's crown someday, too.

I don't have a DJ of my own, but maybe I'll get one before my 50th, too. ivanos's looks fantastic, though; that's one of the configurations I've got in my Favorites list.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm glad things are going so well for you. However there is some merit in
moving things forward. For example, if the watch was a gift to commemorate
your graduation you'd have it next month. Every time someone asks about the
watch you explain the reason, which you might be more comfortable with than
referring to your age.
Thanks for the excellent recommendation, John. I'd forgotten about Hamilton, and that one looks great!

If we were buying a mattress or car together then I'd definitely weigh in on when it should be purchased. As it is, it's a gift from my lovely wife who wants me to have it on my birthday, and she's enjoying planning the event (which will happen on our annual "just us" trip). The waiting will surely be tough, but in the meantime a nice backup watch bought with my play money should help take the edge off.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'll give one small caution, though. I wear my AW so often that my automatics are usually run down when I decide to wear them. Half the time, then, I end up wearing my solar-atomic quartz.
I'm beginning to be sold on the idea of a quartz over a manual/automatic. Grab-and-go is good, and it does open up the options for me at an even lower price point. Thanks!
 

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A buddy of mine has one of these. SARB017. Seiko Alpinist Automatic at 38mm. A totally different look, but beautifully finished with a lovely brown leather strap. It is just over $400.00. Have seen it in real life, I can attest to the great quality. Of course, you have to like green! This model has been around for a long time, over 10 years I believe, and if you do a search for the model no. there are a lot of reviews about it.

S-SARB017_b_large.jpg
 

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I'm beginning to be sold on the idea of a quartz over a manual/automatic. Grab-and-go is good, and it does open up the options for me at an even lower price point. Thanks!
Yup. Whenever I decide to wear one of my mechanicals, I refer to my Citizen to see what time and day it really is.
 
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